Whilst on her morning walk, Prime Minister Helen Clark falls over, has a heart attack and dies because the accident and emergency dept at her nearest hospital is too understaffed to treat her in time.
So her soul arrives in Heaven and she is met by Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates.
‘Welcome to Heaven,’ says Saint Peter, ‘Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a Socialist around these parts, so we’re not sure what to do with you.’
‘No problem, just let me in; I’m a good Christian; I’m a believer,’says the PM.
‘I’d like to just let you in, but I have orders from God Himself. He says that since the implementation of His new HEAVEN CHOICES policy, you have to spend one day in Hell and one day in Heaven. Then you must choose where you’ll live for eternity.’
But I’ve already made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven,’replies Clark.
‘I’m sorry .. But we have our rules,’ Peter interjects. And, with that, St. Peter escorts her to an elevator and she goes down, down, down…all the way to Hell.
The doors open and she finds herself in the middle of a lush golf course. The sun is shining in a cloudless sky. The temperature is a perfect 22 degrees Celsius. In the distance is a beautiful club-house. Standing in front of it is David Lange and thousands of other Socialist luminaries who had helped her out over the years — Norm Kirk, Bill Rowling, etc. The whole of the Labour Party leaders were there. Everyone laughing, happy, and casually but expensively dressed.
They run to greet her, to hug her and to reminisce about the good times they had getting rich at the expense of ‘suckers and peasants.’
They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar. The Devil himself comes up to Clark with a frosty drink, ‘Have a tequila and relax, Helen!’
‘Uh, I can’t drink anymore, I took a pledge,’ says Clark, dejectedly.
‘This is Hell, Helen. You can drink and eat all you want and not worry and it just gets better from there!’
Clark takes the drink and finds herself liking the Devil, who she thinks is a really very friendly bloke who tells funny jokes like herself and pulls hilarious nasty pranks, kind of like the ones the Labour Party pulled with the Education, Immigration, Tough on Crime promises.
They are having such a great time that, before she realises it, it’s time to go. Everyone gives her a big hug and waves as Clark steps on the elevator and heads upward.
When the elevator door reopens, she is in Heaven again and Saint Peter is waiting for her. ‘Now it’s time to visit Heaven,’ the old man says, opening the gate.
So for 24 hours Clark is made to hang out with a bunch of honest, good-natured people who enjoy each other’s company, talk about things other than money and treat each other decently. Not a nasty prank or short-arse joke among them.
No fancy country clubs here and, while the food tastes great, it’s not caviar or lobster. And these people are all poor.
She doesn’t see anybody she knows and she isn’t even treated like someone special!
‘Whoa,’ she says uncomfortably to herself. ‘David Lange never prepared me for this!’
The day done, Saint Peter returns and says, ‘Well, you’ve spent a day in Hell and a day in Heaven. Now choose where you want to live for Eternity.’
With the ‘Deal or No Deal’ theme playing softly in the background, Clark reflects for a minute … Then answers:
‘Well, I would never have thought I’d say this — I mean, Heaven has been delightful and all –but I really think I belong in Hell with my friends.’
So Saint Peter escorts her to the elevator and she goes down, down,down, all the way to Hell.
The doors of the elevator open and she is in the middle of a barren scorched earth covered with garbage and toxic industrial wasteland, looking a bit like the eroded, rabbit and fox affected Australian outback, but worse and more desolate.
She is horrified to see all of her friends, dressed in rags and chained together, picking up the roadside rubbish and putting it into black plastic bags. They are groaning and moaning in pain, faces and hands black with grime.
The Devil comes over to Clarke and puts an arm around her shoulder.” I don’t understand,’ stammers a shocked Clark, ‘Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a club-house and we ate lobster and caviar and drank tequila.
We lazed around and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and everybody looks miserable!’
The Devil looks at her, smiles slyly and purrs, ‘Yesterday we were campaigning; today you voted for us!