Cast your mind back over the last fortnight's agitated shouting about and abuse of Bill English by Cactus, Whale and assorted fundamentalist ACToids and the few remaining live left activists.
It's not a pretty picture, with some, who should know better, hysterically calling for his resignation. The most bizarre of these calls followed just the mere mention that a CGT could be considered within a wider package. The shouters derided the CGT but somehow forgot about the wider package. They were blinded by the spittle flying back into their faces.
On the other hand, for a pragmatic and balanced view from someone who in not impaired by mental scotoma, go no further than this morning's opinion piece from Richard Long.
You see, the difference between the idiots and the professionals is that the pros know that before you make dramatic changes you need to get the people on side. The hallmark of this John Key/Rodney hide/ Pita & Tariana administration (Dunny is just the unnoticed soiled tissue sticking to the inside of the bowl) has been it's ability to take the long view and get the people onside BEFORE moving to make changes. All the leaders know that precipitate action will see them hand the reins of government back to Labour, either in 2011 or 2014 and they are going to make damned sure that does not happen.
Here's what Mr Long has to say:
"Just what do the Nats have to do to bring down the political house of cards?Nothing yet has loomed as the circuit-breaker to end their political honeymoon."
"There is nothing like using an economic recession as a reason to get unpopular measures across.
We will know the Nats are confident in their own high approval rating if they canvass a GST increase and a partial sell- down of selected state assets (to improve the budget deficit and introduce private sector oversight to the state-owned enterprise sector)."Adolf's pick is that by 2011 we will see a campaign based on a revised tax system with increased GST, reduced income tax, a CGT on speculative property profits, the removal of LAQC tax dodges, a cap on welfare benefits, a substantial diminution of WFF and the sale of minority shareholding in SOEs to NZ citizens.
Adolf currently is helping put back on track a church parish which has been rent asunder by bitter division. This happens from time to time.
The problem was that the leader who had a wonderful vision for the future tried to bulldoze it through too quickly. The vision is still a good vision and likely will eventuate but not under his leadership. Basically, he lost the confidence of the people by failing to take them along with him before he made his moves. In political terms, he just lost the election.
The similarities between this episode and today's national political scene are striking.