Trump’s travel ban and Ki­wis

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - GOR­DON CAMP­BELL TALK­ING POL­I­TICS

The whole sorry episode had been avoid­able. After all, the US Em­bassy is at one end of Molesworth St and Par­lia­ment is at the other. How hard would it have been for the Amer­i­cans to put us out of our mis­ery a lot sooner?

Yet on bal­ance, be­ing treated with be­nign ne­glect by the Amer­i­cans may have been prefer­able to the rough treat­ment meted out by Trump to strong US al­lies like Aus­tralia, over the refugee re­set­tle­ment deal ham­mered out be­tween Barack Obama and Mal­colm Turn­bull.

Still, try­ing to re­main in­vis­i­ble to the Amer­i­cans isn’t a sus­tain­able pol­icy. If the Bee­hive was look­ing for a scape­goat for its travel ban mishap, this seemed to be our am­bas­sador to the US, Tim Groser.

After all, Groser is sup­posed to

How hard would it have been for the Amer­i­cans to put us out of our mis­ery a lot sooner?

have Wash­ing­ton con­tacts that can en­able him to pre­vent such sit­u­a­tions be­com­ing pub­lic em­bar­rass­ments for the gov­ern­ment. Ar­guably, McCully was dead right. MFAT and Groser do need to learn how to op­er­ate more ef­fec­tively within the new cli­mate in Wash­ing­ton.

Do­mes­ti­cally, English was on firmer ground. In the first shot of the Septem­ber 23 elec­tion cam­paign, thePM pledged to roll out a $500 mil­lion dol­lar in­vest­ment in front­line polic­ing over the next four years.

The po­lit­i­cal bid­ding on law and or­der has been heat­ing up in re­cent months, with Labour and New Zealand First com­pet­ing with each other on that is­sue, and with Labour se­lect­ing can­di­dates – in Ohariu for ex­am­ple – ac­cord­ingly.

As in Trump’s Amer­ica, com­mu­nity con­cerns and pop­ulist so­lu­tions will be cen­tral to our own elec­tion agenda this year.

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