The great thing about being in government is that you can take action to do things, or stop things or change things that you think are important. It’s the privilege that goes with the responsibility. But the current government seems to approach a number of issues as if they were commentators at a rugby game, saying something about an issue but in actual fact not doing anything at all.
Two examples from this weekend. The first and most transparent being the transport debacle that David has already posted on. On Friday Murray McCully was full of confidence about the state of Auckland transport, and seemed to be taking some ownership of what he saw as a success waiting to happen. It of course did not turn out that way.
Now of course this is not all the Government’s problem. The successful running of infrastructure for RWC was always going to be a matter for both local and central government to manage. Len Brown fronted on Saturday morning and apologised. All we have seen from Murray McCully, the Minister for the Rugby World Cup is comment on how bad things were and that they should be better. Why have a Minister for the Rugby World Cup if you are not going to play your part in making things work, and in taking some responsibility when they don’t?
The more subtle version of this tactic came from John Key in response to the reluctance of insurance companies to pay out for Christchurch homeowners to rebuild. Mr Key is quoted in the Press as saying he was “bothered” by the stance that the companies were taking. Is he auditioning for Catherine Tate or something? If you are bothered you are the one in a position to do something about it. For god’s sake man you are the Prime Minister not some talkback radio caller. Do something.
There are other examples, like the PM saying National could do better in terms of the number of women on on the National Party list. I know, why doesn’t he talk to someone who could show some leadership on this, like the Leader of the National Party?
The Prime Minister and his Ministers are not interested spectators in how our country runs, they are the people who have their hands on the levers of power. They should be held to account for what they do, not just that they have had something to say on the matters of the day.