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Could this man be Prime Minister of New Zealand?

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that I have in the past written some pretty scathing posts on Labour’s Shane Jones. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve dismissed him not only as a future leader of the Party, but as a worthwhile Member Of Parliament and a decent human being.

Then, yesterday, I came across this video on the Herald’s website. And I had no choice but to radically change my previous opinion and to do so with a degree of regret that it had ever been expressed. I’d had a preview of Shane Jones’ debating skill and facility with words a week or two back when he was interviewed on The Nation by Paddy Gower. But this was something different. It was an extraordinary display not only of oratory and the art of persuasive communication but of subtlety of thought and intellectual depth, leavened with humour. It was theatre. One need not go far to look for a reason. Jones is equally fluent in Maori and English. But his impact when he combines the two is nothing less than extraordinary. Well, he is also a man who provokes strong feelings of approval and disapproval, a high-risk candidate for the highest office in the land. But as I watched and re-watched this speech, I thought I could perhaps see a future Leader of the Opposition and a Prime Minister to boot.

Decide for yourself

Media trainer and commentator Dr Brian Edwards posts at Brian Edwards Media.



Comments and questions

And what does all of this have to say about your man, Cunliffe, Brian? Are you now conceding that you made an egregious error in supporting him for Leader of the Labour Party?

Jones certainly is streets ahead of Cunliffe, but still not quite Prime Minister material.

Not at all. I did refer to 'a future Leader of the Opposition...' If Labour loses the election, I have little doubt that David's leadership will be under scrutiny by Caucus and the party. Jones would certainly feature in any contest. But we're a long way from that.

Brian Edwards, like Chris Laidlaw your so stupid and fickle you would have fallen for Mugabe. Many African, Maori politicians and Obama are spellbinding rhetoricians and speakers but its just words and wind. Either they have no conceptiton of truth or they are freaks unsupported by their people. Or just left wingers who soothe with words rather than substance.
I recommend a film. The Rise and Rise of Micheal Rimmer, starring and largely written by Repton old boy Peter Cook. Having destroyed the MacMillan and Douglas Home at the Establishment club, in the rise of Micheal Rimmer , Peter Cooks takes the hatchet to the Wilson govt and the fading UK military industrial complex. With subtle savagery he destroys Laidllaws other old mate Tariq Azir and ultimately decides that as 92% of the population are cretins, Hitler was probably right. Abrilliant sexy, masterpiece of genuius -The Rise and Rise of MIcheal Rimmer (1970)

There is a long time left to election day. Teflon Key is riding high at present but one mistake and it can all change....

It is good to see someone talking about something Parliament is doing. -

Too often we see only conflict in parliament divided down party lines or left or right.

It would be good if for nothing else but to increase societies confidence in our representative democracy to see more cooperation in parliament for the benefit of us rather than the benefit of parties to win an income for their representatives.

Great to hear this haka in full as well.

The political space is one area where change is long overdue. There has been no new serious attempt to re-frame the left-right tennis match and put it into concrete policy proposals. The 2014 NZ general election offers that opportunity. How the different parties shape their messages, vision and philosophy is going to be very interesting and I hope that we get something a little different from what has been delivered up in previous elections. ... my hope is that people will ... start talking to each other rather than shouting at each other. We certainly need that conversation more than ever. The question for us here in NZ is whether the major parties are up for it, or whether it will be left to the minor parties to do the job. It could also spark a new political movement. It feels like anything is possible. (Raf Manji 13.1.2014) .