New Zealand’s Next Top Mandela

Comparisons to Nelson Mandela seem to be the rage this week. In the last couple of days the African statesman has found himself being compared with Tame Iti and the late Jock Hobbs.

I am picking that this trend towards Mandela-isation will continue. Who wouldn’t want to be likened to the great man?

So who are my picks for New Zealand’s Next Top Mandela? I have set out below who I think may be in the running, and my reasons for and against. 

John Key

Most public appearances of the increasingly-frail Mandela in recent years have involved little more than smiling and waving. Sound familiar?

Apparently untroubled by the struggles of others for justice and against oppression. Can’t even recall how he felt about the 1981 Springbok tour.

Clayton Weatherston

Like Mandela, he was incarcerated for a lengthy period for pursuing armed struggle.

Weatherston’s armed struggle was against his partner, who was unarmed.
They probably won’t hold rock concerts in support of Weatherston’s release.

Paul Holmes

A freedom fighter, like Mandela, even if Holmes’ struggle is for the right to say whatever grotesquely offensive thing he likes about people less privileged than himself.

Probably wouldn’t be comfortable as leader of a black African liberation movement, on account of his being a bit racist.

David Garrett

A lawyer in trouble with the law.
Actually, that’s all I have. 

Mandela was jailed for following his convictions. Garrett was discharged without any convictions.
Mandela’s supporters sought freedom for their man, while Garrett’s law and order supporters have sought prison for just about anyone and anything that moves.
People tend to like Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela never comments on Kiwiblog.

So now it’s your turn. Who is your pick and why?