ZB

Mike Hosking: Let's hope Ardern gets a dose of reality from her Auckland trip

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Nov 2021, 10:00am
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Mike Hosking: Let's hope Ardern gets a dose of reality from her Auckland trip

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 10 Nov 2021, 10:00am

The best protest was, of course, Groundswell. Another is coming this month. 

There is a lot of built-up anger and frustration in this country over the way Covid has been handled. Today, the Prime Minister may well see a bit of it in Auckland. I do hope she gets a proper feel for what's gone on in Auckland over these past three months. 

The fact she has timed her arrival back on opening day of some shops, is a good indication of how manipulative this government is over their movements, public pronouncements, and decisions. The fact they kept today's schedule under wraps tells of their concern. 

Not for her safety, no one wants harm or protests to get out of hand. But as we saw last week, she handles pushback very poorly. 

The same bloke who heckled her in Northland had apparently done the same thing to Winston Peters. Peters fired back, gave him a couple of one liners, slapped him down, and got a cheer from the crowd. Poor old Ardern grimaces and starts talking about accredited media before running inside. 

Whanganui was even worse. Scampering out of town, cancelling stuff when you can't handle a face to face with someone who isn't asking for a selfie is not a good sign for an election campaign that could get quite robust. 

Fresh off the back of that, they will be a bit edgy today in a city that has been atrociously treated by, irony of ironies, a local MP, whose sole claim to being absent was a foe ruling by a joke of a Speaker, who backed down when told to anyway. 

One of the regrets many of us, but mainly businesses might have over these past two years, is not speaking out often or forcefully enough. Too much PC business speak was rolled out, too much hope laid at the door of a government that it was hoped would act differently to the way they did. 

Sadly, I have been told numerous times by businesses that they were often afraid to speak out in case of retribution aimed at them by government, in terms of business, contracts, or engagement. It's a sad day when a community, whether business or any other sort, is afraid of a government. That used to be for other countries. 

So, if Ardern's trip is to be of real value beyond her never-ending desire for spin and attention, then she must hear of the pain, of the layoffs, of the debt, of the lost sleep, of the anger, of the dismay at the treatment. It has been a shocking three months. 

It's far from over and she needs to see it, hear it, and feel it.