“Crusher Collins up close” is the headline for a two-page article by Andrea Vance in the Saturday March 10 DomPost. It’s not on the Stuff or DomPost website but can be viewed via Google on PressDisplay.
It’s a very good article – Andrea Vance didn’t write for the News of the World for nothing – and deserves a wider audience. It starts off:
Judith Collins is a formidable force in Key’s cabinet and has carved out a political career based on self confidence and steely determination. Is there a softer side?
Doesn’t sound like it. The article goes on:
If you want Judith Collins to do something, tell her she can’t. If there was anything left of the glass ceiling in New Zealand politics, she has shoulder-barged her way through it and crushed the shards under her stilettos.
And God help those who have got in her way.
For this she is unapologetic. “You can’t make an omelette without crushing eggs and all that stuff.” she says.
Collins is definitely big on crushing things. Poor old Warren Kyd got crushed on her way into Parliament. We learn:
…a sitting member asked her to be his electorate chairman.
Silly Warren. No surprises what happened next:
She went one better – and decided to stand. “I tend to get involved in things where I can add value” she says with characteristic self-confidence. “Someone suggested Clevedon; the only hiccup was that incumbent MP Warren Kyd hadn’t decided to retire.”
I know Warren so I rang him – the timeline for making a decision was really short – and said: “Are you standing or not?” We he hadn’t made up his mind. And I said: “Well if you haven’t made up your mind I tell you its two days to go so I’m going to make up mine. So I did.”
Vance wanted to know:
Did she feel even a twinge of guilt?
Feel? Get out of my way!
“yeah well I felt bad that at the end of the day Warren hadn’t yet come to that decision. But at the end of the day I felt I could really add value. And I think I have.”
Later on we discover:
Ms Collins doesn’t shy away from having exacting standards when it comes to her staff.
She also has a reputation for ruthlessness among her colleagues, which she shrugs off.
And at the end of the day, to use one of her favourite cliches’
So if there is nothing she can’t do, is she interestged in being National’s next leader?
“Ahm. I am very happy with the Prime Minister we’ve got, actually,” she says firmly. “Oh look, people speculate on all sorts of things. But actually I’m very happy with the work he’s doing.”
That must make him feel good. That ‘Ahm’ is very telling. Collins goes on:
“I want to be the very best Minister of Justice I can be, the very best Minister of ACC and the very best Minister of Ethnic Affairs. I do all that and be a great member for Papakura, I’ll be fine.”
Andrea Vance has the final word:
Of course all that could change if someone tells her she can’t be Prime Minister.
Maybe John Key’s holiday in France wasn’t a good idea. Perhaps he should have a talk to Jim Bolger as well as Warren Kyd – remember what happened to Jim after an overseas trip.
Andrea Vance has written a very interesting and very revealing article – I think it should be up on the Stuff website as it deserves a wider audience.