POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

Selecting Todd Muller as the Nats new leader was a historic occasion, being the first time in our political history in which, despite his 8 years in Parliament, a complete unknown filled the role.

His first month has been inauspicious. First came the witchcraft stuff, Todd assuring us of his conspiratorial belief that wafting about in space there’s a bearded bloke in a ballgown calling all the shots.

In a subsequent interview he said how he was affected by the bleak 1990s.

They were bleak for a single reason, namely the blind adherence by his fellow skybayer mentor, namely Jim Bolger and his inept cabinet, to the Reserve Bank Act’s high interest and exchange rate policies.

It took a Labour government to turn that on its head but in the interim we suffered an exodus of our best and brightest to Australia.

The role of the Opposition is not to mindlessly oppose the government, something in fairness, Muller has acknowledged. Instead it’s to hold them to account for blunders.

That said, the current Opposition is sadly lacking any fire, despite facing a government awash in ineptitude and surviving on the strength of the Prime Minister’s genuine charm and common-sense.

Muhammad Ali’s famous trainer, the late Angelo Dundee, summed the situation up brilliantly to me once over dinner in Miami.

He said the secret of success in the three main adversarial activities of sport, commerce and politics lay in setting the agenda.

Ali epitomised this. He had limited skills but made opponents fight his fight tactically by his confident dominant personality.

The best New Zealand political example was Rob Muldoon.

With the exception of a single 3 year term Labour, out of office for 22 years borrowed Whitlam’s “Time for a Change” slogan and won in 1972.

Rob gained the leadership a year later and pulled massive crowds, barnstorming the country and totally setting the agenda and once again Labour were cast to the wilderness for 9 years.

It’s hard to envisage Todd Muller doing this, despite the rich pickings on the political table.

The current de facto situation is that David Seymour is the true Opposition leader.

He’s been superb pointing out the government’s blunders. I viewed ACT as a dead entity but maybe not. He certainly deserves to earn a good party vote to put some colleagues into Parliament.

We’re on the verge of a massive economic crisis. Crises tend to produce exceptional leaders. Let’s hope some emerge among younger MPs for they’re certainly not there now, Jacinda excepted.

32 Comments

Dead right Bob.
Muller’s first 24 hours were faultless but sadly, after that a totally disaster.
Seymour is without doubt the de facto leader of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition.
National and their once iron clad principles have left their members — not the other way around.

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I often think wistfully of the mincemeat that Sir Robert Muldoon would make of this inept government were he still alive and at the height of his powers. He was a great leader until drink and totalitarian tendencies got to him at the end.

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The problem with the [almost always agreeable] David Seymour, is no one listens to him. They just shut off. I reckon it’s because he’s basically compassionless and the public sense it…

He lacks true enthusiasm for making things better. He just wants to be “right” and that’s good enough for him. Also at heart he’s a career politician, I believe. He won’t admit it, but he’s loathe to risk what he personally has. So he’s National’s puppet, and again, that is how the public sees him (and accurately).

Such a shame. We desperate need a David Seymour that can *COME ALIVE*.

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    What are you basing this belief on? He literally is fighting for the right for compassionate euthanasia (i.e. a candidate also named David Seymour with terminal condition ) and regarding him being a career politician he’s actually stated he want’s to get out of politics and someone else take his place once Act has a foothold, he was an electrical engineer before politics too. Your points are baseless.

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      Also it’s so bloody ridiculous when somone tries to speak for “the public” and has the audacity to think they know what all ” the public ” think. Its group think like yours that got us into this government in the first place.

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      No group told me what to think. I’ve watched him closely for a long time.

      Euthanasia I agree with but it’s not a vote winner. No one really cares about it enough to get them into polling booths.

      Also, he should have pushed for affordable housing–after both major parties completely failed on it (sitting duck issue)–but he didn’t. Housing should have been the effective brand-ACT, but he bypassed the obvious opportunity to become a 5% (at least) party. He does not seem to do anything that equates to real risk. He never upsets National – ever.

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    There’s too much emphasis on all this “be kind” nonsense – I say it’s nonsense because Ardern uses it to shut down any opponent, none of whom wish to appear “unkind”. It has to be seen in this light

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    Obviously you haven’t been following him closely. Last election one of his main messages was to reform the RMA in order to rezone property to allow residential housing to be built.
    No one cares about euthenasia? Parliament was inundated with thousands of public submissions and people wanting to speak/be heard when the bill was going through parliament.

    No risk? He was the only MP against firearms buy back, charter schoolsm the list goes on.

