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Bridges’ biggest gamble

Written By: - Date published: 3:46 pm, February 2nd, 2020 - 103 comments
Categories: crime, democratic participation, national, nz first, political parties, same old national, Simon Bridges, winston peters - Tags:

Simon Bridges has made the call and ruled out working with NZ FIrst after the election.  From Henry Cooke at Stuff:

National leader Simon Bridges has ruled out working with NZ First after this year’s election, telling voters he can’t trust the party.

Bridges’ move, announced at a caucus retreat in Havelock North, sets the stage for a no-holds barred election campaign between the three parties that make up the Government and National.

It echoes a move made by then-oppositon leader John Key ahead of the 2008 election, when he too ruled out working with NZ First.

And the reasons?

“I don’t believe we can work with NZ First and have a constructive trusting relationship.”

Bridges pointed to the decision of NZ First leader Winston Peters to sue several National Party ministers during coalition negotiations as a factor in the bad blood between the parties.

“I don’t trust NZ First and I don’t believe New Zealanders can either.”

There are some interesting parallels in what happened in 2008 and what is happening now.  

Back then there was a SFO investigation into a $100,000 dollar donation by Owen Glenn to NZ First that Peters disputed.

From a NBR article at the time:

National Party leader John Key has ruled out working with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters post-election altogether and says opponents are wrong to suggest that would change if he was struggling to form a government.

Mr Peters’ party is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over questions how donated money was spent and Parliament’s privileges committee is looking at whether rules were broken regarding an undeclared $100,000 donation from billionaire Owen Glenn.

Mr Key told NZPA that the bar he set for who he would work with was higher than if they were cleared by investigations or not.

“I have to have confidence in them and confidence in their word. The sheer weight of allegations and the actions of Mr Peters in the last few months means that I have lost that confidence in him.”

Mr Key ruled out having Mr Peters as a minister, forming a coalition with his party or entering any kind of support arrangement with NZ First.

“The lot… we have categorically ruled him out altogether.”

Mr Key said he did not think Mr Peters would be able to clear up all the allegations swirling around.

“I think it’s highly unlikely he will be able to resolve to my satisfaction answers to all of those allegations and that still leaves you with his handling of the situation.”

Gee, $100,000 dollar donation, SFO investigation, allegation that the donation was declared.

Perhaps given the obvious sensitivity to such behaviour Simon Bridges should rule out working with Simon Bridges after the election.

103 comments on “Bridges’ biggest gamble ”

  1. mac1 1

    Bridges burning another bridge? Except he hasn't got any.

    I reckon he has got in early before Peters turned him down. Less face to lose. It could also be heralding a break to the right. We'll see with policy announcements and candidate selections as the year progresses.

    • woodart 1.1

      huge difference between then and now. then nats had three poodle parties, now only have one. bridges is trying to fight a fpp election, wont work now. nats dont like mmp, (cant stand sharing things,typical right wing character flaw), but have successfully cheated the system, with poodle parties.

  2. SHG 2

    “I don’t trust NZ First and I don’t believe New Zealanders can either.”

    Bingo.

    National’s election chances just got a LOT stronger.

    • observer 2.1

      Only if you believe that Simon Bridges will lead National to a higher percentage of the vote than John Key managed.

      So the least popular National leader since polling began, will do better than the most popular leader (of any party) since polling began. That's some heroic optimism.

      • Chris T 2.1.1

        Going by the polls if Peters isn't around they won't need it.

        Unless Labour gift him a seat.

        Which would be kind of against Ardern's promise of a transparent and truthful election campaigning.

        He has actually pushed her into a corner a wee bit.

        • observer 2.1.1.1

          Going by the polls National had a single-party majority under Key in 2008, 2011 and 2014.

          Going by the votes, they never did.

        • Ed1 2.1.1.2

          You seem to be implying that Simon Bridges is not being transparent and truthful about his intention to gift ACT a seat again . . .

          • Chris T 2.1.1.2.1

            Not really.

            I'm implying that no politicians from any party are ever going to be transparent and truthful.

            They just tend to normally not make such un-achievable promises.

            Makes for a nice slogan though.

        • Chris 2.1.1.3

          Being transparent and truthful doesn't prevent gifting seats to other parties. If gifting a seat to another party makes sense strategically they simply need to do it transparently and truthfully. The problem for Labour is that they haven't properly understood that yet.

