From a government that increasingly believes in style over substance comes two announcements making clear that image is more important, to them, than reality. At least in their minds.
We have the report from the Gnats’ weekend conference that—at a time when around 450,000 adult NZers are on welfare—the Tories plan only to get “tough” on around 1600 16- and 17 year-old beneficiaries too young to vote; on young folk who were first made unemployable by government schools, and then priced out of the market by this government having removed Youth Rates.
And we had the report yesterday that despite the inept Judith “Crusher” Collins’s grandstanding about getting “tough” on street racing by crushing cars, not one car has yet been crushed. (Asked to comment on this failure, the Non-Crusher points to a 15% drop in street racing, apparently oblivious to the fact that way more than 50% of the Christchurch streets where most racing was done are now impassable.)
What we have here is a reliance on image (getting “tough”) over the disastrous reality the Gnats refuse to either confront or acknowledge. Add to that their insistence on continuing to borrow $300 million per week rather than confront the reality of their over-spending, and you have a recipe for a government who prefers doing headlines to doing the hard stuff.
That they think they can get away with it is due only to a media and opposition who are as inept as each other in being able to hold them to account.