Monday, 23 January 2023

He's New Zealand's new Prime Minister, by the way.

Being a professional political blogger and all (and by 'professional' here I mean simply 'one who professes to be or do a thing to some degree of efficacy'), and since every other professional commentator is currently going through the 'H' section of their filing cabinets to pad out stories introducing Chris Hipkins to their readers, I thought I'd better examine what I've already written here about the profoundly unexciting young fellow. (He's New Zealand's new Prime Minister, by the way.)

Searching the scrolls here reveals he's caught this blog's eye only five times, which probably says something already.

Oddly, the first time he's mentioned is with a recommendation to vote for the fresh-faced new candidate in his first election. Yes, true story. And yes, there is a catch. (It's down near the end of the post, if you're really interested.)

The next time he catches this blog's attention is 8 years ago as minister of education, defending the teachers' unions. Our Dr McGrath describes the "boyish Labour MP and teacher's pet Chris Hipkins" who "seems convinced that if teachers in charter schools aren't registered, children will be at risk and the sky will fall." The good doctor's recitation of many registered teachers peccadilloes still suggests otherwise. 

As minister of education he also oversaw the introduction in the government's factory schools of new dumbed-down curricula, of course, including in science. Sorry, I mean in climate change, in which New Zealand children are now indoctrinated taught. ("As the post reminds us, "What happens in our schools is a very big part of shaping the future of New Zealand,"as Helen Clark herself crowed back in her day.)

Hipkins first emerged to prominent notice in his role as Minister in charge of Responding to Covid Headlines. As it happens, our own post's headline describes his work well, as compared to that of his colleagues: 'Even 'pretty inept' looks good compared to 'not at all.'

And with our last and most recent reference to this emerging talent, we're going to have to claim some kind of prescience in saying "it seems pretty clear: the most dangerous ministers in the current cabinet are the young and eager Wood and Hipkins, and the older, wiser and more devious Parker, Little, Faafoi and Robertson." (Okay, maybe not Faafoi.)

To be fair, it's not truly insightful analysis. And there is more about him we might have said, including about his time most recently as Minister Oveseeing Ram Raids (a suitable bench-mate then for his deputy, in her role as Minister for Social Mayhem), but he really is so dreadfully unexciting it's hard to say anything much at all. 

How his handlers decide to brighten him up for the electorate will be about the only interesting thing to observe about him in his last few months as Prime Minister -- playing as Geoffrey Palmer to Jacinda's David Lange.

1 comment:

MarkT said...

I'm always interested to hear if noteworthy politicians did anything useful prior to becoming a politician. I think it provides a reasonable proxy for how (dis)connected from reality they will be. It's not looking fantastic, but admittedly not as bad as it usually is with Labour.....

"After graduating, Hipkins held a number of jobs, including working as a policy advisor for the Industry Training Federation, and as a training manager for Todd Energy in Taranaki. Hipkins also worked in Parliament as an advisor to Trevor Mallard and Helen Clark"