Going ‘Cold Dotterel’

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“Withdrawal can refer to any sort of separation, but is most commonly used to describe the group of symptoms that occurs upon the abrupt discontinuation/separation or a decrease in dosage of the intake of medications, recreational drugs, and/or alcohol. In order to experience the symptoms of withdrawal, one must have first developed a physical dependence(often referred to as chemical dependency). This happens after consuming one or more of these substances for a certain period of time, which is both dose dependent and varies based upon the drug consumed…”

Thank you Wikepedia, detailed and to the point as ever. Now I have described myself in the past as a Political Junkie. Back when I was writing ‘Home on the Rock’ for the Marketplace I even had a character of that name. He was a composite of myself and a few close friends that share my taste for wild overindulgence in late night political debate.

But in the last month I have had cause to realise just how close to the truth the description really is. Can it really have been four weeks since the dramatic events following the Local Board elections culminated in that glorious outpouring of public feeling at the Ostend Hall? For me it has felt like years. Back then I was watching every twitch and tremor of the political scene, exchanging dozens of emails with others in a similar fervour and of course distilling all of this into pithy prose and writing it all down on this website.

Then, as quickly as it came, it all went away again leaving me bereft and shivering from the sudden loss of my daily dosage. I’d call it Cold Turkey but I have actually been unfortunate enough to witness people going through genuine drug withdrawal and have no wish to make light of such experiences, so ‘Cold Dotterel’ will suffice for my purposes.

My point is, how could such passion and excitement suddenly die down so quickly? Did all those protesters, their eyes shining with political activism, wake up the next day and think; “Oh bugger it. It’s just politics as usual. We’ll come back to this in three years and see what happens.”
Will they forgive? Or even worse, forget?

Not me chaps. I’m watching this develop, or would be if there was anything actually happening. And that’s the problem. I still have four days to go until the first board meeting. Four more days of trying to assuage the pangs of withdrawal with the thin offerings in the paper. Yes, I’m concerned about the little baby oysters. Of course I am.
I share the concerns of those of us who used to like driving along the Esplanade and are now forbidden this simple pleasure by what Jeremy Clarkson so aptly describes as ‘Lycra-Nazis’.

But it’s not enough I tell you! I need more than this to whet my previously sated appetite for scurvy tricks and scabrous skullduggery! Do I have to start making stuff up? Or provoking our new board members into ill –considered utterances in public? Should I ply John Stansfield with strong drink and drop him outside Faye Storer’s house at four in the morning perhaps? Or start a rumour that Andy Spence’s recount actually showed him to have won hands down but the news was suppressed by the Rotarians? Maybe I could start a new website called Waiheke-Leaks and publish it all on there?

Probably not. I tried this before the election when I suggested that the real Jim Hannan was bound and gagged in his vest in a dark cellar somewhere while his evil doppelganger ran amuck on the campaign trail. Nobody went for it though.

So I shall wait for next Tuesday. The content will doubtless be duller than a Vegan’s dinner, but the tensions in the room ought to be worth going for.

Rest assured I shall keep you informed.