Gerard Otto Facebook: G versus Liam Hehaw (Hehir) National progandist

G versus Liam Hehaw

Hehaw
It’s clear Jami-Lee Ross inflicted some damage on National. Quite how much is unclear.

G
Soyman’s on 7% and National are sliding around 37%.

HeHaw
Nevertheless, I doubt anybody within the party’s caucus would deny its armour has been dented by the fiasco.

G
They would read whatever script was given to them.

HeHaw
But assuming nothing else emerges, National seems ready to take the lessons on board and move on.

G
They were moving on as fast as they could – refusing to answer all questions.

HeHaw
For the most part, the media seems to have become aware of the dangerous territory its coverage was veering into.

G
The fact Soyman was conspiring with Pullya to hoodwink the media and …then there was the truth…you know …dangerous stuff …what was that disloyalty stuff all about? I suppose democracy is the loser if we never find out the facts.

HeHaw
The fact Parliament is in recess provides additional breathing space for Simon Bridges while the whole affair, he must hope, will continue to fade.

G
Oh it won’t – we have very long memories and so does Jami-Lee. It’s just a breather.

HeHaw
Parliamentary recesses are also, of course, an opportunity for Government ministers to seize the initiative and set the agenda with positive news.

G
Like 95 regional projects underway? Like those 68 new Kiwi build houses down in New Plymouth announced today? Then there is $30 Million being spent on State Highway 3 announced today as well. Yesterday we heard the government would spent $20 Million on a new health centre in Westport. We also heard about a 10 year plan to restore quality in early learning yesterday. Yes – such news is always happening – but frequently its a bit buried by scandal.

HeHaw
Announcements can be made in a question time-free environment. It’s kind of like a free hit in twenty20 cricket.

G
We’ve seen announcements most days by PM Ardern – whether parliament was happening or not – which is more than that past government did.

HeHaw
During the last National Government, for example, there was an expectation something significant would be announced at least every other day during a recess period. At least. It was something ministerial advisors built up to.

G
This is where you tell a big porky…go ahead…

HeHaw
Interestingly, it’s not something the Ardern ministry has been able to replicate.

G
Ha ha ha – the Ardern Ministry exceeded it – easily.

He-Haw
Probably the biggest news last week was Andrew Little confirming the Government would press on with its plans to re-enter the Pike River mine, which was sealed following that terrible explosion in 2010. All things being equal, it looks like re-entry will begin in February.

G
Before you go on – let’s look at the announcements made last week. 12 November announcements – 1. The Inquiry into the process that led to the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner of Police has found that the process was sound. 2. Royal Commission of Inquiry into State Abuse scope was expanded to include Churches. 13 November Announcements : 1. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters officially opened New Zealand’s first resident embassy in Ireland at a ceremony in Dublin. 2. Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced a partnership that will fund $91 million of roading and wastewater infrastructure to support the building of 9000 homes at Wainui, north of Auckland. 3. NZ calls on Japan to stop Southern Whaling programme. 4. Former Governor-General and High Court Judge Dame Silvia Cartwright will lead the public inquiry into EQC. 5. The Government is pioneering a new approach to allow whānau and communities to flourish with an investment of $15 million towards whānau-led community housing developments. 6. The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced 24 community-led housing repair projects will receive funding from the Māori Housing Network, totalling $5.8 million. 14th November announcements 1. The Pike River Mine Drift will be re-entered. 15th November announcements 1. NZ Women’s Rugby will host the World Cup in 2021. 2. A $40 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will enable KiwiRail to build a new regional freight hub near Palmerston North. 3. A $400,000 investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will be used to fund the first stage of an Advanced Aviation Hub at Whanganui Airport. 4. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) package for Manawatū-Whanganui of about $48 million. 5. An upgraded free trade agreement with Singapore will make it easier for New Zealanders to visit and do business in South East Asia. 16th November announcements 1. New Zealand and Australian Ministers for Foreign Affairs announced today a joint commitment to partner with Pacific Island countries to enhance our collective cyber resilience. 2. New Zealand, Chile and Canada today reaffirmed a commitment to work together to advance trade that benefits all their citizens. – – I missed out a few but you get the picture. Now some of these are significant and others less so – but they are all news and all happening at a frantic speed during recess.

HeHaw
This confirmation will be gratifying for many of the families of the deceased miners, of course. And it reaffirms a longstanding commitment to re-entry on the part of the Labour Party.

