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I would like to thank our Political Editor Barry Soper, who was on our behalf here at the Mike Hosking Breakfast, annoyed that the Prime Minister would not appear on the show yesterday.
I am not sure it's worth getting annoyed about, because how else was this whole thing going to turn out?
From the PM’s point of view, obviously it’s a serious mistake given there isn't a radio programme in this country that has an audience like ours.
By not fronting here, she misses the chance to front hundreds of thousands of voters. The arrogance of that is something for the voter to work out for themselves.
But the deal was, if you ever took the deal seriously, which I didn’t, that she, although no longer appearing on this programme regularly, would still front for matters of major importance.
Level 4 probably falls into that category.
So, by not fronting on Level 4, what we find out is what most of us suspected in the first place.
The business earlier in the year about shuffling media commitments, about not being able to be everywhere all the time was of course a sham.
They make this stuff up in the hope you will 1) fall for it and 2) then forget about it.
It is without a shadow of a doubt now shown that she was scared of the accountability of this programme, she knew the level of detail she was expected to front with and wasn’t up for it.
And she could easily find more friendly places with softer questions.
I momentarily stated I didn’t want her back on the programme because more often than not, she was a verbal drain.
But Barry, God bless him, quite rightly pointed out that I couldn't go round bagging the rest of the media for being asleep at the wheel and asking soft questions, if I wasn’t prepared to provide the alternative by having Ardern on here for a proper back and forth.
I apologised to Barry and acquiesced but the rest, as they say, is history.
She never intended to come back on again, she did what she does so often; dream up some flannel by way of an excuse, suffer a bit of headline argy bargy and move on to other matters and hope it all goes way.
The slight dilemma for this programme is in the ensuing months we have added 10s of thousands of new listeners and have more people than we have ever had.
We’ve never had a bigger audience and she is missing out on the biggest audience there is.
So, who's the loser?
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