For six weeks in 1987 (as I mentioned in the previous post) I got seconded to the Leader of the Opposition's office as an economic adviser. I did it mostly for the intrinsic interest of it, and partly because I'd done a stint as an adviser to a rather controversial Irish government minister, and had learnt a few things that I thought I could put to good use.
All well and good. What I wasn't prepared for was that I was now - not a VIP exactly, but more a Somewhat Important Person - in Parliamentary Services' grand scheme of things. And that meant that, at 7.15am each morning, a chauffeured car arrived outside our house in Pauatahanui, to carry me away in style to help to attend to the great matters of state. Sadly, it all stopped on election day (August 15). As, of course, it should.
If you're a fan of Yes, Minister, you might ask, were the New Zealand Parliamentary Services drivers as much in the know as their counterparts were in Jim Hacker's UK? You might very well think so, but I could not possibly comment.