Monday, 18 December 2006
The donkey gets the nod
John Armstrong picks the smirking knob in the middle of the donkey as his Politician of the Year with this simpering selection of apostrophes to mediocrity:
"...the killer contribution came from English, who with Key, are the only real contenders for the title of Politician of the Year."
Anyone who can remember English being punched around by singer Ted Clarke in a boxing bout on national television will realise that the use of the words "killer" and "English" in the same sentence is surely an unfortunate combination.
"Key, of course, made the big leap into leadership. But he did the groundwork last year, which made him leader-in-waiting and Politician of the Year for 2005. And judging on his form so far as leader, he will be on the shortlist next year."
The "groundwork" for John Boy Key's "leap into leadership" consisted of destabilising his leader by talking up a coup for a year -- and in this he had the active support of Armstrong and his colleagues. And as is now clear, the "groundwork" for Key's "great leap forward" in no way included any policy development, any reason for him wanting the big brass ring any more than -- similar to what Walter Lippman once wrote about Franklin Roosevelt -- that he is simply an affable man without conspicuous convictions who very much wanted to be Prime Minister. Little enough, perhaps, but more than enough to make Armstrong's short-list.
"This year the title [of Politician of the Year] goes to English, partly for the sheer political machismo and guile he displayed in securing both National's deputy leadership and the shadow finance portfolio..."
This is either satire, or Armstrong is in serious need of either a holiday or a new job. "Machismo." "Guile." And Mr Twenty-One Percent! Whatever repertorial judgement Armstrong may once have had -- and I must confess I've never seen any sign of it myself -- it's clear it has now left him.
My nomination for the year's most sycophantic so-called journalist? John Armstrong.
LINKS: Opinion - John Boy Junior, NZ Herald
RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-National, Hollow Men