The last five days

Written By: - Date published: 5:53 pm, September 25th, 2014 - 63 comments
Categories: election 2014, labour, Satire - Tags:

A train is travelling through a nasty thunderstorm. It’s an express train; it’s late at night, and it’s travelling fast. The bad weather unnerves the driver. He’s had several close calls already. He squints through the small window in the cab, at the curve ahead ahead. He’s travelling too fast, he can’t recover. The brakes scream on – but it’s too late. The train derails, slides off the tracks, and crumples instantly into a heap of twisted metal, slammed up against the embankment.

Rescue workers make their way to the accident site. The paramedics arrive first, then the firefighters and the police officers. It’s major news – the TV news crews all arrive quickly. Newspapers. Bloggers.

An odd thing starts to happen. Instead of helping the survivors and securing the scene, the rescue crew start fighting amongst themselves. How did the crash happen? Was it was the driver’s fault? What was the main cause of the accident?

By now, there’s a decent sized crowd looking on. But it gets worse – no one can agree. The paramedics, the firefighters, and the police – not one of them seems to be in charge of the recovery. They’re still bickering about what happened. Worse still, some of the emergency services have decided to tweet their frustrations.

In the few remaining carriages the survivors are wet, sick, and cold. It’s still raining, and they’re injured – some severely. Their rescuers keep arguing about where to start.

The paramedics are convinced that it’s important to shift the blame to the driver before they start the rescue. But the driver has suffered major trauma – he’s incoherent and struggling to remember what happened. If they could reach him, they might see that while he will survive, it’s obvious that he will never be able to drive trains again.

train crashA few of the quieter rescuers are huddled together – they want to assess the damage and focus on recovery. They’ve trained for this. They don’t want to run into the wreck and pull out whoever they see just in case they get hurt themselves. But they’re worried if they don’t cooperate, there’s a growing risk it will get much worse.

The journalists start asking questions – are the rescue crews having trouble cooperating because they’re all from different services? Some of the senior officers have been around for a long time – is this why they’re not cooperating? By the time the survivors are pulled out, it’s clear that some will not make it.

It’s morning now, the day after the crash. There’s no shortage of work to do. Some of the train carriages are salvageable, but it will require a massive recovery effort.

The whole community will need to pitch in to clean this up.



63 comments on “The last five days”

  1. Chooky 1

    sounds like caucus fighting to blame and get rid of Cunliffe…after a bad Labour crash…

    • SHG 1.1


    • tricledrown 1.2

      Cunliffe is not the problem!
      A growing economy
      Dot Con Fucked up allowing the whole left to be blamed including the hager book>
      Key sacking Collins looked good!
      terrorist raids across the ditch helped Keys Spying excuses!
      National party Ads were very good and painted labour and the left as incompetent which stuck because of of Dotcom,s dumbarse political naivity!
      Then the right wing media had all the running!
      labour has to go back to pressing the flesh at ground level!
      Working with the greens on the same wavelength and policy so National can’t divide and conquer!
      On the positive side the Internet Mana Party has disappeared giving one less stick that the right can attack labour with!
      labour have to stick with Cunliffe like they did with Helen Clark!
      No more self destructing!
      Cunliffe performed very credibly and his popularity continued to grow during the elections !
      Robertson is to much of a politician Shearer can’t match it with Key Adern is to fresh!

      • Naki man 1.2.1

        I agree with 99% of your comment
        ” Dotcom,s dumbarse political naivity!”
        Quite funny really Dotcon spent $millions trying to remove National
        from government and helped them to a landslide victory.

  2. karol 2

    But who was the driver? Was the driver actually in control, or were some of his staff trying to tell him how he should be driving.

    how do you know the driver will never be able to drive trains again, if the emergency services have not been able to get to him and do a full diagnosis of his injuries?

    • Skinny 2.1

      No Karol they actively plotted against the leader undermining him where ever they thought they could get their man air time, thus securing a easier transition when the train crash eventuated. I got the heads up all was not as it seemed, and plenty within the caucus were sitting on their hands. I sent an Invitation to DC only for it not to reach him, his PR staff were bewildered. So I say those pricks in Wellington had interests outside of actually winning the election. On reflexion you only had to look at who was at the leaders election night HQ, or should I say who wasn’t there.

      I suggest the Wellington brigade be depowered by switching the powerbase to South Auckland home of the real grunt workers within Labour.

      As far as I’m concerned we will fight to change Labour but not to strengthen the beltway but to undo them. Then I’m out off to start another political force more true to the values that represent us.

    • lurgee 2.2

      I think you need to digest this part:

      Instead of helping the survivors and securing the scene, the rescue crew start fighting amongst themselves. How did the crash happen? Was it was the driver’s fault? What was the main cause of the accident?

