Andrea Vance is scathing of Luxon’s weakness…
Luxon cannot escape from this scrutiny, and he is fool to think he ever could.
Is this a cul-de-sac that his predecessors John Key or Bill English would have blundered into? No, because they had what he lacks: a deftness to navigate complex, intergenerational political problems, or at least the good sense to body-swerve them.
And so we are where we are: wasting time on an idea that is going nowhere, and upsetting, or unsettling, vast swathes of the population.
As a consequence, the prevailing energy of the year’s first press conference was defensive crouch. The main topics on the agenda were the deployment of Defence Force spooks to the Middle East, and the Treaty.
Luxon, Judith Collins and Winston Peters gave the distinct impression of three ministers who knew they were doing something wrong.
On the Houthi strikes, the trio flubbed it. Their explanation should have been simple and non-threatening: our position in the Western Alliance is integral to the security we enjoy in our region, so when they ask for a bit of help on a limited but worthwhile mission that impinges directly on global trade, of course we would say yes. Next question.
Yet, they descended into obfuscating, technocratic double-speak. There were no straight answers. We know more about Judith Collins’ reading habits (she likes The Economist, in case you cared) than her rationale for the deployment.
The train wreck of a press conference the announcement to join America’s latest war was simply glorious.
Luxon, Winston and Judith utterly out of their depth with no clue whatsoever…
She could barely bring herself to admit the central operational reason for deploying the six personnel. Yes, Judith. They. Will. Be. Assisting. In. The. Bombing. Of. Yemen. That’s the point.
The glowering foreign minister, who looked like he would rather have been at Jacinda Ardern’s wedding than that painful press conference, was strangely unprepared for what seemed like an obvious question: would New Zealand consider recognising Palestine as a country?
As to denying that the military action was related to the Gaza conflict? That was just plain odd.
Left alone at the podium, after Peters and Collins beat a hasty retreat, matters only went downhill for Luxon as he was relentlessly grilled on the Treaty bill.
…all it needed was the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song.
The right wing apologists for Luxon first claimed he wasn’t a politician so that’s why he was so useless and had to keep u-turning on things he’d said 24 hours earlier.
Then the apologists attempted to sell him as the great deal maker, which looked farcical after ACT and NZ First screwed National over.
Then they tried to pretend he was moderate and not extreme despite:
- Attacking Worker Rights
- Attacking Renter Rights
- Taking $555million form the poorest families
- Vandalising Public transport
- Starting a race baiting war on Māori while attempting to legislate away the Treaty.
- Stopping cameras on fishing fleets.
- Robbing Climate Change funds and road safety funds for tax cuts to rich people.
- Allowing 8000 tobacco deaths for tax cuts WHILE GETTING US INTO A COUNTER PRODUCTIVE AMERICAN WAR!!!!
NOW as the shear lie of National not being extremist sinks beneath the surface, it’s Luxon the super strategist chess player Svengali who is playing us all into thinking he’s a weak willed moron when really he is super clever and tricking us.
The right Wing are so in shock at how feckless Luxon is, the apologists are manufacturing him into a Machiavellian mastermind.
The truth is Luxon was a middle manager CEO who ran a mens deodorant company and had the cushy NZ owned Air NZ and has zero political values beyond loving God.
He is being played by David Seymour and Winston Peters.
The Right refuse to accept this and so we get this never ending wardrobe change of a narrative structure trying to explain Luxon to voters.
If there wasn’t so much at stake, it would be sadly funny.
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