The media is starting to ask where’s Bill and noting that the pretenders to his throne are starting to act up and trying to get noticed.
From Jo Moir at Stuff:
Parliament was in recess this week so it’s perfectly normal to only see the Government ministers about the precinct but this is the time for the Opposition to shine. So where exactly is their leader?
Recess weeks in the press gallery are a welcome relief from the chaos of the House sitting but when it comes to finding stories, one can be left scraping the barrel.
That’s why Opposition MPs are a political journalist’s best friend in recess – they desperately want the air time and they know the media are just as desperate for a story to run.
Some have taken to Opposition like a duck to water with the likes of Nikki Kaye and Judith Collins barking at everything passing by them.
Steven Joyce has been strolling around Parliament buildings doing a terrible job of hiding the fact he’s quite enjoying going up against Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
But where’s Bill?
According to his office it’s been business as usual for the most part – he had some family time overseas at the start of the week but has been well and truly back since Tuesday.
If this is business as usual for the Opposition leader then he should be very worried about the ambitious MPs on his front bench.
And it is clear who the pretenders to the throne are. Again from Jo Moir:
At the moment there’s at least three of his front bench gunning for his job and their ambitions have been in full display in the House where they’re almost openly rehearsing for the role.
Question Time has been all but taken over by shadow leader of the House Simon Bridges, Kaye and Collins – with a bit of Joyce from the old guard reminding people he’s not short of a jibe or two.
Deputy leader Paula Bennett, who was being groomed by former Prime Minister John Key and English to take over running the ship, has all but disappeared.
English had better watch his back. The sounds of knives being sharpened can be heard within the confines if Parliament. Any mistakes by him or a further decline in National’s polling and he will be a goner.