PM Jacinda Ardern heads into a world that has become more challenging, divisive and complex when she jets off to the World Economic Forum in Davos and a round of European calls. Rarely has a NZ PM been confronted by such a confusing global situation.
First, Europe is convulsed by two major challenges, the future of Brexit and the slow-down in the European economy which has given nationalists fresh ammunition.
Second, China and the US are inching towards an economic and strategic confrontation.
At home US President Donald Trump is facing incoming tides of confusion and uncertainty. The New York Times has put the focus on his five meetings with Russia’s Vladimir Putin of which no substantial record exists. Continue reading “Confusion and complexity characterise the world into which our PM is headed”
Hard on the heels of our previous post about political globe-trotting, let the record show Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to visit the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, at the end of the month.
She’s a tyro in global economics, sure, but the conference should be worthwhile for her, particularly given its focus this year on aspects of globalisation and their consequences. Moreover, she will move among the major global economic and foreign policy players, including (probably) President Donald Trump.
Her attendance would also reinforce her policy platform against some of the less global trade-minded and economically illiterate members of the Coalition government. Continue reading “Globalisation focus at Davos (among other things) should lure Ardern to Europe”
After a year in which the Labour-NZ First coalition settled into office and those who had never expected to sight the inside of the Cabinet room were adjusting to their new riding instructions, the mood of the country is now anticipatory.
The government has generated a sense of change, if only by its ministers harping on about “ nine years of neglect”. It’s a theme that may come back to haunt them.
For change itself can be unsettling. Politically, New Zealanders prefer stability. They are not revolutionaries.
That’s why Grant Robertson has kept a steady hand on the tiller, eschewing the drastic economic reform those on the fringes call for. Continue reading “A mood of anticipation has been created – Ardern now must deliver”
Describe the leader of the Opposition as “Simple Simon”, and it’s all a bit of a lark. Yes, Jacinda Ardern did have to withdraw and apologise in Parliament after she responded to a question from Opposition leader Simon Bridges with reference to a character in a childhood nursery rhyme.
Ardern was elected on a promise to bring a kinder and nicer face to politics, of course, as a scribe at Stuff pointed out.
So is it kind and nice to respond to Bridges’ question: ” It’s quite simple…..Simon”
Ardern might have been paying Bridges a compliment, of course, saying he is uncomplicated, clear, plain and understandable (yeah,right!). Those happen to be among the several meanings of “simple” – but:
“If you say that someone is simple, you mean that they are not very intelligent and have difficulty learning things.” Continue reading “How MPs can unleash the furies by throwing barbs like ‘stupid’”
Left-wing blogger Chris Trotter, in one of his recent essays, questions whether PM Jacinda Ardern is really running the government or is merely its figurehead.
He cited several examples of the PM appearing to be unaware of key policy decisions and questioned whether allowing her leading Cabinet Ministers to simply get on with the job is a central feature of her management style.
“I hope not. It would suggest that Ardern has chosen the role of figurehead rather than leader. That her job is to supply the warm and sympathetic face of the Coalition Government while the heavy-hitters of her Cabinet – Winston Peters, Grant Robertson, David Parker, Phil Twyford, Meagan Woods and Shane Jones – carry out the day-to-day business of governing the country”. Continue reading “Pacific Reset – what Labour really thinks about it will be seen when US ships arrive”
The Point of Order Trough Monitor sounded another alert today, this time drawing attention to the official launch of the $100 million New Zealand Green Investment Finance Ltd.
The launch was announced in a joint press statement from the PM and Climate Change Minister James Shaw.
Business and the Government will jointly tackle climate change with the launch of New Zealand Green Investment Finance Ltd; a $100 million fund to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, announced today.
The fund is a central plank in the Government’s plan to transition to a clean, green, carbon-neutral New Zealand and it delivers on a Green Party Confidence and Supply Agreement commitment. Continue reading “The Trough Monitor: $100m investment fund established to pick green winners”
Although the rest of the country may still be fingering the results of their Black Friday shopping, no such luck for the politicians as they move into the final phase of the parliamentary year.
Each of the main parties is desperate for a spark to lift performance (and perhaps polling).
PM Jacinda Ardern is taking a shellacking for her silence on China, its human rights offences, its cyber-bullying and in particular the Professor Anne-Marie Brady affair. And then, for reasons no-one can guess at, she has turned a blind eye to the disgraceful performance of Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway in handling the issue of deporting Czech drug smuggler Karel Sroubek.
Is Jacindamania fading? Perhaps not yet, but it soon will, at this rate. Continue reading “Jacindamania may fade – but not necessarily before the Nats rediscover their mojo”