The latest polls have been kind to National, but it is way too early to call the election.
People are still wowed by the Key phenomenon. He’s regarded as an all-round good guy, and he has managed to turn the election into a leaders popularity contest rather than a battle of ideas.
But everyone has their triggers, and what Labour needs to do is find Key’s. They need to find out what will make him flip out, while making sure there’s a camera rolling when it happens.
It won’t be easy, but happily I have a plan.
John Key has told the media he never forgave a boy at his intermediate school called Greg Buzzard, who punched him over a table tennis game.
It sounds like Key has some scars from that event. It could be that the shame and humiliation drove Key to succeed and made him what he is today.
But there’s obviously some pain there still, because Key was quick to recall the name of his assailant. Could it be because not a day goes by without the PM thinking back to that punch?
What would happen if the two were reunited? Would Key come out swinging?
The trouble is we don’t know for sure. They might end up hugging and crying in each other’s arms, and then National would probably go up ten points in the poll.
So here’s my thinking. Key hasn’t seen this guy for years and won’t recognise him. So we’ll find a guy who looks about Key’s age, a Labour activist who’s prepared to “take one for the team”. This activist will go up to Key during a National rally and introduce himself as the Buzzard guy.
The fake Buzzard is then going to have to abuse the shit out of Key, and make it really personal.
Let’s also make sure there just happens to be a chunky piece of wood lying about and within arm’s reach of the Prime Minister.
If that doesn’t trigger all sorts of terrible traumatic memories for the PM then I too am a monkey’s uncle. I see it going two ways. Key will either begin to blubber and shake, and completely lose the plot (we’ll make sure the cameras are on him), or he will react with uncontrollable rage. It will be tough luck for the Labour activist pretending to be Mr Buzzard, but it will also be absolutely superb if Key picks up that piece of four by two and smashes it down onto the head of the guy. Again and again. Every bit of brain, gristle and bone that splatters onto the lens of the filming cameras will be worth five percentage points to Labour.
It’s a good plan, right? What can go wrong? I see absolutely no downsides. And nobody will ever know it was a Labour setup, because the poor bastard whose head has been smashed to a pulp will probably be unidentifiable (dental records will be of no use when his entire jaw has been obliterated), and he certainly won’t be capable of talk or even thought, assuming of course that he even survives.
Still, to be on the safe side the guy probably ought to have a cyanide capsule between his teeth.
So now here’s the thing. We need someone to step up for the party. He doesn’t have to actually be Key’s age, or even a he, because our people can do some amazing things with makeup.
You know I would volunteer in a second. But I have this… um… this thing I need to do, and I can’t get out of it. A really important thing that means I need to be elsewhere. It’s a real shame, because you know I would so have volunteered. Hell yeah.
But you’re doing nothing tomorrow, right? What time shall I send the car to pick you up?