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Brian Edwards and Judy Callingham offer professional and effective media training for people in both the private and public sectors.
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Is this Democracy?

As I write this Winston Peters may or may not have made up his mind whether to go with Bill or Jacinda. How many brain cells to you have to lose in order to regard MMP as a workable and satisfactory form of democracy. One egotist – I would have used a stronger term but my wife says it would be defamatory – one egotist is offered the keys to the kingdom and gratefully, if not graciously, accepts. And this is the third time it has happened.

This is not democracy; this borders on autocracy. Only the names of the powerbrokers change. When the leaders of the two largest parties in the country have to go cap in hand to the joker in the pack in order to govern, something is very amiss with the system. This might not be the case if the joker in the pack were motivated by altruism on behalf of the citizenry. But that really is stretching credibility.

It’s fun though. No denying Winston really is a hoot. So that’s all right then. Isn’t it?


Power, the Aphrodisiac

Power is an aphrodisiac. Fame, often power’s companion, is an aphrodisiac. Anyone who has enjoyed power or fame will know this to be true.

The aphrodisiac qualities of power and fame are to a large degree unrelated to the physical attractiveness of the powerful or the famous person.

Whether your name is Trudeau or Muldoon the aphrodisiac qualities of power will apply, differing only in degree. In my career as a television interviewer I have observed this at first hand on numerous occasions.

Trouble arises when the powerful person fails to recognise the connection between their power and their attractiveness. They fall victim to the delusion of their own inherent and irresistible appeal to the opposite sex. They can neither understand nor accept rejection. Down this path lie inappropriate advances to women and rape. Think Harvey Weinstein and armies of rich and/or famous men.

And you, Brian? Well, my father was a womaniser who abandoned me and my mother and did prison time for bigamy. Sometimes it’s quite useful to have an appalling role model. Teaches you what to avoid.


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Going, Going, Nearly Gone!


OK, what we have now is a sale! You might call it a bargain basement sale. Or a reverse auction maybe where the price of the goods goes down with every bid. Let’s join the bidding.

‘Item 2017 on your programme, ladies and gentlemen, Running The Country. Can I get a starting bid of a zillion dollars? Gentleman with the blue tie. Thank you sir. Any retreat from a zillion dollars? Lady in the red dress. 500 million. Thank you madam. Any retreat from 500 million? Young man in the green jersey. A lifetime supply of mung beans. Thank you young man. Elderly gent with the dead cat. Five bucks. My goodness! Thank you sir. That’s going to be hard to beat. Dapper Gentleman smoking the cigarette. What’s that sir? Minus anything any of the others bid. And a partridge in a pear tree. But you’re willing to share Running The Country for the next 3 years with any of the previous bidders. Any further retreats? No? Final chance, ladies and gentlemen? Going, Going! Gone! That concludes the auction, ladies and gentlemen. If the gentleman smoking the cigarette will join me and the other bidders in a dimly lit back room, negotiations can begin.’