Has the relentless positividdy from media stopped?

It seems that there has been a change in the media in recent days.

Gone are the photo opportunities, the gushy editorials and the puff pieces on the Prime Minister.

There are even awful looking photos appearing now.

Have the media realised that their “People’s Princess” isn’t all that.

Hamish Rutherford writes:

Jacinda Ardern’s decision to take a walk down the steps of Parliament on Monday was well intentioned, but is symbolic of the Government’s confusion around managing an economy.

In what may be a first, the prime minister personally went to greet representatives of Greenpeace and receive a petition calling for the end of oil exploration.

Few seriously doubt that oil and gas is a sunset industry. But there still is genuine debate about whether New Zealand has the gas reserves in operational fields to manage the transition away from fossil fuels.

Much of New Zealand’s industry relies on gas, as does the electricity sector. Most of our electricity generation is renewable, but it is gas that gives the system security.

Few would rather see their granny sitting in the cold than burn gas if parts of the transmission network fell over.

Not only that she was late to a state luncheon so she could virtue-signal to a bunch of smelly hippies. But, that’s all Jacinda has got. I said it years ago and now the media are finding out. Jacinda Ardern is nothing more than a figurehead, a collection of bumper sticker slogans and no substance. She’s not particularly bright and seems to think being PM is nothing more than grandstanding, slogans and selfies.

It’s ironic, really, as that is what Labour criticised John Key for all those years.

But Ardern has created problems of precedent (how to decide which other groups deserve such a greeting) as well as expectation.

The symbolism of the Greenpeace rally was the type of theatre many groups try to manufacture at Parliament, but few manage.

Standing in front of posters of Norman Kirk, David Lange and Helen Clark, who had all made historic environmental moves, as well as a poster of herself, Ardern volunteered that she had delayed attending a state lunch to deliver such an important message.

We’re working hard on this issue and we know that it’s one that we can’t afford to spend much time on.”

Ardern gave an air of immediacy, but the Government is clearly not in a position to comment.

Hours after Ardern accepted the petition she gave a much more ‘business as usual’ message to Parliament’s Press Gallery, even distancing herself from what may have been seen as a snub to the Indonesian president.

She now stands accused of speaking out of both sides of her mouth… and making no one happy in the process. She makes it sound as though stopping oil exploration is so important that it comes before the oft-stated goal of ending child poverty.

Unlike the other controversies of recent weeks, where Ardern has been justifying the positions of her colleagues, this was a storm entirely of her own making.

The prime minister, who labelled climate change as her generation’s nuclear free moment, is now in an almost impossible position, for little political gain.

She has to either call a permanent end to oil exploration in New Zealand, whether the economy is ready or not, or face accusations of hypocrisy.

Don’t worry, there will be a new committee, or investigation, or commission, or something. She won’t or can’t make decisions so just kicks the can down the road with inquiries.

For the industry this creates major uncertainty, the significance of which Labour seems to struggle to appreciate.

Businesses, by and large, are better at coping with bad news than they are at coping with uncertainty. You cannot plan for it or adapt to it.

Labour don’t understand business: they’ve never created one, run one or been involved with one. Uncertainty kills economies.

Other industries may be getting nervous, at a time when business confidence is already low.

The electricity sector, where the Government has a controlling share in three of the four biggest players, may wonder what influence ministers will wield. How long before the hugely profitable banking sector gets a serve from a Cabinet minister?

The Government has every right to take action against any part of the economy it chooses. But in a series of recent episodes it has delivered nothing.

If Ardern’s Government is going to be more interventionist, as it has promised it will, then it should spend a little more time working on its plans and warning the industry, rather than making political statement with no back-up.

Why haven’t they got plans after nine years in opposition? It is obvious to all, including journalists, that Labour have no idea about what to do and are nothing more than bloviating try-hards who are actually failing. They even forget they are in government now and blindly issue press releases like they did in opposition. They are in government, which means they have to do something.

Six months have evaporated and nothing has been achieved.

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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