Armstrong on the politics of the earthquake

John Armstrong writes:

The politicians are already playing politics, however, though not too flagrantly. Saying you are not going to play politics – as Goff effectively did – is itself a political statement. As was John Key’s decision to cancel his trip to Britain and France. As was Labour’s suggestion that yesterday was not the day for the verbal combat of ministers’ question-time in Parliament to be on display.

I thought that was very smart, and impressed that Labour suggested it. The decision provoked some hysteria from No Right Turn:

Meanwhile, Parliament has cancelled Question Time today, on the grounds that holding the government to account might be upsetting to the people of Christchurch. So, the earthquake hasn’t just damaged several Canterbury landmarks, but our democracy as well. If the politicians believe it is unseemly to query and crow about the earthquake response (which has been good – an example of what government can do for us), then they could not do so. But to deem it unseemly to question the government in any way in the wake of a crisis comes disturbingly close to fascism.

Yes having the Opposition offer to have one less question time a year, is indeed close to fascism. I mean it is just like burning down the Reichstag.

Armstrong continues:

As was the PM’s second visit to Christchurch since the quake. As was Goff’s decision to ask to accompany Key in what was his second visit to the city in almost as many days.

Again thought that was a very neat thing to do.

Labour argues that Goff’s presence is justified by Christchurch being a Labour city.

Oh, just when they were doing so well. I was saying all these nice things about Labour, and they say something stupid. There was no need to justify Goff’s presence – he is the Leader of the Opposition. But to claim justification on the basis it is a Labour city is stupid. Does that mean that if the earthquake had hit the North Shore of Auckland, Goff would not visit – or if it had been another Napier earthquake?

Incidentally Christchurch is not the old republic it used to be. National received 4,889 more party votes in the five urban seats, and if you include the two rural seats, they received 21,472 more party votes.

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