Ghost of BE returns to speak for too-humble Brian
"Brian...maybe it wasn't a ghost, but perhaps an "imaginary friend"?"Featured comment
Now as every devotee of this site knows, BE’s defining characteristics are humility, modesty and self-effacement. He keeps his light hidden, it is said, not under one bushel but under several. His idols are Gandhi, Mother Theresa and the New Zealand All Blacks. The words ‘brag, crow, vaunt, bluster’ and ‘skite’ are not in his lexicon.
I rebuke him from time to time for this lack of ego, but he merely looks down at his feet and quotes Ecclesiastes: ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’.
Frankly he can be a pain in the arse.
‘You’re a pain in the arse!’ I sometimes say to him, but he invariably replies, ‘How true. How very true.’
A bloody great pain in the arse!
The most recent example of this occurred just this morning when I found him incinerating today’s edition of the Herald on the barbecue in the back garden.
‘What on earth are you doing?’
‘Burning the Herald.’
‘Yes, but why?’
‘I’ve been proved right again. It’s just so humiliating.’
‘Right about what?’
‘About pretty well everything, actually. That’s the problem. Here, read this.’
He handed me the singed front page of the Herald. I speed-read my way through the text: ‘Labour rockets in poll… Labour’s support has jumped under new leader David Cunliffe… could form a coalition government and become Prime Minister… marked dive in the popularity of John Key… support as Preferred PM has fallen 9.5 points… Cunliffe a respectable 16.8… National down 5.1 points… Labour is back in the game…’
I threw the page back on the barbecue. ‘So what’s the problem? You’re a Labour man. You’re Cunliffe’s biggest fan. Why are you so upset?’
‘Because,’ he said, ‘I predicted it. Just 10 days ago.’
He handed me his iPad 2 which he was about to toss on the barbecue with the Herald.
‘Last few paras.’
I speed-read my way through the last few paras:
But today the picture changed. John Key has some real opposition. David Cunliffe has a brilliant mind, is a brilliant speaker and debater and there is no politician to match him on the box. Cunliffe is the game-changer.
And the proof of the pudding will lie where it has always lain – in the polls. And particularly in the Preferred Prime Minister poll. No party leader permanently registering under 15% in that poll, let alone dipping into single figures, can hope to enjoy the confidence of the electorate or lead their party to victory. And that has been the situation for every Labour Leader since 2008.
But all that changed today as well. Under Cunliffe’s leadership, his and Labour’s poll rating will begin to rise, slowly but inexorably.
John Key no longer has the game to himself.
‘So what’s wrong with that? That’s brilliant.’
‘Well first, people will think I’m a skite. And worse, someone I care deeply about is going to be very very hurt and upset.’
‘You mean Michelle Boag?’
‘No, of course not.’
‘Matthew Hooton of course. Poor thing. So promise you won’t tell anybody, especially him.’
The ghost of BE haunts media trainer and commentator Dr Brian Edwards, who posts at Brian Edwards Media.