Politicians retiring voluntarily while at the top are a rare breed but National Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson joined their ranks this week. The timing of his decision to return to the farm at Gunnedah might have caught the members of the fourth estate napping but the decision itself came as no surprise. It was in fact very well previewed.
Which reminded us of the last such high ranking minister who really did surprise the pundits of the press when he handed in his badge without even a whisper before hand. The only reason we mention John Dawkins and his retirement as Paul Keating's Treasurer is that he has since become an Eden Valley grape grower and it was a pleasure to sample the other day a chardonnay which St Hallett's largely made from his 2003 crop. So impressed were we that 2006 will see grapes from the very same vineyard turned in to one of our very own single vineyard wines.