Someone like us

Chris Trotter has a theory on why John Key has retained his popularity even when the government is doing unpopular things:

. . . John Key’s extraordinary success as a political leader owes a great deal to how closely his own career conforms to the heroic monomyth.

 The story begins with John, an ordinary Kiwi joker with a head for figures, setting out on a risky journey into the fantastic world of high finance, where all but the hardiest and most cunning traders are eaten alive. Having mastered the magical art of making money, and acquired a vast fortune, John returns home from his adventures determined to put his hard-won skills to good use among his own people.
It is difficult to imagine a “hero” better suited to the needs of twenty-first century New Zealand. John Key’s very ordinariness confirms his “Everyman” status, and amplifies the potency of his success. The power he wields is not his own, but a weapon forged from the capacities inherent in every Kiwi: those mysterious qualities that allow New Zealanders to“punch above their weight”; that national essence which sanctions John Key’s followers’vicarious participation in his personal and political success. He is Us, and We are Him. It’s why, until an even more emblematic hero comes along, John Key will remain invincible. . .
The address in this morning’s first post gives a very good idea of John Key’s character and what drives him.

I believe in a government that looks after its citizens and provides them with opportunities to flourish, but recognises that people are  responsible for their own lives and the well-being of their families.  The way to a better future is ultimately in your own hands.

I  believe in a government that gives people security in times of  misfortune and hardship but doesn’t trap them in a life of limited  income and limited choices. I’ve often said that you can measure a  society by how it looks after its most vulnerable. Yet you can also  measure a society by how many vulnerable people it creates – people who  are able to work, yet end up depending for long periods on the State.

I believe in a government that supports people’s hard work and enterprise, and encourages them to set high aspirations.

I have had a successful career in international finance.

But I have learned that the most valuable assets in life are those closest  to home. As a husband, and as a father of two wonderful children, I can  say that families are in my view the most important institution in our  society.

So I believe in a government that supports families.

He was brought up by a strong woman who imbued him with these principles, which are closely aligned with those of the National Party and the government he leads.
That didn’t used to be extraordinary and for many of us it still isn’t. Maybe Chris is right, we see in the Prime Minister someone like us, or someone like someone we can aspire to be.

14 Responses to Someone like us

  1. robertguyton says:

    Did you have a David Cassidy poster on your bedroom wall when you were a teenager, Ele?


  2. homepaddock says:

    No Robert – I preferred reading to pop music.


  3. robertguyton says:

    Stephen King?


  4. homepaddock says:

    At that age Essie Summers, Mary Scott, Alistair McLean and possibly I was still reading L.M. Montgomery.


  5. Cadwallader says:

    Your last paragraph is (to my mind) absolutely correct. The verb “aspire” seems to be rarely used in NZ these days.


  6. robertguyton says:

    Only a greedy person would aspire to be a money changer.


  7. homepaddock says:

    Robert – it’s concerning when an intelligent man makes such an ignorant comment.


  8. robertguyton says:

    I meant merchant banker.


  9. inventory2 says:

    No Robert; you just couldn’t resist getting a sneaky semetic reference in, could you. For a so-called principled Greenie, you have an amazing capacity for the ad-hom.


  10. robertguyton says:

    What is ‘sneaky semetic’, Keeping Stock?
    Did you mean, ‘semantic’?


  11. Cadwallader says:

    There are several other words which are a scarcity in NZ’s vocabulary:

    Individual sovereignty.

    In a sense they are each variations of “aspiration.”

    RG: Only a self-centered provincial hick would decry aspiration (except for the contents of his/her compost-bin I assume!)


  12. JC says:

    Good Lord, Marie Antoinette rides again.. and a Jew baiter to boot.



  13. inventory2 says:

    Only a greedy person would aspire to be a money changer.

    Don’t play innocent Robert; even the mild-mannered Ele could see your intent.


  14. robertguyton says:

    I’m not playing innocent, Keeping Stock, I am innocent of the scurrilous charge you’ve made. You saw something more in my words than was there in reality. Your crush on Key has you hyper-sensitised and resulted in your jumping the gun, but I don’t care. The problem’s yours, not mine. “Sneaky semetic” indeed! That’s very revealing, Keeping Stock.
    On the topic of Key and merchant bankers, you’ll find this illuminating, providing you are able to see past the end of your nose, Keeping Stock. Key might well have something to answer for here:

    Cadwallader – don’t be dim. I didn’t “decry aspiration”, I decried greed and money changers/merchant bankers. Engage! Read! Comment!


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