      By now, there’s a decent sized crowd looking on. But it gets worse – no one can agree.

      Though as you’re a Green voter (as am I) I think we’re more the cows in the field nearby, mooing impotently.

      • karol 2.2.1

        I was commenting mostly on this bit:

        But the driver has suffered major trauma – he’s incoherent and struggling to remember what happened. If they could reach him, they might see that while he will survive, it’s obvious that he will never be able to drive trains again.

    • J Mex 2.3

      I think what actually happened was this:

      There was an enormous train crash. The rescue workers turned up to assess the damage. The media arrive as well. The train driver was giving a stand up chat… “What an amazing train! Did you see how fast it was going around the track!!! [tries to high five people] “Can I get a ‘Choo Choo’!”, “Let’ s go build a fasttttter one… ”

      The onlookers are confused. Maybe this guy wasn’t even on the train??? Wiser heads dismiss this. He is clearly the driver – ” he is still clutching a broken steering wheel FFS! ”

      OK. He’s obviously got a head injury from the impact that is affecting his judgement. He is talking complete nonsense. Just smile and give him a cup of tea.

      But will SOMEONE PLEASE confiscate his keys.

    • Murray Olsen 2.4

      The rest of the crew were actively sabotaging the train and disconnected the corner signals, as well as perforating the brake lines. The driver might have noticed this, but he was too busy sabotaging the Hone class locomotive that he thought might take away his passengers.

  3. greywarbler 3

    Sounds like 9/11 – the various crew were on different phones, wavelengths. Or Pike River, those in charge were frozen under regulations on proper procedure when handling boiling water for morning and afternoon teas and couldn’t find the disaster guidelines.

    Don’t know how to apply it to the NZ election. Are first class getting out and being given limousines home while third class are pinned down and weeping?

    Isn’t there a site control manager? The train driver in a wreck is important, but the injured are also. We are not in a wreck with mortally injured people expiring. Don’t see it as a viable analogy.

  4. SPC 4

    It’s those voters dependent on the Labour Party for good governance who will get hurt if the party crashes and burns at an election.

    • SPC 4.1

      Many hold Cunliffe’s reaction to the result on election night against him. It’s not the defeat but the reaction to the defeat argument to how the party survives the crash. Leading to the notion that if we just blame the driver then he can no longer drive again.

      Others are blaming the selection system for the driver being a driver in the first place to take control of party democracy back to caucus by holding the rescue hostage to the caucus getting their way on this.

  5. Ant 5

    What about that shiny Green train over there? It’s just about to leave. 😀

    • Sans Cle 5.1

      Am on that train………out of my car and into public transport……….it’s not a gravy train like the shiny blue one over there!

  6. Marksman33 6

    Was the train Chinese built or Spanish built ? either way, after much discussion, The driver is to blame. That’s the Kiwi way.

  7. newsense 7

    So the caucus were passengers? Sounds about right looking at their party vote tallys.
    An old fashion sailing ship with 7 skippers would be a better analogy.

    • lurgee 7.1

      Instead of helping the survivors and securing the scene, the rescue crew start fighting amongst themselves. How did the crash happen? Was it was the driver’s fault? What was the main cause of the accident?

      By now, there’s a decent sized crowd looking on. But it gets worse – no one can agree.

      She’s talking about you, there.

  8. newsense 8

    Or if I read it better they were never on board?

  9. Hanswurst 9

    Surely for this analogy to work, the driver would also have to be the director of the emergency response crews. Perhaps the problem wasn’t so much the driver’s capabillites, as that he was constantly forced to answer his mobile while driving, having to co-ordinate the responses when senior emergency services staff inexplicably managed to start fires in their own offices.

  10. Blue 10

    Some people in the train company engineered the crash for the insurance money, knowing they could pin all the blame on the driver.

    • Skinny 10.1

      +1 You got that right!

      • Chooky 10.1.1

        lol…well I dont think they were there to help the driver was maybe a doomed train to begin with….with no warrant of fitness …and ripping along on a poorly maintained track…with an ill-tempered , uncooperative , undisciplined crew who mostly resented the nominated driver
        ….and it met a perfect storm of unforeseen events, (with adverse hasty decision consequences mounting up)…. and engineered maleficence.

        • Sans Cle

          Wasn’t the crash due to privatisation of the rail, then buying it back, once asset stripped and needing significant reinvestment?

    • Thinker 10.2

      not sure if I’ve copied this asa hyperlink or not, but your story reminded me of this…

  11. the pigman 11

    Cute analogy, vividly conveyed.

    At the end of the day, it sounds like just another Wellington staffer/Robertson Young Labour acolyte calling for Cunliffe’s head.

