Rodney Hide explains how it is that the supposed experts actually know nothing about politics…and uses my good friend Brian Edwards as an example.
The wonderful thing about politics is that no one knows what they are talking about. There are no experts. There are no laws of political motion. Political science isÂ oxymoronic.
Let me illustrate how little we know by picking on our most qualified and experienced political commentator. He has a PhD, has interviewed and known political leaders for fiveÂ decades, has been an adviser to four prime ministers, has spent a lifetime in all branches of the media and makes a living media training business leaders and other professionals. He has also stoodÂ for Parliament and is no sideline Sam. He knows politics, inside and out. His knowledge, history and hands-on experience dwarfs all other political commentators.
I refer, of course, to Dr BrianÂ Edwards. I single him out because of his eminence.
Oh dear this is sounding ominous.
Hereâ€™s what he had to say last year when David Cunliffe took over the Labour leadership:
â€śDavid Cunliffe has a brilliant mind, is a brilliant speaker and debater and there is no politician to match him on the box. Cunliffe is the game-changer.
â€śAnd the proof of the pudding will lie where it has always lain â€“ in the polls. And particularly in the Preferred Prime Minister poll. No party leader permanently registering under 15% in that poll, let alone dipping into single figures, can hope to enjoy theÂ (Â© Copyright Protected – The National Business Review 76)confidence of the electorate or lead their party to victory. And that has been the situation for every Labour Leader since 2008.
â€śBut all that changed today as well. Under Cunliffeâ€™s leadership, his and Labourâ€™s poll rating will begin to rise, slowly but inexorably.â€ť
Mr Cunliffe has proved a game changer but directly opposite to what Dr Edwards foresaw: Mr Cunliffe has doomed Labour.