Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Cam Slater: Car Crash Is a Perfect Metaphor for This Government

And so the Ardern/Hipkins regime loses yet another minister, this time in a drunken road-side car crash, ending the political career of Justice Minister Kiritapu Allan. It seems a rather too perfect metaphor for a government that promised so much and delivered so little.

A dent in the side of a black ute parked in an upmarket Wellington street marks how the career of a once high-flying Cabinet minister came to a sudden end with a crash and a bang.

Labour MP Kiri Allan resigned as Justice Minister after the car crash, and failing a breath test on Sunday evening.

Allan’s small white car collided with the parked ute about 9pm on Sunday on Evans Bay Parade, at Little Karaka Bay, which has around a dozen luxury waterfront homes.

Allan drove around a bend in the street, and then hit the ute which was parked on the side of the road, witnesses told Stuff.

The road is relatively wide in the area of the crash, and Allan had come around “a gentle right-hand bend”.

Allan’s car was left sticking out and blocking the northbound lane after the crash, then later got towed.

Pretty sure that is not what happened, but we shall see, as all the details will eventually come out in the court process and the inevitable publishing of charge sheets, Statements of Fact and all the other reports that these issues create. But, at first blush, it is almost impossible for what Stuff has written to have occurred, given the photo above.

But the bottom line is Kiritapu Allan’s political career is over and by her own hand. No one forced her to drink too much, no one forced her to get behind the wheel of an automobile, especially when as a minister she could have had a driver, and no one forced her to resist arrest. That is all on her, and that is the end of her career.

Allan was taken into police custody at Wellington Central police station, and released at 1am after being charged with careless use of a motor vehicle and refusing to accompany a police officer. She also blew over the legal limit for breath alcohol and was given an infringement notice.

The arresting officer’s notes should be an interesting read. I’m pretty sure that Allan will be advised to plead guilty and then it will be unlikely they will ever see the light of day.

And so ends the career of the fifth cabinet minister to stumble and hurt the Hipkins ministry. Stuart Nash, Meka Whaitiri, Michael Wood, Jan Tinetti and now Kiritapu Allan. Will there be any others?

Allan’s car crash epitomises this Labour Government perfectly. Elected purely on the hype of “Let’s Do This”, it quickly turned into a debacle. Their lofty promises of KiwiBuild, light rail to the airport, planting millions of trees and ending child poverty are in tatters, either stillborn or asphyxiated by incompetence.

Even after being re-elected in the 2020 landslide, and able to govern alone, their incompetence continually tripped them up. Then disaster: their show pony leader finally realised that everyone in the country hated her and suddenly she bailed, claiming she had nothing in the tank – except she has plenty left to swan around, glad-handing royals and world leaders as she seeks to expand her totalitarian censorship dream called the Christchurch Call, or writing a book that almost no one will buy. She has plenty in the tank for that, but none for the voters of New Zealand who saw great promise but were delivered only arm waving, totalitarianism and slogans.

Now the hapless Chris Hipkins, a man who has never had a real job, leads an equally hapless ministry beset with problems caused by the previous leader’s inability to deal with the hard stuff. The student politician leader is all at sea in a grown-up world.

His government is the proverbial backfiring jalopy, without a warrant or rego, driven by a spotty teenager with a little too much cheap booze onboard, packed with his equally useless mates, careening down the highway with every kilometre getting them closer to the inevitable crash with electoral destiny.

We now, essentially, have a caretaker government, lurching towards electoral oblivion. The only saving grace, to use another motoring simile, is that they are like a visit to the speedway where we are only going to see the crashes.

Roll on election day.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cam, I seem to recall that during the Helen Clark Govt 1999 - 2008, that Ruth Dyson, an MP & Minister of The Crown, at the time, also had a DUI incident, in Wellington.