Whatever else he thinks about anything, Professor Robert Winston just won some brownie points with me. He calls the worship of New Zealand’s celebrities a “false idolatry” that glorifies traits that, in the big picture, really don’t matter all that much.
Lord Winston believes Kiwis do not value intellectuals and ignore the worst behaviour of our sports stars. “New Zealand celebrates attributes which really aren’t that important,” he said.
“You do it with sportsmen and you don’t do it particularly with intellectuals, for example. In New Zealand, being an intellectual is slightly disadvantageous and is often seen by the press as being something which is rather well, not to be celebrated.
“On the other hand, if you are a great rugby player, maybe parts of your private life which are pretty appalling, will go ignored.
Check out the audio at the news story.
If I had a Christmas list, Winston would be on it.