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If We Spied on Labour

Labour’s election post mortem

Our soon-to-be ex-prime minster, Christopher Hipkins, described Labour’s post-election caucus meeting as ‘pretty rough’. That has got to be an understatement. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall. Or to have a highly sophisticated listening device securely positioned behind a portrait of Mickey Savage above the Prime Minister’s chair…

CHRIS HIPKINS: Thank you all for coming to this post-election caucus meeting.  And thank you to Toni…for providing the tea and chocolate digestives.

GRANT ROBERTSON: (words obscured by the sound of chocolate biscuit munching)

HIPKINS: Sorry Grant…what was that?

ROBERTSON: Are there any more?

HIPKINS: Er…I’ll just text her and check.

HIPKINS pulls out his phone and begins texting. There follows a long silence while Hipkins laughs and sighs, exchanging love-emoji-punctuated texts with his beloved. The other Labour MPs shuffle papers and glance at each other uncomfortably.

HIPKINS: (remembering where he is) Ummm…she says we’re all out of digestives but we do have a packet of Mallowpuffs. That alright Grant?

ROBERTSON: Double chocolate or original?

HIPKINS. Oh …I’ll just ask her. (Reaches for phone)

CARMEL SEPULONI: Ah…Prime Minister…perhaps we could move on to more substantial matters?

HIPKINS: Oh right. To those half of you who won’t be returning to parliament could you please hand in your Koru club membership cards on your way out…

The room fills with cries of shock and horror.

SEPULONI: I was thinking more of a discussion on the reasons we lost…

HIPKINS: Ah yes…anyone know why we suffered such an historic crushing defeat?

All the MPs give each other sad puzzled looks.

HIPKINS: Surely one of you must have some idea…Willie?

WILLIE JACKSON: White people?

HIPKINS: OK…Thanks for that. Damien?


HIPKINS: I see…well luckily we have Kate Hannah of the Disinformation project on Zoom here to explain why it happened.

A large video image is projected onto the wall


HANNAH: Willie’s right. 

JACKSON: Told ya!

HANNAH: As you can see on this graph, white supremacy climbed during the campaign. This is represented on this line here – calculated by multiplying the number of Nanaia Mahuta memes on Twitter by the number of friends Don Brash has on Facebook. This line here shows the level of misogyny as indicated by the number of Nordic hair-braiding videos posted to Instagram. The third line is the level of violent extremism in the community calculated by sales of Call of Duty: WWII. Where these three intersect we have maximal fascism. I call this the Hannah Rule of Hysterical Presumption. Soon there will be a four-part TV series funded by NZ On Air explaining my findings in full.

HIPKINS: Thank you Kate. It’s good to know none of it was our fault.

SEPULONI: Excuse me Prime Minister, but no one seems to be mentioning the elephant in the room.

HIPKINS: Carmel! Grant is sitting right next to you.

SEPULONI: No…I’m talking about our…previous Prime Minister. Without her…we lost our way…without her…we were nothing…NOTHING!

(Starts sobbing uncontrollably)

HIPKINS: What am I? Chopped liver?

SEPULONI: Sorry, Sir…I guess you’re inspiring in your own way.

HIPKINS: Didn’t I try my best? Didn’t I? Somebody…anybody…Andrew?

ANDREW LITTLE: Sorry Prime Minister, I wasn’t listening. When does this meeting end? I’ve got a plane to catch to Hawaii…

HIPKINS: I was wondering why you were wearing jandals. Damien?


HIPKINS: Fair enough. Well, I’ve got a treat for you all. Jacinda has made time in her busy schedule to give us all a little pep talk. Are you there Jacinda?

As before, a large video image is projected onto the wall.

The view is a dimly lit New York nightclub. Pounding dance music is heard in the background.

JACINDA: Hi guys!

Squeals from most of the female MPS almost drown out Andrew Little’s loud groan.

JACINDA: Coming at you live from New York! I’m hanging with Lorde and Taika…and they took me to such a banging club! I just met Taylor Swift in the toilets…she is like the nicest person, EVER!…and she liked my hair!

HIPKINS: Right…that’s great and everything Jacinda…any comments on the election?

JACINDA: Election…what election?

HIPKINS: The election…the New Zealand general election. We lost.

JACINDA: Oh…sorry haven’t been keeping up with things back in little old New Zealand. You lost? I wouldn’t worry. It’s just all the sexisms and racisms on the internet…and like…stuff. My Christchurch call is going to sort all that out soon. I’m meeting Justin Trudeau tomorrow…

HIPKINS: Glad you are getting things done.

JACINDA: Yes…we are going snowboarding. Look…got to go…just saw Greta Thunberg dancing with that guy from Harry Potter. And I haven’t seen Clarke since I saw him talking with Hunter Biden…think they went to the toilets together. Strange. Have to go…be kind!…bye!

The screen fades to black.

HIPKINS: Well…I think that’s all we had on the agenda. (Checking piece of paper) Koru club membership…Reasons we lost. Yep, that’s it. So any messages you would like me to deliver to the people of New Zealand…anyone?

JACKSON: Damn white people.

HIPKINS: Thanks, Willie. Damien?


HIPKINS: Right…meeting adjourned…

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