Monday, June 19, 2006

Winston launches safe travel campaign

Your beloved Minister of Foreign Affairs - Winston Peters - has launched a safe travel campaign for when NZers travel overseas. This is because some fools don’t get travel insurance, go to dangerous areas and don’t like the risk, and expect the government to fix their problems.
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Well you DID vote for nanny state after all. I don’t know how I’ve survived leaving New Zealand the dozens of times I have done so.
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However, it IS slightly funny thinking how applicable this is to Winston. I once sat beside Winston on a plane, it was in business class, he was going from Wellington to Christchurch (I was connecting on international flight on to Europe) – so here is Winston’s REAL guide to safe overseas travel:
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1. Ensure local embassy/high commission of country you are visiting knows that the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs is arriving, and full honours are required. This includes accommodation at palace, castle, White House, Blue House, chateau, mansion of the relevant King, Queen, President, Prince, Prime Minister. Don’t want to arrive in a country without somewhere to stay.
2. Check Michael (Cullen) has placed enough money in relevant overseas bank account to pay expenses, shopping while away. Can’t be skint!
3. Make sure only fly safest airlines in safest part of the plane – the only safe airlines are Singapore Airlines, and Emirates, as they are from very low terror risk countries, have new planes and carry less people on the flights (and are the only ones still flying to NZ with a decent first class cabin). Don't ask Helen for her plane, it isn't her plane remember? You've asked before and you can't have it.
4. Make sure enough accompanying officials travel with you, or bodyguards, to shield you from the groupies wanting to ask questions at airports. Officials can also block out seats near you on the plane.
5. Take condoms. There will always be groupies that help to ease the stress of travel. Bill Clinton made the most of this. French cabinet Ministers need this in order to retain any semblance of credibility.
6. Ensure embassy/high commission abroad has limo for safe pickup from airport. Can’t trust local public transport, taxis in such dangerous cities as Tehran, Beijing, London or Canberra. Ensure limo is also available for local trips – high likelihood of being mugged otherwise.
7. Take enough suits and shirts plus one spare for every night of travel. It is dangerous to look beneath your station.
8. Ensure accompanying officials get duty free liquor order very clear. Dangerous for them to have bought the wrong booze and you'll go blind if they buy it at Kiev Airport.
9. Take portfolio of papers to ensure credibility while travelling. Important to sit on plane or in palace looking like you are doing work, when you are actually watching a movie or listening to ipod. Can’t afford to risk media taking photos of Minister not working.
10. Don’t play croquet.
11. Always take interpreters. Foreigners don’t speak properly so it is important to have someone with you who understands it. It’s not their fault NZ is first and it could be dangerous if you don’t understand them.

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