Never ending stream of blunders and stumbles

Riding Shotgun

RACHEL STEWART
Last updated 07:26 01/10/2012
key stand
FAIRFAX NZ
Prime Minister John Key is struggling to see anything to smile about lately.

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OPINION: John Key Inc. is now a full- on joke but to watch this nation become an international laughing-stock is just not funny.

To save the government sme time I disclose here and now that I am a New Zealand citizen.

Therefore, if they desire retaliation, it's the plain old SIS spy treatment for me. During the interminable boredom that comes with non-stop surveillance they might get lucky and observe the occasional female on female smooch. Knock yourselves out, boys.

Events of late find me 100 per cent convinced that John Key's smug reign has finally breached any normal person's tolerance for absurdity. I use the word "normal" lightly because enough people, but not most, voted for these bumblers. Where the same pundits used to ooze poll-driven smarm, now ask them why they voted National in the last election. Note how they look decidedly shame-faced, with reddened cheeks and resolute eye-contact evasion. I get that. If I were them I'd be mortified at my obvious lack of intelligence too.

Let's take a look back at a few of this government's recent "greatest hits" or, as I like to call them, misses. Ginormous, innards-sucking, black hole-type misses.

1. The raid and arrest of Kim Dotcom is the latest, and probably greatest, politically damaging debacle thus far. It has caught John Key and Bill English squarely in its net and will roll heads. Just who's noggin will feel the chop is anyone's guess, but it won't be attached to Dotcom or to any politician. It will probably be some dispensable, faceless bureaucrat.

2. The donation from Dotcom to John Banks and the subsequent police report, wilfully unread by the prime minister, has certainly ended any notion of Banks being even remotely compos mentis - and if, by some stretch of the imagination, he actually is the full quid, then he's about as devious a politician as one can get. I think he's safer playing the alzheimic card for the moment. As long as he remembers that's actually what he's doing then he should be Jake . . . or Jim or Joe or whoever.

3. Asset sales. Need I say more?

4. Just as the Arctic ice melts at an astoundingly rapid clip so does any semblance of honouring New Zealand's international commitments to reducing climate change. Publicly haranguing Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright's independence and impartiality, after not liking the findings of her government-commissioned report into the Emissions Trading Scheme, was a very low blow. Her integrity was called in to question by select committee members when she pointed out that the numbers simply didn't stack up when the biggest polluters (agriculture) are, in effect, "subsidised" by the taxpayers for years to come. This helps the climate how?

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5. The Government completely outdid itself in the dork stakes at the recent IUCN World Conservation Congress held in Korea. A motion was put forward aimed at stopping the extinction of the world's rarest dolphins and porpoises, including New Zealand's Hector's and Maui's dolphins. Five hundred and seventy-six members, including governments and NGOs, voted for the motion, and only two opposed. The New Zealand government was both of them. They claim the science just isn't there despite both these dolphins being the most studied in the world. So what did this little lark achieve exactly? Yep, it made this country look exactly like what this National government has let us become. The opposite of what we've always been - environmental vandals.

6. The bouquet for sheer Romney-esque imbecility goes to Phil Heatley for saying that anybody with concerns about oil expansion and fracking "are not really New Zealand. They have concerns but they are not really middle-class New Zealand".

He said this at the recent New Zealand Petroleum Summit, where his blatant suckage towards oil companies was on full nauseating display.

Heatley has continued to insist that fracking is totally safe and that the Taranaki Regional Council are flawless regulators.

Later that night, Heatley was brought down to earth somewhat when TV3 ran a story on the scale of contaminated soil at Shell Todd's Kapuni site and that it had been there for a decade.

His fawning rhetoric suddenly solidified and to say he "fracked up" is an understatement.

So, that's just a random sampling of the brainless, embarrassing blunders and stumbles we are subjected to on a daily basis. Our nation's reputation is taking a hammering like never before and our citizens continue to leave in droves.

What can we do about it? Nothing until an election, but, in the meantime, how about holding some National voters accountable?

Remind them what they've done to the rest of us. Shame them out. Buy over-ripe tomatoes. Throw them. Sleep deeply and well.

Hopefully when you awake this money-driven, ideological and environmental nightmare might almost be over.

- Taranaki Daily News

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