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Cosying up a little too close

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    Cosying up a little too close - 28-Sep-2006
    My husband is having an affair with the repiler. I've been blind to it for some time but the truth suddenly revealed itself to me when various media outlets ran footage of Prime Minister Helen Clark's husband being kissed by a gay friend on election night.

    If a kiss in front of the TV cameras is considered sufficient evidence of a homosexual affair, I would be a fool to continue to ignore the many signs of sexual tension between my bloke and the repiler - the late-night phone calls, the numerous trips to the basement, the unexpected weekend visits to "check your foundations", etc.

    At last, I know where all that money is going: my husband has been spending his evenings treating the repiler to party drugs and mojitos in the back rooms of various seedy leather bars.

    The alternative - that Peter Davis is being stitched up by a compromised politician, a group of bigots on a mission from God and an over-excitable magazine editor - is just too far-fetched to consider.

    Besides, I am filled with respect for National leader Don Brash. After news broke of his alleged affair, he took some personal time to concentrate on his marriage. Dr Brash went on leave on the Wednesday, "worked from home" till the Friday, and resumed his appointments over the weekend. My husband and I took weeks of tense negotiations just to settle an argument over who should accept responsibility for feeding the cat, yet Dr Brash appears to have been able to patch up his marriage over two days. If National dumps him, I suggest Relationship Services should snap him up.

    As it happens, Dr Brash is not the only member of the National Party who might have gone a step too far in reaching out to the electorate. Last week, I received a letter written in the chummy, familiar tones of a dear old friend. However, this letter was written by Mark Blumsky, a man whom I have said many horrible things about in the past and hope to say many horrible things about in the future.

    "Dear Ms Boniface," the letter began. "I am taking this opportunity to drop you a line to let you know I will be out and about, wandering through your neighbourhood over the next couple of weeks.

    "As the National Party member of Parliament responsible for Wellington Central, I'm keen to keep in touch with the mood and issues of the electorate. The best way to do that is by keeping in touch with you." Flattering!

    There was more: "I would like to meet with you to say hello, introduce myself and discuss any concerns or issues you may have. Having a good old chat over a cup of tea, preferably with a few neighbours and friends, would be an excellent way of catching up."

    What would we chat about? "Lowering the drinking age, local body amalgamation and Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill."

    A part of me - the part that yearns to jump whenever I'm on the edge of a cliff - was tempted to take up his offer. I'll get some mates around, phone up Mrs Jones at No 23, snuggle up on the sofa with Mr Blumsky and have a good old chat about local body amalgamation. I'd never have to worry about the neighbours popping round to ask to borrow the lawnmower again.

    The letter is by far the most personal approach I've had from an MP. Labour has never bothered courting me, although Marian Hobbs once took it upon herself to hand me a pikelet from a stall at a school gala.

    If politicians are entitled to invite themselves to my house, I should feel free to invite myself to theirs. So this week, I'll go for a wander around Mr Blumsky's neighbourhood, round up a few of the locals and we'll all pop into Mark's for a cup of tea and a chat about three subjects of my nomination - polar exploration, the plight of the kereru and the latest Scissor Sisters album, perhaps. If he's pressed for time, maybe we should limit discussion to the frustration of being led by politicians who are too busy trading insults to discuss anything New Zealanders might care about. I'm sure the neighbours and I would all have something to say on that.

    # Linley Boniface is a Wellington-based writer.
    Ref: - Waikato Times


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