Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Barry Soper: The Prime Minister ought to front up to Aucklanders


It's not the Prime Minister's fault that she hasn't visited her Mt Albert constituency, or indeed the wider locked-up mega city of Auckland, nothing ever is. 

It's the fault of the Inspector General of Parliament Trevor Mallard, who clearly needs to feel powerful - he requires any MP, or for that matter anyone working in the place, to have a double negative Covid test if they're coming from Auckland to self-isolate for five days. 

Other essential workers returning to the capital don't have to go through that sort of rigmarole but Jacinda Ardern says as an essential worker it's her job "to run the country" and not spend time at home twiddling her thumbs, unlikely of course, with a toddler in tow. 

But surely if she can give speeches to APEC and the East Asia Summit, as she did last night, then she could do the odd zoom into the Beehive down the road to give them the hand of gentle guidance. 

Her good buddy Mallard is probably doing her a favour though, by keeping her away from Auckland.  Why would the beaming, good news Ardern want to see first-hand the doom and gloom that has been inflicted on the city which is at wits end? 

The new traffic lights on the road to nowhere are stuck on red until at least the end of next month, while the nigh-on impossible task of getting 90 percent of the city's residents double jabbed is undertaken.  The longer it goes on, the more Aucklanders feel that Ardern has a duty to front up in person rather than pontificating at them from the Pulpit of Truth several times a week. 

And the fury will grow when she announces that she's off to Europe in a couple of weeks time, taking her tribe of apparatchiks with her with the media traipsing along to witness the spectacle. 

You know what that means, special privileged slots at the desperately sought-after MIQ facilities that tens of thousands of kiwis are lining up for on their return - no lobby waiting rooms or raffle tickets for them. 

And of course, it totally negates her argument that she can't go to Auckland because she would have to do five days at home in Wellington on her return. 

She was asked about the trip to Europe by Act's David Seymour in Parliament but totally avoided the question.  At her sermon from the pulpit a little later, she was asked about it again and said she 'has nothing to confirm today." The same political weasel words were used more than a month ago when I inquired about it. 

But Ardern did add our Free Trade Talks with Europe have reached a critical juncture which clearly need a nudge with her formidable negotiating skills. 

Perhaps this transparent Government is waiting for news of her European trip to be tweeted first by a diplomat, just as Trade Minister Damien O'Connor's was a few days before he left for London recently.

Barry Soper is a New Zealand political journalist, and has been featured regularly on radio and television since the 1970s. Currently, Soper's main role is political editor at Newstalk ZB, a radio network in New Zealand.


DeeM said...

Leaving NZ to head to Europe, something impossible for the rest us, would seem to be a foolhardy thing to do for a politician who has locked us all down. The term "rubbing our noses in it" springs to mind.

However, Shaw is heading to Glasgow with another 10 people to carry his bags and book his dinner reservations. (By the way, there is a rat infestation problem in the city, partly due to a strike by the rubbish collectors, so James should have plenty of like-minded beings to discuss his climate proposals with...afterwards he can chuck them in with all the other trash.)

Based on absolutely NO negative feedback by the MSM about his trip, Ardern must be feeling cocky that she can get away with it.

I keep reading articles proclaiming that very, very, very soon the good people of NZ will rise up and make it clear what it thinks of this government in no uncertain terms. Well that's not really coming through in the opinion polls and I'm not sensing any great upwelling of discontent and revolt among the general populace.
I'm starting to think that this great revolt is a case of wishful thinking amongst those of us who yearn for the days of reason and relative calm.

Kiwis whinge but are very slow to action. In fact many may be so brainwashed and hooked on Netflix in their domestic bubbles that they are happy to do whatever our PM pronounces is good for them. Lockdown levels...traffic's the "new normal", but only if we let it!

Kiwialan said...

I am 70 and have no Facebook or other social network, cancelled my ChCh Press 2 years ago because it was full of left wing drivel and Te Reo propaganda so this blog is my only means of factual information. Can we somehow organise a group of like minded folks to try and battle against the mainstream woke media? Kiwialan.

Janine said...

So today....bye, bye, water! Democracy well and truly gone in lil ol ' Kiwiland. Who would have thought that, which came from the sky, belonged to a small segment of the population? It is now official we are no longer one united people.

I am sure many, like me, have spoken out, written copious letters and emails all to no avail.

This is what happens when we don't have a critical media or opposition. They are unfortunately the only ones with a platform.

Barry, lately you are speaking up, as our some of your colleagues but I'm afraid it's a bit late.

I believe now that David Seymour could be our next P M but only if he gets back on track. I certainly wouldn't vote for a four year term. We also need to change MMP so that the majority party chooses their coalition partners not a party that only gets 5% to 10% of the vote. David needs to show he can heal our country for all New Zealanders. It's going to be a big challenge and he has a long way to go. He needs to offer the public more imput into important decision making. Preferably by referenda. I think that's what people are looking for.