Raising the Dead

The Japanese have been busy. Mr Wakayama has been taking dead mice, frozen for 16 years, and cloning them. The idea is to bring to life the odd woolly mammoth or two and maybe move on to Tyrannosaurus Rex once he gets his hand in. But who gave him Roger Douglas’s genomes? There Roger was, (or was it his clone – he certainly didn’t look any older), on election night wetting his lips and rubbing his paws and as John Campbell interviewed him live, looking at his watch and seeming to be in a very great hurry. He obviously had places to go. Things to do.

I gave an involuntary scream and headed for the drinks cabinet. How could he have hopped out of the political deep freeze and resuscitated himself to such a remarkable degree in such a short space of time? It certainly seemed like a throw back to a distant and dark political past but here he was, large as life and relishing, in a ghoulish kind of way the delivery of the news that none of us knew HOW BAD IT ALL IS and if we’d let him have his economic pruning shears back and he’d have just one little snip. Or six.

Rodney was sulking on Saturday night however when it became obvious that Mr. Key was going to keep Rodney’s favourite clone on a very short lead.

You have to be grateful for small mercies. I have distant memories of sitting eating strawberries in the square at the bottom of Queen Street with the mobile fruit cart guy. We were the only objects of colour – Stefan; in his embroidered jacket and me in some variation of a Pipi Longstocking ensemble (you get the picture), in a sea of blue and grey suits that had gathered to pay homage to Rodger Dodger in their lunch break. As he climbed to the podium and began to rant, an audible sigh of pleasure rippled through the crowd and in his closing slogans most of the suits were raising their right hands and shouting vigorous agreement. The fruit guy, laughing in disgust, threw up his hands shouting, “I left Romania to get away from thes kind of sheet!” He wasn’t holding up any linen. As the suits turned to glare, I made a mental note to self to buy a suit and understand the share market so that I may survive the revolution.

It’s a funny old dance at the centre of New Zealand politics. Rodney, all trussed up in lycra accuses Key of dancing to the left of Helen, close enough to have been mistaken for Helen’s boyfriend it seems. The last few days of electioneering showed Helen and John in a tense embrace not unlike the Argentine tango, legs crossing the political divide, jostling for advantage to see who will capitulate first. No one claps on a tango floor. As cosy as it all started to look –tango should never be confused with a dance of love.

And let’s face it. National are not good on the sidelines, where they’ve been relegated these last 9 years. Traditionally, once they’re on the floor they’re hard to prize off and Mr. Key looks like the kind of guy who needs a caller for the steps so we could well be into fiscal line dancing for the next few years. We had a brief step to the left and now a jump to the right. Put your hands on your hips and pull your belts in tight. Mr. Key and Rodney may do the pelvic thrust – until we go insane. Let’s do the time warp again. Or maybe not.

While the Japanese may have been hauling woolly mammoth relics from the New Zealand political deep freeze and cloning them, Helen’s competent tango has forced the far right into the centre of the dance floor again. We may not be dealing with the same beast as the National party of the nineties. I’m prepared to polish off my white vinyl cowboy boots as long as Rodger doesn’t get to do the calling and Rodney stays far away from any wardrobe management decisions.

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