- Date published:
7:34 am, December 28th, 2021 - 68 comments
Categories: act, greens, jacinda ardern, julie anne genter, labour, michael wood, national, same old national - Tags:
It is that time of year where nostalgia kicks in and the desire to review current events dims. Where pundits try to sum up what has been a complete mess of a year in 1,000 words or less.
So much has happened this year. It has truly been twelve months of the praiseworthy and the absolutely pitiful.
And it is time to reflect on the personalities who made us smile, made us frown and made us raise our eyebrows to breaking point.
The absolutely aceing that shot into your foot award goes to Judith Collins who in a remarkably short space of time and in a clear attempt to thwart a brewing leadership spill demoted Simon Bridges for something he had done years ago which had been dealt with by then leader Bill English and then watched helplessly as the National Party Caucus turned on her.
Talk about paying back double.
The winner of the never bring a knife to a gun fight award is comrade Chris Trotter who chose to attack Neale Jones for opposing Nimbyism and attempts to address the housing crisis by allowing intensification. According to Comrade Chris it was better to protect old clapped out houses, rather than allow them to be bowled and replaced by multiple units. And Neale was apparently in the control of property developers.
Neale’s response to Comrade Trotter was very funny.
If I'm living rent-free in his head I might as well make the most of it.— Neale Jones (@nealejones) June 24, 2021
The Daily Blog’s obsession with Neale is strange as shown by Bomber Bradbury’s praise of Bryce Edwards’ attack on Neale, one which Neale countered in these terms:
The world that Bryce describes, of quiet winks and nods and corrupt backroom deals to undermine the democratic will, simply doesn’t reflect the New Zealand reality.
We have a strong, independent public service, which takes most operational decisions including the awarding of contracts out of the hands of politicians.
We have regular proactive release of all Ministerial diaries and an Official Information Act which, while not perfect, allows for open disclosure of policy advice, briefings, records of meetings and communications for Ministers, their political advisers and the entire public service.
And we are lucky enough to have a Press Gallery based in Parliament who are not shy of using these tools to expose improper behaviour.
I suspect Neale’s business boomed after all of the attention. As it should. He is a rarity, a clear thinker presenting a progressive leftist view of politics and countering the utter negativity of the right with some skill. Think back to the days when Josie Pagani was the media’s left wing commentator of choice if you want to realise how much things have improved.
The winner of the most use of the word “Woke” in a single blog post, as well as multiple blog posts award goes to Comrade Martyn Bradbury whose obsession with the word woke as well as the Greens suggests that professional help could be of assistance.
The walking and cycling the talk award goes to Julie Anne Genter whose commitment to sustainability is that great she has biked to hospital to give birth, twice. For some strange reason she really annoys National MPs. All I can say is that I wish there were more MPs with such a profound commitment to addressing climate change.
The I hope everyone has short memories award goes to rare misstep Simeon Brown who in the same week blamed Labour for Transmission Gully but claimed credit for National for the recently opened Eastern Busway. The former is a PPP project signed up under and designed by National that has been a contractual cluster fuck. The latter is a project that was unfunded under National’s ATAP plan and which needed regional fuel tax money to get it off the ground, a tax that National bitterly opposed.
The having a bob both ways award goes to the National Party Caucus for claiming that the Government’s MIQ settings were too strict, then too loose, then too strict, then too loose, then too strict …
The Micky Savage of the 21st Century award goes to the appropriately named Michael Wood. He has got Auckland’s light rail project back on track. He has overseen the introduction of Vaccine Mandates in workplaces. He is at the forefront of efforts to introduce fair pay agreements. If he achieves this then workers for many years in the future will benefit.
This performance in the House for me was one of the standouts.
The Opposition MP of the year award goes to Chris Bishop.
