A year of hard leanings

Graham Adams reflects on 2017: A year of hard truths, published in North & South and now also online at Noted, begins:

2017 is the first year since 2008 that we have had to cope without John Key at the nation’s helm. It hasn’t been easy. After eight years of being soothed and distracted by our showbiz prime minister, he suddenly resigned last December and we finally woke up to what had been happening while we weren’t paying attention.

It’s been a rude awakening – and one that shaped the election, resulting in a new government of Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens, dedicated to rectifying the shameful tally of social and environmental problems built up over nine years.

Key had managed to keep a lid on growing concern over a host of problems such as high house prices, homelessness, polluted rivers, and the effect of mass immigration on infrastructure, but the jig was clearly up at the end of last year. Louder and louder criticism was being aired, including from business leaders.

Key had gone as far as he could as the pump-and-dump prime minister. He managed the economy as if it was a business he was looking to sell in a few years rather than a long-term investment. Anything that brought in money was fine by him – whether it was over-intensive dairy farming, third-rate education for overseas students, foreign trusts hiding ill-gotten loot, asset sales (including state houses), offshore buyers snapping up land and houses, or massive immigration.

I don’t know of Adams, and Noted doesn’t note his background or political affiliations, but at least it’s clear he is not politically balanced from the start.

The article ends:

It is a hard truth for us to accept but the belief that our nation is exceptional (the best little country in the world!) is increasingly true for as many dismal features as it is for uplifting ones. But, after nine years of the National-led government denying that any of our myriad problems constituted a crisis, we are finally talking about them and the new administration is looking to address them.

That’s got to be good.

Not so good if anyone wanted a good balanced review of the year, they would have been disappointed, but at least they would have been in no doubt about where Adams’ political preferences lay.

Drilling down on his name:

Graham Adams is North & South and Metro’s former chief subeditor and film critic, now a regular online contributor.

Some of his other efforts this year: