For some months I have been reading that the current National government is arrogant and I have been wondering what it is that makes people change to that extent.Â After some considerable thought I have come to the view that perhaps the use of the description âarrogantâ is a naĂŻve and lazy interpretation of what is more likely a complex issue.
Imagine if for the last seven years you had been doing your job to the best of your ability and you were proud of your governance of the country in what has been very difficult circumstances with the GFC and the Christchurch earthquakes thrown in to present challenges above the normal.Â But every day when you read the newspaper, the media is critical, every day you listen to the TV news there is someone who says you are wrong.Â You present yourself for media interviews as part of your job and the interviewer is rude and derogatory.Â Then you go to parliament and have to listen to tirades of demeaning and very rude speeches again telling you that everything you have done and are doing is wrong.Â On top of all that the media runs stories at regular intervals, e.g. dirty politics, Snowden releases and pony tail, that become the issue of the day where the only objective is to embarrass you.Â How can everything be so wrong when the governance of the country appears to be going well?
In that environment and under those circumstances, after seven years of it, you would develop a negative and frustrated view of the media and opposition politicians, certainly a dislike and probably a disdain.Â But you still have to release press reports to let the people know what you are doing, you still have to present yourself for interview and you still have to appear in parliament.
With that background you have two choices, to tell the media and the opposition politicians what you really think and that they are offensive and rude, or regardless of the questions asked of you or the rudeness of the questioner, you choose to be polite and to answer the questions with patience and dignity.Â To be tolerant, polite and to act with dignity is not being overbearing, presumptuous or haughty and therefore is not arrogance.
So, the conclusion that I have come to is that those who are describing the current government as arrogant have not thought it through correctly and perhaps are just as bad as the media and opposition politicians.Â But there is hope if the next time comment is made about the behaviour of the current government, the headline is âthe National government continues to act with politeness and dignity to rude media and opposition politiciansâ.