Friday, February 26, 2021

Mike Hosking: It’s never been a better time to be the Opposition


I was slightly disturbed at reportage that Judith Collins was trying to bring Simon bridges into line over his Coster ‘wokester’ comments

I hope it’s not true, because what this country needs - all countries need - is strong opposition.

Not opposition for opposition’s sake, but well thought through critique.

The trick to good opposition is not just that the government are wrong, it’s why they are wrong and what is the alternative.  You have to give people an “out” or an “idea”.

Collins herself did well over this nutty person refusing a Covid test in MIQ, calling to deport them. It’s something the government hasn’t done and it’s a good idea,

Simon Bridges on Coster, there is no question gangs are a major issue and a concern to many new Zealanders, and there is little if any doubt that once Coster appeared to support Māori-led road blocks that kind of thinking at the top might just be a problem.

National have been suggesting MIQ out of down town Auckland, a purpose built facility. It’s a logical sensible eminently doable idea, and that is what opposition is about, the contest of ideas.

ACT too has carried on where they left off pre-election. Their revelation that Matariki is a $400 million proposition not $200m as stated is the sort of information the government were never going to tell you, if left to their own devices.

Opposition is hard. It is well known that most of the time the wider public are not hyper tuned to the minutiae of political life.

It’s been made even harder these past few years with the increasingly partisan role of the media who refuse to look for balance or anything that isn’t officially headlined as a press release by the government  

But let us never forget, that half the country didn’t vote for the incumbents.  The concept that labour romped to victory is an out working of the electoral system.

the same way it was from 2017 to last year - cobble together three parties or one party gets all the spoils - the fact remains only half want the outcome, the other half don’t.

Both halves though deserve service and good service at that.

This is a weak and lazy government that is being found out daily on its Covid response.  They refuse to change, they refuse to listen, they refuse to be pro-active and, most sadly, they refuse to want better for us all.

That’s fertile ground for those charged with looking out for the interests of half the country. It’s never been a better time to be the Opposition. More please.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.


DeeM said...

At last National appear to have come back from the dead. It was touch and go for a while.
Promising to reverse the legislation preventing the electorate from petitioning against Maori wards, challenging the police commissioner on actually doing his job and upholding the law rather than running to be a candidate for the Labour Party.
It's encouraging but if they want a good shot at getting elected next time they have to campaign strong and hard against any moves to further racialise NZ and reduce our basic freedom of opinion and speech. Education is another topic they should be all over - the proposed re-invented history curriculum which teaches a completely skewed version of Maori and NZ history and focuses only on subjugation and persection. If you politicise history for the benefit of one racial minority the country is on a road to division and acrimony.
There's plenty more areas for them to target as well - pretty much every other major area of policy. This government makes it easy for a truly competent opposition....but do we have one? The jury's still out.

Shane C said...

Excellent comments from Dee, all spot on. Now we're locked down again, not because we need it - rather it's the usual panic move that gives Ardern an opportunity for more TV time. This government has had a year to plan for eventualities like that current, yet they choose to shut down the biggest city in the country at a further cost of billions. Hearing Chris Hipkins earlier talking about the appalling situation at road blocks was embarrassing, he appears to think that ideas are plans - something the PM and her team don't understand. Why hasn't the latest breach been handled as it should have? Actions no longer seem to have consequences and, by the way, NZ's supposed vaccination "plan" is another dreamtime piece - grrr!!