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A thought for National MPs as they consider the contenders for Leader


UK journalist Hunter Davies interviewed Willie Whitelaw in 1992 after his retirement from politics. The interview was published in The Independent. It is well worth reading.

‘I think I would have been a fatal choice if I had won the leadership election in Opposition. I’m not a rabble-rouser or inspirational. I’m not good at always being against things, which you have to be in Opposition. And the right wing of our party would have made it hard for me, picking on my weak points, such as economics. In power, with a strong Chancellor I could trust, who knows, I could have done it. But I have no regrets.’

In the context of the contest for National’s Leadership the above quote is very pertinent. It would repay National to think carefully about their choices and to consider where they are now and the task ahead. Plus they will need to consider the deputy role very carefully. The appointment of Kelvin Davis, no doubt for balance and placating Maori has not been a success for Labour.

National needs to learn from history and not emulate the Bourbon Kings of France, of whom Talleyrand said, it is believed:

“They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

The quote is attributed to Talleyrand in speaking about the restored Bourbon dynasty after the abdication of Napoleon, and subsequently used against the French socialists and others. It comes close to Einstein’s definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

One Comment
  1. The Veteran permalink
    17/02/2018 14:28

    Sage advice


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