National has to make some major changes

Cartoon credit: BoomSlang

Matthew Hooton?s article in a newspaper entitled Jacinda Ardern on track for triumph in 2020 makes for interesting reading. While his numerical facts cannot be argued some of his other comments are open to debate.

Matthew makes the point that Jacinda’s absolute rejection of a Capital Gains Tax is the reason she will romp to victory in 2020. Does Matthew expect us to believe that this woman of mediocre intelligence became an Albert Einstein overnight and decided to make one of her Captain?s Calls to ditch it?

Is he saying that Winston had nothing to do with the decision? Does he not think that but for Winston she would have brought it in? It was one of her flagship policies. As other commentators have noted, this is a big blow to her credibility.

Another point he makes is that as more centre voters realise National?s position is hopeless either Winston Peters or Shane Jones will be able to say that a vote for NZF will help to eliminate the Greens and their policies. While it would be great to eliminate the Greens the reality is that they are able to do little more than prop up the Coalition of Losers. Hardly any of their policies are being implemented.

Matthew also rightly points out that National can say that a vote for NZF is a vote for the Labour party. My view is that this will resonate more with the voters after what happened in 2017. Also part of the equation is how much trust Winston has lost among those who voted for NZF at the last election.

Matthew says Ardern never needed Winston?s support to promote a CGT in 2020. That may be correct, but we sure as heck needed him to stop it. My beef is that he didn?t put the nail in the coffin at the very start. What was going on behind the scenes? Winston could have saved the millions wasted on what was a pointless exercise.

A further point Matthew makes is that Ardern’s decision to permanently abandon the idea suggests that she recognises that, for all her popularity and ability to emote, she does not have the knowledge, background, intellect or skill to win a contentious policy debate. I CAN?T ARGUE WITH THAT! However, that comment would have to rate as the most depressingly accurate comment of this year.

If that comment is accurate then it means that most people in this country are happy to vote for a person lacking in all the necessary requirements to carry out her duties. In other words, the most hopeless PM we have ever had. And she is being paid how much? Matthew has managed to highlight what a debacle this is.

Matthew says the decision indicates that she intends more to preside over her own position than to take risks to emulate, Jim Bolger, Robert Muldoon or David Lange in building a policy legacy of some sort – whether substantial infrastructure investment, major social or economic reform or historic moves on race relations.

He says that her every utterance is devoid of content and that her government has no meaningful policy programme and that is how the median voter likes it.  If that is true as regards the median voter then we as a country will just drift along led by a totally incompetent, virtue signalling, photo op, dress up, snowflake person in charge. This is a frightening prospect, a potential nightmare of epic economic proportions.

Cartoon credit: SonovaMin

While Matthew?s bleak prognostications might prove correct, I have somewhat more faith in the electorate than he does. We are just over halfway through the current electoral cycle and, as the saying goes, a week is a long time in politics. There is no guarantee that NZF or the Greens will be in the next Parliament.

Nevertheless National has to make some major changes in order for it to become a much more effective opposition. If National fails to do this we stand to be as doomed as Matthew suggests. Heaven forbid!