The Next Election Day: A Story from the World of An Unlikely Future

It had been a long 18 months.

Michael Freeman had left Zealandia Media behind to set up the Democratic Party, that band of political outcasts. He’d taken a massive gamble, of course, by going into politics; challenging the establishment always is. Michael, however, felt that it was necessary, as he said when he launched the party in the winter of the year before:

“I can no longer stand idly by while both National & Labour destroy New Zealand, & I know I can’t do much from the commentator’s box. If I want to make the change I seek, I’ve got to get on the field”

It had been a very lively campaign; the Democrats’ mere presence ensured that. Michael decided very early on that he would not contest an electorate. Instead, James Creswell, a friend of Michael’s father, contested Northland for the Democrats while Michael toured the country attempting to get enough votes to enter Parliament as a list MP. The Leaders’ Debates were a big controversy, as TVNZ would not allow Michael to take part in them alongside Prime Minister Jennifer Anderson & Leader of the Opposition Andrew Marshall but TV3 did let Michael participate in their Decision ’23: The Contenders debate, leading to some rumours in corners of social media about Michael continuing to control Zealandia Media from the shadows, something he continued to deny.

Some Democrat candidates attracted controversy, especially some of the more nationalist-minded ones, such as Jordan Michaels, Hunter Wallace & Rachel Cross, with TVNZ & the Herald leading the charge against them. Facing pressure against them, however, Michael stood firm, & in fact defended them:

“You have called the Democratic Party a ‘band of political outcasts’. I happen to take a similar view. I acknowledge that we in the Democrats are an ideologically diverse bunch, & that some members have views that I don’t agree with. I’ll say this – if I was to purge every party member I had disagreements with, I’d be the only member left.
That said, I know what you’re trying to do here. You in the media are engaging in gutter journalism, dredging up irrelevant details of our candidates’ private lives to use against me & against the Democratic Party because you, like Labour & National, are scared of us, you are scared that we are coming to the level where we won’t be like every other ‘minor’ party, that wet won’t stand being marginalised by the two major parties, & that we are actually growing to a point where we will be able to challenge both Labour & National, a goal we’ve been aiming for since the beginning. You are scared, & you’re trying to stop us.
You won’t.”

They didn’t. The last poll put the election in a virtual dead heat, with Labour, National & the Democrats all on 26%, the Greens on 8%, the Conservatives on 7%, ACT on 5% & Mana Maori on 2% & on track to win several of the Maori Electorates off Labour. That result alone would ensure that everyone would be waiting with baited breath for the election result.

Not that it mattered too much to Michael.

Michael saw the energy wherever he went, from packed town hall to packed town hall, from Kaitaia to Kaitangata, & from Bluff back to the Bay of Islands. He saw the energy, the restlessness, the mood for change. He saw the desire for change, especially after folks realised Jennifer Anderson’s promises of transformation were exactly that, promises, & after the Labour Party continued to neglect their nominal base of working-class folk & National continued to neglect the provinces in pursuit of their donors’ interests, the Democrats found an opportunity.

He spent the last day of the campaign in Northland, helping out James Creswell & his cousin Tautoru Arapeta squeeze out every single supporter they could. He spent Friday morning in Whangarei with Tautoru, where they had lunch together with their Whangarei candidate, Ben Thompson. After lunch, Michael & Tautoru travelled north to spend the afternoon campaigning together in the Bay of Islands, where they met James for their last meeting, in a park in Paihia. The three men knew each other well; both Michael & Tautoru had gone to school with James’ daughters, & both were friends of his eldest daughter Monica, & their personal relationship came across really well politically. As expected, the meeting went well, & they conducted their last walkabout later in Kerikeri before heading home, each one stopping in Westfield to grab a meal before parting ways, James departing for Amberdale & the winery, Tautoru for his grandparents’ place in Waikawau & Michael for Ashwell, where his wife Sofia & his parents were waiting.
I’m satisfied, Michael thought as he drove home, I gave my all, we gave our all. It’s all up to the people.

A press pool of four journalists followed Michael the whole campaign: Courtney Pearce with TVNZ, Isaac Lawrence with the Herald, Hayley Duncan with TV3 & Angus Scott with the Auckland Star. They all had followed him the whole way through, the ups & downs, the attacks, his berations of the media (of which, curiously enough, Courtney & Isaac made a big deal); they’d seen it all.
And now they were called in to an election morning breakfast in the kitchen at Ashwell House: hash browns, baked beans, French toast, bacon, sausages, eggs fried, scrambled & poached, pancakes, assorted cereals, & various jugs of different types of juice, water & milk, all laid out on the table with plates & cutlery at one end & the cups on the other end beside the jugs, laid out as if Michael (in reality Sofia & Michael’s mum Martha) had the bright idea to just make a ridiculously large breakfast in the hope that everything would be of someone’s liking.
This idea, of course, was correct.
When the journalists entered the kitchen, they found Michael, his wife Sofia, his parents, his sister, her husband Andrew & their twin sons Ronald & William, & Michael’s brother Charles, his wife Dana & their young daughter Isabelle.
They always did say Michael was a family man, Hayley thought to herself, briefly glancing at the heavily pregnant Sofia, then to the table, I guess he had to bring the whole family along; otherwise all this would never be eaten.
“Before we eat,” Michael began, “I would like to thank each of you, Courtney, Isaac, Hayley & Angus, for being here throughout these last few weeks. Having previously run a media company, I know all too well how important the media is to help a well-informed populace make well-informed decisions. I can’t say that I’ve made your job particularly easy; between the dustup in Wellington, the debate boycotts & all the craziness I’ve engaged in throughout the campaign, I at least hope that your experience has been somewhat memorable.
“Before we eat, let me quickly talk about what we’re doing today. Our local booth is at Westfield School, in town. I’ll vote there, along with my parents, siblings & in-laws…” he turned to his wife, “…I believe Sofia will stay here & set up the great hall for tonight. After that, I’ll head off for a while to clear my head,” he pointed to the clear blue sky outside, “today looks like good weather for a drive. In any case, I’ll make sure to be back before 5pm, as folks will start showing up by then. Any questions?”
Silence. “None? Good. Let’s eat.”

With that, everyone grabbed a plate, helped themselves to whatever they wanted, grabbed the drink of their choice, & filed out rather orderly (except the kids, of course) onto the deck to eat their breakfast.
Naturally, Michael & Sofia were last. Michael heaped French toast, several hash browns, two sausages & bacon onto his plate while Sofia went for cornflakes & yoghurt in a bowl.
Michael turned to his wife. “Would you like some orange juice, love?”
Sofia smiled, then shook her head. “I think apple juice would be better.”
Michael smiled back. “Wonderful.” He promptly filled the second cup with apple juice, then carried both cups & his plate outside.
Michael turned back while standing in the entrance to the kitchen. “You’ll be alright?”
Sofia nodded. With that, Michael left for the deck.

Everyone had sat down outside to eat on the metre-high stone blocks that ringed the deck. Naturally, Michael’s family & the journalists seated themselves separately, with the kids seated near each other.
Isaac looked at Michael’s brother. “Charles over there is an army officer.”
Courtney nodded, having just finished a mouthful of bacon. “I know. He served under Fraser Tremont, before he went into politics.”
“Did you manage to find out why he resigned from the army? I’ve been trying to find out for ages, but could never get an answer.”
“No. Every time we’ve asked, we just got the usual ‘he left for personal reasons’ nonsense. I tried to ask Charles before, he wouldn’t answer. He did tell me that he liked Fraser.”
“Interesting.” They both turned to Hayley & Angus. “What about you two? Did you get anything more?”
They both shook their heads, & Hayley spoke up. “I keep telling you, the Freemans are all very private people. Remember that magazine article about Michael & Sofia when they got married?”
They all shook their heads. “Exactly. These people do not open up at all about their private lives. Coming here, I can sort of see why.”
Isaac nodded. “Yeah, I can see why. I mean, Ashwell isn’t exactly an average family home, is it? This looks like an old English country house – it’s got a great hall, a servants hall, even two chapels, for crying out loud. And to think that all the big farmhouses around here are like this. No wonder we’ve never been allowed here before.”
Angus smiled. “You forgot the cars.”
Isaac continued. “Oh, yeah. The cars. A small collection of supercars, gas guzzlers all of them, a Land Rover & a Mercedes. I remember the Autocar article.”

The press pool & camera crew lined up outside Westfield Primary School, waiting for the Democratic Party leader to arrive. Unlike the other party leaders, he refused to vote early, explaining his reasoning while on a campaign stop in Christchurch:

“ Ever since we were children, Election Day has always been a family day for us. My parents have always voted together, & have usually been able to vote alongside their parents, siblings, & us, once we were old enough. Even as children, we always went along with them. I distinctly remember Mum handing me her ballot paper to drop into the ballot box in 2005, while Dad did the same thing with my brother Charlie. Having been raised this way, naturally we take voting seriously. Even when I was in university, I was still registered to vote up north, & six years ago I drove up north on the Friday night to continue our family’s tradition of voting together – if my sister could fly up from Dunedin to vote, then a drive from Auckland was no excuse.
Because of that, I will wait until the big day itself to cast my vote.”

First to arrive were Hannah & Andrew, without their twins. They exited their cars & proceeded to wait for the rest of their family, notably at some distance from the cameras. Next were Charlie & Dana, also without Isabelle. As Charlie got out of the car, his mate William Stewart left the polling booth.
“Charlie! Long time no see.”
“Hey, Bill. Yeah, it’s been a while. You just finished voting?”
He nodded. “Yeah, I have. Voted for Mr C, of course. How long are you up here?”
“Army’s given me leave until Monday. We should catch up tomorrow.”
William nodded. “Yeah, we should. Swing around at Balquhidder tomorrow morning, Dad will love seeing you. See you then, Charlie.”
Charlie smiled. “See you then, Bill.”
The journalists looked around & saw Dr & Mrs Freeman arrive in their Mercedes. They left the car & walked over to their children who were waiting outside the front of the school.
“When should Michael be here?” Hannah asked.
“He should be here soon,” Dr Freeman answered, “I guess he’ll want to make an entrance for the cameras over there.”
Michael, ever the Showman.
Charlie goes up to his sister. “$10 says Michael’s in the Aston.”
Hannah smirked at her baby brother. “$10 says he’s in the Dodge.”
“You’re on.” Having shaken on their impromptu wager, their spouses could only shake their heads in bemusement, while their parents looked on in non surprise.
“Those kids never change, do they, George?”
He shook his head. “No. No, they don’t.”
The relative tranquil early afternoon was shattered by the roar of an engine. The journalists got into place & the cameras started rolling as Michael pulled up in his British racing green Aston Martin, top down of course. In the spring sunshine, Michael looked every inch the billionaire playboy people had made him out to be before he married Sofia, an image Michael kept up because he found it hilarious.
Charlie tapped his sister’s shoulder. “Pay up, sis.”
She reluctantly reached into her wallet & pulled out a $10 note to place into his hand.
“There. Happy?”
Charlie smiled. “Oh, yeah. You know that Aston is his favourite car.”
“Shut up.”
As the Aston came to a stop, Michael swapped his sunglasses for his normal reading glasses. He then unbuckled, opened the door & exited the car to walk over to his family, all of them waiting.
Mum spoke up. “You didn’t have to show off, Michael.”
“Trust me, Mum, if I wanted to show off, I’d show up in the Ferrari.”

As the Freeman family started to make their way inside, Charlie’s ex girlfriend Lisa Creswell left the booth & came across the Freeman family making their way inside.
“Lisa, Hi!”
Lisa smiled back at him, then to the rest of his family. “Hey, Michael.”
“Has your Dad already voted?”
She nodded. “Yeah. My parents came along this morning, & Monica & Archie should be coming later on.” She looked over to the cameras. “I’m guessing they’re for you.”
Michael nodded. “Yes. Yes they are. Well, we’d best get in & vote.”
Lisa nodded back. “Yeah. I’d best get back home. Good luck.”
Michael smiled. “Thanks. Tell your dad to swing around tonight. We’ve got an Election Night function at Ashwell. You’re all welcome.”
“I will.” With that, she gently walked past the cameras as they started to follow them inside.

The hall of Westfield Primary School was more than enough space to fit enough polling booths for all the Freemans to vote at once, but respecting their privacy, only Michael was filmed. After performing the obligatory smile & pose at the ballot box, Michael dropped his ballot paper inside & left the hall to go back to his car while waiting for his family to cast their votes, the cameras & journalists leaving with him.
While getting ready to leave the hall, Michael heard some kids hanging around outside.
“Check it out, it’s Michael’s Aston Martin.”
“Wow,” the other kids replied.
That sounds like young Noah & his mates.
Michael came outside & found Noah with a few of his friends. “Hi, Mr. Freeman.”
“Hi, Noah. Have your parents voted?”
He nodded. “Good. Have a good day.”
“You too, Mr Freeman.” Michael jumped into his car as his parents left the polling booth.
“You off now, Michael?” Mum called out.
“Yep. I need to clear my head before tonight.” With that, Michael started the Aston Martin & drove out of the school parking lot, in full view of the cameras.
It’s a bright, sunny day, Michael thought to himself, time to go & drive.

Michael could have driven anywhere; the Bay of Islands certainly has good roads for driving, & Michael certainly drove them when he could get away with it.
That, however, wasn’t the point of this drive.
I’m meant to clear my head, while I still can, & there are only two place places I can still do that – Ashwell, & Waikawau.
The dust of Freeman’s Road didn’t faze Michael in the slightest as he drove from Ashwell down the bay to Waikawau. As he came onto the straight before Waikawau Bridge, he looked out to the beach & the sapphire ocean beyond.
A good day for it. Truly a good day.