He has been relentlessly attacking the Government on Covid and whether we like it or not or whether the result is just it has softened up support for Labour. He has created a huge sense of grumpiness in the electorate. The old mantra that the left succeed with hope and the right succeed with fear has never been truer. His effect is shown by the number of commentators who talk about Covid saliva testing. The test is much less accurate and the results can be kept private so in terms of a public health handling of a response to a pandemic the proposal has little merit but talk about it we do. And in the absence of a even moderate body count it has become a reason to attack the Government, even though on a comparison with the performance of all other western countries our response has been so good.
The New Phone Who Dis award for MP least recognised by the general public goes to the third to tenth ranked ACT MPs in Parliament. Google their names and see if you recognise them or if you know anything about them. They are being kept on a very tight leash and you have to wonder if this discipline will hold.
The look deep into the future award goes to the Green Party who consistently talk about climate change. If you think that Covid is bad the environmental trends that the world is experiencing clearly indicate we are heading towards a disaster. This is the last decade we have to do anything. The Greens are consistent reminders of this.
And the winner of the coveted prize for Politician of the year is Jacinda Ardern. While throughout the world Delta Covid brought advanced nations to their knees and while many countries are seeing their fourth or fifth Covid wave here in Aotearoa New Zealand she managed to vaccinate pretty well everyone she could and we have seen something extraordinary, the taming of Covid Delta. Not that you would appreciate how good the response is if you read anything from local right wing media.
As said by Gordon Campbell in this must read post:
Arguably New Zealand has managed the best response to Covid in the entire world. This didn’t happen by accident. It reflects the skill and dedication of tens of thousands of people working at the borders, in MIQ facilities and in the public health system. Hundreds are alive and well today who would have not have been if the government had bowed to pressure from the business sector and its friends in the media, and thrown the borders open prematurely.
The country is currently seeing off the Delta incursion with minimal fatalities and a world beating vaccination rate. With Omicron waiting around the corner I cannot think of any leader in the world I would prefer to have at this most challenging of times.
"The old mantra that the left succeed with hope and the right succeed with fear has never been truer."…..what Left are you talking about there MS?…I can see no evidence of any Left wing political party operating in New Zealand today.
New Zealand only has one political ideology represented by all main political parties..Free Market Laissez-faire Liberalism of one form or another…that is just a fact.
The sooner you guys stop using the term Left to describe these ideologies the better for everyone, the planet included….what we need now more than ever is a Left wing party…and is sure as hell isn't Labour or Ardern.
"It's funny that people believe Jacinda Ardern and people like that are climate leaders," That just tells you how little people know about the climate crisis."
Too true Adrian.
As for hope and fear…the Natz offer 'hope'='a brighter future'-'we may be on the cusp of something special'(we weren't).
I include even the US Democrats in this comment. It is about the left and right of the median in each population, not if a particular party’s policies are considered by the true believers of the left to be acceptable.
You could be onto something with this. I mean hoping for the best seems part of human nature. Framing that onto the left could be artifice – but it also could point to something fundamental.
Something deeper than identity, I mean. Using myself as example, I've never been able to identify with left or right. As soon as I tried those shoes on when shedding the extremely trendy apolitical stance of the boomers in the late 1960s, it was immediately obvious that neither fit. Yet hoping for the best out of politics & democracy is a stance I still share with mainstreamers. Perhaps the only one!
The other part of the frame is equating the right with complacent acceptance of the status quo. Unfortunately for the frame, the bulk of left-wing voters do that too! So the frame is fundamentally inaccurate.
Many such voters claim left-wing parties attempt to make progress, but those people rarely attempt a validation of the claim with evidence of consequent political performance & legislation. Measuring the claim against reality usually returns a verdict of partial success and a spectrum of opinion as to whether the glass is half-full, more or less.
However your framing of the right points to fear as a default trigger. Valid insofar as fear of failure keeps Grant & Jacinda addicted to neoliberalism. Their default assumption that a resilient economy can be signalled as a distant goal suffices to put them on the right track while pushing attainment as far out into the future as they possibly can. Such pragmatism seems sensible to most centrists. It's not as if escalating crises threaten their faith in BAU. Yet.
The sooner you guys stop using the term Left to describe…I'll just leave that hanging there, will I?
