It’s not easy to step back from your own polticial views and praise politicians whose policy and philosophy you oppose.
Denis Welsh does it graciously at Opposable Thumb:
I find it hard to see John Key flushed and grinning like a
schoolboy at realizing his boyhood dream and not smile
too. Other people’s happiness can be contagious, and he
is so manifestly happy at getting the job of Prime
Minister. Good luck to him. So far, 10 days on from the
election, he has not put a foot wrong; he seems to be
putting into practice exactly what he planned to do,
namely, govern as inclusively as he can; and he has
clearly learnt a thing or two from Helen Clark, who pretty
much laid down the template for political management
under MMP. I have no illusions about the direction in
which a National-led government will take New Zealand
(see previous blog) but it would be churlish to deny Key
his moment and not to wish him well.
To my eyes, Mr Key and Bill English have allowed the National Party to assume the mantle of sweet moderation, and his Cabinet choices reflect not a betrayal, but a very fair reflection, of the public mood…
. . . But, for my money, Mr Key’s most adroit move has been the appointment of a feisty, 39-year- old, former solo mum with a whakapapa as his minister of social development.
Ms Bennett and the prime minister both pose a formidable symbolic problem for the Labour Party. They speak to an ideologically unmoored working class about the power of aspiration and the possibility of self- improvement.
I need to take some lessons from these two because I’m still tending more towards Michael Bassett’s opinion of Helen Clark here and here than a more gracious view modelled on those Welsh and Trotter take of Key’s first few days in office.