Mike's Minute: Is Ashley Bloomfield up to the job?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 9 Apr 2021, 9:39AM

Mike's Minute: Is Ashley Bloomfield up to the job?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 9 Apr 2021, 9:39AM

Here is how we end up in a mess. This is a case study.

We end the week understanding that the vaccine roll out is not going to plan, but then part of the lesson is that it was never going to.

The leaked paper showed us we are hundreds of thousands of jabs short of where we should have been. We also now know there are 300,000 doses waiting to be used, and under half the vaccinators are actually vaccinating. This too should not be a surprise, doesn’t make it right, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.

This is merely an extension of what has already played out over the last year.

To put it into a simple sentence, if it’s the Ministry of Health in charge of it, it'll be cocked up. From the very beginning of Covid, they have been found wanting.

From the PPE, to the flu jab last season, to the testing kits that weren't there, to the Measles export to the Islands and the ensuing fury, to the MIQ leaks, the appalling track and tracing that had us in lockdown, and not tracking and tracing as we should.

Sir Brian Roche and Heather Simpson spelt it out in their report released on the eve of Christmas so we wouldn’t notice. The review done just a week or so back into one of the last major lockdowns spelt it out. All the processes that weren't followed, the advice that wasn’t sought, it’s the same story every time.

And now the vaccine.

Here's the real problem, Ashley Bloomfield.

Because the Prime Minister didn’t have a clue what she was doing at the start of all this, she hooked into Bloomfield. It's what Labour governments do. Because they don’t come from business, the real world, or have any experience outside university or unions they rely heavily on wonks.

Bloomfield was Ardern's wonk.

Trouble was once we fell in love with Bloomfield, she couldn’t ditch him, she couldn't do what she really needed to do. Also, because she has no backbone and has never sacked a person.

So, the bumbling and stumbling began and hasn’t let up for over a year.

Bloomfield got beatified. He became the media influencer, the star of dance videos, friend of Jimmy Neesham, and charity rugby player. He made himself indispensable, at least politically.

So, the fact we sit here in April of 2021 unable to jab people, actually started as a problem in March of 2020.

By making the critical error to anoint a bloke who isn't up to much, nice and personable, but not up to much, we sunk ourselves.

Ardern having made the error is now trapped, so she's spent the year defending the indefensible.

It would have helped if Bloomfield was a David Clark type figure. Bit removed, bit arrogant, and not really liked. But he wasn’t, he turned out to be a good bloke.

But he's still hopeless. That is why we are where we are, it's why it won't change, and it’s the quintessential example of this simple truism.

If you cock it up on day one, and refuse to acknowledge the mistake, you never really recover.