In Tray: Thoughts of the political week with David Shearer

David Shearer
The Titanic

IN TRAY

Fresh thinking
Three cheers for the Greens!

I have always had the greatest respect for my opposite number in Opposition, Russel Norman. Russel is a man of huge gifts who has brought an impressively businesslike approach to New Zealand politics. 

I’m constantly impressed at how this brilliant trailblazer overcame the disability of being born with only “l” in his name to become the force he is today.  

Unfortunately there is a much darker side to this young dynamo, which I’m afraid to say might yet spell big problems for the Opposition.

Not only did he refuse to fade into the background upon my recent selection as party leader, he has insisted on hogging the news while I’ve been in Australia working on a very important speech. 

But I still retain the greatest affection for Russel and wish him well at such time as he decides to retire from politics and leave the field to a fresh, down-to-earth leader.

Titanic anniversary
Can it be all of 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic? It seems like only a decade ago since the tragic event that claimed the lives of 1514 people, including the glamorous actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett.

Yet only this week I saw it reported in an Australian newspaper this week that it was a century? 

What great hopes the world had for this ship that couldn’t sink—this dynamic vessel dynamic and its new captain with a fresh new way of doing things—as it set sail from Southampton to the popping of corks, the flashing of bulbs and the best wishes of millions.

Sadly it all came to a crashing halt when the new captain hit failed to steer the ship in the right direction. It hit an iceberg and sank, taking nearly everyone in it down to Davy Jones’ Locker.

Let’s stop for a moment think about the lessons we can draw from this awful event. 

Hanover hangover
Why the deafening silence from the news media about the Hanover crisis? I have it on very good authority that the Financial Markets Authority has filed civil action against a number of this outfit’s directors for allegedly misleading or untrue statements made in Hanover offer documents—yet I know of no one who is discussing it here in Sydney. 

 It seems to me that somebody has a lot of explaining to do. But why do I seem to be the only person in public life saying so—and why is nobody listening? 

Is there something about my fresh, down-to-earth approach that some in the media and business community find intimidating? 

Mitt Romney
So it’s Mitt as the presumptive GOP nominee for this year’s American presidential election—a fresh, down-to-earth personality, to be sure, but what might we expect out of any Romney presidency? Let me sum it up for you in a sentence. 

In my view it really depends what shape the American economy finds itself in, which is to say, if things get worse, it’s possible that a President Mitt could commit his country to another foreign military adventure, but then again, if things were to take a dive in Afghanistan, domestic opposition may force him to work closer with Arab governments, though this of course has to be considered in the light of the domestic economy not only in America but in Europe, especially in Greece, but then again, we must always remember that the elections have not in fact been held as of now, so I naturally would like to reassure both men that I am equally committed to working with either of them, and I think I should go to bed right now, because it’s been a very full week for me in Australia and I’m not feeling as fresh as I used to.

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