The Politically Incorrect Show - 02/04/2001
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday April 2, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
In Saturday's Herald Peter Sinclair made it public that he has leukaemia. Since it's no one else's business, he didn't really want to, but media bloodhounds were literally beating a path to his door, so Pete decided to launch a pre-emptive strike & announce it in his own way. He did so with typical dignity & grace.
If attitude has anything to do with it, the end for Pete is still some way off. He & I got together for lunch shortly after the diagnosis had been made. We ate, drank & were merry into the early evening. We have dined together countless times over the years - always the occasions were full of fun & laughter. There is no more engaging a dinner companion than Pete. Once, we were spotted by Felicity Ferret, who wondered what on earth we might be talking about. Well, Felicity, my lips are sealed.
He flatted with me for a while, when I was still at TVNZ. Pete's own superb programmes, Mastermind & University Challenge had not long been axed. This was the time when TVNZ was dumbing itself down. When I left, citing the "braindead" state of current affairs coverage as the reason, I could no longer afford the mortgage I had, so Pete & I went our separate ways. He later paid me the compliment of saying that in all the months he stayed with me there had never been a cross word between us, never an irrational moment. Well, it would be very difficult to direct a cross word at someone as unfailingly cheerful & upbeat as Pete.
Not that we saw a huge amount of each other during this time - Pete had a radio stint at night & would work on his second novel by day. We didn't quite see eye to eye over his first one, The Front Man. I considered it superbly written, but oh, so black. Not like him at all, I thought. This must have bugged him somewhat, because one morning I arose to find a note he had written in the early hours of the morning, defending it. We've never discussed it since.
In the New Zealand broadcasting Hall of Fame, Peter Sinclair is right up there. Some of his teachers had their brilliant student marked for an academic career, but I suspect Pete would have found academia far too stuffy. Latterly he has reinvented himself as an Internet columnist for the Herald. In Saturday's article he promises there'll be lots more columns yet. He ends by saying, "Thanks, life, it's been a pleasure."
For the friendship that has been & will continue, & for the countless radio & television programmes on which he provided all of us with so much fun & stimulation, I want to say, on your behalf & mine:
"Thanks, Pete, it's been OUR pleasure."
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