• Wayne Perkins

Politicians behaving badly

There was a fantastic meme that came out on Loserbook the other day that said something like

“Breaking News. There have been no new cases of politicians misbehaving or resigning today”

and under it some wag had written “Fantastic result, we’re flattening the curve!”.

I guess for a while it felt like that, didn’t it?

My calculations at one stage showed that if the resignations and sackings continued at their frenetic pace, we could confidently expect to have only Jacinda and Judith left by September.

Thankfully the trend has slowed (for now) and both parliament and the politicians have regained their usual lack of harmony. I was actually quite relieved, and impressed, watching Chloe Swarbrick (Greens) and David Seymour (Act), two of my favourite politicians, have a robust debate on telly a few days ago and conduct themselves with good humour and mutual respect.

I have met David a couple of times and in my opinion his most endearing feature was that he didn’t take himself too seriously. I haven’t met Chloe yet but I get the feeling she might not be too dissimilar. It bodes well for our political establishment if our younger politicians can keen their humour and their humility.

And when I look at the political carnage of the last month, I am reminded once again of what Robert Ingersoll wrote all those years ago “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Recent times have surely shown the wisdom in those old words, and when I look around at our world, our leaders and our society, I am once again struck by the clarity and insight of G K Chesterton, who famously said. “When looking for our leaders, we should not elect the ordinary person who thinks they can lead, but we should look for the extra-ordinary person who suspects they can’t”.

History shows us that it is the fools who are sure of themselves, and the wise who are full of doubts.

I would suggest Parliament shows us that as well.

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