Thursday, December 28, 2023

Derek Mackie: Labour - An Irreparable State of Mind

“Now Chris! Just lie back on the couch, relax, and let your mind empty. 
 That should be easy enough.” 
“If you say so, Dr Awlinurehed      [pron. All-in-your-head].” 
“Please, call me Izza. I strive to have a friendly, informal relationship with all my high-profile troubled clients.” 

 “You must thank Klaus again for me. I know you’re in high demand amongst the woke, Left-wing elite and I’m not deluded enough to think I’d get this appointment at short notice without his recommendation.” 
“I‘ll pass that on to Herr Schwab; he’s a close personal acquaintance.
I regard it as a great honour to provide psychiatric counselling to the vanguard of the neo-Marxist movement, who do seem unfortunately prone to mental imbalance on a regular basis. Indeed, it has become a permanent condition for a disturbingly large contingent of the most notable - naming no names, of course.
 “Surely not!  Mind you, my predecessor was certainly acting oddly towards the end of her term in office.”  
“And don’t underestimate your delusions, Chris. That’s my job, remember. 
Now, what seems to be the problem?” 

“Well, it’s been a few months since Labour’s catastrophic defeat at the election and…” 
“You’ve been questioning your right and ability to lead the party. 
 Am I correct?  
 “Oh no! Nothing like that.” 
“Mmm. I’ll just make a note - (inflated self-belief)- carry on.” 
“I’m sure that I’m the best man - sorry person - for the job. I just have to get a better team around me to give me the right support and allow me to flourish and reach my full potential.”
“I see - (egotistic and masochistic). Continue.” 

“Clearly, Grant has got to go. And, thank God I don’t have to sack Nanaia; Te Pati Maori got rid of her for me. They’re good for something, at least. 
I just need to nurture some of the new generation of progressive socialists to carry on the good fight under my inspiring leadership.” 
“But didn’t all the new MPs lose their seats when you were decimated in October?” 
“Izza, please! Decimated is a very strong word.” 
“Actually, Chris, it was a Roman form of punishment, meaning to execute one in ten soldiers for cowardice in battle. 
I believe you went from 65 seats to 34. So, in effect, you lost almost one in every two seats you held. 
Many would call that annihilated.” 
“Oh! When you put it like that, “decimated” sounds like a success. I might use it in my speech at the next Labour Party Conference to confirm my unassailable position as leader and gloss over the real numbers.” 
“Mmm - (narcissism). 
Anyway, how can I help you, Chris?” 

“Just lately I’ve had this strange feeling of impending doom. 
It most commonly happens at caucus meetings and in policy brainstorming sessions, where we thrash out a new strategy to get Labour back on track - we’ve only had one of these because, what’s to fix, right? 
Anyway, I get this weird feeling that someone is eyeing me up. Like a lion eyes up a gazelle ….or a wolfpack eyes up a moose …or a stoat eyes up a kiwi... or a…” 
“Yes, I get the message. 
That is concerning - (paranoia). And when did this begin?” 
“On election night. Just after the provisional results came in.” 

“Oh! I assumed it had been going on for many months, since you began free-falling in the polls and your inevitable defeat was obvious to everyone who didn’t have a personality disorder or was detached from reality.” 
“I don’t know what you mean, Izza. I can honestly say that every member of my team was convinced we could triumph, right up to election day.” 
“My point exactly. And I’d be only too happy to treat your other cabinet colleagues as well, to help them adjust to the “new normal”. 
You’d receive a referral fee, if that makes a difference.” 
“Could we focus on me, please?” 
“Certainly, Chris - (self-obsessed). 
Now tell me more about this …strange feeling you’ve been having. Do you suspect anyone in particular?” 

“A few weeks back, we had our first critical meeting in opposition to arrange the Secret Santa gifts and I was show-casing my organisational and delegatory skills on the whiteboard when I realised the room was very quiet. 
I turned around and everyone was staring intently at me. A few people had picked up their knives - for the tax-payer funded gourmet buffet lunch we were having - and were scraping them together in a sharpening motion.” 
“That is very worrying. Anything else?” 
“Keiran was right at the front salivating, licking his lips and had a wolfish grin on his face.”

“Look, Chris. I’m certain there’s an innocent explanation for all this and you’re simply imagining much of what is going on. It’s hardly surprising that losing the public’s trust and being subsequently humiliated has triggered a wave of stress-related hallucinations.
I’d like to try a simple word game to delve deeper into your psyche and release some of your inner demons which will ultimately make you feel calmer, less paranoid and more balanced.”
“Like our mainstream media, you mean?” 
“You see. Statements like that show just how much in need of help you really are. 
Now, I will say random word-pairs and I want you to say the first thing that pops into your head.” 
“Sounds simple enough.” 
“Then I’m sure you’ll be excellent at it. 
Here we go” 



“How am I doing so far?” 
“Let’s just say I’m already enlightened. 
Shall we carry on?” 
“Absolutely! This is the most fun I’ve had since taking over from Jacinda.”



