Arrogant, complacent Government

It’s not unusual for Governments to become more arrogant and complacent the longer they are in office.

It’s even less surprising when the main opposition party is weak, at risk of weakening further, and has failed to have good leadership for eight years (and four leaders).

Duncan Garner writes An aloof Government and some criminally bad spin doctoring.

If you ever want to see a government attempt to spin its way out of trouble then wait for the annual release of the crime statistics.

And on cue came National’s Oscar-winning performance this week.

Except no-one was fooled. It was bad comedy. They simply got handed the gong for the all-time international award for ‘bullshitters of the century’.

The ‘criminally bad spin doctoring’ was the announcements by Judith Collins and John Key that the Police were going to do a bit more about burglaries, and then a day or two later we find out that crime statistics show that burglaries have increased significantly.

…crime is creeping up and the Government is seriously exposed on the rates of burglaries.

There were a staggering 11,000 new victims of crime in the past year. Burglaries are up almost 12 per cent in just one year. And only one in 10 burglaries are resolved. Crime clearly pays.

It’s hard not to think this Government has become dangerously complacent: out of touch and aloof in too many areas.

It’s quite easy to think that. In part because it’s obvious that they are slipping into aloofness and out of touchness. And in part because they aren’t even spinning with any conviction any more.

Surging house prices is a classic example of this.

Housing Minister Nick Smith sneered this week that he hadn’t even bothered to read the latest OECD Housing Affordability report – which says our houses are now the most expensive in the world.

You’re clueless minister – I’m not sure what’s worse: that you don’t have any solutions, or that you don’t give a toss. Incompetent? Or just arrogant? Both, clearly.

There’s a growing perception that Smith’s and the Government’s handling of housing has been hopeless and hapless.

The one thing in their favour on housing is that many people will quite like the value of their properties escalating.

National got caught out this week trying to spin its way out of trouble.

But the truth is there is more crime and fewer police per head of population, compared to when National arrived in office.

For the party of law and order – I say they’re guilty of complacency and taking their eye off the ball, at the very least.

The problem for national with crime is that the vast majority of voters are victims or know victims or sympathise with victims.

There’s no counterbalance to the Government dropping the ball on crime.

This is exacerbated by the previous portrayal of Judith Collins as being tough on crime – the crime Crusher.

And all she can say now is that suddenly the Police will start actually attending every burglary to try to stem a crime wave – or try to stem a wave of bad PR.

Many aspects of property values are out of central Government’s control or very difficult to get under control.

The level of resources given to the Police and the focus of the Police is very much under the control of Government. If they keep fluffing that and if the remain out of touch about how us the people feel about increasing crime then voters may give up on them regardless of the governing alternative.

Arrogance and complacency in general is risky enough for a stale Government.

Failure to keep crime under some semblance of control could easily result on the jury of voters condemning Key’s tenure.

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41 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  3rd September 2016

    He will smile his way out of it knowing many Aucklanders are about to become asset millionaires. And while those millionaires would publicly state how empathetic they feel towards the homeless, they will vote the RIGHT way when election time rolls around.

    Reply
  2. lurcher1948

     /  3rd September 2016

    I blame it all on Max Key tor making his father the PM clean Maxs car.He’s not spending enough time running the country.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd September 2016

      I love that boy like one a me own Lurch. Ya too hard on him. How could he be expected to run the country when the poor beggar can only afford to dress in rags?

      Reply
  3. Tipene

     /  3rd September 2016

    Corky: Bang on.

    The difference between what “conservative” voters say they support, and the decisions they actually make inside the three walls of a cardboard ballot box, bear absolutely no resemblance to each other.

    National has certainly captured the “self-interest at all costs” voter base.

    Winston Peters as kingmaker in 2017?

    You can bet the (increasingly valuable) house on it.

    Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  3rd September 2016

    National will conjure up some magic ‘dust’ come election year,mark my words.They have treaded water for 8 years,and the worst is yet to come.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd September 2016

      Any competent opposition party would be killing them in the polls on their own by now.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  3rd September 2016

        @gezza

        Winston sez ‘helps on the way’ !!

        btw; they are here in Dunaz (AGM) this weekend 😀

        Reply
    • PDB

       /  3rd September 2016

      Don’t need no ‘magic dust’ when you have the opposition gift that keeps on giving………

      Simply put the majority of the country prefer our economy to be in the hands of Key/English rather than Little/ Robertson (possibly with the Greens and Winston adding their views).

