In my view the stand-out successor to P.G. Wodehouse in writing timeless comical stories is undoubtably Garrison Keillor. Timeless, because of their underlying basic innocence in which the worst villains are likely to be a fat school-boy or bossy aunt in Wodehouse’s case or with Keillor, trivial mis-deeds by his small town characters. Where the American trumps Wodehouse is with his numerous astute observations about human behaviour. A book of his quotes would be a best-seller.

He once wrote,

“The urge to be top dog is a bad urge. Inevitable tragedy. Nobody is meant to be a star. Charisma is pure fiction and so is brilliance”.

Never a truer word when it comes to politics.

I was actively involved in the 1980s but had absolutely no wish to be in Parliament let alone Prime Minister. Rather than wanting to boss people about I sought the opposite, namely radical change away from Big Government and to unleash the potential of individuals making their own decisions in a free market.

Western democratic politics attract ambitious but otherwise ordinary folk. The competent are too pre-occupied pursuing their own activities. New Zealand’s stand-out exception was John Key who set out to taste every experience, including running a country, but once it evolved into repetition, pulled stumps for fresh fields.

Democracies abruptly thrust non-descript lawyers, school-teachers, public servants and so forth, into a hugely addictive limelight. But once their shining comet abruptly burns out, as it always does, then it’s back to the previous obscurity, in many cases leaving them bloodied and beaten.

Enoch Powell summed it up when he once observed that all political careers end in failure. My God, he was right.

Jacinda is now experiencing this phenomenon. The anger everywhere towards her must be a huge shock given the at times ludicrous adulation she was initially accorded. The old boxing adage, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” springs to mind.

She’s certainly not insensitive to what is happening and its excesses. I admired her honesty when she was quoted in the Guardian at the height of her over-the-top adulation, how when that nonsense was going on she’d lie in bed suffering from what she described as “imposter syndrome”. The New Zealand media, then in full lap-dog mode, chose not to reproduce that observation presumably for fear of harming her image. But reading it at the time I found it easy to empathise with her sentiments.

The current mood of the nation reminds me of 1983. Back then there was a similar brooding anger tempered, as now by a sense of despair as the option was perceived as hopeless. But look what happened in the 1984 election.

One difference between then and now is the Muldoon government had generally competent Cabinet Ministers. That certainly cannot be said about the current administration who mostly are spectacularly out of their depth.

I will happily wager with all comers that the next election will result in a landslide decimation of Labour, moreso as I suspect, like John Key, a burnt out and understandably fed up Jacinda may quit a year or so before the election, while like Key, still maintaining her benign reputation, ostensibly “to allow time for her successor to blood him or herself”. When I say this people ask what about the polls? As late as six months before the 1984 election the polls still supported the Nats. Sampling polls however proved no match for the election reality, as I have no doubt we will see occur again.


God yes please.
The country is nearly a socialist anarchists paradise.
Police are near useless in defending good citizens while left wing academics encourage ferral maniacs to do as they please.

Good riddance Cinderella.

Surely this wsill depend on the Nats, for if they try and win with Judith at the helm, they will fail miserably. Get their leader right and victory will be a cazke-walk. For all Judith’s talents and qualities she is not destined to be the Prime Minister.

    The current government have decided to expend what remains of their political capital on deeply divisive policies directly at odds with the interests and instincts of the reasonable majority, they’re sowing the seeds for an ignominious and richly deserved defeat.

    Any leader of the Nats will have to contend with a hostile media, they managed to destroy Muller in a few weeks. Perhaps Nicola Willis would be treated a little more leniently and I think she has the qualities to do the job and the appeal to easily win the election.

I think I’m surprised, I think I am, that the Nats haven’t been more aggressive. They’ve nothing to lose. If they had a read of their constitution they might some ideas and balls.

Sir Bob.
With respect. National have to be absolutely stupid to want to regain the control of the Treasury benches after the next election 2023.
The financial consequences of Labour’s profligacy has not sunk in to the general public yet. The billions been borrowed and gone where except to favourite causes. Let Labour get the proper blame for the continuing price rises ,and if Mr Orr wants to maintain the value of the currency to maintain living standards. Let them Labour raise the taxes, increase the GST to 20% and bring in Death Duties to get more from those rich boomers and stop them from passing on all that asset money they now own from going to their children. Labour will be wanting to grab it for their ‘friends’. See how the voters of 2020 like that.

    Can scarcely believe that not one pollie faced that crowd at Parliament yesterday…is that naive of me? Not one? For those backbenchers who struggle with name recognition it would’ve meant instant fame. They wouldnt have had to say much at all…just acknowledge them…??

    We need a leader with the desire to fix the problems we have and improve our lot. Politics should not come into it. There are some out there that would relish the challenge of fixing things and that is the person we want. Forget about the blame game of 9 long years of …..

Well said and so very true sir Robert.
With the current climate of opposition towards Jacinda and the labour government, either Jacinda will resign or the public of New Zealand with force their hand and a snap election will occur within the next year.

Surprisingly the Lord Michael Ashcroft poll didn’t seem show the discontent that is apparent in the middle or business classes. Maybe there is less discontent than the middle class assume.I would not be surprised if many people are also doing what my my wife is doing . She has just applied for Australian citizenship and once approved, so will my kids . Hopefully I can tag along . We all love this country and its people, but future options need looking at.

Oh please I hope you are correct.

Retiring to spend more time raising her daughter, or falling pregnant with another child would be a good excuse for Jacinda to duck out.

Back in the 1980’s I was living in the back country of Southern Hawkes bay. National Radio was the only station I could receive on my 1930’s vintage valve radio, but regardless of its age, it kept me informed about the world outside of my self imposed isolation.
Jessica Weddell’s Saturday afternoon radio interviews and her belief in the philosophy of objectivism introduced me to author Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged..
Sharon Crosbie’s Monday to Friday morning radio show introduced me to author “Garrison Keillor” after listening to a book review of his “Lake Wobegon Days.” 35 years on those books are still in my bookcase and are old friends.
Then, as now, a Labour Government was lurching from one catastrophe to the next and people were crying enough! “Everything changes and everything remains the same”.

    Loved listening to The Prairie Home Companion vis Natrad of the time. And the books. Can hardly believe I barely tune into Kim or Jim these days…RNZ has left me. Hope this govt does too.

All too true..Sadly.

On a happier note anyone who is a fan of Garrison Keillor has to also have listened to the fantastic ” A prairie Home Companion”. Those who would look for good in the USA need look no further than this ..

Democracy is a train wreck, with no politicians prepared to make hard calls, or the experience or nous to run the country..

Lets have a referendum to reduce the term of MP’s to not more than two terms; and extend that to local authority and their executive also. Then these clowns who have no idea on anything wouldn’t be able to make a career out of lies and half truths.

Politics shouldnt be a career, rather a honour bestowed on people who have a track record of giving back to the community they represent.

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