Six months on and its time for a performance review

 

It’s been roughly six months since this slow train wreck of a government has been in office so I thought it would be a good time to review how things have been going so far from my perspective. I’m basing my opinions predominantly on how things have been progressing in the house.

As expected the overall theme could perhaps be best summed up by the image of the traditionally Kiwi experience of seeing two glowing amber eyes in the middle of the road when heading around a lazy bend at 85 during the small hours. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Labour had no real expectations of winning the last general election and when the dust finally did settle were found staring into the oncoming headlights of a term in office. Perhaps they spent too much time and energy fossicking around for a decent leader during their time in opposition and not enough on policy development. It’s very easy to have a broad strategic platform of ideas to work from but quite something else putting together the means of achieving desired outcomes.

The election bribe of first-year free tertiary tuition is looking more and more dumb by the day. The fact this was not better targeted at specific streams of learning and training is monumentally stupid and wasteful. It may potentially provide some opportunities for people who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to access higher levels of education but I think there are smarter and better ways of achieving this. Time will tell. As for the closing of charter schools to mollify a mean spirited union void of any honour or passion? Don’t even get me started.

Another aspect which has been interesting to watch is the level of rampant racism being displayed, particularly by the Green Party. It was quite revealing listening to Golriz in the house a few weeks back during the submission process discussing the Pacer Plus Trade proposal. The Greens are opposed to such a deal as they see it as just another means towards stripping poorer nations of their assets and resources. Following her reasoning, Willie Jackson was next to speak and in so many words alluded to the patronising way ‘brown’ people are often referred to as if they had no brains to speak of and should be molly coddled as if they were children. I’ve always appreciated Willie’s perspective and while our politics are somewhat diverse he has always struck me as being someone with not only passion but also an enormous degree of street smarts and humility.

As for Marama Davidson’s upgrade to co leader all I can say is that it’s no real surprise. To be honest I’m struggling to understand why they even bothered having an election in the first place. She is obviously someone who believes passionately about the most disadvantaged however doesn’t appear to understand that capitalism is the best system for not only bringing people out of poverty but also raising living standards across the board in general.

But what about our new Prime Minister? Well, I’m sure many will disagree but I for one think she’s been handling herself pretty well really, especially considering the number of disparate personalities she’s been given to manage. I think the Youth Camp scandal pretty much sums up the level of idiots who currently populate Labour. A couple of days ago I wondered what the results would be of an I.Q. test for all of our current parliamentarians. Perhaps it’s better not to know though. In short, I believe Jacinda is coping remarkably well in the house. I find her politics quite tiresome and painful at the best of times but I respect her as a politician. Her confidence and aggressiveness in the House is really something to behold. Mind you I suspect she does get quite a bit of support from the gentleman sitting to her immediate left.

My prediction is that she WILL return after a brief break. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, she simply has no choice. The weight of expectation from people who believe a woman should be able to have a family AND a career is simply too much for Ms Ardern to ignore altogether. The second reason is that, like her or loathe her, Jacinda is passionate and genuinely believes in what she is doing.

Across the House it’s been a little painful to see the implosion of National, especially considering they won more votes than any other party. It would have been a very different story if the Maori Party had been able to hold on to even one of their seats, a fact which has been noticeably forgotten on both the left and the right. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out in the next election, especially if people such as Lance O’Sullivan and Tariana Turia lend some back bone and renewed mana to the centre-right, something I am predicting will happen in no small degree.

As for Simon Bridges, I think he needs to take some fashion advice from Winston. His suits are extremely bright and seem to be getting more shiny and obnoxious as the year progresses. He appears to be morphing day by day into the sort of cartoon cliché Mafia Don you’d expect to see in a show like the Sopranos. It will be interesting to see how long he lasts before being ‘taken care of’. His seeming inability to couch questions properly in the house and follow the speaker’s directives tends to disrupt the opposition’s momentum and I’m not sure how long it’s going to take him to understand irony and develop ways of avoiding it.

Judith Collins, on the other hand, has been serene and exemplary in her manner. Her no-nonsense and direct approach has been in stark contrast to her leaders and when she gets her gloves off during general debate time we see glimpses of a future Prime Minister in waiting.

Trevor Mallard still hasn’t answered my email inquiry about removing all references of Jesus from the opening prayer to parliament. It just strikes me as being a bit weird and over the top really. I mean, it’s like having a kennel with no dog in it. I sent him a follow-up email this week but don’t expect any reply.

So out of ten what would I give this crowd so far? Well, I give them a solid four and the only reason they rate that high is the degree of stability and certainty Peters provides. If the old Silver Fox wasn’t there then we’d really be in trouble. A bit like a one-legged man, in an arse kicking contest.

PS:

This article was written before government’s announcement of an end to off-shore Oil and Gas exploration.

Perhaps the Labour Party have given up all hope of ever winning the New Plymouth electorate again. Unless I’m very much mistaken the last time they held this seat was back in 2005 with Harry Duynhoven.

This is a real nasty shock for all those families who rely on this industry for their bread and butter. Particularly those family and whanau just starting out with babies on the way.

I’m imagining that our Prime Minister won’t be visiting the Naki for any photo ops in the near future.

As for New Zealand First’s future? Well, that could be even bleaker.

 


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ORANGE

  • A large round juicy citrus fruit with a tough bright reddish-yellow rind.

AMBER

  • Hard translucent fossilized resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in colour. It has been used in jewellery since antiquity.

ORINJAMBA

  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.

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