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Why Bridges Gets No Traction on Jacinda

Simon Bridges is constantly criticised for his accent, for being boring, for failing to have any public appeal, and for failing to hold a poorly performing government to account. Many of those criticisms are justified. But there is a reason why he can’t get any hits on the prime minister. It’s because, as soon as he tries, Labour pulls out the gender card.

National Party leader Simon Bridges this morning went on the attack, calling Jacinda Ardern a “part-time Prime Minister” for getting involved in the Ihumatao land dispute just before leaving for Tokelau.

Ardern departed for Tokelau on Saturday, the first Kiwi Prime Minister to visit in 15 years, and is expected to return on Thursday.

The day before she left she brokered an agreement for Fletcher Building to put its planned property development – planned in conjunction with Te Kawerau a Maki – on hold while a solution is sought.

Bridges attacked Ardern’s trip to Tokelau this morning, saying that she could have traveled there during the recent three-week parliamentary recess.
“I’m not saying no ifs no buts people shouldn’t be going to Tokelau or the Chathams or other Pacific Islands. Of course there’s a role for that, but right now, when she’s just had a three-week recess, when she’s got so many issues at home that everyday New Zealanders are focused on?”
Bridges said that Ardern had escalated the dispute at Ihumatao by stepping in.
“She’s put herself right in it and where is she? She’s gone on a trip for days to Tokelau.

All fair comment by Bridges. We say these things on this blog all the time. We also give him a hard time when he fails to get any hits on the government when there are so many things he could be criticising them for.

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The Greens Are Promoting Racial Division

I came across this tweet at the weekend, and I really did not know what to make of it. Remember that the person who wrote it is a member of our elected government, and is supposed to uphold the law and represent all New Zealanders.

Initially, I thought she meant that no one had any right to be here, unless they were descended from Maori who were here prior to the arrival of the British. That, of course, is almost every New Zealander.

I questioned her on Twitter, and this was her reply.

So, I’m okay, because I am covered by Te Tiriti… although I thought I was covered by immigration law, but I guess she sees it as the same thing.

What does she mean then?

First, let us look at the definition of the word ‘indigenous’. Here is the Cambridge English definition.

naturally existing in a place or country rather than arriving from another place

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The Highs & Lows of Jacindamania

Jacinda is about to appear on yet another magazine cover… this time on the cover of British Vogue.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is one of 15 women selected to grace the cover of British Vogue‘s September issue, guest-edited by Meghan Markle.

She has curated an issue that focuses on her choice of “trailblazing changemakers”, headlined “Forces for Change”. It includes a conversation between her and Michelle Obama, the former US first lady, whom she has long admired, as well as an interview between her husband, the Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, a primatologist she has idolised since childhood.

The Duchess said: “These last seven months have been a rewarding process, curating and collaborating with Edward Enninful, British Vogue‘s editor-in-chief, to take the year’s most read fashion issue and steer its focus to the values, causes and people making impact in the world today.

Stuff.

The Duchess, in her position of extreme privilege and indulgence, clearly has no idea that Jacinda Ardern is failing on all counts with her government… on housing, on health, on child poverty, to name a few. She is not ‘making an impact in the world today’ in any way, unless you count appearing on the cover of women’s magazines. Here, of course, is another one to add to her list.

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Jacinda Stops Media Talking About Ihumatao

Oh dear. You know you are in trouble when your office tries to shut down the media, who are asking perfectly legitimate questions about an issue that is currently at the forefront of the news.

Jacinda Ardern has personally tried to prevent media from asking about the Ihumatao dispute while on a charm offensive in the Pacific.

Her staff threatened journalists with restricted access to the PM if they did, forcing her Beehive team to intervene from Wellington. 

This is as bad as it is ever going to get. The most ‘open and transparent government’ has turned the dogs on the media for asking legitimate questions about the Ihumatao affair, which is currently a hot topic in this country.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I cannot recall a similar incident with any prime minister in living memory. This sort of thing is a death knell to her popularity. And Jacinda’s popularity has just seen a 4% drop in the latest One News poll.

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A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

This weekend, I came across a couple of photos that really sum up our dreadful government, and both made me despair. We have now gone from being governed by a group of smart and competent politicians to being controlled by a bunch of clowns.

Let’s start with this photo, shall we?

The Squad

Here we have four members of our government, all of them MPs in a party supporting the government, (one of whom is a co-leader of that party) who are flying the Maori flag. Not the New Zealand flag, but the Maori flag. It is important to note this, because the Maori flag (Tino Rangatiratanga ) is used to represent all Maori. But these ladies, affectionately known as The Squad, like their sisters in the USA who have been accused by President Trump of being anti-American, actually represent all New Zealanders. Not that you would know it.

They are also supporting a protest movement that is acting in defiance of land ownership rights and, if it is successful, will undermine every Treaty settlement that has been made to date.

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You Go, BoJo.

Verity Johnson really is a lightweight of the first order. I really don’t know why anyone allows her to publish anything. This week, with the appointment of Boris Johnson as prime minister of Britain, she has decided to enlighten us all with her knowledge and insight into Britain’s new prime minister. But, as the last article of hers I read was about her buying a KeepCup to save the environment single-handedly, let’s just say that I do not consider her to be an expert in British politics.

I don’t hold her as an expert in anything, actually.

