The Jackal: January 2022

13 Jan 2022

Amateur hour with Christopher Luxon

You’ve got to wonder why the National Party, in the face of a worldwide pandemic that has killed approximately 6 million people, is continuing to be so terribly dysfunctional? Perhaps it’s a symptom of their upper management, who despite numerous party leaders coming and going, never actually changes.

Unfortunately for the right wing a lack of discipline has now become a feature of the National Party. Not only were the previous four leaders an utter disaster in terms of their ability to unite what is a very tired and worn out institution, the current leader is doing nothing to invigorate his fellow neoliberal MPs and often promotes archaic beliefs that leave most voters with a bad taste in their mouths.

Christopher Luxon, who the mainstream media attempted and failed to promote as the National Party’s saviour, has been provided with ample opportunity to gain the narrative and failed miserably each and every time. Not only does the oppositions new leader appear to be a novice when it comes to all things political, he’s also unable to communicate properly even when our invariably biased mainstream media help coach him along the way.

This is in stark contrast to National’s previous leaders and Luxon’s apparent mentor John Key, who used to court controversy in order to attain media attention. While it’s commendable that Luxon isn’t following entirely in their misguided footsteps, that lack of coverage provides the public with a sense that the blue team, after being thoroughly beaten, has now decided to just lie down and die.

Last week, Luxon had another opportunity to become the leader National so desperately needs.

On Saturday, RNZ reported:

Covid-19: National Party MP attends second anti-lockdown and mandate protest

A National Party MP who attended a Covid-19 vaccine mandate protest today has deleted pictures she posted on Facebook.

Whanganui List MP Harete Hipango posted a picture of herself on Facebook, at a rally in her electorate today.

The post showed protesters carrying placards reading "lockdowns destroy livelihoods, truth will prevail and it's not about health, it's about control".

In text accompanying the images, Hipango wrote about freedom and choice and criticised the label anti-vaxers.

National Party leader Christopher Luxon said he had had a word with Hipango.

"I have talked to Harete and she has taken her post down. The views of the group she was with do not align with those of the National Party.

"I am strongly supportive of vaccination, as is the National party. I encourage everyone to take that step as the best protection, for themselves and their family, against Covid."

However, instead of rising to the occasion, Luxon simply rolled over and let one of his misguided MPs again appeal to the anti-vaxxers. If the new leader of the opposition was truly in favour of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, which has in fact saved Aotearoa in terms of our well-being and economy, he would have forced the dishonest Hipango to resign, or at least publicly and properly admonished her for attending numerous anti vaccination protests.

The fact that Luxon has failed to act in accordance with his party’s supposed position and instead implied support for the anti-vax movement, which represents less than 2% of the voting public, shows that he’s not really in control at all. In deed it seems that others are pulling the strings while Luxon appears to still be a backbencher whose name most Kiwis will likely struggle to remember.

Combine this weak and ineffectual approach with Luxon’s previous ‘abortion should be treated as murder’ statements, a position supported by less than 4% of the voting public, and it’s clear that the deluded fundamentalist who's obviously suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect will never come close to being able to challenge a progressive and popular leader like Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand has moved on and if the National Party wants to remain relevant they will as well.