The last one is gold in a wider sense…
All those Jacinda-haters who would have had the borders wide open with covid tearing through our communities killing many many people are strangely silent when the facts are put to them…
It is those buffoons who deserve a goon spoon… (they also go by the name 'National Party supporter')
I wonder what sort of award should be given to the Authors of the just past US Defence Bill, $770 billion. Does the health care and housing needs of the nation come out of this defence budget, or should it be called the $770billion offensive bill.
Sorry Anker, anyone who invokes the 'WOKE' word gets totally ignored by me – I loathe that word so much that I no longer read The Daily Blog.
Touché Jilly Bee.
but genuine question why do you loathe the word woke?
What Drowzy says below. It's mostly used now as a slur. Its intended use by the Rightwing is to be offensive. For others here to continue use it also as an offensive slur against those who admit to the harm done to indigenous peoples by colonialists in the past, and who empathise with others who continue to experience depravation from dominant cultural practice is IMHO outrageous.
It's also used by moderate left wingers who're fed up with this divisive, nonsensical vanity project that has hijacked the progressive movement in the past decade.
One only has to visit Melbourne museum, or any other museum in Australia with a dedicated exhibition on the plight of the aboriginal peoples following the arrival of the British to Australia. The terrible atrocities perpitrated on innocent people which continued for decades, and to a lesser extent continues today, are the direct result of of colonial imperialism. If the "left" cannot admit to righting these wrongs, then it can take little pride in its boast of humanitarian principles.
I have no quibble with what you are saying in of itself, but I do object to the selective and manipulative narratives the woke agenda propagates. Our history is always way more complex and nuanced than these ideological idiots pretend it is.
'Woke' has become a right-wing pejorative for progressive 'virtue signalling' ‘snowflakes’.
How long before ‘progressive’ also becomes a pejorative term, I wonder.
And yet ironically the American working class all watch Fox News because, crappy as they are, Tucker Calrson is virtually their only representative voice in the mainstream media.
Hating on people for holding conservative values is really the opposite of the tolerance and diversity that woke idiots like to repeat as their drooling mantra
please fix email address, ta
woke identity politics is a luxury set of beliefs held by privileged wellington nobs and naive zoomers, and its demands for conformity and silencing of dissent are a wedge that parties like Act will gleefully exploit to split the left.
wokeness is a neoliberal distraction from class consciousness, hence it is embraced by giant corporations and even the CIA. those promoting it with religious zeal are fostering divisiuon, not solidarity
This! Woke and identity politics is militant neoliberalism being pimped by people who want poor brown and poor white and poor straight and poor gay and poor male and poor females put in boxes hating each other instead of unifying.
Woke is me, I, my identity. It can't be left wing which is we us ours.
It's preached by corporations, the wealthy, media, academia and upper middle class to rich and their privileged kids who have no concept of class.
Woke politics is consumerism too look at all the wokies praising Nike because an American athlete who kneels is sponsoring him and buying products from woke companies and boycotting unwoke companies. They'll preach about colonialism and slavery while head to toe in clothing made in sweat shops from wage slave labour.
They'll attack anyone who talks about class as racist despite class being a unifier for poor people of every race sexuality and gender (they hate class because class politics makes them the oppressor)
They'll mention statistics and poverty in brown people and seem to not understand that brown people are more likely to be working class so policies that make working class people better off will benefit poor brown people instead they try ngati trickle down policies to make a few more brown people middle class rather than making the living standards of poor brown people and indeed white people better.
Instead of class and universalism we get wrap around funding.
In a housing apocalypse we don't hear about how high rents are we hear how hard it is for upper middle class kids to own a house. We also hear nothing about the 200,000 empty houses in a country with only 1.9 million homes because to attack the house hoarders would be to attack people based on class.
Woke politics turns off working class people of all races and sexualities, genders it'll be the death of the left. Working class people hear the things woke people say and think they are nuts.
Social justice is important but without economic justice social justice is worthless and it's not socially just.
