7 months until the 2020 election and on the most recent polling, the next likely Government is National ACT.
The current Labour Leadership had become hostage to internal UMR polls telling them they are beating National and see no threat looming, if the possible pandemic hasn’t shaken that complacency, then nothing will.
I won’t even pretend to quantify the fear, anxiety, economic carnage and public health pain the pandemic is about to produce, I write this as a sober articulation as to where this uniquely destabilising event puts us 7 months out from the general election because this virus will over shadow everything else.
Electoral landscape has suffered a pandemic earthquake – all roads lead to Wuhan:
While woke activists downplayed the virus and went as far as to claim criticism was racist…
…The Daily Blog was one of the first to point out that this novel virus was not an identity politics issue but had all the ingredients of a dangerous pandemic and could cause enormous damage to the economy and generate a public health crisis.
We are seeing those fears play out now.
- Economic data from China shows worst results in 30yrs.
- Markets are slumping globally in a new wave of stock meltdowns as public gatherings are banned.
- Warnings for NZ that stretched global supply chains will snap and create shortages for medicines.
- Warnings this will be with us until next Christmas
- Warnings that the economic meltdown from the pandemic will be worse than 2008.
- Jacinda has ratcheted up travel bans, delivered a $12b relief fund and the Reserve Bank slashed the OCR while tens of thousands of jobs are now about to be lost.
This isn’t even the beginning, things are going to get far worse, especially if the virus becomes a pandemic here. The good news is that normalcy will return once we get a vaccine, the bad news is that’s 18months away.
The entire globalised ‘just in time’ capitalist system is designed on a market ‘flexibility’ that has no resilience.
EVERYTHING is now about the virus and how each Party responds to that new paradigm will shape political victory in September.
The Government has shown real leadership with the $12b package – but the Treasury forecast of a 3% GDP contraction is bloody grim. If a NZ Government is willingly giving beneficiaries more money you know we are in danger economically.
Labour were slow to appreciate the risk here and were clouded by their own woke activist base claiming criticism was racism. Following best international practice looked shallow and the early restrictions looked weak.
When the Labour front bench saw the panic buying, they appreciated the pointlessness of not spooking people when they were already terrified.
That early caution was replaced by enormous travel restrictions, the massive $12b relief package and Jacinda once again having the emotional intelligence to appreciate people were actually frightened.
Jacinda has stood up and she will lead again at a time when people start panicking, NZers will rally around her as long as a leak into the country can’t be traced back to incompetence at the border.
I think people will rally defensively around Jacinda because her reassurance as a tested leader who led us through the Christchurch atrocity as well as a volcanic eruption has been hard won.
This in of itself politically brings about a new problem for Labour. I believe Jacinda will dazzle with her leadership during this crisis, and Labour will probably have the highest Party vote, but she will totally and without blemish, overshadow NZ First and the Greens so much so, that their only survival back into Parliament would be by gifting each an Electorate seat.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. This is the time for Grant Robertson to shine. All his life he has played it safe to reassure the Wellington Public Service establishment that he would be a secure pair of hands on the wheels of power.
Well, the black swan is here and now is the time to throw that hard fought caution to the wind, now is the time for ingenious ideas and solutions. Now is the time to eye up the ACC fund and Super Fund for a type of reinvestment desperately needed if we are to escape the immediacy of pandemic and reignite the economy in time to pull it out of Depression.
This is your moment Grant, and facing something that will cause enough damage that you are required to rebuild the economic super structure means you must seize the opportunity to be transformative as opposed to managerial.
This is not a time for Managers, it is the time for Visionaries.
To date, the plan has been small Government red tape mythology, bash the dirty filthy bennies, bash the gangs, bash the prisoners, bash the tenants and actively bring back the housing crisis so middle class property speculators feel pretend rich again.
This was going to be enabled by a social media campaign targeting old white working class men who feel alienated by woke culture.
That strategy just won’t work now.
Now the public will be screaming for a strong state, not a small underfunded one. This pandemic will force voters in no uncertain terms to look at the kind of willy nilly childish slashing of regulations National are promising as the last fucking thing anyone would want.
Bridges only hope is that the virus leaks into NZ and he can trace it back to a perceived incompetence that he can claim was a lack of leadership.
He’s got nothing else, and all National’s punitive social policy shit will just look petty in the face of what we are collectively facing.
Because Simon has marked his leadership through belligerence, he can’t do anything magnanimous and reach out a hand to the Government and announce a united front in fighting the pandemic.
He’s stuck with being the spoiler hoping that Jacinda’s dazzling star performance eclipses oxygen to NZ First and Greens so they both slip beneath 5%.
National may not get the highest Party vote on election night, but if NZF & Greens don’t make it, National + ACT could still become the Government.
Who? Jacinda will suck the very marrow from their bones. They are already slumping on 5%, the ease with which they could slip under is well founded.
They don’t have the intellectual grunt to propose a new green deal and certainly no one with the charisma to sell it. The cannabis referendum will help them and some type of argument that the system of globalised capitalism creating the pandemic also powers climate change will make them relevant but anything that doesn’t get them back into the pandemic debate will become white noise.
The Greens are in survival mode again but they don’t know it.
To guarantee the Greens get back into Parliament, Labour should give them Auckland Central for Chloe Swarbrick to contest against Nikki Kaye.
Currently at 3% and desperate. Might have been able to gain more traction bashing migrant workers if they acknowledged its NZ businesses who are exploiting those migrant workers. Thankfully Shane Jones is the laziest bugger in Christendom and can’t be bothered writing a policy so beyond flamboyant race baiting on Sunday morning political programmes, the great Waa Waa of the North is as productive as Winston’s old Rugby injury.
All they have now is as a voice for regional NZ desperately wanting pandemic relief.
Robbed of their favourite dog whistles and eclipsed by Jacinda in crisis mode, NZ First can’t crawl over 5% so will need a Northland deal with Labour to return to Parliament.
Has harnessed the censorship left resentment on free speech and is now polling 3% in private polling. Could bring in extra MPs and give National the numbers they need to become the Government.
The Hate speech legislation will only win ACT more support.
If JT wins Tamaki Makarau and brings in another MP off the Party list, it could be the Māori Party who become the King or Queen maker.
This is only the start of the first wave of pandemic, the second wave will be more dangerous and we aren’t sure that you even get a natural immunity from being infected.
A perfect storm of climate crisis, rotten global capitalism and a decade of growth built upon debt, snot and greed are culminating into a unique once in a generation event.
Capitalism’s Black Swans are coming home to roost and it will interrupt our election directly with social distancing necessary at polling booths and philosophically as the 30yr+ free market neoliberal experiment is tested in a way whereby failure is intellectual ruin.
When this is over, there must be an enormous rethink of what State we want, a well funded one that has capacity for these events or a threadbare cheap one that can only manufacture excuses.