Three strikes and Alf’s down

Alf admits to being a bit of a grouch first thing most mornings, until he’s had his first shot of caffeine. But he was dispirited more than usual this morning as Radio NZ reminded him of what had happened last night.

First, National colleague Melissa Lee finished well behind Labour’s David Shearer who won the Mt Albert by-election (but she did keep the bloody Greens from being able to brag about ousting the Nats from second place).

With all the votes counted, Shearer had 62 percent, Melissa Lee trailed with 17 percent and the Greens Russel Norman had 12 percent

Second, the All Blacks were done by the French at Carisbrook.

Third, the Black Caps were trounced by Pakistan at the 20-over cricket tournament.

But fair to say, Alf lost money only on the All Blacks.

He placed no bets on Labour winning the by-election, but he did put money on Melissa holding that Russel-with-just-one-l bloke at bay and on Shearer getting a smaller majority than Helen Clark in 2008.

Oh, and he put his money on Pakistan for the cricket.

So there it is. His heart was with Lee, the All Blacks and the Black Caps.

Sentiment does not influence his wagers.

When it came to the net result in financial terms, Alf finished up ahead on points. But the financial rewards do not provide sufficient solace.

Oh, Alf did admire the way Melissa congratuled the winner and took personal responsibility for the blunders she had made during the campaign.

But he was bemused to learn from his Herald on Sunday –

Down the road at Melissa Lee’s National Party campaign headquarters at Tadka restaurant, supporters sang the national anthem and watched the rugby. The candidate shut herself in a back room and refused to come out for half an hour.

When she emerged, she didn’t ask the result: she knew she would lose.

“The reflection is on the Labour Party,” she said.

“Anything less than a landslide result reflects poorly on them.” Shortly afterwards, she learned the extent of that landslide.

According to the SoH, the Waterview connection motorway, the Supercity and a string of gaffes from Lee had enabled Shearer to almost replicate Clark’s enormous majority.

Sad to say –

Lee, in a turquoise embroidered satin top, was close to tears as she took the blame for the magnitude of the loss. “The mistakes I have actually made in the campaign have surely had a clear impact on the outcome, and I take responsibility for that.”

One final observation.

Up the road in Sandringham, 200 celebrating Labour supporters ate marshmallows, while Shearer and leader Phil Goff pored over a laptop.

The marshallows are appropriate fodder for the limp-brained Labourites. Much the same stuff as their policies.

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