Once again your intrepid eyewitness, using the infamous fly on the wall technology, and making sure that new batteries were inserted in the artificial insect, was able to listen to, and view, a secret late-night meeting of ‘Kiwiswamp’ also known as the Notional Party’s NINO faction, some 93.5% of the caucus.

Once again, the Right Hon. Solomon Ridges chaired the meeting. He looked around the packed room, filled almost to capacity, due in large part to the presence of the salad-hating, well-fed individual known affectionately as “The Land Whale”. It is said that he never met a pie he didn’t like.

He cleared his throat and began. “Well good evening, fellow Kiwiswamp dwellers, mxn and womxn, theys, thems, thoses, wases, willbys, cross-gendered, left-handed, ambi-dexterous, right-handed, neuter and non-gendered, pregnant and menstruating men, eunuchs, hermaphrodites, woke and super-woke, and if there are any that I’ve missed and are offended by the omission, I will go down on my knees in a pool of raw sewage, wearing a hair-shirt, budgie-smugglers and ballet shoes, and beg forgiveness for my serious lapse in progressive wokeness.”

“We’ll begin the meeting with our usual call to the swamp. I had intended having that Atheist’s Association chap here again to open with another inspiring prayer, but unfortunately he was prevented from attending by an Act of God.  A zero carbon tree unfortunately fell on his car, due to a strong wind caused by Climate Change. He will recover I’m told. We must push for a law change to make such incidents renamed an Act of Mann, or something befitting the Climate Emergency that we all agree is imminently about to annihilate us all, the enlightenment due mainly to the incontrovertible evidence that St. Greta the Great would have presented at the UN if there had been any.”

There then followed the ritual chorus of ribbits, croaks, mosquito-like whining and other noises one associates with swamps, politicians and journalists.

When the din finally subsided, Mr Ridges proceeded. “You will recall that our last meeting addressed the issues raised by Hwmbo George in New York. [Editor: He who must be obeyed] He berated us for being slightly dissimilar to the present Coalition government, and urged us to up our game in order to achieve what he calls parliamentary homogeny. In other words, we must be so like the present Coalition that voters will just vote them back in, realising that nothing will change even if we should be elected.”

A veritable symphony of assent filled the room, as the Swamp dwellers affirmed their unswerving desire to be more like the Losers’ Coalition than the Coalition itself.

“I think,” continued the Chairbeing, “that this week we have made an overwhelming advance in that direction, with our assent to the Zero Economy… or rather Zero Carbon Bill. A lot of Notional voters were expecting that we would oppose the bill.” He shook his head pityingly and burst into cackling laughter.

The entire swampy caucus as one man (not forgetting the womxn), broke into a roar of hearty laughter, which echoed and rolled around the room for several minutes. When the last of them collapsed back in their seats wiping the tears from their eyes the chairfellow continued.

“Yes, yes, it’s priceless isn’t it?” he said weakly, wiping the tears from his eyes while supporting himself by leaning on the table. “You’d have thought that our capitulation on the firearms issue would have given them a bit of a hint, wouldn’t you? Well I believe that after our efforts this week, there should be no doubt that voting Notional is a pointless exercise for those wanting any change in the country’s direction. Of course, there are always voters gullible enough to believe that we would change the law within a hundred days as promised.”

Another burst of guffaws filled the room as the Kiwiswamp dwellers reflected on the gullible nature of some of their supporters.

“Of course, even if we were to be elected, there’s no way that Hwmbo George would allow any changes to be made. Not that we’d want to, of course,” he hastened to add.  Then his face took on a stern look. “There are still 6.5% of our caucus who have as yet not joined Kiwiswamp. We can’t have this. We don’t want these @#$*ing useless members causing damage to the perception that we are completely in line with her Comradeship’s policies. More pressure must be brought to bear on them to join. And I don’t want to hear it said that we will do the same as the Coalition, but do it better. That was a mistake. We must say that we will do the same, but not as well.”

A thunderous round of applause followed this statement, accompanied by foot-stamping and more swamp noises.

When quiet was again restored, one of the newer members of the swamp timidly raised his hand.

“What if a large number of our supporters switch to a minor party and give it more than 5% of the vote?” he asked. “Or maybe two minor parties get more than 5% each? Wouldn’t that cause some problems?”

Mr Ridges fixed the member with a withering red-eyed glare. “Won’t happen,” he barked. “It’s taken care of. The pollsters won’t mention the minor parties that look as though they could be a threat. It’s arranged. And Epstein didn’t kill himself!”

However, his ebullient mood evaporated like fossil fuel in the sun. “I don’t want to hear negative thoughts like that again. This is Kiwiswamp, we don’t do realism here… migosh that’s a gigantic fly…”

Unfortunately, at this point, the transmission ceased, as the mechanism that adhered the fly to the wall failed, and the fly flew a couple of metres and crashed onto Solomon Ridges table, whereupon he whacked it with a copy of “Political Leadership for Dummies”. Your intrepid eyewitness wended his way home, already making plans to further miniaturise the fly, while keeping alert for Jacinda’s Kindness and Wellbeing police.


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