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Life in Early Poverty Bay

A Born Political Strategist

A Born Political Strategist.

As an orator, Sir James was, when at the height of his career, unexcelled in the Dominion. He had an easy flow of speech and his choice of words was most happy. Thanks to his Native ancestry on the one side, he held a fine command of appropriate metaphor and imagery and his coloring was never overdone, although plentiful. Seeing that he was also of Irish extraction, one might have expected he would be inclined to be somewhat fiery, but his disposition was to remain mellow unless, of course, called upon to answer an unjust accusation. Sir James had other political qualifications, which were even more valuable to his party than his debating abilities. He was, first and foremost, an able political general. Only those who have been behind the political scenes could know what a great tower of strength Sir James was to the Ward Government. He could anticipate every move on the part of the then Opposition, which was increasing not only in numbers but also in political sagacity, resource and fierceness. Lying back in his bench Sir James may have appeared to the unsophisticated to be taking little interest in the proceedings. As a matter of fact, he was noting, for the benefit of his chief, every fresh or intended move on the political chess-board.