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Bridges’ emotional junior staffer problem

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, April 11th, 2019 - 36 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, Christchurch Attack, internet, Media, national, Politics, Simon Bridges, terrorism, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, twitter, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Simon Bridges cannot buy a trick right now.  He has the reverse Midas touch, everything that he touches turns into some form of excrement.  And of the long lasting type.

The emotional junior staffer is one such episode.  Richard Harman in Politic this morning released some details about the junior staffer (paywalled link).

He is a former Ministerial press secretary and is said to have played a major role in the party’s agricultural and environmental policy areas. Harman also named him.

Jami-Lee Ross said this a week ago via twitter:

The earlier background should be well known.  On the day of the Christchurch mosque massacre the “emotional junior staffer”, who clearly has a conscience, thought it would be a good idea to do to take down National’s racist dog whistle petition against the UN Migration Pact.

He asked a press secretary in Bridges’ office if he should, did not hear back, and then did so.  Such action was clearly morally justified although it also clearly showed that the petition was a particularly vile form of racist dog whistle.

Someone thought that it would be a good idea to try and lie their way out of it and Bridges told the media the page had been taken down weeks ago as part of routine maintenance. Clever people on the Internet showed that this was not the case.

It is not clear what Bridges’ knowledge was, maybe he was dropped into it by a dishonest junior press secretary.  If so it should be their job that is in jeopardy.

But for some strange reason the party decided to go after the principled junior staffer, and not the person who told what appears to  be a clear fib.

And the party is now experiencing internal ructions over what has happened.

From Henry Cooke in Stuff:

… Bridges told media that in fact an “emotional junior staffer” had removed the petition on Friday night, and that he had mistakenly believed that the petition had been removed as part of a routine clean up.

Both of the sources who talked to Stuff believed this was false, because a press secretary had been informed by the staffer that he wanted to delete the petition. The sources said the staffer was now in a dispute with the party after alleging that it lied to media over the weekend following the attack.

And Bridges is now adopting the “I know nuffink” defence.

Speaking on his way into caucus on Tuesday morning, Bridges refused to answer any questions to do with the staffer or the petition’s deletion.

“Employment matters are for Parliamentary Services, obviously I never get involved in them,” Bridges said.

“It’s highly inappropriate for me to be talking about an employment matter.”

Bridges said he stood by his original comments on the matter in the week following the attack, when he described the staffer as “emotional” and “junior”.

He would not directly defend that description of the staffer on Tuesday, repeating that it would not be appropriate to comment on an employment matter.

“I can’t be clearer with you – it’s entirely inappropriate for me to comment on employment matters.”

Several MPs and staffers are upset with the treatment of the staffer, who has worked for National Party MPs for a number of years.

Note the phrasing “[b]oth of the sources” and “[s]everal MPs and staffers”. National continues to leak like a sieve and is showing no discipline. It is clear that Mr Bridges has major problems.

36 comments on “Bridges’ emotional junior staffer problem”

  1. cleangreen 1

    Yes Micky,
    Bridges looks at the camera in Parliament yesterday looking just like a wounded duck during Q+A questions he was firing at Jacinda, as she and Winston had all bases covered and cut Bridges off at every bend in his crooked road. .

    “Simon Bridges cannot buy a trick right now. He has the reverse Midas touch, everything that he touches turns into some form of excrement. And of the long lasting type.”

    • BobandTurtle 1.1

      Another high brow informed comment from the Left, ” turns into some form of excrement ” – ouch. Please continue ………..

      • Tricledrown 1.1.1

        Bot turtle a bit slow no matter how much you polish-it its still Soimon looking slippery maybe his Chinese spy trainer will help.

  2. ianmac 3

    This seems to be a bit odd.
    “Bridges also said that, while he didn’t necessarily agree with what the “junior staffer” had done, he wasn’t going to “be critical of it”.

    So why is a charge of serious misconduct now being laid against the “emotional junior staffer” by Bridges’ chief of staff, Jamie Gray?” -Dave Armstrong.

    I thought it was the staffer was charging Bridges for Bridge’s statements???

    • Dukeofurl 3.1

      Trouble is when you push someone from the office under the bus, when that person has been working as a ‘press secretary’ they have friends in the media. Likely more friends than Simon has.
      Next step Gray has to go, as hes failed to ‘make this go away’ in fact failed in the simplest way as a cover up is worse than saying right away- ‘One of our people did the appropriate thing at the time and removed it from web site’

  3. fustercluck 4

    I am a conservative. Nothing depresses me more than the fact that Bridges remains at the helm of National.

    • Wensleydale 4.1

      I hope he stays there for as long as possible, as he’s very much the gift that keeps on giving. But if National know what’s good for them, he won’t last the year.

    • woodart 4.2

      I am a realist. nothing impresses me more than the fact that Bridges remains at the helm of Titan er national…

    • Yes after many years in the wilderness I too , have come to the conclusion I am a conservative…. sort off. Far more conservative than the far Left and definitely more conservative than the far Right.

