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Bill is gone. Free for all spectator time

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, February 13th, 2018 - 353 comments
Categories: bill english, national - Tags:

Bill English has resigned. Apparently his confidence of last week had a limited lifespan.

RNZ has the live feed. 

Now we can really speculate on which one of the no-hopers will assume the position to fail at the next election.

They are somewhat short of any obvious talent.  In fact as Minister of Finance, I’d say that Bill outperformed any of the obvious possibilities.

353 comments on “Bill is gone. Free for all spectator time ”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    Bryce Edwards called it last night and quoted someone who reckoned Bridges has the numbers.



    • Leonhart Hunt 1.1

      actually I hope it is Mrs B, because if that’s the case national is doomed.

      Note where she is standing for the press release.

      yup that’s her, in the pink skirt with people directly in front and to the side of her.

      • You_Fool 1.1.1

        My preference is Collins. Will ensure that National become a sub-20% party in no time…

        • Leonhart Hunt

          oh, crusher collen, who set a recidivism target from at the time 55% to 25%, and it rose to 65% with her as minister after spending 50mil on “toughening up on crime to reduce recidivism.

  2. Matthew Whitehead 3

    I mean, it should have been obvious this was coming when he talked about offering to resign. That’s apparently the new thing you do when you’re about to hand things off. I’ve refrained from commenting on it simply because I dislike speculation without evidence a lot, and this was all about reading people.

    Unfortunately for National, all their other candidates for Leader are even less qualified, and have been circling like vultures waiting for this to happen. If we’re very lucky, it’ll be the start of National jumping from useless replacement to useless replacement.

    As for what’s likely to happen next, the smart thing to do would be to put Nikki Kaye at the helm, but she’s likely too liberal to hold the caucus, and even if they did I don’t think she can out-Ardern Ardern. I think the likely thing is that Bridges sweeps to power. If he’s acceptably smart though, he’ll make Adams or Kaye his deputy to unite their factions within the party.

    • Antoine 3.1

      > Unfortunately for National, all their other candidates for Leader are even less qualified


    • Enough is Enough 3.2

      I’d pick Kaye.

      She managed to out-Ardern Ardern twice in Auckland Central.

      She is also the best of a pretty bad bunch.

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        The changing demographics of Auckland central helped kaye as well… Very high socio economic indeed

        • dukeofurl

          Single word- Greens.
          Conservative vote really had a single choice.
          left vote had 2 choices.

          lab+greens candidate vote was 14455, national was 13198

      • Me 3.2.2

        They all revolt me. It’s hard to pick the least revolting.

      • Matthew Whitehead 3.2.3

        An electorate contest and leading a party (or a government, for that matter) are vastly different things. Kaye did well in Auckland Central, and that can’t be denied, even though Tracey’s point about economic demographics is true, but Ardern’s positive style is something Kaye can only really imitate- like English, she’s actually at her best when she’s angry- sorry, “passionate,” and that won’t play well with the electorate for a potential Prime Minister in the next election. She’s their best shot, but I can’t see her winning. Simo’s the more likely pick, and he’s just going to be a younger Bill English with more hair gel, so I can’t see that going well either.

        • tracey

          Not Angry Amy?

          Niggly Nikki?

          Sycophantic simon?

          Pass the Mustard Coleman

          Checkmate Bishop

          • KJT

            Crusher Collins.

            Pullya Benefit.

            Simon, no Bridges.

            The shallowness of National’s talent pool, becomes glaringly apparent.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              Don’t forget “Who’s that again?” Muller, who is apparently in the running for deputy.

  3. mickysavage 4

    So all that incessant chatter and rumours about leadership change were true after all. And after what happened to Bishop on Sunday I wonder what else will happen.

    Popcorn time …

    • tc 4.1

      the more National deny it the closer people should look unlike when national claimed;

      – there’s no child poverty issue
      – our health and education system’s in great shape
      – our rivers and streams are clean, as far as this ‘standard’ we now apply of course
      – selling power generators is a great deal for nz
      – rons are great for the NZ economy
      – Insert your fav piece of nat BS here

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.2

      Yeah, the usual caveat holds doesn’t it: if you have to talk about having the confidence to be leader, you’re about not to have it.

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        It is the same in Football. When the chairman publically expresses confidence int he Manager you know there will be a new Manager within a week.

    • dukeofurl 4.3

      ‘Bishop on Sunday’ was seen as a hit back on Bridges supporters

      So they in turn have ‘given back Double’ and said no more time

  4. tc 5

    Predictable and yes please Slimey Bridges will do very nicely thanks.

    • mauī 5.1

      Please let it be Bridges.

      • mary_a 5.1.1

        I prefer the caustic, venom spitting Collins. She’d pull Natz right down into the foul cesspit of dirty politics, to the extent it will drown, unable to save itself for 2020.

        Besides that, nasty sneering Collins will seem positively demonic up against Jacinda.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      I’m backing Soimn.

      • Tracey 5.2.1


      • OncewasTim 5.2.2

        Oi karn unna Stenim harf the toim. Oi need a trenz Slater.
        Imagine him repsentn NuZull on the whurl stage goan forwid.
        We’ll look loik a buncha hiks.

        • red-blooded

          Since when was mocking the way someone speaks a valid form of political commentary? How about discussing the guy’s values? His strengths and weaknesses?

          • Richard Christie

            How about discussing the guy’s values? His strengths and weaknesses

            Sure, how about: clear diction is not one of his strengths.
            Garbled diction is one of his weaknesses.

            He has that aspect in common with his now absent hero, the Great Liar.

          • ropata

            Maybe because garbled speaking provides wiggle room for liars and dissemblers. FJK was the champ bullshitter of NZ

        • Matthew Whitehead

          I feel a little uncomfortable with mocking him about his accent given the rumours I’ve been hearing that he was coached through a speech impediment. I have no idea if that’s true or not, so take it with the appropriate grain of salt when discussing his lack of enunciation.

  5. Fireblade 6

    Poor emotional teary eyed Bill, I feel for him.

    Na. He should be crying for everyone he’s screwed over during his time in parliament.

    • Chris 6.2

      Social investment is one of the two things he’s most proud of.

      • Carolyn_Nth 6.2.1

        And that’ll be gone with him.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.2.2

        Yeah, like cancelling insulation subsidies when it was clear they had massive economic and social payback. Real smart.

      • Tracey 6.2.3

        He is most proud of something tgat captured 1 of his 27 years in parliament? For on ce I hope there is a God.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If there is then I’m sure that Bill is going to be surprised to find that merely going to church isn’t good enough.

        • Chris

          What he was proud of was use of the phrase – that somehow he managed to dupe some people that social investment was a good thing, or even “a step in the right direction”, when all it stood for was shoving repsonsibility for core services over to the NGO sector. Totally consistent with everything else he did in the other 26 years.

      • greywarshark 6.2.4

        Well? Now I wonder what the other thing was that he is proud of. His longevity serving the nation – up for dinner?

  6. JohnSelway 7

    Not surprised in the slightest. Bill was too old, too part of the last generation to attract new and young voters and basically well past his prime.

    Nationals major problem now is one of generational change.

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      What is with the ageist bullshit?

      • JohnSelway 7.1.1

        I don’t mean it in an ageist sense, I mean it in the manner of being too old in the job. Old thinking, old policies etc

        • Matthew Whitehead

          Try “stale.” Same message, different connotations. Even something relatively young can go stale. Like, say, Simon Bridges. 😉

        • Chuck

          “I mean it in the manner of being too old in the job. Old thinking, old policies etc”

          Shhh don’t mention Winston Peters then! 1979 was the year for his maiden speech.

      • tracey 7.1.2

        Agree. plenty of younger people in national with the same views as Bill, so it is not about chronological age but ideological/social justice age.

        Bernie Sanders…

      • D'Esterre 7.1.3

        Enough is Enough: “What is with the ageist bullshit?”

        I don’t see it as ageist. I agree with JohnSelway. English has been too long in Parliament; I was expecting him to go. I’m surprised it took as long as this. There is a generational shift going on: I’ve seen it happen before. Smith and Brownlee also need to shuffle off. In the famous words of Shipley, they’ve made their contribution and need to move on.

        Besides, English has proved himself a liar. I’d never trust him again.

        • red-blooded

          Smith has announced today he won’t be leaving during this term.

        • gnomic

          “Besides, English has proved himself a liar. I’d never trust him again.”

          In my humble opinion the last election campaign was the most shameless from the ‘National’ party since the dancing cossacks. Or perhaps iwi not kiwi.

          Yes we have the best policy for that issue and of course it is fully funded. To infinity and beyond.

