Brian Edwards Media

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!


  1. Can’t wait to see Jacinda’s outfit. Bill is getting a new tie. Hosking may even take a shower.

    Impressed with James Shaw on the Paddy show last night.

  2. Well, Bill knew as he was talking how his words belonged to the the dustbin of suspect ideologies, failed yesterdays and blighted futures. Hosking knows a winner when he sees one.

    You could hear it in Bill’s voice and see it in his eyes, its all over now baby blue.

    But then I suspect Bill could find sanctuary in Times Square, Marianne Faithful does a great rendition.

  3. I agree with your comments, Brian. The tribalism present is one of the things that turns people off politics. There is a lot of common ground between the two main parties. They should always acknowledge that. And it never hurts anyone to say the other side could have a very valid point.
    However, you will get in trouble for quoting the great (and not yet late, fortunately) Clive James who still has columns in the Guardian when his health allows. Don’t you know among the latte set he is a climate denialist, or whatever semantic torture that has morphed to.