Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Barry Soper: The Ardern/Hipkins Government left a lawless, impoverished, struggling country longing for relief

Jacinda Ardern was perplexed after quitting the Prime Minister's job in January- she was asked to write a book, which will probably be worth more to her than her five years as leader.

She was perplexed as she was unsure of what to write about, after all this woman was on record not long before being anointed to become Prime Minister as saying she would never want to do the job. Pity she never made good on her musings.

Someone suggested to her she should write it about leadership and she liked the idea, and that's what we're going to get in the bookstores sometime in the future.

It should be compulsory reading for all aspiring MPs, essentially so they can avoid the sort of leadership she'll be writing about. Her five years at the top were a disaster, showing how ill-equipped she was for the job.

Okay, there was her outpouring over the ghastly Mosque massacre in Christchurch, even if wearing the hijab was frowned upon by some who felt it degraded women. She said the right words, but then anyone who was leading the country at the time would have expressed similar sentiments.

What Ardern has done though is to leave her colleagues this year to clean up the mess she created.

The sous chef in her kitchen Cabinet, Chris Hipkins, has done his best to distance himself from her acquiescence to factions, particularly to Maori. Her Cabinet appointments and her arm's length approach to them (think Michael Wood telling her he'd sold his Auckland Airport shares) has left Hipkins to clean up the mess as the true face of her Cabinet appointments are becoming clear.

Hipkins did learn something from her though, to capitulate until the inevitable happens with him running out of options and the public running out of patience. Four Ministers have now surrendered their warrants this year after, with the exception of one, being given chance after chance to redeem themselves. The exception is Meka Whaitiri, although Ardern did stand her down for a while after she got pushy-shovey with one of her staff members.

In the end, Whaitiri had enough and threw her support behind the Maori Party, to add to the chaos.

The on-again off-again leave given by Hipkins in recent weeks to Justice Minister Kiri Allan is another example of the Ardern treatment of transgressors.    

This Government has become as messy as the last two term Government, ironically also lead by a populist leader David Lange. He exited in the same way as Ardern, although his reasons were a little more salacious.

There are more than twenty new Labour MPs who came in at the last election who will now be filling out job applications.

The Ardern/Hipkins Government have failed on so many fronts, despite their unbridled power, the strongest majority since the first Labour Government of Mickey Joseph Savage 1935. At least Savage left a legacy of state housing and free medical care, as did the Lange Government, the economic foundation stone which set the country on the difficult recovery path after the Muldoon misery.

This Government has left a lawless, impoverished, struggling country longing for relief.

Barry Soper is a New Zealand political journalist, and has been featured regularly on radio and television since the 1970s. Currently, Soper's main role is political editor at Newstalk ZB, a radio network in New Zealand.


Anonymous said...

Well said, but you missed out "divided" in the last sentence.

Anonymous said...

The poms see her for what she is. I can't see her book holding much appeal. She is like meghan markle releasing her book. Only a certain dumb type would read it

Anna Mouse said...

Hasn't Michael Wood also been sent to the privledges committtee too?

Asking for a friend?

DeeM said...

I hope she writes a big book. My advice is wait till it comes on special (about a week after it's released and sales have plummeted) then buy a copy and donate it to a poor unfortunate homeless person who is worse off now than before the Tooth Fairy came to power. Throw in a box of matches and it will at least serve a practical purpose when they burn it.

On no account read it first, unless you want your stomach turned with the hypocrisy and delusion that's sure to fill every page.

Do I feel sorry for Chippy? Shit, no! He deserves everything he's getting and more.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about one clear concise word you could use to describe the Ardern / Hipkins govt.
Writ large all over them. The reverse Midas touch.
How 30 percent of the country wants to vote for them is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

One clear concise word Anon- well I think Anna Mouse nailed it with her definition, namely FUSTERCLUCK.

Bill. Far North. said...

One of Ardern,s first quotes,when just elected,,,”I want to be known as the best Prime Minister for Maori.” Roll out the division NZ,,,now to attempt to reverse this crazy.policy.