I don’t know if the motivation was to increase social media interaction or just to have a go at the Government but the potentially most ridiculous article of the year has already been posted and we are only 10 days in.
Brook Sabin has posted this article blaming Jacinda Ardern and the Government for, wait for it, lost baggage at Auckland Airport.
He admits that the causes are complex but nevertheless insists that the Government steps in and sorts the situation out. The last time I checked Auckland Airport was privately owned with Auckland Council being the only public entity shareholder. If any elected official should step in it should be Auckland mayor Wayne Brown. This did not stop Brook from blaming the Government while at the same time praising National MP Shane Reti for writing two letters.
As Sabin mentions:
This is a very complex issue that isn’t unique to New Zealand. It involves overseas storms and delays, staff shortages, multiple airlines and an influx of passengers after Covid-19. Auckland Airport is denying fault, saying the airlines and their baggage handlers need to explain. But somebody must take leadership of the issue – because it’s not under control.
Sabin is a self described travel journalist who writes puff pieces on places he has visited. Before that he was a Political Reporter and played a prominent role in the Donghua Liu attack on David Cunliffe which caused Labour a great deal of damage in the leadup to the 2014 election. Cunliffe was wrongly blamed for helping Donghua Liu and Labour was pilloried by the press for donations it did not receive. It subsequently was revealed that at the relevant time National had received a significant donation from Liu and that this was effectively hidden so that it did not appear at the same time that Maurice Williamson was sacked as a Cabinet Minister for helping Liu avoid a prosecution for domestic violence.
As I said previously:
This whole fiasco could have cost Labour the election. Rob Salmond estimates that it may have cost Labour 2% of the vote and I agree with this. That is up to three seats and it sucked a lot of momentum out of the campaign.
And you want to know the really funny thing? There is no evidence of a donation to Labour or of Labour breaking any rules to help Liu. But there is now pristine evidence of National receiving a donation from Liu and of subsequent action taken by a National Minister to help Liu in a police prosecution that resulted in this Minister being sacked.
New Zealand you got played.
Sabin also excelled himself for his Labour is in Crisis reporting when he claimed that then leader Andrew Little not providing an instant response to the release of the 6,000 page TPP document
From my post at the time:
Andrew Little was said to have a major problem, the release of the TPP was a “six thousand page grenade thrown straight into the Labour Party conference”. The trade deal would “eventually” worth $2.7 billion dollars per year to the New Zealand economy (doncha love it when the media unquestionably adopts the Government spin). And Labour was set to oppose the deal because it prevented New Zealanders from banning the sale of land to overseas persons.
Little was then attacked for being unable to “give a straight answer” on whether Labour opposed the deal. Jesus Mary and Joseph. The text has only just been released. It is no normal document. Every single page is full of mind numbing legalese. It will take months and months for a well researched organisation to properly understand the implications. Of course Labour will have to take some time to properly consider the implications.
Sabin is the son of former National MP Mike Sabin who resigned nominally for family matters. Cameron Slater said at the time that allegations against Sabin were almost too horrible for words. His father was formerly the Northland MP which National lost to Winston Peters in the subsequent by election.
I half expect Christopher Luxon, if he is not in Te Kuiti or Hawaii, to be filmed with shirt sleeves rolled up sorting out people’s luggage at Auckland Airport next. And Brook Sabin then reporting on how Luxon showed real leadership.
Of course sons of National MPs are entitled like the rest of us to earn a living. But national media outlets ought to exercise a modicum of discretion in choosing what articles to run with. Blaming the Government for problems in a private company that are happening throughout the world in the travel industry is beyond stupid.