Mike's Minute: Does Judith Collins have a point about Ashley Bloomfield?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Aug 2021, 12:24PM

Mike's Minute: Does Judith Collins have a point about Ashley Bloomfield?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Aug 2021, 12:24PM

Judith Collins deserves at least a partial bouquet for articulating what surely a growing number of us now understand to be the case.

Ashley Bloomfield is a nice guy, but a bust. Collins calls him a one trick pony. He's good at standing up and talking about Covid.

It's an astonishing thing to observe what's happened with Bloomfield. I suspect we are at the stage now when more and more people are in that awkward position of realising they might have jumped to the fandom side of the equation before they had done their homework on the bloke.

And having realised that they're just working through the embarrassment of reassessing just why it is they ever thought he was ever up to much.

Don't get me wrong, there still are plenty of people who seem to idolise him. At a medical event last week Bloomfield turned up with Andrew Little who got laughed at.

When it came to question time for Bloomfield, one audience member, and remember these are trained medical professionals, stood up and asked, "Ashley, can I have a selfie?" Queue laughter.

The day we idolised a bureaucrat was the day we lost the plot. The ensuing merchandise and slavish coverage from a sycophantic media hasn’t helped.

But the Select Committee dishonesty surely seals the deal; he's not the real thing. It's widely accepted in the capital, if not further afield, the Ministry of Health is in shocking shape.

We all saw last year's flu vaccine rollout, or lack of it. We all saw the shambles around PPE and testing kits. We all saw measles exported to the islands. All of that is on Ashley Bloomfield.

It's hard to know how much the slowness of the rollout on the Covid vaccine is on him, as opposed to the Government, or how much the one company approach to the jab is. But what is clear is that the Prime Minister, with her lack of experience, hooked onto Bloomfield from day one, and as a result his beatification followed soon after.

Judging people, if you do it properly, takes time, we rushed in.

We fell for the window dressing. He's a nice guy, well spoken, and pretty much calm under all circumstances. But as time, results, or lack of them, have shown, he has been found wanting. In some cases, badly so.

And then we got to the Select Committee last week, which was an inexplicable, if not deliberate, avoidance of the facts.

He, like so many in the Cabinet, has been pushed beyond their capabilities.

I am assuming, in fact hoping, given Collin's comments, that if a change of government comes in 2023, then a change in Director General of Health will be one of the early decisions executed.