Lipstick has come off the pig

The fallout over the backdown on CGT continues. Certainly, abandoning CGT came as a surprise. Jacinda has always said she wanted CGT, because it was going to be ‘fair’. What is becoming clear now is that she may have wanted the tax as a socialist ideal, but she had no idea of what form it should take, how it should be applied, or how she was going to make it fair to some sectors of society without making it grossly unfair to others. Her claim that only the top 2% (which at one point became the top 20%) would be paying it was a gross untruth, but she wasn’t actually lying… she really didn’t know how it was going to work. Really.

I had to laugh at Gareth Morgan’s comment that she couldn’t make it work because the proposed tax exempted the family home. We should all be very glad that Morgan gets bored easily and has given up on any idea of a future in politics. People like him, who are convinced that they are right and that everyone who disagrees with them are morons, would be very dangerous in politics.

Now we have Sean Plunket, quoting Morgan’s famous description of Jacinda (that got him into hot water), saying that the lipstick has come off the pig. In other words, this Labour government is no different from any other government and is about as transformational as a wet newspaper. quote.

On Wednesday, Ardern announced a CGT was not going ahead, with the Government unable to form a consensus and facing opposition to the tax by voters.

But Plunket said the Labour Party never had a CGT policy and didn’t have a plan for the transformational change Ardern was selling.

“There never was a CGT that Jacinda Ardern campaigned on for three terms, for nine years – it simply didn’t exist. So she got someone to make one up and then she hired an old Labour politician to sell it. end quote.

She never had a clear policy on CGT. She just liked the sound of it and thought it would be ‘fair’. That was the full extent of her ‘tax policy’. quote.

“She was never really committed to it in the first place. She was just lipstick, there was no substance.”

With Ardern announcing the backdown, the “lipstick has come off the pig,” said Plunket.

The radio host also reckoned she used New Zealand First, which has historically opposed the tax, to then “scrap” the policy.
“It teaches us that when you vote, you should not vote on looks alone. You should look at what a party believes in, whether it not has policies or ideas for transformational change, and just because someone makes you feel good, doesn’t make them the best person to vote for.

“This is no turn-around by Jacinda Ardern. She didn’t have a plan for CGT when she took over as leader of the Labour Party, and neither did the Labour Party – so really nothing has changed, except a bad idea has been discarded by the side of the road.

end quote.

Plunket could be right about this. This also fits in with her description of herself as a ‘pragmatic idealist’, which she clearly does not understand. She is an idealist. All she has is ideals, and they are all socialist ideals. Being in government means you have to have more than ideals. You have to have the wherewithal to make those ideals work. That is where Jacinda, and this government, fall down so badly. They just don’t have a clue how to turn ideals into reality. quote.

Plunket said the Government was yet to significantly tackle issues like housing and poverty, and was concerned by what he said New Zealand First leader Winston Peter’s ability to veto policies.

“I don’t know where this country is going now, I don’t see any bold plans.”

Newshub. end quote.

This was going to be a ‘transformational’ government, that was full of ideas as to how they were going to change this country for the better, but they clearly had no concept of how to go about it. That they have failed so badly halfway through their term is not surprising. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious. Governments should be ambitious. The problem comes when there is a mix up between ambitions and capabilities. That is where the lipstick has well and truly come off the pig that is our government now.