You know what? Let’s take the beach road.
Michael turned the car left to take the beach road; well, not a road exactly, more like a gravel track off the properly-done Freeman’s Road. In no time, he was at the entrance of Waikawau Beach on the Freeman end. Michael got out of the car & walked onto the beach itself, & the memories started flooding back as he walked along.
There’s where I kissed Katty when Selena wasn’t looking…there’s where I built sandcastles with Paris…there’s where us boys played war-games along the beach…there’s where all us cousins raced along the beach in summer…
Michael had walked halfway along to the large sandy area of the Waikawau “Delta”. Here was where we’d practice for the Holroyd Cup. I remember hitting the ball into the sea when I was 12 – Charlie managed to retrieve it.
He could see several figures on the Tamati end of the beach.
One, two, three, four adults, & a baby. Is that…
He headed over to his cousins standing in the middle of the beach. He saw them all: Tautoru & his baby boy Taramainuku, Frankie, Ash, Electra, all dressed weirdly casual & together on the beach.
“Hi, guys,” Michael turned to Tautoru, “I see you’ve got the same idea, Tautoru. You already voted?”
Tautoru nodded. “Yeah. I voted this morning, & came across these three at the booth. We’ve been here the whole day. You?”
“I just voted with my folks at the school, then I just drove off. Boy, are those cameras annoying. The journalists aren’t so bad, but the cameras,” he rolled his eyes, “I’m just lucky it’s all over.”
Ashleigh shook her head. “Not quite. There’s still tonight.”
“Oh, that’s right. You all voted?”
Everyone nodded. “Good. I hope the media didn’t give you too much trouble, Frankie.”
“They’ve been after me since I started doing The Showman’s Hour. Me being your cousin just made the scrutiny more intense. I mean honestly, my political opinions are not for the whole world to know.”
Michael remembered the intense response Frankie gave when a whole bunch of “celebrities” came out against the Democrats, & actually called on Frankie to come out against his cousin & repudiate his views & policies:

“I am not going to talk politics, my political views or opinions, or respond to these overly precious idiots who want me to join their mob. My political views are none of anyone else’s business, & I have no duty to disclose them to anyone. In any case, if I did oppose Michael Freeman’s policies, I would do the honourable thing & bring it up privately & in person, as you do with family.”

“Curiously, the hoopla has mostly been out of TVNZ & the Herald. Would you know anything about that, Ash?”
Ashleigh shook her head. “News is Katty’s department. I know I oversee all of Zealandia TV, but operational matters like that usually stop with her.” She turned to Michael. “I hope that was allowed?”
Michael rolled his eyes. “It’s only us here. It’s fine. Selena’s like that around me as well.”
Tautoru spoke up as he picked his son up off the beach. “I can’t believe it’s been a year since your Nan died.”
Michael looked down. “I can’t either. Especially with baby coming, I know she would’ve loved him. When Sofia & I got married, during her speech at our reception in Russia she basically told me I was a disappointment for not having a kid before Charlie…”
Everyone laughed hard at that one
“That’s Nanny Vic for you, no filter.” Ashleigh said, as the laughter was dying down.
Michael continued. “Sofia’s friends got a really good laugh out of that one, as well as her grandparents.”
Electra spoke. “You remember our Masterchef competition?”
Everybody nodded, then laughed. “Yeah,” Ashleigh replied, “and by the way, boys, all your meals were crap. Michael only ‘won’ because we had to choose someone.” Everybody laughed again at that.
Tautoru felt his son’s nappy. “Oh, time for a change.”

It was 9pm, & Michael hadn’t had dinner that night; he simply wasn’t hungry. Between his wife, now in her last month of pregnancy & tired, his parents, staying down the road at Westfield House, & the party members now starting to arrive, Michael was on the edge.
Irina walked up the steps into Michael’s private living room.
“Michael? You alright?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Just watching the result. You seen this?” He pointed to the screen:

LABOUR 25.3%

“We’re in front of Labour?”
“Yeah. It’s been hovering like that for an hour. Also, Fraser is in front in Rotorua, while Rachel is pulling ahead in Tauranga & John Young in Otaki.”
Hayley & her cameraman stepped up into the living room to set up for the interview, & Alfred walked up the steps as well.
“Fraser is on track to win Rotorua, & Rachel is on track to win Tauranga.”
Michael smiled. “Great.” He headed over to the other side of the room, to the counter, to open the wine bottle. “Amberdale’s Finest – Mr Creswell’s treat. Don’t tell Sofia.”
Alfred looked around. “Where is she, anyway?”
Michael pointed to the master bedroom. “In there. She’ll be out in about half an hour.”
Irina looked over to the bedroom door. “How’s baby doing?”
“He’s fine. We’re setting up this room over here as a nursery.”
Hayley looked at them from her seat on the other side of the room. “Michael, we’ll be ready in two minutes.”
Michael turned to the two of them. “Hurry, let’s get the wine out of the way. We don’t want to look like drunkards on television.” Alfred & Irina laughed as they moved the wine bottle & the glasses out of view of the camera as they left the living room for the stairs.

TV3 crossed to Hayley. “We are now live with Democratic Party leader Michael Freeman. How are you feeling right now, looking at the result?”
Michael lit up, in a slightly drunk way. “It looks like an amazing result, & we hope it continues.”
“Yes. Well, if this result continues, you & the Democrats would storm your way into Parliament. Have you given consideration to supporting Labour or National?”
Michael emphatically shook his head. “Absolutely not, Hayley. I have made our party’s policy concerning the formation of a government abundantly clear. We will not sell our soul to prop up Jennifer Anderson, & neither will we let ourselves be screwed by a National Party that, at the moment at least, has hardly earned a mandate. Before we move on, I must say that tonight is a victory for MMP & a defeat for both the two main parties. Two years ago I, as owner of Zealandia Media, took the fight to the media establishment, in the process dealing a black eye to TVNZ & a bloody nose to the Herald. Now, as leader of the Democratic Party, the good people of New Zealand have given us an opportunity to do the same thing to Labour & National. For that, I am exceedingly grateful. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a speech to prepare for in about 15 minutes, after which I’ll be happy to talk further. Thank you, & see you soon.”
With that, the camera stopped rolling. Hayley & the cameraman started to pack up to go downstairs. After the cameraman left, Hayley lingered a bit longer to engage a bit further with Michael.
“How old is this place?” Hayley asked, while adjusting her hair.
“Ashwell was built in the mid 1860s, about the time Major Freeman moved here. Over the generations, we’ve modernised the house while still retaining its heritage value.”
“Interesting. One more question: holding an election night party at your own home is a very unusual, perhaps even unique, choice for a party leader, even one with a sizable house like this one. Why here? I know you have a home in Epsom; you could’ve voted here in the morning, travelled down, & spent the evening there. Even if you wanted to stay up here in Northland, you could’ve held it at the Turner Centre, or even Westfield Town Hall. Why here?”
“You want to know why?” Michael pointed to his bedroom door. “Sofia wanted to be here with me, but being heavily pregnant it’s a bit of a mission. I’m just lucky the great hall can fit everyone. Now, you really should be off. I’m about to check in with Sofia before I come down.”
“Alright. See you, Michael.” With that, Hayley left to climb down the steps, but not before she met his eyes for another quick gaze.

“I won’t be able to do it, Michael,” Sofia said, lying down on the bed, “it’s too much to walk all the way down & around, especially at this time of night.”
“That’s fine, I expected that. Would you at least be able to stand at the balcony of the living room? I think that would brighten their spirits, or at least mine.”
Sofia smiled. “If I can’t stand there with you, you can at least see me.”
Sofia nodded. “I can do that. Let’s go.” Within a few minutes, Sofia was dressed & tidied up, with her rather long auburn hair tied into a bun.
They walked out of their bedroom through the study into their private living room on the way to the balcony.
Michael went ahead. “I’ll just quickly push the seat over to the railing.” Naturally, the people gathered below heard the couch being pushed, & in seconds the room was silent as everyone stared to the curtain as it opened up, revealing Michael, wearing the same navy blue suit & white shirt he’d worn all day with the same blue & ochre tie he’d worn at almost all his political meetings, with the heavily pregnant Sofia. They both waved at the gathered crowd, who were so happy to see them they started cheering.
Michael could observe everyone from his vantage point, & he saw them as he waved.
Mr Creswell, Lisa, even Monica & Archie. Even Mum & Dad made it up from Westfield House. Alfred, Irina, Tautoru, & all the rest.
I’m amazed they all could fit. Maybe Hayley had a point.
After a minute of cheering, Michael spoke briefly. “I’m on my way down, folks!” he then promptly left their sight while Sofia sat down.

With both TV cameras still pointed at the balcony, Courtney commented for the folks watching TVNZ 1’s Election Night coverage.

“This is it, everyone. Michael Freeman is about to speak. He is making his way down from his living room where he has seen the results coming in all evening, & what a result it is. 25.7% & 31 seats for a party that didn’t exist just two years ago. The Democrats have done it, they have stormed their way into Parliament & will cause chaos as they have denied both Jennifer Anderson & Andrew Marshall the numbers to form a government in an election that is truly one for the ages.”

The crowd roared in applause as Michael entered the Great Hall from the back.
“MICHAEL! MICHAEL! MICHAEL! MICHAEL!” The chanting continued as Michael walked along the blue carpet to the dais at the front, where the podium had been laid out & was ready for him.
Having made it to the front, he climbed the steps onto the dais & proceeded to the podium. When he made it, the mood in the room changed from celebration to euphoria. Michael could only smile as the cheering revved up another gear before starting to die down. As it died down, Michael felt the TV cameras in the corner pointing straight at him.
The eyes of the country are on me.
Don’t screw this up.

“Good evening friends, & what a good evening this is!

“I would like to take this moment to thank the good people of New Zealand who have become so sick & tired of politics as usual, who are fed up with Labour & National over promising change but never delivering, who have like me been banging their heads against the wall as governments come & go but things stay the same, who have become frustrated at how narrow political debate has become, who found themselves thinking the so-called unthinkable, & see in us an opportunity to hit the major parties where it hurts. As usual, & unlike everyone else, I make no promises to make everything better – even with a mind-blowing result like this, the reality is that we will not be forming the next government of New Zealand; in fact, a cursory glance at the electoral maths before I came down shows that neither Labour nor National have the numbers to form a government with a majority in the next House of Representatives. That means that, thanks to everyone who voted for us, we are about to enter some very interesting times.
“But more on that soon. Before I talk about that, let me just speak a little about how wonderful it was to travel around New Zealand campaigning. From town halls to farmers markets, from marae to speedways, from cafés & eateries to Saturday sports games & even public libraries, having in the course of the campaign met people from North to South, from East to West, life on the campaign trail has not only confirmed my eternal love for New Zealand & New Zealanders, but also confirms that I have made the right decision in putting myself forward to serve New Zealand & New Zealanders as I am able, & I am sad to say that such service is needed in a time such as this.
“Before I entered politics, I grew increasingly sad at what has happened to our country. Governments, dominated by both Labour & National, seemingly adopted a position of silence on important matters such as geopolitics, defence, national security, the continuing decline of our economy about which they both do nothing, & the slow but sure transformation of New Zealand into a nation which not only isn’t one, but has no sense of national dignity, such is the nature of our servility towards everyone, from the United Nations to the United States, to China, even Australia. They don’t treat us like an ally or even a partner; they treat us like a dog, like a slave. They expect us to blindly follow them into their madness, & both Labour & National eagerly push us into serving these masters gratefully.
“Well, I say no more. I say tonight, we start our road out of this mess. Tonight, we will start standing up for New Zealand’s interests, even where they conflict with those of our trading partners, our friends, even our allies. Tonight, we begin our march to Wellington from all over the country, to go to Parliament, to take our seats in the House, & cast fire upon the floor of the House against whichever government manages to be formed.
“That statement almost gives away the position the Democratic Party will take after the election in the new House. We see that, on the current numbers, neither Labour nor National have the numbers to put together a government that possesses the confidence of the new House. I know that one of the main questions, probably the question more people have asked me than any other, is about what we would do in exactly this position.
Here is the Democratic position – we will not sell out to Satan or Lucifer.
“We know what the major parties do – they will say they are cooperating with us in a coalition, but the reality is that, given the chance, they would screw us, they would marginalise us, they would happily take the kudos for all the successes while lambasting us for all its failures. Within three years, they would destroy us, & this moment, this moment of a genuinely multi party system, would be over, & we would continue on this current path unabated. We’ve seen the parties that have gone into government only to end up in the political graveyard; some have managed to rise again, but generally they’ve stayed dead.
“Faced with those odds, faced with that probability, why would we sell out to Labour or to National & be part of a government for three years & then get destroyed? Why would we save the very parties that we are here to destroy? I’m sorry, but going into government with parties that want to destroy us is something we will not do – we simply aren’t that stupid.
“In the days & weeks ahead, our caucus will gather to discuss our plan going forward, but rest assured, friends, the day Parliament opens, we will all be in the House, & we will be ready for war.”

The Media Wars: How Michael Freeman Made a Name for Himself Before Politics

When Michael Freeman founded the Democratic Party in September 2022, many people across the political spectrum were scared of him. There were several reasons they were scared, but there were many who weren’t, for they thought that some eccentric twenty-something billionaire had no chance in politics, especially not against Prime Minister Jacqueline Anderson or Leader of the Opposition Andrew Marshall. However, those who were scared of Michael were scared because of what he did in the media world, & his soon to be political opponents were scared he’d utilise his aggressive skills he’d honed in media to achieve his political ends.

