A weak of headlines for the real leader of the Opposition

James Elliot at Newsroom – Yesterdaze: And the gong goes to …

And with Simon Bridges resolutely fixated on trying to wring as much political capital as possible out of Budget-hack, it fell to the leader of the opposition, Mike Hosking, to take the Government to task on the more substantive issues of the day. If you synthesised his editorial headlines this week you’d be forgiven for thinking we have a car-hating, out of touch Government of bullies led by a weak Prime Minister that is butchering both motorists and the economy.

I don’t usually take much notice of Mike Hosking, but decided to have a look at his weak in headlines.

Mike Hosking: Labour Government in danger of plunging into deficit

Already the doubts over what Grant Robertson was telling us last Friday are spreading.

If you missed it last week, what I was trying to explain to him (and he wasn’t accepting) is that he is running his books dangerously close to the margin, that the forecasts are optimistic, and that it would take next to nothing for them to be out – and his $1.3 billion surplus would be gone.

Do most New Zealanders or voters care about deficits or surpluses? Do they care about being in the red? Do they join the dots between a government’s books, economic growth, the tax take, jobs, and their stability? If they don’t, then Labour might get away with this.

But if they do, which is my bet, and they do because since Roger Douglas in 1984, we have woken up to simple economics, the value of efficiency, common sense, not to mention success, and we like it.

Roger Douglas is a real hero of the people, second only to Hosking.

So if that’s the case and Robertson and Co are leading us into an election in the red for the first time in years then they’re getting rightfully punished.

The election is next year.

Mike Hosking: AT is dangerous, inept and out of control

Auckland Transport must be the most hated of all organisations in the region.

They have earned their reputation by basically running roughshod over communities, councils, councillors, mayors – and anyone else who dared ask questions about just what it is they’re up to in their seemingly systematic plan to wreck the country’s biggest city.

From parking, or a lack of it, to pedestrian crossings by the thousands enraging locals, to closures of endless streets for months on end for seemingly pointless reshaping and realigning, to their obsession with buses and bike lanes – in my opinion they are dangerous, inept and out of control.

Here’s my top tip: find the councillor or mayoral candidate that’s going to stop this, and vote for them.

Mike’s Minute: Car-hating Govt is out of touch with the public

Most people are reasonable, most people see logic, most people want to help, but in the war on cars and speed, this is ideology, this is car hate, fossil fuel hate, and it’s driven by a tiny minority that think bikes are a multipurpose means of transport, if you can’t get a train.

Meantime, in the real world, we are behind the wheel in record numbers.

Hosking is the spokesperson for the real world. His world, anyway.

Mike’s Minute: Cabinet reshuffle will expose Ardern’s weakness

Turns out we can expect, in the reshuffle, basically nothing.

Turns out, yet again, the Cabinet reshuffle is a classic example of the Labour Party – or in this specific case, yet again, the Prime Minister – saying something will happen, then it doesn’t.

How do you reshuffle when your greatest fear is actually making a decision, and you can’t send it off to a working party?

Turns out, the reshuffle announcement isn’t until next week. Mike can have another minute acting like leader of the opposition again then.

I wonder if Newstalk ZB are going to have a reshuffle.