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I too think David Seymours’ time might have come. Remember Peter Dunne and what happened to his support after he conquered the (TV) “worm”.
Despite the gap in the polls currently, Labour and National will be neck and neck come Election Day and if Jacinda continues to dominate her partners in government, both NZ First and the Greens could easily disappear without a trace. In which case a resurgent Act could play a crucial role in the formation of the next government.

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    “Labour and National will be neck and neck come Election Day”. A few more bad days like today with #GoodbyePomPieGate could make it very interesting. I hope your prediction re. the Greens and Winston First eventuates. We can only hope 😦

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    The current iteration of National has taken a pronounced turn to the left. The only realistic option for genuine conservative/libertarian/free market voters is ACT and the hope they get enough members in Parliament to straighten the ship.
    Perhaps, if you allow the possibility of any visionary tactic, that is the plan; bring in the wet vote and have ACT as a sane, moderating hand brake
    I like it; we’re pretty much screwed if the current clown show get re-elected.

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As a previous National supporter for over 20 years I have been impressed with the calibre of David Seymour and the liberal-conservative views and policy that the ACT party stand for. We are at a pivotal point for politics in New Zealand this year and with aspirational (Charter Schools) progressive, realistic and caring policies (euthanasia bill) ACT is very well on the road to getting more people into Parliament in September.

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The large crowds Muldoon drew are never going to happen. Muldoon was a nationalist and appeals to nationhood are out of fashion.

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Seymour turned away a massive
ministerial role under Key just to put his private members bill on euthynasia in
( one that randomly gets pulled out of a tin )
he has a massive heart. And deserves to be in government.
More ACT is only a good thing

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    Did you know that viruses are God’s euthanasia system? They kill those who are ready to go anyway, to save them from a painful and over-extended exist. So yeah, we need David’s policy to compensate for the damage Jacinda has done, in undermining nature’s (God’s) way via the lockdowns.

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Terb Terbchimein 7th June 17, 2020 at 8:36 pm

Yes to you all in general. I tend to think Nationals biggest hurdle is getting past the left media. They are effectively shutting Muller down and ensuring “we” accentuate any negative. National will need to break the inertia and to do that they will need a burst of (impressive) energy or a change in state of the opposing force. Seymour a good ally but he will not be enough.
I’m just repeating your collective views I suppose… blah blah.

Ali was just the best Sir Bob, (still watch YouTube clips; what a character). Don’t really know if he or his team were tactically that effective, but would assume the results kind of indicate ..yes.!?

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    “Break the inertia”. Totally agree. Labour, despite all their failed promises (heaps of them) are setting the agenda. National appear to be low on energy, Labour-lite and basically afraid of their own shadow. Hard to vote for.
    National had an interesting self-made Maori leader for 2 years and the (Jacinda-worshipping) media 24/7 hounded and criticised everything he did. And then, when they finally succeeded in having him dumped, they turn around and criticise National for their lack of diversity?
    Where are the historical Labour Party Maori leaders? Have there ever been any?

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N.Z. First also deserves a party vote if you’re a commercial Landlord. I’ve never supported N.Z. First before but without Winston Peters at the Cabinet Table, Labour would have inserted a new rent abatement clause in every commercial lease contract, regardless if the Landlord and Tenant had already made a prior agreement concerning rent reduction during the Lock Down period. There clearly would have been no sanctity of contract if Labour had of been in sole charge. You should be able to sign a private written contract in this country and it not be subject to the Government changing its terms at a later date.

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    C19 has been a godsend for Labour as they can act now with impunity in their desire to control every aspect of our lives. At my work, we are now tracked 24/7 via our workphone, due, we are told to C19.
    But hey, rest assured, Labour knows what is best for us simple deplorables. After all, they all went to university.

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It’s true that Catholicism is akin to witchcraft.
Sir Bob once told me that God doesn’t like me either. It’s in my haka book.
I disagree with the sentiment about Jacinda being charming. She is a nauseating leader.
Sir Bob is easily swayed by a smile. He never saw mine!
“Haka on the Pew” by Jack MW, eBook available from Kindle Store, and its sequel, “The RA Books”.

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I listened to the multitude on magictalk yesterday surprised and disappointed at the border blunder.  SURPRISED? 
Jacinda Adern’s government failed to deliver most if their 2017 election promises. As for transformational and transparent, please!
Jacinda Adern told us she is minster for child poverty because it is a priority for her government. 3 years with a $5b budget and child poverty numbers are still getting worse. Now she wants to give those same deprived youth access to legal marijuana.
and you’re surprised Jacinda and her staff can’t manage a border?

