Canaan to chaos by Trevor Plumbly
I used to find books a comfort in my autumnal years, but I’ve decided not to seek enlightenment via the Old Testament any more. The BC stuff’s OK, but it’s all a bit passé compared to our NZ parliamentary scene.
Forget that ‘thou shalt not’ crap, down here most of it’s bloody near compulsory. In a few weeks we’ve had back-stabbing, voluntary exile, dummy-spitting and, for those who find government doings boring, there’s cyber willy-waving and a bit of backroom bonking. I know about ‘casting the first stone’ and all that stuff, but honestly folks, who could resist it? No wonder churches are half empty: priestly threats don’t stand a chance against this mob, they dwell in god-like status and get bloody well paid for the effort. Recent events, however, indicate that human frailty is making a come-back, forcing some into survival mode and others to seek earthly feeding grounds.
The lost disciples
Natural law requires damaged fruit to fall and the analogy applies when blight strikes the political orchard. The low hanging fruit are the first to cop it; at this level on the tree there are two distinct groups, plotters and offenders. Plotters are those lacking the ability to sit on the throne but working to get as close to it as possible without risk. Offenders are those unlucky enough to get caught. The two rarely interact; generally speaking, plotters are shielded from promiscuity by age or physical appeal, while offenders are opportunists, eyeing up others’ arses while protecting their own. They have little political value except to serve as offal for the media and the opposition.
Prodigal Simon was first to go. To be fair, his sin was more one of omission. Initially he looked good: kindly but autocratic, iron hand, velvet glove stuff. Sadly, neither had any lasting traction, so he switched to a sort of playground whining, which pissed everyone off and caused him to be cast out along with his sidekick Plastic Paula. This paved the way for Todd and Nikki: they certainly looked the biz, but politics is a tough battle when you’re short of loyal soldiers and within a few days Todd was carried from the field with near mortal wounds. Nikki, sensing the approach of judgement day, opted for the wilderness. The high court, now desperate, decided that faith and talent weren’t going to cut it and opted for age and cunning.
Queen Judith and Gerry became the dream team. First up they lopped off one or two threatening heads then rallied the faithful. It was a time of wonder: Todd, though seriously lamed, picked up his bed and walked to the front line; Simon did a Lazarus and even regained clarity of thought! Pretty soon the tribe was re-united. But, as with most things in life, sex intervened. Randy Andy, an otherwise boring backbencher, decided to spice things up. A backbencher’s life is pretty ho-hum: they get to ask the odd patsy question, but rarely attract notice. Andy fixed this by flicking a few bits of porn out from his phone. It worked! He became a nationally recognised figure overnight, albeit for the wrong reasons. Queen Judith responded by assuming a humble, wounded but ‘I’m forced to be tough’ role (no easy task in one hit). This might have paid off if she hadn’t ballsed things up by advertising these qualities before wielding the axe and flinging a bit of muck back to the other side. It emphasised for me the feeling that there was always something ‘unfinished’ about Judith. But it came to pass that Ian the uncertain was also declared unclean, apparently for doing the naughty with a staffer; not as far as I’m aware, a rare event, but when it suits the political image, moral standards must be seen to be set high and a member’s member must be confined to his own portfolio, so to speak.
A time for every purpose
As a result of the great cleansing, there was a lot of sewing and reaping going on; parliament resembled a rabbit warren under siege with half the occupants torn between fornication and flight. Elections tend to confuse ordinary mortals too; candidates always scrub up well for what is basically an audition. We see Judith straddling the personalities of Uriah Heap and Boadicea, whilst Jacinda presses on with the Roger Federer image.
As I’m writing this, the house is due to ‘rise’. According to some horror novels, rising is not always a good thing, I reckon all sorts of nasties will lurk until the chosen one is anointed and the buggers ‘sit’ again. I will treat their messengers in the time-honoured way by telling them all that I voted in their favour; I find that this cuts the conversation and they go away happy, so it’s win-win. Meanwhile the election papers sit on the sideboard like an unpaid bill, plus referenda on cannabis for all and voluntary euthanasia. So along with selecting someone that’s going to make sod all difference, I’ve got to choose whether it’s OK for me to toot or top myself. Why the hell are they asking me? At 79 I’m past caring about either option; anybody got use for a well-thumbed bible or a Stephen King paperback?