Barry Soper: PM's strategy is conquering Covid, not worrying about election

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Jul 2020, 9:08AM
Photo / File
Photo / File

Barry Soper: PM's strategy is conquering Covid, not worrying about election

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Jul 2020, 9:08AM

COMMENT:

Just think about it, when you step into a polling booth on September 19 you will be a bit like a practising Catholic going into a cathedral, dipping your fingers into the holy water font and blessing yourself.

After you've washed your hands with the sanitiser, you'll bow over the ballot paper in the booth and be reminded how lucky you are to be alive. Just a few months before you were being told to treat everyone as though they had Covid-19. Now you've escaped the dreaded lurgy.

Covid will be omnipresent, the placement of polling booths will be sparse, in larger halls, but there'll be many more of them around the place to ensure, we're told, that you will be able to keep your social distance.

This at the same time that we're assured there is no community spread, to the extent it's now okay to join the thousands of spectators packed in at rugby matches for hours. But it seems that when it comes to the few minutes you will spend in the polling booth, you will be reminded to keep your distance.

That's what this is really all about, it's a reminder of who the Conqueror of Covid is and why we should all bear thanks and show our appreciation with a tick in the correct box.

Jacinda Ardern told us a few weeks ago that she hadn't given much thought to the election, her concentration has been on keeping us safe from Covid.

Why should she think about anything else?

Covid may have wrecked the economy but the Covid magic red carpet rides above it all, snuffling out the policy scrapheap far below built on the back of captain's calls. Keep our minds concentrated on Covid, that's the Beehive strategy.

It leaves the National Party scrambling. It can't afford to attack the Covid response, that would be seen as churlish because we are all safe with Ardern repeatedly telling us constant vigilance will keep us that way. And it most certainly can't attack the Conqueror, that would be nothing short of sacrilegious.

And if you have difficulty grasping the concept, just contemplate how Judith Collins has played both Covid and Ardern. She knows that fools rush in where angels fear to tread, the backlash would be even worse than the last, and her first, opinion poll would have us believe.

No, the only way to fight the Covid curse is to remind the public of the scraps that have been left on the heap before the virus made its fleeting, economically devastating appearance here.