Over the past few weeks, we have seen the public garrotting of the leader of the Green Party, James Shaw, by both the media; and members of his party.
We all make mistakes and this one was a doozy. To have supported a school which is essentially a private refuge for rich middle-class kids as they swing crystals and swallow mouthfuls of mung beans isn’t my idea of “green”, but it takes all types, I guess.
I can see how James Shaw got to where he ended up. The nonsense supported by the Government under the heading “shovel ready” is enough to spoil one’s judgement.
There’s been lots of sniggering in the media about James sitting on a stack of “shovel ready” projects until he got changes seemed to be driven by his political opponents, and the media was undisciplined in repeating them. They should have analysed the approved list and asked how these projects were shovel ready, or even there. They make as much sense as Stephen Joyce’s’ “Roads of National Significance” a few years ago.
Here’s the sort of nonsense which has infuriated James Shaw I suspect where a normally sensible thinker as David Parker is arguing that widening motorways will reduce emissions.
A real question for the media to ask is how many of the construction companies in New Zealand have work after the Christmas break and how many of the supposedly “approved” projects are actually going to happen quickly.
Back to James Shaw.
What a rare and remarkable creature is a politician who responds to pressure from their members, and the media, and reflects on what they have done. To then stand up and apologise and say “I’m going back to have a look at my decision” is remarkable, and refreshing. To then change the decision from a grant to a loan is amazing. If only Chris Hipkins did the same with the CDHB. Maybe he could learn something about humility, and honour, from James Shaw.
Despite him saying sorry, the media continue to plague James Shaw. They behave like hyenas preparing for the kill. I’m not as polite as him. I agree he should have reflected and apologised. I agree that it was a bad decision. I would have done what he has done and then I would have told the media to get stuffed. You might want to drag this out media, but I can’t do anything else. You might not want to move on but I have.
Let us honour, and celebrate, a contrite politician who has admitted he made a mistake. Let the first person who has never made a mistake in life chuck the first stone.