A FREE taste of an Insight Politics article by writer Stephen Berry.

If you don’t have a Silver level membership yet you are missing out on our Insight Politics articles.

News That Is Actually Newsworthy

Finally, six weeks after the general election, National, Act and NZ First have agreed to the terms of the three-party coalition government for the next three years (in theory). The timeline is a little inconvenient as I’ve been waiting weeks to dissect how the three-way partnership I partly voted for will reverse the damage of the previous Labour government but won’t get the details until hours after publishing this week’s opinion piece.

I don’t know if the choice of Deputy Prime Minister was seriously one of the final sticking points stopping the agreement from being signed, however former Prime Minister Jim Bolger’s suggestion that Peters’ experience makes him the right choice to be Deputy PM shows that Bolger has forgotten virtually all of the lessons he should have learned from his time in politics. The leader of the Government that privatised BNZ and New Zealand Rail became the head of Kiwirail fifteen years later. Despite passing the Employment Contracts Act in 1991, Bolger headed the Fair Pay Agreements Working Group during the previous Labour/NZ First coalition government. The recommendations of that working group could not be implemented until after the 2020 election removed Winston “handbrake” Peters from Parliament. Finally, while Bolger and Peters were able to patch up their differences following Peters’ resignation from National in 1993 by forming the first MMP coalition government with National, as Deputy Prime Minister, in 1996 that only hastened the end of Bolger’s political career after he was deposed as National’s leader in 1997.

Whatever is announced on Friday afternoon, at least the slowest news month I have seen since election day 2017 will come to an end. Finally, the sideshow issues various media entities have conjured to fill the space between Winston Peters being silent and Winston Peters insulting someone will no longer be required. Hopefully, we can resume discussing relevant issues and stories instead of perspective pieces from people who are insufficiently knowledgeable or qualified to have their opinions put in print.

Parliament is expected to resume sitting from December 5th, so while the temporary reprieve in threats to your property and livelihood will soon come to an end, the participation in debates in newspaper and broadcasting opinion segments will hopefully become more competitive as there is less need to resort to asking idiots such as Chloe Swarbrick about whether Israel should implement a cease-fire in their war against the Hamas terrorist group ( they’ve actually done it while simultaneously securing the return of some hostages) or commit to a two-state solution for peace (Israel has offered to create a Palestinian state neighbouring their territory on dozens of occasions which have been rejected by Palestinian terrorists every single time).        

Just one week ago, the AM Show had to resort to filling in airtime with Papatoetoe High School principal  Vaughan Couillant demanding tougher laws against vaping as the existing rules were not reducing their use by high school students. The existing laws were actually toughened as recently as September 23rd of this year. If a school principal wishes to convince the general public that toughened laws which have barely come into effect are failing, I shudder to think what ideas he is passing on to the students of Papatoetoe High School. Mr. Couillant is demanding retroactive rules to destroy the livelihoods of existing vape retailers within 300 metres of schools by shutting them down in areas which had previously been approved by the Ministry of Health. Taking a school principal’s opinion on changing laws to reduce youth vaping seriously is as silly as letting climate scientists dictate environmental policy as neither have sufficient knowledge of politics or economics to know whether their demands would even work. Indeed, one of Couillant’s criticisms of the legal crackdown on youth vaping is that it isn’t being enforced yet he still thinks tougher laws are the solution.

One of the most useful airtime and content fillers that have been applied by the media as we wait for the return of genuine news stories that will inevitably follow the swearing-in of the next Government has been Newshub’s round the clock coverage of a decomposing cauliflower. The experiment was to see whether the cauliflower would completely rot before the coalition negotiations concluded and many millions of people now know that a cauliflower takes longer than 21 days to decompose entirely. That information was much more useful than a debate between a National MP and a Labour MP on Stuff about the additional laws that need to be passed to make the supermarket sector more competitive following the collapse of online supermarket Supie. Given the collapse was essentially caused by a major investor pulling their money out of the company, the only law which could have tried and failed to stop Supie from closing would be regulations prohibiting investors from deciding how to invest their own money. Labour MP Arena Williams probably hasn’t read Atlas Shrugged or opened an NCEA Level 1 economics book.

What issues will fill the news cycle immediately after the coalition agreement is signed? It’s hard to say but I doubt a constitutional setting precedent for two Deputy Prime Ministers will be among them. Given how long the agreement has taken to be negotiated, I suspect it will be excessively detailed with over-prescriptive spending plans and a list of proposed legislation so long that the agreement becomes out of date before the final demise of the Newshub cauliflower. On the upside, at least it will be newsworthy!

If you enjoyed that FREE taste why not subscribe to a SILVER level membership today?

**If you already have a Basic or Bronze Membership upgrade your subscription here.

You will not only get access to Insight Politics articles like the one above but you will also gain access to all our puzzles, SonovaMin and BoomSlang’s fantastic cartoons, and our private members’ forum MyBFD as well as enjoying ad-free viewing.

Become a member now

$25 a month ($6.25 a week) (89c a day)

$300 a year

Subscribe now

Advertorial Content from Sponsors