It is time to get back in the game

Listening, thinking… and blinking.

It is time for Simon Bridges to start speaking and acting and, most importantly, to stop blinking.

We all played the game when we were kids “Simon says touch your head”? or “Simon says sit down. Stand up.” And if you followed an order without it being prefixed by “Simon says” you were eliminated from the game.

Apparently it has its roots in Ancient Rome. Originally called ?Cicero dicit fac hoc??Latin for ?Cicero says do this.? Back in the times of Rome, when revered statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero said to do something, you did it.

It seems that it had absolutely nothing to do with Simon Bridges, in fact poor Simon doesn?t seem to know how to play the game. He seems more comfortable playing that other childhood favourite ?Statues?. You know the one, where the game controller lets the players move around and they must freeze the minute he or she calls out “Statue!” The catch to the game is that the players can move freely if the controller isn?t watching. However, Simon doesn?t know how the game works and the statues are running riot.

One theory is that in 2007, it inspired Dr Who writer Russell T Davies to write his brilliant episode “Weeping Angels. Blink.” It, in my opinion, is one of the best episodes ever written. Scared the willies out of me.

The weeping angels.

And therein lies a big problem. Because Simon has dropped his eye from the ball, the Weeping Angels are on the move and he is not doing a damned thing to stop them.

In Russell T Davies’s story, it was the brilliant ingenuity of the Doctor who managed to thwart the menacing horde of Weeping Angels who had him imprisoned. He of course needed the help of Sally Sparrow to free himself. Unfortunately, our Sally Sparrow is a bloke called Simon who doesn?t seem to get the clues that are staring him in the face. Unlike Sally, Simon ignores the signs, the letters, the video clips and the messages? he seems oblivious to the mayhem going on around him.

As the National Party website says ?We?ve got a new team and new ideas to take New Zealand into the future. We’re listening. We’re thinking. And we’ll be ready to govern by 2020.?

But that?s the problem. The listening and thinking thingie. Now is not the time to be listening and thinking. It is a time for doing and saying.

Unless and until Simon starts brushing up on the basics, the childhood games of Simon Says and Statues will continue to be played in the playground while Simon sits under a tree listening and thinking, munching his sandwich and contemplating the butterfly hovering overhead.

There are kids cheating; bullies taking over; sneaks tying shoelaces together and saboteurs laughing and sniggering while Simon eats his play lunch and listens and thinks and ponders whether to eat his apple or his banana next?

Well Simon, it is time to start taking charge. Find your voice and get back in the game. If not, let someone else take charge ? please. My fear is that there is no one in the National Party who knows how to play the games.

If you keep listening and thinking, it doesn?t matter if you are ready to govern in 2020. By then we will all be consumed by the Weeping Angels, thrown back in time and trapped in the past forever.

Start learning the rules of ?Simon Says?. Then get your teams out and start playing the game. Learn the rules of ?Statues?. And as David Tennant?s Tenth Doctor once told fans: ?Whatever you do, don?t blink?.

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