Friday, March 24, 2006

Jim Hopkins: SPARC boss slams Kiwi critics of low achievement

Don't be be so b@ #%*y negative!" That's the blunt message from New Zealand Sly Performance boss, Dave Casserole, following scathing criticism of our mediocre performance at the high-profile Commonwealth Shames.

In an exclusive interview with the Harold, Mr Casserole has slammed "those whingeing tossers back home who wouldn't know one end of a tiddlywink from the other" after a firestorm of outrage triggered by our disappointing medal tally deluged the media with waves of hostility.

"I'm not a religious man," says Mr Casserole, who has led SPARC (the Sly Performance and Reprehensible Conduct Agency) for 18 months, "but I take comfort from that Biblical injunction, 'Go fourth and multiply'.

"And we have. We've definitely multiplied the number of times we've gone fourth and I'm proud of that. It shows we're on the right track, that's for sure."

Mr Casserole points out that the Shames aren't over yet and there are some pretty big events still to come, including the synchronised fiddling.

"I'm picking we'll do well in that," he says. "Maybe that'll persuade the moaning Minnies to stop howling and start a haka of hope!"

While acknowledging that England goes into the event as gold medal favourites after shock revelations that Tony Blair "sold" House of Lords seats in exchange for huge loans to his ruling Labour Party, Mr Casserole is urging Kiwi fans to keep their peckers up.

"Sure, we've got all the usual suspects, shonky Pacific micro-states, dodgy Caribbean operators ... and, realistically, this Wheat Board bribery shemozzle means you gotta rate the Aussies a chance, but don't rule the Kiwis out.

"Hell, $400,000 from a leader's parliamentary fund cunningly siphoned off to pay for an election pledge card must put us in contention for a medal, wouldn't you say? When it comes to synchronised fiddling, that's right up there. Let's hope the judges see it that way."

Mr Casserole says the Police decision not to prosecute has definitely boosted New Zealand's chances in one of the Commonwealth Shames' glamour events.

"It's great news," he says. "The team's thrilled to see the rozzers have stuck to their gums and whacked it out of court."

According to the hard-bitten, straight-talking SPARC boss, "consistency was the thing that troubled us. I mean, when you look at the record - two prima facie cases against Government politicians in the last few years, one involving art fraud and the other assault, and no prosecution in either case - it shouldn't be an issue. Based on past performance, you'd have to give our cops a gold medal for consistency. But you never know, do ya?

"There's always the fear they might have peaked too soon and gone belly up in the straight. So we're chuffed they've dug deep and gone for a threepeat. It'll send a clear message to some of those banana republics out there that New Zealand is a force to be reckoned with!"

Clearly angered by what he describes as "pig-ignorant moaners who'd faint if they got off the couch", Mr Casserole insists, "this country's come a b@ #%*y long way in a B@#%*y short time!

"People should remember what we've achieved. Hell, it wasn't that long ago when our biggest successes in this field were a $40 parking ticket and an $80 pair of underpants, plus a late-night dinner with Kevin Roberts. That kind of footling stuff used to be big news. And it wasn't bad for a small country but it wasn't internationally competitive.

"Well, you can't say that now. Not since the Gummint's started taking our reputation in this area seriously. Look at some of our recent high achievers; Ross Armstrong racking up $500,000 on the expense account dash, a world record $200,000,000 toss over at the Wananga, ministers lying to the media, ministers misleading Parliament, ministers falsifying documents, you name it.

"The result is that New Zealanders in their thousands have enjoyed the exhilarating spectacle of watching 10 ministers - that's b@

&*y near a whole All Black team, mate - either jump, leap, dive or get shot put right out of Cabinet. If that's not a gold-medal performance, I don't know what is!

"Tell you what, there's plenty of competitors at these Shames who'd kill for a record like that, although I don't expect our lemon-lipped critics to agree. They'd grizzle if Pharmac put steroids on prescription, wouldn't they?

"The bottom line is, you'll never please some people. I guess even John Major had his critics back in the sleazy days when half his cabinet was either bonking the au pair or doing dodgy deals with foreign gun runners, but I reckon we can hold our heads up low at these Shames.

"In terms of sly performance, we've already achieved a personal best and my message to the world is, 'Bring it on. You ain't seen Taito Philip Field yet!"'

Fortunately, at this point, the interview was concluded so Mr Casserole could handle a growing scandal involving two male cyclists and a female athlete.

"Don't quote me, but I'm picking gold," grinned the gutsy SPARC boss as he rushed from the room.

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