Dick Fritter: tonight’s big fight

dickfritterExpert commentator Dick Fritter gives his tips on what each party leader needs to do to win the big TV debate

What David Cunliffe needs to do

I’m sure David Cunliffe will be getting advice from just about everyone around him about tonight’s leaders debate.

But he needs to keep things very simple if he wants to beat John Key. 

Cunliffe has been performing well in the last few weeks, but the fallout from Nicky Hager’s latest book has meant almost everything he has said and done in the campaign to date has gone unnoticed.

He can make his mark in tonight’s debate, but he needs to hit Key hard. He needs to make a powerful statement, and leave the voting public in no doubt about who to vote for. The people of New Zealand want a leader who is tough and assertive, and absolutely clear in the direction they want to take this country.

That’s why when David Cunliffe gets his chance to talk he should go straight onto attack.

John Key won’t expect an aggressive strategy from Cunliffe. He’ll be gearing up for tough questions about his party’s performance, the economy, and the Dirty Politics scandal. So when Cunliffe kicks him in the face he won’t see it coming.

Cunliffe needs to follow up that quick assault with a punch in the guts, and then a roundhouse kick. If Key is still standing after this initial attack, Cunliffe should take one of the studio chairs and smash it over Key’s head. He needn’t worry about doing any serious physical harm to Key, because these chairs are designed to shatter upon impact. But Key will be left groggy and bewildered.

It’s possible that the debate moderator will try to step in at this point, but I don’t think Mike Hosking has the stomach for a serious fight. Cunliffe should shove him out of the way, and then body-slam the PM. If Hosking tries again to interfere, he can be dealt with quickly using a flying clothesline attack.

If Key hasn’t thrown in the towel by this point, Cunliffe should pick him up and throw him onto the ground, and then find another chair to smash onto him. It should be all over by this point. 

If none of that works, David’s going to be in real trouble. But if he moves fast and retains the element of surprise, I fancy his chances tonight.

What John Key needs to do

Carry a fucking big knife.