Stuff summarises the end-of-year political rankings by right-wing newsletter Trans-Tasman. Bill English is their politician of the year:
He is restoring the Crown Accounts to surplus, getting the economy “set to fly” and he does more than his fair share of the heavy lifting on policy.
Most of the heavy lifting performed by English involves lifting up huge armfuls of taxpayer cash and giving it to the private sector. Still, I guess he is only partly responsible for the debacle of the asset sales policy, and the house-price bubble building up under his watch hasn’t blown up and crippled our economy, yet, but merely forced an intervention from the central bank locking first time buyers out of the market and reducing the number of new houses being built. So great job!
But what really jumped out at me was this:
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce: If it’s too hard for anyone else, give it to Joyce and he’ll fix it. 7.5/10
That’s certainly the way Joyce is sold to us, and its obviously set in the concrete-like conventional wisdom of the press gallery. But what, exactly, has Joyce ‘fixed’ over the last two years? The Sky City convention center? His dysfunctional new super-Ministry? Chorus and the UFB roll-out? The rapidly dying screen-sector? Shouldn’t this read, ‘Give it to Joyce and it’ll become a hugely damaging endless fiasco?’