G
Plus NZ first and the Greens. It was the right thing to do old bean.

HeHaw
New details were also announced in relation to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the historic abuse of children. Its remit has been expanded to include religious institutions and the commission has been re-named accordingly. The timeframe for the inquiry, which looks to be the most expensive in our history, has also been extended to reflect that wider mandate.

G
What were the costs of all that abuse? How much potential did it stifle in New Zealand – and how expensive is healing and justice…if we wish to ALWAYS mention costs?

HeHaw
Nevertheless, the point at which announcing developments in reviews, reports and consultations could be touted as political achievements for this Government is well and truly in the rear-vision mirror.

G
No it’s actually a new development that cannot be found in a rear mirror. It’s now. It’s about getting things right along the way – same with anything planned really…like say 100,000 New houses in ten years…it’s okay to announce new housing developments as they happen.

HeHaw
Looking through the Government’s announcements, it looks like it has joined in on an international declaration on biodiversity, agreed upon a shared commitment with Australia for enhanced cyber-security in the Pacific and determined farmers are making more and better use of the National Animal Identification and Tracing Scheme. All very good and worthy things, of course. None of them, however, is the type of thing that penetrates the public consciousness or puts the opposition off-balance.

G
Well National did no such thing with every single announcement – if that is what you are claiming? Instead – each announcement is just informing us of the unfolding plan.

HeHaw
On the first anniversary of the Ardern ministry’s foundation, I did a radio interview on its achievements to date. One of the things I had to credit it with was its achievement of internal stability. Plenty of people had predicted that a Labour – NZ First – Greens Government was bound to fall apart. But while there have been a few wobbles from time to time, the arrangements are looking pretty rock-solid.

G
Despite constant headlines about potential wedges every single day – it was all utter nonsense and spin.

HeHaw
For all their stability, of course, rocks do not tend to be agile. If the coalition has managed to overcome its internal contradictions by resolving to concentrate on reviews and international meetings then it will present a rather slow-moving target for the Opposition.

G
Obviously the Opposition cannot even keep up with the number of announcements let alone understand how agile the coalition is. Here you are criticising it for updating the scope of an inquiry and saying that is not an announcement – when it is the very agility you cannot see. Blinkers off young HeHaw.

HeHaw
National enjoys few natural advantages over this government in an MMP environment.

G
They have yet to read the manual.

HeHaw
One tailwind it does enjoy, however, is that if you don’t count ACT, which few people seem to do these days, it is really the singular voice of opposition.

G
On 37% and shrinking.

HeHaw
That gives it a lot of freedom in crafting an alternative agenda while the Government is weighted down by the need for three-way agreement on anything significant.

G
It has not slowed the Coalition down at all. They made over 1070 decisions in year one – in smooth consensus. There is no evidence of the nonsense you are talking about.

HeHaw
On its own, policy rarely wins elections – and rightly so.

G
National don’t even have that.

HeHaw
If you’re going to square off against a popular leader and the head of a first-term Government, however, then the right alternative vision is essential.

G
They are listening for the next year they say.

HeHaw
National needs to set out an agenda that is simple, responsibly populist and, ideally, something Government parties can’t plausibly seek to replicate.

G
It’s called a BRIGHTER FUTURE lololol.

HeHaw
Seeing a Government limited in its ability to do much more than it is already doing, the temptation for National might be to try to steal a march on it now. That may be a mistake.

G
Oh they are sinking – sinking – sinking – why stop now.

HeHaw
The next election is still almost two years away and, its alternative vision being one of the few things it can control, National shouldn’t rush how it crafts it.

G
Ha ha ha yes – keep doing nothing.

HeHaw
The unco-ordinated nature of the governing troika isn’t going to change anytime soon.

G
Such cohesion and unity – what a marvellous team.

HeHaw
In the meantime, there is one other thing that National does control: internal discipline.

G
Does this involve spankings or is this about diets?

HeHaw
The recent troubles appear to have been non-fatal. MPs would be wise to ensure the party is not put to the test again.

G
You mean no more lying to manipulate the press? Or no more hanky panky when you are married? No more bullying? No more harassment? No more arse covering? No more deleted texts? No more refusing to answer questions? Or no more driving the limo to pointless meetings? Whatever you mean – I doubt it will make a spot of difference. This lot needs a total clean out. Too rotten down to the core – and we’ve got a world leading woman at the wheel instead.

G versus HeHaw

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