          Greatest finance minister that ever lived? Yawn.

          When do we have to start calling him Sir William?

        • Enough is Enough

          Explain this generational shift?

          I personally do not care which generation an MP is from. I look at their ideas and policies. Their, age, gender, sexuality, time in parliament, ethnicity, or number of kids are irrelevant.

          You can quite rightly say Bills ideas are no good. But to say he is to old is ageist.

  7. roy 8

    Coleman for King! There’s someone nobody could get behind.

  8. tracey 9

    Bridges is seen as the heir apparent tot he key machine. All the things they did to “make over” Key, they have done and will do with Bridges. he started speaking like Key about 5 years ago.

    Mrs Natalie Bridges in a director of a PR company. Their children are a poster for national…

    How will he manage being nat Leader with a third baby on the way.

    • Carolyn_Nth 9.1

      Except Bridges doesn’t sound like Key when he’s talking – just a mangled attempt to sound like something he’s not.

      How will he manage being nat Leader with a third baby on the way.

      LOL. Third? How ever WILL he manage?

      • tracey 9.1.1

        In fairness I understand he has overcome a serious speech impediment so his speech is slightly unnatural. Go back and listen to early John Key though. And remember, Key used to take about 24 hours before commenting on big stuff and stuff sprung through media… had to do his media training and polling first.

        “How ever WILL he manage?”

        It’s ok Carolyn, that will be the first question the press ask him, and anyone else who gets it who has children, and then keep writing about it for a few weeks. 😉

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Bridges doesn’t actually sound like Key in his early years. Key’s speech has always been mangled, but it has sounded like it’s natural to him.

          And I’m sorry if Bridges way of talking is a result of a speech impediment.

          Bridges has a totally different background from Key – so why would he try to be like him?

          • tracey

            Cos they thinkt hey have a winning strategy in how they modelled kay, they tried to do it with English (canned spaghetti pizza???) – they think they have the formula they now need a new Key to apply it to.. Doesn’t mean they will be clones of each other per se, but the formula will be the same…

            Blokey, goofy, snarky in the house, family man, white enough to pass, brown enough to seem modern and indigenous

            • Puckish Rogue

              “brown enough to seem modern and indigenous” I think that’ll be a big part of his appeal, when you look at the fawning media over Jacinda its all…the first women to ever have baby, the first women to change lead into gold, the first women to ever walk on water etc etc (maybe some slight exaggeration)

              The media love firsts and it appears NZ likes voting in firsts so why not the first maori PM

            • Matthew Whitehead

              The problem is that Bridges comes off exactly like English though- stuffy, old before his time, and like Kaye, at his best when he’s angry. (although she at least does calm in a more genuine and feeling way than Simo does) That’s not a combination that will play too well against Ardern’s positive style, and it will reflect on the rest of National in the polls if they’re associated with it.

              Who else is there? Don’t even get me started with Crusher, Adams is uninteresting and lacks any genuine quality, Smith is gonna be a backbencher for sure in the new regime, and if Brownlee or Joyce tried to be leader they’d be laughing stocks, moreso than Coleman was. They are out of viable options, at least until they get new blood in next election.

              • tracey

                I agree that bridges comes off stuffy like Key. But you know the Nats “one size fits all ” strategy

                And if he makes Leader, every time he speaks, from across the house will come cries of “found the 10 bridges yet?”

                A man who misplaced 10 bridges cannot run a country…

                Did anyone call to Bill last week “hety mate build a Bridge and get over it”

    • Puckish Rogue 9.2

      Lets see, from his wiki page it says his well educated, Ngati Maniapoto descent and in his early 40s

      I can see why he’d be a likely candidate but if i was giving advice to National I’d suggest putting Judith Collins in as leader for now simply because its likely that unless theres a major bombshell between now and the next election Labour will win again so why unnecessarily taint Bridges when instead you can have three years of JC taking the shine off JA

      • Carolyn_Nth 9.2.1

        Amy Adams have been tipped by one or two people as the anointed one.

        • Matthew Whitehead

          I do have to agree it’s a bit of a poisoned chalice at the moment, so I can see it going to Adams if Simon Bridges thinks he wants to bide his time, but honestly that’s not going to help his chances at winning an election, so it’d be an odd strategy to set someone else up to fail first.

      • AB 9.2.2

        Yes PR – the saintly Judith (with never a thought for herself) will take the hit for the team. My goodness, virtue and self-sacrifice runs deep in our wonderful National Party MPs. We are so lucky to have them.

      • tracey 9.2.3

        My concern is he has a third child on the way. HOW is he going to be able to be leader, with a new baby in the house and 2 other children to raise?

        PR really? You think Collins would be nats fall guy? never, she is many things but self sacrificing aint one off them.

        • Puckish Rogue

          I said if i was giving advice, I didn’t say she’d take it.

          Basically National are likely to lose the next election so why needlessly have Bridges lose, JC on the other hand isn’t likely to be a viable leader of National so this might well be her best shot of becoming leader

          • tracey

            Why would you give someon advice you know they wouldn’t take? Better to give your advice to someone who will 😉

            • Matthew Whitehead

              oh, it’s an excellent way to look like the smartest person in the room when they do their usual dumb thing instead, so if you look at it from a selfish perspective it’s totally a reasonable move. 😉

              I also make it a habit to only give the Nats my genuine political advice when I know they won’t take it, but that’s simply because the party is so wrong on so many things that I think it needs to lose for the good of the country.

              • tracey


              • alwyn

                Do you really think they care what you say?

                What is funny of course is that all the sooth-sayers giving advice to the National Party are the same sort of people who complained bitterly when people who were not members of the Green Party gave opinions on whether Turei should quit. Not all the same ones but certainly the same sort.

                • I feel love

                  I know right? One would think this left leaning blog was biased towards the left, thanks for policing that Alwyn, appreciated!

                • tracey

                  Hmmmm I havent gone to kiwiblog to give my thoughts yet plenty of you on the righgt came here to give your thoughts about the Left leaders?

                  Not sure what your complaint is? So far PR has given “advice” and he is not a raving commie.

                  • alwyn

                    “your complaint is”.
                    What complaint? I said I thought it was funny, not that I was unhappy.

                    • tracey

                      Oh a witty observation without a touch of bitterness? Sorry. Tissues away for alwyn. Doesnt need them.

                    • alwyn

                      Well I’m pleased you think it was witty.
                      I am not someone who has any emotional involvement with any politician or political party. As I have said before I am the classical swinging voter. The last Politician I liked personally was Jack Marshall. That will show you how old I am.

                      I thought that Bill English did a good job for New Zealand. However I also see why he wants to go.

                      If you ever get the chance read Richard Prebble’s Valedictory speech. It was magnificent in its view of a political life.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    “So far PR has given “advice” and he is not a raving commie.”

                    Aww 🙂 Hugs

                    • alwyn

                      That is tracey talking.
                      Those of us who are not on the far, far, far left of politics know better.
                      To the generally left wing community I inhabit you are far to the left of people like Trotsky.
                      Clearly you are a “raving commie”.
                      Whatever that is supposed to mean.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  No, I honestly don’t, but I am aware that some Nats do in fact read more widely that Kiwiblog, and don’t want any good ideas they’ll actually act on making their way up the rumour mill, so it never hurts to be cautious. Ideas spread really easily.

                  As to advice to National- I talk about topics like that here at TS when they came up, but I’m not actually approaching any Nats with it, nor would I. I would talk to them about my opinions if asked under the same provisos as before, but that’s a very different thing from, say, trolling social media and angrily replying SHE MUST QUIT at any mention of Turei’s name. As usual, you’re telling me my apple isn’t as good as your orange. 😉

        • gnomic

          Dunno. How did Mr English manage the half dozen? Mostly in absentia it would seem.

    • veutoviper 9.3

      I am pretty sure that No 3 arrived before Christmas.
      Cannot stand his speaking voice which started as imitation of Key and has evolved into an insult to spoken English language generally.

      • tracey 9.3.1

        A newborn? Even worse then!

      • red-blooded 9.3.3

        See earlier comments about having overcome a speech impediment, veutoviper. It may be an issue that the Nats consider, but I really hope that we on the left wouldn’t dismiss someone on this basis.

        • veutoviper

          Agreed, red-blooded. I was not aware of this until after making my comment. I know this is going to sound like a ‘Clayton’s’ apology, but prior to Bridges coming into Parliament I myself heard him speaking quite clearly on a number occasions. I also know people who worked with him in his former role as a Crown Prosecutor that also found his change in speech surprising. But in future I will refrain from remarking on his speech.

