Opinion: I feel like I should write this while I’m still a public figure

By David Shearer

By David Shearer

Hello. Hi. My name is David Shearer. You might’ve heard of me, somewhere. I’m the other one to John Key, so if you don’t like John Key, yeah, I’m the other one. Those are your options.

I’m a guy. I’m friendly enough. I worked in Afghanistan for a while. There were starving children and bodies everywhere. It didn’t affect me much.

One day, I became the leader of the Labour Party, or so that’s what they tell me. I won’t lie; it’s been pretty stressful since then. They keep telling me to do things and say we’re trying to win something. Win what? What is there to win? I’m comfortable. Aren’t you?

But no, they don’t like that. They’re angry. They’re always angry, and they want me to be angry too. But I’m not angry; I like chips.

Having said that, I am aware that I have responsibilities. I mean, I am a public figure. When I say things, people listen. So I make sure to use my platform to say things that really challenge people and make them think. For example, did you know that we need to get behind hard working kiwis who don’t get a fair go? That’s important, which is why I say it, and why I spent so long remembering it from the fridge magnet.

My people showed me some numbers yesterday. They were percentages, and they said they were bad. I didn’t get it. They didn’t look like bad numbers. I think three is quite a nice number, actually, and they all add up to 100. That’s all that matters, surely? But these numbers seem to have caused some upset, and they’re making people behave rather strangely.

After Jacinda saw them, she sighed and said, “Good luck at the caucus meeting.” I laughed and said, “Thanks.” That was nice of her.

Grant Robertson came into my office this morning. He started putting pictures of his family on the desk. David Cunliffe took my phone. Now I can’t call anyone, which is bad, because I want pizza.

I don’t really know what’s happening, to be honest. It’s been fun being leader. Stressful, I mean, but I’ve enjoyed it. At first, they welcomed me with open arms. They taught me how to sit at my desk, showed me where Parliament was, and David Parker taught me about a thing called the economy. He said it was an important thing that does well under Labour, but not under National, even when Labour and National do the same things.

That made sense to me. National are the bad guys. I know that much.

But yeah, as I was saying, it’s been fun, but lately things have changed. In public, everyone says they’re my friend. In private, they yell at me. Why would they do that? I don’t know how to yell back. I just stand there and say, “Uhm, uh, yeah, probably.”

You might wonder where I got the idea, but I feel like I might not be around for much longer. That’s why I decided to write this, just so that I could say some things now, and tell people how I feel while I still have the chance.

I don’t think people really appreciate the sorts of things I have to do, and how hard it can be to speak in public or read words off a sheet. It’s not an easy job, particularly when you’ve not done it before.

I’ve been trying my best. I asked John Key whether he stood by all his statements, and he always does, but his statements aren’t always very sensible. So I thought that was pretty good for us. I tried asking Russel Norman to write us some policy. That made people like me, but only for a couple of weeks. I tried just being nice to everyone. “That’s a nice belt, Trevor,” I said to Trevor Mallard. I was being sincere, too. It was a nice belt.

Some days you just begin to feel like you’ve exhausted every option, like they’ll hate you no matter what you do. You start to feel like you should just take a length of rope and finish the job. I make rope swings at home. It’s a hobby.

But I do have one more idea. It’s not simple, and it won’t be easy, but I have to try, because I have to feed my family, or they’ll leave me too. It won’t be a policy. No one really likes policies, because they’re scary, and they have words. No, it’ll be more of an initiative, but a large initiative; an initiative for everyone. It’ll be big. Very big. And large. Yes, I know now what I have to do. I know now what will make people like me.

I’ll make lamingtons for everyone, and then I’ll say, “This is the big kahuna.”