He would.

When Michael bought both Stuff & Mediaworks TV in April 2020 for $90 million, he stormed his way into national consciousness. Before then, he was only known as the “Luckiest Man in the World”, having won NZ $1.3 billion in three lotteries around the world. Having bought the two outlets, he promised to announce within three months “a massive shakeup of New Zealand’s media landscape.

He did.

The 23-year-old announced several things at a press conference in June 2020:
• That Mediaworks TV would merge with Stuff to form Zealandia Media. Mediaworks, as the TV division of ZM would be named Zealandia Television (ZTV), while Stuff would be renamed Zealandia Press (ZP).
• That Stuff would integrate with each of the newspapers in forming the multimedia media platform Zealandia Press Online ( which would be structured along regional lines, centred around one of their newspapers. However, to remedy the fact that ZP didn’t have a non-community paper serving Northland or Auckland (which had essentially been given up to the Herald), Michael announced the return of the Auckland Star as the Auckland arm & as the flagship paper of Zealandia Press.
• That Michael would dedicate $25 million to local journalism “so that local journalists at our small & frankly undervalued local community papers can report more widely on local affairs, especially the oft-ignored actions of local government.”
• That Michael would personally contribute $150 million to help Zealandia TV take on TVNZ.
• That Newshub would be dismantled.
He committed to do something massive before the end of the year, & after he returned to New Zealand after several weeks in the UK, he made an announcement which shook up New Zealand television & ended up being the first shot in what would become the Media Wars when he announced a five-year exclusive programming deal with the UK’s ITV & Channel 4, starting from 2021. Just like that, TVNZ lost shows like Coronation Street, Emmerdale & The Chase, & especially with The Chase, the valuable revenue & ratings that came along with them leading into the news. When the announcement was made, everyone’s mouths opened up, thinking about how it was possible for TV3, which before could never compete with TVNZ for programming, let alone British programming, could suddenly just casually take TVNZ staples away from them. This one action earned for Michael an eternal hatred from the folks at TVNZ, which would have far-reaching consequences.

In early 2021, Michael formally severed Mediaworks’ TV & radio arms, & added TV4 to the Zealandia Television stable. Michael made massive changes in the current affairs department, replacing The Project with new investigative current affairs show The Story, providing a massive contrast between TV3 & TVNZ in terms of current affairs. In addition, the Monday night line-up was billed as Primetime Politics, with The Nation moving to 7:30pm & in-depth political discussion show The Issue afterwards at 8:30pm.

Even Michael was surprised when they both became hits.

To top it all off, Michael’s other contribution to New Zealand television came with a variety show, an idea he’d had while in London during the negotiations with ITV. Michael described his vision for the show as:
“Nice, clean family friendly entertainment without the ghastly swearing & politics. I mean come on, surely it’s possible to be hilarious without bitch this, fuck that & all the lecturing about whatever political issue happens to be the issue of the day.”
Michael was surprised, of course, to find that TV3 had cast his cousin Frankie Perusse, the son of legendary Maori entertainer John Thomas, as the host of The Showman’s Hour, & when he’d been announced it had caused controversy when more established entertainers were overlooked in favour of “the boss’ cousin,” never mind of course that Frankie was a good performer in his own right, & Michael himself said that he had no influence over the casting. That said, those who did choose him told Michael later that they didn’t want the Showman to be a household name, & that Perusse impressed them greatly, with his singing, acting & interviewing skills as well as his stage presence, & that they didn’t know Freeman & Perusse were related until the media reports, & that it certainly wouldn’t have influenced them even if they did know. With all the controversy, it certainly hyped up the show leading up to its first episode, which set a TV3 record for a premiere. It would fast become a TV institution, & The Showman would quickly become a household name.

These plans, & the fast implementation thereof, however, were put on hold for some time when Michael announced in mid 2022 that Michael would resign from management (but not ownership) of Zealandia Media as preparation for entering politics. He delegated management of ZM to the Zealandia Media Trust Board, chaired by Selena Fraser, his cousin, with whom be became close over his teenage years as he lived with her family while they attended Prince of Wales College & Auckland University together. Before he resigned, he directed the Board to implement the rest of Michael’s vision for Zealandia Media “& develop upon that.”

Thus, Michael said goodbye to media & hello to politics with his foundation of the Democratic Party of New Zealand, his “merry band of political outcasts” with whom he would “dismantle the New Zealand Political Establishment.”

The Last Loyalist, Chapter 4

A Note: Just as I was uploading this, I realised that this is the first chapter of The Last Loyalist that I have uploaded in 11 months. In that case, if you need a refresher, you may like to go here & read the preceding chapters before reading this one. In any case, I hope you enjoy this one, & I hope that after this, I can continue writing at some pace.

Michael remembered the TVNZ interview like it was yesterday:

It was possibly the most explosive moment of the former Government’s republic referendum campaign. Of all the party leaders, Michael was the only one who supported the monarchy, & he managed to whip the Democrats into line; even Lewis Burton was neutral on that matter, seeing a clear split in his party over the issue. Michael had perhaps spent more time campaigning to retain the monarchy than for his own party; Michael would explain in that interview why, as well as other things.

Jack Thomas was always an aggressive, but not heavily partisan interviewer. Don’t get me wrong; he was no friend of Michael’s, whether for his views or for the kick in the pants Zealandia TV gave TVNZ when Michael was at the helm (most TVNZ employees harboured a hatred of Michael because of it). Michael just didn’t like interviews, much preferring the written word, mainly due to his familiarity with them through writing editorials for the Southern Cross back when he was Editor. Nevertheless, on important matters he was always available. Today, Jack’s line of questioning was more aggressive than usual, perhaps with a dose of Gotcha:
“There has been speculation, Michael, that you may not accept the result of the referendum. Is that true, or is it just fake news?”
Michael smiled & almost laughed. “Of course I’ll accept the result of the referendum. I hope that whoever we are, we all accept the result of the referendum, whatever that result may be, as the will of the people.”
“So, if you’re elected to the next Parliament & the Yes side wins, you would take the Oath of Allegiance to a New Zealand republic?”
Michael instantly shook his head. “No, I wouldn’t. In fact, I’d rather end my political career than declare allegiance to a republic.”
Jack was taken aback by the bombshell. “Sorry, Michael. You just said before that you’d accept the result of the referendum, but then say you’d end your political career if you had to pledge allegiance to a republic. How can you justify that?
“It’s simple, Jack. As far as I am concerned, republicanism is treason.”
Jack’s eyes widened & his mouth gaped open at the Leader of the Opposition’s words “Did I hear you correctly? Did you just call supporters of a republic Traitors?”
Michael simply nodded.

Michael woke the next morning tired.

He woke up at 8am, an hour later than he planned & just under eight hours since he returned from the Beehive. It was intense; his three hour videoconference with the British PM degenerated into a shouting match quickly, between Michael calling Daniel a traitor & Daniel calling Michael a fascist, they got nowhere. By the time he called time, Michael & Alfred were both exhausted, & needed to go home.
Is that French toast? Michael thought to himself as he smelled the whiff of breakfast waft up into his first floor bedroom. I’d best get downstairs.

“Morning, Mike.” Tautoru greeted his cousin from the dining room table. “Sofia’s in the kitchen, grabbing the orange juice. She’ll be in here soon.”
Oh, wonderful. “Good. How was your night?”
“Good. How was yours?”
“Not very good at all,” Michael began, “After I returned here, I got called back to the Beehive to talk to the British Prime Minister. Safe to say, he hates me.”
Sofia walked in with the orange juice. “From the spying scandal, it looks like he’s always hated you.”
Tautoru turned his attention to the French toast on his plate, & proceeded to eat. Just as Michael set to do the same thing, he felt the vibration of his phone, so he grabbed it out of his pocket & placed it down on the table.
He saw the notification. “Crap. It’s a text from James.”
What is it with him & interrupting my breakfast. It had better be important.
Oh, crap. It is. “I’ll have my breakfast in the family room. Apparently there’s something I need to see.”
His wife & cousin promptly picked up their breakfasts & walked into the family room with Michael, who had laid down his on the bar counter to handle the remote.
As he turned the TV on to Breakfast, he saw that the 8am news bulletin showed footage of a clash between the Army & protestors.
Is that The Mall? “Oh, boy.”
“Britain is in chaos as soldiers defend Buckingham Palace against violent pro-Parliament demonstrators,” announced the newsreader, “as this crisis enters a third evening with no end in sight, all the leaders are being pressured to find a solution…”
Solution? Michael thought while eating his breakfast. What solution? It just looks like carnage. What kind of solution could be reached here? What are they even aiming for here?

Michael walked into his office to see James looking rather serious.
“Michael,” he started, “we’ve got something to sort…”
“Yes, James. I saw the scenes at the Mall. How’s His Majesty?”
“We don’t know,…”
“Then find out. We need to know what’s going on.” He then sat down at his desk & got to work for a few minutes until James returned to turn on the screen.
Alfred walked into the room. “Have you seen the scenes in London, Michael? This is beginning to get very bad very fast, Michael. Have you seen the British news?”
“The aftermath of my speech? I’ve seen a bit.”
Alfred nodded. “None of it good news, I’m afraid. You’re being accused of interfering.”
James interrupted. “Oh, by the way, you’re about to be interviewed by the BBC about this. You’ve got our talking points sussed?”
Michael furrowed his brow. Talking points? You know I don’t do talking points, James. “Where are we getting set up?”
James pointed at the floor. “Here. We’re all clearing out after you get hooked up.”

“Why is it, Prime Minister, that you have come out in support of the King?”
Boy, this brings back memories. “That’s a very good question, Lewis,” Michael began his response. “I became Prime Minister last year during a time when the future of the Monarchy itself was in question here in New Zealand, & in that campaign I was the only party leader that supported the Monarchy. The only one.
“All the others, Lewis, supported New Zealand becoming a republic. I am just saying that I did not defend the Monarchy against everyone else just to see stuff like this happen, which is, if I’m going to be honest, an attempted coup on the part of the Prime Minister.
Lewis, the BBC interviewer, gasped open at Michael’s words. “Michael, have you seen the protests in London that are happening as we speak? Have you seen the anger of the people who are furious that the King is frustrating the will of the people, frustrating democracy, who is using the Army against the people? How can you justify that, Prime Minister?”
“Justify what, a Governmental temper tantrum? Oh please. The only frustrating folk I see are the Government, who are frustrated that His Majesty hasn’t signed into law a clearly badly written Bill that, if I was to pass here in New Zealand, would be rightfully condemned as a piece of legislation that, if properly implemented, will be deeply restrictive to freedom of speech, freedom of the press & human rights in general. As a defender of the constitution, I applaud, commend & defend His Majesty, & personally regard the actions of the Parliament of the United Kingdom in passing an Abdication Bill against His Majesty’s consent as treasonous.”
Lewis’ mouth dropped again. “I’m sorry, did I hear you call the British Parliament traitors?”
Michael shook his head. “I called their actions treasonous, as I have done so several times both publicly & privately, notably in the House of Representatives yesterday. You may not understand the difference, but there is one.”
Lewis moved on. “You’ve seen the British media reports that accuse you of interfering in British politics with your support of the King? Can you answer those accusations?”
“Of course, Lewis. Personally, I found it awfully naive on the part of the British Parliament to think that they could overthrow the King, replace him with the Prince of Wales & conveniently forget that the Monarchy does not belong to the British alone.
Frankly, I’m surprised my British counterpart didn’t see this coming.
Did they honestly think that they could just casually engineer an overthrow & expect the rest of us to meekly go along with what I view essentially as treason? I can understand some of the smaller realms going along with this, but Canada should be ashamed of themselves, especially Prime Minister Bennett, who less than twelve hours ago rammed a Canadian Abdication Bill through both the House of Commons & the Senate under urgency, & Governor-General Bergeron who ratified it. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all traitors too.”
Lewis, for the third or fourth time, looked shocked. “Did you just call the Canadian government & Parliament traitors as well?”
Michael only nodded.
Again, Lewis moved on. “The Prince of Wales has offered to mediate between the King & Parliament. What do you think about that?”
Michael pondered for a while. “Well, it’s a bit late for that. It seems that London is already headed for chaos, & all I have ever sought is to protect New Zealand’s interests.”
Lewis found that a convenient place to end the interview. “Thank you, Prime Minister.”

Michael ate lunch alone, as he generally did after interviews, especially intense interviews like that one. Michael ate his filled roll in relative peace.
This isn’t going to go down well, is it?

I’m not delusional about what’s happening here. By standing up for the King, I know I risk falling out with Britain over this, & after that outburst perhaps we may even fall out with Canada, for whatever that’s worth. I know I could have phrased many of those statements better; I could have toned down the treason talk.
But they still know not what they do.
At every turn, everyone has been surprised at my words & my actions. Honestly, why should there have been any surprise? My policies, my views, they haven’t changed one bit, have they? Oh, that’s right. Everyone expected me to become incontinent at the first sign of trouble.
Well, they’re all wrong, aren’t they?
I’ve got the resolve to follow this to the bitter end, but can I trust the rest?

Michael had over the years developed a talent for maximising media coverage for himself, even if he was doing the most boring & banal things. He had to; even if he’d made his name in the media business, he knew he’d never get an easy time as a politician, even if he paid their salaries. Not that he’d wished for it, as he told them when he resigned from active involvement in Zealandia Media.
One of his most effective tactics was timing his press conferences conveniently. For announcements that he really wanted publicised far & wide, he timed his conferences for 6pm. That way, he could be guaranteed not only TV news coverage, but breaking news.
That was the effect Michael was aiming for here.

