Brian Edwards Media

Archive for October, 2014

Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!

OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And let’s be clear: the only criterion for the job is that that person should have at least a snowball’s chance of beating John Key in 2017.

Nanaia Mahuta has already conceded that she’s unlikely to win the race and she is to be admired for her honesty.

Of the remaining three I’m going to discount Andrew Little first. I simply don’t believe that the country is ready for a grim-faced former union leader to be Prime Minister or to be this country’s envoy overseas.    Read the rest of this entry »

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On flocks of drunken sheep and pillow-fighting teenage girls

 

 

It would have been nice if the Labour Party caucus had just been able to get together and pick a new leader, following the departure of David Cunliffe. That would have been the tidy way of doing things – a secret ballot, no dirty laundry washed in public, no protracted taking of soundings from all and sundry, no overt competition between the aspirants.

Let’s not do that then! Too sensible. Too easy. Too quick. Too like the way the National Party does things. And look where that got them.

So when the unions and the membership and the caucus have been consulted and weighed up the respective merits of the four contenders, there’ll be a new leader ready to take on John Key and the Nats.

Not an easy job when three out of four New Zealand voters just made it crystal  clear that they didn’t want a bar of you. And even less easy when you’ve just made it plain as a pikestaff to the electorate that no-one in your caucus stands out as the obvious, unchallengeable, next leader of the party. And certainly not Nania Mahuta, Andrew Little, Grant Robertson or David Parker.

It’s not that they’re unintelligent or palpably untrustworthy or – as far as we know – have deep dark secrets waiting to emerge from the abyss like Kafka’s beetle. No, it’s just that three of them are dull and the fourth is interesting for the wrong reason.

No X-factor, no pizzazz, no charisma, no capacity to generate excitement. Oh for a Kirk, a Lange, a Clark. Good lord, even Geoffrey Palmer could play the trumpet!

And here’s the rub. For the first time, Key really looks vulnerable. ‘Prime Minister admits to speaking with forked tongue’ might have been the most apt headline this week. There are hints that the honeymoon is over, that the media are falling out of love with the Leader of the Government. Or is it the Leader of the National Party?

But never mind, Labour is providing just the distraction that National needs.

It’s actually bloody hard to be a Labour Party supporter, let alone a Labour Party advocate, when your team behaves like a flock of drunken sheep.

Ladies and gentlemen, do me a favour – get your act together. It’s just not dignified to have your potential leaders cavorting round the country like teenage girls having a pillow fight at a sleepover.

Get a grip! Please!

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How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!)

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In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The best explanation for this is that we like houses and looking at houses. Sometimes looking means falling in love and falling in love can lead to buying, preceded of course by casting off the old love. This was the case with the house we recently sold. We had a perfectly good house, walked in to an open home at a house across the road, fell in love and bingo – divorce followed by another marriage. This one has lasted a little over 5 years and the house will soon have far more faithful owners, a delightful young family who expect their children, and maybe even some of their grandchildren, to grow up there.

In the process of all this pillar-to-posting we’ve learnt quite a lot about buying and selling houses which could be summarised as ‘win some, lose some’. And we thought we might pass on some of that accumulated experience to you, dear reader. What follows is amateur stuff really and may not be 100% correct. But it’s our experience of the fascinating world of real estate. I say ‘our’ because my editor, JC, as she always does, has read the text and given it her tick of approval. So here goes: Read the rest of this entry »

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I say, I say, I say: What is the secret of successful comedy?

“Common sense and a sense of humour are the same thing moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense dancing. Those who lack humour lack common sense and should be trusted with nothing.”

Clive James penned that glorious truth. Examples of the correlation between humourlessness and lack of common sense are all around us in present-day New Zealand. They proliferate like weeds. No doubt some will occur to you as you read these lines, but it may be wiser not to name them, to keep your counsel. The humourless weed is prickly and cannot see the joke.

I was reminded of Clive James’ words by the current race for the Labour Party leadership. If James is right  – and everything I have observed about my fellow man in more than seven decades persuades me that he is –  if those who lack humour should indeed “be trusted with nothing”, then we would be wise to include evidence of the presence of a sense of humour among our criteria for electing those who seek to govern us.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Shock! Horror! Wife defends husband!!!!

 

 

In recent posts I’ve made some fairly trenchant comments about David Cunliffe, primarily about his media performance. Others, including some of his Caucus colleagues, have gone even further. The now resigned Leader of the Opposition has been under sustained and often vitriolic attack from friend and foe alike since Labour’s catastrophic showing in the General Election just over a fortnight ago. The media have feasted on his downfall.

Political survival and the retention of one’s self-respect require stoic denial from a political leader in these circumstances. To reveal hurt will  be taken as a sign of weakness. The response to Helen Clark’s tears at Waitangi in 1998 when Titewhai Harawira angrily challenged her right to speak on the marae is evidence enough of that.

But no politician can be totally indifferent to personal attack. David Cunliffe has admitted to being ‘close to tears’ following the 7-hour Caucus bloodletting after the election. That admission took courage and  should be admired rather than derided. A politician without feelings would be a dangerous creature indeed.

But what of the politician’s family, whose hurt or rage can be aired only in private, who must literally suffer in silence. For such  is the convention. So it was for Ruth Kirk and Thea Muldoon who kept just such a dignified silence in the face of the abuse, rumours and scuttlebutt that attended their husbands’ public and private lives. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Tough call!      Read the rest of this entry »

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