Boy. Things are getting serious.
As an American living in Australia, I feel arrogant enough to tell you the NZ Labour Party is over. Finito. Long gone are the Frasers and Kirks and Clarks.
And now David Shearer is out, which is a damn Shane. But on 10 September, a new Dave will dawn and our wishes for a bright future with Labour may be Granted. Sorry, got lost for a minute down the punnel (the pun tunnel!).
The Labour Party of today is missing the two most important things that make New Zealand great: labouring and partying. Where’s the hard work? And where, pray tell, are the parties?
History tells us the NZ Labour Party was established in 1916 when socialist groups joined forces advocating representational government and nationalisation of stuff. However, recent evidence suggests it was actually established as the result of a piss-up among farmers drunk-daring each other to run for Parliament.
My advice to Labour’s next leader: get drunk with a farmer. And with that, I want to bring back labour parties.
British traditions are woven into the fabric of New Zealand culture. Even farm labourers from Hastings had tea parties. What made this group distinctly Kiwi, however, was the fact that the tea cups were filled with moonshine, and this was their 10th “tea break” of the day.
When the young people of Nelson were unable to purchase beer from their local pub, did they go home and cry into their bonnets? No! They applied some Kiwi ingenuity and harvested the hops themselves. When their parents found out about this underground harvesting operation, they said what any Kiwi parent would say: Nice one, mate.
Sheep on the Sauce
Labourers weren’t the only ones partying hard on the farm. Farm animals got in on the action too, dancing and fraternising into the wee hours of the morning. It’s common knowledge that sheep have no self-control, and binge-drinking became a real problem for sheep in the early days of the Labour Party. Many of these sheep were rehabilitated and entered local AA programs (Animalcoholics Anonymous).
Freddie Ambrose: Swagger and Concertina Legend
Freddie Ambrose was the first Labour Party leader (citation needed). A swagger, farm worker, mountaineer, concertina legend and epic party-thrower, Freddie was an icon to up-and-coming Labour Party members. His life was the inspiration for the old Kiwi saying, a swagger without a concertina is like a sheep without a beer.
Helen Clark tried to return to the Labour Party’s roots as hard-working party-goers. Unfortunately, her very brief visit to stare at a cow in a barn was not enough to re-ignite the passion and drive of the Labour Party’s early days. In a last ditch attempt to rouse her party back from the verge of extinction, she broke her steely gaze and smiled at the cow. The cow died of shock the following day.
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