Aotearoa New Zealand Prime Minister
2020 was the first time I voted for Labour, and I see no reason to change my vote for the next one.
I am not a political beast nor am I interested in politicians or their parties and believe that’s how it should be for folk.
I have had the privilege of voting in four different countries on three continents.
In the early 1980s, it was the ex-colonial Ian Smith versus what was to become the tyrant of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.
There was hope for all who had endured a bitter civil war and crippling international sanctions.
1987 I experienced the upheavals of Britain between the powerful unions led by Neil Kinnock, which brought Margaret Thatcher’s landslide victory of a third term in office.
I was part of a majority and remember being in awe of Freddie Mercury, manipulating a crowd of 72 000 with ease at Wembley. The mass hysteria startled the rural boy within.
I returned to Africa for another chance, this time in South Africa’s general election between Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk.
1995 I found myself in Ellis Park stadium at the final of the Rugby World Cup where the Springboks played the All Blacks. I shall never forget a throng of 65 000 of every creed and race chanting ‘Madiba’ when Mandela strolled onto the field wearing the number 6 jersey.
I am not a loyal voter, but am swayed by leaders who show emotional intelligence, integrity and are in touch with reality.
Life is about perspective.
Listen not to the whine of opposition motivated by pale Boomers or the bleat of isolated narcissists of side-line politics.
Take no notice of the gutter press who tarnish the sacrosanctity of journalism and reject the aspersions of social media in its quest for power.
Covid is not the only pandemic to wreak havoc on our planet. Yet I don’t recall the same rhetoric and division I hear today. Future generations will look back in dismay and disbelief. The shame is ours.
Know that the team of five million are with you in your efforts to protect our land whilst embracing diversity.
I am a humble man of little sway.
All I can do is offer you, my support.
My heartfelt thanks for what you have achieved and what you are going through for us all.