Mike's Minute: Stop treating Ashley Bloomfield like a celebrity

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 12 Mar 2021, 9:26AM

Mike's Minute: Stop treating Ashley Bloomfield like a celebrity

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 12 Mar 2021, 9:26AM

The Ashley Bloomfield ticket mea-culpa is, in its own, small specific way, everything that is wrong with this country and its Covid response.

As they announced yet another embarrassing zero yesterday taking it to 11 days with no cases, the Cabinet meet to decide what? How big a bunch of buffoons they are?

And then having met and, hopefully, decided to drop Auckland to level one, won't make that announcement until today. It's another overt display of over-arching power from a government now drunk on it.

Don’t worry about the America's Cup, home shows, or any of the other myriad of events that have been cancelled these past two weeks. Forget the hundreds of millions in damage done to any number of businesses. You just take your sweet old time to add up all the zero case days and tell us when you're good and ready.

You might have noticed the ever-compliant media after last week stopped making any noise about all those zeros. The irony being as each day passed it got more embarrassing, and it became more evident the government had pulled the lockdown trigger for no good reason. In other words, the story got more and more relevant given the lockdown did more and more damage.

And yet, where were the headlines? Where were the stories of incredulity and outrage?

Back to Bloomfield, true to form when busted by the photo with Jimmy Neesham, the usual flannel was rolled out. He ”broke no rules," he ”was there in a private capacity.” Classic Labour Party spin. Spoon a bit of BS, see if it's swallowed. When it isn't, step up the response, and it culminated yesterday in an acceptance he should never have taken the tickets.

Correct, Sherlock, and why would that be? Because he's a civil servant in charge of a government department in charge of a pandemic response, not a spice girl.

In that is the problem, he thinks he's a spice girl, and we've turned him into a spice girl. It's the cult of Saint Ashley. Grey, no name bureaucrats don't get tickets to the cricket and selfies with Black Caps.

Why? Because they're not rock stars and they're not celebrities. Celebrities play charity rugby and sell off lunches with themselves to raise money for worthy causes.

That’s what he's become. That is the danger, is he a medical professional with our lives in his hands? Or is he an Instagram influencer?

The fact he didn't get it and had to be cajoled into an apology, tells you how out to lunch this lot have become. They're drunk on their own notoriety and power.

And it's our health, country, and future they're ignoring when they're busy grinning for the camera having grabbed the freebies.