A desperate attempt to manufacture good news

The media haven’t bought the sweetness and light Ted talk of the prime minister.

They are mostly scathing, including Tracy Watkins:Quote:

We’re no “dysfunction junction”, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters declared after his?and Jacinda Ardern’s?unity extravaganza, promptly handing?the Opposition a new name to roast?them with.

Since over-egging media expectations usually goes badly?in politics Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s offsiders were careful to let it be known in advance that she would not?be announcing any new policies in her speech this weekend.

So National’s conclusion?that it was a Trump-like “rah-rah” rally?wasn’t entirely wide of the mark as the?speech to a friendly audience of about 400 people was clearly about energising the troops a year on from the election.?End quote.

That is a generous description of nothing more than a school debating society pep rally.?Quote:

The biggest symbolism of all, however, was in what wasn’t?said – like Ardern’s failure to mention even once the words?Labour-led Government.?End quote.

That’s because we all know it is a NZ First-led government. Quote:

In?fact, Labour appears to be a dirty word in what we are told is a new era of MMP government, with Ardern’s speech notes mentioning her own party just once during?a 25-minute speech – and that was in the same breath as NZ First and the Green Party all being party to a “shared vision and shared values”.

It is difficult to recall a speech by any prime minister in recent years that was not peppered with references to?their own party and its achievements.?End quote.

Pretty hard to pepper your speech with achievements unless you count stuff ups as achievements.?Quote:

But that wasn’t all that was missing. After being invited onto the stage for what media had been told would be a speech introducing Ardern, Peters failed to mention the “A” word – Ardern – in ?his roll call of the Government’s achievements.?

Even the term prime minister seemed to be another dirty word since it wasn’t mentioned, even when Peters segued to the slick video presentation that was supposed to set the scene for Ardern’s turn on the stage.

In fact, Peters’ reference to “the Government” being supported by the will of the people didn’t ?give any credit at all to Labour or Ardern, who is by far the most popular figure in politics.

Like Ardern, Peters at least did not shy away from mentioning the “war”, insisting that their disagreements were not a sign of weakness but strength.?End quote.

Riiiight. Sounds like happy families.?Quote:

But if the?show of unity?was all about putting to bed the?perception?of a?government that is feeling the strains of a coalition of disparate interests and personalities it fell a little short.?End quote.

Sounds like it went down like a cup of cold sick.?Quote:

The speech has put some stakes in the ground, however, and the next stage will be gruntier, with Ardern unveiling a series of measures by which to measure her Government, potentially including some that previous administrations shied away from, like home ownership.?End quote.

Why have we had to wait a year for a motherhood and apple pie speech and still have no details of the government’s policy agenda. It is sloppy, lazy and pathetic.?Quote:

But for now the?pressure is on for Ardern to break the stalemate with NZ First on their disagreements before she leaves for?a United Nations meeting in New York this week.

While the refugee dispute is?not about a big increase in numbers it is a stake in the ground for the type of Government she leads, and there is expected to be a lot of focus on Ardern by international media while she is at the UN.

But Ardern will have to tread carefully to avoid any perception of a trade off in workers rights, which are the other key area of disagreement with NZ First.

Peters has pulled the rug out from under Labour over a key component of those reforms, and any watering down of the provisions will be seen as selling out Labour’s base.

And the base are far from ready to?swallow?that Labour is a dirty word. End quote.

Labour is a swear word in my family. Things haven’t changed. The government is being let down by that dirty word.

Labour’s internal polling must be pretty dire if they have had to pull this stunt off of the back of cancelling media one on one interviews. Pretty dire indeed.