Bill English is incompetent | The Jackal

20 Sept 2017

Bill English is incompetent

When John Key handed Bill English the poisoned chalice of a third term, it was pretty clear that the smiling assassin was getting out while the getting was good. After all, English had been largely left out of most of National’s major scandals over the last few years, unlike Key.

There are a few exceptions of course, like when English ripped off Parliamentary expenses by double dipping on his housing allowance.

But perhaps his biggest legacy is English often gifts government funding to unqualified businesses simply because they have ties to the National party. In fact favouritism for government contracts is one of the reasons National’s budgeting fails to reach surplus. English looks set to continue that corrupt practice by cutting funding to Lifeline, and instead gift a few million to an organisation his wife is running.

Reach further back into National's history, and we see a pro war MP arguing hard for New Zealand's tax haven status to be left alone. Begrudgingly the government has fiddled around the edges, while English continues his party's hopeless record on housing. Homeless Kiwis choose to be homeless, according to Bill.

English's argument against a review of the abortion law is similarly pathetic! And let’s not forget that he used his power of financial veto to kill Labour’s increase to paid parental leave... until the 2017 election race tightened and the National party conjured up the money to pay for their lolly scramble that is.

But perhaps the most egregious of English’s faults is that he believes children with disabilities should be segregated from other students in public schools. He also blames young unemployed Kiwis inability to pass drug tests as a reason why large numbers of overseas migrant workers are required. This is entirely untrue, and attests to the fact that National is happy for there to be 90,000 NEETs doing nothing in order to prop up our low waged economy. His refusal to even acknowledge exploited migrant workers is similarly repugnant!

More recently, English made good on his threat to people's retirement security by announcing an increase in the pension age.

And according to English, nobody knew Todd Barclay’s secret recording of a staffer's conversations could be illegal either. How incompetent would you need to be as a politician to not recall the teapot tape scandal? If anything, National’s obfuscation and lack of accountability over this and many other issues, by ignoring the Official Information Act, has become worse since a change in leadership.

The PM also claimed it was too hard to put a charge on water, while the National party secretly investigated ways to tax water. And despite all the evidence to the contrary, English still maintains that Steven Joyce’s imaginary fiscal hole is real. National's credibility looks shot to pieces after that fiasco.

Continuing on from their previous failure, English made further commitments this year to do nothing about mitigating climate change or reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. National even tried to hide an official report into the costly effects of climate change on New Zealand.

But if all that wasn’t bad enough, it appears that Bill English has also managed to cause, through his incompetence, the Auckland petrol crisis.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

PM's key infrastructure plan didn't include fuel pipeline to Auckland

The fuel pipeline ruptured by a digger was left out of a "national infrastructure plan" overseen by Prime Minister Bill English despite warnings its loss could "cripple" Auckland transport.

The latest version of the plan developed by Treasury was released in 2015 has no mention of the pipeline from the Marsden Point refinery at Ruakaka to Auckland's Wiri terminal.

The pipeline has been shown as a critical link because it is the only way jet fuel gets to Auckland Airport.

That’s the problem with a government that doesn’t do its job properly… critical infrastructure breaks down.

But the weakness in the fuel supply was clearly highlighted in 2009 when the National Party put Treasury to work fulfilling a campaign pledge that it would develop a National Infrastructure Plan when it first came to power.

English announced the plan as Minister of Finance in 2009, saying it would "plan and rank New Zealand's key infrastructure needs so that projects that provide the greatest economic benefit are prioritised".

But when the Northland Regional Council reviewed the preliminary list produced in 2009, it said "the council considers that the nationally significant issue of fuel supply is currently missing" from a Treasury briefing paper calling for submissions.

Incompetent Bill English and the National party are clearly unfit to be in charge of a country as great as Aotearoa. So let’s get out there and change the government.