Woke politics is militant individualist neoliberalism that uses all the words of revolution, progress to stop social progress.
The woke are Contras.
That last line got an actual snort into my coffee from me. First time ever!
Great post Corey…it is and has always been about …'class'-the ruling class and maintaining their …dominance.
Judith Collins turned out to be my favourite politician of 2021.
I can think of no other party leader since I became eligible to vote who so frequently, & consistently, did, & said, utterly the WRONG thing. She was a freaking disaster for National & undoubtedly the 2nd best thing Labour had going for them throughout her entire stint as LOTO.
She surpassed even Simon Bridges, who, in his time as LOTO, would have even my National-voting acquaintenances rolling their eyes & shuddering at the thought of his ever becoming PM.
Collins was always good for a laugh. She just had no absolutely idea how freaking ridiculous she was. 😎
How about the longevity in kiwi politics award for someone who has been fronting it in the media for half a century?
When his mate Sir Bob "Harvey suggested it might be time for his friend to retire, Sir Tim had a simple answer: he has a tremendous aversion to quitting."
You know the funniest thing about Tim Shadbolt for me was that when I was in 5th form at Fungi Dungi, our very young, progressive chaplain, turned up for religion class one day with a very young, handsome, Tim Shadbolt in tow. And handed over to him.
Tim spoke about being an activist & student radical, challenging “the establishment” & about his recent book Bullshit & Jellybeans, which I think the Censor had originally considered banning because of its title.
Right at the very end of his talk Tim spoke about how the politicians of the day didn’t know when their time was past. And he said if he ever got involved in politics he fully expected that one day some young person would tell him his time was up and to “Piss off Shadbolt. You’re out of touch. You don’t know what you’re talking about! And that, he said, would be when he knew it was time to go.
Prophetic words. Except that he’s now part of The Establishment – and he absolutely refuses to go! 🙄 How I wish we had had recorded his talk & I could send him an audio or video file!
It’s well time for Tim to retire – either gracefully or gracelessly.
Nice story. I agree with your logic! However the old saying about old dogs & new tricks seems to apply. My first wife went & lived at his Huia commune in late '71 but I never wanted to meet him (he was extrovert & I was the classic introvert).
His lifestyle is a cop-out. Those tours with Gary M were probably fun for all but I bet he never had the guts to tell audiences about his acid trips. If he had, I'd view him with respect. Funny how some folks just don't get it – that lifestyle experiences on the edge provide an endless reservoir of teachable moments.
I’d actually forgotten Sir Timothy Richard Shadbolt KNZM JP was knighted in the 2019 New Year Honours List as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM).
Can’t get more Establishment than that❗️
Wonder what student radical Tim Shadbolt would have said had one of us suggested that one day he’d grab a knighthood with both hands, if one was ever offered. Bet he would’ve said: “Bullshit!” 😀
Why do you give a fuck specifically gezza about whether TS retires ?
Because I think it’s sad that Sir Tim, from video clips I’ve seen where he has been totally lost as to where they’re up to & what’s going on in Council meetings, appears to be suffering from dementia & it makes things hard not only on him but also on his councillors for him to remain in office & waste so much time arguing about whether he’s up to the job. Even his friends can see that he’s not.
My late father-in-law, who I was very fond of, suffered from dementia that I could see developing for 2 years before it was finally diagnosed. Sir Tim appears to be in the early stages, imo.
Well if he was voted into his position then he is perfectly entitled to serve out his time as far as im concerned .
Irrespective of his mental capacity?
In comparison with many countries, NZ has done very well coping with Covid. So yes, thank you to our PM for her concern being first and foremost the health of people, and listening to the experts, ahead of National/Act being so strident about balance sheets and opening the borders.
Omicron will no doubt get out in the community at some point, but people have been able to enjoy Christmas and a holiday break because of the earlier measures to control the virus spread.
To Judith Collins – how could a supposedly intelligent person have made so many blunders. Dave Armstrong of Stuff should write a TV comic series or pantomime.
