In between sitting out the remainder of a full-time job (split by watching the bottom line tick over and applying judicious amounts of certain peripheral-based rhythm games), and helping putting together an updated framework and fresh content for an altogether more noble endeavour, there's also the growing pressure of finding oneself a punchline for a lack of written output, referred to in passing and in social networking status updates. At least now I know how Meiks feels.
But my text having migrated, as it were, here we are.
And here we all are, in the thrall of a National-led government that has – shock and horror – apparently thought about voter representation, and not merely cementing a 51% share of the House and going about business. Time will tell, of course, whether any promises are kept, whether the long-awaited tax cuts will materialise or indeed be a responsible act, or whether the inclusion of the Maori Party in the Nat/Act/UF melange was more than insurance for 2011; all the same, on Sunday afternoon I felt a sudden warmth to see the Maori Party holding ministerial roles for Maori Affairs and the Community and Voluntary Sector. This was quickly stemmed when Tariana Turia giggled her way through the well-staged press conference. (But at least Turia didn't have the perma-smug mask that Key seems to have made his own.) She was, however, looking for all the world as if she'd got more than she expected out of Key, a man with a homestead so grandiose there are apparently serious talks about building a new outhouse for the Diplomatic Protection Squad. According to the SST, the DPS is currently squatting in a caravan while they wince at the nearby market rents – one can only hope they've got an awning ready for those brief Parnell showers. And maybe a swing tennis set in case it's sunny out.
It's good to see in the Maori Party / National agreement, though, that the larger electorates will finally get funding for more support staff. Consider, if you will, the extra time and effort it takes to co-ordinate any kind of resources for Te Tai Tonga (147,000 square km) compared to Epsom (22 sq km). And it only took a year and a half for that particular Goulter report recommendation to go through.
I do hope, finally, that I'm not the only one who's feeling the unease of seeing a segment of the mainstream media fawn over the new PM-designate, self-made millionaire or no. Sure, it's an easy angle on a rather beige man, but I'd really rather be told that JK reheats his cups of teain the microwave than see helicopter shots of his poolhouse. Somewhat distastefully, just a couple of days ago, passive TV news viewers saw Parnell featured as a flourishing suburb despite the much-editorialised hard times. A healthily made-up lady in a dairy, barely missing her soundbite cue, mentioned the dozens of champagne bottles she'd gotten through in the leafy suburb. One local real estate functionary, more on the ball, referred to a recent $9m house sale as proof that the economy wasn't in such bad shape. Suffice it to say that these people, the PM-dez among them, will not be the first ones feeling the crunch. And suffice, once more, to say that these people are not our people. Call it tall poppy syndrome in a selfish meritocracy, but I'd rather hold back my praise until Key improves day-to-day life for anyone other than the Parnell Players.