Monday, 28 November 2011


There’s only been one story in the past week and that has been the election. By the time you read this, hopefully a new government will have been formed with a clear mandate to govern. So without further ado, here are the Farming Show Gongs as we pay tribute to the best and worst of Election 2011:

# The IRB Award for truncating the election campaign:

Goes to Richie McCaw. For seven glorious World Cup-filled weeks rugby took centre stage, leaving the politicians just five weeks to strut their stuff with their artillery of clichés, slogans and political-speak. If I hear “moving forward together for a better New Zealand for all New Zealanders” again, I think I’ll do something fatalistic such as jump from a high building or listen to a Peter Dunne party political broadcast. Come to think of it, I could really punish myself and get a Peter Dunne haircut.

# The Jerry Maguire Award for best line of the election campaign:

It was probably pre-rehearsed and a bit corny (like Tom Cruise himself) but John Key’s “show me the money” takes the money as the most memorable quip of the campaign. All of which confirms just how dull the rest of the politicians are!

# The Basil Fawlty “I mentioned the war but I think I got away with it” Award:

Goes to Key and John Banks for the woefully weak cup of tea in Epsom. This highly-staged, unmitigated PR disaster may well prove terminal for the Act Party and it opened the door for you know who.

# The Grumpy Grizzly Bear Award for a triennial awakening from a hibernating slumber:

Goes to Winston for doing it - yet again. Three weeks out from polling, Winnie the Poo was in the crap. Then the great defender of the elderly and those with dementia was gifted Cuppa-gate. Winston is nothing if not an opportunist.

# The “unadulterated flop of the campaign” Award:

Goes to the dithering Doctor Don Brash who, on occasion, appeared to be taking his liberal stance on cannabis a step further. Well he had to be smoking something?

# The “I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him, but gee I’m beginning to respect him” Award:

Goes to Dr Russel Norman. I could never take the Greens seriously when Sue Bradford and Nandor Tanczos were flying the flag but Norman is a breath of fresh air (and fresh air was a precious commodity if you stood too close to Nandor). Not since the passing of Rod Donald have the Greens had a (co) leader mainstream Kiwis could relate to. Politically New Zealand needs a green conscience and there’s an ever-increasing itch to be scratched there. I wonder if Norman is smart enough to get into the tent and pee out (in an environmentally-friendly way of course).

# The NZTA Award for failure to stop:

Goes to Phil Goff. Nice bloke. Shame he doesn’t use a full stop occasionally.

# The Steve Hansen Charm Award:

Goes to Hone Harawira by a nose from his Mana Party deputy dogs, Sue Bradford and John Minto.

# The “Labour politician I could vote for” Award:

Goes to the likeable West Coaster Damien O’Connor. I don’t think he should be holding his breath waiting to be the Minister of Agriculture this time round but he does have some redeeming features. He’s from a heartland rural background, he’s run his own business and he’s resolutely refused to join the “self-serving unionists and gaggle of gays” that he famously claimed dominate the Labour party list.

# The “We’ve come a long way since Marilyn Waring, Ruth Richardson and Helen Clark” Award:

Although the aforementioned three were hardly catwalk models, they were all possessed of powerful intellects. The above award therefore goes to the Auckland Central babes, Nikki Kaye and Jacinda Adern. I’ve got no idea how smart they are but they certainly add some much-needed billboard appeal to an election dominated (still) by bland middle-aged white males.

# The “Glass is half-full to overflowing” Optimists Award:

Goes to the Alliance, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis, Conservative, Democrats for Social Credit and Libertarianz parties for going to the trouble of submitting a party list when Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Michael Jackson have more chance of forming a party and getting someone into the New Zealand parliament.

Jamie Mackay is the host of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB.


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