    • Clive Macann 2.2

      SHG

      Funny.

      Is that "joke of the day"?

    • Muttonbird 2.3

      By shedding even more coalition partners?

      Don't think so.

      • Jimmy 2.3.1

        I don't think after the 2017 election, Nats were ever any more likely to go in to coalition with NZF than say the Greens, so I wouldn't say they've really got rid of a potential partner.

  3. observer 3

    Thanks for the NBR link, it chimes in with my own memory that Key made his move much later in the year. He had kept his options open until Peters really was in the poo. People tend to forget that.

  4. Sacha 4

    Look, I would never have dated Elle MacPherson either. It's good that Simon has got in first to clarify his prospects with that suave Winston chap.

  5. observer 5

    One of the (many) weird things about Bridges' move is that in 2017 we had many Nats in the media urging the Greens to talk to National. For a couple of weeks it was a concerted (albeit deluded) campaign. James Shaw was to blame for not being reasonable!

    So National's position now seems to be that NZF are unacceptable in 2020 (when the parties agree about some things) and therefore worse than the Greens were in 2017 (when they agreed about almost nothing).

  6. Whispering Kate 6

    I fear there is a new right wing party being formed right now and along with Act could see them getting into power this election, hence his confidence in giving NZ First their marching orders. Disgusting thought. Nightmare stuff really.

    • Fireblade 6.1

      Is that the gun loving, racist, white supremacist party?

    • mosa 6.2

      The rumor is that Tamhere will make a comeback for the Maori party and contest Tamaki Makaurau.

      He would work with Simon as he was always in Labour's right leaning faction.

      Problem solved.

      • Lucy 6.2.1

        He thought he had Auckland mayoralty in the bag too. Never count your elections til they are over! Many voters will never forgive him for his New Zealand is run by front bums comment, or his pretty legal mortgage, or his roast busters comments.

      • lprent 6.2.2

        Problem with JT is that he doesn't seem to realise that over the years he has been steadily irritating whole groups of people in politics because he is useless at being a politician. He works best as a shock jock gripping himself tightly to expel his white flecks of ‘wisdom’.

        It seems very unlikely to work that he trying to revive the MP will work as a strategy. I hope he tries. I suspect that it will just suck conservative Maori voters away from voting party-vote National.

        It doesn't seem likely that the MP will win an electorate, and this isn't an area that I think that the National party could offer a seat to another client party.

        But JT sure hope that he tries. The way that he plays with others, especially women, will effectively block someone else decent winning a vital Maori electorate.

    • Wayne 6.3

      Whispering Kate,

      What right wing party would that be?

      No new party has got a hope of getting more than 5%, and National is certainly not going to gift a seat to any such party. Epsom was different. Act (Hide) actually won the seat off Richard Worth in 2005. Thos are the only situations where major party basically give a seat away. When they have already lost it. Like Sydenham.

      The only party not currently in parliament that has any hope of getting in is the Maori Party, and that will be if they win one of the 7 Maori seats.

      • Incognito 6.3.1

        You might be correct but any new party might eat into the support for NZF or the Greens and drive them under 5%. Now, wouldn’t that be handy for National?

        • Wayne 6.3.1.1

          What if the new party eats into National? Which is quite likely if it is a right or a centre-right party. A bit of an own goal if that happens.

          As for the Greens, I don't see them dropping below 5%. Just about every existing Green voter knows the Greens will never go with National, so there is no notional right vote to be carved off.

          Not true of NZF. A fair chunk of their vote was originally National. In fact they probably have already peeled off, which accounts for NZF hovering right around 5% or a bit less. So yes, a real chance that NZF will go under 5%.

          But that won't happen if it looks like National can't win anyway. In that case some people will go with NZF to act as a moderating force on Labour. Which probably suits Labour. They never want to be as left as the Greens (the recent infrastructure package shows that). So being able to use NZF as an excuse helps Labour do what it already wants to do.

          [Fixed typo in user handle]

          • Incognito 6.3.1.1.1

            We are in agreement. National can probably afford a drop of, say, 0.5%, but NZF cannot.

            Even if the Greens will stay above 5%, which is likely, I agree, then an eroded vote for them will mean fewer seats in Parliament.

            I reckon we’ll see a few new parties sprouting up before the election but the window is closing.

