National’s review of its 2020 election performance has been completed.
The contents are that bad that it will not share the results with its members and you get the feeling that hard copies only will be given to caucus members, complete with data that will identify the leaker if the contents are leaked. But maybe it is even worse.
Shane Reti on Radio New Zealand just about confirmed that the copy will indeed be in a reading room. Caucus meetings must be real fun right now.
Radio New Zealand has this description of the review:
The party’s caucus shrank dramatically following the election, with 23 fewer seats in Parliament than the last election.
National’s leader Judith Collins remained tight-lipped on the contents of the report.
“This is a board review, it is a matter for the the National Party board and I’ll be discussing it with caucus,” Collins said.
National’s senior whip Matt Doocey was among those who had already read the report before today’s caucus meeting.
He described its contents as “confronting”.
“It is something we are going to have to own, gain trust back in our members and learn from and take a step forward for the next election,” he said.
Former leader Simon Bridges deflected questions about the report, instead opting to talk about the Oprah Winfrey interview.
“I thought you were going to ask me about Harry and Meghan – as an avid royal watcher myself I’ve got a lot of thoughts on all of that – but in relation to the report, who knows, we are going to discuss it at caucus today,” Bridges said.
While speaking to reporters, Bridges stood next to Todd Muller, the man who rolled him as party leader last year.
The pair did not answer questions on their roles in the party’s defeat last year.
“I don’t like this line of questioning, particularly when I though it was about Meghan and Harry, so I’m going to leave right now,” Bridges said.
It is not hard to work out what the recommendations are, or at least should be:
National’s basic problem is that their issues cannot be solved by everyone having a cup of tea and a chat.
Believe me I lived through Labour in the 2010s and I have seen how this works out.
It is quite surprising but Labour was much more brutal in the way that it handled caucus unity. National’s weakness is exemplified by the fact they still cannot do anything about it. The divisions are far too deep and the factions far too polarised for anyone to exert power.
Just look at how Simon Bridges has behaved recently. Making jokes about the report exemplifies that he is still hurting from being deposed. And still planning and scheming.
John Key, perhaps National’s most successful leader, entered Parliament in 2002 but did not become PM until 2008 and made National united and focussed.
Looking at the current caucus they may not have the next John Key in their ranks.