After an afternoon of intense discussions concerning these affairs, Michael was about to inform the media (& through them the good people of New Zealand) of his plans concerning the unfolding crisis.
“Good evening, everyone. I know that many of you are not terribly happy at being torn away from your dinner. I’ll keep this statement short, because I’m hungry as well:
“Many of you may have watched the interview I have given to the BBC concerning the crisis unfolding concerning the Monarchy. In the interview I referred to events surrounding the Canadian Parliament & government passing an Abdication Bill, with the effect that Canada now recognises the Prince of Wales as King of Canada. As it happens, the Canadian High Commission has asked me to retract & apologise for my words in that interview where I described the Parliament of Canada & Prime Minister Bennett as traitors who should be ashamed of themselves.
I will not retract my words, & I will never apologise for speaking the truth.
I never retracted my words condemning the actions of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for passing the Abdication Bill, nor did I apologise for calling Prime Minister Evans a traitor for leading this charge against the King. Considering that, for what reason would I have to not use similar words to condemn similar actions undertaken by the Canadian government & Parliament? In fact, Canada’s actions are worse, as theirs actually succeeded in overthrowing His Majesty as King of Canada.
I will make no further comment on Canada, but I do wish to make a statement concerning New Zealand’s position regarding this:
I will never introduce an Abdication Bill before the House of Representatives.
No Minister of His Majesty’s Government in New Zealand will introduce an Abdication Bill before the House of Representatives.
No Member of Parliament who is a member of the Democratic Party of New Zealand will introduce an Abdication Bill as a Private Member’s Bill before the House of Representatives.
If, for some reason, an opposition member introduces an Abdication Bill as a Private Member’s Bill before the House of Representatives, then this Government will treat such a Bill as a matter of confidence, & shall vote accordingly. We will, in that instance, make such notice to the Conservative Party, who has agreed to support us on votes of confidence & supply, & we would hope that, in the event that such a situation eventuate, they would vote accordingly.
The position of this Government is one of loyalty to the King; unbending, unbreaking loyalty. That position will not shift, even if we are the last loyalists in the Commonwealth.
I make this final statement concerning the Monarchy: unless the British Parliament revokes their support for His Majesty’s abdication, then we will have to ask some very hard questions.” With that, Michael left to meet his wife at their apartment; due to the intense political situation, Michael could not go to Mt. Victoria.
Lucky I never sold my apartment.

Part 1: The Opening Months, or the Major Developments Between July & October 2038

The Regency & Succession: A Prologue to War

King George VII died in early May of 2038.
Before he died, the government passed (with his reluctant approval) the Act of Succession 2038, which barred from succession to the Throne of New Zealand “all those who committed treason against His Majesty in pledging allegiance to the Prince of Wales”. This had the effect of barring from the succession the entirety of the House of Windsor.
This left the New Zealand monarchy in a crisis. With no clear heir, it had all the makings of a constitutional crisis. Thankfully, the King organised Letters Patent providing for a Regency that shall govern New Zealand until an heir is found, & just before he died he appointed Michael Freeman, the Duke of Northland, to become His Excellency the Lord Regent, Governor-General & Commander-in-Chief in and over the Realm of New Zealand, with power to choose the next heir.
After the King was buried beside the Queen at Waitangi, the Lord Regent set to choosing the method of succession & the matter of the heir. It was by no means easy; they had to sift through hundreds of potential heirs who may or may not have been excluded by the Act of Succession. After a week of discussions with senior ministers, Michael decided that the question of the succession would be put to an Electoral College Convened by the Lord Regent, Governor-General & Commander-in-Chief in and over the Realm of New Zealand for the Purpose of Resolving the Succession of and the Election of an Heir to His late Majesty King George the Seventh to the Throne of the said Realm. To that end, he decided that the following officials would be part of the College:

• The Lord Regent, as President of the Electoral College
• All Senators
• All Members of the House of Representatives
• All Superintendents of the Provinces
• All Members of the Legislative Assemblies of the provinces
• All Members of the legislatures of the Cook Islands, Tokelau & Niue

This created an Electoral College of almost 800 members (796 to be precise), which only left the matter of the candidates, which would be left to the electors. Michael did create some basic criteria for the candidates:
• The candidate needed the nomination of at least 5% of all electors (40 electors)
• The candidate needed to consent to their nomination
• The nomination needs to be accepted by the Secretariat of the Electoral College (headed by the Clerk of the Parliaments & including the Clerk of the House & all provincial Clerks) before midday on Friday 4th June 2038 (the Electoral College would meet for the first time the next day at 2pm).
The first session of the College was held on the afternoon of Saturday 5th June. At that first session, the nominations of the candidates were scrutinised, & the successful candidates’ nominations were accepted.
The following candidates were nominated by electors:

• HG The Duke of Northland, by The Hon. Archibald Creswell MLA & 67 others
• HH Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway, by The Hon. George Williams & 56 others
• HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Duke of Värmland, by The Rt. Hon. Alfred Williams PC MP & 46 others
• HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, by Andrew Rose MLA & 41 others
• Senna Kowhai Lewis, by Lawrence Hunter MP & 39 others

HE The Lord Regent, as President of the College, disallowed the nomination of Miss Lewis on grounds that her mother, Lady Davina Windsor, was among those who pledged allegiance to the Prince of Wales, & as such is barred from nomination under the Act of Succession.
As such, the Lord Regent announced that four candidates’ nominations have been accepted:

• HG The Duke of Northland (himself)
• HH Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway
• HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Duke of Värmland
• HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia
After a few housekeeping motions, at 3pm the first ballot was held.

Before the first ballot was held, former Prime Minister Senator Jacqueline Anderson, on behalf of the Labour Party & John Samuels MP, Leader of the Green Party, delivered a joint statement:

“We condemn the actions of Michael Freeman, the so-called “Duke of Northland”, the self-proclaimed “Lord Regent”, in attempting to resolve the succession to the former King without the consultation, let alone the consent, of the people. We reiterate our support for a Republic, & seek to have no further part in this illegitimate process.”

In the first ballot, the votes were as such:
HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden – 118 votes
HRH Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia – 113 votes
HG The Duke of Northland – 330 votes
HH Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway – 145 votes
In the first ballot, the required majority was 530 votes (75% of the 706 present & participating electors) & the required quota of votes to qualify for the second round was 35 votes (5% of the said 706 votes). No candidates were eliminated in the first ballot.
Four more ballots were held before the Duke of Northland was elected on the fifth ballot with 498 votes to the 208 votes received by Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway, the most senior non-Windsor heir & favourite of the succession sticklers that tried to ensure that King George VII’s heir was at least a distant relation.

The Prelude to War

When the Duke of Northland was elected King of New Zealand in June 2038, he suspected that he would soon be fighting a war for the very throne he’d just been elected to. That said, even he would not expect just how quickly he’d have to fight it.
An hour after his election, he dissolved Parliament & called for fresh elections for the 59th Parliament. It was no snap election; it was simply an election brought up a few months because the King believed that circumstances demanded it. The republican opposition opposed the dissolution. Later, however, the republican opposition decided to contest the election (their original plan was to boycott) & undermine the new Monarchy through the election of a pro-Republic Parliament.
Their plan failed.
88 pro-Monarchy MPs were returned, & only 32 pro-Republic MPs were elected. Those 32 MPs, joined by the 6 pro-Republic Senators instead boycotted the opening of Parliament on 27 July & instead booked the Auckland Town Hall & declared their Republic of Aotearoa New Zealand, in the same building as the Auckland City Council & only a short walk from the Auckland Provincial Assembly.
Immediately, events moved quickly. Within an hour, pro-Monarchy protests were erupting in Auckland & pro-Republic ones in Wellington. The military was fast getting involved, as the Auckland Police pledged allegiance to the Republic & started crushing the protests. King Michael ordered the complete mobilisation of the Territorial Army to restore order, but many units defected to the Republic & started fighting those who remained loyal to the King. That afternoon, every provincial assembly debated & carried resolutions giving their allegiance; only Wellington voted for a republic. Between this & the fact that of Wellington’s 11 infantry battalions, all but 3 defected to the Republic, King Michael, fast sensing that the Capital would soon fall into republican hands, would make plans to leave Wellington for the relative safety of Northland, his home, & would clear out Wellesley Palace too, lest the Republican Army destroy any of the treasures contained therein. “We can always rebuild the Palace if the Republicans destroy it,” the King told them when he made the decision to leave, “if we lose the paintings, Throne, or the Crown, they’re gone forever.”. Even Parliament made plans to move, but where to exactly was a problem, as no city was safely under Monarchist control, & most were battlefields, & would be for some time.
In the opening weeks of the war, the Territorials were busy attempting to consolidate control over as much of the vast provinces in the country as they could. Likewise, the Republicans tried to do the same over the cities of Auckland & Wellington, where in the former they had a slight advantage over the Territorials, in the latter they had a great advantage; in fact it is in the first few weeks of the war that the position of Governor has its origins:

The Defence of Wellington & its Legacy

When the Wellington Legislative Assembly voted to support the Republic, King Michael immediately issued a proclamation dissolving them (one that coincidentally neither the Assembly nor the Republican Government recognised. In fact the government thanked the Wellington Assembly for supporting them). When they were dissolved, the King appointed Brigadier George William Smith (the Commander of the Wellington Brigade, who’d stayed loyal to the King) to serve as Governor & His Majesty’s Lieutenant in the Province of Wellington, a unique creation of the King’s own, inspired by not only royal governors but also that of the British Lords Lieutenant & commissioned through Letters Patent which had been barely modified from those of the old Governors-General. Brigadier Smith would not only serve as commander of the Wellington Territorials (which at that point was three infantry battalions, an artillery battery & an armoured squadron without tanks), but would also have a civil function as the King’s provincial representative & head of Wellington’s civil government. This position would serve as a template for the establishment of Governors for all the provinces after the war.
After the King left Wellington, Brigadier Smith made the decision to retreat from Trentham Military Camp (which was beginning to become indefensible due to having to defend against the 4th & 5th Battalions advancing from Lower Hutt) to Carterton & set up an exile camp & also to govern from there. The 3rd Battalion, stationed at Trentham, retreated over the Remutaka Ranges, & the 11th Battalion, recruited from Wairarapa, had no need to leave. Even A Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifles & 409 Battery managed to escape safely.
However, the same could not be said of the 7th Battalion.
Having so valiantly defended the King against Republican attacks on all sides, they had no way out to Carterton. The NZ Republican Army had blocked all exits out of Wellington, & any escape over Wellington Harbour would have been sunk by either 410 Battery at Hawkins Hill or 411 Battery at the hastily renovated Fort Ballance. With the rest of the battalions in Wellington City alone outnumbering them 4 to 1, let alone those marching into the city from Hutt, Porirua & Kapiti, the 7th was in a very desperate position. Facing almost certain annihilation, their CO, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Grey, made an order to the 7th Battalion that would go down in history:

We fight to the last. We surrender when we die. If you are lucky enough to survive & you can make it to Carterton, tell Brigadier Smith of the courage of your fallen comrades & remember us when you return.
May God save the King, & May God Defend New Zealand.

With that the 7th Battalion fought to the last, they scattered throughout Wellington. Colonel Grey was killed on 7 August, fighting, gun in hand. By the end of August, over half (273) of that battalion were dead. In early September, a whole platoon tried to escape by crossing Cook Strait on a collection of dinghies.
They were all sunk, & the rough waters of the Tasman Sea did the rest.
In the end, only 23 made the long journey to Carterton, & of them only one (Lieutenant Mark Stone) was an officer. Around them the 7th Battalion (redesignated as 2nd Battalion, Wellington City Regiment) was mobilised with the support of thousands of Wellington Exiles, pro-King Wellingtonians who left their homes & families to join the Territorial Army & fight for the liberation of the capital & their home.

Total Carnage: The Beginning of the War in Auckland

In Auckland, the situation was deteriorating rapidly.
The King’s two eldest children, the heir to the throne Alexander & his younger sister Victoria, were attending King George VII College when the war broke out, & they were targeted by the Republican Army, some of which wished to kidnap then for ransom, others simply wanted to murder them. Queen Sofia, distressed at her two eldest children stuck in a war zone, oversaw Operation Tsaritsa, where the two teenagers would be ferried through central Auckland until they arrive at RNZAF Base Auckland, where they were successfully taken to safety in Northland.
Meanwhile, fighting in much of Auckland quickly ground to a stalemate. In most of Auckland (with the exception of Mt. Albert & Mt. Eden), the Republicans had little more than a slight advantage over the Territorials, not being able to unleash their full advantage as they were not able to fully consolidate anywhere, except in Mt. Albert, Mt. Eden & on the North Shore around the Hibiscus Coast & East Coast Bays. Meanwhile, the Territorials managed to consolidate in west Auckland with a view to defend the Air Force base in Whenuapai. This state of affairs would be the case for several months, until late September, when the newly trained Territorial Army volunteers took to rushing Republican positions in what became known as the Spring Offensive. However, the NZRA pressed their advantage over them in Auckland with tanks & artillery, & killed over 300 Territorial soldiers in a single day (3 October), & within two weeks the Republican volunteers, not fully trained but better trained than the Territorial Army, who needed more training but were better equipped mentally & had far greater initiative with their tactics, ended the Territorial Spring Offensive & created another stalemate.
Again, Auckland ground to a standstill.
And it would be like that for most of the war.

