Thursday, March 17, 2022

Clive Bibby: Where to from here?

The latest nationwide political poll is beginning to show what we here in the provinces have known for some time - the tide is going out for Jacinda and her mob of sycophantic ‘partners in crime’. And it is unlikely that this trend will be arrested in time to save their precious necks at the next election.

All good news for those of us who have been demonised for having the temerity to speak out against what has been the most radical reformist government since the first years of Michael Joseph Savage’s transformational Labour Government in the 1930s.

That fact that the governments who have occupied the treasury benches in the 80 plus intervening years have all made some attempt to govern in the best interests of the majority (with varying degrees of success) and generally been rewarded for doing so, suggests that kiwis are a tolerant lot who tend to forgive minor indiscretions - but there are limits.

It has always been and, thank God, always will be about Trust.

In the past, as long as governments made serious attempts to honour the promises they promoted to the electorate, the tendency has been for them to be allowed a reasonable time to implement the changes regarded as priorities in their respective election manifestos.

While the Covid pandemic has changed that unofficial code of tolerance for this government and in fact been responsible for allowing it to operate with unprecedented authority, the associated trust in the current leadership has evaporated with every revelation of dirty tricks and secret agendas. It would appear there is no way back.

We no longer trust this mob to do what they said they would do and as a consequence even some of their most ardent supporters are abandoning the ship like rats leaving in droves. I suspect it will only get worse before we are rid of this band of betrayers.

So, assuming there will be a dramatic change in the political landscape at the next election, what should we expect from those in whom we trust to pick up the pieces and repair the damage.

We should not be under any allusions as to how hard that task will be.

The secret agendas exposed over recent months give the lie to how much damage has been done already to the democratic framework of this country.

The undemocratic imposition of race based representation at local authority level is only the tip of the iceberg. We are told that the other main planks for handing over control of the country’s natural resources to a minority group with neither the expertise or representative authority to manage them in the nation’s interests will be on the statute books by Christmas.

It is our worst nightmare and we are fools if we think that any future government will make easy work of restoring the country to what it was.

For a start, they will find there is little money left after Robertson and Ardern have consigned future generations of kiwis to a lifetime paying back debt while at the same time destroying one of the cornerstones of our economy, the tourism industry’s ability to contribute to any revival after Covid.

Even the commitment required to reverse the radical legislation passed to ensure this transformation is backed by law will be a Herculean task on its own.

I hope that the incoming government next year will distinguish itself as the complete opposite of this current bunch.

That it will have the authority to restore the country to something that enables every member of the community to achieve what they are capable of is a given.

The only question left unanswered will be if the new administration has the courage to accept what some would call the poisoned challis. But there are ways we can get involved to ensure that it does.

We must all undertake to give them equivalent support to that mistakenly granted to those who have betrayed us during this last term. They will need all the help they can get and we will need to contribute our part by accepting the restraints necessary in order to achieve our common objectives. It will take time to heal but, if we focus on the task ahead as a united community, all things are possible. We have proved that many times before.

That alone will determine our immediate future. I sincerely hope the nation is as committed as we will be expecting our new leaders to be.

PS. To some extent, the writing of this piece has been overtaken by the shock announcement that National’s senior MP Simon Bridges is resigning, forcing a bi-election in Tauranga.

Given that it is, at present, a safe National seat, the outcome of both upcoming election night results are unlikely, in themselves, to affect the makeup of the next conservative government.

It does however introduce possibilities that were, until now, only the subject of wishful thinking by some of the minor parties contesting the general election.

For example, in normal circumstances one would expect Tauranga to return whoever National chooses to be Simon Bridges’ successor with an increased majority.

But that scenario becomes debatable when introducing the candidacy of Winston Peters of NZ First (should he decide to stand) to the mix.

I for one wouldn’t bet against the old campaigner putting all his energies into winning the seat that he has represented with distinction many times before.

It can be expected that there will be a significant residual number of voters who would happily return to the NZ First fold should Winston offer to represent them again.

If he was successful, and NZ First only gained total votes across the country equivalent to its current polling, because of the way MMP works, that relatively small number of votes could ensure at least two, possibly three other NZ First MPs on the coattails of the Rt. Hon. Winston’s victory in Tauranga.

We should have learned from previous experience never to count out arguably the most effective politician in this country’s political history.

Finally, we need to also consider the effect this unlikely scenario would have on any new coalition government’s ability to clean up the mess they will encounter once they take over the treasury benches.

Would the price Winston might put on agreeing to join a conservative coalition be the most important role of Finance Minister - similar to the one that he has already held in Jim Bolger’s government?

That fact alone would increase the difficulty any incoming government might have providing a unified front when dealing with the economic crisis they are bound to encounter.

But like l say, these are just some thoughts that need to be seriously contemplated.

We are in extraordinary times.

Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.

1 comment:

Phil said...

It would be useful if Winston stands and is vocal about Co-Governance during the campaign. The way the media treated the new history curriculum today it is obviously going to be very difficult to get information into the public domain.