Sunday, February 6, 2022

Derek Mackie: Boris & Jacinda's imaginary tete-a-tete

J: Prime Minister! So nice to hear from you again. 
B: Indeed! Terrific, yes. I do love our little chats, Jacinda. And call me Boris, I insist. 
J: Thank you Boris and best wishes to Carrie and the children. She’s such an inspiration with her eco activism and progressive ideas. I love to see young women modelling themselves on me…and Greta, of course. 

J: And are you fully recovered now from Covid? 
B: My doctors tell me I’m tickety-boo physically. But some of my colleagues and a large proportion of the electorate are questioning my mental faculties. 
Carrie just tells me to ignore them and do what she says. 
J: There speaks a wise woman. 
I’m so impressed with your Net Zero agenda, even if COP26 was a terrible disappointment. 
B: Nothing to do with me. I blame it on Glasgow, personally. Why pick a cold and wet place, in winter no less, to hold a conference on global warming. It’s very hard to get into the swing of it. That’s why I flew back to London in my private jet after a day. 
J: But you chose Glasgow, didn’t you? 
B: Oh, so I did! Now I remember. I thought it would appease The Sturgeon and distract her from demanding Scottish independence for a while. Instead the bloody natives went on strike and refused to pick up the rubbish. 
It reminded me of my time at Eton, going on a school trip to Canterbury Cathedral and driving through Brixton on the way. 
Oh, how the unpleasant half live! 

J: Never mind. It’s the big picture that matters. How many wind turbines do you have now? 
B: Oh, squillions, I’m told. All whizzing round, chopping up birds but generating lots of “clean and green” energy in the process - except when the wind doesn’t blow. Which has been happening damned often, lately. A reprieve for our feathered friends, at least. 
Carrie loves wildlife but she says that to save the planet there will inevitably be collateral damage. 
J: Yes, I’m sure. Luckily, quite a few of our birds are flightless so they’re safe from our wind turbines. It’s just the rats and stoats they have to worry about. But we’ll be predator-free by 2050. 

J: Power prices do seem to be getting out of control over there. Why don’t people just use less of the stuff, which is what we ultimately want anyway.
B: Ah, spoken like a true Greenie…who works for the State…and is on a huge salary! 
But to be fair it can get rather nippy over here in winter. On advice from our Climate Change Commission I told everyone they had to rip out their gas boilers and put in a nice shiny heat pump, even though they’re nowhere near as good and cost a small fortune for the average family…or the price of a trip to the Bahamas for the better classes. 
How on Earth do the plebs think we’re going to achieve Net Zero if we let them continue to burn fossil fuels. 
J: You backed down on that though, didn’t you? 
B: I had to. I’d have had a back-bench rebellion on my hands. 
Carrie was livid! 

B: And dealing with The Ivan has been fraught. Never trust a Rusky! Now who said that? 
J: Churchill probably. Terrible colonialist! I ordered his picture removed from our parliament. 
B: I thought it was The Don - Trump, I mean. 
Anyway, Putin keeps turning the gas taps off just when we need it most. On further advice from our CCC, we didn’t bother replacing our biggest natural gas storage facility and that left us rather exposed to the market. 
J: Perhaps you should have stayed in Europe. They would have been more sympathetic to your energy woes. I did advise against Brexit. 
I often wish that we could join the EU. Can you imagine attending all those meetings and making decisions that affect 350 million people instead of just our “team of 5 million”. 
B: Oh, my naive little Antipodean. Not likely. I know it looks like some big club where we all help each other out but it doesn’t work like that at all. Everyone hated us even when we were in Europe. Once they had you over a barrel you knew you were in for a damn good thrashing! 
Just like public school actually…the best days of my life. 
Now, at least, I don’t have to pretend to like those oily Frenchies and German oiks. 

J: Despite your energy crisis, I’m glad to see you’re sticking to your guns and not granting any more North Sea oil and gas exploration licences. Or fracking your shale gas. 
B: Yes well, Carrie’s made it perfectly clear that certain rooms in Number 10 - principally on the upper floor and of the sleeping variety - will be strictly out of bounds if I give in on that. And a chap can only stand so much domestic tension. 
J: You just have to remind yourself that you’re saving the planet and it’s for everyone’s benefit…even if some die of cold along the way. 
B: Sounds a tad paradoxical. People dying from the cold to save the planet from global warming. 
You certainly haven’t taken that attitude to Covid, have you? 

