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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