He did know that travel broadens the mind, but broadening it and improving it are not necessarily the same thing.
Today, however, we have it on no less an authority than The Boss that jet-setting is good for the brain.
At least, he reckons it does wonders for his brain, and it’s fair to suppose that if this be so, it will do wonders for other brains, too.
Although (come to think of it) it would take a great deal of travel to enhance the thinking power of your basic Labour or Green politician.
So much travel, in fact, that we would never see them in this country.
Come to think of it even further, this would be no bad thing.
Anyway, we can see here what The Boss has to say on the matter.
Prime minister John Key is defending his overseas travel schedule – saying his more than 40 days out of the country give him time to think.
Alf can’t see why anyone would complain about him being away for 40 days (and, presumably, 40 nights, which gives it a Biblical ring).
He is doing important work, having left this morning for the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Of course, he isn’t away for 40 days and nights in succession.
And – as it turns out – it’s a tad more than 40.
But it seems someone has noted he has visited Korea, the US, Indonesia, Singapore Australia, Britain, Germany and Belgium, this year, spending around 41 days outside of New Zealand.
Presumably he was questioned about this. He is quoted as saying –
”I do enjoy it. It gives you time to think when you take a step back. As prime minister, it’s not just the quantity of decisions you make but the quality of them.
”I travel every day – I’m constantly travelling. Yeah, it’s a bit further afield but you get a perspective on what’s happening internationally. And New Zealand is a very open economy so it’s actually important to what we do.”
Maybe we should get him a ride on one of those voyages into space that Alf has been reading about.
The perspective from up there would be great.
John has said the public appreciate the importance of his overseas travel.
Alf wouldn’t put any money on that proposition, but it might be true.
Anyway, John goes on to say –
”New Zealand is a small open economy that needs to make its way in the world. A lot are pro-forma…but the [visits] I would say were discretionary were LA – we didn’t have to do that trip but we thought it was worthwhile [and] the trip to Australia – it’s our biggest market.”
He added: ”It’s not going to be any better next year. I don’t think it’s any less for any other prime minister.”
The thing is that now he has explained how his thinking is enhanced by travel…
Well, he should ensure the whole National team gets 40 or so days overseas.
The improvement in our collective thinking power would make us unbeatable.