Message to SB…

This is going to become a weekly column.

I took it upon myself to write articles in the last couple of weeks about how the sycophantic media always throws out a baby story when the government has had a bad week. I must admit, though that I didn’t expect it to become quite such a regular event. I probably thought that this practice of wheeling out the baby every time the heat goes on the government, particularly on the prime minister, would become so obvious that they simply wouldn’t keep doing it. They would know that the reading public would figure out pretty quickly what was going on.

The media has clearly never had much respect for its reading public because it still has not occurred to them that we can, in fact, see exactly what is going on. It is so bad that there are people on Twitter who regularly predict the coming of the next baby article… and they haven’t been wrong yet. 

She’s the busiest 1-year-old in the country. Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford celebrates her first birthday next Friday and has already mixed with Hollywood movie stars, visited the United Nations headquarters in New York and taken up countless column inches.

The government has had another torrid week, and so our favourite newspaper has had to wheel this story out a week early. Don’t worry though. There will be another fawning story next week, when her actual birthday arrives.

The story was really just a collection of photos and tweets, indicating that it was still a work in progress when it was called up urgently by the editors because Jacinda was in trouble.

And indeed she was.

The Prime Minister is facing questions over her former interim chief of staff who, according to records, never officially stepped aside from his role at a lobbying firm at the time.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said on Friday the former interim chief of staff had signed two codes of conduct when he took on the role, and that he filled out a conflict of interest form. 
But there is no official declaration in the New Zealand Companies Office records – a government agency – that shows Thompson stepped aside from the company he was a director at, during that time. 

A Newspaper.

In spite of claims by Jacinda, Thompson remained a director and a shareholder of his firm throughout his tenure as chief of staff. Companies Office records show no change to his status during the relevant times.

Please understand the significance of this though. As a company director, he must, at all times, act in the interests of the company and its shareholders. There was, therefore a definite conflict of interest there, and he should never have been appointed as chief of staff, even if it was an interim appointment.

I hate to have to say it, but if John Key had done this, the opposition and the media would be screaming ‘corruption’ from the rooftops. Instead, only David Seymour is calling it out and the media, while not completely silent on the issue, are certainly not baying for blood as they would be, were this a National government.

I truly hate this double standard that the media holds when it comes to this government. It is the role of both the opposition and the media to hold the government to account. Otherwise, they will get away with what is normally viewed as corruption, and we will sink further and further down the list of the least corrupt countries in the world.

It is worth noting that many of the countries that are high in corruption are also socialist countries.

I suspect that Jacinda was not being deliberately corrupt here, but merely stupid. It doesn’t seem to occur to her that, now that she is prime minister, she can’t just give all the best jobs to her friends. The same thing happened with Derek Handley. It shows her to be naive at best, but it doesn’t say much about the quality of her advisors. Maybe they are all her friends too.

Somehow, thanks to a compliant media, I suspect that Jacinda will get away with this, just as she and her government seem to get away with everything they do… Derek Handley, Karel Sroubek, the speaker acting as a henchman… there is nothing new in any of this. It is the same story every week.

And, as a result, there is a baby story every week. So save me a weekly spot, SB. These stories will just keep on coming… and we will keep on writing about them, to make sure that everyone knows what is going on.