J: Covid’s entirely different. It’s an immediate threat to everyone but particularly targets the old and weak. It presented me with the perfect opportunity to display my skills as the consummate leader in a time of crisis, especially as my poll ratings were looking fragile not far out from the last election. 
My kind and caring mantra compelled me to act to prevent every possible death, otherwise I’d be called out as a hypocrite or a liar. And I never lie, Boris. 
B: Yes, you have told me that before on a number of occasions. Quite an extraordinary claim for a politician, I must say. 
J: Are you calling me a liar? 
B: Well, no. But you did introduce compulsory vaccination after saying earlier that it would never be mandated. 
J: That wasn’t a lie, that was a change of policy based on The Science and advice from our government funded, independent experts. 
B: The lady with the pink hair and extravagantly spelled name, I assume? Yes, I see. 

J: The real benefit of Covid, as I’m sure you’ve found, has been to allow governments like ours to enact a raft of authoritarian measures and seize total control….for the public good, of course. 
B: True. Although not without considerable dissent at times, in good old Blighty. 
But I must say, Kiwis are frightfully biddable. Not a peep out of them…unless they’re stuck overseas and can’t get back home. If only the Great British public were so easily governed. 
J: Like I always say, we really are a team of 5 million and they trust in my judgement. 
Our independent, state-funded mainstream media have also helped enormously and ensured that the public of Aotearoa have been fully occupied with all things Covid while I’ve been able to introduce my pro-Maori and co-governance agenda with little fuss. 
B: Ow-tea-ah-row-ah! Sounds like The Boris crossing the hallway to the toilet in the middle of the night - little piggies exposed - only to be ambushed by Johnson Minor’s Lego collection. 
J: Get used to it. I fully intend to rename New Zealand when I get elected for my third term. 

B: Looking at your latest poll figures that may be a smidgen presumptuous. You certainly won’t be ruling alone next time. 
J: The Greens are basically a more fanatical branch of the Labour Party and fully support He Puapua. 
B: He what! God! Sounds like something I say to Carrie when I find an unmentionable in Johnson Minor’s pants. 
J: I’m warning you Boris. When you next visit Aotearoa you’ll have to show proper respect for our indigenous people and their language or our media will savage you. Like loyal guard dogs, they’re very protective of their grants from my Public Interest Journalism Fund which are conditional on promoting our modern partnership interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi. 
I fully intend to honour every clause in the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People which should ensure me a top job later. Eventually I intend to make Maori outright leaders in a bi-cultural, co-governing parliament. 
B: Rather an oxymoron, that. I’m not sure “co-governing” and “outright leader'' are mutually compatible. 
As for funding the fourth estate from taxpayers money. Well that really is all very murky. I wish I could get away with it! 

J: Talking about polls, you and your lot aren’t exactly basking in public adulation. 
B: Yes, most of my recent policy decisions have turned against me, rather.
Carrie says I just have to be strong and show inspired leadership but I know there’s a lot of discontent amongst my Tory colleagues and I feel like Julius Caesar leaving the Roman Senate. I keep checking my back for knives. 
I’m surprised we have so much in common, Jacinda. Being from different ends of the political spectrum. 
J: There’s no political spectrum nowadays. There’s only the Left. All centre-right parties have adopted most of our policies, focusing on minorities and climate change. It’s just a matter of degree. 
My comrades at the International Union of Socialist Youth can’t believe how well things have turned out. 

J: Anyway, we’ll have to organise a formal visit for you and Carrie soon. 
B: That would be enchanting. Carrie loves those eco-lodges you have over there. And only $2000 a night, paid for by the NZ government. 
I’m available in April if that works for you. 
J: Oh, no! We’re talking October at the absolute earliest. I’ve just announced it to the country, despite my misgivings. If I’d had my way, sometime in 2023, probably right before the election, would have been the best time. Just after my wedding. 
B: But Scott has invited me to Australia in April so I thought I could kill two grouse with one shotgun shell, so to speak. 
J: Think again Boris. My boot is firmly on the throat of Covid and I’ll ease off only when it is politically most advantageous to do so. In the meantime, Grant tells me that we can easily borrow or print another $20 billion to fill the gap. 

B: Well, here's hoping I’m still around in October. 
J: You don’t really think we’d both get kicked out at the next election, do you? Not after all we’ve done to - I mean for - our countries. 
B: The electorate are notoriously fickle. Look at poor old Winnie at the end of WWII. No gratitude. 
J: I’d better go. I’ve got my Te Reo class in 10 minutes. I pick up a lot from Simon Dallow on the evening news but I want to go the extra mile as PM.
Maybe you should learn some basic Maori for your visit. Impress the local iwi. 
B: I still struggle to understand people from Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and the North of England, never mind Maori. I’ll pass, thank you. 

J: Almost forgot. I do have an overseas trade delegation to Europe planned soon so I could pop over to London for a day. 
B: That’s a bit rich isn’t it? Travelling overseas while your fellow citizens are domestically locked down. Tut-tut. 
J: One of the perks of being an elected leader of a democratic country. 
Do as I say, not as I do. 

Derek Mackie is a geologist with a keen interest in current affairs.

1 comment:

Fiona said...