Rout Them All: The War in the Provinces

In the provinces, the vast majority of Territorial Army units declared their allegiance to the King, & those that didn’t were dealt to with some haste:

• The 3rd Battalion, Northland Regiment, held central Whangarei for all of three hours until they surrendered to the combined might of the rest of the Northland Brigade.
• In similar fashion, the 3rd & 7th Battalions, Waikato Regiment took to occupying respectively the Huntly power station & Hamilton City Council, until they both surrendered, completely outnumbered, outgunned & demoralised by their enemies who remained loyal to the King (in the case of the 7th, they were destroyed by a force quadruple their size, as of the 5 battalions recruited from Hamilton, only the 7th declared for the Republic).
• The 4th Battalion, Bay of Plenty Regiment (recruited from Tauranga) held central Tauranga for two days until they surrendered to the rest of the Bay of Plenty Brigade.
There were, however, some NZRA units who held out lounger:
• 11 Waikato quickly occupied Taupo & the rest of southern Waikato, & made attempts to advance on Waiouru. However, they were defeated by a combined action from much of Central Command, with involvement of units from the 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th Brigades. They surrendered in Taupo on 19 August.
• 3 Taranaki marched on Stratford while 1 & 2 Taranaki consolidated in New Plymouth. While in Stratford they took to occupying the town & took the Taranaki Superintendent & Legislative Assembly hostage, while the 3rd Battalion’s CO, Lt. Col. Troy Pearce (a decorated veteran of the Pacific War) declared himself temporary military governor of Taranaki. 1 & 2 Taranaki promptly marched on Stratford & met them in battle. As the Territorial soldiers were about to retake Stratford & were in sight of the Assembly building, the remaining soldiers detonated it, with MLAs & Superintendent inside on 9 August.

In any case, these battalions were long defeated by springtime.

The War in the South

The Civil War even affected the South Island, as several Territorial Army units declared for the Republic:

• 3rd Battalion, Nelson Regiment (recruited from Marlborough & Kaikoura) occupied Blenheim & early on 28 July, & quickly marched on Kaikoura to secure control there.
• 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment (one of two recruited from northern Canterbury) found itself in conflict with the 1st Battalion, & retreated to Amberley, where they set up camp & sought to consolidate & defend Republican gains in Marlborough & Kaikoura.
• Of the 8 battalions raised from the city of Christchurch, 6 remained loyal to the King while 2 (the 5th & 8th Battalions) declared for the Republic. By 3 August, they were chased out of Christchurch, making that city one of the first major cities (after Tauranga) to be secured by pro-King forces, & provided a quick defeat comes for the Republican Army in Canterbury, Christchurch was a leading contender for the site of the temporary Monarchist capital.
• After the 5th & 8th battalions retreated from Christchurch, they assisted the 11th Battalion, Canterbury Regiment (one of two raised from Selwyn) rout the 12th Battalion (who stayed loyal to the King) out of Rolleston, then the three battalions took Burnham Military Camp on 7 August as the 12th retreated into the high country & began consolidating there while waiting for assistance.
• The 14th Battalion (recruited from South Canterbury) broke up as C Company stayed loyal to the King & fled to Twizel while an under strength 14th Battalion consolidated their strength in Timaru, knowing that company would recruit one battalion, maybe two in the high country. Like a lot of Republican soldiers stuck on the Canterbury coast, they knew they would not be safe as long as Monarchist forces were up in the high country waiting & biding their time.
• 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment took control of Queenstown by sunset on 27 July, & took Wanaka by sunrise the next morning.
• 4th Battalion, Otago Regiment (one of three recruited from Dunedin) occupied the city centre & dared the 3rd & 5th to attack. The 4th managed to secure the city with the help of B Squadron, Otago Mounted Rifles, while A Squadron (stationed in Alexandra with 506 Battery & the 1st Battalion) focused on defeating the 2nd Battalion.

With both Southland battalions backing the King, their commander, Brigadier William MacDonald ordered them alongside A Squadron, Southland Mounted Rifles & 507 Battery to Mosgiel to consolidate their forces there and prepare for an attack on Dunedin.
In mid August, 506 Battery & A Squadron moved to Mosgiel to join with the rest of the Southland forces & march on Dunedin. The Battle of Dunedin was fought between the morning of the 14th & the evening of the 17th of August. In the course of that battle they were assisted by HMNZS Otago & Auckland blockading the harbour. After the surrender of the 4th Battalion, the rest of the 14th Brigade set off for Queenstown. Meanwhile, the 2nd Battalion set up defences at Clyde & Cromwell. The combined strength of the rest of the 14th Brigade meant that the Republican defences were overcome in 2 days, & the 2nd Battalion surrendered in Queenstown on 27th August 2038.

Reorganisation: Integrating the Volunteers, & their Motivations

After the flurry of activity in the opening weeks of the war, by the end of August the fighting had mostly died down, & would do so until the end of September with the Spring Offensive in Auckland. This was because both the Territorial Army & the Republican Army were busy training the thousands of recruits who volunteered to fight.
For the recruits, many who would fight were doing so because they believed in the cause that each army was fighting for. Many ordinary people were surprised when they heard the news of the Duke of Northland’s election to the Throne. This has to be kept in mind when assessing the motivations of ordinary New Zealanders to fight in this civil war.
Most, if not almost all, of those who signed up to fight in the Territorial Army, volunteered because they saw that the New Zealand they knew & indeed loved being threatened by the Republic. Most of these people had voted for the Democratic Party in the preceding decade & a half, & as such they knew Michael, & knew that even if he wasn’t the best at execution, he at least had New Zealand’s best interests at heart. This war having been an extension of the politics of the last 20 years, in the eyes of many Michael was taking up the duty of defending the historic New Zealand nation against the Republic, who they saw as wanting to destroy it.
Likewise, most of those who served in the New Zealand Republican Army were serving out of duty, to defend New Zealand’s liberal democratic traditions & progressive heritage against a man who for the last 15 years had been a major threat to them, & through his recent actions, sought to completely destroy New Zealand’s progressive & liberal democratic identity.
With a man as polarising as Michael Freeman on the Throne, frankly a war was inevitable.
In any case, for around six weeks from late August to mid October, the Civil War entered a period of Sitzkrieg, a “Phoney War” as both sides continued to train their swollen ranks of volunteer recruits. These recruits would be trained to serve as infantry, with all tanks in New Zealand already in use by various squadrons (& 14 squadrons of the Territorial Army, in fact, are without tanks, meaning most of them have had to find solutions, like retraining as cavalry). In order to assist, the Regular Army has essentially been dissolved & all regular soldiers have been told to return home to sign up with their home regiments & serve through them.
Most (around 70%) of regular personnel signed up with the Territorial Army, & around 20% signed with the NZRA. The rest (nearly 10%, & nearly half of the Maori personnel) signed with various Maori militia units preparing to join the Civil War with their own agendas (we’ll get to them soon).
So many infantry soldiers had swelled the ranks of the Territorial Army that in late September (the so-called Dominion Day Reforms, having been announced on 26 September through various regulations) that it forced a complete restructure of the Territorial Army itself:

1. The three Territorial Army Commands (Northern, Central & Southern) & their Commanders with the rank of Major General were reorganised into Corps: I (Northern) Corps, II (Central) Corps, & the III (Southern) Corps. All commanders would be promoted up to Lieutenant General, & the General Staff (now based in Waiouru after the NZRA took Trentham) would oversee them all, with their Chief now promoted to General, & his deputy promoted to Lieutenant General.
2. The twelve regionally based Territorial brigades (numbered from 3rd to 14th) would be reorganised into divisions numbered from 1st to 12th, with their Commanders promoted from Brigadier to Major General.
3. The infantry regiments, having swollen with recruits, have now become too large & unwieldy with battalions (as an example, seven of the infantry regiments have swelled to over 20 battalions, with the largest being the 36-Battalion Canterbury Regiment), so the infantry battalions have been reorganised into smaller, easier to manage regiments that mostly correspond to local authorities, such as counties & cities, from which the recruits have been raised. In addition, several other regiments have been raised, such as the refounded New Zealand Scots Regiment, with 6 battalions scattered throughout the country, & the four Maori Regiments, who together claimed the legacy of 2NZEF’s 28th (Maori) Battalion, & who had within its ranks the long-time Territorial officer Senator Tautoru Arapeta, the King’s cousin, who resigned his ministerial posts (but not his Senate seat) before being appointed a commanding officer of one of the battalions.
4. In recent times, with the advent of warfare consisting mostly of combined arms operations, the regiment had mostly ceased to function as a tactical unit, but mostly as an administrative unit (in New Zealand, after the war the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment has been New Zealand’s only infantry regiment, with the old Territorial regiments having more or less merged into it), with the battalion being the basic tactical unit & building block of military formations. Due to the nature of the developing style of warfare in this New Zealand Civil War, the regiment was becoming important again as a building block, & most of these regiments (with the exception of the NZ Scots Regiment & the St. Patrick’s Irish Regiment, whose battalions were raised throughout the country) would be commanded by a Colonel, who would answer to Divisional HQ. One of the most notable Colonels in the Territorial Army was Charles Freeman, King Michael’s brother, who commanded the Far North Regiment after having been beforehand CO of the 5th Battalion, Northland Regiment, which had along with the 1st Battalion been reorganised into that Regiment.

With these reforms being made, King Michael felt that a New Zealand Territorial Army that could, nay, would win the Civil War would finally be taking shape.
The Republican Army, on the other hand, made similar reforms in early October, except they kept the infantry regiments together (that, & Major General Anthony Wells, the NZRA Chief, had bigger things to worry about with his almost non-existent General Staff to worry about reorganising regiments.

Not Just Two Sides: The Various Maori Militias

In order to understand this dynamic of the Civil War, you need to understand the nature of Maori electoral politics in the 10 to 15 years preceding the Civil War:
Michael William Te Arikirangi Tamati Holroyd Freeman, being half Maori, a Maori speaker (a rather archaic form of the Ngapuhi dialect, naturally) & being deeply connected to his ancestral lands (being reflected in the territorial designation of his Viscountcy) naturally saw an opening in the Maori political spectrum for a party that was pro-Maori, but not anti-New Zealand (or anti-“Pakeha”). Many believed he was taking a massive gamble, & to a great extent he was, but with the help of his cousin, lawyer Tautoru Arapeta (who’d just made his name by taking the so-called Demographics Case to the Waitangi Tribunal), he managed to attract a whole new audience for the Democratic Party’s message, & in the process took the fight to both Labour (& their appendage the Greens) & to Mana Maori.
There were, however, accusations (mostly from Mana Maori) that Michael Freeman & the Democrats only appealed to “kupapa Maori”, am old-fashioned term that was gaining a new, politically charged meaning: a traitor Maori. It was never explicitly clear what exactly it was that they were betraying, but it led Michael to actively fight against them in the Maori seats, & by 2029 the Democrats dominated the Maori seats, sweeping out both Labour & Mana Maori.
This, however, is not the full story.
By the time the Civil War came, Maori, like the rest of New Zealand, were trying to get into the best possible position, & not all felt that their interests would be served by allying with the new King. Some, in fact, saw the dysfunction in New Zealand as a whole as an opportunity to achieve the independence that many had dreamed of for generations. Most famously, the Kingitanga in September 2039 entered into a political alliance with Tuhoe & Ngati Tuwharetoa in an attempt to secure Maori autonomy, if not sovereignty. Even Ngapuhi had similar ideas, with some envisioning a restoration of the old United Tribes of New Zealand (this idea gained such currency that almost 5000 Maori would fight for it, becoming the main threat in Northland not only to King Michael’s hold on Northland, but a threat to King Michael himself as the main aim of Te Hokowhitu o te Whakaminenga was to take Waitangi, only a few kilometres south of King Michael at Ashwell).
In the end, not many iwi declared their support for the monarchy, the republic, or for independence. Though Ngapuhi officially backed the Whakaminenga, nearly 2000 Ngapuhi filled out three battalions in the Tai Tokerau Regiment. Most notable among them was their commanding officer, Colonel Edward Hohaia, a long-time officer, veteran of the Pacific War (where he won the Gallantry Star in Guangdong) & later Territorial Army CO, a descendant of Patuone (a point which many on the other side made). Te Arawa was the only major iwi to fully support the monarchy, some say due to pressure from the Kingitanga’s alliance & from Waiariki MP George Morihana (whose son Henare would serve in the Territorial Army’s Central Maori Regiment, & after the war he follow his father into politics).
These are the major militias & their strength:

The Army of the Confederation (Te Hokowhitu o te Whakaminenga) – nearly 5000 soldiers
The Kingitanga & their allies – around 16500 soldiers
Tai Rawhiti Mana Motuhake – nearly 3000 soldiers
Taranaki Sovereignty Army – nearly 1500 soldiers
Though officially they opposed both the King & the Republic, & sought their aims against both, in practice they mostly fought the Territorial Army, who occupied most of the provinces where they are based.
This particular aspect of the war was particularly brutal. Like in most civil wars, many Maori families were torn apart, between those who were pro-King, pro-Republican or pro-Independence, & the vitriol they directed at each other not only before but after the war, it was brutal in ways that only a three-way conflict could be.
Over the month of October, these militias started consolidating their positions:

• On the morning of 9th October, the Kingitanga announced their independence, & encouraged other iwi to “join us & break together from the colonial master once & for all in securing our whenua, our mana motuhake & our tino rangatiratanga.” Immediately afterward Tuhoe made a similar declaration & the Ariki of Ngati Tuwharetoa declared war “against the King & all other threats to us.”
• Te Hokowhitu o te Whakaminenga stormed both Kaitaia & Kaikohe on the morning of 21st October, setting up Kaikohe as a temporary capital with the intention of securing Waitangi by the 28th.
• Tai Rawhiti Mana Motuhake (split into Ngati Porou & Ngati Kahungunu arms) simultaneously attacked both Gisborne & Hastings, finally giving the 7th Division of the Territorial Army an enemy to fight.
• The Taranaki Sovereignty Army began their operations with an occupation of Parihaka on the morning of 5th November.

