The Roman deity, Janus, is depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions - one facing the past and one facing the future.
God of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings.
While we certainly don’t have anything resembling a god, NZ politics does seem to have its very own Janus Man in Chris Hipkins. He appears to have gone through an about-face transition since his appointment as Prime Minister.
Culling policies beloved by his recently departed predecessor and focussing instead on “bread-and-butter” issues which make a direct impact on people’s financial wellbeing, albeit at the longer term cost to the economy and inflation.
Call it a brazen election bribe or call it politically savvy, either way if it wins him another term it’ll be worth the economic damage, in his view.
Chris is actually walking the walk. Unlike Jacinda who only talked the talk, and then some, but stayed glued firmly to her seat, even declining the use of a wheelchair.
He’s made a good start selling himself as the best candidate for the job of running NZ for another three years. Mind you, with the other Chris as his main competition that’s not such a spectacular feat.
Or is it?
Beginning in parliament at the same time as Jacinda, Chippy was one of Ardern’s tight five. He held major ministerial positions in her government, most notably Education. During which he oversaw the rapid decline in achievement standards in the three R’s and science, while at the same time initiating a shiny new history curriculum, soon to be rolled out.
This idolises a modern “progressive’ take on Maori culture but omits all the nefarious practices and atrocities carried out, coupled with the desperately low lifespan and grim standard of living Maori endured.
In contrast, all things European, including the many benefits, are either ignored or demonised and used as weapons of alleged colonial oppression.
Not content with just one stupendously crass act of wokeness, he also rolled out mataurangi Maori across the rest of the curriculum, even science. Now our kids can leave school with NCEA Level 3 in superstition, mumbo-jumbo and mythology.
They may not be able to read, write or count but they can speak Manglish. They will be perfectly equipped to go out into the big, wide World and get a job in any Wellington government department or most local NZ councils.
What a future awaits them!
Chris was also Police Minister and presided over skyrocketing crime rates. Ram-raids were a daily occurrence and indeed it became common to see local liquor stores boarded up, time after time. Dairy robberies escalated, resulting in the inevitable fatality.
The government’s advice - stop selling stuff that the crims want to steal!
And yet, not even two months into the job, Chris is by far the most popular candidate for PM, and has dragged Labour back up in the polls to the mid-30s, overtaking National. While nowhere near the stratospheric highs of 2020, when Jacinda scared everyone shitless with Covid, was rewarded with an outright majority, then proceeded to change our democratic system with no mandate, this is still impressive stuff considering Chris’ record in public office is dominated by failure.
Even some independent commentators are expressing admiration for the new practical and pragmatic Chris. They believe he’s changed and genuinely wants to steer Labour back to its traditional roots.
He’s going to put the Maori caucus in its place, kick co-governance into touch and even climate change will have to wait. Has anyone asked Greta?
But there is the outstanding litmus test of Chippy’s conversion from the dark side - Three Waters and the new RMA (now three cumbersome acts instead of one). Flagship policies of the Ardern-era and both profoundly undemocratic, racist pieces of legislation, giving Maori guaranteed unproportional representation and the right to issue pronouncements and demands which must be complied with.
What will our new admiral of the fleet do about those? Scupper them to the bottom or send them to the boatyard for a quick clean and a paint job?
Captain Chris is still to release his full cruise itinerary but there are plenty of people who can’t wait to board.
He’s already managed to persuade some of his staunchest critics.
But hold on. Are we really expected to believe that a key minister in the Ardern administration, who is a committed socialist, has thrown away all his woke, racially divisive, separatist beliefs and has seen the light of true democracy, fair and equal for all, regardless of race?
Perhaps he was just being a loyal colleague and he really didn’t believe in all the anti-democratic, batshit crazy policies he voted for….and then directly helped to enact….and then defended in parliament.
“I voz only following zee orders, mein Commandant”
Of course, in the case of monumental issues affecting the very foundations of our democratic system, shouldn't he have resigned as a matter of principle, rather than given an excellent impression of a zealous adherent?
You would have thought so. But this is politics so morality and ethics are strictly optional. Nevertheless, it does seem a bit far-fetched.
Young Christopher wouldn’t be telling us porkies, would he?
Stringing us along with beads and baubles, while planning to resurrect Ardern’s woke agenda straight after he gets elected in October.
Ushering us through the revolving doorway of forlorn hope and up the back passage of broken promises, ending at the locked gates of disappointment.
Janus, I hope not!
Truly, a two-faced master of duality....... or a genuinely reformed character?
Time will tell.
Derek Mackie is a geologist with a keen interest in current affairs.
Labour - and the Maori caucus - may have changed tactics.
After this 2023 charm-fest, Hipkins could leave at a designated moment ( as Ardern did) and a new comrade will oversee the application of the new Co Governance -driven legislation and its dire results.
This is now a multi-politician strategy - not a single star performance.
The worst is to come but is being planned now.
A 3rd term is vital - and look at National pathetic presence.
Now Labour is asking the NZ public to bend over and slip something up their back passage, stuffed by Janus without the capital. Kiwialan.
Suggestion by Anonymous sounds sinister but given the long game and cynical strategy played by the revisionist politicians et al to date.
A leopard doesn't changes it spots and those that think this one will are fools to both themselves and their country. What I don't get is why he's often referred to as 'Mr Fixit'? It must be because he's reputedly handy at DIY, but when it comes to beneficial reform his performance is more than woeful and another "f-it" term comes more to mind. Without doubt, he has presided over the worst ever reform of our education system - a lasting legacy in the making which is set to blight generations and the country for years to come. Rather than a deity for veneration, that two-faced head should be mounted on a plinth for generational scorn.
Apologies readers for my inept proofreading. My comment on the proposal sounding sinister should have ended with the words : but it sounds all too plausible. As Robert Arthur says, a leopard does not change its spots.
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