The top politician of 2018

Credit: Luke

Tracy Watkins must be part of Jacinda’s inner circle because the princess can do no wrong. In spite of evidence of corruption, obfuscation and downright lies, Tracy has named Jacinda as?the top politician of 2018.

Like anyone else was ever going to get a look in. quote.

A lot of people said it couldn’t be done, but Ardern has proved them wrong so far. The unlikely coalition of?Labour, NZ First and the Greens is looking locked in. That’s all down to Ardern.

The prime minister is at the height of her powers and has barely stumbled in her first year on the job. Her international cachet is huge and don’t underestimate the value that adds to the NZ Inc brand. Ardern’s brand on the domestic front is even more potent. She has done for Labour what John Key did for National ??successfully reclaimed the political centre ground while also managing to reassert Labour’s dominance on the left, after years of losing disillusioned supporters to the Greens. end quote.

I view it all somewhat differently. Both John Key and Helen Clark had several years of extremely high popularity before the gloss started to wear off. Jacinda has stumbled many times in her first year, her main saving grace was having a baby, whom she uses as a prop whenever the going gets tough.? She has only been in power 16 months and she finds herself in hot water all the time these days, mainly because she seems to have so many friends in low places.? As for her enormous popularity overseas, well… Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have high international profiles too. Just ask Macron how that is working out after approximately 18 months.

Her second choice is even more ridiculous. Wait until you see this. quote.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston?Peters

Peters has been a canny foreign minister; he shrewdly put New Zealand at the head of the curve with his Pacific reset, which, while criticised by the Opposition, cleverly anticipated the diplomatic pushback against China in the region by traditional allies, the United States?and Australia.

His invitation to meet US?Vice-President Mike Pence in the United States?is a reflection of his standing. But Peters’ blind spot on Russia has been a source of frustration in Labour and a black mark in his portfolio.

Peters’ stint as acting PM earns him top marks, however ??he proved he is the?No?2 to Ardern on merit, and not just?as a coalition sop. Even his flashes of capriciousness as NZ First leader have served their purpose in reminding Labour it can’t act like a first-past-the-post government. end quote.

As a tribute to David Bowie, I rename Winston Peters “The Man who Sold the World”… or at least our little piece of it.

Her third choice? Remember, I have read this article so that you don’t have to…

Grant Robertson

followed by (in order)

David Parker

Andrew Little

James Shaw

Phil Twyford (are you serious Tracy?)

Kelvin Davis even scored 5 (out of 10). He should have been in negative numbers. He has been woeful.

I’m not going to bother going through all of the marks she gives to National MPs, although I did notice something interesting. She has awarded Judith Collins 8, Mark Mitchell also 8, Michael Woodhouse 8, and Paul Goldsmith 7.5. These will be the ones to watch in 2019.

Surprisingly for Tracy, she has awarded the National front bench 7.5 marks, as against the Labour front bench, who only got 6. That is a very telling result and shows that even Tracy has to show a shred of credibility. Remember, this is still the government’s honeymoon period. That so many of their front benchers have ?still to shine? (clue: if they haven’t shone by now, they never will) is a dreadful indictment of the talent we have in the government. Or, you might say, the lack of talent. quote.

In short, National is fielding the best Opposition front bench we have seen in years and if it wasn’t for the Jami-Lee Ross train wreck, would get a near perfect score. But it’s hard to look past the fact that Ross was a key member of the front bench. The only reason National hasn’t been docked more points is because of the speed with which the caucus has recovered and moved on. end quote.

Well done National. Let’s make a move on the leadership in the New Year and get on with the job of disposing of this shambolic government. Oh, and Tracy: Jacinda might be your new best friend, but we know what has been happening to some of her other friends. Maybe you should look for a new bestie.

Here is my choice for Politician of the Year.

After all, with Jacinda, we get 2 for the price of 1. How’s that for good use of taxpayers’ money?