Her article about BoJo doesn’t change that attitude.

I’m pretty jealous of Boris Johnson. Oh I don’t like him, he reminds me too much of my thoroughly aristocratic and supremely irritating ex-boyfriend for that.

Riiight… so you don’t like BoJo because he reminds you of your ex? Well, my ex reminds me of Margaret Thatcher.. no, sorry… Gordon Brown? Definitely not. Tony Blair? What the hell? How stupid is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not harbouring any secret desire to be the prime minister of the UK. It’s rather for what he’s managed to do …

He’s a charismatic, calculated clown who relies on gaffes, nostalgic Etonian charm and sheer personality to charm his way into the pants of everyone and everything that he wants, from partners to Parliament.

Erm… you obviously have not realised, Verity, that BoJo’s clown persona is exactly that. Alexander Boris Johnson is no clown. Far from it. He is a smart politician with insight into what creates appeal. He is now the prime minister (unlike your ex), so it must have worked.

He’s been crowned king of the jungle that is UK politics by being a combination of brilliant, bumbling and just so … Boris. It’s allowed him to gloss over minor things like affairs, lying about the affairs, love children from the affairs, making up quotes as a journalist, casual racism, a largely ineffective eight years as mayor and splashing misleading statements like the UK pays the EU £35 million  a week on buses in the run-up to Brexit.

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The Next Election Will Be a Nailbiter

I used to be a fan of Peter Dunne. I even voted for him in 2002. But when he was in coalition with the last government, his preening and posturing (not to mention his hypocritical privacy claims over emails with a female journalist), left me wanting to vomit. I was glad to see the back of him and I never intended to have anything to do with him again.

But this article is fascinating, as it shows insight into the political system that he understands well. So I will forgive him just this once, and go back to disparaging him after comments on this article have closed.

At most, the next General Election is less than 60 weeks away. By law, the latest date the next election can take place is 21 November 2020.
In reality, it is likely to be earlier than that. Practical reasons – like completing the government formation process before the Christmas break – mean that the most likely timing is somewhere in the six week period from mid-September to early November.

Indeed, if the Prime Minister opts for a mid to late September date, it is already less than a year until the election hoardings go up, and the campaign gets under way.

So if we want to get rid of this hopeless government, then we need to get on with it.

Did you hear that, National?

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You Wonder Why There is a Housing Crisis?

Well, the government has caved in to protesters at Ihumatao, and now building work will not continue… and it could be years before this issue is resolved.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed that no building will take place at Ihumatao while the government and other parties try to broker a solution.

Exactly why the government has intervened is not clear. Local iwi wanted the development to go ahead. Fletcher Building was all set to proceed. Now, with a few loud protesters, a few mischievous Green MPs and a lot of unrelated people being bussed in, the project has been put on hold… and it will not be resolved for years, if ever.

Speaking at Auckland Airport this evening, the Prime Minister said the government wanted to find a peaceful solution to the Imuhatao stand-off.

She spoke after meeting with local iwi, Fletchers, and the Auckland City Council.

“We have heard, here, the strong voice of young people,” Ms Ardern said.

“At the same time we hear the perspective of mana whenua.

She said the government had to address that there had been an escalation and that’s why the call was made to hold off on building work.

“That activity cannot take place while there is such a large gathering there.

Oh, yes it could… but ‘young people’ are too important to Jacinda. Besides, she is off on another holiday and did not want to be delayed in getting to her birthday celebrations with her parents. Far too important.

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Hooton’s Burning Bridges

Matthew Hooton seems to have finally run out of patience with Simon Bridges. At least he gave him a fair chance, unlike Tova O’Brien, who appears to have a personal grudge against Bridges. The thing is, as the weeks go by and we get closer to next year’s election – possibly only 15 months away now – National needs to do something… but there is no sign that anything is going to change anytime soon.

National’s annual conference starting today is doomed to be a success because organisers do whatever it takes to ensure party conferences always are.

This weekend, leadership contenders Judith Collins and Todd Muller will be on their best behaviour. Simon Bridges will be given free rein to present himself with the usual slick corporate video and keynote speech on which his advisers will have been working for months. There will be a couple of policy announcements, one to delight the base and another to attract the median voter.

But no one will be deluded into thinking any but a small minority of delegates genuinely support Bridges. Beyond those in the Christchurch Town Hall, party donors have shut their wallets and the attitude of National’s wider supporters is recorded with at least some accuracy by the polling companies.

Those who see themselves as leadership contenders probably need to get the knife sharpeners out.

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Jacinda Is on Another Jaunt

Jacinda is off to Tokelau this weekend.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit Tokelau this weekend.

It’s the first trip to the territory by a prime minister since Helen Clark in 2004 and comes as part of the government’s Pacific Reset strategy.
Announcing details of the trip on Monday, Ms Ardern acknowledged 15 years was a long time.
“Tokelau’s remoteness and perhaps difficulty in accessing it has meant that it’s not had the attention that it deserves. Particularly as it is at significant risk of devastating impacts linked to climate change.”

Jacinda Ardern said she will visit Tokelau’s three atolls and discuss priorities on climate change, health, education and culture.
She will be there until 1 August.

RNZ.


It sounds like a bit of overkill for a tiny, remote island in the Pacific. It may be a long time since anyone has visited, but surely that is because there is little reason to visit, right?

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