Monday, August 17, 2020
Kate Hawkesby: Combating Covid 19 requires competenceLabels: COVID-19 politics, Kate Hawkesby
The danger the complacent Government is walking into right now is believing its own hype.
It seems to be taking to heart the groundswell of staunch and active support it has across social media at the moment. The left have mobilised into a tribe of such determined one-eyed acolytes that their entire focus right now is to hunt down anyone daring to question the Prime Minister's moves or decisions, and basically to eviscerate them.
Questioning the Government makes you either a hater; a conspiracy theorist; a troll; or, quite simply, unpatriotic.
This venomous lobby group includes many across social media but most of the mainstream media has fallen under the spell too. You'd think the media and Government had almost forgotten about the existence of the silent majority.
Those not on FB or Twitter; those not doing Instagram selfies with the PM; those regular everyday working mum and dads who are looking down the barrel of an extremely grim economic future, and are worried sick.
If people were allowed to dare question the Prime Minister, without the rabid left calling for them to be cancelled for doing so, here's what needs answering: Should Chris Hipkins be running health, when he is also the Minister of Education, State of Services, and Leader of the House? We've already been through one incompetent health minister, have we not learned by now that it's surely a fulltime job needing his full attention? Could I suggest this may even be a contributing factor as to why the ball was so badly dropped on the border testing?
Why isn't our contact tracing gold standard? They've had months to get it right. What's our Plan B beyond elimination? Why aren't we tougher at quarantine hotels? Why have we come so late to the mask party?
Why is the chain of information from officials to government to public so slow? How can we trust a government which got the availability of flu vaccines, testing kits and PPE gear so wrong first time round?
I'd also question the North Korea vibe coming from the 1pm pulpit. "There is only one source of truth," Hipkins keeps reiterating in the manner of an annoyed dad.
Unfortunately, not all their facts are accurate, just ask the seething principal of Pakuranga College.
Likewise, many of the "we're the first/best/only in the world" statements, are not quite accurate either. It's a tad Trump-esque. But it does play to an adoring base programmed not to question anything.
But the team of 5 million feels a little more divided this time, and I don't just mean regionally.
Sure, if you're after smiles and warm fuzzies, the PM's a good communicator. But good communication must also contain facts, trust and honesty.
This was supposed to be "the most open, honest, transparent government ever". Turns out that message has conveniently changed to "kind".
But what we'd really like to see now in all honesty, is competence.
Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.
at 3:57 PM