• The State of the Nation?

    In a somewhat pretentiously titled “State of the Nation” speech, Christopher Luxon yesterday offered a few thoughts (if one is being generous) to a small gathering of National party faithful. Even Claire Trevett in the Herald reported that the speech had failed to make any waves.

    The speech, no doubt written for him by an underling, was nevertheless noteworthy for a number of reasons. It underlined his lack of any new or ground-breaking ideas, and also his serious limitations as a political leader.

    The first limitation was his mode of delivery. The speech was delivered in a weak and conversational tone. His voice lacked any authority, conviction or inspiration. Anything less like a speech from a potential leader of the country and designed to enthuse and inspire cannot be imagined.

    The content was similarly devoid of any “wow” factor. What we (or they – his supporters) got was a pallid re-hash of traditional National policy – and that means only one thing. Any National leader short of something meaningful to say will reach for the file titled “Tax Cuts”; but, as is always the case, uttering the phrase is the easy bit – there was then no hint of what would need to be cut, by way of public services, in order to finance the proposed gift to the assembled fat cats.

    Such is the parlous state (not to say, absence) of National party policy, however, that Luxon was no doubt satisfied with the restrained ripple of applause he received as he wrapped up his tour de non-force. We can’t say we haven’t been warned – if that was his vision of the state of the nation, let’s get another vision and a different visionary.

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