Fuseworks Media announced:
Political historian and writer Michael Bassett has been close to government for more than 50 years and has a unique perspective, having been in parliament with 11 Prime Ministers.
In case you are wondering who they are, they are:
- Keith Holyoake
- Jack Marshall
- Norman Kirk
- Bill Rowling
- Robert Muldoon
- David Lange
- Geoffrey Palmer
- Mike Moore
- Jim Bolger
- Jenny Shipley
- Helen Clark
Interesting that in his 18 years he was in Parliament with 18 PMs.
If you entered Parliament in 2002, then in 15 years you would have served with just two PMs – Clark and Key.
Now, in an election year, Bassett offers a timely and incisive appraisal of our 24 former leaders in forthcoming book New Zealand’s Prime Ministers: From Dick Seddon to John Key, published by David Ling Publishing in April 2017.
Can’t wait to read it. Bassett is a great writer and historian.
Bassett’s book reveals fresh insights into each Prime Minister’s personality and examines their distinctive styles, thinking, successes and failures. He also takes a long hard look at what worked with the public, and what didn’t.
Bassett says, “Of our 24 past Prime Ministers, John Key was the easiest in his skin. There was never any artifice about him. What you saw was what you got. He wasn’t our greatest Prime Minister: that honour goes to Peter Fraser who shepherded New Zealand through World War Two and in Winston Churchill’s words ‘never put a foot wrong’.
I agree with Fraser being the greatest.
Based on extensive, careful archival research, interviews with recent Prime Ministers, many of their colleagues, and with their opponents, this major work is the product of decades of appreciative and insightful observation. It is essential reading for anyone interested in New Zealand politics.
I’ve already asked for a copy!