Interesting anonymous Herald editorial in the weekend:
Editorial: Bill English has 8 months to answer Labour’s challenge
Little’s speech contained a challenging line that the country had a new Prime Minister but not a leader. He cited English’s absence from Waitangi, his ducking the Mt Albert byelection and failure to fire a “failed” housing minister, Nick Smith. But what Little really meant was, English is still following in the footsteps of Key. Little will be hoping English will take the bait and do something to distinguish himself from National’s sure-footed previous leader.
Continuing strong immigration requires infrastructure and public services to keep pace. That was one of the reasons English gave for the boost in police numbers that he made the centrepiece of his “State of the Nation” speech this week.
But more police was not exactly an electrifying idea from a new Prime Minister. It would be good to see an initiative on housing affordability, which could be the big issue at the election, especially if interest rates are rising steadily. As finance minister, English re-aligned social spending to measurable reductions in state dependence and long term fiscal savings. As Prime Minister he can hang his hat on that effort but needs to make it more visible to voters. He has eight months to do something distinctive.
PM’s media honeymoon is over
Dealing with the media will be a big part of Bill English’s job in election year. Mediawatch looks at the curly questions from the media that brought his short political honeymoon to an abrupt end.