The joke on the text machine over The Wiggles coming here, magically having got their MIQ places, was that Jacinda Ardern had wanted Neve to see the show.
You can't read a lot of those out, because it's not true, and you could argue it's a bit mean spirited. Turns out we should have read the lot.
If you're not up with it, official papers show The Wiggles got into the country amazingly once the Prime Minister took an interest and asked for a “practical solution."
The Wiggles had tickets sold, visas booked, but no MIQ places. The Ministry quite rightly told them space was full, keep refreshing the page, and join the queue like everyone else.
The Prime Minister was being lobbied by the promoter, who spun the most extraordinary amount of BS around jobs created, saved, promoted, money generated, equipment hired. Look up the story, it's full of gripping detail of how thick they laid it on.
Anyway, Ardern wants a practical solution, Chris Hipkins gets involved, and wouldn’t you know it, The Wiggles get the space they need. The system full to overflowing, amazingly found them, within a 24-hour period, some room. Who would have thought?
Once again, I ask the very simple question I have been asking for about a year. All those who think this government doesn’t operate on spin, BS, pressure and headlines, surely at some point have to wake up to the fact they are being played like fiddles.
Yet again those who wanted to visit dying relatives, had urgent business or appointments, ex pats keen to get home, and all those sitting waiting in the line, again got shafted. Because the Prime Minister is about image.
The Prime Minister is about spin. The Prime Minister is about what looks good for the Prime Minister. The Wiggles looked good.
If only we could all write to the Prime Minister and get a MIQ place, eh? If only we could all get the Hipkins tap on the shoulder within 24 hours and get some MIQ space?
Is having groups come in and perform good? Of course. Should MIQ be more expansive than it is? Of course.
But it isn't. And The Wiggles didn’t do their due diligence. They blew it, then panicked. Their "out" was a Prime Minster obsessed with image, end of story.
The only thing I am surprised about is, given they must have known this was going to be part of an OIA request and eventually the whole story would be told, are they really that thick? Or that arrogant? Are they so out of touch they think this won't damage them?
They're Teflon. New Zealanders are so grateful to be alive and saved from Covid that a Wiggles show, arranged Putin style, would be seen as good news.
Are we honestly still that gullible? And if we are, for god's sake, wake up.