The Labour Leadership

It may truly be said of David Shearer that nothing so much became him as the manner of his going. He is living proof that, in today’s politics, being a decent and thoughtful person is not enough. Parliamentary politics and modern communications both place a huge premium on fluency and articulacy. Quite why those qualities […]

Thatcher Followed Rather Than Led

Love her or hate her, most commentators have agreed that Margaret Thatcher was a towering figure – for good or ill – who helped to shape Britain and the world. It is, perhaps, not surprising that, on the occasion of her death, and in line with the modern tendency to lionise and exaggerate the importance […]

What Do Maori Know That We Don’t?

So, now we know. When the Prime Minister said last year, in respect of the proposed sale of the Crafar farms to the Chinese, that New Zealanders would not want to be “tenants in their own land”, it was a statement “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The Prime Minister tells us now that […]

Leadership for A New Crisis

When Anne Tolley disclaimed responsibility last week for misleading Parliament, blaming her department instead, those with long memories might conclude that we have come a long way from Crichel Down. Crichel Down was a tract of land that had been compulsorily acquired for the war effort by the British government, on condition that it was […]

Where’s The Leadership?

My decision to leave British politics in 1994 and return to New Zealand reflected both the pull of my home country and my failure to convince my colleagues in the British Labour Party that they were embarking on a mistaken course. I had become increasingly despairing of the determination of those who eventually became New […]

Orthodoxy – Or Leadership?

My decision to leave British politics in 1994 and return to New Zealand reflected both the pull of my home country and my failure to convince my colleagues in the British Labour Party that they were embarking on a mistaken course. I had become increasingly despairing of the determination of those who eventually became New […]

The Labour Leadership

After thirteen years in government, it is not perhaps surprising that Labour’s response to election defeat has been somewhat uncertain. Almost all of those who now seek to lead the party have spent most of their political lives persuading both themselves and the electorate of the great virtues of New Labour. Their forward political horizons […]

A New Labour Leadership

In the aftermath of election defeat, Labour seems to be acting on at least some of the lessons of recent history. But there is little to suggest that any of the declared candidates for the leadership have fully grasped the changed situation that now confronts them. The leadership contest this time, with multiple candidates and […]

Wanted – Directors Who Think

As the global recession gathers force and pace, spare a thought for our policy-makers. They are trying to confront a crisis whose dimensions they have only belatedly begun to recognise and to do so with policy instruments that the rest of the world has already rejected as irrelevant. Relying on monetary policy may have just […]