Virus ignorance has led to a major shakeup in NZ politicsPosted: July 19, 2020
The Editor, The Sunday Star Times, Auckland
There was a similarity between the demise of the Nats’ Hamish Walker and that of Labour’s David Clark. In both cases, they have been downed by a serious flaw in the approach to the virus by their respective party leaderships.
The National Party’s ineffectual snipping at Labour’s border processes, totally inappropriate given the unknowns about the virus, then the current breakdown over the returnees, led to the downfall of Hamish (and Michelle).
Labour’s mistake was to avoid educating the 5 million about our relative ignorance of the virus world, and the unique challenges that would bring after the level 4 lockdown, opening the door for National to step in and, ironically, crash.
First it was Simon whose ravings had emerged from this gap between knowledge of the virus world and the usual world of party politics. Now it is Todd, Nicky, Paula, Jian, Anne, and Amy who have succumbed to the shaky ground.
Who will be next? It could be anyone as long as the storm is allowed to distract from the urgent need to combat climate change. Will it be Michael who has been hard done by pandemic politics? Will Jacinda lose it because of her inability to rein in Winston? Will it be James because Jacinda cannot handle Winston? Surely not old Winston who will keep being who he is regardless of how much or how little he understands of the swirling world around him.