I know this piece of advice has come a little too late for you, but I am forwarding you an excerpt from my book:
“A Guide To Politics: Rules on How to Survive”.
Perhaps in hindsight, you might see where you went wrong. Also, it might also be of use for the next bitch who steps out of line… errrr I mean, the next appointed co leader who will carry the Greens into the future.
“A Guide To Politics: How to survive”.
- If you’re brown, don’t dream of conquering mountains.
- If you’re a woman, don’t you start having an opinion.
- If you’re intelligent, play that shit down.
- If you have stretch marks, you don’t stand a chance.
- If you have aroha, don’t share it with others.
- If you extend your arms, it had better not be for a handout.
- If you have a voice, keep it zipped.
- If you have a skeleton, best you bury the whole house, not just the closet.
- Also, learn to lie.
This is the only way, you see? I shall extend these ideas with further explanations below. If you wanted to survive the political life, you needed to have followed the rules.
And the rules are:
- Must not be brown. You’ll try to do things like “improve life for yours and others whānau” or some shit. Also, we don’t like the risk of having to translate your Reo when you speak it out loud. Anywhere. Anytime. Especially inside the House. And you’ll keep reminding us that there are two Treaty partners. Thats bloody annoying.
- If you have a vagina, the policies you stand for will also be focussed on “leaving this Earth in a better state”. And we loathe having to think about that crap. I don’t know why, but being accountable for our actions happens with vagina people around, so we don’t want you here.
- It’s okay to be a little smart. But if you’re too smart for your own good and start questioning our systems, we’re gonna have a problem. And if you try to change the way we operate? No. Just no. You can benefit too. If you’re just smart enough to play the game right.
- Stretch marks, lactating breasts, spit up on your shoulder, pacifier in your handbag or any other sign of parenthood? That’s not conducive to this environment. Double this statement if you’re a single parent. Triple it if you needed government assistance at any point in your life. Quad-damn-druple this shit if you think you’re going to change state dependency for anyone else.
- Aroha is not a thing we recognise. Got it? You must not have, show, or receive any of this thing you call aroha. It must not be allowed to interfere with the introduction of a policy that doesn’t need it.
- Arms are only for chokeholds and punch downs. Please refrain from using said arms for affection or hand ups. This is not, I repeat NOT in your job description.
- Your voice is not to be used to amplify the struggles of communities – particularly those who are decent, honest and hardworking. In this space, please use your voice for approved tasks. These include but is not limited to: lying, stirring, heckling, gossip, and false accusations. Please restrict words of kindness and decency in your addresses. It only invokes hope.
- Skeletons are a dime a dozen. No one needs to see or hear about them. Immediate, ruthless public stoning for anyone who offers a bone to the public. If you allow them to see your skeletons they might become curious about ours. And we don’t exhume.
- Lie. Through your teeth. Daily. And smile. Our future depends on it. And if you can’t lie, please refer above to points 7 and 8. But for fecks sakes – never ever confess.
By now Metiria, you must surely recognise that not only did you break ALL of the above rules, you dared to rewrite them. This, as you have discovered, carries unfathomable consequences – including the vilification of not only yourself, but your entire family, friends, acquaintances, and political party. Please inform your Successor of “the rules” so they might tread more lightly, and will be discouraged from following in your footsteps.
Vanessa Kururangi is a State House Tenant Advocate