    Funny thing to do, though, characterising the Labour caucus as “rescue workers”. Don’t you think?

    • weka 11.1

      Maybe they were the other train staff. Who instead of looking after each other and the passengers, set about blaming each other and trying to manipulate who was going to be next train driver.

      But then there is the problem of who the passengers are. Membership? Voters?

      The rescue crew should be those outside who want to help Labour in trouble.

  12. weka 12

    Heh, just this afternoon I described to someone that following politics on line this week is like watching a train wreck in slow motion (ref Labour party).

    • Sans Cle 12.1

      You know what? Last Sunday week (pre election) I was thinking we were in for a week of a train wreck for National, given Greenwald’s allegations! I know HOW (complicit media, public “believing” his declassified docs, even though they had nothing to do with Greenwald’s allegations) Key managed to avoid a mess…….but it still beggars belief that one week later, we see this! Truly astonishing. …..and what a bloody week makes in politics!

  13. newsense 13

    @ lurgee sure why not? How about this : the train hit a storm and lost its payload because every officer decided to protect their own carriage and detached it from the train, because if they saved their cargo they might get a driving gig. They lost a lot of cargo. They didn’t tell the driver who used all his skill to bring the train safely to the destination as best as he could. Despite the carriages who didn’t detach holding a lot of cargo, the driver gets the blame for the lot and the detachees start to viscerally attack his judgement as they jockey to take
    over as driver. The driver has worked for the railways for a long time and been a reasonable driver in the short time he’s had the wheel. Many voices blame him, but many who need the cargo and are making do with less remember him from over the years and still back him.

  14. Tigger 14

    The media are stoking this fire?

    Did they incite such discord after 2002 (when National got less vite than Labour just did)? Of course not!

    Ignore the pundits, regroup and stop leaking.

    Oh, and to those who are planning g to be leader – if you’re a straight white male then you don’t have my vote. Had three in a row – time for change.

  15. ropata 15

    later on the accident investigation reveals that the track was greased with whale blubber, the instructions to the driver had been garbled by sinister hackers, and the brake cables were rusted by a strange blue acid of reptilian origin

  16. philj 16

    Or is it more like the Erebus flight disaster when Captain Collins (deceased) gets blamed for crashing into the mountain after been given faulty map coordinates? Cunners is the fall guy for a massive systemic failure imo.

    • KJT 16.1

      Except it was Collins job to check the waypoints. No matter where they came from.

      Unlike Cunliffe, who was shafted in the air by his senior officers.

      You don’t trust the shore staff with your navigation.

    • Chooky 16.2

      philj + KJT +100..and the driver/pilot could not check the coordinates because he was too busy watching his back…and flying into a whiteout storm

      …He was flying blind and at speed, totally reliant on the navigators’ coordinates ….which were wrong

  17. Redzone 17

    A bit too Tangiwai for my liking!. But for the sake of the metaphor..

    Old driver has been sharfted by noisy disloyal ticket collectors and never got (allowed to get?) his full license anyway. Unfortunately there is too much baggage strewn around too. Other old driver couldn’t drive without tripping up . Lost his licence and so no use reinstating him. Anyway theres a train at the UN station apparently. Beltway driver is well stuck in the beltway. Competent but not the right choice. New Napier rookie apprentice drivers time has yet to come.

    No. Need fresh new driver that travels without serious baggage and can bring new perspective. Will also collaborate with the electrified green commuter train. That’s jacinda. Time to step up.

    • Anne 17.1

      Not enough experience Redzone. Don’t burn her out before her time has come. She’s tough, but still has a way to go. Needs some extensive cabinet experience under her belt. Keep her for the future – when she’s ready for the job.

  18. tricle up 18

    Move centre to left doesn’t mean you have to change the pilot ..

  19. newsense 19

    meanwhile, back in the ‘National is getting a very secure hold on the country’ world

    and NZ isn’t concerned because that Labour guy turned out to be completely useless and hopeless, even his mates don’t like him and they’re all the same anyway right?

  20. newsense 20

    meanwhile, back in the ‘National is getting a very secure hold on the country’ world

    and NZ isn’t concerned because that Labour guy turned out to be completely useless and hopeless, even his mates don’t like him and they’re all the same anyway right?

  21. Millsy 21

    Heh. I think the rescuers should include everyone involved in the train company, not just the conductors. Cooperate and have a good think, maybe. Get on with the task at hand.

  22. rain33 22

    If you insist on analogies…The carriages were laden with many great things as the red train left the station. However, early on in its journey the train failed to ignore warnings from the gathering crowds along its way that the train was maybe on the wrong track. Insisting they were most definitely on the correct track, they closed all the windows and increased their speed, dangerously careering along the tracks at times.