          • Sacha 6.3.1.1.2

            Yes, Winston First is a convenient figleaf for the right-wing of Labour just like Act has been in National.

            More savvy left voters need to vote Green rather than Labour to change that calculus.

            Winston having nowhere else to go is a great opportunity to reduce his leverage in the next coalition.

      • Chris 6.3.2

        With Bridges as its leader National could easily gift a seat to a new right wing party. He will do anything if he thinks it will increase the nat's chances of winning the election and his current bunch of mates are just as Machiavellian. What ever they decide to do doesn't need to make sense. Add their lack of cohesion, infighting and array of personal ambitions and you've got an 'anything can happen with these clowns' situation.

  7. mary_a 7

    Simon must be very confident re coalition partners this coming election.

    Let's see … apart from one MP ACT, so far there is the Sustainable NZ party with Green reject Vernon Tova. Then there is the Vision NZ party led by God bothering Destiny's Tamakis, maybe the Maori Party will make a return with ?? as leaders. Oh dear! Geeze Simon … not a great deal of talent in that conservative pool to charm the electorate.

    • woodart 7.1

      my facebook feed has been infested in the last few weeks by ads for, sustainability party, one nz party,new conservative party,and two others who I have already forgotten, all jostling for space around the nats arse. will take each others votes mostly. hilarious.

      • WeTheBleeple 7.1.1

        Let's not forget the Prosperity Party, ecological policies include: pandering to 1080 protesters, and heapings of dung.

    • Simon must be very confident re coalition partners this coming election.

      He doesn't give a shit about coalition partners. National's aim is a relatively high wasted vote, which would enable it to form a government with a minority of the vote – as little as 45% if it can get the wasted vote high enough.

      On that basis, a proliferation of new parties that will never make 5% is a great thing for National. If they can also drive NZF below 5% via a dirty-politics campaign, it's all go for a return to minority government. Don't underestimate just how low they'll go to win power.

      • AB 7.2.1

        "National's aim is a relatively high wasted vote… On that basis, a proliferation of new parties that will never make 5% is a great thing for National."

        Yes. A new blue-green, pretend 'real environmentalist' party would be just for this purpose also.

        "Don't underestimate just how low they'll go to win power"

        Yes – when there is wealth to defend people will go very low. Right up to, if not including in this case, pushing their opponents out of helicopters over the sea Pinochet-style.

  8. Anne 8

    I presume the case Bridges is referring to is the leaking of Peters' superannuation details by unknown persons – a case which is still being determined by the presiding judge.

    Crikey that's some logic innit. Somebody maliciously leaks information about Peters for political gain so Peters sues two former Nat ministers (among others) who were aware of the details – one of whom has history when it comes to malicious disclosure – and Bridges says: Nah, can't work with him. He can't be trusted.

    So, the victim is the one not to be trusted cos well… victims can't be trusted.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Perhaps given the obvious sensitivity to such behaviour Simon Bridges should rule out working with Simon Bridges after the election.

    Lol. Shot of the match so far.

  10. Muttonbird 10

    Stuff headlines are good.

    Simon Bridges chooses scorched earth approach that will be the end of him or Winston Peters

    Bridges choses all-out war

    Paints him as combative, radical, impulsive, and intolerant. All things centre and swing voters abhor.

    I think Farrar and others pushed him into this.

    • Chris T 10.1

      Not really

      Which one out of NZF or the Greens would go with them anyway?

      It is just saying to the public a vote for either means Labour again, if you were too thick to work it guys, and girls.

      • Muttonbird 10.1.1

        You didn't address my point about the headlines.

        Neither NZF or the Greens would go with them of course because in the case of the first National tried unsuccessfully to destroy NZF in 2017, and in the case of the second their policies are incompatible.

        This is the way in which National finds itself in opposition. The same will be true this year.

        • Chris T 10.1.1.1

          Not sure what you want me to address.

          Political party leaks info on another. It is not exactly new.

          • Muttonbird 10.1.1.1.1

            I think the headlines show Bridges as being some kind of desperate retreating military figure. The voting public will be turned off by this clumsy and ill-timed behaviour.

            You went off on a tangent, of course. Let me know when you decide to come back.

            • Chris T 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Still not sure what you want.

              Nat's obviously leaked Peters info, Peters got annoyed, didn't pick Nat's, Sued Nats and then dropped it as he presumably had no evidence.