          PS – I can quite legitimately use the ‘Clayton’s’ reference – its one of my (many) family last names. I don’t get upset when others use it.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Is there actually any evidence Bridges had a speech impediment?

          Others say he deliberately tried to speak like key.

          His speech for his maiden speech, has a Kiwi accent, but it is by no means the exaggerated and laboured, pouty speech he uses most of the time these days.

          • mary_a

            @ Carolyn_Nth ( … thanks for the video. Bridges speech was much clearer and easier on the listener’s ear then, compared to how painfully difficult it is to have to listen to him speak these days! Quite strange really!

          • Venezia

            Thanks for that video Carolyn. His speech his markedly different! Strange indeed.

    • Bob 9.4

      Bridges is a bigot, let him lead, he’s hell bent on smashing us all with the New Testament.

  9. tracey 10

    Now we know why Bennett has been largely invisible. She has ben sulkng. And that fake fun loving stint in front of the camneras during their gathering…

    Why didn’t the next cabs off the List just say “no comment” instead of pretending (aka lying)? Do they put them through a polygraph as part of their selection process at nats?

    • Matthew Whitehead 10.1

      I reckon whoever’s about to win made the numbers after all the statements of support for English came out, or at least, the people professing the support didn’t realise the numbers were almost made on rolling English, and then he resigned nice and cheerfully rather than have the party look even more divided when the numbers were put to him.

      So then we have this odd situation where they were furiously defending English’s right to stay on days ago but now they’re like “well, it was about time for him to go.” LOL.

      • tracey 10.1.1

        Treating it like a game. Somethong only people who have very comfortable lives can afford to do 😉

        • Matthew Whitehead

          The thing is, I think all their games are deadly serious to them, and they don’t understand that there is a world of difference between dueling ambitions and jockeying for status versus struggling to pay the bills or facing discrimination or bullying.

  10. Tony Veitch (not etc) 11

    In the words of Gilbert (and Sullivan) ‘They’ll none of them be missed!”

    Interestingly, the next three list candidates were invited to their recent retreat ‘to keep them up to speed’ or something like that.

    Is it too much to hope that ‘Fiscal Hole’ Joyce will also depart?

    Or the worst Speaker in living memory, Carter – though not sure if he’s a list MP.

  11. ianmac 12

    Damn it! Had hoped for Bill to hang on and hang on more and more looking and sounding a booring old fart. So a fresh face then?
    Must have been Bridges who told him that he had the numbers so give in Bill – or else.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.1

      Yep, I’m not sure this change will be good for the left – Billy Boy was a ‘safe pair of hands’, from my left perspective (i.e. keeping the country safe from another Nat government). There is a real risk they could have someone more appealing in the shadows.

  12. Keepcalmcarryon 13

    Bridges (loathe him) and Kaye ( don’t mind her as much) would be sensible choices for generational change. Collins is awful and would be a gift for the government. Coleman a waste of bandwidth.
    Amy Adams too boring to remember anything about
    Not sure how Mark ( who?)Mitchell makes anyone’s list ( NZ herald), someone’s obviously pushing a barrow.

  13. tracey 14

    Fed Farmers got their press release out quickly. Fore-warned I guess. When will the media start calling fed farms what they are the farming arm of national Party. My understanding is they actually represent less than 20% of NZ farmers

  14. Chris T 15

    Going forward

    If I were national

    You need a woman leader of deputy to actually pressure Ardern in the current situation, or it will be plain sailing for her.

    I personally would go Kaye as leader or Deputy leader or Collins at a stretch just as Deputy (half the country detests her so leader ain’t an option)

    If you go for a bloke, not sure who it would be. Though I’d make Joyce leader temporarily if they need time to work it out.

    • Cinny 15.1

      Would the tories be into having a female leader?
      What if she makes the love or has the sex and becomes pregnant?

      Maybe mark richardson could bring up the subject in the morning.

      Today sure is a super amusing news day 🙂 Loving it

      • tracey 15.1.1

        I would hope he intends questioning mr bridges on this if he is new leader. 3 children. Hid the third pregnancy until June 2017… how will he manage with 3!

      • Chris T 15.1.2

        They had the first female NZ PM

        I think they can handle it

        • Cinny

          Was shipley voted in like Helen and Jacinda?

          Or was she an unopposed take-over when a PM quit, like bill english was?

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            She never won an election, rolled Jim Bolger in a caucus coup. Good old fashioned Stab-in – the – back

        • KJT

          Shipley was a Woman?

          I thought it was an alien lizard. Don’t know if they have genders?

  15. Rosemary McDonald 16

    If I were a cartoonist….I’d have a whole row of short planks lined up with their hands in the air saying “me me me”.

  16. Philg 17

    Please, I don’t like fake news. Bill declared himself victorious on election night. What has happened. Personal or family I suppose. Lol.

  17. mosa 18

    BIll English resigns finally for operation Burnham , dirty politics and the low wage economy he always supported.
    I am sure there is a lot more.
    If Burnham does not inflict damage it will be Sir Bill within the year.

  18. Keepcalmcarryon 19

    Sweet Jesus just nipped over to kiwiblog, it’s not pretty. Quite amazing how far in denial that lot are. Bunch of sooks.

  19. Sanctuary 20

    PleasePleasePleasePleasePlease pick Judith Collins.

    A polarising authoritarian endorsed by the sewer will be unelectable.

  20. Hanswurst 21

    I think National would give itself the best chance by going with Collins as leader. Bridges and Kaye would struggle to be noticed opposite Ardern, and end up looking like pale imitations. Adams is anodyne, while Coleman is a seemingly paradoxical mixture of anodyne and offensive. Collins would definitely be noticed, and is capable of getting hits on the Government and Labour leadership, including Ardern, both in debate and in the media. That’s all she needs to do to get National into a position of possible victory. She doesn’t even need to be liked terribly well.

    • JanM 21.1

      You know, I think you have something there – Nat voters love nasty, and there are very few who could out-nasty Judith Collins – they’ll love it!

      • Chris T 21.1.1

        By Nat voters do you mean the vast proportion of nz voters compared to labour love nasty?

        • JanM

          Do you mean Labour, NZF and the Green Party voters, which, when I last looked was more than 50%. Yes I do’ Less than 50% is not ‘the vast proportion’.
          I think hell’s going to freeze over before silly commentators stop comparing Labour to National – a lot of left-wing voters quite happily swing from Labour to the Greens and even over to NZF

        • tracey

          Tissues for Chris T please

    • Sanctuary 21.2

      You’ve got to be crazy. Collins will condemn National to opposition.

      Trump might win by rallying a plurality of 25% of eligible voters (46% of voters on a 55% turnout means only about one in four eligible voters in the USA voted for Trump) in key states to win the electoral college but that is simply impossible here with our higher turnout and more representative voting system.

      The John Key demographic of white aspirational soccer mums and their shiny shoe salaryman husbands in suburbia was shaken a bit loose, but not broken, by Labour in 2017. Selecting Collins as leader would send them tumbling to Labour or to other parties.

      If they were clever, they’d engineer a walkout of Collins and the rump of authoritarian right wingers to form some sort of semi-racist social reactionary Christian alliance party, which could aim for about vote as the Greens.

      • Hanswurst 21.2.1

        I think this sort of analysis is entirely faulty. National didn’t win in 2008 by out-Clarking Clark, and nor does looking back at previous changes of government in the last few decades doesn’t show any such cases. A case could be made for Ardern providing a similar appeal to Key, as you say, but the situations are so entirely different, and everything so sudden, that it’s difficult to draw to many conclusions yet.

        I would contend that trying to appeal to the same sources of popularity as Ardern at this point wound be a lodging strategy, since Ardern already had that cornered, plus she has the advantage of incumbency to keep her in the media spotlight. What Ardern doesn’t have (in contrast to Key in 2008/11) is a large parliamentary plurality for her own party, supplemented by satellite support parties whose obvious strategy is to curry her favour in government and try on safe electorate seats in elections. Thus, while the Labour-led government’s support is strong numerically, it is much more vulnerable to being undermined by scare tactics, or by the pressure each of the three governing parties would face to appeal to their respective bases when faced with policy alternatives provided by the opposition.

        Given that, I would say that National’s strategy should be a radical departure from the extreme focus on the leader’s personal popularity as represented by Key, and latterly Ardern, and more towards policy hits designed to get the various government parties and factions offering competing visions that end up undermining each other. Kaye, Bridges and Bennett would be next to useless in that regard, I think, with their leaden-footed debating putting them constantly on the back foot with clarifications and backpedalling (just like always happened to Key, except that he already started from a position of considerable personal popularity based on other qualities). Their carefully cultivated, smiling personas would ask possibly distract and become a hindrance, rather than an asset. Adams and Coleman would struggle to be noticed, just because… well, when was the last time you paid any sort of attention to them aside from when they were in the spotlight at election time or because of Adams’ landholdings or Coleman’s smoke-blowing (literal or metaphorical). Collins will always be noticed, and people will always listen.

      • xanthe 21.2.2

        Careful sanct .. that idea might actually work 1

  21. dukeofurl 22

    It seems the original post election strategy was to let ‘Bill go in his own time’ but stay for a while and meanwhile let a possible new leader become deputy and take on a bigger role in the public eye.

    The caucus retreat blew that out of the water as even a contest to replace Paula was ruled out by Bill- it was clear he wanted to stay much much longer than expected.

    Then Bishop revelations , timing of which was seen by insiders as a push back by Bills supporters.
    Clearly back in Wellington English was told – no more time needed, you ARE going now.

    Calls time on all Bills mates – The Catholic mafia and others who have been around since Shipleys day- more resignations in the next weeks as they find they are by passed completely

  22. Richard McGrath 23

    Good riddance to a bludging career politician parasite… English is a good argument for term limits on MPs… 27 years gobbling at the trough is disgusting. Hopefully the Nats will show some spine and elect Crusher as replacement.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      Yep. She’s only been there for sixteen years, representing Oravida.

    • AB 23.2

      Hostile reverse takeover by the ACT party? Wow – interesting! John Banks as deputy?

    • alwyn 23.3

      You had better not let Trevor Mallard hear you say something like that. He has been there since 1984. As for Winston. I think he was there when Adam and Eve were kicked out of The Garden of Eden.
      Dyson and O’Connor will also get a bit unhappy. They have been there since 1993 and clearly you think their time should be up.

      • tracey 23.3.1

        Actually I do. Especially Dyson. It is good to have an old hand as Speaker

        • alwyn

          I was actually surprised to see that Dyson was still there when I had a quick look at the Labour MPs.
          I thought she had gone years ago. She certainly doesn’t shine as a member of the House does she? Now she has reached the stratospheric level of being a party whip.

  23. infused 24

    Here’s my take.

    Key knew something was brewing and was ‘advised’ to step down when he did. It left him leaving at arguably the highest ratings he had at the time. This was purely to protect his image.

    The Bishop saga, as I suspected, likely came from the Collins faction. Hence Whaleoil being quiet about it. This was to sink Bishop as he’s been highlighted as a future National leader and PM.

    So basically, this is just a faction attack, which looks like it’s worked.

    National will tank.

    • james 24.1

      “National will tank.”

      thats been said for years and years and years – still hasnt happened.

      • infused 24.1.1

        Yes, but the likeness of Collins or some other idiot leading national hasn’t been a reality.

        Joyce will be the only one that would be an exception.

      • KJT 24.1.2

        Didn’t they get down to 24% at one stage? Just saying.

        • james

          indeed they did. back in 2003 and have been polling as the highest party pretty much ever since.

          Whereas Labour were polling lower than that just midway thru last year.

    • Carolyn_Nth 24.2

      WhaleOil did say something about the Bishop issue yesterday – I guess it could be a red herring…. but…:

      The post title: Chris Bishop is an honest man
      by Cameron Slater on February 12, 2018 at 9:30am

      This is a shabby hit job, and do not be at all surprised if some scumbag releases a dick pic and says Bishop sent it to another teenager.

      It is surprising that members of Bishop’s own party are not defending him more against these claims, even though some of them have received unverified information about Bishop’s online antics and have dismissed them as fakes.

      Later in the comments section beloew the post, came this:

      Cam Slater mod sarahmw • a day ago

      My information suggests it was a Blue on Blue hit job.

      Cam Slater mod symgardiner • a day ago

      Yep, agree. It is Bill’s mob fighting back against leaks. Bishop was blamed at caucus retreat for leaking to Soper.

      Cam Slater mod pisces • a day ago

      Because it did. Join the dots.

      Goldsmith is connected to Kaye, who is connected to Adams, who is the chosen one to replace Bill now Paula has fallen off her perch. Goldsmith knew about it.

      Who benefits from attacking a key agitator for the removal of Bill? Bill does, and so does his anointed replacement.

      This is blue on blue. Thing is everyone thinks Bill English is as pure as the driven snow, he isn’t and I can give you a long verifiable dissertation as to why that isn’t remotely true.

      Bishop has been labelled as a supporter of Bridges in a Newshub OP in Nov 2017:

      Bridges entered the race for Deputy, and in doing so represented the next generation and made some good political mates on National’s backbench. Watch for the ‘Four Amigos’ (Mark Mitchell, Alfred Ngaro, Todd Muller and Chris Bishop) to be among his first backers when Bridges makes the move.

      • infused 24.2.1

        Interesting comments.

        • lprent

          The problem with any remarks from Cameron Slater is that he is so tainted with the Lusk politics for money machine, that you always have to ask where the money is.

          Of course there is always a possibility that particular money pot has run dry. But I still view almost every statement he makes as “I wonder who is paying him?”.

          Not a trustworthy source…

          • John A Lee

            Have a look at the political donations

          • tracey

            It is not like he was going to post ” I leaked it”

          • Carolyn_Nth


            interesting that both Hooton and CS were saying the Bishop thing was an inside job. But don’t know what it means.

            Others are saying it’s the Bridges/Collins faction FTW.

      • Tracey 24.2.2

        Double bludd

    • Richard McGrath 24.3

      Whaleoil hasn’t been quiet about it. He points the finger squarely at two time loser Bill as provider of information for the attempted hit job on Bishop.

  24. Zorb6 25

    The ‘Anadarko Kid’,must be the favourite after he bluffed Labour on the select committee numbers.

  25. james 26

    Disappointed – I liked him.

    I wish him all the best moving forward.

    • cleangreen 26.1

      Here here James,

      Joyce will attempt the mantle and he will wreck your precious National party then.

      Bill English is a slimy vile hypocrite that would sell his own mother for a buck.

      I lost it with bill English in 2009 when he backed Steven Joyce as Joyce was setting about to wreck Labour’s Kiwi rail just for spite and English supported Joyce by saying publicly stating that ; QUOTE; “We cant afford a road and a rail system”

      Now we have our roads full of overweight trucks that are other road users killing machines and these super sized “monster trucks” are now wrecking our roads so “it is a great day to see the end of this evil little man.”

      “Good riddance to bad rubbish”

      • Stuart Munro 26.1.1

        Agreed. To be worthy of the convention of not speaking ill of the retired Bill would have had to have been more careful of our nation state, and of who was getting hurt while he was busy enriching his dodgy mates.

  26. r0b 27

    I lost my last shred of respect for BE when he repeated Joyce’s fiscal hole lie. Bye Bill.

    • veutoviper 27.1

      Ditto, Rob. In particular, when Jacinda Ardern in the second debate (?), said to him” look me in the eye and say that” – or words to that effect.

      He never ever seemed to look her in the eye in the debates – or in Parliament; nor mention her by name. Subconscious denial?

      • mary_a 27.1.1

        Yes I think Blinglish is very much still in denial over the election, thinking he should be PM, despite not having the numbers to form a government. In his stagnant brain, PM Jacinda Ardern doesn’t exist. Bling is still wallowing in the stage of grief. Best to go now, before reaching the stage of anger. Who knows what he’s liable to do then!

      • ropata 27.1.2

        or subconscious fear of a strong articulate woman exposing his shortcomings in the ethics, intellect, and charisma departments.

    • Tracey 27.2


      Pseudo carer…

      At least Joyce is open about it being a game he is trying to win and bugger with who gets hurt

  27. Ad 28

    Bill English was, Prime Minister Ardern has said, a true public servant.

    He has dedicated almost his entire professional life to serving his country.

    I don’t agree with many of the policies that he supported , but he went from Treasury official back in the Muldoon era, to Member of Parliament, into Cabinet in 1996 under Shipley and briefly her Minister of Finance, and then served as the perfect Min Finance/PM duo.

    Granted, he did a terrible job with the loss to Labour in 2002.

    But as Minister of Finance under John Key he absolutely shone.

    And in terms of stuff delivered, challenges overcome, and the conservative managerial version of capitalism sustained, his track record is longer, and will be at least as enduring, as that of any of Labour’s Ministers of Finance.

    In his first few months in office he was already looking at the worst bailout since the BNZ, in the form of South Canterbury Finance.

    He also kept the entire social compact Labour had put in place while the rest of the developed world went into a total hysteria of austerity and burnt all but the elite of the elite off without apology.

    I don’t need to go through his failings with Key in his delegation of authority to Gerry Brownlee in the Christchurch rebuilds – I honestly have no idea if Labour would have done any better in a couterfactual history.

    He delivered tax cuts when his Prime Minister asked for them.

    He never had a mark landed on him in three terms as Minister of Finance.

    He delivered an accountability framework across the public social sector – never tried before and totally copied by Labour as soon as they got back in.

    He had as much match for the charisma of Jacinda Ardern as Phil Goff had against John Key. Granted he was no Prime Minister in other than the managerial sense.

    But if the National Party caucus were filled with Bill English lookalike clones, they would be far more formidable than Labour’s front bench is now. Ardern excepted.

    I hope, as National has done with Dr Michael Cullen, that our Prime Minister finds him something useful that will continue to make a difference. He’s gone from politics, but he’s too valuable to lose.

    Don’t have to like your ideological settings, but well done thou good and faithful servant.

    • Antoine 28.1

      Well spoken. I’m sure English will go on to do something worthwhile. I would have liked him to stay on but suppose it’s asking a bit much to sit round on the opposition benches for 3 (6, 9…?) years…


      • Tracey 28.1.1

        He still has time to be a real farmer if he chooses rather than the pretend one he has been.

    • greywarshark 28.2

      Thanks Ad. Well said. Let’s have graciousness about this Leader on his retirement from the position. He has done right according to his own lights.

    • Tracey 28.3

      Dont like his ideological settings. Dont like his social settings. Didnt like his abuse of power by engaging lawyers and accountants to rort the system. Didnt like his lie about Labours hole while covering up a 21bn hole of his own.

      Glad to see him gone. I wish him no ill will but he has been there propping up and perpetuating social and economic injustice for 27 years. Glad he is gone.

      This isnt a ame it is real peoples lives. The vulnerable are far worse off than when ge arrived and he knew power for many of his 27 years.

    • Zorb6 28.4

      Realistically all Bill English did was borrow tens of billions of dollars.They tried to repackage him at the last election ‘Key’ style and it worked to an extent,but it always looked like he was a little uncomfortable .
      Bailing out SCF was remarkable in that the investors,even those late to the party all got interest as well as capital paid.Went down very well in Nationals key support areas in the Mainland.

      • tracey 28.4.1

        Thanks Zorb i had forgotten the payout to foreign investors in SCF despite their not having a legal entitlement

      • lprent 28.4.2

        “Realistically all Bill English did was borrow tens of billions of dollars.”

        Yeah, but most of that was as a direct result of the irresponsible pledges to buy the 2008 election with unaffordable tax cuts for the wealthy.

        It was a political decision rather than a fiscal one.

        After that decision was made, the massive deficits he ran were inevitable.

        • alwyn

          “the massive deficits ”

          That may be your view but the current Minister of Finance doesn’t seem at all worried. He seems to think that the accounts are in excellent shape and that we can easily borrow more.
          Amazing how people’s views change when they actually get into Government isn’t it?
          I think he may be having trouble putting anything like a budget together without either massive borrowing, massive tax increases or scrapping most of the pre-election promises.

          • tracey

            He is certainly going to struggle given the 21bn Joyce and Bill omitted from PREFU.

            It seems to be taking you a while to work out that Cullen and English and now Robertson are all very similar alwyn when it comes to conservative mainstream economic thinking

            • alwyn

              “Joyce and Bill omitted from PREFU.”
              You have made that claim before and I pointed out the foolishness of you opinion then.

              Was the political hit on Chris Bishop an inside job?

              Treasury prepare the PREFU and neither Joyce nor English had anything to do with what was in it.
              Why don’t you read the reply I gave to you then, at the link I’ve just put in, and then come back and tell us why you think you are right and Treasury are lying?

              I wouldn’t say that Robertson was an example of any sort of economic thinking. He is totally ignorant of the subject.
              Grant might make a good Cabinet Minister, in a position he knew something about.. Why does he feel the need to have the prestigious title of Minister of Finance when he is totally incompetent in the field.
              He is a bit like Peters in 1996. He demanded the job then because of his desperate need for the prestige. Luckily he was too lazy to attempt to do the work and left Bill Birch to get on with it.

              • adam

                Now you’re arguing there is no ministerial responsibility, sheesh alwyn your on a slippery slope.

                • alwyn

                  When you look up what the rules are on the PREFU come back and talk about the matter.
                  Until you actually understand the subject any comments on the matter merely show that you are ignorant.

              • Zorb6

                I guess you think a degree in Zoology is a good qualification for the finance portfolio.

    • Enough is Enough 28.5

      Well said Ad

      Unlike r0b, Presland and co above, that is a very gracious comment.

      I will never agree with Bill’s politics and think a lot of what he did destroyed this country’s wealth (selling state assets). However he is someone who is a true servant to New Zealand and did what he personally thought would better this country as a whole.

      Good luck Bill.

      • tracey 28.5.1

        Graciousness after the swords have been thrust is not actually graciousness.

        • greywarshark

          Call it machiavellian diiplomacy then. I don’t know how to describe Ad’s personal approach though. Perhaps they are related through an uncle’s second cousin?

    • Chuck 28.6

      You do make a number of good points above Ad, a great post.

    • AB 28.7

      ” the conservative managerial version of capitalism sustained”
      He certainly did that.
      But that is incompatible with this:
      “well done thou good and faithful servant” – if by “servant” you mean a servant of the public, rather than just a servant of elites.
      Bill English should never be forgiven for his tolerance (advocacy even) of avoidable human suffering at the poor end of town.

      • Ad 28.7.1

        That depends if you include serving the elites rather than the rest of us through:

        – Raising welfare benefits
        – Keeping Kiwisasver
        – Keeping majority ownership of electricity generators
        – Not killing NZSuper (though not supporting it)
        – Funding cycleways, City Rail Link, and motorways together
        – Keeping ACC
        – Bringing the numbers on social welfare as a whole right down during a sustained economic boom that left New Zealand in the strongest economic position and lowest headline unemployment in a decade.

        Bolger and the Mother Of All Budgets would have put a scythe through much of all of that. English has pulled National strongly towards the centre.

        • tracey

          Unfortunately the centre moved far to the right first so the centre was still further right

        • AB

          Well the picture is always mixed – but these are mostly just avoiding further deterioration in some areas, rather than doing anything bold or positive to deliver the substantial reduction in inequality required.

          • greywarshark

            ell we have to think what the conservs have been doing in the UK. At least we haven’t gone too far down that road. But it was time for Labour and coalition to get in. Please start doing stuff Labour, especially that brings the strugglers into the picture with some part time work, and a path towards a better future.

        • tracey

          Not paying into the superfund when stocks had dropped significantly is market and economics failure 101. You have to buy at the bottom to offset the buying you do near the top. This was a singular failure of older NZers.

          The numbers on welfare have been fudged. By Clark by Nats and prolly again by Labour.

          Sorry Ad but how many disabled and other vulnerable have you followed over the last 27 years? Not many if you think the true figures have fallen or that those folks are not worse off.

          • Ad

            GINI coefficient and other core stats isn’t great for either main party, over a fair amount of time. This is one of the best collection of poverty stats in a really quick sequence that I know of:


            I have no need to agree with Bill English’s ideological positions.
            But then, you’ve not disagreed with anything I’ve stated in the two assessments above.

            • tracey

              Other than you post the list as an explanation of why you consider him a faithful servant to NZ. I see the list as evidence of why it is good he is gong and that any good he did was not for the majority of kiwis who live below the median income line.

              But in terms of the “game”, which is how you consistently view politics, you are doing a political “didn’t upset too many people” scorecard and conflating it with “faithful servant of NZ”.

      • tracey 28.7.2

        Faithful servant who was well rewarded for what he did.

        This what serving NZ actually looks like


    • KJT 28.8


      Right wingers do good satire

  28. delia 29

    Well people are saying who is going to keep the National caucus in line, well it is obvious, Gerry of course.

    • Antoine 29.1

      That is a scary scary thought

    • tracey 29.2

      Gerry has been invisible since the last election which is no mean feat. I think he is one who has been chatting to Labour about any spare high commission gigs

      • veutoviper 29.2.1

        I understand that they looking for someone for the NZ High Commissioner post to Niue …

        • tracey

          I suspect the Tongan post will be vacant soon too

          • veutoviper

            Well funny that you should say that as the High Commissioner to Tonga since May 2014, Sarah Walsh, left Tonga in Dec 2017 andan Acting HC, Nick Hurley, is there until another HC is appointed.

          • greywarshark

            It won’t be there – some buildings will have vanished, and isn’t it time we allowed for some evacuations from the disappearing islands to little enclaves within South auckland?

            • veutoviper

              The High Commission (building) may not still be there, but that does not/should not affect the position of the High Commissioner (a person – and the staff) . The latter are even more needed in such circumstances as those at present after the cyclone..

            • veutoviper

              Why “little enclaves within South auckland”? That sounds like ghetto mentality.

              Jacinda Ardern has already made several speeches about NZ ‘s responsibility for Pacific Island climate change refugees/migrants (including at APEC last November) – and it is an area of interest/concern to her.

              Re my 29.2.1 remark above re the position of NZ High Commissioner in Niue, this was slightly in jest. The position is indeed about to become vacant as the current High Commissioner and his wife are returning to NZ (Auckland) in the next month or so. The current High Commissioner is Ross Ardern, Jacinda Ardern’s father. He has been appointed to be the Administrator of Tokelau (a NZ dependency) and the three atolls making up Tokelau are already being effected by climate change. One of Ross Ardern’s responsibilities will be in relation to this.

              (And no, Ross Ardern’s appointment is not a LP crony appointment. See his professional background in this announcement by Winston Peters in Dec 2017. The appointment would have been well in process by the previous government well before the election.)


              • greywarshark

                Your ideas are too conservative. There is nothing wrong with ghettos except the connotations from WW2 and thereabouts. It would be good if those who have liberal-type ideas adopted rational critique on them before jumping in happily, saying ‘you’re wrong, I’m right and learned people know what is right and proper’.

                I think back in state housing planning days, Maori and PIs were pepper-potted through state housing areas, one house at a time amongst a mix of cultures. I think that is too narrow, and when we start to rehouse people from drowning islands, we should have perhaps four or five in a group so they can build their own neighbourhood connections with confidence and not feel so bereft from home. Then a street away there would be another group, within walking distance. They should be able to say to their children, go down and see auntie and play with the kids, do your homework together etc. There would be other cultural groups close by, but they shouldn’t be next to groups who have traditionally at odds with each other.

                It is just part of caring what we do for them, and what they are likely to want and need, not dumping our narrow preconceived notions on them.

        • Pete

          I hope none of the islands under threat of a rising ocean are seeking an ambassador. Mind you I realise Gerry would be after a big role not a minor one though.

  29. ianmac 30

    Bill was up for first one in QT but he is not there. Surprised?

    • veutoviper 30.1

      No – it would be inappropriate for him to be there for Question Time now that he has given notice of his resignation.

      He will presumably give a Valedictory speech sometime before or on 27 February.

      But Bennett got two bites of the apple today in subbing for him as well as her own question. Bridges – no questions today.

    • veutoviper 30.2

      There he is, Bill English, in the House for Question Time today – seems much brighter and in a new suit (?)

      Unusual in terms of convention, but nothing against it. So I owe you an apology, ianmac, for saying it was ‘inappropriate’ yesterday.

      Kia kaha

  30. Ad 31

    I’m kinda curious about Joyce’s outcome in all of this.

    Will he fade out slowly, or will he be the Bill Birch figure that provides the steel to the sopping wets like Bridges and Kaye?

    Head to head against Robertson will not be easy for National with the surpluses and the economy so ridiculously well.

    In every decade since Kirk, we would have had a major recession by now. Which is the opening in which an Opposition Finance leader flourishes.

    So the open question for a person like Joyce is: can he make New Zealand hungry for more, even when times are this good?

    • tracey 31.1

      Joyce IS the National Party, strategy wise. He also fronts to take the hits and aggressively counter punches. He was at Waitangi for example. He has won more for them than he has lost…. or is he batting 500? Cos McCully would have to take credit for 2002 and 2005?

      • Ad 31.1.1

        If I were Joyce I would follow Key and Power into banking.
        He’s well overdue for a decent governance position.

        • tracey

          Unlike the latter it would be a first for Joyce

        • gnomic

          Ha ha. Is there anyone delusional enough to hire Minister of Everything to a position where serious money could be at risk? Could he pass the ethics test?

    • OncewasTim 31.2

      Hopefully Joyce’s mate Drury will give him a cruisy gig offshore as a Xero salesman

  31. adam 32

    So national have finally conceded the election.

    It took them a while.

  32. Reality 33

    Bridges has a nasty temper when challenged. Recall an early interview on becoming a minister where he lost his cool well and truly. Also he had his angry face on the first sitting day after the election. He will have to have charm lessons if he becomes leader which might make his smarmy side even worse.

    • tracey 33.1

      He will get trained just as Key did. He already has lying down pat… just where have those 10 bridges gone?

      I hope he only ever prosecuted criminals cos we know how Nats feel if a lawyer does any defending…

      • Puckish Rogue 33.1.1

        ” if a lawyer does any defending…”

        Not sure what that means, can you elaborate?

        • tracey

          Did you miss the attacks on the Green MP for her work at the UN where she worked on both prosecution and defence teams? Vilified in the press…

          • Puckish Rogue

            Thats strange, I thought the attacks were about the whitewashing on the Green home page where it stated she was a prosecutor of war criminals whereas the reality is she helped defend more war criminals than she prosecuted

            • Robert Guyton

              Hey, Pucky. How are you feeling? You’ve lost John, the election and now Bill. Things are looking thin, to say the least. How long do you think you’ll be fasting like this?

              • Puckish Rogue

                Lets be honest here, no one will ever fill the hole Lord John left, he was the moon, the stars, the sun, the galaxy, the universe

                There’ll never be the likes of him again and we can all count ourselves lucky that we, yes we, had a chance to bask in the reflected glory of his being

                Now if, yes its a big ego filled if, National are smart they’ll look to see how Labour reacted after Helen Clark flew the coop and will hopefully not repeat the same mistakes

                If not then at very least there’ll be some very public blood letting and shenanigans to keep us all amused

                Or maybe, just maybe, High Protector of all the reams, his excellency John Key can be convinced to make the greatest comeback since Lazarus!

                • adam

                  You might want to ask Wira Gardiner about that…

                • I feel love

                  “The difference between the right and the left is us on the right don’t suffer your messiah complex re:Jacinda mania” or something or rather, PR or James or Chris73 a few weeks back…

                • Robert Guyton

                  Agreed Key made a hole – in the hull of the Good Ship Honesty.
                  Return to the scene of the crime?
                  He’s not so stupid. Sending in Bridges is typically cunning.

                • tracey

                  “Labour reacted after Helen Clark flew the coop and will hopefully not repeat the same mistakes”

                  Too late. She announced her resignation and a leadership contending began (straight after the election as I recall?)

                  They, as recently as 3 days ago had a line up of current and soon to be Nat MPs pretending Bill was safe. Neki minit.

                  ” no one will ever fill the hole Lord John left, he was the moon, the stars, the sun, the galaxy, the universe

                  There’ll never be the likes of him again and we can all count ourselves lucky that we, yes we, had a chance to bask in the reflected glory of his being” chuckling

                  And yet, Ardern seems to be just that for many already, and some nat supporters already hate on her (and her partner) with a lust that equals that of some Labour folks toward Key.

                  Already some comments on Facebook are asserting Ardern’s partner is homosexual. The Nats really do like to stick to their playbook. Last female PM’s husband was also gay, according to the dirty rumour generators of nat leanings.

            • Psycho Milt

              I thought the attacks were about the whitewashing on the Green home page…

              It’s almost comical how you don’t get that calling that “whitewashing” illustrates exactly what Tracey mentioned in her comment.

            • tracey

              Well you know what thought thought? there was quite the backlash for the notion she had defended (gulp) people who had done bad things….

              Well if he has ever defended anyone, he has kept quiet about it, so let us hope he only ever worked on the side of the good system against the evil defendants ey!

            • KJT

              She was a Lawyer participating in trilas. Exactly as she claimed to be.

              Or do you think defense shouldn’t be part of a trial?

              The rest, as usual, was a bad faith media beat up.

          • Chuck

            Ah, the infamous Golriz and her CV padding.

            “she was asked whether she’d ever posed with a war criminal, she stammered before saying, no”

            “Well a series of photos have been sent to me, one showing her posing alone with a former pop singer called Simon Bikindi who was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to 15 years in jail for incitement to commit genocide.”


            Golriz even left her leader hanging…


            And Golriz own words

            “It was surprising for me that there was this feeling that [my work] was hidden,” Ms Ghahraman told Newshub.

            “I accept that is vague, [but] I don’t think it’s misleading at all”

            Golriz was only being vague (in her own words) then 🙂

            • tracey

              Chuck, you must have been outraged from 2007 until key\’s resignation then. If his lips were moving he was lying about something, or forgettiing.

    • Pete 33.2

      I remember him in the House last year getting petulant because Ms Genter had the temerity to ask questions he didn’t want to answer. Did want to because the truth hurts and he didn’t want to spout the truth and look an idiot.

      He looked like a shitty little 8 year old who couldn’t get his own way. Definitely material to be their leader. Naturally, in the shadow of his episodes like that, his/their supporters kept harping on about angry Andy.

  33. Stuart Munro 34

    Oddly, it might be Goldsmith who would be best suited to lead National through their forty years in the wilderness. He has a degree of maturity, sufficiently so that he was the one called to deal with Chris Bishop’s five minutes of social media mediocracy. He is also used to not being the centre of attention – which is something the Gnats must learn again if they are ever to regain the credibility that would make them electable. And lastly, because he isn’t a towering ego of the conspicuous proportions of most pretenders to Bill’s spot, he might have a shot at wrangling this mob of syphilitic mustelids into working together and not embarrassing themselves before a media that no longer promises to ignore their every faux pas.

    • tracey 34.1

      If the Nats want to eat ACT, then yes, they will appoint him. he’s ACT in everything but party membership. I have often wondered f he and Seymour are clones

    • Muttonbird 34.2

      Bag of flour for leader! Add a little yeast in Collins and their bread will be rising in no time.

  34. Mark 35

    More Kiwis supported the Nats, and still support the Nats, than any other party, even after dancing with the stars Jacinta announced she was in foal. Your headline is disrespectful to a former PM who has more between his ears than the whole good-damned awful Coalition cabinet combined.

    [lprent: That was respectful for me.

    Even a pathetic wannabe arselicking failure of a wanker like yourself should be able to distinguish the difference between me not being respectful and when I am?

    But I could always demonstrate further by displaying my continued lack of respect for your opinion. ]

    • Grey Area 35.1

      Mark Mitchell, is that you?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 35.1.1

        Wouldn’t surprise me if that mercenary asshole is sufficiently bitter and poisonous to author that comment.

        Still, speculation about identity is frowned upon in these parts.
        Here be dragons!

      • tracey 35.1.2

        Were there any threats in Mark’s comment? That is a clue

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          “The strongest force grows old, and then its violence will return; and kill it.” Lao Tzu.

          I love threats: they offer such opportunity for ridicule. Others just find them intimidating. He sounds like a very nice man and I’d love to meet him 😈

      • fender 35.1.3

        No, Mark is his surname, Skid is his first name.

        Suits him 100%

      • Muttonbird 35.1.4

        Mark Richardson, I think.

    • adam 35.2

      More sexist attacks, please moderators can you put your foot down on this. Mark’s comments are just more of this crap.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 35.3


      Double Dipton is trash, and his legacy is worse. His resignation brings to mind Hunter S Thompson’s Nixon obituary.

      “A swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a Prime Minister”.

      Works for me.

    • Your headline is disrespectful to a former PM…

      Says the sorry excuse for a sack of shit who calls the current PM “Jacinta” and describes her as a horse. I don’t think anyone’s going to be looking to you for lessons in ettiquette.

      • tracey 35.4.1

        he may be of the ilk who spam facebook with pronouncements that Ardern’s partner is homosexual. These nat supporters really are homophobic and unoriginal. Remember their frothing attempts to smear Peter Davis?

        • Psycho Milt

          I remember it well, in fact the intensity of their speculation over what he might have got up in various public toilets said a lot more about their sexual proclivities than it did about his.

          As well as those guys, there seems to be also a large number whose definition of “likely homosexual” equates to “insufficiently misogynistic.” One of the things I liked best about leaving school was the prospect of never having to hang out with shits like that again.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Yep. English was a religious conservative, and basically bigoted against LGBTI people.

          And there’s this little twitter story from journo Jessica Williams, about an encounter with English, back when she was in the Press Gallery, and on a day when she had her daughter at work with her.

          After several tweets, the punch line:

          So I said “L, this is Mr English, who your mama talks to all the time for work”. Bill said “hello nice to meet you L” AND THEN HE SAID “shouldn’t your mother be staying home to look after you instead of working?”

          Pus, I will never forget how English spun the stats, claiming that the “average wage” was going up and there was no income inequality problem really – in Question time, in election debates…

          And on Checkpoint tonight he said he regrets that they didn’t move faster to counter the housing crisis! WTF! the Nats were clearly dragging their heals.

    • tracey 35.5

      Tissues for Mark and a primer on how our electoral system works under MMP!

    • McFlock 35.6

      The biology of the Lesser Spotted Tory is unique amongst the animal kingdom. While perfectly capable of crying at will like the crocodile, genuine tears of anguish and frustration are actually diverted into the veinous system (which is not actually needed to oxygenate their cold, dead hearts) and gives their “blood” its notable blue hue.

      The tears of loss and jealousy are then absorbed by the liver and fermented into a particularly green and noxious bile, which is then spontaneously vomited at nearby predators, such as reality.

      TL:DR: the more loathsome and vicious a tory gets, the more schadenfreude one should have at the sight.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 35.6.1

        … nearby predators, such as reality. Too funny. Stop it 😆

      • KJT 35.6.2

        Yes. I am going to enjoy the sight, of the tribe of Alien lizards in National, cannibalizing each other over the next 6 years.

        I know it is a character flaw to rejoice in the downfall of the stupid and venal.
        Happily own up to it, though!

    • ropata 35.7

      I am guessing Kiwiblog is a total dumpster fire at this point and the righties are desperate to blame anyone but themselves

  35. Stuart Munro 36

    The other obvious choice covers all the bases for the Gnats – young, media savvy, brooding, power hungry and intrinsically bad but competent. Kylo Ren. Might struggle to get citizenship though.

    • s y d 36.1

      “…… in a private ceremony at the New Zealand consulate at Santa Monica in California, the technology billionaire swore on the Bible to become Citizen Thiel.

      An award of citizenship is effectively permanent and is granted without subject to conditions. It allows voting and residence rights and the ability to run for office, and can only be revoked under extreme circumstances.”

      We could have an absentee PM

    • Antoine 36.2

      Hux would end up running the show

  36. Sparky 37

    I wonder with Labours support for some of the Nats nastier initiatives like the TPP and 90 day law, etc that it really matters who runs the country anymore? They all seem to be on much the same page as far as I can tell.

    • tracey 37.1

      Couldn’t agree more except the 90 day law has gone for smaller businesses…. hopefully it is like how the nats brough it in… pretended it was for GFC and just a few employers then made it for all

      • Michael 37.1.1

        “except the 90 day law has gone for smaller businesses” – shouldn’t that read: “the 90 day law has gone except for smaller businesses”? And those “smaller businesses” happen to consist of 70 percent of all NZ employers, with fewer that 20 employees. Hardly sticking up for the proletariat is it?

    • KJT 37.2

      And “Budget responsibility rules” which ties their hands for any meaningful social change.

  37. Cinny 38

    Meanwhile… NORA* is leading the opinion polls on Herald and Stuff.

    When presented with the list of obvious choices…

    “None of the above” and “Another MP are winning the race.”


    *NORA = No Other Reasonable Alternative

    • One Anonymous Bloke 38.1


      As of my vote at The Herald, Collins is leading Bruhgiss by 2%.

      Fight you bastards.

      • Carolyn_Nth 38.1.1


        I think Bridges may turn out to be the Cunliffe-like choice. Trevett says support for him is divided in caucus. But he seems to get the following of the right wing of the party.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          My compass is completely crap when it comes to figuring out who will be popular among dupes. I thought Key was transparently dishonest and corrupt from the get-go, never understood how people can vote for him, let alone support him as PM.

          So my assessment of the available replacements is suspect at best. Nice to see none of them are popular in the straw polls.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Yes. Key always seemed a slippery conman, to me. Bridges seems inauthentic – a try-hard. I doubt Nikki Kaye has what it takes to lead a party. Collins is just plain nasty. Joyce – gee – really? Adams – too bland.

            But, what do I know.

            It’s interesting, though, that Claire Trevett reckons Bridges is not fully supported across the caucus.

            Cons: Strong accent, wears ambition too openly and treads fine line between holding government to account and being obstructive for the sake of it. Opinion of him is divided in caucus.

            My recollection is that John Key got glowing recommendations all round in the MSM before and immediately after he became leader.

            PS: Bryce Edwards on twitter, quoting Hoots, says there are only 3 contenders: Bridges, Adams and Collins. Kaye isn’t standing.

          • Chuck

            “never understood how people can vote for him, let alone support him as PM.”

            I am pretty sure that was also the feeling of the Labour party HQ for many a year!

            In Ardern they have found the Labour version of a Key. It remains to be seen if National fall into the trap that Labour did (telling themselves it’s just a matter of time before the voter’s tired of Key).

            My 2 cents worth is that National will throw caution to the wind in choosing their next leader. Well as much as a conservative party can 🙂

        • Michael

          “he seems to get the following of the right wing of the party.” What other wing do the Nats have? I’ve always believed that the fact they only have a right wing explains why they can only flap about in ever-decreasing right-wing circles.

          • McFlock

            Well, it’s all a question of degree, innit.

            Blinglish was rabidly right wing, but still had shreds of pretense about leaving the country better off (“social investment” and all that).

            Whereas the nats who are even further right wing don’t give a shit, joke about prison rape resulting from their policies, that sort of thing.

            But then there’s the rural:urban tory divide: what’s good for bankers isn’t always good for farmers, even if they have lots of overlap. Diptonicus kept the the farmers onside: expect more regional votes to bleed to NZ1.

      • Cinny 38.1.2

        LMFAO !!!!!!!!!

  38. Ms Fargo 39

    Will nic Smith, Steve joyce now also jump – or will they be pushed? I believe the phrase is ‘game on’ or something like that. Interesting that Bill had to remind his team not to eat each other.

  39. rod 40

    I’m still waiting for the real reason John Key suddenly spit the dummy. Anyone?

    • greywarshark 40.1

      There is probably a book in it seeing that Key was loved by everybody and so cute and funny. Have a go – I am sure lots of people have asked the same question.

  40. Ms Fargo 41

    Same reason as Bill. To spend more time with family. Yes?

  41. NZJester 42

    He was told to jump or be pushed. If he jumped he gets a golden parachute. They push him no parachute.

    • Carolyn_Nth 42.1

      Now English says he decided to quit at Xmas:


      ODT at 7pm:

      Outgoing National leader Bill English said he had wanted to leave while he had the choice, and once he made up his mind he decided to go sooner rather than later.

      English’s announcement caught many MPs by surprise. English said he made his decision at Christmas and decided to go quickly rather than stay on longer.

      “I thought that it would be too difficult to do the job properly if I’d half left the building. That wouldn’t help the party, it would probably end up creating more speculation about leadership or whatever.

      “So I thought that once I’d decided for myself then I was better to go.”

      So he was just waiting to see how his colleagues would behave in the last 2 months?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 42.1.1

        To be fair, he asserted it in his resignation story. Personally I think he’s lying. He was planning to go before Key bailed, and then Key out-bailed him.

      • NZJester 42.1.2

        It’s likely another National lie to try and allow him and the party to save face.
        Now the reason for the random political hit job on Chris Bishop makes a bit more sence. One faction wanted to give another faction a problem weakening their numbers that would keep them away from the top seat.
        All those secret meetings behind closed doors were a leadership struggle. He never wanted to resign he was booted from the job and this is all just a charade to make out there are no deep division within National. They have already likely decided who would take over from him. All the posturing in the media right now is to draw out the announcement so they can get more air time to be able to bag Labour in the News with talking points while getting the new as yet unannounced showdow ministers more airtime than they deserve.
        If you watch and see who says what talking points you will likely be able to work out for yourself who already has what job.

      • Ed 42.1.3

        So that’s the spin…..

      • veutoviper 42.1.4

        That just doesn’t make sense to me. If he decided at Christmas, then I would have thought he would have resigned before last week when the Nat Party Caucus held their two day retreat in Tauranga, thereby allowing the retreat to be used for discussing their leadership etc going forward. Instead they went through with a charade of all is well; English is our leader and no one is challenging him, etc, etc.

    • greywarshark 43.1

      Yes that bit about farmers attitudes to anyone who doesn’t think exactly as they do and hasn’t gone through the ritual of pricking wrists and mingling, yes well I think they will have a wry grin at the outsiders, some of whom are also farmers but aren’t ‘the right stuff’.

  42. timeforacupoftea 44

    Yesterday it was Gone Burger Bill !
    Today we can say Gone Pizza Bill !

  43. outofbed 45

    Please be Bridges

  44. cleangreen 46

    outofbed You said;
    “Please be Bridges”

    Yes as he was the man that ran on the promise of building 10 bridges right?

    well he built one and since as Minister of transport he has all but totally destroyed the rail system so yes we want him as no one will vote for a liar who destroys transport systems and doesn’t keep his promises either.

    That will be a best Xmas present for Jacinda & labour/NZ First, – who is putting the rail back together again as we speak.

    You see ‘outofbed’ we just got a letter from the Minister of Transport who said ‘Labour is taking rail seriously now’ ‘!!!!!!

    So as the voters finally get the whole transport system working together and giving the industries more transport choices and also to lower the green house emissions at the same time, it will make Simon Bridges look like the ‘village clown’.

    We will be fair and enlighten bridges with this study paper he ordered but forgot to read as labour found it hidden last month as National hid it for 18 months and it says that rail is very viable and saves the eonomy 1.5 Bliiion annually even as run down as it was then!!!!!

    Read and learn Simon Bridges will you!!!!


    Bring it on please.

  45. Incognito 47

    When Bill English was asked who might succeed him he answered “they all are pretty damned hopeless”.

    When asked about Simon Bridges he retorted “man’s not hot”.

    When asked to describe his feelings after 27 years in politics he choked and whispered “it’s my party and I cry if I want to”.

    I have to stop here …

  46. Tanz 48

    National’s best ammo, and he would have won the next election (like the last) hands down, with Winston P gone from the frame. This is a sad sad day, one of our best PM’s elect, ever.

  47. mosa 49

    When is Corrin Dann actually going to admit to himself that he really is a closet National MP and do something about it.

    His diatribe on English and how wonderful he is really turns ones stomach.

    Good balanced objective political analysis on TVNZ is really dead.

  48. Tanz 50

    He was elected. Beaten only by Winston who cobbled together the losers. MMP be damned, bring back FPP, (yeah, right)..National still have the most seats and votes, and Bill should be proud of that. Minority govt, not backed by the voters.

  49. mac1 51

    I’ve just been spammed in e-mail.

    Some dirty politics propagator, probably Russian but almost certainly not English, sent me the following, in part.

    “National’s two-day Caucus meeting last week confirmed to me that our team is more united, energetic, and ambitious than I have ever seen them.

    We also have the largest and most talented team of MPs in Parliament. A team that I believe has the courage and conviction to earn the right to win government in 2020.

    For that reason, it is important National’s new Leader has the time and the best possible opportunity to achieve that, so I believe now is the right time to step aside.”

    Incredible spamming but the giveaway was at the end.

    “Once again, thank you for your support.”

    Certainly not me. Wonder how they got my e-mail address?

  50. Tanz 52

    National gained more votes and seats than Labour and the Greens combined. Yes, Winston chose a minority govt, hands down. He chose second, third, fourth. Otherwise, what is the point of an election in the first place?? The next election will be worth waiting for with no Winnie, at three percent, choosing. National have the majority in the House, biggest Opposition in one hundred years. But spin, spin, spin, MMP apologists spin it again and again.

    • McFlock 52.1

      National is the biggest bunch of losers for a while, yes. Because democracy means working with other people, and National can’t work with other people.

      But keep ranting. Your grief and denials taste like nectar.

    • mac1 52.2

      I don’t wanna play with the new rules. I wanna play with the old rules. The new rules suck. I can’t win with the new rules. I wanna play with the old rules. I don’t understand the new rules. I wanna play with the old rules. Bring back Buck.

    • ropata 52.3

      And thank God Winston exercised wisdom and courage (you should try it) and made a difficult decision in the best interests of NZ. Winston has had plenty of run ins with the Nats and their army of entitled fuckwits and didn’t want to enable this contagion to grow any worse in our fair land.

    • Oh, the poor baby is still upset that National lost.

      RWNJs really hate democracy.

  51. Richard Christie 53

    The Nats will duly follow their instinct and line up behind the richest person in the room.

  52. Cinny 54

    Where is mark richardson this morning, he’s not on newshub… is he too upset to make it to work, or is he preparing his own bid for leadership?

  53. peterh 55

    Nats should do like the NZ rugby league are now doing, go off shore
    when you have no one good enough at home, they could try for Hilary

  54. millsy 56

    Good riddance. The guy was on track to destroying any form of social fabric we had left.

    To him, the state had no role in anything, and social services were to be rationed to those who “needed them the most”. Hence Social Investment.

    He never had much faith in our young workers, prefering to write them off as hopeless and allow employers to access the reserve army of labour in China and India.

    Not saying his successor (who I believe will be Amy Adams) will be any different of course.

  55. Tricledrown 57

    Double Dipton
    Double Dipped out.
    Crusher Dildodo or slippery Simon.

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