    There were several other trains heading to the same station, but all the trains followed different routes to get to their final destination. The cargo in the wagons of the lovely red train was starting to spoil, but it went unnoticed by the driver and his crew as they were all up the front, and had forgotten about their precious cargo. Even though the cargo was fresh and lovely when it left the station, unless it was attended to during the journey, it would quickly spoil…and sadly it would not be delivered to all the people waiting for the lovely red train to arrive at the station.

    Meanwhile a flash blue train arrived at the station, with all its cargo intact and luscious. The people with tickets for the blue train were very excited when they saw the quality of the cargo. The people with tickets for the red train were looking down the tracks for any sign of their lovely red train..but alas it was nowhere to be seen.
    “Don’t worry…apparently there are wonderful things in the red train” said a red ticket holder. But then the rain came down, the tickets got soggy, and still no sign of the red train. “These tickets are useless now” said a red ticket holder. “By the time it arrives, its cargo will have spoiled and will be of no use to us” …. “Who’s the driver of the red train?!” a frustrated ticket holder yelled out. “Who cares” was the reply “I’m not buying anymore red tickets…their cargo might be wonderful, but if they cant deliver it to us then it is useless”. “I’m going to check out one of those blue or green tickets…their train is already at the station…apparently their cargo is nowhere near as good, but they looked after it and delivered to their ticket holders” …”ticketmaster!!”

    Now the owners of the red train were very disappointed. Their train was a wreck, their cargo would go to waste as it could not be delivered. The driver, the crew and the owners were all very angry and were arguing among themselves about who was mostly to blame. But sadly everyone seemed to have forgotten about the red ticket holders back at the station. Sensing an opportunity, the blue train threw some scraps to the red ticket holders. The red ticket holders were very wary of the other blue train, but they decided scraps would have to do. Their red train had failed to deliver its precious cargo, and they were very hungry…so they didn’t much care why.

  23. dale 23

    The red train started out a little empty, but with a good new driver that had seen many large networks in despairs and helped out where he could. He was making a pretty good job of filling the train, but it was not easy as some of the longer term workers wouldn’t help with the loading. So at the next stop he asked if they wanted a new driver and to his despair they said yes. All the passengers already on the train chose the new driver. But the train wasn’t anywhere near full and the passengers waiting got a little anxious about the new driver. They had seen him before making toot toot noises and pretending to play with the controls a long time ago even telling the then she driver that some other boys were doing it but they weren’t. The waiting passenger’s looked on as the new driver picked up a very big and unstable carriage because it had paid a deposit. Then in his excitement to collect the waiting passengers he didn’t read the warning signs and then the weight of the fat unstable carriage took over and crashed the train. And spilled its cargo. Bloody books and traitors nasty lies everywhere.
    Then came the blue train…………

    • Hanswurst 23.1

      The red train started out a little empty, but with a good new driver […].

      You lost me right there.

  24. lurgee 24

    After the crash, a strange idea emerges that the crash would have been avoided if the train had driven on only one track – the left, or the right.

  25. Charles Temworth. 25

    Grant Robertson and his backroom nastiness(the actual real divisive eliment within Labour) wont change anything for Labour Trickle down is correct Cunliffe performed very well stuf the media they just want drama and are paid for by National cronies.

  26. David H 26

    No analogies needed

    1: Labour lost weeks/months before the election date. Election day was the official date of death.

    2: Labour will continue to lose until they have politicians that are there for the good of the party, and not for their own personal gain. You call them ABC this is wrong it should be ABW (Anything but winning).

    3: Labour will continue to crash and burn until the destructive element is rooted out and evicted.

    4: Labour have to be so mistake free that they cannot be attacked. and if they do or don’t dump the Leader they are damned my the media.

    5: Labour NEED to ban Gower Obrien Sabin Dann and any other jonolist who has hearing issues.

    6: Dump disruptive members to the back bench.

    7 Impress on new members the importance of showing a united party to the media, so no leaking like the ABW club.

    Then I might just think about giving my valuable vote back to them.

  27. dale 27

    Hanswurst. David Shearer.

  28. JRyan 28

    The left lost simply because of low tactics that blew right back in their face. One gets back what you give out. KDC is poison and swallowing his propaganda and delight of potentionally ramming a lance into National was seen for what it was. Low, dirty politics. Nasty. Maybe try and run a clean campaign, let policy be the sword.

    • joe90 28.1

      These low tactics – cite please?.

    • Colonial Viper 28.2

      You clearly know that “Dirty Politics” was run out of the 9th floor, just down the corridor from John Key’s office.

      But you are giving John Key a pass on it. Why?

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