Barry Soper: David Clark has become the pandemic's Covidiot

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Apr 2020, 1:26PM
Health Minister David Clark. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Health Minister David Clark. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Barry Soper: David Clark has become the pandemic's Covidiot

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Apr 2020, 1:26PM

It's a pity the Presbyterians, unlike the Catholics, don't have a confessional box to wipe the slate clean.

If it did, surely David Clark will be kneeling before the screened-off cubicle telling the priest to bless him for he has sinned. Although as an ordained Presbyterian Minister, the Health Minister may have a more direct channel to ask the Almighty for forgiveness.

To claim, as he did, that he only suddenly remembered taking his family on a 20km excursion to the beach from his Dunedin lock-up when he was preparing the night before to appear before Parliament's Epidemic Response Committee, headed by Simon Bridges, is a stretch.

The elastic became a rope with a noose at the end of it when he phoned his mother confessor to tell her about his memory jolt.

Jacinda Ardern wasn't impressed and after talking to her bubble buddy Grant Robertson, who told her he was prepared to shoulder the load, she stripped Clark of his associate finance portfolio and relegated him to the bottom rung of the Cabinet ladder.

As if Clark wouldn't have remembered his earlier driving indiscretion when he was currently and publicly battling a later one, driving to a mountain bike track to have a whirl.

He has become this pandemic's Covidiot, even by his own admission. The pulpit must be looking quite attractive right now.

Of course Ardern couldn't have fired him at the height of one of this country's biggest ever health crises, what would that say for her commitment to rid the country of the vile virus? But Clark must currently be the world's lowest ranking Health Minister, not that anyone would notice.

We are beginning to notice another politician at the moment though, and that's Simon Bridges who is heading the quasi Parliament through the Epidemic Response Committee which is livestreamed three days a week on Zoom.

We've learned this essential worker is driving from Tauranga to Wellington to chair from Parliament the other 10 MPs from their living rooms.

One of the reasons Bridges gave for the long drive, which is denied the rest of us, is that he has a dodgy internet at home. But check out the connect ability of his address and Spark tells us it's whizzing with fibre, with unlimited data and at supersonic speeds.

It seems that's all beyond the former Communications Minister. He wants to be part of the action in Wellington where he can put the Government on the mat and can be quizzed by the media.

In fairness, at this stage the election's just over five months away and Jacinda Ardern has been rather dominating the limelight from her convenient bubble.

• Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website