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  • rmacculloch

Did Prime Minister Hipkin's Maiden Speech in Parliament copy Bobby Kennedy's?

If one was marking PM Hipkins maiden speech in Parliament in 2008 for originality, I'd give it 3 out of 10. Why? When it comes to core ideas, let's look first at what Senator Bobby Kennedy had to say about the American Dream in 1968:

"Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play .. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile".

... and compare it with our PM's vision:

"the prosperity that I dream of will not be measured by the size of our cars or the number of holiday homes we own. It will be measured by the strength of our compassion towards one another. It will be measured by the collective efforts that we take to give our kids the best possible start in life ..."

I never knew the Kiwi Dream, as defined by Hipkins, was so close to the American Dream until now. Okay, Hipkins swapped Kennedy's "children" for "kids" and threw in the holiday home. By the way, I would've thought Americans were way more into the "size of their cars" than Kiwis, so don't know where Chippie got that from. After all, small Porsches were always a status symbol here in Auckland - not so in America. Maybe its a Hutt Valley thing.

Anyhow, wouldn't it have been good if Hipkins had just up front referenced Bobby Kennedy explicitly in his Maiden Speech rather than pretending his phrasing was something new?

Now I'm a great fan of Bobby Kennedy - I just think he said it way better than Hipkins. Maybe our new PM should have ended his maiden speech with Kennedy's invocation of George Bernard Shaw's, "Some people see things as they are and say, 'why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'why not?'"

That may have got him an ovation in the Kiwi Parliament.



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