The leaders of National and Labour will go head to head in a televised debate tonight.
As a totally independent commentator, I will watch the debate with some interest. Here is my prediction on how the debate will go.
Phil Goff will be incredibly strong and will win the debate hands-down. He will be firm, on-message and engaging. His body language will show he is confident, and the steely gaze he directs at John Key throughout the debate will be withering.
John Key, on the other hand, will be a disaster. He will keep shifting about, he will be hesitant, and he will stumble badly on a number of points. He will be badly prepared and it will show.
Mr Key will also contradict himself on a number of occasions, and will seem to have no answer to a number of the questions thrown at him.
I also think it is terribly poor form the way John Key will take his trousers off when he finally realises how badly things are going, waving them provocatively in their air before starting to unbutton his shirt and loosen his tie. Thankfully the ad break will spare viewers the full horror of a naked Prime Minister on primetime TV.
By contrast Phil Goff will be the consummate professional. Goff’s “Mr Key, is that really how the Prime Minister of this country should behave?” directed at the National leader during the stripping fiasco, will express perfectly what the nation is thinking.
And the question asked by Goff on a number of occasions during the debate: “What are you doing, Mr Key, to make New Zealand a better place?”, will be so memorable, as will Key’s contemptuous one-finger response, that they will mark a turning point for Labour in the election campaign. Political historians will talk about the debate as being one of the defining points in our political history.
People will remember Key’s disgraceful behaviour during the debate, but it will be Phil Goff’s selfless heroism that lingers in our memories for years to come. The eagle-eyed Leader of the Opposition will spring into action the moment the suicide bomber walks onto the stage, leaping on the young man and holding him down so that the bomber cannot reach his detonator and blow everyone up. This act of incredible courage will save dozens of lives.
John Key, by contrast, will flee the scene shrieking like a small child, running out of the studio with no pants on. The image of the National leader’s white buttocks disappearing through a side door while brave Mr Goff risks his life to disable the terror bomber, will be replayed again and again during the campaign and afterwards.
Following the debate, support for Labour will rise by 20 points within a week. National will crash to a resounding election defeat on 26 November, and Key will lose his supposedly-safe electorate seat to relatively unknown Labour candidate Jeremy Greenbrook-Held.
Key will resign from Parliament on 27 November, and will sell his houses and other assets and disappear from public view. He will be tracked down by a current affairs TV show in 15 years’ time to a nowhere town in Western Australia, where he will be known only as a notorious town drunk. Key will have squandered his fortune by then and will be living in a cardboard box behind the town’s fish and chip shop.
Phil Goff will become Prime Minister and will remain in the role until he steps down in 2020. He will lead the country into a new and glorious age in which we lead the world in technology and innovation. We will become known as the Silicon Valley of the South Pacific, and thirty of the top 50 global companies will be based in New Zealand by 2020.
Goff will then move on to become UN Secretary General, taking over from Helen Clark, and when we are finally declared a republic he will return to be our first New Zealand born head of state. Goff will live a long and blessed life and will finally expire in his bed at the age of 131, surrounded by his loved ones and admirers. In his honour the city of Auckland will be renamed Goffland, and they will build a giant statue of Goff at the entrance of the Waitemata Harbour.
Naturally, these are just predictions and I can’t guarantee that everything will pan out 100% as I predict. But I’m sure we can all agree that the behaviour of the Prime Minister during the debate will be disgraceful, especially when contrasted with Goff’s selfless heroism. It’s enough to make me lose my independence and start cheering for Labour.
Luckily I have too much integrity to commit myself one way or the other, as readers of this blog well know.
Update: It turns out my predictions related to the second leaders debate, still to come. Silly me.