Crying lone wolf
Once upon a time in a land far away from reason, lived little Johnny no mates who had never known his Daddy and never believed in anything more than himself and his Mummy.
Little Johnny had become what many people might call a success, having made pots of money the old fashioned way; by using money to make money.
But little Johnny still wasn’t happy and he felt something was missing in his life until one day the grim faced men (the GFM) came to see him and said, “Johnny your country needs you. It is in the most terrible pickle and we want you to come and do OUR bidding for a few years and sort it out.”
At first little Johnny was frightened of the GFM and told them his Mummy had said not to go anywhere with strange men.
“But we are not strange men,” they told him. “We are your biggest fans. We have been watching you for some while little Johnny and if you come with us we will pay you more money than you can hope to spend in 10 lifetimes. All you have to do is follow this script.”
“But what’s in it for me?” asked little Johnny, who always was disarmingly naïve. “Why you will get to be the boss of everyone and be followed around by a large group of nodding sycophants who will stand behind you in TV interviews and at other times when you are making a pillock of yourself,” said the GFM.
Little Johnny liked this idea very much. He had always been an odd boy with a speech impediment that made it impossible for him to speak the name of his beloved country correctly – or tell the truth. This was what he had been lacking in his life and the GFM was just the male role model he had lacked.
Maybe Mummy had been a bit paranoid, he thought. And after all these nice men were going to give him an awful lot of sweeties if he went with them.
So little Johnny took their thirty million pieces of silver headed off to a specially designed training camp where he became trained in the tricks of distraction, memory loss, obfuscation and denial. The training was tough, but little Johnny soon learned that if he followed the patter he was given to the letter he wouldn’t even have to think about how to deal with an unpleasant question from a journalist.
After a few months, and with his default settings now finely tuned, it was time to begin his campaign to become the boss of us all.
His first step was to front a carefully scripted campaign and win X Factor. The object of the game was to get as many votes for his team and specifically to get more than any of the other teams.
“But how can I do that?” asked little Johnny who had never been the popular boy at school. “Don’t you worry about that,” said the GFM. “You just do as we tell you and we will take care of everything else.”
Little Johnny underwent a makeover to make him look a little younger and had some botox injections to fix his face in a permanent smile. Then he began attending meetings and reading faithfully from the scripts he was given.
Soon with lots of help from those lovely men and women of the popular press, word spread that a new boy was in town and he was taking the town by storm. His speeches warned of the carnage that would befall his beloved country if the team that won the last X Factor New Zealand won again.
”They have given this country a huge burden of debt and they want to control you, and tax you and spend all that tax money on things you don’t need,” he said without a trace of irony.
Over the next few months support for little Johnny’s team grew according to the polls. “How come we are getting so much support and publicity?” asked little Johnny, who always was a tad naïve. “Who do you think is doing all this polling and who do you think owns the newspapers?” retorted the GFM.
Little Johnny and his team won the X Factor in 2008 and he finally became the boss of us all.
“I’ve done it,” he shouted excitedly. “Can I go now?” “Oh no, no, no,” said the GFM. “We haven’t finished with you just yet, little Johnny. We have a lot more for you to do.” There are a lot of juicy state assets we need you to sell to us at bargain basement prices, we need fewer welfare services and for goodness sake we have to get rid of the employment laws and environmental protections that are crippling business in this country.”
Little Johnny was suddenly nervous. “How can we get rid of the assets? The people will be angry,” he cried. “Not if we scare them,” replied the GFM. “Tell them we need the money to spend on job creation. We can’t go on borrowing from overseas like the other lot did, so the only answer is to get rid of these businesses which would be better run by proper businessmen like us anyway.”
So little Johnny told the people they would have to part with their power companies because that was the only way to get the country out of the debt run up by the other team and bring about a brighter future for all New Zillanders (the GFM hadn’t been able to do anything about that speech impediment – or the truth).
The sales went through, but the surplus didn’t. Some have suggested it might have been left in a drawer in one of those assets that was sold.
But little Johnny learned a lot from the asset sales and when the Big Bookies In The Sky wanted some more of that lovely money they were already stripping from the economy he knew exactly what to do. It seems the number of foreign crooks coming to our fair shores to do their money laundering was growing and the Big Bookies needed some more outlets to ‘spread the load’ and prevent the vast sums being given the old fast cycle from becoming noticed by the plods not already on the payroll.
“Little Johnny, we need some more tables and fruit machines,” they pleaded. “But those silly laws we don’t allow us to have any more. If you let us have some more we will build you a big new shiny $300M conference centre– for free.”
“Little Johnny told the nation. “The Big Bookies are going to give us a free $300M conference centre and all they want is a chance to make a little more free money.”
He knew his opponents would start whining about the poor being fleeced. So he did what politicians of his ilk have done many times before; he imagined how much money that centre might bring into the economy, multiplied it by ten and then told the sheeple that was how much value it would bring to them.
Those nice young men and women of the press made sure he got his message out and little Johnny also won X factor 2011 and 2014. But a few months after the 2014 win the Big Bookies came back and asked for $140M to complete the conference centre.
In a blind panic and without consulting his puppeteers, little Johnny went on the defensive telling the people he might just have to pay the money because an honourable chap like him was not going to leave the Queen City with an ugly eyesore (apart of course for the member for Helensville).
It all promised to turn pear shaped until the GFM slipped in and gave the Big Bookies a Chinese burn, reminded them what side their bread was buttered on and how that butter could turn totally rancid on them if they did anything to jeopardise their boy’s chances of finishing what they put him in power to do.
Around this time little Johnny also pushed through new powers for his beloved spy agency. These were measures hitherto only seen in darker lands run by men in uniforms with gold braid on their shoulders and heavy artillery behind them.
The nation was shocked. “Our freedoms are being eroded,” they screamed. “I am not going to stand by and let terrorists take over New Zilland and behead all the men and rape all the women,” little Johnny retorted. Even Labour party leader Tu Little had a tear in his eye as he conceded that sometimes little Johnny needs to be trusted to do right by his nation and the new laws to allow the boss of us all to watch us all, all of the time were passed into legislation. Some uncharitable folk ridiculed little Johnny for this, saying terrorist groups don’t even know how to find New Zealand with a map. But little Johnny told them he wasn’t talking about THAT sort of terrorist; he was talking about Lone Wolf Terrorists.
As we have had neither wolves nor terrorists in our backyard this had the potential to make little Johnny a laughing stock, so he decided to hedge his bets (although he didn’t place them with the Big Bookie after their recent falling out).
In order to prove he was right all along little Johnny decided unilaterally to send troops to Iraq to train same lot we were shooting at last time we got involved in the Middle East. He figured this would be the quickest way to get some terrorists to book their one way tickets to NZ. Who knows they might even spend some big petro dollars before they blast us all to Kingdom Come?
This has to work for little Johnny because he is now in danger of losing the support of the credulous sheeple of Godzone who have believed all the lies and half truths he has served up to them ever since he first won XFactor NZ.
At moments like this that I am reminded of the parable about the little boy who cried (lone) wolf. He cried wolf so many times when there was no wolf about that when he really did see the wolf and called for help nobody came and he was eaten. Chomp chomp