Wayne Mapp must be feeling pretty peeved right now. Imagine being appointed the Opposition's top bovver boy, only to be trumped by Winston Peters a mere month later. It doesn't seem fair. Particularly since Winston isn't even a member of the Opposition -- except in his own mind, of course.
Poor Wayne. Everyone but him knew that the Spokesman for Political Correctness Eradication was just the National Party's official whiner. If Wayne took a dislike to you, all he could ever do was throw an embarrassing tantrum. But Winston is a Crown Minister, and -- presumably -- what he says, goes. In his newly self-appointed role as Minister for Sniffing Out Traitors, Winston is like a rabid Rottweiler to Dr Mapp's yapping Pekinese. If Winston doesn't like the cut of your jib he can have you bunged in jail. Or even -- with the repeal of some of the more politically correct bits of the Crimes Act, 1961 -- have your block knocked off.
It is clearly Winston's opinion that Stalinesque purges of the media and general populace aren't necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, they should be seen as part of good government. Looking around New Zealand you sometimes have to agree that he has a point. For some years I have been compiling my own list of treasonous New Zealanders who -- in my opinion -- should suffer the ultimate penalty for their actions. I have just finished typing out a good copy to send to Winston.
1. Jude Dobson
In Jude's case it is not so much treason, as crimes against humanity. Her 'Family Health Diary' advertisements are certainly as inhumane as anything that happened during the French Revolution. And -- when you're watching them -- they seem to drag on a lot longer, too. It may surprise Jude to learn this, but actually I don't want to hear about her incontinence problems. Or her chafing breasts. What I'd most like to hear is that she, and her co-presenters, and all their friends and relations, and the entire staff of the Advertising Standards Authority (who have refused to uphold complaints about Family Health Diary) have been sent off to visit Madame Guillotine.
2. Dame Susan Devoy
Susan Devoy seems like a right busy-body. She struts around advertising vitamin pills, and scolds us all about our diet. I think she once said that New Zealand doesn't have enough sport. You must be kidding, Susan. Whenever I turn on the telly all I see is bloody sport. Now I realize that being a busy-body isn't strictly covered by Section 73 of the Crimes Act. But, other than this, I see no reason why she shouldn't be executed for high treason. She knew the risks when she started to advertise vitamins.
3. The Telecom loud-hailer guy
I don't like to be personal, but I'm sorry to say that the Telecom loudhailer guy -- he advertises some sort of text messaging -- has a funny walk. I think it's something to do with the way he holds his bum. But actually I find his walk so deeply irritating that I haven't really looked. I don't know anything else about this guy. For all I know he may give all his Telecom wages to help starving children in Africa. He may be a saint. But he -- or, more particularly, his bum -- has annoyed me, and I'm afraid he has to die.
4. Leighton Smith
Leighton talks complete shite all of the time. He should suffer the consequences.
5. Joanne Black
I don't have anything against Joanne Black per se. In fact, I'm sure that she's a very nice person. It's just that there are certain things that some people shouldn't be allowed to do. For example, some people shouldn't be given large armies to play with (George Bush). Some people shouldn't be given their own talkback radio programme (see no. 4 above). And Joanne Black should never have been allowed an asterisk key on her typewriter. Every week she goes crazy with her asterisk key in the Listener. She puts asterisk ellipses (* * *) all over the place. What's going on in her head? She's not even changing the subject, and she's typing asterisks. Now I appreciate that I may be over-reacting here. I can hear people saying: 'it's just an asterisk, it's not a death penalty offence.' Well, it's the slippery slope syndrome. If we let Joanne get away with asterisks, then the next thing will be apostrophes, and then exclamation marks, and so on. Of course, if the asterisks aren't her idea then by all means hang a sub-editor instead.
Anyway, I realize that the above list is by no means comprehensive. Many people will be wondering why John Banks wasn't in my top five. Or CC-Amatil's Carl Crowley. Well, don't worry, I'm working on it. In the meantime, if you think of anyone else who should be charged with treason, then please DON'T HESITATE. Send their names to Winston Peters at once.
c/- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Racing, and Traitor-Sniffing