Last time I read about this topic Tracy Watkins gave National 8 out of 10 for their performance during 2018.
Despite the fucking shambles.
There was Simon Bridges after his expense claim was leaked about the cost of his “sausage roll” tour – starting up an inquiry that would back fire in his face.
Even that inquiry could not categorically finger the leaker but rather said – he probably did it – and pointed at Jami-Lee.
He did it, he did it, he did it!!!
The ensuing political theatre is some of the greatest comedy gold ever witnessed.
This was up there with Game of Thrones, for entertainment value and even people in Sandringham had informed opinions.
National MPs stepped out of cars and looked skyward as they stepped in slow motion up the steps of parliament, reciting their communications lines in unison.
Jami-Lee drove down the North Island and arrived on the tiles and took the fucking gold medal, while National fumed in their cabinet meeting behind locked doors.
You may recall that just at it’s juiciest, after recordings were leaked, that Simon did a spectacular mouth closing exercise and told us he had moved on.
Hilarious, because the cops had not.
The police handed the allegations on to the Serious Fraud Office.
Ha ha ha ha.
Anyway, so it is framed in this context, that I re-examine the question – has National held the government to account?
On 24th December Derek Cheng published an article in the New Zealand Herald which stated that – an Immigration offical had admitted that a crucial file was missing from the file handed to Iain Lees-Galloway.
A file that would have made the issue clear the first time…and that a process was being implemented to ensure such systemic issues did not happen again.
Perhaps you might argue – that in some way National’s fussing over this matter and “Blame game” bullshit – inadvertently lead to an improvement?
So you should award them a tiny crumb of credit here, same goes for making such a giant mountain out of the Clare Curran matter, not to mention Meka.
We benefited in some small way I suppose, but we also witnessed the dirty, malicious, ugly side of National while they pursued these matters.
Smear is a kind of lie really and by adopting fake news and fake statistics…National have been able to comfort the wounded wildebeest.
Telling fibs is not really cool for a leader and we can all point to examples where Simon exaggerated, bent the truth too far, told half truths.
The best one was when he was shitting himself on tape about what to tell the public about Jami-Lee, and decided to adopt a line – that this was all really about health issues, rather than a disciplinary two step out the door.
The game playing did Simon no favours.
Someone on 5% Preferred Prime Minister has a credibility issue.
This is counterproductive when it comes to holding anyone else to account.
Not only does the “boy who cried wolf” effect kick in across masses of the population, but the “log in one’s own eye” makes it hard not to laugh at such a person pointing the finger.
They become pure baloney.
The used car salesman in all his glory.
This means National have mostly done a pretty piss poor job and in no way deserved 8 out of 10 in 2018 from Tracy Watkins.
Instead they might be given 2 out of 10 for the minor political scalps and tightening up of processes.
Processes they did not see fit to mend on their own watch.
I have not mentioned Sarah Dowie, nor the bare cupboard of MMP coalition partners, suitable alternative leaders, nor the sinking party vote in the polls.
So now people laugh out loud, and one can only guess how a biased media will spin National’s performance this year?
Gerard Otto is an activist and a writer.