Scoring out of ten
By Roger Childs
It has been the practice for the papers to rank the All Blacks after each test.
Rugby fans would probably generally concur, for example giving Beauden Barrett a 9 for his excellent performance against the highly competitive French last weekend.
However when it comes to the politicians, it seems to be very subjective.
Last Monday, reporter Stacey Kirk did her annual audit, and you could be forgiven for thinking that she was a member of the National Party General Council.
Government leaders ranking highly
John Key scored 8.5! This is the man who runs a government which in the last year has seen the income gap between rich and poor continue to widen, and record levels of child poverty. It has also been a time of a major housing crisis which his government seems unable to solve. He also wasted $28 million on a futile attempt to change the flag.
Some of his overseas trips have been less than memorable and one gets the impression he regards himself as being far more important on the world stage, than other leaders would credit. How about 2-3?
Bill English got an 8.5 too! Stacey describes him as The Government’s ultimate safe pair of hands. The Finance Minister keeps raising the idea of tax cuts in next year’s budget, when there is massive under-funding of everything from pre-school education and Geonet to conservation and health care.
How about raising the minimum wage and imposing a tax on financial transactions? And what about his desire to privatise as many government services as possible and selling off “social housing”? Again possibly 2-3.
Other ministers do well
The list goes on, Murray McCully gets an 8 despite the sordid Saudi sheik farm bribe, and a less than memorable performance at the Security Council. Chris Finlayson gets 7.5 for his Treaty settlements when taxpayers’ money continues to get handed out in the tens of millions.
This is when the compensation for land confiscations was paid out long ago. There always seem to be Crown failings to be paid for, and there is little monitoring of what iwi leaders do with the money.
Amy Adams gets 8.5 for her handling of the Justice portfolio and Simon Bridges 7.5.
Labour leaders not doing so well!
Two 6.5s and two 6s for the Labour front bench, even though they have highlighted the manifold failings of the government and come up with positive ideas on alternative polices related to housing, child poverty, prison management and raising incomes.
Obviously government ministers get more headlines because they are doing the governing, but it hasn’t been a great year for National. There has been some slippage in the polls and they have been lucky that world dairy prices have been on the rise and inflation world-wide has remained low.
Stacey Kirk arrogantly headlined her ranking list with the title How our politicians rated. She should have added in my view.