National, Dead Party Walking...

The National Government probably passed its "use by" date well before the last election. It has held power through clever PR and an affable Prime Minister, despite achieving little of note over nine years. However, John Key is no fool, he resigned because his money trading, sixth sense told him the odds of winning another term in 2017 were not great. The years of mismanagement were being increasingly revealed and the election would be the Opposition's to lose.

The Government is rapidly running out of excuses for its lack of competence. After nine years it is hard to blame the previous Labour Government for things that are happening now. The Global Financial Crisis occurred in 2007-2008 (a decade ago) and the Christchurch earthquake happened seven years ago. Whatever the country is dealing with now is largely down to National's governance.

What I find interesting is the eventual demise of this Government may be triggered by Melanie Reid's investigative work on the Todd Barclay scandal. It seems that gossip and reality TV style, relationship conflicts are what really captures New Zealand's attention, rather than what I would have thought were the big issues:

It wasn't the fact that the Government's goal of doubling our agricultural exports and encouraging the intensification of our farms has stuffed our waterways.

It wasn't because we have plummeted to the bottom of the world regarding the health and welfare of our children. Or the fact that almost 30% of our children live in poverty.

It wasn't the shocking housing policies, that have seen homelessness explode and has even forced working families to live in cars and garages. The fact that we are now the most expensive country in the world for housing and billions of taxpayer funds are going into the Housing Supplement and emergency housing hasn't dented National's polling at all.

It wasn't the revelation that the Government has botched the Christchurch earthquake recovery. Only a fraction of the Government's claimed investment has been spent, the major infrastructure promised has yet to be built and a high percentage of the repairs are being revealed as substandard. And, to rub salt into the wounds, the mental health services dealing with the resulting emotional stress have been seriously under-funded.

It wasn't the Ministry of Education having to apologise for the unnecessary trauma of their school closures in communities recovering from a disaster.

It wasn't the continual revelations of bribery and corruption and dirty politics that shifted thinking. No one appeared to care about the $11.5 million bribe of a Saudi businessman to progress a free trade deal, or that we were operating as a tax haven for criminals and dodgy corporates.

It wasn't the destruction of our public education system that once led the world and is now plummeting down the rankings.

It wasn't the report that revealed that the Government destroys the careers of long serving government servants who question their flawed plans.

It wasn't the growing realisation that the underfunding of DHBs is actually causing basic care to be denied to many, causing blindness and many unnecessary deaths.

It wasn't the $110 million botched implementation of Novopay or the $600 million collapse of Solid Energy that had an impact (even though Government incompetence was behind both).

It wasn't the $12 billion dollar motorway developments that constantly fail cost benefit analysis, while much needed public transport systems in Auckland are being delayed.

It wasn't the Government's open door policy to cheap migrant workers and tourists that is putting serious stress on our underfunded infrastructure.

It wasn't the Government's lack of remorse for its role in the Pike River tragedy and lack of compassion for the families involved.

In the end it was a rather ignorant and egocentric young MP, who illegally taped his staff in an effort to get rid of them, that has captured the media and country's attention (child poverty hasn't resonated). While John Key's teflon suit managed to let many damning stories wash over him, Bill English's spaghetti pizza, walk runs and cheering Team NZ videos will not be enough. He can't lie and use attack politics as effectively as his predecessor.

A discredited Bill English has been left leading a zombie party, shambling directionless (no new policies) through the debris of their own failures. Dead party walking...


Allan Alach said…
Key left early to ensure he got a knighthood, before his nefarious deeds and electoral doom caught up with him/
bsprout said…
I guess he should be recognised for surviving so long without actually achieving anything really significant. In twenty years time I wonder what his legacy will be, I can't imagine it would be a positive one.
Steve Withers said…
Problem is. ..their voters don't know or care.
bsprout said…
Teachers know and care and so do parents of special needs kids who can't get appropriate support. Those who work in the health sector care and so do all those poorly served. Those who are struggling to live on their incomes care, as do those who are homeless. A lot of our young people care, The Green Party has an increased number of young people joining and want to be involved, look at the Party candidate list. Those who live around or near many of our rivers care. Those who work in the social support sector care. Thinking people who value transparency, democracy and fairness care...according to polling around 55% of voters don't really support the National Party and potentially another 10% may be persuaded to shift. My recent post on the health and welfare of children received 100,000 views in a week, so I think there is growing interest in change.

The core support for National may be smaller than we think if we can also produce a convincing alternative government in waiting, that is probably the most important factor.
Unknown said…
But will they vote? It's the very people you talk about who can not, or isn't interested in voting, because they have other issues that take priority. Only if a massive effort is made to reach these people and help them cast their vote, will the numbers voting for Parties like Labour and the Greens make a significant impact.
bsprout said…
In the UK the Corbyn/Labour campaign was far more successful than expected because all those who cared got involved and helped out. We have thousands of people who understand that we desperately need to change the government and we all need to get out and help a campaign. The Labour/Greens are the the only real alternative and the combination of the two will see some great policy and very competent Ministers.

One recent poll had only 1% difference between National and the Labour/Green combination, getting a 2% shift is perfectly achievable.
Unknown said…
I am one of those people who didn't vote. Not because of being lazy but because there was no one that I believed in. No policy that I could fully agreed with. Thankfully I finally have found one.

They are amazing true honest people with integrity. I want my children to have the clean and green New Zealand. I want my children to be able to go swimming in rivers. What is happening to our country is disgusting. We are poisoning our land and our people.
I will help them to save our country and you can too. Just have a look please for our children. Xoxox
Unknown said…
I understand an affair with his publicist was the reason for resigning......Bron - agh said it's me or politics

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