Saturday, March 25, 2023

Kate Hawkesby: There is a long way to go between now and October, so the Nats panic merchants might just need to calm down

So we end the week with some policy from the Nats and that's a good place for Luxon to be focussing, especially after the start to the week he had.

But in defence of Chris Luxon - who by the way I don't know from a bar of soap,  I've met him in person once I think. I don't think people should be freaking out about his popularity - or lack of it.

I just don't think it's a big deal that he's not wildly popular - because we've seen where that can end up anyway. Jacinda anyone? The higher your popularity, the further you have to fall. 

I also think the lack of coverage of his exploits is against him, and that's not his fault. If he's out and about but nobody's covering it, then what can he do if the media prefer to cover their beloved Chippy from the Hutt - it's a tough gig to be up against.

That will change however for him the closer we get to the election and as more policy gets rolled out and some semblance of balance is demanded by election rules - media will be obligated to cover parties more equally. 

But at the moment, as Luxon himself says, how's he expected to have grabbed front-page headlines?

He's been up against a new PM coming into the fore as the other one vanished, rounds of record bad weather followed by a cyclone and the fallout from that - the news has had other priorities. And rightly so.

He's been right to keep his head down and just keep plugging away at the work of getting out there. I think the grassroots work he's doing out in communities will pay dividends and count for something - even though it's not shiny front-page news stuff at the moment. 

Where I do think he could look to improve, is jumping on the Government's mistakes and blunders with more alacrity and pace - like Seymour does.

The other area he could look at image-wise, is de-corporatizing himself a bit - maybe fewer suit pants and business shirts and more casual attire that makes you look a little more relatable and a little less CEO.

Although you want leaders to be authentic and to be themselves and if that's how he's comfortable then I guess we have to give him that.

But in general, I'm not alarmed and running off down the tangent of 'does his caucus have confidence in him'.. and 'can he retain the leadership through until the election..'  I think those avenues of discussion are a waste of time. 

The Nats are not changing out a leader again, they have a strong team, I mean just line their bench up against Labour's and have a good hard look at what you're getting. 

As popular as the polls may say Chris Hipkins is - which by the way is not even that popular, I still don't believe it's enough to snag this Government another term.

Their record, their lineup, their failure to deliver and be accountable, their bloated public service, their record on education, crime, health and poverty all speaks for itself. 

There is a long way to go between now and October, I think the panic merchants over whether we like Christopher Luxon enough or not, might just need to calm down.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite true.
But , this has been the dumbed-down identity politics legacy of Jacindamania - and it resonates with many of the sheeple ( who are far from policy buffs).

They note a transient poll ( probably rigged) not a policy brief.