No Minister

Survival in changing times

The predecessor of this blog was named after the famous comedy character from the Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister TV series of the 1980’s, Sir Humphrey Appleby.

I was reminded of yet another aspect of him the other day when reading one of Chris Trotter’s latest missives, They Say We Want A Revolution – But Do We?.

The article is about both the proposals from the Climate Change Commission and the He Puapua report, but it was this part that caught my eye:

As a “free-marketeer” of no mean ability (the man has a PhD from the prestigious Wharton School of Business) Rod Carr could contemplate the installation of cash registers in public hospitals without flinching. 

I’d forgotten about that long-lost tidbit from Rod Carr, back when he looked like this:

Yep. Every inch the 1980’s/90’s Rogernome businessman on the make, expensive business suit and cool tie with the suitably modish beard – and free market ideology at the forefront of thinking.

Nowadays however it’s Climate Change at the forefront, likely combined with a bit of He Puapua and so…

From 1980’s business suit and tie to being a bearded git who resembles nothing so much as an Amish elder, but with a huge chunk of pounamu around his neck for added Aotearoan authenticity, Carr is testimony to Sir Humphrey’s philosophy:

“Bernard, I have served eleven governments in the past thirty years. If I had believed in all their policies, I would have been passionately committed to keeping out of the Common Market, and passionately committed to going into it. I would have been utterly convinced of the rightness of nationalising steel. And of de-nationalising it and re-nationalising it. On capital punishment, I’d have been a fervent retentionist and an ardent abolitionist. I would’ve been a Keynesian and a Friedmanite, a grammar school preserver and destroyer, a nationalisation freak and a privatisation maniac; but above all, I would have been a stark, staring, raving schizophrenic.”.

At least Sir Humphrey never grew a beard.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 28, 2021 at 9:35 am

8 Responses

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  1. <…a bearded git who resembles nothing so much as an Amish elder

    Being pedantic and in the interests of increasing your general knowledge, while all Amish males grow beards to emphasize their maleness they always have a clean shaven upper lip, the moustache being linked to military men and Amish being pacifists.

    If he grew his hair, very long, he could be passed off as a Russian Starets, I suppose, but the wisdom and insight required would still be lacking so all he gets is a Western appellation suitable for media quoted soundbites “Expert”

    Who knows you or some casual reader of this blog may one day appear as a contestant on “Who wants to be a Millionaire” and the million dollar question might involve Amish facial hair…


    June 28, 2021 at 10:33 am

    • Heh! Pedantry appreciated.

      Tom Hunter

      June 28, 2021 at 12:08 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Utopia, you are standing in it!.

    Jim Rose

    June 28, 2021 at 11:45 am

  3. I wonder what creepy crawlies live in there?


    June 28, 2021 at 12:02 pm

  4. Rod clearly has never met a gravy train he didn’t like and didn’t get on board at the earliest opportunity. Toot, toot 🙂


    June 28, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    • He’s also a screamingly good example of what constitutes our “Private Sector Management” class in that they slide so easily between the two. It really is the Washington D.C. “beltway” gravy train in miniature.

      Wonder why he’s never gone into politics? The National Party would be all over him like a rash.

      Still, he probably wouldn’t have as much influence for as much money and as little pain as he has now.

      Tom Hunter

      June 28, 2021 at 12:24 pm

  5. For those interested they should read Trotters latest missives – he will be excommunicated from the Ardern Party as a heretic.
    For a serious long time Socialist he is now growling at what he sees as a travesty of Socialism.
    Take a minute to read at “Bowalley Road”.

    Papa Mike

    June 28, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    • Yes, Trotter is one of the few sensible lefties with a public voice left. I like the way he is not just a slavish follower of the Ardern govt, and is prepared to call them out when necessary. He also writes very well, with a quirky sense of humour. Brave man alright. I bet he is soon struck of Labour’s Christmas card list for daring to speak truths. (Oh, they don’t do Christmas, I forgot!). and Karl du Fresne, is also a unique common sense voice in the usually group think canons of the left.

      Tanya Stebbing

      June 29, 2021 at 9:44 am

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