On The Demands That National Be More Involved In Covid-19 Crisis Response

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Gerry shows us his true colours

Over the next few days, you are going to see an escalating tide of “I think National should be part of the Government” as applies health decisions, because people “don’t want playing politics” with the crisis-response.

Sorry, I don’t think National’s demonstrated much capacity for doing anything *other* than “playing politics” with the health response, of late.

The calls for National to get the ‘seat at the table’ which they cannot win democratically had already begun when Judith Collins falsely claimed that something in the Cabinet Manual meant that we have a Caretaker Government [we don’t – Parliament hasn’t risen yet] , and therefore that there was a legal obligation for Cabinet to include her with decision-making.

This is going to escalate into demands that instead of being ‘included’ in decision-making, or notified pretty promptly of changes in the situation [the latter of which is *definitely* already happening – straight after the relevant Cabinet meeting, in fact] … to Collins and/or Brownlee and/or Reti being given ‘equal billing’ in unfurling any new elements to the Covid-19 response.

At least in part because they don’t feel they can ‘play politics’ from the sidelines … because they feel they are being electorally disadvantaged by a successful Covid-19 response for which they can claim no credit.

New Zealanders overwhelmingly want a positive and prudent response to this crisis. We have been fortunate, thus far, to get one that has been largely exactly that (albeit one that has benefited quite significantly from ‘luck’ at various points and could have gone severely sideways in its absence).

I remain to see how the forcible integration of National Party talking heads into said response is of a significant benefit to either the response or the people of New Zealand. Even leaving aside my own, perhaps paranoidly conspiratorial misgivings, that some in National might seek to deliberately undermine said response for desperate electoral gain.

I mean seriously – they’ve already had prominent members attempt to scuttle one of their own high-profile candidacies *from inside the party* and ‘prove there’s a flaw in Covid-19 data-handing’ by being the flaw.

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National cares about power. Somebody else has it, they want it. Ordinarily, they’d be throwing all-out to try and ‘legitimately’ claim such power in an electoral contest. And I say ‘legitimately’, with the scare-quotes, because in previous elections they’ve repeatedly demonstrated that all manner of illegitimate tactics (ranging from having SIS material funnelled to an attack blogger to the much more pedestrian merely making things up) can and will be deployed in pursuit of that aim. Up until Tuesday night, they were endeavouring to engage in yet another pitch (the third one this year) for Why You Need Us, New Zealand – with the understandable aim of unseating the Prime Minister and current Government and ascending in their place.

When the previous round of Lockdown occurred, there were some occasional murmurings about a Government of National Unity for the course of the crisis. These were, to a degree, understandable in light of the uncertain times we found ourselves then living in. Yet these are not those. Either the times, or the suggestions. Instead, the new call is to try and allow National to turn our Covid-19 crisis response into an infomercial for itself (and probably implicitly against Labour), on grounds that the extant Dr Ashley Bloomfield Show airing at 13:00 daily plus the Government’s broader Covid-19 management is already just such an infomercial for their ongoing incumbency to continue.

It is – again – understandable that in times of crisis, the Government of the day is held to account by a Loyal Opposition. Given some of the circumstances we’ve faced recently, this duty is now more vitally necessary than perhaps ever before in the course of this millennium. But there is a vast gulf of distinction between, say, the legitimate raising of alarum about two arrivals leaving lockdown to travel the length of the country who later turn out to have Covid-19 … and inventing a homeless person getting in to lockdown because you want to make the Government’s quarantine security look as holey as sanctified Swiss cheese. There is a huge difference between probing to try and help shed light on how this latest outbreak occurred, and fishing for NZPP voters by claiming that it’s a “convenient” not-at-all-“coincidence” in conspiratorial tones that this outbreak is even happening this close to the Election and in a manner that may advantage Labour as if it were somehow pre-planned or pre-covered up. There is a huge difference between merely wanting to hold power and having the qualities with which we should like to see it used and governed.

And there is a huge difference between National demanding a seat at the table in these present times – and it actually being in our best, national interest to actually give it to them.

8 COMMENTS

  1. National’s supreme self-belief in its own destiny convinces it that it is actually a government in waiting until Sept 19 (or later) so logically why shouldn’t it be party to the Labour government’s secrets?
    But even National wouldn’t be brazen enough to actually say that openly and publicly, since all but the rabid right would be repelled by such insufferable arrogance.
    National’s record over the COVID-19 does not look very good.
    It offered little constructive criticism, and concentrated largely on dog-whistle tyre chasing opportunism.
    We should expect better from our politicians in times of crisis.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Simon Bridges a part of the Epidemic Response Committee? So National has always been a part of the information and planning.

  3. My advise

    1:-Do not engage or fall for any ruse by National between now and Sept 19 0r Oct 3 (If delayed another two weeks) , do so at your peril . (Remember Judith is not PM and cannot change the rules in her party favour , so use that)

    2:-Win the election and take National out NOW because this may be your only chance . Each day the election is delayed some unknown event may occur

    3:-Do not cave into into any pressure from MSM Duncan,Tova, Heather, Claire etc. They need to understand the word NO.

  4. National is in the naughty corner and that’s where they need to stay until they are expelled in September

  5. This article portrays National’s parliamentary representation as undeserving of more say in how we manage this crisis. That thought process in itself is arrogant because like it or not, National represent a large part of our population, albeit shrinking in recent times.
    Even criticism of National party followers as being less human because of their beliefs has been common place on these forums which to me shows short sighted arrogance. This Coalition is just that. A mush mash of people and ideas that have won the right to Govern for three years. Whipty do. We need all the heads thinking in this situation not half of them. Those here thinking that Labour have done a good job with Covid are right only until proved wrong, which is inevitable at some point. JA has given us a short reprieve with her Government’s way of dealing with this Crisis,but that is over and we all can see continuing to go for elimination when the rest of the world isn’t, will only work until we are bankrupt or a vaccine is widely available. Can we hold out switching ourselves off and on until then. I don’t know but we need to question every decision made instead of believing in blind faith we will be saved. The decision not to have all border workers regularly tested proves this Government’s decision making is not always right. I don’t know the answers, National doesn’t know the answers and neither does the labour coalition. All together we might come up with better planning.

    • “National represent a large part of our population” – not anymore New View. 25-30% next election and they don’t deserve that much. People are turning away from their toxic, negative, lying politics. It is slowly dawning on the sleepy hobbits who have even only one eye open that National has done a shit job of governing for the people in their last 9 year term, and the current bunch of back stabbing liars are just an untrustworthy embarrassment to all New Zealanders.

  6. absolutely nailed that picture to a lamppost of Brownlee haha! all we need now is a rabid dog to come and pee
    (on the lamppost of coarse) lol.

  7. To give them a seat at the table would involve trust.

    And judging by their plumetting multiple rogue poll results, around three quarters of the country does not trust them one iota.

    The only seat I’d offer them is a toilet. And even then, check to make sure they flush after use.

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