No Minister

Competent or incompetent government

In the comments thread under yesterday’s “misfortunes of one’s political enemies” post, I commented to Kimbo that I’d consider this government an improvement on the previous one even if it managed no other achievements beyond ending the meth testing scam. 

I was entirely serious about that, because the meth testing scam was one of the most evil things done by a NZ government that I can remember.  As usual, Danyl McLachlan can explain it much better than I can, and has done as an aside in a post about Bridges’ and Bennett’s demise:

(And on a personal note, I’m glad to see Bennett is no longer part of the leadership team of one of our major political parties. The meth-testing scandal is probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen in New Zealand politics: the government wasted over $100 million dollars throwing the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country out of their homes during a housing crisis, for no reason other than they wanted to look tough on drugs. It ruined lives, it was utterly pointless and evil, and while there was a lot of blame to go around, Bennett was minister of social housing and one of the major architects of the policy. She never apologised for any of it, and she should never be in any position of responsibility, anywhere in this country, ever again).

I’d go further than Danyl and say that it was not only because they wanted to look tough on drugs, but  perhaps also because they had friends in the industry, not least a certain National MP who must not be named due to court suppression rules.

Competence isn’t the only measure of a government’s worth. The Key government was very competent in its deliberate mistreatment of the poorest people in the country, but that’s not a recommendation.  It’s also fair to say the Key government was more competent than the current one (the current government’s three-party structure alone would make that inevitable), but at least I can be confident the current government isn’t competently inflicting a great evil on the country.

Written by Psycho Milt

May 22, 2020 at 8:30 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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