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Crunch time for Collins

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, May 5th, 2015 - 49 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins, leadership, national - Tags: ,

The damage from Key’s harassment of a waitress is immense:

Ponytail antics fuels succession talk in National

…There is no suggestion of a leadership challenge. But Key is losing his Midas touch: he declared that Winston Peters had “zero” chance of taking the Northland seat just weeks before he took it; he is leading the charge for a change in flag which is increasingly running against the current, according to the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey. And the ponytail incidents have relegated him to the ranks of the emperor with no clothes in a caucus which hero-worshipped him.

These are all results of personal failings, vanities and arrogance.

Cabinet ministers know that any one of them would have almost certainly been sacked by now if complaints about ponytail pulling had emerged about them.

Young goes on to discuss the various contenders, with Collins featuring prominently of course. I wonder if Collins agrees with Young’s “no suggestion of a leadership challenge”. It is hard to imagine a better time to challenge Key. Ouch:

Trickle turns into an avalanche for John Key

Key might have been desperately hoping for a diversion – any diversion – when he flew back into Wellington from overseas to face up to Parliament for the first time since Ponytail-gate became a running gag. But it may be a case of careful what you wish for.

Key spent his first day back hosing down new headlines, this time over his decision not to stand down a Cabinet minister whose brother is facing indecency charges to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest.

Key’s opponents are also dredging up his handling of former Northland MP Mike Sabin, who remained on as chairman of Parliament’s law and order select committee after becoming the subject of a police investigation.

National lost one of its safest seats, Northland, to Winston Peters, after its by-election campaign turned into train wreck; the flagship promise to get the books back in the black this year has evaporated; Ponytail-gate could drag on for months, if not years, as the waitress at the centre of the controversy contemplates legal action against Key for pulling her hair. The risk in his handling of Sabin and the latest case is that it casts a pall of sleaze over his government.

Key has always been able to carry his Government through these rough patches before. But the blow to his own personal mana over his hair pulling antics has the Opposition sensing blood like never before.

If Key survives the next few weeks Collins will likely have missed her chance until after the next election. Does she want it?

Is Collins chasing the top job?

Now she [Collins] has restated her desire to be a minister again and in recent weeks has hired a press secretary and commented publicly on the ponytail case – an incident that embarrassed the Prime Minister.

But does John Key feel he has to watch his back while Collins is around?

“Definitely not no,” he said.

Pffft.

49 comments on “Crunch time for Collins ”

  1. toad 1

    Do any other backbench MPs have a Press Secretary all to themselves? I’ve never heard of it before.

  2. weka 2

    I’m not sure how intentional this was but Emmerson nails the creepy factor and how far its spreading. The brilliance of this cartoon is that it shows that the creepiness isn’t confined to Key, it’s the culture of the party running the country (or the parliamentary wing at least),

    It’s starting to be hard to see how Key will survive this. But then there is this anonymous editorial from the Dominion Post about Collins,

    “But the fact that this allegation turned out to be unfounded does not change the nasty back-story. And this whole saga suggests an unwise and unpleasant politician who would be better left on the back benches than promoted.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/68258194/return-to-cabinet-should-be-crushed

    • Kiwiri 2.1

      it’s the culture of the party running the country (or the parliamentary wing at least)

      That is what is known as ‘love’ in the culture of the Key-Collins party?!

    • Tracey 2.2

      Remember the portion in Dirty Politics with the young (ish) men discussing the young National party women who would be at the party?

      The choice of fancy dress costume by one person…

      And she has never stated she will have nothing to do with Slater again… never said she isn’t in the process of “paying back double”. If we get her, we will keep getting Slater’s “style”, even if he is not the one doing it, cos she hasn’t eschewed it, not one bit.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Judith Collins jumped the shark when she started writing op-ed pieces and dancing on tv, perhaps in the delusional belief that she can wash off the Oravida Slater filth.

    I back her for leader of the National Party: she’s the embodiment of everything they represent.

    • Stuart Munro 3.1

      National should come clean and appoint Cam Slater – that’s who and what they are.

      • Murray Rawshark 3.1.1

        Tautoko. If they showed their true face, they’d never run the place again.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      +1

    • Macro 3.3

      I back her for leader of the National Party: she’s the embodiment of everything they represent.

      Quoted for Truth!

    • Robert M 3.4

      It would be the end of the conservative, liberal mask of English and Key. Under Collins they could just remane the Nat Party. The Prole, Police, Peasant Party. The womens revolting .

  4. Tracey 4

    I couldn’t find Young’s direct question to Collins asking if she was now or in the future looking to mount a leadership challenge? I didn’t click the link to the whole article, so perhaps I missed it? I didn’t realise she was writing on anything except polls these days? But then Collins mounting a challenge is about the numbers.

    Crush time for Collins might be more appro pro?