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Bob, I suspect you’re just being flippant but no one seriously believes that “wafting about in space there’s a bearded bloke in a ballgown calling all the shots”; attempts to personify him are merely representations.
God is a spirit, not material, the same as beauty. We can perceive and even create beauty but we can barely perceive the spirit of beauty never mind depict it.
I prefer to think of God as the eternal, incorruptible, fundamental nature of reality itself. Something like that.

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    This is an interesting prophecy in The Apocalypse of Baruch Ch 38; v 31 to 38 about the end of the age. I especially like verse 35. He had some great insight back in 588 BC!

    Ch 38: 31. For that time will arise which brings aſiliction; for it will come and pass by with quick vehemence, and it will be turbulent coming in the heat of indignation. 32. And it will come to pass in those days that all the inhabitants of the earth will be moved one against another because they know not that My judgment has drawn nigh, Y 33. For there will not be found many wise at that ‘ time, and the intelligent will be but a few : moreover, even those who know will most of all be silent.35. And honour will be turned into shame, and strength humiliated into contempt, and probity destroyed, and beauty will become scorn. 36. And many will say to many at that time: “Where hath the multitude of intelligence hidden itself, and whither hath the multitude of wisdom removed itself ‘ 37. And whilst they are meditating these things, then zeal will arise in those of whom they thought not, and passion will seize him who is peaceful, and many will be roused in anger to injure many, and they will rouse up armies to shed blood, and in the end, they will perish together with them. 38. And it will come to pass at the self-same time, that a change of times will manifestly appear to every man, because of which in all those times they were polluted and practised oppression, and walked every man in his own works, and remembered not the law of the Mighty One.

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Sir Robert. You do not believe in a God. That’s O.K. Yet you believe that Jacinda Ardern is charming? Surely you jest Sire.

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I agree completely with the comments re ACT and David Seymour, above. I think we need more evidence-based dialogue and not unsubstantiated ramblings that are far too prevalent these days. I gave my Party vote to NZ First last time, to wake up National, but have now switched to ACT. ACT’s policies on small business, education and healthcare are truly transformational and focused on impact not mind-numbing idealogy that we have seen from Labour. These are evidenced with the euthanasia bill and charter schools. While being focused on working for NZ they are not as isolationist or myopic as NZ First. Watch some of the House debates and what journalists such as Kate Hawkesbury and Fran Sullivan are now saying about David Seymour and ACT. Finally, there is some break-through of our very left-leaning media.

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I disagree about Jacinda, Bob – She makes me feel I’m awake in bed with a horse’s head next to me, grinning – a la The Godfather

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Terb Terbchangegearmate June 18, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Who said Jacinda isn’t god…come on, who said that ??

…all hale the chosen 1…the second coming, our socialist saviour …re-program the decenter….never question ….and hold your little finger out as you sup your latte while you describe the day using the ethnic verb you just read on The Spinoff.
….hang on socialists. Do we allow religion this time ?…we can, it suits us.

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The Crown has slipped a bit there Princess….in fact the halo is definitely off-centre. Interesting to see the fingers being pointed after the monumental stuff ups that are now being revealed. She who cannot do wrong better be hoping like hell that it doesn’t get any worse. Whats that saying again in Politics….the blame stops where? A day is sure a long time in Politics…she could quickly become the laughing stock instead of the ‘ chosen one’.

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    Jacinda’s inadequacies as a leader are revealed; the kindy teacher thinking behind comments such as these confirm it:
    Ardern told reporters she does not want to see a “witch hunt”.
    “This has been a failure of the system; I’m not interested in going down into individuals and finding out exactly who.”
    Someone signed off on these people being released early and un-tested but lets just blame it on a nebulous “system”.
    The same sort of dripping wet “thinking” that leaves in place her coterie of failure and incompetence. Kelvin Diversity Davis at number two?

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For almost 20 years, Muldoon dominated NZ politics like a giant scary ogre who loved a fight. Hulking the screens of our black and white TV’s sets, he dominated our lonely single channel news broadcasts, happily squashing all opposition in his wake.
When narrating “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, like all the best teachers can, he silenced his youthful audience with just with a single ‘terrifying’ raise of the eyebrow.
But then I saw Muldoon in the flesh. And he was this tiny little round man. I got quite a shock.
And yes, if leader of the opposition today, he would devour this entire silly government in one easy sitting. Showing no kindness nor empathy, Game of Thrones-like, one incompetent minister after another would be thrown to the dragons.
Our present leader, Jacinda, is only exceptional at milking disasters. She has been exceptionally lucky. She’s had three of them. But yes, she has set the agenda.
Postscript: To commerce, sport and politics, can I add romance ???

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Read through the comments. I don’t think people grasp the changes coming to the NZ political landscape. None of the current leaders have had to try and deal with massive unemployment and the strains that has on society. It’s all changing.

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