It is regrettable, and not helpful for a properly functioning democracy, but National’s rhetoric is getting more extreme, and getting to the pants on fire stage. As well as being unnecessarily personal.
Take for instance this tweet sent out on Thursday.
There was one slight problem. GDP actually increased by 0.5% in the latest quarter and has risen by 2.1% in the past 12 months despite Trump’s trade wars and the pending disaster of Brexit. Compared to many of our overseas trading partners we are doing remarkably well.
And there was this further example this week involving the NZTA board which Chris Bishop tweeted on in this way:
I was intrigued by this. Was it true?
Well there were six new appointments made and five directors had their roles completed. But this was in the nature of a refresh and not a summary sacking.
Of the existing directors:
All of their terms had expired. And none of them had asked to stay on.
It is common when there is a change of government and a change of direction for boards to be refreshed. In fact National tends to get rid of directors unceremoniously and immediately. Labour tends to be much more gentle and lets people serve to the end of their terms.
And there was this particularly egregious example of a self own.
Maybe Jordan was not aware that outgoing director Vanessa van Uden was also a member of the Taxpayer’s Union board. Surely they have met.
Bridges’ attack was aimed at Patrick Reynolds. From Stuff:
Bridges had accused Twyford of appointing “enthusiasts” to the board, specifically Patrick Reynolds, a well-known transport blogger, whose appointment Bridges called “farcical”.
I beg to disagree. Patrick has considerable experience in transport and urban design issues and you only have to read his posts in Greater Auckland or the Spinoff to appreciate the quality of his thought processes.
And attacking a politician is one thing. But attacking a board appointee who has no ability to respond?
Is a picture appearing? Being a Board member of the Taxpayer’s Union is fine but appointing someone who has immersed himself into understanding the relationship between transport and urban form is somehow verboten.
Come on National. You can do better than this.