  5. Anne 5

    Collins is after the leadership alright. Her nine months in no-mans land was put to very good use with a complete make-over covering every aspect of her persona from her former brittle personality to one of soft feminism accompanied by a relinquishing of the power suits for pretty dresses. She has grown her hair longer with sweet clinging curls around her face. She has softened her often harsh sounding voice to one of gentle persuasion.

    Beware!!! She’s been researching Maggie Thatcher.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Yuck. Her previous persona was at least recognisable and predictable but sweet and soft feminism? Help.

    • rawshark-yeshe 5.2

      A silk purse is still a sow’s ear. ( Sorry to piggies of the world.)

    • Murray Simmonds 5.3

      Great (and totally pertinent) observations Anne. I wish I were that perceptive. (But ‘studying Collins closeup’, as it were, is not one of my greatest dreams!)

    • Grace Miller 5.4

      Hard to think of this fuckhead as anything but Muldoon in drag.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Collins is polarising. She is adored by the toxic Auckland Nats, whose clumsy smears and hubristic cock-ups are manna from heaven for the left. She can’t fake sincerity (thus failing the Celeste Holm test) and her ambition is TOO obvious, if you know what I mean.

    She would be the PERFECT leader for National, if by perfect leader you mean someone who accurately embodies everything the Auckland National party is…

    • Robert M 6.1

      No the National Remmers branch are all peasants. I observed Michelle Boag preaching to the converted at Nuffield st bar. The dimensions of the Collinite supporters, would like their leader require a tape and a hairbrush to determine whether the fanny ( American slang for backside) was wider than Sir Robb’s.

  7. Sable 7

    “Ugh” quoting the Herald again. Here’s my five cents worth. The public are easily bored and have short memories. The MSM like to bang on to fill up their papers and sell them. So any reference to the MSM is not as valuable as it might seem.

    So putting aside the three ring media circus, will Keys be displaced by Collins? I’d say its highly unlikely. Will Keys then be displaced by someone else before the next election, I’d say maybe…..

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      +1, although I don’t know who “Keys” is.

      • Pat 7.1.1

        wasnt he that economist with some sort of hair fetish?

        • Grace Miller 7.1.1.1

          Grubby little money trader with unusual sexual proclivities, you mean? 😉

          Just what NZ needs: a venal, self-serving US puppet with bizarre fetishes that he doesn’t even bother to hide from his wife!

      • Hayden 7.1.2

        The “s” represents the many roles, or “hats” if you will, of John Key. There are many John Keys: the husband, the café horse-player, the National Party Leader, occasionally the Prime Minister. These roles are fluid and change quickly, sometimes in the time it takes for the Keys to walk from the cabinet meeting to the post-cabinet press conference, or the time between receiving a text from Cameron Slater in their capacity as a regular New Zealander with poor taste in friends, and deleting that text for security purposes as Prime Minister.

        • Grace Miller 7.1.2.1

          Please be quiet whilst the adults talk.

          • Hayden 7.1.2.1.1

            That’s a strange comment to make a week later.

            • Grace Miller 7.1.2.1.1.1

              This may come as a surprise to you, but I have a life 😉

              I don’t hang out online waiting for replies.

              As for your cheerleading for a lying US puppet with ‘keep our hands to ourselves’ problem, that was why I asked you to be quiet whilst the adults talk, because your immaturity shows.

      • Rodel 7.1.3

        I think he’s the person that Obama once referred to as ‘my very good friend John Keys’.

  8. Skinny 8

    Collins has crunched the facts and the numbers. Key has been on thin ice since the Sabin cover up and subsequent Northland drumming.

    Enough of the power players within National have been biding their time waiting for Key too muck up and he has royally. If people believe Collins has hired a Press Secretary just to get back on to the front bench then they are fools.

    Hooton pretty much fessed up that this is a power play for the top job, by holding his tongue that whether Key faces trial for assault or not he is buggered. The outcry if he slips out of the first complaint will be ten fold if he slides out of assaulted victims complaint.

    Poor old Fizzy must be devastated.

    • Robert M 8.1

      Hooton is remarkably flexible and weak. He changes at the brush of a feather. First to desert Brash. First to desert Key etc. The real point is that Brewer and Hooton are very much a false front as the urban liberal National party was destroyed by R.D Muldoon. Fractions lived on under Bolger and Shipley but by the 21C the Nats support was really rural, conservative and populists.

  9. Tom Barker 9

    Judith Collins, to her credit, would never pull on someone’s ponytail. She would, however, gladly yank it out by the roots. I’m not sure that this represents an improvement of leadership style.

  10. b waghorn 10

    But does John Key feel he has to watch his back while Collins is around?

    “Definitely not no,” he said.

    He’s probably right , Collins would knife him from the front so she can see the look on his face.

    • Charles 10.1

      “Definitely not, no.” = no, he doesn’t need to watch his back.

