Senior government Minister and key National Party campaign strategist Steven Joyce will be spotted to the Labour Party for the election campaign, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
The surprise announcement comes after weeks of dire polling for the Labour Party, compounded by a series of public relations fiascos. Joyce is regarded as Key’s closest advisor, and National’s strategic mastermind.
‘This will make the 2011 General Election a fair fight instead of a somewhat undemocratic cake-walk,’ Key said in his Beehive Press Conference. He added that came to the decision after speaking with Joyce, who ‘loves a challenge.’
Joyce will work closely with senior Labour MP Trevor Mallard, who is currently running Labour’s election campaign. Joyce has insisted that the two men will work together as equals.
‘Trevor’s role will be crucial to our success’ Joyce announced in a joint press conference with Labour leader Phil Goff. ‘In light of recent information security problems, Trevor will safeguard our campaign strategy documents in a tent on the Auckland Islands.’
The Auckland’s are an unpopulated sub-Antarctic island group with no phone or internet access. ‘Everything depends on this,’ Joyce insisted, as Mallard’s tiny orange dinghy sailed out from Invercargill into fearsome three meter swells.
Joyce has lost no time bringing his expertise to bear on Labour’s internal organisation, making sweeping changes to staffing, especially in the public relations area.
‘Previously the role of the media communications team was to communicate their hatred of the media to the rest of the party. We’ve re-tooled that, and the focus is now on communicating party policies to the media. Likewise, Labour’s polling team will now canvas the public on their feelings towards Labour, rather than the other way around,’ Joyce said.
He also dismissed suggestions that Goff was not the best person to lead Labour into the election. ‘I’m supporting Phil because he’s a maverick outsider who came to Wellington to clean up this town,’ Joyce said.’Some know-it-all university academics and faceless grey bureaucrats say Phil is too much of a reckless outsider, too much of a vagabond with a heart of gold who plays by his own rules to run this country. Not me.’
He also supported Labour Deputy Annette King who, he claimed, kept a mysterious box in her office that she would only open if Labour were voted into office. Recent polls indicate that 80% of voters support Labour’s new ‘opening mystery box’ policy.
Although they’ve been critical of his performance as a Minister, senior Labour figures are happy to have Joyce aboard. Up and coming MP Grant Robertson has welcomed him to the Labour team. Appearing in a ten page photo shoot in New Idea magazine, Robertson praised Joyce’s understanding of media strategy and coyly played down recent rumours that the Wellington Central MP had fathered four love children with four different Shortland Street actresses.
Joyce will also make National’s reckless spending on roading infrastructure a central issue during the election. ‘What dirty deals were done to justify borrowing billions of dollars to spend on roads that go nowhere? These are the questions that the National Party will have to explain to the people of New Zealand.’
In the interests of party balance, Labour has traded Joyce for Dunedin South MP Clare Curran, and she’s believed to be behind the Prime Minister’s shock announcement that he will conduct the remainder of his campaign in virtual reality environment Second Life, and prefix every single word he speaks with the letter ‘i’.
The Prime Minister’s fairy-winger avatar commented on the new strategy when he addressed an online press conference of goblins, virtual journalists and the National Party Cosplay Association this afternoon.
‘iI imay ihave imade a ihuge imistake,’ Key said.