Firing the flops in her Cabinet (we suggest) might spark a return to the fold of 2020 voters who have cooled to the PM

So  what’s  happened  to  the  widely admired  crisis management  skills that  elevated  Jacinda Ardern   so  far above  other New Zealand  politicians and  won her re-election in 2020 with  a 50-year  record result for Labour?

She sounded almost  forlorn  as  she  spoke  on Monday of  how Covid  will  increase  “and  rapidly”  and  conceded “there  will be  disruption and  pressure  from Omicron”.

Just  as 2019   was  to be the “year of delivery” and 2021 the “year of the vaccine”, this is to  be  the  “year  of  moving  forward”.   But  moving forward to  what?

Well,  once Covid  reaches its peak and starts to come down, she says

“… we can start to move towards a life that feels a little more like a new normal that we can all live with”. 

Oh dear.

Ardern   says her  primary goal is to manage Covid with few restrictions and accelerate the economic recovery while continuing to ensure that lives and livelihoods are protected.

She  sounded positively elegiac in this  final  stanza:

“And while everything I have said today has been directed to every New Zealander who is anxious about the future – either because they’re afraid or because they just want Covid to be over – I’ll leave this final message for those occupying the lawns of parliament.

“Everyone is over Covid. No one wants to live with rules or restrictions. But had we not all been willing to work together to protect one another, then we all would have been worse off as individuals, including losing people we love.

“That hasn’t happened here for the most part – and that is a fact worth celebrating, rather than protesting.

“We all want to go back to the  way  life  was. We will, I suspect sooner than you think. But when that happens, it will be because easing restrictions won’t compromise the lives of thousands of people – not because you demanded it.

“Now is not the time to dismantle our hard work and preparation, to remove our armour just as the battle begins.”

Could  those protestors out on  the  lawns  detect  a sense  that the  PM is  battle-weary?

Recent  opinion polls indicate  she still  has a  strong  grip on the  party  faithful,  but  many  of  those   who voted  Labour  in 2020 are  now  looking elsewhere.

The problem  for Labour  is  that – in  her  concentration  on   managing   the  battle  against  Covid  – Ardern  has  let   the   economy  drift  with the   tide.

The  country  now  must live  with rising inflation that  is eroding the value of incomes.

As   the  Financial Times  of  London put  it in an editorial:

“New Zealand’s focus on Covid suppression through closed borders has created the impression that Ardern is incapable of moving the country forward. Without a change in the narrative, political support will continue to ebb, and she may even risk defeat in elections next year.”

The  FT  went on:

“Even if a smooth reopening of borders can be achieved, it may not be enough to restore Ardern’s fortunes. Most of the headlines (on recent polling) focused on her declining popularity. While sobering, these were not as telling as the poll responses on the economy. In December 2020, 50% of New Zealanders had a positive economic outlook for the next 12 months. In the most recent poll, this had dropped to 22%.

“NZ’s rising inflation rate has been blamed for the pessimism. But deeper economic problems have also caused unease. Productivity remains an acute issue that, until now, has been offset by high export prices. Affordable housing remains scarce and debt as a percentage of income is high by OECD standards, making the prospect of rising interest rates of grave concern to mortgage holders. Ardern and her government do have an agenda to address some of these issues. But they are struggling to convince voters that it is sufficiently ambitious to make much difference. If the prime minister is to secure her political future, that must change.”

Perhaps  Ardern can revive her  stellar initial run.  Point of Order  suggests she  should start by firing  the  duds in her Cabinet  and  promoting  some of  the  ready and  willing  candidates on her  back benches.

4 thoughts on “Firing the flops in her Cabinet (we suggest) might spark a return to the fold of 2020 voters who have cooled to the PM

  1. That’s what I was thinking! Who exactly?
    Maybe Greg O’Connor for Minister of Police? Please, please tell me you’re not thinking Deborah Russell! She’s a walking liability. A highly educated (as she will remind you at the drop of a hat) loon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If she fired the duds there would be no one left. This government has the reverse-Midas touch. All ideology, no experience-based wisdom. I don’t want Ardern’s Woke, dystopian ” new normal”. I want the old one back please with all the freedoms we used to enjoy as New Zealanders.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are no suitable replacements. I suggest she fire the existing ones and follow them out the door.
    They’ve not accomplished anything yet, why should anything change. They are still the same cult with the same ideology.

    Liked by 1 person

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