The year 2022 will be remembered as the year when the full Ugliness of the Jacinda regime was on full display, particularly its willingness to use violence and intimidation against protestors with the Coster Blueshirts; Mahuta and Jackson’s rapacious greed which even Zelensky must have admired, and the general hubris, ignorance and incompetence of the rest of her cabinet.

comments by Chris Trotter

As we watch the Chinese Government transition from its old, hardline, Covid-19 elimination strategy, characterised by long and uncompromising lockdowns, to a new, laissez-faire, wide open borders (and bugger the health system) strategy, uncannily like our own, we have confirmation that not even the totalitarian regime of Xi Jinping’s Communist Party can operate indefinitely without a social licence.

Not that our own government is returning the compliment by acknowledging the lack of genuine social licences for its own flagship policies – and changing them. There is more than a whiff of totalitarian indifference to public opinion in the Labour Caucus’s blunt refusal to change course on Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters project.

When the results of the local government elections made it painfully clear that whatever limited social licence central government might have claimed for Three Waters had been withdrawn, the Labour Government refused to flinch. The former National Party Cabinet Minister Nick Smith, now Nelson’s Mayor, implored the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to back away from the project. Failure to do so, he suggested, would indicate that her government had a “death wish”.

Undeterred, Labour doubled-down. Constitutional conventions became confetti. The co-governance provisions of Three Waters became stronger and their likely impact on Māori-Pakeha relations even more divisive.

And this situation looks set to be made ten-times worse the moment the public cottons-on to the fact that the cost of borrowing the billions required to “fix” their drinking-, storm- and waste-water systems is to be extracted from the pockets of the poor schmucks who “own” – but do not control – the four vast “entities” at the heart of the Three Waters project. A bitter realisation, that will hit home about the time they open their new-fangled water bills.

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