As time allows I’m going to cover a few of the valedictory speeches. Second up is Murray McCully:
It was in this grim climate in October 1991 that I received an early morning call from the Prime Minister’s senior private secretary, who advised that the Prime Minister wanted to see me. Convinced that this was to be yet another of the disciplinary discussions that were then a regular feature of my parliamentary timetable, I not very politely declined. Eventually the senior private secretary convinced me that it would be very much in my interest to get my useless carcass up to the Prime Minister’s office right now. So Jim Bolger informed me bluntly that he was making me the Minister of Customs but that would not make me very busy, and that he decided that, despite our political predicament, he was going to win the next election, that I was going to help them, and that we would discuss it on a later occasion. We never did discuss it later, but I did find myself fairly quickly immersed in the political management machinery of the place, a role I came to play for many years.
I can’t recall a time Murray wasn’t involved in the political management!
In 2008 the decision was made by John Key, looking towards the election later that year, that I was to move seriously into the area of foreign policy. Members will recall that the right honourable, now knighted, former Prime Minister had a wonderful capacity for lofty Shakespearean prose. In early 2008, addressing me in such terms, he said: “My little friend, there is one portfolio where those guys can hand me my ass, and that’s foreign policy. I want you to make sure they don’t.” Ha, ha! Never before or since has the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs been so graciously bestowed. Ha, ha!
That sounds very much like what John Key would say.
A win on the first ballot was an exceptional result.
Heh, that is hilarious.
First, some personal advice: always keep an open mind about people. When some financial whiz kid who gets elected in your neighbouring electorate irritates the management and you are asked to take him out behind the woodshed for a chat, always leave room for the possibility he might end up being your boss for 8 years. Ha, ha! And when some overconfident young woman marches into your electorate office, interviews you, and then instructs you to hire her on the spot, before you tell her to get lost, always leave room for the possibility that she might end up being your Deputy Prime Minister.
I first met Paula when she worked for Murray. He’s always had great staff.
Those who have worked with me will know that I am not a great fan of multilateral institutions, but we must persevere with bodies like the United Nations, not because they are good but because they will get a great deal worse if countries like New Zealand do not play their part. Good international rules and effective international institutions are important for countries like ours. The alternative is to live in a world where the big guys always win and the little guys always lose.
A good point.