Apart from the first post a short while after the earthquake happened, I’ve not written about it. Partly because I’ve been busy with other stuff but also because I’ve been waiting and hoping for the government to do what governments (left or right) do in a crisis – knuckle down and focus on getting things sorted.
For instance I’d like to know there was some plan. And I’d like to see that plan outlined along with a timetable for acting on it and an idea of how to pay for it. I’d be happy if it came with a strong proviso that the details were subject to change but I’d like to be able to get a sense of the big picture. Of how we’re going to fix this.
What I’m seeing instead is a Prime Minister that is treating it like a fucking game. When he’s not mouthing vague platitudes he’s just winging it. Constantly. We’ve already seen him criticising the police and releasing unconfirmed death tolls as if they had been confirmed and now it turns out he’s second guessing civil defence about how many houses have been destroyed:
Official figures released today by Civil Defence tag the number of homes condemned to date in Christchurch at 2190 – about 7800 shy of John Key’s estimate of 10,000 – causing some to question where the Prime Minister’s office is getting its information.
That’s just wrong. I understand that the media is pushy and always after more information but making shit up isn’t appropriate. In fact it’s downright counterproductive. As Bob Parker put it:
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker has also questioned Key’s figures and the risks of speculating.
Parker told TVNZ there may well be 10,000 houses that will need to be rebuilt but geotechnical information is needed before decisions can be made about land remediation.
“But with regard to land remediation and which pieces of land will or may not be rebuilt – and they may all be able to be built on – the simple fact of the matter is anything else until we get that geotechnic information is really speculation and can be very alarming,
I would say “very alarming” is an understatement. Key is the Prime Minister. That means he needs to do more than just play to the cameras – HE NEEDS TO LEAD.
But he isn’t. And I’m starting to wonder if he even can.
Most other times watching a Tory leader fail this badly would give me some degree of pleasure but right now all it does is fill me with concern.