      I am happy with my conservatism.

      I am a white line painter in the middle of the road and proud of it.

      I don’t like extremes and I celebrate my conservatism apologizing to no one.

      And Simon Bridges ?… hes making a hash of it. I would advise him to leave politics because it is not a very nice environment. But if he stays he will almost certainly ensure Adern for another term so in that way I wish him to stay.

  4. AB 5

    So the emotional junior staffer turns out to be an ethical senior staffer.
    Bridges needs to get back to scaremongering on CGT – Granny Herald is doing the heavy lifting for him on this and he needs to similarly get back on message.
    Liken CGT to a black hole or something – very topical today – a fiery nothingness where socialist devils suck all money out of existence and turn us into Venezuela, or something.

    • Adrian 5.1

      Or turn everything alchemisticly to gold, as black holes can purportedly do, although the outcome for Simons Shit is probably less favourable.
      Disclaimer : there is probably no such word as alchemisticly, it may indeed have escaped from a etymological black hole.

    • Anne 5.2

      … a fiery nothingness where socialist devils suck all money out of existence and turn us into Venezuela, or something.

      I think they’ve already done that – minus the fiery nothingness bit. 😉

      • gsays 5.2.1

        Anne! Shhh… don’t mention the ‘V’ word, you will wake up one of the trolls.

  5. Anne 6

    Not directly related to post but:

    Oh dear, oh dear oh dear….

  6. This is not an issue which will ‘go quietly into the night.’

    Jamie-lee made reference to the ’emotional junior staffer in a supplementary question in Question Time yesterday.

    Unfortunately, for all concerned except Soimon, the speaker ruled the question out.

    Is J-L Ross stalking Soimon?

    • Dukeofurl 7.1

      ‘Is J-L Ross stalking Soimon”

      You reckon !
      There must be something in the water out in east Auckland . Williamson was the same with English as leader….he wouldnt rest till he was bought down

  7. Puckish Rogue 8

    Agreed, I don’t believe it when a politician blames back office staff and I certainly don’t believe it here

    I’m hearing (possibly in my head only) a chant getting louder and louder, as if all the conservatives in NZ (left and right) were calling out for a leader, someone to believe in

    If only there was someone who could take charge…after the next election of course

    If only…

    https://i1.wp.com/www.whaleoil.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/1478989_561528227258268_120535684_n.jpg

  8. tabletennis 9

    “On the day of the Christchurch mosque massacre the “emotional junior staffer”, who clearly has a conscience,
    He is a former Ministerial press secretary and is said to have played a major role in the party’s agricultural and environmental policy areas.”

    Really: “ a conscience” was not very present every time they cut DOC’s budget as a policy. Agricultural policy? Will take generations to clean up the mass of those policies, if we even have that long.

    I think “the junior staffer” motivation to remove the petition is rather something very different. I.e the petition would have still be up if the Chch event hadn’t happened.

    • Anne 9.1

      Umm… I think he recognised that in lieu of what had just happened, the item was in poor taste. He was right to pull it. As for the ’emotional’ bit… only psychopaths would not have felt any emotion. And of course that is what the gunman and other like minded individuals are – psychopaths.

    • woodart 9.2

      so perhaps the big issue with national is not what he did, its the fact that he has a conscience, ,,,very bad..the party of individuals dont want individuals being individual…got to keep in step(goose or not)….

    • … ‘ I think “the junior staffer” motivation to remove the petition is rather something very different. I.e the petition would have still be up if the Chch event hadn’t happened ‘ ….

      Bingo.

  9. Emotional Junior Staffer’s LinkedIn profile says this:

    “Press Secretary at Office of the Leader of the Opposition”

    Given that he’s in Bridge’s entourage, you’d have to wonder whether he contacted his boss directly about the petition before taking it down. It’s entirely possible that the reason he’s being subject to a disciplinary process is because he refused a direct order from Bridges to leave the petition up.

    • Anne 10.1

      Hi TRP

      I’m going to give Bridges the benefit of the doubt for the time being. Just for the time being note. 🙂

      It’s possible that his senior press secretary misrepresented what happened. He might have been covering his a**e because he didn’t bother to reply to the more junior press secretary’s text/email. So, the younger man went ahead and took it down anyway.

      • te reo putake 10.1.1

        Good on ya, Anne, you’re a fine example of Jacinda’s politics of niceness. Me, I’m a cynical old sod who really, really hopes one of our regular readers in the msm picks up on this and asks Simon if it’s true. Because, if it is, it’s the end of his dismal career.

        • Anne 10.1.1.1

          Not sure about the first sentence. I have my barneys from time to time.
          But if Simon goes we get the blood-sucker, Judy. I know PR will be on cloud nine but the rest of us…

  10. peterlepaysan 11

    Actually, this junior (snort) staffer “fake news” reminds me of my free range chickens.

    Trying to round them up at feeding time is “interesting”.

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    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago