This morning's Herald could be mistaken for a Labour Party advertising brochure. No wonder its circulation is falling.
First, John Armstrong berates the Head of Treasury for telling the Public Service that it needs to harden up because that is the policy of the government of the day. Armstrong, who usually is more reliable, proceeds to assert that somehow this is partisan conduct. Good God, Mr Armstrong, the man is doing his job which is making sure public servants implement the policies of the elected government. Armstrong tries to justify his palpably flawed argument by comparing Mr Whitehead's actions with the appalling speech by the Chief Justice in which she crossed the line into policy activism.
Mr Armstrong, The Treasury Secretary was doing his job, the Lady with the wig was interfering.
Mr Armstrong might have done better to wonder why Mr whitehead felt he needed to take such a step. The answer lies in a public service laced with Labour Party activists who have been infiltrated into every significant part of the bureaucracy. (No better example can be found than the careful leaking by bureaucrats of the enquiry into unfounded allegations of corruption by National Party MP Buckshee.) Mr Whitehead was giving them a clear blunt message and quite rightly so.
Armstrong then indulged in a shrill outburst against privatisation - he might as well hold his hand out to the Labour Party for his salary this week.
Next, The Herald engaged in a bit of its own partisan politicking by printing an unattributed editorial contending that Phil Goff's new policy of paying the dole to millionaires and the unemployed spouses of the nation's 'rich listers' is, wait for it, 'heading in the right way.'
Finally, another faceless editorial writer had a go at portraying Labour's money and time wasting so-called enquiry into bank interest rates as 'a welcome initiative.' It is nothing of the sort. It is shameless grandstanding.
57 minutes ago