      Reply
  5. And the opposition are so shit at their job they haven’t manage to nail the Government of Key on anything substantive and had that reflect in the polls Pete….

    Arrogant on one side, and I then to agree it is building in National, but the opposition are a shambles:

    Labour and Little – frothing, half cock announcements and a perpetual sulk they are not the Government. Nothing coherent in their performance week to week let alone over a year.

    Greens and the 2 head leadership – Meteria wanting to crash property values and alienating some of the Greens potential voting cohort and James “Invisible” Shaw. Is James too busy plotting the Castle owners downfall to be bothered being front and centre espousing Greens religious tenets to the masses?

    NZFirst aka WinstonFirst – yeah well… Winston is entertaining at times and knows how to pick a scab of a wound on the body politic. But not a lot of talent in the caucus room is there…

    And then not a lot else.

    3 more years of a National lead government looms – mainly because the alternative is a bickering mess, lacking credibility and offering nothing more than “tax those rich pricks more” as its mantra…

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  3rd September 2016

      A part of me would like to see a Labour/Greens/NZ first govt because it would be the end of all three of those parties once they disintegrated, however the patriot in me hates to think how much damage they could do to New Zealand in a 3 year period.

      Government in waiting they are not, even after all those years in opposition.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  3rd September 2016

        well ask the ‘patriot’ in you if NZ is meant to be a satellite state of America….and let us know what he said.

        Reply
  6. Pete Kane

     /  3rd September 2016

    “And the opposition are so shit at their job they haven’t manage to nail the Government of Key on anything substantive and had that reflect in the polls Pete….”
    The difficulty of arguing against Dave’s points is you commence while nodding.

    Reply
    • Mr Kane… you’re taking the fun out of it by not disagreeing!!!!

      Its sad that Labour has lost itself in this manner – why it bothers competing with the Greens for the far left vote is beyond me… that way lies oblivion and is pretty much of no interest to a huge chunk of centrist voters. But that is their strategy, to be heeled over under full sail heading ever further to port….

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd September 2016

    It would be worthwhile to analyze why Key gave Smith the housing problem. I can come up with competing theories:

    a) he didn’t want it solved so he assigned it to an erratic, noisy unachiever, or
    b) he knows the only solution is to roll back greenie anti-development sentiment so he appointed his loudest greenie to do it, or
    c) he knows there is no support in Parliament for any real solution so he appointed the guy who would make the most noise and confusion while looking as though he was doing something.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  3rd September 2016

      c-all day long.Smitty is about past his use by date too,so no damage ,’going forward’.

      Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  3rd September 2016

      Well if Al’s theory is correct (ie the Govts. intent), a noisy, self absorbed wonk (and now from Nelson to boot) wouldn’t be such a bad pick.

      Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  3rd September 2016

    ‘become MORE arrogant & complacent’.. I think they started out this way & have just gone from ‘strength to strength’ EVEN more arrogant & complacent.. than ever.. is this really the Aotearoa/NZ we want more of ? “NO !!!” sez I&I.. lets get back to a country (& Govt.) that cares about ALL its people.. not just the greedy/selfish 50.1 😦

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  3rd September 2016

      Zedd: “lets get back to a country (& Govt.) that cares about ALL its people”

      That rules Labour out then who only pander to unionists and small interest groups………….

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  3rd September 2016

        That’s overly generous, PDB. The Parliamentary Labour party only cares about themselves, which is why they hate each other.

        Reply
      • Zedd

         /  3rd September 2016

        @pantsdownbrown

        once again proving, you have no idea what the ‘left’ really stand for ?!! 😀

        Reply
        • Zedd

           /  3rd September 2016

          ie a fairer society where everyone gets a ‘fair go’ (including the workers !)

          …NOT just the wealthiest.. who support this failed ‘Neo-liberal B-S’ agenda.. survival of the fittest.. esp. if the fascists in power & promote it, ahead of everything else ! 😦

          Reply
        • PDB

           /  3rd September 2016

          Zedd: “once again proving, you have no idea what the ‘left’ really stand for”

          Considering the left in this country have no idea what they stand for how can anybody else know?

