National Leader Caustic comments on Covid Clinicians cracked media indifference
Microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles presented Judith Collins with one of the very few high value targets available to the leader of the Opposition. Mrs Collins let fly with her “big fat hypocrite” missile after someone dobbed in the New Zealander of the Year for being away from home at the beach. And not wearing a mask.
Judith Collins targeted Dr Siouxsie Wiles (https://www.mscnewswire.co.nz/page2/item/19280-phillida-perry-s-siouxsie-the-virus-documents-dr-wiles-catching-mass-resentment-for-covid-containment.html) only a few weeks after taking a swipe at Dr Ashley Bloomfield the nation’s director general of health.
Mrs Collins lashed out at the duo because strange as it seems she knew that she could do so without alienating National Party support. They are both Eurocentric tall poppies. Professionals who can be taken down a peg or two without alienating cultural sensitivities.
Politically Mrs Collins is trapped by the culture wars. The most obvious example of the way in which she is manacled is in telling the National Party rural base what it wants to hear.
If she declares that New Zealand’s allegiance to net zero will not make a jot of difference to the climate but will wreck the economy then she wins the farmers. But she loses the urban liberals.
If she strides forth on law and order (gangs) she reinforces her productive sector base. But loses urban professionals (inclusivity.)
Should Mrs Collins wade into immigration on the grounds of a disconcerting benefit-of-the-doubt attitude relating to deporting the manifestly lethal then she again sloughs off this same urban constituency (social justice.)
Mrs Collins is in search of the 300,000 missing National Party votes, the ones that went AWOL at the last general election.
Within the National Party there are various explanations. One is that the rural vote evaporated as farmers went Labour with both their two votes just to eliminate the threat of the Greens.
The other reason is rather more sensitive and somehow more convincing. It is what is known within the National Party as the “Remuera doctors and lawyers wives” vote.
It holds that a household combined vote no longer exists and that one of the householders went Labour or Green, quietly.
Mrs Collins indicated as much at her earlier collective swipe at Dr Bloomfield and former prime minister Helen Clark on the grounds of a proximity to United Nations which Ms Clark once served and then sought to lead as secretary-general.
Mrs Collins knows that the Labour government is wedded to United Nations ideologies.
But she dare not say so because of the Remuera Effect with its many invisible UN devotees (globalism).
Siouxsie Wiles (pictured above by Arvid Eriksson) presents an everywoman persona. Her recognisable and polychromatic aspect removes the kind of gulf so often associated with highly qualified clinicians tasked with informing the general public about the unpleasant.
Much the same thing can be said of the outwardly more staid and conventional Dr Bloomfield in aspect the embodiment of the traditional public servant.
His only visible blend with Labour government doctrine is his willingness to advance the cause of the Maori language (diversity) notably in matters of correct delivery such as with the new name for Auckland.
In his public update broadcast duets with prime minister Jacinda Ardern he correctly renders Tamaki Makerau with the last syllable pronounced as in meow instead of it sounding like cow or toe the usual rendering.
Mrs Collins outbursts directed at the two clinicians seemed to be both petulant and waspish. She knew though that they would be much reported and that they would demonstrate that she would not be intimidated by them and certainly not by their face-value good intentions.
She thus challenged the government’s lock downs and other Covid tactics obliquely, indirectly.
Of all the parties National has taken the biggest beating in the culture wars. Its few media friends able to render on-the-ground support have tended to find themselves subjected to cancellation.
Mrs Collins targeting of the two clinicians at last raised her above the noise level.