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Goff:A valediction?


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John Roughan in the NZ Herald has a rather odd article on Goff and the Labour leadership, saying:-

Trade Minister Phil Goff, I’d imagine, is having a fairly satisfying career, disturbed only by his misfortune to be the media’s heir presumptive to Helen Clark.

How he came to deserve this fate is probably as much a mystery to him as it is to me. He hasn’t the air of a leader in waiting, has never said a word that I can recall to suggest he aches for the job, and there is a good reason he wouldn’t expect it.

He discusses Goff’s career to date, notes the fact that he is a contemporary of Clark and suggests that Goff probably really wanted Cullen’s job.

Roughan says about Cullen

When Cullen retires, as imminently he might, he will have presided over the economy for nine good years, the first Finance Minister, as he noted near the end of his speech on Thursday, to present nine consecutive budgets since World War II.

Those years have been the longest period of continuous economic growth since that war. It will owe much to his adherence to sound monetary management and fiscal caution.

Adam thinks it is a bit much to presume Cullen is the primary reason for this growth especially given the good doctor’s propensity to spend profligately and in election years like the proverbial drunken and profligate sailor, so that the quality of much spending is questionable.

Adam is of the belief that much of our recent economic success is due to Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson, and that unfortunately much impetus has been lost in recent years so that our productivity growth has been poor and our performance has lagged.

He concludes on Goff thus:-

Goff, meanwhile, has attended to trade and justice with legendary energy, care and unfailing political judgement. The Government will have had the benefit of those qualities in many more ways than we know.

Them’s the breaks. I doubt that he lies awake wondering what might have been. There is satisfaction enough in work well done for a purpose greater than personal status.

That last sentence seems to be along the lines of an obituary or at least a valediction.

Does Roughan think Goff has done his chips?

Is someone whispering in Roughan’s ear?

Who does Roughan see as the future leader?

UPDATE: Readers might like to read The Hive’s comments here.

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