          Andrew Little talks out both sides of his mouth depending on who his audience is….

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  3rd September 2016

            what a load of CRAP.. seriously !

            Reply
          • Zedd

             /  3rd September 2016

            @pantsdownbrown

            so what do the ‘righties’ REALLY stand for : POWER, MONEY, GREED, SELF-INTEREST, SMUGNESS, ARROGANCE… & put the boot into everyone who doesn’t agree etc. ad nauseum :/

            & they call that: ‘society’ ? 😦

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  4th September 2016

              I think you and many lefties on here are somewhat deluded Zedd as the currently NZ govt is as centralist as Helen Clark’s was – huge welfare state etc.

              If you are rabbiting on about ‘extreme far-right’ attitudes then you can’t be talking about the current New Zealand govt.

              Labour is a bit different in that they are trying to go to the far-left (and without much success I might add).

            • Zedd

               /  4th September 2016

              @pantsdownbrown

              thats one persons view..
              BUT now who is deluded: ‘the current NZ Govt. is as centralist as Helen was..’ oh really ? 😀

            • PDB

               /  4th September 2016

              Pretty much, everything in place that aunty Helen had (interest free student loans, WFF etc PLUS the first increase (beyond inflation) in benefits for 30 years & the increasing of free doctors visits for kids……..hardly the ‘far right’ rhetoric you spew on a daily basis is it?

  9. Pete Kane

     /  3rd September 2016

    “The Parliamentary Labour party only cares about themselves, which is why they hate each other.”
    Sad, but true for the most part. And has been now for at least two generations, from my observation.

    Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  3rd September 2016

      Note – we don’t all see The Labour Party and The Left as necessarily one in the same.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  3rd September 2016

        But according to Tipene, its only National who are greedy and into self-interest. Are you saying socialists talk from both sides of their mouth?

        Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd September 2016

      But according to Tipene, its only National who are greedy and into self-interest. Are you saying socialists talk from both sides of their mouth?

      Reply
  10. It is human nature to support the side who promises the best deal as long as you can accept they will actually deliver the deal, and have the capability to see it through to the end. My real concern is whether Helen after her failure in Washington will come back and seize the reins from Caretaker Little – my ultimate nightmare for New Zealand – with Winnie the Poo in a kingmaker role!

    Reply
  11. I wonder what it is that leads to a conclusion that the Government is “arrogant and complacent”? One person’s arrogance is another person’s leadership in action, and complacency needs to have a trail of inaction, and from my observations of Ministerial behaviour, they have always reacted to developing events and offered plausible responses. If they lack anything, its an ability to read the political entrails and anticipate and act on problem areas before they become out-of hand.

    Reply
    • Nice metaphor beejay, “read the political entrails and anticipate and act on problem areas before they become out-of hand.”

      Maybe they’re following the trail of ‘problems’, staying well back, checking the scat to assess diet, evaluating the damage, but they don’t really want to bag the animal?

      “Out-of-hand” is how they want problems to present themselves IMHO. The ‘problem’ animal has much more political value alive and wild than dead and subdued or even domesticated …

      Key’s not a hunter or tracker …. He’s a gamer … a fear, propaganda and compliance man …

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  4th September 2016

        And Andrew Little is simply……. ‘dog tucker’?

        Reply
        • Uptick from me Pantsdown … You are the quick … and politically … the dead …

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  4th September 2016

            The four previous Labour leaders were all ‘road kill’ – 3 driven over by the Mack truck of public opinion whilst one was run over by Labour’s own union vehicle……

            Reply
      • Thanks PZ for your comments which I support. I must say that Bryce Edwards the Otago University’s political lecturer’s comments in today’s Herald about the political situation post the NZ First Conference, see to me to be an attempt to put the NZ situation in the same context as the US Trump versus Clinton election battle. My view is that is a bull shit approach lacking any commonsense. NZ is far more different than that, even Robert Redford says that. The same applies to trying to claim the UK and NZ Labour situations are comparable. That shows true ignorance of the NZ main stream voter.

        Reply

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