              If you are asking anything else please feel free to say

              • Muttonbird

                I see. You are trying to claim that the leaking of Peters' Super info by elements within the National Party for political gain, after receiving a heads-up from state services, is just a big fat nothing and everyone does it.

                This, which was the biggest bombshell of the 2017 campaign, which occupied the media for weeks and is heavily referenced and influences 3 years later was a meh. An event which superseded even JA’s massive rise to power, was simple politics and nothing at all out of the ordinary.

                Yeah, right.

                This is the same line you ran yesterday and one which another Nat voter used to try attack Labour voters with.

                You know when National are in massive trouble when their foot soldiers use the 'everyone does it' defence.

                • Chris T

                  How is me posting what I said attacking Labour voters?

                  It is between NZF and the Nats.

                  And also another reason for Bridges to rule out Peters.

                  Seriously man. I know it stuffs things up for Peter's prospects, but a bit of perspective.

                  Google Clark Doone

                  • Muttonbird

                    Your stablemate Climaction attacked Labour voters after I had called you out on your 'everyone does it' position which generalises political skullduggery to try dilute the blame, in this instance, of the pretty corrupt National Party.

                    • Chris T

                      I don't have any stablemates, and please criticise me if you want to for what I say, not others you for some weird reason connect me to.

                      And yes they all do it. Actually probably not the politicians themselves. Their teams of PR.

                      Thanks

                    • Muttonbird

                      Don't be naive. In the case I referred to, you and Climaction are stablemates because you are from the same political persuasion. That of blindly attacking Labour and defending National.

                      Don’t go all Dark. Own your beliefs.

                    • Chris T

                      Please point out where I have defended National for leaking Peters super info'

                      It was a shit thing to do.

                      I just said don't pretend both sides don't do it.

                    • Muttonbird

                      You dilute the impact of the Nats' leaking of the info by accusing Labour of the same thing when clearly they have done no such thing.

                      You continue to dilute National's corrupt work on this (perhaps inadvertently) by claiming both sides do it.

                      Simply not true.

                    • Chris T

                      Diluted the issue?

                      It probably cost them the last election, for being so dim.

                      Seriously dude. Just say what you actually mean.

                      Do you honestly think all Parties don’t strategically leak things?

                    • Muttonbird

                      You are falsely equating again. National have made a complete mess of corruptly using state apparatus for their own gain over the 9 years they were in charge.

                      This is not arguable.

                      You have admitted that the Peters' Super leak was corrupt but can't/won’t point to an instance when Labour did something similar, despite claiming all sides do it.

                      I suspect you also admit Key was corrupt when he used what he considered his personal security services to damage Phil Goff, the leader of the opposition, in 2014.

                      I also suspect you would fail to find an instance when a Labour government did the same…

                    • Chris T

                      The reason I haven't is because I have been labelled as an evil righty.

                      I mentioned Clark/Doone, If I did mention something like you know, the pledge cards or anything remotely bad I would be banned again for being off topic again, and frankly I don't want to give an easy excuse.

                      This place is cool and interesting but some people can go off topic and some can't.

  11. Jackel 11

    I don't think ruling out working with NZF will gain the tories any votes or make it easier for them to sink NZF. Everyone knows that if they needed Peters after the election and he gave them the nod they would jump in bed with him quicker than I can say Jack Rabbit.

    • Muttonbird 11.1

      Indeed. It's incredibly arrogant of the Nats to believe they can do without NZ First and the Greens.

      Decent New Zealanders dislike such arrogance.

      • Lettuce 11.1.1

        Conversely, there are plenty of New Zealand arseholes who think this sort of thing constitutes "strong leadership".

  12. ScottGN 12

    Nice timing (Accidental or otherwise) today from the PMO on the government moving to restrict travel from China and the Health Minister outlining further details on the repatriation of NZers from Wuhan. The government is getting on with dealing with a rapidly developing crisis while Simon Bridges drones on about his election strategy. Ardern owned him again today.

  13. Chris T 13

    Be interesting to see if Shaw rules out National again.

    Slightly more interesting to be honest

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      Does he need to?

      • Chris T 13.1.1

        Don't know.

        Guess it depends on whether NZF goes and how much they want to stay in govt.

        National didn't need the Maori Party in any of their elections, yet invited them in. Might do the same.