      “Definitely not no.” = yes, he does need to watch his back?

      Q: Who unclipped Glucina’s leash?

  11. Defense Against the Psychopath is a documentary excerpted from chapter one of my book; The Art of Urban Survival. Teaches people how to recognize and defend against our society’s most dangerous predators, psychopaths.

  12. Enough is Enough 12

    There won’t be many, if any, Nats who think Collins is currently a better leader for them than Key.

    So long as Key and National remain so ridiculously popular why would there be a need for change a winning formula?

    They are arrogant and a totally deaf to criticism. They have faced negativity for years but don’t give a shit and continue with their born to rule bullshit.

    We all hope Collins knifes him because we know she is electoral poison and that will be the end of them. However I suspect the majority of her colleagues know that as well hence why the chances of Key being removed by Collins is about 2.87% on a good day.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      +1

      The opposition would have to be ahead in the polls for a good 3 months before ponytailgate would make prompt them to ditch Key. Without something like ponytailgate, they’d more likely need 6-9 months behind before ditching him.

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        Assuming Collins plays the game that way. Hubris has been the downfall of many, and she will believe she is better for NZ than Key. She also has that wee thing called “pay back double” to attend to. Many people before have cut off their noses to spite their faces cos they are just so gosh darn sure that they are;

        1. Right;
        2. Untouchable

        That applies equally to Key and Collins.

        • Lanthanide 12.1.1.1

          Collins can think what she likes. But she has to convince a majority of the caucus in order to roll Key, and I just don’t see that happening – not now.

          • Tracey 12.1.1.1.1

            collins and key arent the only self interested people sitting in caucus today. I was merely suggesting that the reason for your assertion fails if what i wrote is so.

    • Skinny 12.2

      Oh what nonsense Key is just a puppet today’s blunder from Mc Cully’s office where they sent out a blanket ban of their MP’s attending any Falun Gong/Dafa day celebrations, unfortunately they sent it out to all MP’s. Good on Little for saying pretty much get lost.

      The string pullers know the likelihood of a fourth term is very remote, and Key isn’t prepared to lurk hard right over the next couple of years, so they will kill him off and put someone that will Collins.

      Watch this space!

  13. Realblue 13

    Key will survive and remain for as long as he wishes to. Collins will remain and survive as long as Key wants her to.

    • Tracey 13.1

      yes… thats the line of key devotees but it is ringing hollower by the day.

  14. If the New Zealand public follow the historical trend and vote accordingly, this is probably National’s last term in power anyway. I guess the difference whether they will exit the Beehive decisively beaten or merely beaten.

  15. Liberal Realist 15

    If Collins can knife Key she will. I’m not so sure that if this happens it will happen this year, like others have stated Key is still worshiped as a god within caucus. That said, negativity is starting to stack up against National. The last episode of The Nation was a good example of how inept National actually is, unfortunately only the junkies tune in… Bills negative budgets, surplus always ‘next year’, then there’s the tax cut carrot being dangled digging the hole ever deeper.

    I’m circumspect as to what might happen next but have the feeling that there’s a lot more #DirtyPolitics yet to flow under the bridge which will keep chipping away at Key’s credibility.

    Sharpen those knives Judith.. In fact get a professional to sharpen then for you. You’d be doing NZ a big favour by putting yourself in the top job short term. The damage you could do in a toxic political environment can and will be undone.

    Go on, knife the bastard. You know he wants to be out, golfing in Hawaii (or planet key). Do New Zealand a favour and poison the chalice.

  16. newsense 16

    So who is doing the polling? Is Farrar squarely in the Key camp or is he blowing in the wind?
    Which way will Bill “almost always” English jump…?

  17. millsy 17

    Collins — poor man’s Margaret Thatcher.

    Or is Maggie a poor man’s Judith Collins?

    Tell you what though. having her as PM would be a dagger in the heart of what is left of progressive NZ.

    • Robert M 17.1

      Thatcher was from a different era and less working class and provincial than supposed. The grocery run by her councillor father was equivalent to 2 Wellington supermarkets employing a 100 people I’ve heard. For Thatcher to get to Oxford in 1944 reflects she was a million miles away from ordinary people and had a very elite education ( even thought she had to do Latin at the crammers). Thatchers pithy and bitter quotes were the work of professional writers and her real view were more constrained than Lawson or Tebbit. I think the comparison unfair to Thatcher and ridiculously complementary to Collins who is as common as muck and that obvious.

  18. This ponytail business will blow over and Key will remain. Already the general public have moved on, and it’s not even making the nightly news.

    There is only one thing that will unseat Key, and that is declining poll numbers, and given the crap he has dealt to NZ over the last 2 terms which had not impacted negatively on his numbers, this won’t either.

    Sadly too many kiwis don’t think their PM assaulting a waitress is a good enough reason to toss the bugger out.

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