Brian Edwards Media

Archive for August, 2017

Common Sense Dancing

Bill English

Yesterday I posted on Facebook:

‘Never thought I’d say this, but Bill English was brilliant tonight on The Project. Tremendous sense of humour and completely unfazed. Gave me pause for thought.’

There was an immediate and unsurprising response. Treachery or insanity at best! You’re a Labour man, Brian! Worked for Helen Clark! What’s got into you for heaven’s sake?

This is how tribal politics rots your brain: Everything Bill English says or does must be bad; everything Jacinda Ardern says or does must be good. Latest news – It ain’t necessarily so.

What you don’t want in any Prime Minister is lack of a sense of humour. Rob Muldoon had a sense of humour but it was at the expense of others. Helen Clark had a sense of humour, but it rarely made an appearance. Andrew Little claimed to have a dry sense of humour. When I suggested that ‘arid’ might be a more appropriate term, he had the good grace to be amused.

Clive James once wrote: “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 are without judgement and should be trusted with nothing.”

Good advice for both participants in tonight’s Leaders Debate.

No charge!


Winston Peters – another perspective


WitchI never saw myself defending Winston Peters, but I’ve sat in a WINZ office with woman who could have been my mother.

She was lovely. As was the superannuitant who sorted Brian’s some years earlier.

Both of them filled in the forms for us and, although we’re both reasonably literate, we were both very grateful, because forms can confuse.

So I have no difficulty believing that Winston had trust in the officer who processed his application, and that he simply signed this form as we did. Particularly since his partner was with him at the time and there should have been no confusion about his status.

So, like us, he may have assumed that all the details had been checked and accepted by WINZ, since their representative had filled them in.

Just saying.


On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You




Hi, my name is Brian. Edwards to be precise. You may remember me. I used to be on television. Started in Christchurch on a magazine show called Town and Around. Went North to Wellington to audition for a current affairs show called Gallery. Knew bugger all about politics and stuff and was even less interested. Bluffed my way through the audition.

Cut a long story short, got the job, got famous and thought I was the bee’s knees. (Hazard of the job really – being up yourself.) Fast forward: Left TV, did this and that. In no particular order: unsuccessful Labour candidate for Parliament, trade union worker, school teacher, TV game show host, polytechnic lecturer, Saturday morning radio host, media advisor and media trainer with wife Judy Callingham. Clients included PM Helen Clark and Labour Party ministers. Today semi-retired media consultant and occasional broadcaster. Read the rest of this entry »


On Metiria Turei and the Quality of Mercy


The quality of mercy, according to the Bard, ‘is not strained’. Though I got the gist of it, I’ve never actually known precisely what ‘strained’ meant in this context.

Enter Dr Google. ‘Strained’ means ‘not held back; freely given’.

I have journalist Barry Soper to thank for this enlightenment.

Like every other hack in the country Soper has taken the cudgels to Metiria Turei. In an online Herald editorial entitled ‘Now you can understand why Helen Clark never embraced the Greens’, he clinically dissects the former Green Co-Leader’s revelation of her criminal past and her subsequent behaviour.

Like most of the recent comment from the Fourth Estate on this topic it’s self-righteous and unkind.

Two photographs of Turei accompany the text. In one she looks relatively cheerful; in the other utterly despairing. I can’t say who chose the two pics, but they seem designed to illustrate the story of Turei’s downfall. Read the rest of this entry »


On Relentless Positivity


The new Leader of the Opposition has undertaken to be ‘relentlessly positive’ between now and the Election in September.

If her appearance on yesterday’s ‘Q & A’ with Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis is anything to go by, his role is to be ‘relentlessly negative’.

‘Relentless’ is generally a negative term: ‘relentless rain, relentless suffering’ etc. One would not commonly refer to ‘relentless good weather’ or ‘relentless happiness’. The same is true of ‘relentlessly positive’. It sounds incongruous, fake.

To illustrate her relentless positivity, Jacinda Ardern smiled relentlessly during her interview with Jessica Mutch on yesterday’s Q &A. That seemed incongruous too, with ‘fake’ not far behind.

Between now and September Jacinda will be relentlessly feted by her adoring supporters. It will be tempting for her to hear little else. I would counsel against that. That dry, laconic, southern man currently running the show comes pretty close to the Kiwi version of the ideal joker. He wouldn’t have looked out of place in the front passenger seat with Barry Crump.



On Whited Sepulchres


I’ve been trying to find a suitable term to describe the army of self-righteous Kiwis who have emerged from the swamp of primarily anonymous online and talkback comment to take aim at Metiria Turei. ‘Hypocrites’ came close but just didn’t seem adequate to fit the bill. Frankly I wanted something stronger, something that would convey my disgust at the lack of honesty, self-awareness and common humanity displayed by these writers and callers. And by some of her colleagues in Parliament. I needed something biblical.

And there it was: Matthew 23:27:

‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.’

‘Whited sepulchres’! It fitted the bill nicely. Read the rest of this entry »


You Can’t Win, Baby.


It’s been interesting, if not exactly cheering, to note that, within hours of her winning the job of leading the Labour Party, the possibility that Jacinda Ardern might conceive a child while in office has been advanced as an impediment to her ability to be an effective Prime Minister.

Precisely the opposite argument was advanced by the Right about Helen Clark when she entered Parliament and as she rose to prominence as a potential party leader. Her choice not to have children was not only held against her but interpreted and expressed in the most cruel fashion as evidence that she was an unnatural woman and, in all probability, a lesbian.

One might have thought that Helen’s subsequent career might have put paid to this level of chauvinistic prejudice but it seems not. As the French have it: Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. The more things change the more they remain the same.

You can’t win, baby!