Jacinda's Dilemma
Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 12:30PM
Bill Barclay

I generally tread very carefully before venturing into national politics, and cannot deny having come down strongly on the side of the Adern band-waggon prior to the recent election, now five months in arrears.

It was perfectly obvious at the time that were Labour able to put together a coalition with NZ First and the Greens that there would be trouble ahead, and that Jacinda would need to display the wisdom of Job to get through.

The belated announcement of her pregnancy sent a shiver up my spine that I reflected in postings at the time regarding the potential for chaos as Winston took over the reign during the critical maternity leave period, and imposed his idiosyncratic style on Cabinet, and government in general.

I have had no reason to change my view of that likelihood, enhanced now by his support for Shane Jones ‘s heavy-handed lambasting of Air New Zealand using the rationale of being the ‘protector’ of regional development through his wide-ranging portfolio. He may be a lawyer, but he appeared lacking in knowledge as to directors' responsibility to all shareholders as defined by the Companies Act - not that this excuses their boof-headed response that simply enhanced Shane's standing in the provinces.

Jacinda’s widely publicised miss-steps over the last few weeks, with repeated failures to deal decisively with the hubris of her inexperienced, and often naïve ministers has been instructive, and confirms my original fear of what lies ahead.

But it was Winstn's NZ First list members, both ministers and back-benchers who have been responsible for at least half of the embarrassments, including Winston himself (twice), Mark's heli-taxi service, Marcroft's threat, and Jones attack on Air NZ. The Greens' have weighed in with Julia-Anne Genter's attack on "elderly white men" on company boards, their strange 'throwing' of their questions quota to the Nats.

Jacinda’s own naivety was demonstrated with her support of the Greenpeace oil & gas demonstration on the steps of Parliament, weakness over Shane Jones, and failure to dismiss Claire Curran – a loose cannon who will cause a great deal more grief before she is finished with the implementation of her Great Socialist Communications Plan.

Now her decision to involve herself with the nurses’ pay dispute will inevitably lead to similar involvement with teachers and other state employee disputes – a grave and unprecedented mistake given the Government's fiscal position following furfillment of the already promised handouts in the May budget.

I trust that Jacinda has the mental fortitude to deal with the inevitable stress that she must be feeling as she faces confinement – I wish her well.   




Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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