The hum­ble bar­be­cue

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

Don­ald Trump’s sleep is rest­less. He dreams of col­umn af­ter col­umn of cold-steel phal­lus rolling along Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue. Rows of gi­gan­tic mis­siles to put Putin in his place, thou­sands of gun-metal grey tanks to set Jong-un’s nerves a-jan­gling.

Mean­while, in a back­yard on a hum­ble street in Tau­ranga, power is dis­played in the deft han­dling of a sausage and sashay of steak (sir­loin or eye fil­let, cer­tainly not rump) over a hot plate.

Na­tional’s Si­mon Bridges no doubt knows the value of Kiwi soft-power around a bar­be­cue; the light, beer-in­duced ban­ter among power­bro­kers; the ca­sual sweep of tongs to dis­tract the eye and re­di­rect the dis­cus­sion; and the abil­ity to diplo­mat­i­cally keep other pre­tenders away from that fiery al­tar.

We may not have the mis­siles, the marines, the mil­i­tary might, but there is much to be learned from a man or wo­man’s man­age­ment of the bar­be­cue.

Our own leader, Jacinda Ardern, demon­strated such power on Wai­tangi Day when she grabbed the bar­be­cue im­ple­ments to dis­trib­ute the sausages and fur­ther un­der­mine the pil­lars of male hege­mony.

Bridges may also fancy his chances at lead­er­ship. If he is, at some point in the fu­ture, named Na­tional Party leader, he will re­call that his suc­cess­ful cam­paign be­gan with a bar­be­cue in a back­yard on a hum­ble street in Tau­ranga.

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