We say on this blog all the time, that this government would be in a lot more trouble if it did not have a very compliant media. Most of the media in this country let the government off the hook: from the Young Labour camp scandal to the Karel Sroubek case, the Derek Handley fiasco to more recently the biased speaker. Then there was the Treasury hack that wasn’t, and Trevor Mallard claiming that a parliamentary staffer was a rapist when all he did was give a colleague a hug.
Staffers, ministers and the speaker himself would have fallen on their swords – with a little assistance – under the last government, but now there is no accountability. We simply do not have the media baying for blood at each transgression like we did with the last government.
Well, maybe the worm is starting to turn. Duncan Garner has attacked the government, saying that this is the least effective government for the last 25 years.
I won’t argue with that.
Remember when Labour promised to lower the number of immigrants coming into the country?
The message to cut immigration numbers sat alongside other grandiose brain dribbles that would never happen. I recall 100,000 homes to be built, world-class cancer treatment centres, and a halving of the 70,000 immigrants that enter NZ every year.
But, the truth is, Labour told you a bunch of utter garbage, they told you what you wanted to hear – dog whistle politics to keep up with Winston Peters. But the truth is they have done diddly squat to get there.
We are back to rubber stamping immigrants into New Zealand to take the jobs in construction or whatever it is that they do and frankly, that we need.
There were 55,000 new immigrants to the year ending April 2019. We need these people, clearly.
Maybe, or maybe not, but we have nowhere for them to live, of course. Whether these immigrants are in the skilled migrant category or not, they are still not going to make the housing crisis any better.
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway’s ideas to cut immigration can fit on the world’s smallest post-it note. In other words, he’s still hiding under his desk from the last debacle, scared to come out in case the PM is reminded how utterly useless he is.
I doubt if he has to worry too much. There is a cabinet reshuffle on the horizon, but as the talent pool for this government is as shallow as the proverbial car park puddle, I doubt if there is anyone better. That is the really sad thing in all of this.
When it comes to immigration, expect nothing to be done until Winston and his mates enter the next election period.
I am really not sure that Winston will get away with this again. He has raged on about immigration for decades, but for most of that time, he has either been in opposition, or a junior coalition partner. This time, he is the deputy prime minister and is clearly pulling a lot of strings. That he has not stemmed the flow of immigrants, while not significantly increasing the number of skilled migrants, is something he may have to address in the next campaign.
Duncan Garner is scathing. Here is how he sums up the efforts so far of this ‘transformational government’.
I’ve watched politics closely for 25 years and this government is the least effective of them all, by some margin.
Totally agree, Duncan. And it is not only in immigration that they are failing.