Is Tracy Gagging on the KoolAid?

At the end of a typical Tracy Watkins puff piece about our ‘Dear Leader’, ‘Comrade’ Ardern, Tracy snuck in a little reality as a reward for those who had waded through the syrup of the first 1000 or so words.

[…] Labour’s flagship policy, KiwiBuild, is in tatters; there’s talk of a reset but no one seems to be sure how it can resurrect a policy that’s so spectacularly failed. Of the promised 100,0000 houses over 10 years, only 230 have materialised so far.

The Government’s hundred day programme boosted the pockets of pensioners, beneficiaries, students, low income families – fees free student loans, paid parental leave, the winter energy payment, the best start grant and more – yet there seems to be no palpable sense of people feeling better off.

And while there has been much fan fare about Labour’s first “wellbeing budget”, it could also be a stick to beat them with, if people feel stuck in the same low-paid job, still unable to afford a house, and still can’t afford to take a holiday.

Even Labour’s core vote has sometimes felt let down as the government is forced to tread carefully on other reforms, like employment, because of historically low business confidence, or the capital gains tax – now well and truly dead in the water, crushing the hopes of a generation of young Kiwis left behind by soaring house prices.

Meanwhile, there have been a succession of mini-political scandals; the nature of the 24/7 news cycle meaning they often overshadow the Government programme.

The frustration of Ardern and her colleagues with how they are being viewed through the lens of major media is often obvious; she is increasingly using the power of her social media profile to reach out to her hundreds of thousands followers direct – either through Instagram stories, or Facebook Live posts.

That is probably not surprising. More than any other leader, Ardern has an unparalleled platform for getting her message out unfiltered.

Perhaps an “in NZ” qualification is needed here? Trump is the master of getting the message out unfiltered.

She knows it’s the extinguishment of hope that poses potentially the biggest threat to her re-election chances. She was elected on a huge bow wave of that hope; hope that a Labour government would fix a housing crisis that National refused to acknowledge, hope that it would do more to lift children and the poorest families out of poverty, hope that it would put more into social services, health and education, after years of belt tightening.

And hope that Ardern’s promise of a “transformational government” would materially lift the lot of every day New Zealanders. […]


Perhaps Tracy is beginning to see that the Coalition is actually hopeless?

If so, welcome aboard, Tracy. There are many who have realised that for a while. Electioneering slogans do not fix problems. The current standings in the Newshub poll are:

76% say the government is doing a mostly bad job in spite of the scarves, scones and slippers.