There are three things that have always really annoyed me.
Any television show or product that includes or is associated with the name Kardashian.
Anyone who uses the words “I’m like, so super-excited” in a sentence.
And of course, Ross Geller’s insistence that he and Racheal were “on a break!”.
I have recently just added a fourth “annoyance” to the list and it is Shane Jones’s attitude.
Now in the past, I have always quite liked Shane.
Sure he can be a bit of a handful and he has a colorful turn of phrase, which if nothing else, at least keeps politics interesting.
A number of my friends don’t feel as charitable towards him as I do with the most common comment being “Jacinda needs to put him on a shorter rope”.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but as a rule, I find that if you look for the best in people you usually find it, and I’m pretty sure that at least Shane’s heart (if not always his mouth) is in the right place.
But what's really wound me up about Shane these last few months has been what looks to me like an increasingly arrogant demeanor.
Firstly, he has attacked Air New Zealand and basically told them how to run their business. Now from what I understand running an airline (or any business for that matter) is an incredibly difficult process with many nuances, pitfalls and wafer slim margins that can change on a dime and so I find it embarrassingly laughable that Shane, with no working knowledge or history in the industry, is now an expert.
Honestly, give me a break!
And secondly, Shane, with no credentials other than getting a minister’s position by dint of siding with the right party at the right time, is now for some reason deemed to have sufficient business nous to be trusted with handing out three billion dollars as a way to stimulate the regions.
I’m all for stimulating the regions, I live in one, but my concern is around human nature when it comes to giving out other people’s money.
Listening to Shane (and all governments, past current and future) I am always both amused and concerned when they say “We are giving such and such to this” or “The government is funding that” because it is, quite frankly, a crock.
The money being handed out is not Shane's or the governments. It is yours and mine and we work hard for it.
Most of us work the last day and a half of every week to provide money for the running of our country and I don’t want to feel like my contribution is being dished out by someone who doesn’t understand the responsibility of spending other people’s money.
I’m with Chesterton, who many years ago famously wrote that when it comes to politics and the allocation of a country’s funds, we don’t want the ordinary person who thinks they can do it, we want the much more extraordinary person who knows they can’t.
We need people in power who are humble enough to be very aware of their limitations.
Let’s hope Shane is one of them. I guess time will tell.