Bottom feeders, top entertainers

Guest Post: By Brian Rogers

[…]As a casual freshwater fisherman and even more casual weekly column writer, I can’t help but be amused by the parallels between fishing and politics.

The halls of power have been restocked with a whole new load of hapless, naive guppies who just can’t keep their mouths shut when they should.

For a column writer, having these politicians on deck is so refreshing and rewarding.

After nine years of the same old species targeted for political comment, it was becoming harder and harder to focus on oddball behaviour for satire to entertain my loyal […] readers.

There’s only so much fun you can extract from a prospering economy, tax cuts, record low unemployment, great trade deals, stable government… and all those other notable achievements.

Cringe moments

In fact, one of the criticisms I have of the former National lot is that they were so busy achieving, it was almost boring. When a Prime Minister’s most cringeful moments are mincing on the catwalk and a botched three-way handshake, you know that material is running horribly short and it might be time to cast further afield for inspiration.

But low and behold, patience paid off.

If an angler is patient enough, a dumb fish will eventually swim by. In this case, a whole school. The sign on the sounder is going off the scale!

It all changed with the formation of the Losers’ Coalition or, as I prefer to call it, The Coagulation, because these strange bedfellows clung together in a non-cohesive blob, rather than uniting under common natural aims and objectives.

In fact, so many of the Three-Headed Coagulation’s political dreams are polls apart, you have to wonder how they are ever going to find any acceptable compromising ground. But hey, that’s going to make it even more interesting.

Especially from the point of view of a weekly column writer.



Wily old moocher

Particularly fruitful is the return to the spotlight of Winston Peters. Now there’s
a colourful, rare species that’s difficult to bait and puts up a grand fight.

Not only that, but while the rest of the country got angsty about who would form a coagulation, he calmly went… fishing.

It’s an odd bag, then, with that wily old moocher calling the shots from the seven percent weedline, while the rest of the ragtag government coagulation have a feeding frenzy on the plentiful taxpayers’ burley bomb of cash.

Some are blissfully unaware of the fish-hooks potentially waiting in every tantalising mouthful.

Not only are these newbies easy pickings for a column writer with a shiny lure, but some seem to have the three second memory of a goldfish. They’re promising the earth one minute, changing their mind the next.

They really are plunging the depths of the public’s patience, with some of the double talk and failed promises that are already surfacing.

Foul hooked

And to continue the fishing analogy, here’s the Pike example. The mine, not the fish.

That’s right folks, this week we’re reeling in the Minister of Maybe Almost Certainly Let’s Do This Go Back Into The Mine But Only if We Are Allowed, Mr Little.

?We’ll be into the mine by Christmas,? was the na?vely confident stance from Minister DoLittle. Making it sound as easy as climbing down a chimney like Santa.

Only a matter of days later, and that bold promise, to go where no living man has gone for seven years, has suddenly been pushed out to March then beyond… but only if the mine safety experts say it’s okay.

Which, from what I can tell as a casual observer of the news and occasional fishing bloke, is exactly the same line cast by National’s Gerry Brownlee with his policy on mine re-entry (except looking at the two side by side, I fancy Little’s chances better of actually fitting in there).

So in the space of a week we’ve gone from Labour’s bold election promise to rock back into Pike, to what now looks like a load of empty talk. Not surprising that a lot of voters are feeling shafted over this.

All fishermen lie

In other issues of The Coagulation, some commentators are suggesting the Prime Minister has been lying like a flatfish.

Not just about anyone, but involving the President of the United States, Mr Trump, no less.

On the world stage Ms Ardern has managed to become embroiled in a questionable tale about Trump supposedly thinking she was wife of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

She faced some fierce and fair questioning from Jack Mack Tame, angling for some straight answers on the television and he still didn’t get to the bottom of it.

Now I’m not sure what Ardern’s partner, fishing guide Clarke Gayford, thinks of all this, but it plays neatly into our fish theme.

If if this circus doesn’t surpass a bungled handshake, I don’t know what does.

Tag and release

I have some great advice for the new Coagulation Government: Carry on just like you are! This is satire writer’s gold! You might be stuffing up the country in the meantime, but the entertainment value is unsurpassed. As entertainment providers, you rock.

You’re providing so much more raw material for it than your predecessors. Thanks for nothing, National.

And the faster I can spin out these lines, thanks to your inspirations, the sooner I can get back on the water. Tight lines.