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Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:01 pm

Bernard chooses Gareth Morgan over a movie


Sixty-year-old Bernard had been looking for a good film to watch tonight, but instead spotted The Opportunities Party ad and here he is, wearing one of the multitude of TOP badges handed out at the door.

“I decided to see The big man himself,” says Bernard.

Everyone is waiting for Gareth’s second coming, in TOP’S second national tour event.

A video plays, the Wellington crowd is addressed by TOP’s campaign manager and former radio host Nick Tansley, then another video plays.

Slowly our attention wanders, seeking out Gareth, Morgan that is, or as Bernard calls him, “The big man himself”.

On the second row two ladies whisper away about his evidence-based policies.

“He’s not right, not left. He’ll do whatever makes sense,” one said quite passionately.

“I want to ask him about cats,” whispers the other. Wherever he goes, Gareth can’t seem to get rid of cats.

A theme song starts and Gareth strolls out to an applauding audience looking exactly like his photographs.

The crowd claps some more and he takes a seat in front of us.

“It’s nice to be home.”

Gareth speaks about Labour leapfrogging National as the number one party in the latest opinion polls, and the room breaks into applause, showing its leftie-slant.

However there is no mention of The Opportunities Party falling to 1%.

He speaks for 20 minutes about his travels, why he’s sick of politicians and why he came to form the party. Then his policies appear on the screen.

“We’re very policy driven.”

Gareth tells everyone why the education system is broken, and that not enough is being done to help poor, and uphold Māori rights.

Then come the questions.

One young man stands up and asks a double-banger about gender reassignment surgery and the health system.

“The big man himself” begins with: “Well I don’t really know much about this but…”

Further questions are asked, and he grows more and more enthusiastic, his hands make gestures: “The richest 20% will be worse off, but don’t cry for me. I can afford it.”

To show he’s not a one-man band, Gareth brings deputy leader, Geoff Simmons, to answers one question from the crowd.

Then Gareth steps back into the spotlight and announces he’s going to make a constitution for New Zealand.

Near the end of the night a woman stands up and asks Gareth what he’ll do if TOP doesn’t get into Parliament.

She gets a clap, and Gareth begins to explain his idea for the next election, how TOP when in power will install a three party system. With each party sharing 33% of the seats.

His system will have Labour on the left, National on the right. And in the centre… you guessed it… The Opportunities Party.

The idea seems a little bit wild and the crowd is still thinking as Gareth begins his summing up of the night, very neatly avoiding a proper answer to what TOP will do if they miss out on being elected.

Maybe “the big man himself” is more of a politician than he realises.

And the TOP badges spill out into the night.

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