        • weka 13.1.1.1

          The Greens won't support formation of a National-led government. It's not Shaw's decision, it's the party's. Neither Shaw, nor the other MPs, nor the rest of the party want National in government, and there is nothing to be gained by offering them C and S. On climate action alone, they will achieve far more in opposition than they would with a few trinkets tossed their way by National.

          Kind of moot though. It's unlikely NZ won't give Labour a second term.

          • Chris T 13.1.1.1.1

            Depends on current polls whether Ardern breaks her most honest transparent election promise and gifts NZF a seat.

    • Incognito 13.2

      The Green Party as Kingmaker, I like it, but I wouldn’t recommend that they campaign on it though.

      • weka 13.2.1

        It's not really viable for the Greens. The membership wouldn't allow it and the Greens would bleed votes to Labour. I'm guessing there will clear messages well ahead of election day re-affirming that the GP won't support a Nat govt.

        • Incognito 13.2.1.1

          I agree, which is why I’d discourage them from campaigning on it. However, they might find themselves being the accidental Kingmaker, not by choice. I’d suggest they don’t rule out anything categorically. I think the Green Party is too straight up to play such a devious game – only Winston could pull it off – and good on them.

          • weka 13.2.1.1.1

            If it comes down to the Greens alone, I hope that they invent some new language and concepts. I still can't really see it though. If they've said pre-election that they will only work with a Labour led govt, how can they hold the balance of power?

            • Incognito 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, if they have clearly excluded going it with National then that’s it, I guess. They would have as much bargaining power as NZF. There’s no point bluffing if they have no intention whatsoever but they could get some leverage from playing their cards right. Still, it’s all hypothetical until 19th September. Personally, I can’t see much good coming from some kind of coalition deal with National but that’s just my opinion.

              • weka

                My first post at TS, quoting the 2011 position (controlled by the members), but referring to their position in 2015. I think there's a later post (can't find it right now) showing where Shaw was unequivocal going into the 2017 election. The 2011 position used the term 'highly unlikely', which made sense for the Greens, but caused confusion in the electorate. That was clarified by 2017.

                Green Politics

  14. weka 14

    So National greatly reduced Peters' leverage with Labour? NZF can either choose to support Labour or let National form govt without them?

    I bet the Greens are happy.

    I assume this means the Nat spin machine is gearing up to run a scare campaign about the extreme left.

    • Incognito 14.1

      They already started with Steven Joyce’s article in Stuff. It sounds like a broken record: On The Road Again.

    • Muttonbird 14.2

      Odd, since the the Left is very mainstream right now having coached their far left voices and compromised on a whole lot of policy appealing to the centre.

      • weka 14.2.1

        By Left there do you mean Labour and the Greens?

        • Muttonbird 14.2.1.1

          Correct. They have reacted to government and show policy appealing to the centre. In short there is no extreme left for the Nats to attack.

          No more radical outbursts from Davidson and (then) Turei, no matter how true they were.

          Shaw is forming consensus with farmers. Labour is building roads.

          All this is a raid on Nats territory and I think the right are now terrified of what is coming.

          And JA hasn’t even got started yet.

  15. Muttonbird 15

    Speaking to media, Bridges said he did not trust New Zealand First and the public could not either.

    Also think this is a calculated strategy to frame Peters as dishonest right at the very time Bridges himself is in the spotlight for acting dishonestly.

    It's an attempted distraction engineered by Farrar and co. They simply had to do this now, well ahead of when they intended to because of the shit National is in at the moment (when are they not, lol).

    He seems to believe New Zealanders won't register the staggeringly arrogant hypocrisy.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/408672/simon-bridges-rules-out-working-with-new-zealand-first-to-form-a-government

  16. This is a big gamble – essentially NZ First is made up of people who, back when we were a 2 party state, used to vote Labour and people who used to vote National .

    I think Bridges is gambling that by saying he wont do a deal with NZ First he can splinter off some of those ex-National NZFirst voters who really want a NZF/Nat coalition and bring them back to National.

    I think he has 2 goals:

    a) more National votes

    b) but more importantly to pull NZFirst below 5%

    Of course the smart thing for Labour to do would be a Mt Eden sort of arrangement giving NZFirst an electorate seat (Northland? Tauranga?) – the Nats would scream bloody-blue-murder if they did

    • Anne 16.1

      – the Nats would scream bloody-blue-murder if they did.

      Now that would really show the Nats up for what they are… hypocrites.

      So, Labour won't do it.

