On the face of it, this particular gang of leaders does not have much in common - depending which way you cut the dice it is a list of four conservatives and one socialist, or two socialists and three conservatives or four non-Americans and one American. Etc.
But dig deeper and the list of people in the subject line above have this in common: they have each come face to face with popular sentiment, with the will of the people. In poor old Tony Abbott's case that will - reflected in opinion poll after opinion poll - has led to his downfall. He just could not cut it in the connection with the people department.
Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump have recently been connecting very well in the popular sentiment front. Despite wildly differing political and economic philosophies, political commentators say both are liked because they actually tell the truth, and for a certain block of people that truth is what they want to hear. (Neither is likely to win an election anytime soon, but that, for now, is another story).
John Key understands the will of the people and the importance of popular sentiment. That has led to three elections in a row and to continuing high poll ratings as preferred Prime Minister of NZ (which he actually is, whatever those polls say!) It is also leading him these days to say one thing one day and the reverse the next when he realises that he might be losing his touch with the people.
Which brings us to Pope Francis. Whatever is going on in the Vatican on the 'family' (i.e. divorce, remarriage, annulment, the sacraments, blessing of same sex relationships) I suggest he is trying to do as much as he can (which in fact is relatively little) to fit the church to the people rather than expect the people to fit into the church.
Which in turn brings me to our church, ACANZP, and its moves re Motion 30. Taonga publishes an extraordinary response from our General Secretary to the decision of the Christchurch synod to ask the GS to move more slowly on Motion 30. Either the General Secretary, Michael Hughes or the Christchurch Synod is in touch with popular sentiment in our church. Which will it be?
While on the matter, my colleague and friend, Les Brighton has written a stirring article on Motion 30.
What do you think?