life outside the beltway
The Prime Minister was asked why Labour's poll rating had not been damaged by the damning contents of the Ingram report on Field, given last week's One News-Colmar Brunton poll had 62 per cent of respondents agreeing Labour had not handled things very well.
She cited "Beltway" politics. The Beltway is the road which encircles Washington DC. Inside the Beltway live the politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and media who feed on the minutiae of day-to-day politics.
Could it be that many of the 62 percent expect Labour to handle things badly - but don't actually care anymore?
Government politicians should actually start listening to those outside the beltway. List MP's included. They should listen to those who vote, pay tax, write letters to editors, sit on community boards and raise their kids . Those who are interested in the policy process and machinery of government. Those working families who are struggling to live on under $40,000, abuse their kids, are not eligible for rates rebates,cant afford to eat out anymore, can't afford to run their cars, pay school fees or go to the doctor. Those whose accomodation supplements are being eaten away by debts to WINZ. Those who think our government is corrupt. Those who consider our leader is a dictator and are comparing her to Muldoon. Those who are concerned of the money spent by the taxpayer on pledge cards, and are concerned with the Government's approach to dodgy electorate MP's such as Taito Philip Field and David Benson Pope.
It is about time politicians were accountable to the people, not the polls.Perhaps the press gallery - particularly RNZ - could start doing meaty stories on the mechanics of minority coalition government, and the unhealthy role of the self-serving "power at all costs" government. It would also assist if Brash was to lift his game, provide hope for an alternative government, and be a bit more visible outside the beltway rather than pandering to the press gallery but not having much to say.