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My political leanings, much like my music, would never fit neatly into any particular box. Fact is, although this will be anathema to many of you, I’ve been a swinging voter all my life.

I’ve always voted for the person not the party.

Having lived over 30 years in Australia as a registered voter, this often proved a futile strategy since in Oz the governing parties tend to roll their leaders with regularity, so the PM would end being someone I hadn’t voted for and the ruling party would morph into a cadre of Brutuses.

Now that we are faced with an upcoming election in New Zealand, I’m going to come out of the closet and say unashamedly I will vote for Jacinda Arden.

Upon reading this some will hurry to point out to me Jacinda’s complete lack of business experience and well-documented socialist leanings. So let me discuss these.

Socialism is one step away from communism is the common cry. What nonsense. My father, a plain speaking but wise man, once said to me that ‘The reason communism will never succeed is human nature.’ He was right of course.

Whereas, having a kind and compassionate government with a strong social conscience should not worry anyone but the most selfish among us. By this I mean those who believe that the only way to help the poor will be to rob from the rich. Which is kind of ironic when the reality is that many of the rich have been robbing from the poor forever. If you don’t know what I mean by this I can’t help you with that.

As for business experience, for over 40 years of my life I dealt with people at all levels in all manner of businesses, and I can say categorically, many were inept, risk-averse, uninspiring and lacking in imagination or foresight.

The cleverest, (if that’s the right term), were in the banking/finance sector. But, sadly, most of them were self-serving, career climbing, borderline psychopaths. Making money was their focus. Client security was secondary. They made money even as their clients were losing theirs. Human collateral damage did not phase them. They were without conscience and above the law. The GFC proved that beyond doubt.

I might also add that I witnessed more than a few good businesses brought to their knees and eventually wiped out by multi-national takeovers and bean-counters (often American) who squeezed costs, cut people and kept on cutting until there was no life left at all. It was all about instant profits. Investing in the future was an indulgence. This happened in all kinds of industries — so-called smart business people making quick profits with no consideration for the people or the long-term survival of the business.

Finally, let’s not forget that those who argue loudest against things like environmental protection, climate change and minimum wages are invariably business people.

What I’m saying, therefore, is that having a successful business background might not necessarily be the best qualification for leading a country.

Which brings me to the reason I have The Pre-Election Blues. The next few months are bound to turn ugly. After a time of national harmony for a common cause we will once more divide into political camps. The name calling will begin. Hoskings and his ilk will froth at the mouth. Some form of modern day McCarthyism will emerge. Self-styled economic geniuses will be in the ascendancy. The failings of the current government will be highlighted in order to promote the ‘we can fix it’ promises of the reinvigorated Opposition. Their new leader will don his “We can make NZ Great Again’ hat and his hounds will bay for blood. And the rest of us will descend into petty political point-scoring and bickering until the ‘team of five million’ is nothing more than a fond memory. Sad.

However, I guarantee Jacinda Arden will remain strong, candid, caring, far-sighted, good hearted, well-intentioned, kind, compassionate and dignified in a way our entire country should be and could be if we only had the courage.