Opinion Saturday, November 26, 2016
Ashburton Guardian 27
POLL RESULT Yesterday’s result Q: Do you think we need more police officers in Mid Canterbury? Yes 85%
Today’s online poll question Q: Has your property been tagged recently?
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New Zealand Prime Minister John Key inspects damage to the Waiau Lodge Hotel in Waiau, New Zealand, recently after a PHOTO AP magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the region 10 days earlier.
an it really be that New Zealand is immune to what appears to be the changing attitude elsewhere to politics, politicians and all their works? Global disenchantment seems to be on the rise. Trump is the most obvious indication of what many would label as this insidious trend, but there are others. Brexit may be the first sign of it in Britain where it is clear no-one has any real idea of how to deal with its ramifications. Some see it as a situation ripe for exploitation by a charismatic leader who can rally his troops to take full advantage of a potentially unstable situation. Who knows? There may be a wealthy demagogue just waiting in his upmarket eerie deep in Belgravia ready to make a run for office and power. There must be millions in the UK just waiting for the dynamic direction which they have long anticipated that will inspire them to sweep away “the old” and replace it with something, as they see it, far better. Yet, despite these overseas manifestations of unrest, somehow, HMNZS The Good Ship Key (GSK) sails on, the flag of apparently poll-permanent popularity streaming in the wind, on and on into the limitless future. On the ocean too, pretenders
EYE ON POLITICS
to the kingdom in their flimsy craft make futile challenges to the mighty GSK, before broadsides have them crumbling into the shark-infested depths below. HMNZS The Little Liner is certainly one of them. It seems unable to slow the tide of the other vessel’s unhindered progress. Mini Green boats of indeterminate design can sometimes be seen fleetingly sailing hither and yon until a blast from the horn of GSK sends them scurrying for cover. Much the same can be said of the M.V. Winston, which despite its seasoned exterior, is still no match for Captain Key. Well, that seems to be the current impression, but how realistic is it? The PM’s constant optimism whatever may be happening in the world at large, leads us to believe we do, indeed, enjoy a rock solid, “rock star” economy, which sees us for ever at an advantage over other less wellendowed countries. His comments this week to
the effect that tax cuts are still an integral part of his plans for next year’s election despite the sudden enormous short, and much longer-term, cost of the Kaikoura quake border on the astonishing. Mr Little would seem to have every right to decry such a statement. So the housing crisis bubbles on, there are still far too many small children arriving hungry at school, the road toll rises. Though he made a serious visit to the shaken souls in Kaikoura and its hinterland, within hours he was to be seen “joshing” with his young Canadian counterpart, M. Justin Trudeau, at Apec trade talks in Lima, Peru. Some might feel he should have stayed at home during a national crisis. On trade talks themselves, Mr Key now has to accept the TPP is dead in the water, the presidentelect of the United States having promised to scuttle it on his first day in office. Our PM is, as they say, “whistling in the wind” if he really thinks either that we and the other nations involved can simply carry on without the US or we can somehow make a bilateral deal with America. We tried that for years and, in the end, got nowhere. Anyway, Mr Trump would instantly ask,
“What’s in it for us?” Answer: Not much, if anything. What must also be a worry for our smiley PM, is the pending influence of the erratic, eccentric, unproven incoming President of the United States, Donald Trump. Until he has had a week or two in the Oval Office (what a hideous thought) noone will quite know to what extent he will blight their best-laid plans, Mr Key’s among them. It won’t be long before the “good old days of Obama” are recalled with great affection as I am sure they are poised to be by many, even before their hero and his charming wife and daughters leave the White House for ever. Grim thought The Trump cabinet is filling up with fast-talking, prematurely retired, three-star generals, experienced climate change deniers and veteran water boarders, who have, surprisingly, declined the oft-offered opportunity to undergo the practice themselves to get the real feel of it. Also seen entering the gilded halls of Trump Towers on her way to pay homage at the Trump throne, a woman person. We need have no fear for her future in the administration as “no-one” understands women better than Trump, “no-one”, in or out of the locker room.
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Ashburton Guardian, Saturday, November 26, 2016