Self-confidence is one of the necessary attributes for politicians.
Unfortunately many don’t also have self-knowledge.
That’s the quality that helps them know if it’s right to stage a come-back and when it’s time to go.
. . . I loved being MP for Epsom. The people were very good to me. It was a tremendous privilege to get to know the diverse communities and neighbourhoods in such a great part of our greatest city.
In my time, thousands of people came to see me from across the political spectrum, very often at the end of their tether. I was usually able to help. It was satisfying work.
I didn’t want to go when I got the sack. As a minister in Government I was able to help Epsom people better than ever before and I finally had legislation under way to ensure better and more-principled government.
But that’s politics. It wasn’t to be.
And now the position of Act candidate for Epsom is open again. I am very pleased Act has excellent candidates in prospect. I have concluded it can’t be me. . . .
Hide was a good local MP, and he also became a minister. He then paid a high price for taking a perk after gaining a justified reputation as a perk-buster.
But he’s been there and done that and there are far more examples of people who make the mistake of going back than those who make a come-back work.
If Act is to survive it needs fresh faces.
In his own party, Roger Douglas and John Banks are good examples of returns which fell flat.
Hide brings up another:
There was a time when Winston Peters could rattle an entire government, bringing ministers to their knees. Now, even junior ministers get the better of him.
I think it’s sad. Peters appears like some aged rock star who has partied way too hard and is now up on stage trying to relive the glory days. Or perhaps a champion boxer who has stayed too long in the ring. I wouldn’t want that.
I thought the worst thing for Peters was getting dumped in 2008. No. The worst thing for Peters was getting back in 2011.
New MPs snigger at him. There was a time he would have swatted them down like flies.
I prefer to remember Peters as he was. He’s a salutary lesson. . .
He too has been there and done that but he doesn’t know when to let go.
He’s holding on, collecting the pay, warming a seat and occasionally venturing out to dog whistle to the disaffected.
But if he had a fraction of the self-knowledge to match his self-confidence he’d know it’s time to go.