How Nash differs from Trump in discarding official advice

Advice?  I’ll tell you where to stick your advice…

Police Minister Stuart Nash is in good company when he ignores official advice. Correction.  He is in high-ranking company.  Whether it is good company is a matter of opinion.

The high-ranking company we speak of is that of  President Donald Trump, a bloke with a huge contempt for advice and a strong belief in his own omnipotence.

*  During the recent eclipse – and unlike millions of Americans – “he went against the much-repeated and often-emphasised advice of NASA, ophthalmologists and moms everywhere and looked at the sun without glasses”.  He perhaps believed it would be the sun that would be blinded by his gaze.

* He is reported to have resisted White House security checks for his two iPhone smartphones. One phone is for making and receiving calls, the other is equipped only with the Twitter app and a number of preloaded news sites.

* Whereas other Western leaders were wary of congratulating Vladimir Putin after the Russian leader’s overwhelming election win, Trump congratulated Putin on the victory during a phone call which the Washington Post reported went directly against the advice of his national security advisers. The advice was clear: his briefing materials stated “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in capital letters.

* When preparing to meet Kim Jong-un of North Korea to negotiate denuclearisation, he had no help from a White House science adviser or senior counselor trained in nuclear physics. He is the first president since 1941 not to name a science adviser, a position created during World War II to guide the Oval Office on technical matters ranging from nuclear warfare to global pandemics.

* The lead lawyer in the Russia investigation quit following New York Times reports that Trump was increasingly ignoring the lawyer’s advice.

As a businessman and president, Trump takes pride in being guided by his instincts.

It’s not so clear Nash is backing his instincts.  Rather, he is sticking to the letter of coalition commitments.

On Thursday he admitted he didn’t read official advice on options for phasing in 1800 new police officers over five years.

“I didn’t read any paper that said phasing in over five years. For me, phasing in over five years was just not an option I was prepared to consider,” Nash told a parliamentary committee today.

The matter in question was the Government’s commitment to deliver 1800 new officers over three years. This has raised concerns about the pressure more police – and more arrests – will place on the prison system.

“I don’t read papers like that because there is a coalition promise that I will work to deliver. Any paper, any suggestion, that we are not going to meet our coalition deal of 1800 police over three years, certainly one that suggests its going to take five years, I’m just not even interested in seeing,” Nash said.

National’s Chris Bishop was appropriately gobsmacked.

“You are kidding? Are you seriously saying to the committee that you received a paper about phasing options for the coalition commitment that you are talking about and you didn’t read it?” Bishop asked.

“Not even interested,” Nash responded.

We can not confirm that Nash did took advice from Housing Minister Phil Twyford on what to do with advice.

The cocky Twyford sneered at the “kids at Treasury” over an analysis that differs from his own on the impact KiwiBuild will have on residential construction.  He said “the bean counters” at Treasury had it wrong and analysis from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) was “much closer to the issue”.

But we can never know until the end of the time span covered by a projection or a forecast – and nor can he.


2 thoughts on “How Nash differs from Trump in discarding official advice

  1. At least Trump is achieving a lot. Unlike the Coalition.
    Also, take what you read about Trump with more than a pinch of salt, especially if sourced from the Washington Post.

    Liked by 1 person

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