    • Incognito 16.2

      Labour could make it easier for NZF to win an electorate by not fielding a candidate. Northland could be the battleground.

    • weka 16.3

      I don't know, NZF voters seem kind of fickle to me, or maybe just true centrists. I know there's some research that shows % of NZF voters that want NZF to support Lab or Nat, but it doesn't appear to affect the vote at the following election (apart from the one where he betrayed the left voters).

      • WeTheBleeple 16.3.1

        The NZF voters I know are centrist. No hardcore right or left. Their oldies might hold some antiquated views, but my peers seem relatively human – unlike how they are often painted – the xenophobic party etc. Maybe they keep that stuff close to their chest, but it's normally detectable when the booze is flowing.

    • Muttonbird 16.4

      I think the NZF voters who used to vote National have already split from NZF in the polls after 2017 and that is reflected in the drop in NZF party vote.

      They Nats gain no more from this move.

      It would be hard to stomach a Labour/NZF electorate deal particularly in light of the behaviour of Shane Jones this term. And it stinks of National's corrupt electoral behaviour over the years. "Tea-cup gate", etc.

      • Paul Campbell 16.4.1

        What's interesting is that it might give Labour more control over Shane (especially if he's the guy who gets the seat, giving Winston space to retire)

  17. Muttonbird 17

    Haven't heard much from the Sustainability Party.

    Perhaps they are having trouble with sustainability without funds from the National Party coffers?

    • WeTheBleeple 17.1

      They (Sustainability Party) blather on in social media a lot: the format is as follows.

      'We're going to do this and we'll do it better than the Greens. We care about New Zealand and it's people, and wish to protect them from the Greens. We are going to clean up the water, and plastic, and poos, because the Greens wont.'

      I think Vernon must edit all their copy, to make sure he gets a jab in every time. He's a very petty man.

      • Muttonbird 17.1.1

        Yep.

        It's hard to envisage someone who cares less about the environment and more about his political profile while pretending to do the opposite, than Vernon Tava.

      • mary_a 17.1.2

        Vernon Tova hates the NZ Greens with a vengeance, since party members didn't elect him co leader, hence the reason spitting the venom at the Green Party every time he opens his toxic mouth. No workable sustainable policies, despite the name of his party.

        Indeed a very nasty, petulant, spiteful man.

    • Dennis Frank 17.2

      Not since mid-November: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/11/sustainable-nz-leader-blasts-greens-and-xenophobic-nz-first-in-message-to-jacinda-ardern.html

      "Their view that we must have radical systemic change and an end to capitalism tends to alienate the great majority of voters" but he cites no evidence of any such view. It'd be great if the current GP did have that view. I've seen no evidence that they do. They keep trying to front as Green mainstreamers.

      So Vernon is waving a Green strawperson at the media, trying to get traction by recycling the popular 1980s view of the Greens as stark raving radicals. Nostalgic.

      • Muttonbird 17.2.1

        Yep. As described by weka @14 above. Government opponents will attempt to manufacture a scare campaign about the "radical left". That's all they have left.

        I don't think it will work because I'm pretty sure Kiwis have registered that extreme elements on the left are very quiet right now and that sound political management from Shaw and Ardern has contributed to this.

  18. Cinny 18

    Burst out laughing when I heard the news.

  19. the other pat 19

    oh look a loaf of bread holding a biscuit…..just sayin' devil

  20. mac1 20

    Bridges may say in Feb 2020 he won't countenance NZF, but would not rule out last year a deal with Hannah Tamaki.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/simon-bridges-not-ruling-out-coalition-with-hannah-tamaki-s-coalition-nz.html

    I'd say this is evidence that Bridges is turning to the Right for support.

    The announcement by Bridges had him complaining of the negotiating with coalition partners that Labour underwent.

    Now, is he too lazy or unskilled to negotiate with partners?

    Does he understand MMP?

    Is he unaware that he might have to negotiate with ACT, Tamaki, TOP, Conservative, Sustainability, Maori parties et al.?

    Does he not see that his whole reliance on getting coalition mates by ceding them an electorate seat as with ACT and United Future is itself a form of electoral manipulation, and actually denies that they are truly a national party by use of this manipulative device?