That video of Michael Wood is a cracker. Nice to see a Labour politician speaking like they represent the labour movement, it's become quite rare.
Michael has the main requirement of his trade thoroughly mastered.
"The most important quality for success in this business is sincerity. As soon as you can fake that, you've got it made"
Well he can do it.
Acting like "they represent the labour movement" it is all that matters….words are cheap.
Yes, have to wonder if Adrian watched it.
Me neither. I was reading a Guardian article saying so far the UK's hospitalisation rate and deaths per day was remaining "very low" during the omicron wave, and I realised that their "very low" would equate to 580 people in hospital and 10 deaths in the NZ context. Most people have no idea of the scale of NZ's achievement in protecting us from this.
I sure wouldn't want to be the one doing the decision-making and taking responsibility for the outcomes during this time, but Ardern is acing it. Makes a mockery of all those right-wingers back in 2017 blathering that she wouldn't have the inner strength to cope with the pressures of command – she's been facing more pressure than any leader outside of wartime would have to handle and has dealt with it magnificently.
Hear hear 👏👏👏👏👏
I’ve changed your name to Jenny 2 because we already have a regular here called Jenny. Please pick another name, or use Jenny 2 from now on. Cheers.
Absolutely agree with that. And she even remains relentlessly positive about how NZers are managing Covid.
Yes, there’ve been a few hiccups along the way, which the govt (e.g. herself, Hipkins, & sometimes Robertson) have generally refused to concede were or are problems – but pretty well all of the issues I can recall (with anything other than the limited MIQ places ongoing problem) were dealt with swiftly & satisfactorily.
I don’t like claiming we are the best in the world – that always seems like an invitation for fate to punish us for our hubris – but we’re right up there with the best responses & that’s down to Ardern’s leadership.
Someone here asked if I knew her, when I was so positive about her new role as PM in 2017.
I said yes I had been lucky enough to meet and talk with her and her direct obvious grasp of the task ahead was clear.
She has been masterful, and I am more than happy with her performance.
This pandemic did not come with instructions, and her collaborative approach with the Science and Health people has stood us in good stead.
On every occasion she has come up trumps. We are fortunate indeed.
Spot on Psycho Milt (9)
very well said PM.
I'd add that she (and others in government, both MPs and staff) haven't had a break from the crisis in nearly two years. While the rest of us have been relatively well protected most of the time, they've still had to be forward planning around covid with large amounts of uncertainty, sorting out economic and other covid related issues, and run the country at the same time. That's huge.
Also think that NZ sometimes struggles to understand that covid has been handled well while housing, welfare and climate haven't been and that those aren't contradictory. Hoping that Ardern's announcement the other day to address climate change actually means something.
True, it feels like it's been two years of stress for all of us due to Covid restrictions, but for most of that time we've hardly had any restrictions. Cabinet, public health officials etc have been copping the stress of being responsible for what happens the whole time.
Sure, and we could make all state highways have a max speed limit of 50kph, with mandatory police checkpoints on them in order to stop the road toll. But after 2 years I'm sure most drivers would be fed up with it. And we could give ourselves a large pat on the back for keeping everyone safe just so long as we keep the measures in place for one more year…
UK annual road toll deaths associated with excess speed:
UK covid deaths 2020/21:
Does this need explaining? I will anyway:
The only way that the comparison between speed deaths and covid deaths makes sense is if we either don't believe the covid death numbers are real, or we think the covid death rate is an acceptable price to pay over two years for not having mostly moderate restrictions, and several periods of time of hard restrictions.
My point wasn't to compare the two and assess which one is more deadly, but to look at the quite different approaches we're using to manage risks in society.
We can't use the death stats you're using to justify much either, there are just too many questions around them. How much is 100% covid? How many who died had other major illnesses? How many with PCR pos test after death? etc
Maybe you skimmed my post and didn't see the bit where 580 people in hospital and 10 deaths per day in NZ would be "very low" by UK Covid standards. If people speeding in cars was going to kill thousands of people a year, leave thousands more with long-term illness or permanent disability and overload our health system to destruction, you bet I'd expect the govt to take stronger action to prevent people speeding in cars. Take this seriously, you're not a child.
