Wednesday, March 2, 2011
A picture, so they say, tells a thousand words. The picture above is both poignant and symbolic, as people came together to mourn those who died in last Tuesday's quake and to ponder the way ahead.
Take a close look at the centre of the photo; to Bob Parker's right is Labour leader Phil Goff; to his left in PM John Key and his wife Bronagh. The political foes stood together in a show of unity yesterday.
This is more symbolic than one might think. Over at No Minister, The Veteran notes the snub that Helen Clark delivered to other party leaders when Willie Apiata was invested with his Victoria Cross; none was invited. The contrast yesterday could not have been more stark.
Rebuilding Christchurch in whatever form it takes is going to take a large degree of political unity and goodwill. It is going to require innovative solutions, and clearly, because successive governments will stump up the lion's share of the cost, it is in everyone's interest for there to be political consensus. We believe that John Key is the right man at the right time to drive that; he's not a "career politician" like so many others from both sides of the House, and he plays the game by a different set of rules. That will, in our opinion, be to everyone's benefit.
Of course, that's not going to stop the sniping around the margins. This post from Cactus Kate is well worth a read as she takes The Standard to task for a series of highly political posts since the earthquake which have encouraged commenters to take a free hit at Key, Gerry Brownlee et al. We blogged about one such post last week, and we note this morning that the comment about which we were critical is still there, unmoderated, despite a wealth of criticism from subsequent commenters.
Constructive criticism is fine, but unbridled vitriol is another thing altogether. If ever there was a need for New Zealanders of all races, creeds and political persuasions to stand together it is now, as the country comes to terms with the magnitude of last Tuesday.