Thursday, March 30, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: How does the Prime Minister of our country not know what’s going on inside his own government?

I miss the grown-ups. 

I’m desperate for some grown-ups, or just someone informed and engaged to be running this country, instead of the malaise and fly by night experience we’re currently having.

Like many of you, yesterday I despaired as I listened to Chris Hipkins on the Mike Hosking Breakfast. It was cringe worthy. He literally could not answer a single question, was so ill informed, offered nothing by way of answers on anything, it was depressing. 

On Marama Davidson, he admitted he had not even spoken with her or dealt with her at all – their offices had talked to each other, that’s it. Acceptable for a Minister in his Government? Absolutely not. Had she apologised? No. 

Did Hipkins know about the health figures out yesterday? He did not. Did he know about the Government’s targets on it? Nope. 

Did he know about new stats around ambulance ramping? No. Shipping and supply chain issues? No. 

He admitted he doesn’t watch the news. I mean I get it, I wouldn’t either if I didn’t have to.. it’s tedious, but that’s my job – I have to.

Which begs the question, why isn’t it his job too? Why is the Prime Minister of our country not wanting to be informed? How does he not know what’s going on inside his own government? 

I don’t want to harp on about the good old days but John Key once said of being Prime Minister, the bulk of the job is reading and being informed. He’d get up at 4.30am to make sure he was informed; he would not appear on the morning breakfast show to the biggest audience in the country and not be completely up with the play.

And if he couldn’t get across everything, he made sure Steven Joyce did, so that he could get himself informed and ready to go with facts, stats and answers.

But what’s increasingly common from politicians these days, as the bar has gotten lower and lower, is they say ‘it’s complex’ or they don’t have the stats right in front of them right now, or they need to look into that, or they’ll have to come back to you. 

Fewer and fewer of them have any answers or information at their fingertips, fewer and fewer of them know anything about their portfolios, fewer and fewer of them have watched the news, read the paper, gotten across news stories at all.

And if you get to the very bottom of that lowered bar you get Marama Davidson, who just makes it up on the hoof and says what she likes, bugger the facts or the accuracy. 

Luxon’s not exempt here. He too came on Mike’s show this week having not seen or heard anything about Marama’s comments despite the fact it had been all over the news the day before. 

Maybe I’m old school in expecting politicians to be interested and informed, maybe the reason the polls are so wacky at the moment reflects the mood and malaise of not just the politicians but the public too. Maybe none of us care anymore? Maybe we’re all just sleepwalking around the place oblivious and unbothered? 

I don’t know what it is, but it feels like we’re sinking into an abyss of low bars, and low expectations, and I just hope for the sake of this country, that we all snap out of it, at least by October.

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


EP said...

....or could it be that they have the facts perfectly clearly but they can't think of a reasonable answer - Luxon because he is woke and Hipkins because he is corrupt?

Anonymous said...

Yes Kate this "government" is turning us into Zombies with disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, lack of information and sheer gaslighting. Refer climate change issues for farmers and the carbon credit ponzi scheme.

Anonymous said...

But sinking to the lowest common denominator is exactly the point. The lazy, uninformed and apathetic set the tone - everyone merges in.

DeeM said...

Now let's be fair to Chris Hipkins, here.
If you wanted to be truly informed, would you watch our news programmes?

Come on. On the other hand, if you want the Left-wing propaganda story they're perfect. Which does beg the question: Why does Chris NOT watch the news?

Anonymous said...

They're like our school children, they are getting more ignorant by the day. School kids have an excuse, the curriculum is rubbish, whereas the PM and others, they have teams of PR spinners and support staff that are ever growing in numbers, but are too concerned with their own hyperbole and importance.