    Bridges is surely, as Peters avers, a political tyro. Some say he is badly advised, but I fear his use of 'belief' and emotion rather than thinking, his penchant for dark politics as he tries out attack politics, smearing and lies. Witness the claims of anti-semitism, the deceitful advertisements, his ranting and barking, his dogwhistles to the loony right.

    • Sacha 20.1

      I fear his use of 'belief' and emotion rather than thinking, his penchant for dark politics as he tries out attack politics, smearing and lies.

      He is not in charge of those. Just doing as he is told.

      • mac1 20.1.1

        Sacha, told by whom? Caucus or 'the nation' as your comment below talks about. or other, darker forces? Is he the adviser or the advised? He says in the article you cite below at #21 that he consulted but it was his idea.

        • Sacha 20.1.1.1

          Of course he says that. His party's leaders behind the scenes: Goodfellow, et al.

          • Anne 20.1.1.1.1

            And don't forget the filthy rich tycoons… Gibbs, Heatley, Fay, Richwhite and company. I expect they're still in the mix.

    • mac1 20.2

      I see now that both Ardern and Bridges in December 2019 have ruled out coalition with Hannah Tamaki's Vision Party. I can see by the volume of commentators hastening to correct me how the people are disturbed by all this.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/12/jacinda-ardern-simon-bridges-rule-out-working-with-hannah-tamaki-s-vision-nz.html

      What's in a name? The reverse sometimes seems the truth. National is not, Vision is blinded, United Future does not exist, the Greens are much experienced, ACT does not; Labour, at least Jacinda laboured to be a mum.

  21. Sacha 21

    The interests of the party are the interests of the nation, he reckons: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/408713/simon-bridges-says-caucus-backs-him-on-ruling-out-new-zealand-first-move

    While Bridges said he wanted to collaborate with others and believed in the MMP (Mixed-member proportional) system, he did not trust New Zealand First considering Winston Peters' lawsuit actions against MPs and staffers.

    "I think that tells us prospectively for the future that it's about New Zealand First and not the interest of New Zealanders.

    • mac1 21.1

      Sacha, I read the article you cited. I am blowed if I can see a justification for your saying "the interests of the party are the interests of the nation, he reckons."

      I'd appreciate your expanding on this.

  22. Adrian 22

    Good ol Simon, always late with the news, Winston ruled him out ages ago.

  23. Philg 23

    ' National Launches Contraception Campaign'

    Oh, thought it was a Caption Comp! My bad.

  24. National is desperate; they have no integrity & no policies. Their only hope is a dirty politics campaign such as we have never before seen in NZ. Get ready for a Trumpian campaign of disinformation and outright falsehoods. They are just testing the waters with their fake graphs and shit stirring of coalition parties.

  25. JustMe 25

    I think we can happily come to the conclusion that Simon Bridges just doesn't trust anyone.

    Maybe due to his actions no-one can ever trust Simon Bridges.

    Trust is a two-way street and if Bridges cannot trust Winston then how can we(the voters)ever trust Simon Bridges???

    Recently this thought crossed my mind:

    Last November Jacinda apologised to the families of the Erebus victims. That is more than a previous National government would have done. In fact can someone name one previous National government that apologised for the actions of say the Muldoon government or what the previous Bolger(then Shipley)government did especially to beneficiaries like National government hating but now deputy National Party Leader Paula Bennett???!!!!

    In fact National, in their current form, wouldn't apologise to anyone if they didn't want to. And so that shows up Bridges and co as being perfectly arrogant.

    The previous Muldoon government allowed the false-hood that the pilots of the ill-fated Air NZ flight were to blame for the plane hitting Mt Erebus. Not one National MP in the previous Muldoon government let alone any National government since said that the actions of the Muldoon government were blatant lies and untruths.

    At no time has any National government ever apologised to the families!. Nope in fact it has take a current Coalition government to make the apology.

    And whilst Bridges and co will deride this current government I think it's time they were put in their place when it comes to blaming others and never accepting the blame themselves. That attitude is arrogance.

    So right now Simon Bridges pouts like Donald Trump and barks at everything like a Mongrel Dog. Hardly meritable qualities one must think worthy of voting for when he deems himself all so holy and the National Party all so above reproach even whilst one of its former MPs Double Dipped on the NZ taxpayer and others resorted to greed whilst on the boards of various companies eg Mainzeal, Lombard etc.

    • solkta 25.1

      Thing is, nobody trusts Winston. Only a fool would. But others work with him because that is what democracy is under MMP.

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