Damaged billboards? Really? The fact that Judith Collins got a big media boost for stating the bleeding obvious, namely that missing election hoardings are the work of opponents, is a good example of the state of electoral politics currently. I mean, how on earth did she work that out? Mind you, there have been other reasons.
I remember in the 2002 election, Laila Harre’s beautiful visage was the target of (I suspect) students, probably male, carefully carved out while the rest of the hoarding was left in place. When the media approached her about this, she was, for the first time I remember, practically speechless! Still, it is unlikely that some kind of lookist fad is the reason for National’s hoardings being missing.
The damage just keeps rolling on for National. Matthew Hooten’s resignation, which he prefaced by saying he could not justify being away from his family for another seven weeks, was the clearest message anyone could give that the ship was sinking. The fact that he then said that National could still win was baloney. As the rats desert the ship, they do not call back over their shoulder “I still have faith in you”. Hooten’s action was moderately damaging to National, and he might just end up being yet another long-term casualty of the implosion of the party.
Am I the only one out there wishing for some policy? Does this make me so old-fashioned? I am interested in hearing from Labour how we might move from the pandemic-plagued state to the end of neo-liberalism. I am interested in hearing from National anything – one single material, justifiable thing – that they might have to offer a post pandemic Aotearoa.
In the absence of debate about the issues facing New Zealand (and goodness knows there are enough of them), we are reduced to silly scraps and sordid scandals (nice bit of alliteration there). Oh yes, did I mention sloppy slogans? On my way to swimming I pass two New Conservative Party (whoever they are) billboards. The first reads “Prisoners Voting No Thanks”. Yes, there is a question mark there in theory, but not in practice. But why? What is so important about this issue that it gets on your billboards?
The second billboard reads: “3 Stage Sentencing Yes Please”. I have been a justice campaigner for years and I have never heard of 3 stage sentencing. Perhaps hung, drawn and quartered? Please explain, as Pauline Hanson might say (look it up, if you don’t get the allusion). No wonder someone has daubed swastikas on many of these billboards – what else would you do with them?
Oh to have something to talk about that is not Covid or the personal failings of our leaders (and their parties). Give us a good policy stoush, go on.
Dr Liz Gordon is a researcher and a barrister, with interests in destroying neo-liberalism in all its forms and moving towards a socially just society. She usually blogs on justice, social welfare and education topics.