In short, their actions over the months of October & November ensured that the New Zealand Civil War was no longer a war for two players, & ensured carnage for the next few months.

The New Zealand Civil War: A Brief Overview

An Introduction

The Election of the Duke of Northland to the Throne of New Zealand was the most seminal event in New Zealand history.
The immediate effects of his election was the outbreak of civil war, as those who opposed his election & his later actions found legitimacy in declaring a republic & fighting against the King to “restore freedom & democracy to New Zealand”, while the King simply sought to defeat rebels. No-one knew or even thought beforehand that such actions would essentially destroy the nation that had been developing over the last 200 years; nevertheless it would.
War engulfed almost the entire country, from Kaitaia to Queenstown, from Twizel to Te Urewera, the spectre of war loomed large over the country. Even Australia attempted to intervene on the side of the Republic, going to the point of sponsoring the recruitment of a 5000-strong Expeditionary Force to assist the Republic, until the troop ships carrying them across the Tasman were sunk by HMNZS Royalist, New Zealand’s main submarine.
It was horrible. It was bloody. Almost 100,000 soldiers died fighting in the civil war, & many yet were injured. On top of that, thousands of civilians were killed, the first among them being the protestors who heralded the coming war. More than that, New Zealand society was changed forever in ways that only a civil war can change a society. Hundreds of thousands would leave in the years following the war, Australia’s post-war sanctions on New Zealand were designed to destroy them economically & engineer yet more destruction & possibly a revolution against the King.
It didn’t.
Instead, it hardened anti-Australian feelings in New Zealand to an irrevocable point.
But more of that later. For now, I’ll simply give a brief account of the New Zealand Civil War, from the initial protests in Auckland & Wellington to the end.

Alistair John Michaels

Part 1: The Opening Months

Part 2: From Sitzkrieg to Blitzkrieg

Part 3: The Holiday Truce

Part 4: The Summer of War

Part 5: The Autumn

Part 6: The End of the Kingitanga & their Allies

Part 7: The War Comes to Auckland

Part 8: The Republic’s Last Stand

Part 9: The Aftermath

A Note from the Author

The attempted assassination of Sir Michael Freeman changed everything.

From the outset of his tenure as Prime Minister & even beforehand, Michael had some idea that elements within the Government would seek to derail his radically reformist agenda, & depending on which organisations would be involved & different people within them, they would seek to do so using any means necessary. In many ways, it highlighted Michael’s paranoia, which he felt for his entire political career, but had been heightened when an SIS officer gave him proof the Government had been spying on him. Even when he became Prime Minister, he knew that the deep state would not stop trying to break him.
But even he didn’t know they’d sink this low.

Michael acknowledged all the time that his language could be considered inflammatory. With such linguistic creations as “the Whore of the Pacific”, “Anglo-American Axis of Evil”, “geopolitical shackle” & “pinkie of the Five Eyes fist”, some folk naively believed that Michael would tone down his rhetoric in office.
He didn’t, as we have witnessed throughout the story.
2030 was easily a year for the ages politically. Between a crisis that forced the King & Queen to relocate to New Zealand, a massive realignment in New Zealand foreign & defence policy, coupled with an explosive speech at the United Nations accompanied with the announcement of New Zealand’s exit from the Five Eyes, he ruffled many feathers along the way.
More than that, he didn’t care.
As far as Michael was concerned, opposition to his radical agenda was little more than an obstacle that needed to be overcome, & Michael, with enough determination, would persevere with the end of success. It didn’t surprise him in the slightest that Australia was furious at every step in the process, as we’ve witnessed from Australia’s angry reaction to Michael’s speech to PM Smith’s angry exchange with Michael during the summit. Australia clearly began to feel that the rhetoric of independence coming out of New Zealand was more than rhetoric, designed to draw attention to a minnow feeling increasingly ignored; to the contrary, actually. Australia began to feel that New Zealand was serious about “declaring independence from the Anglo-American Axis of Evil,” a rhetoric put into practice when Michael made the momentous decision to leave the Five Eyes alliance.
As we know (but the characters don’t, not yet anyway), the rush of media propaganda didn’t affect the polls or public opinion at all; in early November 2030 a poll showed 53% of people approved of Michael’s decision to leave the Five Eyes, & actively bought into his vision of a New Zealand “that stands up for itself & fears no-one”. An assassination, London, Washington & Canberra foolishly believed, would be enough to scare New Zealand back into line. Far from it, actually; the assassination hardened New Zealand public opinion against them, & conspiracy theories swirled around that the shooting was an operation carried out by the Four Eyes against New Zealand, speculation that was only inflamed further when the police announced the identity of the assassin.

The Government capitalised on the attack on their leader. Alfred delivered the announcement of the assassination in the House, while Irina delivered a scathing attack which fanned the flames of the conspiracy theories. The opposition parties, who had long harboured a hatred for Michael, struggled to show solidarity as the Prime Minister fought for his very life. Indeed, National expressed their hope that this would provide an opportunity for the Democratic Party to “re-examine their beliefs & priorities”, & the Greens hoped for his death.

Thanks to the surgeon John Wilkinson, Sir Michael Freeman would be on the road to a full recovery, & through the tireless efforts of the Wellington CIB, most notably Detective Senior Sergeant Victor Wilson & his team, the hunt for justice would begin. In time, our wounded knight will heal, but will the relationship with Australia? Let’s find out…

I’ve Had it Up to Here: Chapter 8 from Of Hawks & Doves

This excerpt from the tenth instalment of An Unlikely Future takes place in mid 2036. Here’s a synopsis of what’s happened up to this point:
Michael has returned from his father’s funeral to the potential outbreak of war. Michael is under intense pressure to join the Pacific Alliance’s war against China after the Chinese sank the KD Sarawak, the flagship of the Royal Malaysian Navy. As an observer member, New Zealand has no real obligation to join the war; nevertheless it is felt that New Zealand should join to show solidarity with Australia & the rest of the Pacific Alliance. In the space of little more than 24 hours, the Democratic Party is essentially torn in half between Deputy PM Alfred Williams’ pro-war “Hawks” & Michael’s more anti-war “Doves”. Michael ends up putting the matter of New Zealand’s entry into the war to a vote in both the Senate & House of Representatives.
Both houses vote to join the war..
Clearly angry not only that Parliament voted narrowly for war but also that a majority of his own caucus voted for war, Michael has stormed out of the Senate chamber to his office in the Beehive to ponder his future.

We’re at war.

That thought swirled around & around in Michael’s head as he struggled to comprehend the decision made by the Senate & House of Representatives only minutes ago.
We voted to go to war.
I made public my opposition to entering.
I made the case against in the Senate & got voted down 21-19.
Irina & Tautoru made the case against in the House & they got voted down 61-59.
What’s wrong with me? Was it the right decision? Of course it’s the right decision. New Zealand is not under threat, & if we ever are, then our military, such as we’re trying to make it, should be here defending our country with all our strength, not whittling it away overseas in some jungle or the South China Sea.
Damn it, why didn’t they listen? Are they that eager to go to war that they’ve become mad, that they have lost sight of what damage it would do? All for what, solidarity?
Oh please.

That’s what I’ve always hated about these alliances. All the sacrifices we must make to defend these folks where we all know that they would never make the same sacrifice for us. I’m sorry. I’m just struggling to see what we get out of it.
I told them. I told them during the debate on joining the bloody Alliance in the first place, just like I did when we debated that stupid CANZUK Treaty. At least they listened to me then, but Alfred didn’t listen, of course.
He never does.

“Michael, I heard you stormed out of the Senate, & I…”
Michael immediately knew that only the Deputy Prime Minister would walk in so nonchalantly, & as such he immediately turned his head up.
“Of course I bloody stormed out of the Senate. How did you think I would react? Did you think I would be happy, or grateful?”
Alfred started. “I thought…”
“IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THOUGHT!” Michael calmed down slightly.
“It doesn’t matter now,” Alfred continued, seeing his leader’s fury focused entirely on him, “Parliament has voted for war. You promised that you’d advise His Majesty to declare war if we won the vote.”
“We? Oh yes, I forgot. Alfred Williams, the warmonger…”
“Hey! Don’t put words in my mouth, Michael! I’m not a fucking warmonger. I have only ever believed that New Zealand should uphold our long-standing alliances, ones like Five Power.”
“Five Power only requires us to consult with Singapore & Malaysia, not to fight for them.”
“The Chinese sank a Malaysian ship! In the South China Sea, no less! If that’s not a reason to take the gloves off with China, I don’t know what is. What, when would you act, Michael? When the Chinese have taken over Malaysia? Indonesia? Australia? Would you wait until the Chinese are literally across the Tasman Sea? Oh, that’s right. You’re such a fucking coward with such blinders regarding Australia that you wouldn’t even lift a bloody finger to defend them, would you?”
Call me a fucking coward, will you? “What, do you expect me to just casually forget the fact that the Australians TRIED TO HAVE ME KILLED?”
“Of course I don’t,” Alfred replied, “but I did at least expect you to at least try to repair our most important relationship, a relationship that was as solid as ever, before you smashed it to pieces without even a care for mending it.”
“Why should I care for mending it? The Australians screwed us around anyway, & every National & Labour government was so fucking gutless that we let Australia get away with it all the time!”
“Well, they are the bigger country, so naturally they set the terms…”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. “…which we must either swallow or have nothing. You call me cowardly? You sound almost as gutless as Marshall, Anderson, Key, the lot of them.”
Michael pointed with his hand. “You see, that is why I made Irina Foreign Affairs Minister. For all the faults that her vision might have, at least she has ideas for how exactly New Zealand can have a foreign policy that’s actually independent.”
Alfred chuckled. “You two still believe that’s possible? Get in the real world. We’ll always be kissing somebody’s ass. I’d just make sure that it’s the same ass Australia’s kissing.”
Michael looked back at him, really bemused. “You really think it’s impossible for New Zealand foreign policy to be independent, don’t you?
Alfred nodded. “That’s because it is. We’re a small nation with an extremely open economy that’s very vulnerable to even slight changes. We can’t be independent. That’s just life. I’ve been trying to tell you & Irina that for years, but the two of you simply won’t listen. I just believe that if we’re going to be part of an alliance, then it should be at least one where we’ve got a voice. It’s why I supported CANZUK.”
“And that’s exactly why I opposed CANZUK,” Michael continued, “because CANZUK would be naturally led by Britain, followed by Canada & Australia, & as the natural Omega Wolf of the pack, New Zealand would be forced to support their stupid ideas without consideration for our own interests. You know that’s all I’ve ever supported, Alfred, for New Zealand to put its own interests first, instead of everyone else’s ahead of our own. Is that so much to ask?”
Alfred spent much time pondering that, as he had for over ten years since Michael & Irina posed it to him for the first time during a policy debate at a Democratic Party Conference.
“Parliament still voted yes to war, Michael. No matter how much you oppose it, you can’t escape the fact that thanks to you, we are now bound to go to war.”
Michael shook his head. “We don’t have the power to declare war. Only the King does.”
“Then, as Prime Minister, you go up to Wellesley Palace & advise His Majesty to declare war.”
Wow. Go up to the Palace & tell the 87-year-old King to issue a declaration of war.
“I’m sorry but I can’t, Alfred. Why in the world should I tell the King to declare a war that I never wanted in the first place due to our membership of an alliance that I never wanted in the first place?”
Michael almost collapsed in his desk, exasperated not only from this exchange or even the events of the day, but from everything that had accumulated over the last 13-and-a-bit years.
“I’m just sick of it all, Alfred. This grind, this game, this back-and-forth. It’s madness. The constant confrontations from within & without the party, the parliament, & the press. We were founded fourteen years ago, Alfred. You’ve been there the whole way; you’ve seen it all. The sniping, the snooping, the snares. The constant fights with the bureaucrats who think they know better, who seem like their sole purpose is to ensure any proper reforms, the kind that New Zealand so desperately needs & the kind that we have won three elections promising, simply never happen, ground down by the wheels of bureaucracy. It’s madness, I tell you. I just want to go home & return to some kind of sanity, some kind of simplicity, some semblance of normalcy.”
Alfred seemed understanding. “Of course. We can give you the rest of the week to collect your thoughts before you advise His Majesty…”
Michael shook his head. “No, Alfred. I want to resign.”
Alfred’s eyes widened in shock. “Resign? As Prime Minister?”
Michael’s head shook again. “No. I want out of politics altogether. I’m sick of it all, & I want out.”
It was then Alfred’s turn to shake his head. “No, Michael. I won’t allow it.”
You won’t allow it, huh? I wasn’t asking permission. “And why not?”
“Because we need you!”
Michael got angry at Alfred again. “You need me, huh? For what? You need me to play Churchill, to unite the people in our fight against the foe? Well, you should’ve thought about that before provoking Parliament to enter a war I never supported in the first place. If you want to go to war so much, why don’t you step up to the plate & play Churchill?
“I’ve had enough. I’ve made up my mind. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to text our Cabinet that I’m scheduling a press statement for 6pm, & I expect them all to be there at 5:55pm along with the rest of our caucus.”
Alfred realised the gravity of what he’d just witnessed, but his face was still in shock. “You’re serious about this. You really are…”
“Yes I am, Alfred, & you must not tell anyone. Can you at least give me that? One last surprise for those bastards out there?”
Alfred cracked a smile. “For the look on their faces? Of course.”

