Monday Afternoon. Consulate on East 41st Street.
Quick briefing with the press at the consulate. I make sure all the recorders and cameras are off and then explain to them that the New Zealand government and the National Party will not be held responsible for the actions – violent or otherwise – of New Zealanders who are offended by negative media coverage of their Prime Ministers statesmanship over the next week, and that we will not be liable for any firebombings of printing presses or drive-by-shootings of political editors carried out by well-meaning citizens in retaliation for critical journalism.
‘Everyone understand?’ They nod. ‘Good,’ I said. ‘Because nobody fucks with the KeyMaster.’
‘Nobody fucks with the KeyMaster,’ they dutifully chorused.
Monday Evening. My suite at the Breekman.
Cocktails with some of the old Wall St gang at Club 55 earlier. Good to see some familiar faces. Tense moment when someone asked me what I was doing for a job these days. I told them, there was a moments silence and they sprayed their drinks all over the table. I nervously joined in the laughter and when Dicky asked what I was really doing I told them I was COO at Deutsche. Feel slightly disloyal.
New poll back home. Slight dip but still riding high. It’s all a massive fraud, of course – we nose-dived after the budget and we’ve been in single digits for months, but what I got on Garner and the Espiners wouldn’t look very pretty on the front page. They know how to play ball.
Tuesday. Office at the UN.
Meeting with HC. The DPS boys led her into the room and assured me she was fine: ‘She was nervous this morning Sir but she’s eaten and she’s calm now.’ I knew better. She was still but her eyes were all white and she was breathing shallowly, her head low, scanning the room. I held back, greeted her cautiously and then she lunged: I’ve never seen anything move that fast! All I saw were flashing teeth and I felt the hot scent of English Breakfast tea against my throat but the DPS boys were quicker, forcing her back into the corner with their prods while she hissed and spat. Eventually she calmed and we discussed Copenhagen, Fiji and the MMP referendum. Also, she gave me a UNDP snow globe. Score!
Wednesday. Back at the Hotel.
Bad day today. No water at hotel, had to use Aussie faculties, had Rudd standing outside the door talking about a federated Pacific while I was trying to take a shit, then he stood outside the shower talking about something called ‘social capitalism’. WFT? Was so distracted I forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair and spent all day at the UN with my scalp feeling oily and damp. Couldn’t use the basins in the washrooms to rinse – how would that look if someone saw me? Met Obama and I could see him looking at my hair. ‘He knows!‘ I thought. ‘He understands!‘ If anyone would have a private place to rinse their hair it’s him, but I couldn’t figure out how to ask and he moved on to talk to Erdogan.
Thursday. NBC Green Room.
Show went well. Pity we had to agree to three more years of SAS deployment to Afghanistan to get the slot but thems the breaks. Lindsay Lohan! Heh.
Picked up some nice ties and links at Bergdorf yesterday and this morning Soper liked the look of one of the club ties. He had a coffee and a danish and I hadn’t had breakfast so I offered to make a deal. He crowed: ‘I’ve been around a long time John, you’d have to get up early to get the best of me.’ Long story short I now own his house which I’m mortgaging back to him for sixty points above OCR.
Friday. Starbucks on Harrison Street.
Sent my body double Andy to deliver the speech to the UN (something about a seat on the Security Council in 6 years. BFD) while I went record shopping in Tribeca. Picked up some old Sugar Cubes on vinyl and a totally awesome Arbus print that I was going to give to Bill but decided to keep for myself. Checked my email and it sounds as though the speech went down well. All right. Hooked up with Bronagh and the kids and flew out to Disney World. So long New York – you’ve been good to me.