Former ACT Party leader Dr Don Brash has confirmed he is seeking to replace Santa Claus as the bringer of joy to children around the world.
Persistent rumours of a move into the world of Christmas cheer have dogged Dr Brash since he resigned from the ACT Party on election night.
Last night Dr Brash confirmed he had been in discussions with a number of Santa’s elves about the leadership of their organisation. He said he was confident he had the numbers to replace Santa at the next board meeting at the North Pole this Wednesday.
“I have spoken to a number of people in the team, including Mrs Claus, the elves, and some of the reindeer. The decision is theirs to make, but I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I had a shot at winning”, said Dr Brash.
Dr Brash says the organisation needs a new direction, and is promising big things if he wins the leadership battle.
“Frankly, the current direction Christmas is being taken in is unsustainable,” said Dr Brash. “I believe I can make a real difference. Under my leadership we can look forward to many more years of strong and stable Christmas celebrations.”
Santa’s leadership has been in question for several months, and recent polls have shown that fewer children than ever before now believe he exists.
The troubles began after Santa was caught out in 2009 taking Mrs Claus to Disneyland to see his friend Mickey Mouse, using money that had been allocated for the purchase of children’s toys.
Concerns have also been raised about some of the practices of Santa’s organisation, with some critics claiming that the elves have been sourcing low quality products from China in an effort to cut costs.
And in 2010 a Campbell Live investigation revealed that a number of men claiming to be the real Santa were in fact impostors, and that Santa knew about the fraud.
Secret footage taken for the show revealed that in shopping malls around the country children were being duped into thinking they were talking to the real Santa, when very often the lap they were sitting on belonged to an impostor.
When confronted with the footage Santa Claus said he knew about the fraud but kept it to himself because he did not think it was an issue.
Details of some of the vicious and ugly infighting within the organisation have been leaked to the public, further destabilising the current Santa’s leadership.
A large group of the reindeer were believed to be bitter over Santa’s decision to let Rudolph guide the sleigh this year, and this was confirmed last month when a series of emails between the reindeer Donder and Blitzen were leaked.
The emails reveal that the pair have been plotting to have Rudolph demoted to the back of the pack. The emails reveal a concern among the reindeer about Rudolph’s shiny red nose being an unnecessary distraction to the serious business of spreading Christmas joy.
Dr Brash said he was keen to make a break from the problems of the past, and breathe new life into an ailing organisation.
He said there was a need to return Santa and his jolly crew to the basic fundamentals of Christmas, which included slashing red Christmas tape and ribbon, and responsible gift-giving.
“Santa has grown fat and bloated, thanks to a culture of dependency upon Christmas pies, cakes and biscuits left out by children on Christmas Eve,” said Dr Brash.
“I can promise you that if I step into that red suit you will see a leaner and meaner Father Christmas.”
Dr Brash said that some of the policies he would pursue might not be popular in the short term, but were essential for the long-term survival of Christmas.
“Frankly, it makes no economic sense to be rewarding the children of the poor with any gifts at all, when surely the message we ought be instilling in them is that if their mummies and daddies work hard, get ahead and grow rich, then they can have the best new electronic gadgets and want for nothing.”
Dr Brash confirmed that he favoured further moves to make Christmas fully user-pays by the year 2025.
“We’ve made some progress in the last 30 years in this country, so that from late October every year we are bombarded with commercial messages about Christmas. But we need to go further.
“It isn’t enough that parents are being forced to pay exorbitant prices just so their kids can be photographed with Santa at the local mall. We should be encouraging kids to give cash directly to Santa.
“If Little Johnny wants a Transformer toy, then he can damn well pay Santa for it.”
This morning Santa Claus responded dismissively to Dr Brash’s leadership bid.
“Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas to one and all!” said Santa.