“Your Majesty,” Michael began what would be his last audience with King George VII as Prime Minister, “I’m here to resign as Prime Minister.”
The elderly monarch gave the same shocked face Alfred had only half an hour before when he was told. “Resigning? May I ask why?”
Michael nodded. “Of course, Sir. There are many reasons I wish to retire, but the main reason is that the death of my father has forced me to reassess my priorities, & I believe that I’m no longer needed here in Wellington to effect change. May I be honest, Sir?”
The King nodded. “Yes, of course. I’ve always expected as much from these audiences.”
Michael continued. “I’ve never liked being in politics. It’s draining, it’s combative, it feels like I’m constantly fighting everyone just to get anything done. Sometimes I feel like I’m going mad. This matter of the war was the last straw for me. I just can’t go on anymore. That said, serving Your Majesty has been the greatest honour of my life, & it will be things like this that I will miss when I leave.”
The King nodded. “When would you like the resignations to take effect?”
Michael had seemingly structured his retirement already. “I think midnight is the optimal time, Sir. I intend to deliver a statement at 6pm, where I’ll announce my forthcoming resignations. I then wish to deliver a valedictory statement to the Senate at 7:30pm, after which I expect to tender my resignation as leader to the Party Council, which I intend to take effect at 8pm. After that, the Council will call an emergency caucus meeting to have a new leader elected. Hopefully it shouldn’t go over 4 hours. By midnight, the new leader should be elected & should be on their way here to the Palace. I’m terribly sorry, Sir, if I’m going to cause a late night. I just thought it would be a good schedule to avoid anything drawn out unnecessarily.”
“It is a good schedule, Sir Michael. It’s nice and fast, & ensures stability, something sorely needed.” The King then asked Michael about contingencies. “If I may ask, what if your colleagues have not elected a new leader by midnight?”
I hadn’t thought of that. Quickly, Michael. Think of a solution. “As Deputy Prime Minister, Sir, I would have assumed that in such a situation Alfred would then serve as Acting Prime Minister until such a new leader is elected. However, now that I think about it, maybe it’s a better idea that I resign when my replacement as leader is elected. Would that be a better idea, Your Majesty?”
The old King nodded. “If you believe it’s better, then I certainly support it.”

When Michael returned to the Beehive to make the announcement, Irina stood at the steps of Parliament carrying an umbrella, her sandy blonde hair only lightly damp from the wind-driven rain.
At least she got the text. “Thanks, Jack. I’ll call when I’m ready.”
“Of course, Sir.” With that his driver left for Mt. Victoria with Michael’s car.
Left out in the rain, he hurriedly ran over to take shelter under Irina’s umbrella.
“What’s happening, Michael? Alfred has ordered us all to the theatrette for an announcement. Is it about the war?”
Michael shook his head. “No, Irina. I’m resigning.”
Irina’s eyes widened, much like Alfred’s had. “No. We need you, Michael. Don’t resign!”
Michael responded. “No, Irina. You don’t need me. You folks can continue without me. Anyway, Alfred basically sprung it on me. He basically told me that if I refused to lead New Zealand into the war, then I should get out of the way & let someone else do it. I basically took it as my cue to leave.”
“Fucking Alfred,” Irina replied, as the two of them started walking up the stairs, “he’s always been after the leadership. Him & his faction, they’ve always been vocal opponents of our foreign policy, thinking that the Anglosphere is still a force. I guess he’ll stand, of course.”
“I’m guessing so. I’m just happy that I’ll soon be free of this place.”
Irina looked up. “Free? You’re resigning from the Senate too?”
Michael nodded as they reached the top of the steps. “As of tomorrow morning, I will be just plain old The Right Honourable Sir Michael Freeman KG PC.”
Irina laughed. “Plain old? Yeah, right. I will miss you, though.”
Michael reassured her as they entered the Parliament buildings & started to make their way to the auditorium. “You & Paul are free to come up north this weekend. We’re holding a ball at Ashwell to celebrate my inheritance. Bring the kids, we do a good family fun day beforehand. Scavenger hunt, sausage sizzles, games, it’ll be good. I’ll warn you of two things, though: One, it’ll probably also be a farewell party for Charlie before he leaves, & Two, the dress code is white tie.”
Irina gasped. “White tie? That’s…”
“Basically never happens in New Zealand. My advice? Quickly grab the best dress you can find. If you ask nicely, Sofia will probably lend you one of her tiaras.”
Irina’s mouth gawped open. “Tiaras?”
Michael laughed at her. “Yes, tiaras. I know. Once in a lifetime stuff. If Paul can’t get a white tie suit, just ask me. I know a guy who makes mine. He lives not far from here actually.”
“I guess we’ll all be there.” Irina said as the two of them entered the auditorium, to baited breath from the media, cheers from the caucus, & expectation from all present.

Sofia was at their home in Mt. Victoria filling their living room having a TV dinner with her seven children, parents, Sergey & his wife, & their six children, all either teenagers or twenty-somethings. They’d all started their dinner when they started watching TV3 News, their first night from the newly-built Ashwell Studios in Whangarei.
It had better be good, Sofia thought, it cost Michael millions to fund its construction.
$60 million, in fact, it cost to build the new studios outside Auckland, to provide the new accommodation for TV3 & TV4’s studio productions while the Zealandia Television building was being renovated. It had been controversial for the Government, ZM being so closely associated with Michael, but it had finally been built.
“Shut up, everybody!” blurted little James, excited to see Daddy on TV. “The News is on!” Everyone then turned their attention to the news, which Sam Worthington, the new lead anchor, opened ominously.
“Good evening, this is TV3 News.”
“In breaking news, we are crossing live to the Beehive, where the Prime Minister is expected to give an announcement related to today’s vote to join the Pacific Alliance in declaring war against China.” With that, the screen cut to the podium at the Beehive, where Michael stood alone on stage. There seemed to be no chatter, no discussion, nothing. The room seemed to be silent in anticipation of Michael’s announcement.
“Look, everybody!” James called out to his family in the living room, “It’s Daddy!”
“Yeah, we know it’s Dad, James. Shut up.”
Sofia raised her voice to Theophilus. “Don’t speak to your brother like that, Theo!”
As per usual, Theo just rolled his eyes.

Even announcing his impending resignation didn’t make Michael anxious. As usual, he had no written speech, he had some points at hand, but he had the speech in his head.
Autocue is for idiots. Here we go:
“As you may know, I have called this press conference because I have just returned from Wellesley Palace, where I have had discussions with His Majesty the King concerning the vote carried by both the Senate & House of Representatives today to join Australia & several other nations of the Pacific Alliance in declaring war against the People’s Republic of China in retaliation for their sinking of the Royal Malaysian Naval vessel KD Sarawak, & I will address these matters soon, but before that I wish to address the other matters we discussed this afternoon.
“I am afraid that it is with the heaviest of hearts that I am announcing my impending resignation as Prime Minister, Leader of the Democratic Party, both as Party leader & Senate leader, & as a Senator for Northland, & I will set my resignations in the following order:
“When the Senate resumes at 7:30 this evening, I intend to give my valedictory speech in front of the Senate. I assure my right honourable friends that my remarks should not be terribly long & tedious, but I make no promises, for like all my other speeches, it will be improvised.” Everyone in the auditorium then broke into laughter, especially the caucus members seated on the far left of the room.
“I expect to finish my speech at or around 8pm. At that moment, I shall leave the Senate chamber & proceed immediately to the Party Council, who shall assemble in my office for the purpose of accepting my resignation. On their acceptance, they shall immediately call an emergency caucus meeting where we shall elect a new leader. His Majesty has agreed that once a new leader is elected, my resignation from the offices of Prime Minister, Minister for National Security, Minister for Constitutional Reform, Minister for Provincial Coordination, & Leader of the Senate shall take effect. Once that takes place, we Democratic Party senators will stay back & elect a new Senate leader. Immediately after that, I shall leave with the new Prime Minister to introduce my successor to His Majesty.
“Lastly, but certainly not least, I have decided that my resignation as a Senator representing the Province of Northland shall take effect at 9am tomorrow morning. At that time, when it takes effect, the Speaker of the Senate shall, pursuant to section 21 of the Senate Act, inform the Speaker of the Northland Legislative Assembly of the vacancy, & they shall fill the vacancy by election at their next sitting, which I believe is tomorrow afternoon. Once that takes effect, I will have officially & completely retired from politics, & I will simply revert to being simply
The Right Honourable Sir Michael Freeman KG PC

“That is all. Any questions?”

This Is Our Shot: The Future New Zealand Faces

New Zealand Prime Minister The Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Freeman KG PC MP stood up in the House of Representatives debating chamber on Wednesday 2nd October 2030 to speak in the General Debate, his first day back at Parliament following his explosive speech at the United Nations. During Question Time earlier he faced many questions from the Opposition concerning his seemingly sudden upending of long-standing New Zealand policy regarding intelligence, security, & foreign relations. Most notable among the aftermath of Michael’s speech was the eviction from the United Kingdom of New Zealand’s High Commissioner, which fed much fuel to the Opposition’s fire.
Sir Michael spoke second in the debate; following Leader of the Opposition & former Prime Minister Andrew Marshall, who made the following statement in the end of his speech opening the General Debate:

“On behalf of the former Ministers of the Crown who are proud to have served in the previous Government, I make the following statement to the Prime Minister:
Yes, while you were Leader of the Opposition we spied on you, your wife & your senior colleagues. The NZSIS, assisted by the GCSB, ASIS, MI6 & CIA, intercepted all your communications; they are probably still intercepting all your communications. We have done so because we shared the opinion (now a proven fact) that Michael Freeman is a danger to our liberal democratic values, & looking at recent events, we have been vindicated.”

Having set the stage, Sir Michael Freeman stood up in the House to deliver the second most important speech he’d make that year.

“Honourable Members, I am pleased that the former Prime Minister has openly admitted to what everyone in New Zealand has known for the last 20 months: that the Government, in concert with the Anglo-American Axis, spied on me, my wife & my honourable friends, & it’s rather astounding to me that the former Prime Minister is so open with what he has admitted, especially as his statement today flies in the face of what he’s said for the last 20 months, but then again we know why the honourable member has suddenly discovered a penchant for transparency, haven’t we?

It is because the Four Eyes are furious with us, honourable members; more specifically they’re furious with this government. They are furious because we are trying to, as they say, leave the mafia. Pay attention, friends, because it will not be repeated:
We are going to do the impossible.
We are going to leave the Evil Empire.

We see them for the rotten monsters they are; the evil, decadent decaying monster that forces its perversions on the world, & I’m here saying to you today, Mr. Speaker, that we’ve had enough; we’re walking away.
The road to independence, the road to national self respect, the road to true freedom; it’s not easy; to the contrary, it’ll be hard. The easy path would be to stay in the Evil Empire, to continue to be a slave to the Americans, to the British & the Australians, but that would not be right. We have a chance here, possibly our only opportunity, our only shot, to break away from the Empire & truly be an independent nation. Not a lapdog of Britain, nor a slave of America, not kowtowing to China, or chained to Australia. We have a chance to be truly independent, to be truly free.
I’m not saying it’ll be easy; at first it’ll be hard as the Four Eyes lash out at us for taking our shot. In this our main enemy will be Australia. They will claim that we are betraying not only them, but also our shared history & the Anzac Spirit by taking this. They will try to use the Opposition to achieve their ends as well. Don’t fall for it. When we are successful in breaking free from their grip we can be an example not only to them, but to all those trapped & yearning for freedom that it is possible; if a nation that was part of the Anglophone core of the Liberal Democratic Empire can do it, then anyone can.
But that will be the reason they’ll try to stop us, because they don’t want us to be that shining light to the world.
Nevertheless, we will pursue. It’ll be hard at first, but it will be worth it.

When we win, when we are victorious in our bid for independence, we can proudly stand tall among the peoples of the world like we never have before, no longer a colony of Britain, no longer a vassal of America, no longer an adjunct of Australia.
We will be New Zealand, a friend to all, a slave to none.
And we will be free.

The Prime Minister then left the House to thunderous applause from the Government benches & jeering from the Opposition. The Prime Minister then entered a 90 minute-long press conference connecting to this speech & his others at the UN.

Against CANZUK: Why the Anglosphere is Cursed

Personally, I think the Anglosphere is cursed.

In looking at the state of the British people I’m reminded of two Bible passages:
1) Matthew 4:8,9

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”

2) Matthew 16:26

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

To me it seems like the Devil took the British to the mountain like in Matthew 4 & made the same offer, the difference here being that Britain took up the Devil’s offer, & we are now paying the price. Likewise in my opinion, in the course of creating the British Empire the British people lost their soul, & as the Empire decayed the rot has been made clear for all to see, how the British people have lost their soul & as a result the nations that emerged as seeds from the tree of Albion are themselves adrift in a crucial time for all of them.

This seems to be a common theme throughout the Anglosphere.
Looking at the UK we have a nation that looks to its illustrious & victorious past so much because it is in a delusion, a delusion where they cannot acknowledge their decay, & at the same time cannot bear to see the ugly, soulless unrecognisable monster it has become in the process.
The United States of America have their own problems, for it seems to have not learned from Britain’s mistakes, & embraces the liberal Anti-Culture that Britain succumbed to, having purged thoroughly from its identity the seed it received from Albion of an organically derived society, thus opening itself to be corrupted by the demons of liberalism & now forcing their rotten decadence on the world with the end of creating an Empire of Evil, inside which America has enslaved the rest of the Anglosphere.
Canada, at least, has honourable origins, in reaction to the Great American Treason (sorry, Revolution), but Canada was more or less the first Anglophone victim of American imperialism, having perfected their methods from opening cans of freedom all over The Iberian New World, the Americans always had designs on Canada, right from their attempts to incite Canada into joining their treason to their invasion of 1812 & beyond. Even early Canadian Prime Ministers like MacDonald recognised the problems of submitting to American imperialism, & took measures against it. Sadly, after an honourable start, his successors slacked off, & little by little Canada, the burning light of conservatism in North America, was snuffed out, coming under America’s shadow.

