• Stuck On A Hook

    What can be done to help Chris Hipkins off a hook of his own making?

    “There will be no wealth tax while I am Prime Minister,” he said, and there he is stuck – even though his own senior lieutenants, his party membership, popular sentiment, economic prudence, social justice, and political advantage all point in the opposite direction.

    He is stuck, it seems, because he fears the damage to his reputation, as someone who can be trusted, if he changes his mind. It may be, however, that demonstrating the courage required to change his mind might actually enhance his reputation. The country might well respond positively to a leader who showed that he was big enough to see the bigger picture, and to serve the wider interest and not just his own reputation.

    He might also consider the example of the great English economist, John Maynard Keynes, who was criticised by a correspondent for changing his mind on a point of economic policy.

    “When the facts change, I change my mind,” wrote Keynes, “What do you do, Sir?”

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