When a party has a musterer, who will get the joke if several new co-leaders are named?

Take me to your co-leaders.

Never thought the bloody Greens had much of a sense of humour.

But only the date of today’s media release gives a hint that a slew of leadership announcements may be a load of bollocks.

In all other respects, the news is precisely what you would expect from the muesli-munching tossers.

Prank-wary news editors therefore are in danger of being caught out.

Here’s how it kicks off –

Green Party announces new leadership

The Green Party has pioneered the co-leadership model which has helped us provide representative and dynamic leadership. We think the time has come for further innovation, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

We will be introducing a more inclusive model of leadership that covers youth and rainbow representatives, said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

The Green Party is launching today a broader leadership model that will include male and female youth and rainbow co-leaders. The additional co-leaders will be Holly Walker, Gareth Hughes, Jan Logie and Kevin Hague.

This informs us there will be almost as many chiefs as Indians in the Green caucus, but because of their proven track record for political and organisational eccentricities, nobody would be surprised.

Except, of course, the date suggests maybe things are not quite what they seem.

1 April 2012.

Trouble is, they don’t always wait for April Fool’s Day to do silly things.

They showed they were decidedly odd when they opted to have a bloke as a co-leader and a sheila as a co-leader.

And don’t forget they introduced a “musterer” instead of whips.

Alf became so red-faced from his prolonged laughter when he heard of that decision, Mrs Grumble had to throw a bucket of cold water over him to bring him to his senses.

Ian Ewen-Street was the first Musterer, back in 1999.

The appointment and the rationale was announced by the late Rod Donald, the bloke bit of the co-leadership arrangement at that time.

Dunno why they didn’t have a bloke musterer and a sheila musterer, although animal-loving sheilas like Sue Kedgley perhaps bridled at the introduction of sheep-farming practices within the party and hence would not accept the job.

No matter what was going on, here’s what Rod said (with a straight face, too, the way Alf remembers it) when he made the announcement.

“We’re not into whipping in the Green Party,” said Mr Donald.

“But with seven MPs, five of them newcomers to Parliament, we will need somebody to make sure we’re all heading in the same direction.”

The Musterer’s job was to muster a full crew of Green MPs in the house for important bills and sit on the business committee, overseeing the running of parliament.

Ewen-Street enthusiastically embraced the new title, saying it reflected the co-operative way in which the Green MPs were going to work.

“Whips are an archaic legacy of our colonial history. Changing the title is one small step towards changing the culture of Parliament.”

If they had announced that pile of pap on an April Fool’s Day, nobody – surely – would have published it.

The job of organising the Greens’ expanded caucus after the 2011 general election, by the way, was given to Gareth Hughes.

But let’s get back to today’s statement, which quotes various greenies while they wax enthusiastically about their promotions.

What they are quoted as saying would appear to political analysts to be perfectly normal green carry-on.

Green Party Co-leader Jan Logie added, “This is a great opportunity it has happened pretty quickly but I think I’m ready to take up the challenge.”

Green Party Co-leader Kevin Hague added, “I’m looking forward to providing new leadership and representing the rainbow and shiny pate communities.”

Green Party Co-leader Holly Walker, said, “When Metiria and Russel, told me I was like no way, and they were like way, and I was like that’s like awesome.”

“This is tots gangsta man, I’m gonna tweet this everywhere, said Green Party Co-leader Gareth Hughes.

The mathematical logic underpinning the announcement has all the hallmarks of genuine greenie thinking, too.

Initial research by the Parliamentary Library suggests that if there is direct correlation between the number of leaders and voter support then the Green Party support will expand 3 fold from 11% to 33%.

“This is great research, if this works out we might need to expand the leadership again – I can’t think of any more new categories for leaders but I will consult with the Party, I’m sure they will come up with some,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“If the other petals of the party takes up this structure up we will have 18 co-something’s that will make us pretty much invincible I reckon,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

Yep.

The Tui billboard should go here.

Now let’s wait and see which news media get caught out.

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