“Red’s so bright and cheery. It’s always been my favourite colour, ever since my parents brought me home a Labour teddy-bear with a red shirt and pants from the 1979 Party Conference. I’ve still got it! 
Could that be relevant, do you think?” 
“I doubt it, Chris. Unless you still play with teddy, of course. 
Just joking!” 
“What! No, that’s ridiculous! I’ve moved on since then.   We're both big boys now.
These days, I discuss my new policy ideas with Red-Ted and he gives me feedback on what he thinks will work best. He's my closest advisor but don't tell anyone, will you?
“Of course not. Everything we discuss is strictly confidential.  Your secret's safe with me.
“I keep him in my office at parliament, tucked up snug in my desk drawer, wrapped in my blankie.” 
“Aah, right! This exercise is proving very valuable. Let’s try some more, shall we?” 



“No surprises there. I always slip this one in to check you’re not completely insane.” 
“You’d have to be nuts to get that wrong.” 



“Those responses are in a Kiwi context and reflect the terrible injustices of colonialism in Aotearoa. 
We had to rewrite the Treaty and the whole history curriculum so that people were made to believe just how bad it was.” 

“So Doc, what’s the verdict?” 
“Well, all the key signs are there. The inability to accept blame, responsibility or recognise your failings; the elevated sense of your own importance; the need to seek attention and admiration.” 
“Don’t keep me hanging, Izza. 
Have I been felled in my prime by the scourge of madness, like other great geniuses? 
Is my glorious career in politics over?” 

“Don’t worry! You’re exhibiting all the signs we look for in a modern day socialist. I’m giving you a clean bill of mental health to carry on the good fight. 
“That’s wonderful! But what about my feeling of impending doom?” 
“Now that you know you’re a grade-A neo-Marxist specimen I’m sure these episodes will fade as your confidence returns.” 
“Are you saying it’s all in my head?” 
“Quite literally, yes. There’s nothing to worry about.
Now, don’t hesitate to contact me if you feel any strange urges. 
Like representing the majority, or promoting freedom of speech, or championing equal rights for all.” 
“I don’t understand what you mean.” 
“You’ll know them when you see them, believe me.” 
“It’s so good to have my brilliance confirmed. Being destined for greatness is a heavy burden but Red-Ted and I can bear it. My little joke there. I can’t wait to tell him.” 
“Goodbye Chris. Till we meet again.”


“Keiran. Thanks for waiting. Come on in. 

Now, you’re still experiencing delusions of grandeur? That’s perfectly normal. 
And you believe you’re better than everyone else and are undervalued by your leader who has miserably failed the party? That’s excellent! 
Well, in the great socialist revolution it’s only natural that those not up to the task must be pushed aside and trampled underfoot for the greater good. The weak must make way for the strong. 
So, I propose you ramp up the staring, the knife-sharpening and the lip-licking. And, most importantly, kidnap the bear - he keeps it in his desk. It’ll tip him over the edge and you can always use it as leverage in handover negotiations.
I should see him back here in a week tops, begging for help. Then you leak it to the media that he’s seeing a psychiatrist and your path to glory should be clear, comrade.” 

Derek Mackie is a former geologist with a keen interest in current affairs and a penchant for satire.


Anonymous said...

This is what you get when New Zealander's go on Xmas holiday and they get to - smell the Brandy snaps,
- chew on Nanna's Xmas Mince pies . has anyone checked what she puts in the mix
- then comes the "heady portion" of Xmas Cake - the fruit placed in either Irish and/or Scots Whisky to 'brew the fruit'
- over eat on the Ham, Lamb, Pork, Chicken along with the myriad amount of vegetable (the Gran kids absolutely rapped that broccoli is absent)
- then comes desert - watch the Trifle (Gran and her additions to make it "merry")
- all helped along by libations from Lion and/or Dominion Breweries, and NZ's many Wineries

and having "over down the meal intake" then sleeping in the sun, for a couple of hours - to awaken, as Derek has done - "taken pen to paper, to emulate Shakespeare".

Or has Derek, wisely, after Xmas Lunch, forecast "into the future".

Derek - when outdoors, please plenty of sun tan lotion, and wear a hat and watch the "hydration factor".

Anonymous said...

Derek, very tongue in cheek I know and hilarious but here's the sad thing, probably very very accurate.