This now leaves the British Antipodean colonies
Both creations of Victorian-era delusions, the rot & decadence that has defined the British people is baked into New Zealand’s & Australia’s DNA at a level that is nigh-on impossible to dislodge, much to my sadness. These two countries don’t even really have identities of their own; they were always lackey nations, & (at least in NZ’s case) always will be. Because those who ran their settlement were all liberals, whether of the classical or progressive variety, with conservatism in these colonies an unreality. This delimitation of politics, this definition of the Antipodean Overton Window, has persisted to this day. To this day (at least in New Zealand), conservatism beyond classical liberalism is simply unthinkable, & it really frustrates me that the rich world of pre-liberal conservatism is simply not open to New Zealand conservatives (I don’t know about Australia, & I won’t talk about their situation). As a New Zealander, I’m actually jealous of Canada; at least they had a real conservative tradition, that was just hacked away over decades to what they have become. New Zealand never had that.

I have one confession to make: I feel little, if any, sense of kinship with the rest of the nations of the Anglosphere. I view Britain as the land of my ancestors, nothing more. I don’t have a special attachment to Britain as it is now. I’ve already condemned the Britain of now, & probably of the last two centuries. I don’t even think much of Canada except pity at what they have become after what they were. Even Australia I don’t have much affection for; unlike many New Zealanders I do not look at an Australian & see a brother, or even a cousin. In fact I look at Australia in fear, the kind of fear with which I would look at the United States if I was Canadian; an Anglophone juggernaut on our doorstep that looms over us, that entraps us, that in many ways prevents us from pursuing our own independent course, the country that can keep screwing us around however they wish but due to the power imbalance it is almost unthinkable for us to stand up to them. As Australia is a good little enforcer for the Imperium Americanum, New Zealand has been forced into the position of being a good little slave of the Empire, where dissent is viewed as treason. In short, the Anglosphere of today is a monster; a sick, evil monster that spreads its errors, its wrongs, its horrors throughout the world.

I cannot love such a monster. The Britain I love is the Britain of Alfred, Kenneth, Llewellyn & Brian, the green & pleasant land, the land of my heart forever, the land of my fathers. I make a very clear distinction between it & the Leviathan that once straddled the world, & has now degenerated into an even more base form of itself.

The British people throughout the world have been deceived; in being spread throughout the world we have spread liberalism, decay, & degeneracy. At the moment, we’re all cursed, & the curse won’t be lifted by sticking together. In my opinion at least a part of the decay is due to the English people turning away from God, & subsequently spreading their rot to the rest of the British Isles, & instead turning to worship Mammon. In search of Mammon the British people conquered a quarter of the world & made nations from its seed, but instead of inheriting the best of its honourable patrimony the children of Albion exemplify the worst of Britain’s attributes, & schismatised from its rich heritage, the children have no past but earlier forms of the Anglomalediction, & no future but the ultimate conclusion of the Curse that has the Anglosphere in its grip: a Borg that absorbs culture, identity, history, heritage, & spits out a monster, a bogeyman hated by the world (& rightly so), & eventually the World will kill the Monster, & the British people will be punished in a way that will make the Babylonian Captivity look tame, & the British people face this future because they are blinded by power & prevented from seeing their own spiritual & cultural ruin by their crass materialism. All these factors have clouded the mind of the Anglophone to prevent contrition for the errors of the past & thus blocking opportunities for repentance, repentance that may at least go some way toward healing the centuries of rot & decay. Not that it’s a path that will be taken, as after so long on this path, self-justification & rationalisation is the easy path.

The worst part is that, at least in New Zealand, I can’t even imagine what a healthy & sane society would look like. As a child of modern times, New Zealand has no glorious past to look back on with pride, no organically developed cohesive society that looks like it has any kind of continuity between the past, present & future; demographically it’s just a constant churn, layer upon layer of immigrants that undermine whatever cohesion existed among the pre-existent people of New Zealand that further retards the development of a unique New Zealand natio, & instead entrench the only destiny that we are cursed to have: to be a bland, soulless globalist microcosm; to be literally a nation of immigrants, a “nation” that isn’t really a nation at all, but an economic zone; a land with people in it, where the different layers of immigrants held together badly by increasingly tyrannical authorities that hold their semblance of order together through a mixture of excessive force & farcical propaganda.

In other words, Hell.

At least in the New Zealand context it’s no use longing for a past that didn’t exist here, so I don’t. Instead I use the past as an inspiration, using the benefits of hindsight to learn the mistakes of the past in trying to create a future that is utterly disconnected from our past & present, & gear those ideas towards sanity, goodness, perhaps even greatness.

For that reason I’m not sure if we will get that by being shackled to the dying, rotten, decadent Neo-British Empire. Even if they feel that united they could stand with America as somewhat equals, that’s just delusional thinking right there. America is not interested in allies, let alone equals, for they will never view or value us as such; they only want vassals, they only want good little slaves of their imperium. Even so, ideas like CANZUK tend to attract idiotic fools who can’t get through their little brains the historic fact that the British Empire is dead, & that unlike Our Lord, God & Saviour Jesus Christ, it will not be resurrected, nor should it be. On top of that, I cannot seem to shake the fact that as New Zealanders, I feel that when these four countries make common decisions, that it is very probable that our position would be ignored by the other three, & so we would essentially outsource our trade, part of immigration, & especially our foreign & defence policies to be made by a consortium of the United Kingdom, Canada & Australia, & I simply don’t trust them. Looking at it that way, I’m sorry, that is way too much sovereignty for New Zealand to lose, way too much power to lose to foreign states, states that do not necessarily have our best interests at heart. Especially in the case of defence & foreign policy, the outsourcing of these to CANZUK, I’m just very uncomfortable with it because it essentially reduces New Zealand to the status of a backwater imperial province, & I’m sorry, but I can never, under any circumstances, support that.

I just can’t.

A Brief Outline of An Unlikely Future, Part 1: The First Three Years

The first part of An Unlikely Future, entitled The First Three Years, chronicles the first term of the Democratic Government, a reforming government that changes New Zealand forever. The First Three Years consist of six stories set over the course of three years, from February 2030 to November 2032:

I: The Last Loyalist

II: In Manhattan

III: Trans-Tasman Trouble, or the Death of Anzac

IV: The Wounded Knight

V: The Tsar, or The Greek & Danish Prince

VI: Sir Michael vs. The Hydra: The Election of 2032

I: The Last Loyalist

Having entered office only two months ago, New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Freeman faces a constitutional crisis when the Parliament of the United Kingdom votes to depose King George VII & replace him with the Prince of Wales. Coming out in support of the King, he undermines efforts by British Prime Minister Daniel Evans to overthrow him, leading to a tense standoff between the two that almost leads to a military coup. Only when plans for the “coup” are leaked does the Prince decide to support Parliament, leading to the military backing the King against the Prince & Parliament. Behind the scenes, Michael tries to diffuse tensions, leading to repudiations by Evans, calling him a “wannabe fascist dictator”. Eventually, the King secretly contacts Michael & arranges to leave for New Zealand with the Queen. Having apparently abdicated by fleeing the country, Parliament proclaims the Prince of Wales King William V, & seeks to crown him immediately, only to find the Crown Jewels, as well as insignia for several Orders, have disappeared. King George VII arrives in New Zealand to the full royal ceremonial treatment, but this is no royal visit; no, the King & Queen of New Zealand are moving here, permanently. For his “actions of the greatest service and loyalty, not only to the Crown, but also to the principles of legitimate government”, Michael is made a Knight of the Order of the Garter.

II: In Manhattan

Having identified the lack of appropriate air transport having been a problem when bringing the King & Queen to New Zealand, Sir Michael Freeman hastily organises the purchase of an Airbus jet to join the RNZAF fleet as Royal & Government transport, which he uses for the first time when he travels to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly. He does so a worried man, as his wife Sofia is set to give birth to their seventh child without him. He & Foreign Minister Irina Sinitsina collaborate on a programme of reform of New Zealand’s foreign policy, informed not only by recent experiences with the other Five Eyes countries, but also their shared belief that the American-preserved Liberal International Order is not only dying, but isn’t worth preserving, & that New Zealand’s interests no longer lie in it. This, however, opens up questions in their heads over where New Zealand’s interests lie now, finding the choices of being a backwater province of the Imperium Americanum or of the Imperium Sinarum equally unpalatable. Michael articulates these ideas in his speech to the General Assembly, which ends up being one of the most controversial speeches on the first day. This causes fury from the other Anglophone nations; the United States cuts off diplomatic relations, the United Kingdom, incensed at being called “traitors to God, King & Country”, threaten sanctions on New Zealand, & Australia condemned the speech. Sir Michael unleashes one more surprise by announcing on the fly in a TV interview New Zealand’s withdrawal from the Five Eyes.

III: Trans-Tasman Trouble, or the Death of Anzac

Hot on the heels of his UN stunt, Michael hosts Australian Prime Minister Douglas Smith in the Bay of Islands for a Trans Tasman Leaders Summit. The frosty nature of the summit is only the beginning, as Australia and New Zealand very quickly turn against each other, leading some commentators to opine the possible death of the Anzac Spirit. Douglas blames Michael for emboldening the Australian Ultramonarchist movement, with proponents of which such as Queensland Party leader Charles Wallace declaring support for restoring the monarchy to Queensland, setting the stage for later conflict with the federal government. Meanwhile, Joe Mason, an ASIS agent stationed at the High Commission in Wellington as a diplomat, is given orders to assassinate Michael. A few days after the summit, at an Armistice Day ceremony, Sir Michael is attending and delivering a speech when he is shot, much to his everyone’s shock. A chance happening occurs when a police officer finds Joe Mason in the act. She quickly arrests him; this enrages Australia further, as New Zealand had violated diplomatic immunity by arresting him. They refuse to waive it for him, instead responding by arresting the New Zealand High Commissioner for “political interference”. Joe commits suicide, immediately bringing preparations for a trial to a stop. It ends with Michael still in a coma and Alfred, the Acting Prime Minister, arguing with Irina over matters of foreign policy, Alfred not being on board with Michael & Irina’s plans. By the end of their argument, Alfred is forced to admit that the events of recent times have damaged permanently Trans-Tasman relations, perhaps irrevocably.

IV: The Wounded Knight

We pick up the story a few months later at Anniversary Weekend as the Freeman family are at Ashwell enjoying summer family time together as Michael is haunted by the events of Armistice Day & the aftermath, of the three weeks in hospital, of the constant visits, constant questions from detectives investigating the assassination, of the political debates happening at the side of his hospital bed. As the Freeman family enjoy their summer, Michael finds himself doing a lot of thinking, he finds himself considering the impact of his premiership, only a year in, but making more reforms than even he envisioned. Politics & family combine for Michael over the summer as he & Sofia ponder the future. As January turns into February & Michael prepares for Waitangi Day, the ministers arrive at Ashwell House for their first Cabinet meeting of the year & their first in person Cabinet meeting with Michael since his assassination attempt, & even they do not quite understand the gravity of what is about to happen.

V: The Tsar, or The Greek Prince

Having now recovered from his attempted assassination, Sir Michael & Irina have again leave New Zealand aboard KZ-3 to Europe, attending his first Gallipoli Anzac Day service as PM. He then goes on a tour throughout Europe, but for the first time avoiding the United Kingdom, visiting Greece, Italy, Austria, Czechia, & Serbia. He finishes his European tour with the first ever state visit of a New Zealand Prime Minister to Russia, where he meets Emperor Paul II & his wife Empress Anna. In meetings with Russian PM Nikolai Skorikov, he discusses the possibility of a limited free trade deal with the Realms of Paul II, which immediately causes a massive crisis at home as the opposition have a field day over the Government “betraying our allies”. Meanwhile Sofia is called to Valaam monastery to meet Paul, a hieromonk from New Zealand with a prophecy for her. The Empress, herself a priest’s daughter like Sofia, travels with her to the Holy & Great Council of New Jerusalem, where the future of the Orthodox Church is being decided. As Michael & the Emperor appear together at the Victory Day Parade, Sofia meets with bishops at the Church Council as they make momentous decisions concerning the future of the Orthodox Church in New Zealand, most notably appointing a certain monk to the position of Metropolitan of New Zealand. When they return, relations between New Zealand & the rest of the Anglosphere become almost irreparably strained.

VI: Sir Michael vs. The Hydra: The 2032 Election

Prime Minister Sir Michael Freeman is now preparing to go back to the people for a second term, but as he sets the election date for Saturday 27 November, he is about to enter a world of trouble. Firstly, the Left is outraged when the Government approves a refugee intake of 5000 South Africans after the growing instability there. At the same time they are preparing to hold three different referenda: one on changing the voting system back to First Past the Post from MMP (a Part 2 referendum; the first part having been held in conjunction with last year’s local elections), on the creation of Provinces from the pre-existent regions of New Zealand, & the creation of the Senate of New Zealand. Michael is confronted with the very real prospect of being voted out of government as National, Labour, the Greens & now the Conservatives come together in a historic alliance against the Democrats. As Michael & his team begin the last week of the campaign staring at the prospect of being defeated, they learn that it is one thing to defeat the Purple Headed Monster, & another thing to keep the Monster dead. This principle drives them even more to defeat the Hydra that is the New Zealand political establishment.