Mike Hosking: What a gutting week

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 14 Aug 2020, 9:34AM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Mike Hosking: What a gutting week

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 14 Aug 2020, 9:34AM

Didn’t the week start so well, eh? The Warriors had won twice in a row from a lockdown of their own, the Crusaders wrapped up the rugby a week early, and we had the sell out this weekend.

Those were the days when we had sport, crowds, and cafes sold you coffee.

By Tuesday that was shattered. A lot was shattered, like the delusion that an elimination strategy can actually work. That’s the big question going forward, once again we ask, what's our plan? Beyond taking this day by day, oiling the squeaky wheel with welfare money we don’t have, how are we going to face the world? Deal with the world? Be a part of the world? Especially in a world where elimination, short of a vaccine isn't happening, and we sit isolated with a failed policy.

Or are we happy with  the way we are doing this? Is this weeks disappointment and despondency, not to mention anger and frustration, just the way it is?

A couple of months of freedom, then a lockdown. Start your business, stop your business. Do we think we can afford that?

Which is why we should also talk about the election, it needs delaying if Auckland goes beyond tonight. Level Two is hardly the end of the world, Level Three is no longer a level playing field. Campaigns need to be run, policies released, debates had, questions asked, and examinations conducted. That is how we do it, and it's how we expect to do it. Upending it makes this even more political than it already is. And make no mistake, this is highly political.

The Prime Minister gets a pulpit every day. No other political party enjoys that. They made this a Covid election, they called it a Covid election.

As we end this week, there is a palpable change in mood from what we felt like last week, and from what we felt last time.

Last time it was fear and the unknown, this time it’s a gutting disappointment. A realisation that elimination isn't real, and never was.

And a sense given what we've learned over the months about PPE, testing, the flu jab, the likelihood this latest mess is a border slip up, like the last border slip up where there wasn't testing and Thelma and Louise were on the run to Wellington, the trust in the government is drying up for good reason. That’s actually why we have elections, reputations and records are tested.

We really need to start thinking and talking big picture.

But for right now, let's hope midnight tonight is it.