Politicians around the world are notorious for apportioning
blame after the publication of damning reports that highlight failures of
leadership under their watch as long as the number of those who might lose
their jobs doesn't include themselves.
Even our own country has a shameful record of senior ministers being slapped on the wrist before, after the mandatory stand down, being readmitted to the cabinet clique on full pay. "Welcome back! Have a good break?"
You have to go back to the Cave Creek tragedy in order to
note a senior cabinet minister’s resignation as a matter of principle or for
one that was offered as a sacrificial lamb rather than wait for it to be
It makes a mockery of the often used quote -"ensuring
all care but no responsibility.”
Why do we tolerate this hypocrisy?
So far, during the three and a bit years of Labour’s tenure
on the Treasury benches, this nation has suffered two of our worst human
tragedies, one resulting from the Christchurch massacre and the other as
collateral damage from the White Island volcanic eruption. This year has also
seen a death toll that is likely to rival even those two horrific events when
those affected by Government’s mishandling of the COVID 19 virus stop dying at
their own hand.
Yet the reports so far into the former two will be presented
to the public with a promise to implement only those recommendations that allow
for the ministers in charge at the time to escape "scot free" after
the token period of walking around parliament adorned in sack cloth and ashes.
Oh yes, they are deeply sorry for the “stuff ups” by the
staff with responsibility for administering their portfolios (perhaps even a
tear or two when making the announcements hinting at changes to the way things
are done) and you can be sure that they will try to do better next time but
that is as far as it goes.
Try telling that to the surviving member of one of the
Muslim families struggling with the difficulty of visiting his whanau in the
cemetery and looking at the empty seats at dinner time when reality sets in.
Sorry folks but that is simply not good enough in a society
that prides itself of a record for fairness and equality of opportunity. This
is the reputation that supposedly brings immigrants flocking to our shores.
There has to be more accountability for those in charge.
We simply can’t afford to allow this mob or any other
government to continue rorting the system for their own aggrandisement simply
because, with this inflated majority, they think they are untouchable.
Not only are we seeing examples of blatant manipulation of
that power when introducing undemocratic laws but also the stripping of clauses
from existing legislation that have traditionally protected special interest
groups. It would appear that it all depends on which special interest group is
in need of protection. The introduction of Maori wards being a case and point.
Heaven knows where or when it will end.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.