With my new working life I now get to do news and talkback just one day a week on a Monday.
This gives me a terrific chance to step back and look at the fuller news cycle rather than just the day by day cascade of stories that dominate the day but not necessarily the week.
It reminds you that a lot of stories that seemed so pressing at the time are often barely remembered past a month.
So this time last Monday we were in the midst of a crisis in our quarantining. Escapees, a lack of testing amongst those released under compassionate grounds. The contact tracing app near to useless. Add to that the appointment of Megan Woods as Minister of Isolation on June 19, and then the resignation of David Clark on July 2, and the weekend papers were full of opining on the SHAMBLES of our border security and primarily of the Government.
One week later and a cursory investigation of the weekend’s papers and you’ll see the SHAMBLES now apparently belongs to the opposition.
Southland brat Hamish Walker is no more after an extraordinarily ignorant release of confidential health information of those who have tested positive to Covid. The source of his leak, a former National Party President who obtained the information through her position as the head of a rescue helicopter trust and who should have known better.
This was dumb dirty politics. Trying to lay the blame of security lapses on the government when in fact it belonged on the opposition. National took aim and shot itself in the foot.
It has laid bare Todd Muller as a lightweight. He took days to make a decisive statement or action that should have taken seconds.
It has laid bare Michael Woodhouse, who also had the information from Boag. While his leader was flailing around trying to blame the government, Woodhouse knew all along where the information had come from. A real candidate for Health Minister would have dobbed Boag in the moment she emailed him the details.
Stop the rot was Andrea Vance’s editorial stance this weekend towards Muller. He didn’t even seem to know there was rot.
Meanwhile, Rio Tinto announced it would pull out of Tiwai Point. This has been obvious for a long time. Bill English signalled the end of government subsidisation four years ago. The price of aluminium is not good. Rio Tinto has better options elsewhere and Meridian offered them a lot but that was still turned down
Yet the opposition lambasted the government for letting it happen. If Muller knew his way around a balance sheet, then he’d know it was inevitable. David Seymour also blamed the government even though he has long fought against corporate welfarism. Even worse Seymour called the government student politicians.
David needs to know that he is no better. A bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a BA in Philosophy, then 5 years as a public policy analyst in Canada before entering politics. He’s a career politician. He’s no better qualified in balance sheets and business than anyone in the government.
And while this sideshow continues we have no community transmission and all the cases found recently have been found in the managed isolation, which while under pressure, is sign that it’s working.
No matter your political persuasion, the last week seems to suggest that the Opposition is more interested in fighting the Government than it is in fighting Covid. That’s not a good look in my book.