Yeah 580, some with the covid cough, some going to hospital for something completely unrelated and getting flagged as diseased upon testing, and others catching it while in there. Who is symptomatic and who is not?
Its a meaningless stat, but it could be meaningful if each case had symptoms confirmed by their GP before admission, and then backed up by a test. This is not the approach taken though.
The funnty thing about that (for want of a better word) "reasoning" is that it creates more questions that it answers.
If all the hospital admissions and, by inference, all the covid-attributed deaths are massively overstated because they were admitted for and died of other things, what is doing all the killing?
We know the death rates in 2020 and 2021 around the world were through the roof, with the exception of nations that mandated pretty extreme infectious disease control measures. We know that vaccinated individuals eg in NZ have a significantly lower risk to be admitted to hospital as a proportion of positive tests, compared to unvaccinated individuals. Hell, that's a measure of efficacy.
So something notCovid seems to be killing millions of people around the globe over the last couple of years, seems to be controlled in countries that tried seriously to control covid, and seems to disproportionately target individuals who do not have covid vaccines. But it's absolutely not the coronavirus variant that was coincidentally discovered in 2019.
So what is this notCovid killer?
Psycho Milt – fully endorse your words of wisdom. Our PM may have a slight physical build, and likes to smile and laugh and is down to earth, which some may think is a lack of strength and substance. How wrong they are.
Not disagreeing with any of that.
Grant Robertson should be in the mix. His management of the economy has been masterful. The only downside being the unexpected consequences of wage subsidies etc driving the house price rise boom.
" unexpected consequences of wage subsidies etc"
What do you find "unexpected" about it? The pouring of tens of billions of new money into the economy has to go somewhere and in New Zealand the only real option was the Housing Market.
There was no question about it causing inflation, as it has done. The only question was the level of the inflation that would hit us. To say it was "unexpected" is ridiculous. Grant's major feat has been to take the economy to the edge of the cliff and shove it over the edge.
Unexpected in that neither Treasury nor the Reserve Bank predicted it. In hindsight, sure, but at the time, the predictions were very pessimistic.
Inflation is rife elsewhere.. and is more to do with the asset classes people and banks poured money into after the GFC, and covid money on top has caused inflation. Treasury said “a drop in “GDP” lol.
Got that wrong didn’t they!! So a surprise.
"Treasury said “a drop in “GDP” lol".
Perhaps you should look at what happened to GDP and you might not laugh quite as much as you seem to.
New Zealand's quarterly GDP changes, where each quarter is being compared to the previous one, show that in the March 2020 quarter it dropped by 1.3%, in June 2020 it dropped by 10.3%, in December 2020 it dropped by 0.4% and in the September 2021 quarter it dropped by 3.7% . I would expect that in the December quarter it will drop again but it is a long time before the numbers will be produced.
Now what was it you were laughing about? And what was it they "got wrong"?
alwyn,I say alwyn…what is/was the alternative…plan?(other than pouring in $$$)
If the consequences were "unexpected" as you say, Grant should go back to university and do Economics 101.
It wasn't wage subsidies. More directly handed to banks than that.
A bit tough on the saliva testing – Korea's been using it quite happily since alpha. Where the wheels come off is letting private testing, especially bad faith or antivaxxer forms, use it to dispute or circumvent other protective measures.
Juco, especially toawards the end, was absolutely fascinating. It was like she had her finger on the pulse of society, but managed to do the exact opposite thing every time. It really was a masterclass on how to fuck things up.
Yes. Don't think we have a decade though micky 🙁
Neale Jones blocked me on twitter for daring to question his opinion on something or other, he is a deeply intolerant and self righteous person.
I probably agree with him on housing and many things, but this is an example of why the left is going to self destruct.. because it tries to expel heretics, but the right just wants more recruits