Tipping point

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, May 4th, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: national - Tags: ,

To me the National government reached its tipping point the day it was elected. Other commentators are a bit slower to catch up! Here’s Colin Espiner today:

In the life cyle of every administration, there’s a stage where it “tips” – where its popularity starts to fall, and with the benefit of hindsight, politics watchers with nothing better to do than coin phrases label it the government’s “tipping point”. It’s not the death of the administration by any means – just the point at which its popularity ceases its relentless march upwards, and from which point a period of more even competition between it and the opposition emerges.

Has National reached its tipping point?

Good question. What makes Colin ask it?

I ask because of several recent events that made me think that perhaps – just perhaps – things were about to change for the worse for National.

The 50,000-odd people who marched at the weekend in Auckland to protest the Government’s plans to mine some national parks was one indication. That’s a big march by Auckland standards; indeed it’s probably the biggest march in the last couple of years.

Way to damn with faint praise Colin. According to The Herald’s figures (here, here) the march wasn’t the largest in “the last couple of years”, it was the largest single protest since 1938. It wasn’t big “by Auckland standards”, it was huge by New Zealand standards!

The rest of Colin’s post focuses on the nanny nats, and the by now commonplace hypocrisy of a National government merrily implementing policies that it would have vilified Labour for:

Yet the irony is that National is imposing policies Labour wouldn’t have dared to do, for fear of being labelled social engineers. From bans on cellphones in cars to crackdowns on young drivers, rasiing the driving age to floating raising the drinking age and lowering the drink-drive limit, and now whacking up baccy tax, there’s absolutely no question National has its sleeves rolled up and is getting stuck right in to social issues. I could add that none of this stuff was flagged by National before the last election.

How voters respond is crucial. Will they see this as common-sense, middle-of-the-road politics? Or more interfering in their lives? Given that such a belief – however fairly or unfairly held – was one of the principal reasons Labour lost in 2008, National should take care.

National’s change of heart on race relations, the flip-flop from Iwi/Kiwi to highly accommodating, has some (so far mostly “symbolic”) benefits for Maori. Likewise the nanny state flip-flop allows National to address issues that need addressing. The problem on “nanny-state” matters isn’t National’s performance in government, it is their performance in opposition. It is the pure hypocrisy of politicians who, like “perk-buster” Rodney Hide, will say anything they like in opposition, then do anything they like in government.

So put the nanny state aside. If we’re going to have a discussion about National’s tipping point, let it be for the right reasons. National have reached their tipping point, indeed they passed it long ago, because they are hypocritical opportunists, useless on jobs, the environment and the economy, and totally lacking in vision.

12 comments on “Tipping point”

  1. freedom 1

    and if you missed the DomPost Monday coverage of the March you are not alone, it is the tiny little passage on the lower-left of page 2

    • Lew 1.1

      Yeah, but in fairness, Terry Serepisos did sell his spare Ferrari …


    • HitchensFan 1.2

      yeah freedom I missed it too. Meanwhile, a photo of some tosser called Terry who? with his ferrari dominated the front page. Talk about junk tabloid….

  2. freedom 2

    this was one of the country’s biggest ever Marches and it is reported less than Boobs on Bikes

    capcha: values

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      MSM: Where what you need to know is ignored and buried and where what you didn’t need to know, and often didn’t want to know, is flashed in your face on the hour every hour.

      • Sixty Four Thousand Dollars 2.1.1

        If it doesn’t appear on facebook it won’t make it to the news.

      • Newly Phuckedoff 2.1.2

        I agree completely, and the DomPost is an absolute joke. I’m one of a fast growing number of people who refuse to buy that tabloid…small start I know, but it’s something.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Hey Rob

    For a while I thought I recognised your piece from another I had seen, and then realised I was mistaken.

    Oh, I can see why.

    You’ve put some brains into the piece, re-attached the balls, and transfused warm red blood into something previously authored by another that has been lame, anaemic and coloured by cold royal blue hues.

  4. Anthony C 4

    The “Nanny State” narrative coming back and biting National on the bum would be amusing, if it wasn’t for the very sad fact that when the Nats opened that particular can of worms it released a tide of irrational sentiment that torpedoed many common-sense policies Energy efficiency standards, good food in schools etc etc.

    A real example of volatile lose-lose politics which will burden all parties for years to come.

  5. The Baron 5

    “National has reached their tipping point” huh R0B… To borrow Lynn’s phrase, I love it how you Standardistas start “wetting your pants” every time there is any speculation that National’s good times are over…

    … and then time and time again, such speculation fails to be backed up with any change in the polls, or any other substantive evidence of a change of mood in the electorate.

    All of these “at last!” postings end up making you look like fools. I guess we will have to wait until the next poll to find out whether you’ve achieved that yet again.

    [lprent: 😈 Old phrase – evocative though. ]

  6. Irascible 6

    The comment by John Langley of Cognition Education sums up the image of Key internationally. The visit to the Middle East was a golden opportunity for the NACT government to strut and fret, albeit briefly, on the international stage but Key scuttled back to New Zealand for a photo opportunity.
    If I’d paid $20,000 to tag along behind the PM delegation in such an important economically part of the world I’d have been pretty pissed off too.

  7. Irascible 7

    Add Langley’s original comments about scuttling Key and the blown opportunities and we can really see how badly Key and his self serving MPs are serving this country.

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