Mike's Minute: Pandemic response has gone to the dogs

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 9:21AM

Mike's Minute: Pandemic response has gone to the dogs

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 9:21AM

This, of course, is how governments unravel. The economy and incompetence will kill you every time. 

The theme of this government pre Covid-19 was on delivery, or lack of it. They can't do stuff. They announce stuff, but can't deliver. They can't build houses, they can't build light rail, and now it turns out they can't run a pandemic.

The irony of that is they have spent so much time and energy telling you that not only could they, they were among the best in the world.

The centrepiece of the pantomime was, of course, our great leader and her trusted health sidekick. The bloke she hitched her reputational wagon to, Dr Ashley Bloomfield. We became so enamoured with Bloomfield. We had t-shirts made, we have tea towels, we feted him, and we wanted his children.

Sadly, he is a bust. He is like a lot of other wonks who head Ministries, not very good at his job. Read the Auditor General's report into PPE. And because the Prime Minster has no experience in anything, like so many Labour leaders and Ministers before her in similar scenarios, she relies completely on the so-called expert's advice.

Once you do that, you're stuck with your decision. Ardern is stuck with Bloomfield, and he is going to drag her down.

Bloomfield, of course, should have quit by now. And in that is the other problem, no one quits in this government.  No one quits, no is sacked, and no one is held to account. They're not held to account because as one MP, Deborah Russell, famously said of Ardern, "it's not her way." The problem with it not being her way is it sets the bar so low, everyone goes to sleep.

That's why people leave quarantine with no tests, despite there being rules about tests. That's why cops don't knock on doors in self isolation, despite the fact we were assured they would. That's why they argued self isolation was fine and quarantine wasn't needed. It's why they argued there was plenty of PPE, and we were on a war footing. Hell, it's probably why the couriers couldn't deliver anything for weeks on end.

No one gives a monkeys because from the top down this government is about noise, headlines, verbal frippery, and nothing beyond that. They don't do details, they don't do delivery. They do feelings. You can't run a country on feelings.

In essence this is an inept government. The suspicion was well and truly raised last year as the economy slowed. It's been confirmed now as the smoke and mirrors show they called a pandemic response spectacularly falls apart.

We report of incompetence, stories that aren't true, and details that change daily.

And yet, still no accountability. Everyone who cocked this up, is cocking this up, is still in work.

Why?