Trump’s travel ban and Kiwis
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.