While you were sleeping

In Newsletter Editorial4 MinutesBy Dave McCoidJuly 2, 2021

As frustrating as MMP might be when it’s behaving normally, it does allow parties to keep each other ‘on the bit’, so to speak, preventing the mayhem we’re seeing now, with no multi-party moderation in effect. Those opposed to that view say MMP creates a bland vanilla custard and no real contest of ideas and that what we have currently is a stark definition of what a left-of-centre – bordering lite-Socialist – government actually looks like. They would say it means the real election will take place in 2023, when we actually have a point of reference i.e. did we like that last three years or not.

For me, the issue is about the damage done in the meantime. We are seeing serious incursions into what we would once have considered our fundamental rights. This administration has an increasingly totalitarian flavour, evidenced in no small way by a lack of recognition of all components contributing to their election-night margin.

This week, the RTF issued a press release commenting on its exclusion in future from having any input or dialogue on the setting of speed limits. Also, this week, Newshub political editor Tova O’Brien wrote an opinion piece raising real concerns on the construct of the proposed hate speech legislation and the disconnect between its implications in current form, and the spin on that coming from the Beehive’s ninth floor.

Not only do the acts of centralisation and dissenter annexations increase weekly, but so does the potential for many more just ahead. If we think they’re ‘Bolshy’ now, wait for the labour market reforms to set in properly.

Is there an element of paradox in the most affluent and entitled generation ever, voting themselves a Socialist-done-lite administration? Or is it evidence of a society with little understanding of how they got to Netflix, Uber Eats, and iPhone environmentalism?

At a time when the domestic and global economy is on a knife-edge, we have an administration aligned to core beliefs that oppose free and open economies, clearly evidenced by their desire to pull on the levers of the distribution chain mechanism. They appear hell-bent on driving cost into the economy in any way they can.

Achieving ambitious climate goals is going to be inflationary, especially for New Zealand because it lacks scale. Yet, like the rest of the world, we’ve just positioned ourselves so that the cost of money must be kept in check. If it’s not… well, let’s not go there.

In the face of all this, the biggest problem for New Zealand right now of course, is the utter lack of any opposition. And I’m not saying they’d have all the answers. What they’re not here to do though is supply the critical questions, informing New Zealanders of the alternative view, telling Joe and Jane Public when there’s been an annexing of anyone’s right of reply. Currently, Labour’s only real challenger is behaving in a manner we in road transport know only too well. Instead of mounting an effective opposition, they’re clawing and tearing each other’s fur off at their members’ expense.

All the best

Dave McCoid