If you know of anyone considering studying for a communications degree, try to talk them out if it. Tell them to study law, engineering, architecture or medicine. Advise them to study something that contributes to the society we live in. Because, if Jacinda is anything to go by, a communications degree delivers nothing more than hot air – a commodity we could certainly do with less of on a supposedly warming planet.

Being able to communicate well is one thing. Just making stuff up year after year is quite another.

Her 2017 election campaign was headlined – “Let’s Do This”. It all sounded very positive and trendy. Then in 2018, while they were appointing working groups to report back on everything from the taxation system to Women’s Institute knitting circles, the mantra became “Nine Long Years of Neglect”. This mantra completely ignored, of course, the rebuild of Christchurch, the GFC, and also the roading projects – the Roads of National Significance – that were all dealt with, or started, by the previous National government. “Nine Years of Neglect” continued in her speech in parliament on Tuesday, but these days, nobody believes it, except Jacinda.

2019 was the “Year of Delivery”, implying that they had talked enough, and now they were going to get all these ambitious projects started. Kiwibuild was going to solve the housing crisis, the mental health sector would be funded and massively improved, the taxation system was to be given a major overhaul, and after “Nine Long Years of Neglect”, it was time to sit up and “Do This”. Except it wasn’t. A few hundred houses were built under Kiwibuild, and the entire project was then scrapped. There is little to see by way of improvement in the mental health sector. There are more homeless people than ever before, and the waiting list for state housing has grown to an unprecedented 14,000 or more. The “Year of Delivery” delivered nothing, other than a lot more hot air.

Now it is election year, and this government has done just about nothing in its two-and-a-half years so far. This has not deterred Jacinda though – not one little bit. On the back of the reinstatement of roading projects originally planned and consented under National’s “Nine Long Years of Neglect” (which were scrapped as soon as this government took power), Jacinda now has the absolute gall to claim that she leads “The Government of Infrastructure”. Here is a snippet from her tedious speech in parliament this week:

“After nine long years, there may not have been a blue smoke, but there was plenty of denial. There was denial that we had a housing crisis. There was denial that kids were doing their homework in cars. There was denial that children in this country—an affluent country—did not have all that they needed to thrive,” Ardern said.

Ardern then described her government as a “government of infrastructure,” a “government of health and mental health,” and a “government of housing,” the latter receiving loud jeers from the Opposition benches thanks to the failure of KiwiBuild.

Stuff.

Honestly. What an absolute joke. How can this woman stand up in front of our House of Representatives and spin such absolute codswallop! The government has built nothing yet. Not a road, not a bridge, nothing, other than a measly few houses under Kiwibuild. If that makes them the “Government of Infrastructure”, then I would love to know what we should really be calling the last government, who achieved more in their last 3 years than her government will in decades.

Let us correct her slogans for her, shall we?

“Let’s Do This” turned into “Let’s Pretend We Can Do This”.

“Nine Long Years of Neglect” turned into “Three Years of Slogans and Empty Promises”.

“The Year of Delivery” turned into “The Year of Non-Delivery – Just like the Last One”,

and the “Government of Infrastructure” needs to be changed to “The Government that Hopes to Build a Few Roads, but Like Everything Else, it Doesn’t Have a Clue How to Do it”.

This government is great on slogans though. Slogans it can do really well. Clearly, Jacinda is trying to get people along for the ride; trying to persuade them that this government is achieving things when it clearly, hopelessly, is doing no such thing.

Obviously, a communications degree teaches students to do one other thing. It teaches people to completely ignore the truth and spin the outcome for everything you’ve got. That is how the poorest performing government in decades suddenly became the “Government of Infrastructure”. There is not even a glimmer of truth in the slogan. But that is not important to Jacinda. If you keep saying something for long enough, it will become true. That has been the modus operandi of her government all along.

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