Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Kate Hawkesby: Promoting division among people is the most 'unkind' thing a govt can do


I know lots of people are over the protest, and I feel a bit that way too, and I know that’s easy to say if you're not sitting in the same city as it. Even those in Wellington, just not near the CBD, say they’re sick of it as well.  

But then there are those at the epicentre who say it’s horrific, don’t underestimate the gruesome time we’re having. The students who can’t catch the bus, the law students who can’t get on campus, the local businesses being punished, the commuters held up. 

But for those of us for whom it's out of sight, it's out of mind. If it doesn’t affect you, do you really care? And many don’t care. 

But a lot still do. 

I got texts yesterday from people analysing the politics in all this. Rating Seymour for at least having a view, and asking where the invisible PM's been and also, where the leader of the opposition's been too. 

He finally came out of the woodwork yesterday, arguing that the Government needs to address three key issues.  

He says a response from the Government is required, that they must have a plan for phasing out vaccine mandates – which Jacinda sort of did and didn't address yesterday - she alluded to it happening at some point, but I wouldn't set my watch by it. 

Luxon also argued that the Government has to make Rapid Antigen Tests available to everybody, allow Kiwis to purchase them and to take responsibility for their own health. I said this yesterday too – it’s a travesty the Government hasn’t been organised on this front, they’ve had the benefit of seeing how this has unfolded overseas, and they just did not get ready – even with all the lead up time. Thirdly, Luxon argued the Government needs to say when it’s going to move from emergency restrictions to a risk management approach.  

He points out it’s naïve – and I’d argue convenient - for the Government and its supporters to argue that ‘now’s not the time’ for these discussions. Since when has forward planning and thinking ahead not been valuable? Luxon points out too much of the debate is now characterized by fear and division – for or against us. And that’s top down too I reckon. The PM dismissing people and name calling or ‘punching down’ as she’s accused of, sets a tone. It speaks to a "them and us" camp - and for someone so hellbent on a 'team' narrative, that seems hypocritical of her.  

I just don’t think it’s black and white anymore. Pushing the division narrative of those who buy into her strategy - good, those who don't - bad is about the most ‘unkind’ thing you can do - alongside their current Trump-inspired idea of building a wall.  

But the tribalism on each side is so entrenched now, the same as the fear messaging promulgated by this Government, it’s really hard to turn that all around when you’ve taken such a defiant stance.  

It shows a lack of willingness to evolve, to grow, to shift. This is why David Seymour gets points on the board, for at least showing a preparedness to move with the times, to flex, rather than just sticking heads in the sand and saying, “now’s not the time." 

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Terry Morrissey said...

A bunch of third formers could do a whole lot better job than our present politicians. That includes government and opposition.
If they cant handle the heat get the hell out of the kitchen and let's get some grown ups to tidy up the mess.
If someone is in over their head they should resign or be removed. That includes the leaders of all parties.
With the current situation it is obvious that nobody in that House has the required leadership qualities needed to reslove a playground scuffle.
And I'm sorry Kate but the sand is not where they have their heads.

Kiwialan said...

Kate, the paid off woke mainstream acolytes never report on the actual reasons for the protests. Not just anti mandate protesters but also anti He Puapua, 3 Waters, separate racist medical and education systems, Te Reo forced onto the entire population, changing the Country's name plus many govt departments titles, the ute tax, I could go on indefinitely but my finger is getting sore. Many normal folks are just sick of the incompetent, lying, corrupt bunch of failed union workers and academics screwing our nation. Kiwialan.

Janine said...

Those who have been on full pay during the pandemic could never understand what the protesters are all about. Take away the politicians and medias pay packets and they would be part of the" River of filth". As simple as that!

Many of us have been saying the vaccine is ineffective against Omicron. It is a personal choice whether people are vaccinated or not. It is not my choice for them. It is not your choice for them.

I think this is not just a protest, I think it is a "movement" to get rid of all the undesirable aspects of Kiwi society that have crept in over the last few years.

No we don't want the sort of society Ardern and her counterparts in parliament slavishly adhere to. Even it appears,the National Party.

The MSM are now crying " poor me" but we aren't listening. They had their time in the sun with their $100,000,000.

Anonymous said...

I admit to suffering from a little schadenfreude over this:
For years now the general population has been on the receiving end of Wellington's diktats: Tax increases, fuel levies, crazed climate change policies, mad cycle lane schemes, race-based theft of assets and more recently oppressive lockdown and vaccine mandates that defy our own human rights act.
So now it's time for Wellingtonians to be on the receiving end of the crap, both literally and figuratively.
As for Vic Uni students - I'm not shedding a tear for them either, because exit polls showed they nearly all voted Labour/Green so they can suffer the consequences of their naivete and hopefully get an education in Realpolitik.