It could be David Cunliffe’s real Christmas message…then again it might not be.
“Itâ€™s traditional at Christmas for great leaders like the Queen to make a speech, so I thought it would be appropriate for me to address the nation.
Christmas is a time for family. I think especially about hardworking middle-income New Zealand families who have spent the year doing it tough under John Key and his crony capitalist mates, only letting them have 3.6% growth this year.
I think also about some of my family, as I look to them for inspiration. I think of my great-great-great-uncle-in-law twice removed, Moses Cunliffe. He, like me, was destined for leadership from the start, even if those around him didnâ€™t realise it. But also like me, he was eventually chosen by a higher power to lead his people out of the wilderness. I think itâ€™s important that New Zealand families shouldnâ€™t have to miss out on this sort of experience, which is why a Labour-led government would extend passport renewals to forty years. Itâ€™s these sorts of policy ideas, focusing on the really important issues, you can expect more of from a Labour party on a war footing.Â
This year I have had one goal â€“ always to do what is right (allowing for the situation and prevailing economic conditions). At first it was right for me to give David Shearer my unequivocal support as party leader. But then the poll results showed it was right for me to assume the leadership, and send Shearer to the political glue factory. That didnâ€™t turn out quite like Iâ€™d expected â€“ instead he seems to have a sort of political glue that keeps him in Parliament â€“ must have got it from Trevor or Phil.
Iâ€™ll tell you about one day that shows just how my my principle of doing right guides me. Iâ€™d flown back from Wellington, having had a hard week sticking up for ordinary, hard-working New Zealanders by ensuring any investments they made in privatised assets would be worth far less and using millions of taxpayer dollars collecting contact details for the Greens. Clint told me it was the right thing to do.
Karen said she couldnâ€™t pick me up from the airport because Oceana Gold was shouting her work a keg for fixing a resource consent, so I had to get a taxi.Â The first driver obviously recognised me from my leadership campaign to help taxi drivers because he greeted me with a cheery wave.Â However, he appeared to be missing three fingers – probably the result of a workplace accident made possible only by Nationalâ€™s sloppy workplace safety enforcement.Â I made a point to remember to question John Key about whether he would be paying compensation to this poor man. That would be the right thing to do.
So I asked this driver for a ride to Herne Bay.
â€śThatâ€™ll be two hundred bucks, mate.â€ť
I thought to myself thatâ€™s a bit steep, and asked him if he was sure.Â After all, the hardworking Kiwi taxpayer would be footing the bill for this, and I wouldnâ€™t want to spoil Labourâ€™s record of successful money management.
â€śYeah, itâ€™s still two hundred bucks.Â Come on, mate, Iâ€™ve got a family of six to feed.â€ť
He did appear rather young for such a large family, being only five feet tall and rather pimply.Â By this point another driver had come up to me and was shouting that he would take me for only $50.Â The poor man was obviously quite mad – no sane person could make such an offer – with a charge that low how could he possibly support his partner working 20 hours a week and 3 children, which all Kiwi families have?Â I couldnâ€™t take the risk that those children would go hungry.Â I hopped in to the first taxi, happy in the knowledge that the taxpayerâ€™s $200 was supporting a living wage.Â It was the right thing to do.
In the taxi I checked my phone – I often receive messages from my fellow caucus colleagues who are so pleased with how well I have performed in the House they tell me to go takeÂ FridayÂ off – what else could all those messages saying GTFO mean? Â For some reason they always say add C U Next Tuesday as well. Today I had plenty of those, but also something different – a poor Nigerian man who, through no fault of his own, needed some money to help him receive his inheritance, which he needed to help support his starving family.Â I had no hesitation in sending him the $5000 he was asking for – after all, it was the morally right thing to do.
Next year promises to be very interesting. Iâ€™m interested to see how many electoral laws can be broken before anyone actually gets prosecuted.
But for now, have a safe and enjoyable Kirihimete, Christmas, Hannukah, or other secular holiday celebratory period. Iâ€™ve just given you all a gift â€“ being able to hear me for five minutes. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll all enjoy listening to the sound of my voice as much as I do.”