Imperator Fish Nation: A day in the life of Tony Ryall

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By Sam (who does not wish his/her full name to be published)

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7:50 am

I have cut my cat’s food ration to 86.6% to free up resources for more frontline services. My cat looks disappointed. So I carefully explain that we all need to do more with less and that together we can deliver better, sooner and more convenient feline-human relations. The cat still looks disappointed. I wonder if the private sector could better serve my feline needs.

10:30 am

I really don’t like this paid family carers business. Any time a cabinet minister announces extra spending, Bill English makes them put on a furry hat and Cossack dance round the cabinet office, singing the old Soviet Union national anthem. It is a minute for every extra million. I really don’t want to spend 65 minutes dancing. My suit might get sweaty.

11:00 am

I patiently explain my fear of Cossack dancing to my public servant minions. They don’t get it. Instead, they whinge about human rights, court decisions and other boring stuff. They have never had to dance around the cabinet office. I decide to do my own independent research.

12:10 pm

I select one of the old documentaries; the new ones have that annoying frog guy in them. The documentary is a detailed look at government efficiencies in space. Darth Vader never had to worry about the Human Rights Review Tribunal. This gives me an idea!

1:10 pm

I give up trying to force choke my staff after an hour. My political advisor plays along, but I can tell he is faking. I get another idea!

2:30 pm

I rush into Bill English’s office. I tell him, “all we need to do is override the rule of law”. He says “finally,” and pulls out a general’s cap, a cigar and an El Presidente name tag. Latin music starts blaring in the background. He tells me he can make John Key disappear by nightfall. I explain that I am just talking about the paid family carers’ case. He looks disappointed. I tell him it still involves taking people’s rights away and spitting in the face of international treaties and the principles of law. He still looks disappointed.

3:00 pm

I start telling John Key my plan, but half-way through he stops me. He tells me he just doesn’t care about this shit anymore, and to be honest he is just phoning it in at this point.

4:30 pm

I give Chris Finlayson a call and explain my plan to trample on the Bill of Rights. He appears disinterested and asks me why I am telling him this. I tell him as Attorney-General he is meant to care about this stuff. He says probably and tells me about some horrible artwork he has seen recently. I ask him if he is going to the monthly minister talent show because supposedly Gerry Brownlee is going to do something with a ping pong ball that will make everyone freak. He is going.

5:30 pm

I run into Steven Joyce and explain my plan. The room becomes darker. Steven tells me he is looking forward to me completing my training and that in time I will call him master. He asks me what my plan is to counter public opposition. I give him a wink and tell him there is more to the health budget than just health spending.

Click here for details of how you can contribute a piece to Imperator Fish Nation.