Election results 2020: Mike Hosking – Find some shovels and get cracking


I have two fears out of the election result.

Firstly, a large win means that we are one voice and the fact one party in an MMP environment can govern alone means we are all on the same page.

We are not.

Secondly, I fear the Government so many voted for won’t deliver what we need.

Greg Sheridan in The Australian last week outlined what he saw as the Labour Party’s, and more specifically Jacinda Ardern’s, weaknesses. It is worth reading if you missed it.

Then this week, Gideon Rozner from the Institute of Public Affairs in Australia suggests our Prime Minister is incompetent. Once again worth reading if you missed it.

The BBC had a good piece on how Saturday’s result was a one off, won’t be repeated and delivery will be an issue.

The point of these pieces and why they are worth considering, is because a view from a distance is valuable.

Up close we become absorbed by the minutiae, from a distance you can observe the basic issues, and the basic issues are experience or lack of it, competence or lack of it, delivery or lack of it.

There are many reasons why Labour got such a good result, from fear of the Greens, so a lot of National voters voted Labour, National internally having too many issues and people losing faith, Labour having a charismatic leader people liked for who she is not for what she does, a pandemic that leads to a flight to safety and comfort.

Even a bit of history: first term governments tend to get a second crack.

But what we can’t and must not avoid is this is the same party that pre-Covid was a mess.

The economy was drifting downhill. Finance Minister Grant Robertson was blaming “international headwinds” which wasn’t true given the export returns.

Various much derided policies were in tatters for their non-arrival.

This was a party trailing badly in the polls.

Now the fact Covid saved them is neither here nor there.

You play the cards you are dealt, The win as a result of closed borders and the populace’s acceptance if not embrace of that approach is what leads us to where we are.

But a large win based on single factors does not give you skills you hadn’t displayed before.

Experience might change a bit as time allows you to grow into the job, but ineptness generally is a trait.

So an important point to make is I wish this government well, and I do that because my over-arching concern for this country is it lives up to all it’s supposed to be.

I honestly am not that invested in who runs this place as long as they run it well.

The same way I have no interest in gender appointments and racial divides. I don’t care who runs what, or what sex, their race or their height is. I like people who are good at what they do.

If Labour get good at what they do then we will have a better country.

There is always room for debate on approaches.

Their union-workplace reform is not conducive to maximum productivity. The fact we still have thousands on jobseeker supportbut jobs to fill is absurd.

The fact social housing doesn’t involve the private sector enough prevents real progress.

But on the really big stuff Labour has actually been a moderate party of some decent progress.

The Lange/Douglas years still benefit this country 40 years on.

The Clark/Cullen combo ran surpluses, and provided growth and looked remarkably middle of the road.

If this current incarnation actually build some roads, if the shovel ready work at some stage actually involves some shovelling, if the talk stops and the progress starts then they may be onto something.

My great hope is with the size of the victory thenthey get some confidence.

Jacinda Ardern for all her reassuring niceness is fantastically short on boldness.

If a big win doesn’t give you courage then you are in the wrong game.

Being able to buy a latte and go to the rugby is great, but it’s not a future.

A good health response is excellent but this is more than a one act play.

As the record stands, Labour ran a crisis to the public’s satisfaction, hence they have mandate.

But the record on the rest is still up for debate.

When the pandemic passes, they will need to have shown they can actually run a country. So stop talking and run it.

Source: Read Full Article