Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Cam Slater: How Chris Hipkins Is Failing Us All

Damien Grant wrote an absolute blinder of an article on Sunday. In it he writes about the moral and competency failures of the Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. These are inconvenient truths that Hipkins and Labour would rather keep on the down low. But Damien Grant has said it out loud, the Emperor has no clothes:

In his maiden speech, the 30-year-old Chris Hipkins reached across the Pacific for inspiration, quoting former US vice-president Hubert Humphrey: “…the moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick and the needy.”

Consider those words and recall that it was the same gentleman who played politics with Charlotte Bellis as she languished in Afghanistan, pregnant and abandoned by her government.

Consider those words and recall Hipkins was Minister of Covid 19 Response when hundreds of citizens were denied the chance to see their dying relatives in an ultimately futile attempt to prevent the virus entering our shores.

Consider those words and recall that under his tenure as Minister of Education, the short experiment of charter schools was scrapped, because Hipkins placed placating teacher unions ahead of the needs of the mostly poor and disadvantaged students who were thriving under this regime.

Consider these words and recall that, in 2021, Hipkins inaccurately accused two women of using “false information” to obtain travel documents to visit Northland, and stuck to his position long after it was no longer tenable.

Hipkins fails on his own moral test. 

Yes, he does fail his own test. But Chris Hipkins wants us to forget all that; he wants us to forget that he was the key minister responsible for all those horrible things, and he wants us all to think it was all Jacinda Ardern.

But we aren’t going to let him forget all that. He needs to own it.

Grant continues:

Some 5.8% of students were turning up less than 70% of the time when he took over, but 12.4% when he left the portfolio. The data for Maori is worse; 10% were hitting the 70% or less figure in 2017, more than 20% by 2022.

A report in March 2022 by the Education Hub revealed that literacy rates had declined to the point that a third of 15-year-olds struggle to read and write. And this under the guidance of a politician who, in his maiden speech, declared, “if we are to realise our full potential as a nation in the coming decades, education will be critical”.

Having one in five Maori kids basically not at school in any meaningful way is a problem that will have dire consequences in years to come. Worse yet, he decided to rejig the polytech education environment, which has seen a massive decline in student numbers and a massive increase in debt in those organisations.

He needs to own the failures in the education sector but he wants us to forget that his hands were meddling in the sector.

His fingerprints are all over a great deal of failure; in fact, not only are his fingerprints there, but his grubby little paw prints and the marks of his jackboots.

Hipkins had achieved almost nothing by the time he entered Parliament, and in the 15 years since has left nought but a trail of mistakes and missed opportunities.

A very long trail of mistakes but this is what happens when you let student politicians with no real-world experience take control. If you thought Jacinda Ardern was bad then Chris Hipkins is a whole lot worse.

Even if you believe in the policies of this government, it is impossible to credibly believe that they have the competence to implement anything other than a campaign to encourage the poor to have shorter showers because the electricity infrastructure has deteriorated to the point that rolling blackouts are a real prospect.

Luxon isn’t my first choice for prime minister, but he has the managerial competence and intellectual curiosity to actually govern.

There has been too much focus on whether Luxon can win the election when we should be asking if he has the skills to competently perform the duties of the office, because it appears evident that the incumbent cannot.

This is the question that should be asked – competence. Past performance is a great predictor of future performance and in that regard Chris Hipkins is a complete failure and he will deliver even more failure.

The problem is that many Labour politicians are reality-phobes and won’t admit they’ve screwed everything up.

They are busily gas-lighting us all into believing everything is fantastic, even as crime rates soar, businesses are going under, it is increasingly difficult to cover even a basic cost of living, and the bludger class expands.

The days of the student politicians need to come to a close.

Sadly, with the media still in love with this Government, and their coffers filled with PIJF lucre, it is an uphill battle.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE


Gaynor said...

Just this month we have learned PIRLS international reading test has put NZ reading at a shocking 27th and if that isn't bad enough another grant has been made by the ministry to infernal Reading Recovery which was thoroughly exposed in an enormous US longitudinal study ,showing those students who participated in this remedial reading programme for 6 year olds, were significantly worse off than those who had no intervention. It has been shown as well in innumerable studies, cognitive and neurological to encourage the habits of poor readers.
This Government has told us multiple times they have the "science". when they deal in myths and unscientific nonsense.

Anonymous said...

By any measure, Hipkins & Co are failures and have wrought immeasurable harm on NZ. The Greens are even more incompetent, and Te Pati Maori have all those traits in addition to being blatant racists. We desparately need to purge this scourge.

Now, if someone could only find his spine? No need to guess as to who that might be?