1: My first thought was “What has happened to Judith Collins’s face?” I have met her on a number of occasions. I have never seen anything like that twisted smirk on her face. And it was uncannily like Muldoon in his later years. Has she been possessed by the malign spirit of ole Rob? Surely these facial ticks are not a deliberate strategy – they are very off-putting.
2: Loved Jacinda’s big baggy jacket but I agree with commentators that she looked tiny inside it. Cool outfit but wear something gorgeous next time, I think.
3: I agree that the placing of the podiums (podia? I don’t think so) and the camera angles were very bizarre and seem to be designed to film Judith as if she was looming over Jacinda. Very creepy, given aforesaid facial gymnastics.
4: I also agree that John Campbell was not on good form. A cousin of mine was a famous actor who never went on stage with fewer that 3 large G and Ts in him (really large – they were yummy but I could only manage one without falling over), and mostly took scripts that had him drinking more gin onstage (mind you, he came to a bad end). But perhaps one gin before, and one during, the show might have enlivened John. I suppose not possible in this dour age in which we live.
5: I resent the view that it is only worn out old boomers that would watch a show in that format. I am a woob myself and thought it brought out the worst in everyone. If they had held it in a graveyard, it may have been more apt.
6: Of course Muldoon had his appeal, and was elected three times, and most voters now would not remember him, so perhaps this is about reincarnating an old model of populist politics (hopefully without the sexism and racism of those days).
7: It was all so old, wasn’t it? Jacinda on working with the poor and young families, increasing wages and so on. Judith on tax cuts (that mainly benefit the wealthy). Environmental protection versus unrestrained production. Bring the gin, FFS.
8: What is with National’s new government department to handle the border? This is just neo-liberalism – privatise the service and regulate it with a new agency. Labour should be going hard on this, I reckon. I do not think that New Zealander’s want quarantine to become a profit leader for the private sector.
9: Are we in the middle of a pandemic that is likely to affect our wellbeing into the foreseeable future? There was virtually no discussion on the Covid and the scariness, second wave outbreaks, a third of a million cases a day and a million deaths worldwide. The pandemic has not gone and needs excellent political management on an ongoing basis. Didn’t hear much.
10: A great deal of thought (or gin) needs to go into the next two debates. Maybe they should all be sat around a table. Maybe the big questions should be asked, rather than unanswerable ones. John needs to delve into what the parties really believe. Are they just the same at heart? What is leadership really about? I thought the closing statements should really have been the opening ones. I am not a broadcaster, but there must be a better way!
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.