Julie Anne Genter, Andrew Little and Phil Twyford have followed Jacinda’s political leadership over Manus Island and have each challenged the status quo and demanded more.
Andrew Little’s symbolic handing over of keys to the Pike River Families demanding justice for their dead was as moving as this photo…
…that was followed up by Phil Twyford’s decision to lift 1000 new state houses a year to 2000 and Julie Anne Genter injecting some actual intelligence into our motorway fetish debate by demanding safety over pointless road building.
On every front, this new Government are boldly striking out with real compassion and understanding.
So why am I nervous about the new Government?
Talking with many behind the scenes, there is still an enormous confusion over the messaging that is getting out to the public.
- The Paid Parental Leave issue was poorly handled. If National had seized onto Duncan Garner’s lethal narrative that Labour hates Dads but loves Mums, that would become an unstoppable momentum towards winning back the wounded and angry male vote that already feels intimidated and defensive. Give those men a righteous grievance and they will become a whirlwind of vengeance.
- The new Government haven’t communicated the CPTPP at all well and face an immense backlash if the process domestically within our own system doesn’t allow for anything more than rubber stamping.
- The longer the Government don’t pass a Hobbit Law, the longer the right will manipulate it into another manufactured crisis.
- The less said about the Greens deeply flawed and juvenile response to the Waka jumping legislation and what that spells for the longevity of the Government the better.
- Social services that have been obscenely underfunded over the last 9 years are on their last legs and in desperate need of extra resources now or else they will start becoming evidence of the new Government’s impotence.
- The fuck up on the first day of Parliament which handed back to National huge gains in the select committee process will be incredibly damaging and National will use that power to slow down and manufacture outrage every step of the way.
The new Government has to stop handing National the rods with which they are going to beat them with for the next 3 years, and that only happens when they get a much sharper team together that can articulate with far more clarity the direction and purpose of new policy.
Winning the election and negotiating the new Government was the easy bit. Governing is the real battle.