Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Honesty and humility are not weaknesses

Shock! Horror! Phil Goff admitted Labour might not win the election! But while it's got the media excited, and Audrey Young calling it a "gaffe" and a breach of "convention" (whose? Hers?), I think the rest of us should be pleased at this outbreak of political honesty. Governments should live in fear of the people, and it is no shame for a Minister to say they are worried about re-election. A government which refused to acknowledge the prospect of defeat would be arrogant (or worse); and if a government polling as badly as the current one refused to acknowledge it, then we'd have strong reason to question their sanity and connection to reality.

But those views are anathema to the Wellington harpies. To them, it’s all about "the game". And as a result, they not only ignore the substance of politics - you know, the policies the parties are offering and the public is choosing between - but also create a place where ethics are the complete inversion of the real world: where deceit is a virtue, having no policies is inconsequential, honesty is a weakness, and acknowledging reality is a sin.