John Key was worried about the future. He needed direction. He needed answers.
He went down to see the psychic medium. He entered her tent. (The notice banning camping next to Treasury had been removed earlier in the day by the Prime Minister's minders).
The psychic was dressed in a gypsy skirt with two layers of weatherproof make-up on her face and a NZ First lapel pin on her jacket. With a start, Mr Key recalled he had just passed Winston Peters in the street and Winston had been whistling.
The psychic noted that Mr Key was not smiling. She asked him whether he had suffered some sort of recent loss.
Yes, he replied, I have lost my train of thought.
The psychic, sensing a vibe, said, "That will be the train that is rushing towards you through a tunnel. It is carrying a bunch of angry people. I sense an important document."
Mr Key was surprised. "Yes there is a document - it is called the Treaty of Waiting - sorry, I mean Waitangi. Clearly you have second sight. What else can you see?"
The psychic closed her eyes and began to sway while mumbling about "user pays and the rising cost of the future". Mr Key searched his pockets while debating whether fortune telling was a legitimate use of tax-payers' money. He found a twenty, placed it on the table and asked for a receipt.
The psychic waved her hands over the money and said, "I see a fading connection to the zeitgeist. More money is needed to secure accurate predictions. You could regard this as a partial asset sale." She winked at Mr Key. He rustled through his pockets and found another twenty.
The psychic started shaking and rolling her eyes then suddenly went completely still - except for her left hand which reached for the money.
Staring into the distance, she intoned in a trance-like voice that she had a message from the other side. Mr Key was astonished. "Why would the Opposition contact me in this way?"
The psychic corrected him. "No, it is not David Shearer calling from the other side of the political divide. This message is from someone that died recently named Tory Redneck. He says he was a right whinger - sorry, the signal's not very good.
"He is raving about market forces and that you, as Prime Minister, need to outsource more government services to multinationals so that when it all goes pear-shaped you can blame it on them.
"Prisons should be contracted out to private companies who, working on a fee per prisoner basis, would lobby for ever longer sentences to bolster their profits. It works in America, 'Land of the Free'."
Mr Key nodded and asked the psychic medium for more information.
"Sell all public assets. Government can divest itself of responsibility for welfare by passing the whole caboodle to iwi - who will get the blame when it all goes wrong. Cut the number of teachers, increase class sizes.
"The resulting social tsunami will not arrive for a few years. By then you will be long gone to a cushy diplomatic job somewhere sunny and warm. The trick is to pass the buck as fast as possible".
Mr Key smiled as he left the psychic. This was the kind of future he could understand.
It was a rare medium that could be so well done.
Terry Sarten lives in Whanganui and is a musician, writer and social worker who can see into the future if he drinks enough coffee. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org