Mike's Minute: Are we being kind or not?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Mar 2021, 9:39AM

Mike's Minute: Are we being kind or not?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 3 Mar 2021, 9:39AM

What a difference a week and a political mess with the tide going out makes.

For a Prime Minister who has become world famous, at least among liberal media outlets, for her be kind message, we now see the real operator with the almost uncontained frustration, if not anger, over the mess in South Auckland.

Not only are we dobbing each other in now, yesterday we got the details of the 15 times the government tried to contact case L. This is the KFC worker, the sister of the Papatoetoe High School student, and the one that wasn’t isolating.

Here is the trouble with all this, I get Ardern's upset, I would be upset. But then I haven't made my name huffing, puffing, and wringing my hands saying nothing apart from be kind.

That is her problem. To be successful you must be authentic, and Ardern isn't.

Despite what Stuff tried desperately to spin this week in what must be one of the wettest, most subservient pieces of puffery I have read in a long time. They managed to drum up a couple of department heads from the cloistered world of academia who seem to think Ardern was a good communicator because she is genuine. This just proves you can fool, at least, some of the people some of the time.

The trouble Ardern is in, is that you're either soft and fluffy, or you're not. You're either the cheerleader for the team of five million, or you're not. And the game she is now playing involves her dividing and conquering. She's pitting the South Auckland families against the rest of us, figuring we'll side with her because we are all over being locked down. And instead of border ineptness or lack of testing, we have a family to blame.

Not forgetting, of course, the start of all this most likely involved a mum at a border job that wasn’t tested because she wasn’t at work the day the once in 14-day tests were done. That still squarely sits with the government.

David Seymour is right. If you are going to play this dumb game, all records need to be released. Otherwise, we have a petty tit-for-tat spat going nowhere. The records won't be released. Why? Because the Ministry of Health has a record of ineptitude. Ask Sir Brian Roche or Heather Simpson.

That’s before you get to the one sidedness of this fight. The Prime Minister and the government machine against a couple of families who, although clearly at fault, probably don’t know what's hit them.

Ardern runs the risk now of looking like a bully. So, which is it? Are we being kind? Or are we picking fights?

Would the real Ardern please step forward? Or is the truth here, the real Ardern is whatever version that best suits the spin of the day. In other words, she's not authentic at all, she's Machiavellian.