Jacinda 3, Simon 0

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 1st, 2018 - 45 comments
Categories: leadership, national, Simon Bridges - Tags: , , ,

Avid watchers of Simon Bridges’ regular breakfast television appearances debating Jacinda Ardern when they were both relatively junior MPs will recall that 9 times out of ten Jacinda wiped the floor with the new Head Tory.

Fast forward a few years, and judging by Question Time this week it doesn’t appear that much has changed.

The first Question Time can make or break a new leader, and while there were no serious gaffes like Cunliffe’s infamous muddling of ‘Chorus’ and ‘caucus’ that almost torpedoed his leadership before it began, Bridges definitely came out of his first two outings decidedly bruised having landed no real blows himself.

On Tuesday his opening line of attack was the government’s regional growth fund. But the roasting he was trying to dish out only resulted in him getting skewered for trying to have his cake and eat it too…

Hon Simon Bridges: How much of the $61.7 million announced last Friday was already appropriated funding from the last Government, and how much of it was new money from this Government?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The vast majority were new allocations. Perhaps the member would like to talk to us about the bridges he was meant to have built, as well.

He’s never living down those ghost bridges! But the king hit was yet to come…

Hon Simon Bridges: In light of the Government’s big spending initiatives in tertiary education and KiwiBuild, with no evaluations, why do we now have $3 billion of spending on regional development that we’ll never know how big a flop it is until 2023, because Labour have made sure there’s no evaluation?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: So on the one hand these were all your ideas; on the other, they’re going to be a flop. The member needs to make up his mind over whether or not the regional growth fund’s a good idea.

Undeterred, he had another go at the same issue yesterday, this time questioning an apparent conflict of interest in one of the projects, but once again he ended up on the receiving end of an Ardern zinger…

Hon Simon Bridges: In light of either the officials or the Minister not knowing what’s going on here, could it be that there are probity issues in relation to the other projects announced in relation to this provincial growth fund?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Given that yesterday that member claimed responsibility for all of them, he’d better hope not.

You really need to see the video on that. The PM’s delivery was exquisitely withering.

He then tried a different tack, turning his attention to Labour’s recent justice announcements and making a fairly despicable comment in the process…

Hon Simon Bridges: Well, given she’s so worried about the prison population, who of the serious recidivist offenders who commit murder, serious sexual and violent offences, or who traffic or take class A drugs—spending longer in prison—will she let out first?

But the Prime Minister’s response, neatly and with much more panache that I would have mustered under the circumstances, despatched him right back into his box.

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: A completely irrational question. And I would point out that his own last leader and last Prime Minister pointed out that continually building prisons is both a moral and fiscal failure, and this Government would agree with that sentiment.

I’m not ready to make any bold predictions about Bridges lasting out the term or not being a real threat to the government – yet. Afterall, I thought Key had all the public appeal of a fresh dog turd so what do I know? But facing up to a popular first term government Bridges is certainly going to have to lift his game, and fast, or he’ll have Crusher and/or Adams breathing down his neck before he can say Anadarko.

45 comments on “Jacinda 3, Simon 0”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    I wonder how many other corrupt schemes the National Party got involved in. Ministers need to take a close look at who they’re doing business with.

  2. MG 2

    “Well, given she’s so worried about the prison population, who of the serious recidivist offenders who commit murder, serious sexual and violent offences, or who traffic or take class A drugs—spending longer in prison—will she let out first?”

    This is going down the same path as the ‘being on the side of the rapists’ that Key used last term. Nothing really changes does it.

    • Anon 2.1

      More beds, force prisoners into sweat boxes and overcrowding, or release prisoners who under our current prison system haven’t been reformed at all? More beds is the only option here to protect both prisoners and the public, followed closely by reform both of the system and prisoners (where possible).

      Brisges might be a muppet but I really think you’re putting words in his mouth.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.2

      The interview on RNZ about better prison approaches overseas is enlightening:

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018633586/the-countries-closing-their-prisons

      • Tracey 2.2.1

        There is plenty of evidence for what works. I sometimes think Simon Power had to go because he favoured a grown up bipartisan conversation on prisons and crime… We can see how Bridges is pulling out the same old chestnut, law and order from day 1. Smoke mirrors misinformation…

  3. Anon 3

    Comment won’t post, testing testing, am I being auto censored based on content??

    • Anon 3.1

      Ah it looks like I am, good to know the standards dodgy practices make it terrible place for debate.

      [Whats with the attitude? There are all sorts of reasons comments may be held up including technical reasons. Besides commenting is a privilege not a right. By all means enter into robust debate but these sorts of comments will attract a ban – MS]

      • Doogs 3.1.1

        So why are you here?

      • Anon 3.1.2

        A system that throws out comments for no or incorrect reasons is dodgy, whether intentional or otherwise. Commenting is a privilege, but knowing comments/people may disappear for no reason puts the blog in a whole other light.

        • Psycho Milt 3.1.2.1

          All blogs have spam/robot filters, and all of them occasionally put things in the spam folder that they shouldn’t have (or in Blogger’s case, let through half a dozen duplicate comments exhorting you click on the link to take advantage of this incredible loan deal). There’s nothing unusual about The Standard in that respect.

        • paul andersen 3.1.2.2

          kinda like todd barclay eh? the new face of national, whatever happened to whatisname?

    • Enzo 3.2

      If you’re MG your comment went into moderation for some reason. Have released.

      • Anon 3.2.1

        Nope.

        • Enzo 3.2.1.1

          Ok, sorry I don’t know what the story is then. That’s the limit of my technical capability I’m afraid! 🙂

          • Anon 3.2.1.1.1

            It told me I was posting to fast, but I’ve posted a lot faster this morning without a problem so…

            Chucked it in pastbin for now, I don’t expect it to be a popular comment but I can’t imagine I broke any rules: https://pastebin.com/jKSsBiJN

            • Enzo 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I can see a whole lot of comments in ‘trash’ from you. They look fine to me. It sounds like the system thought you were a robot and I can’t see anything in the back end to suggest you’ve been banned so I’ll take a punt and try and un-trash one and hope I don’t get into trouble with the moderators for overstepping my authority!

            • Enzo 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Nope, sorry, doesn’t seem I have the permission! I guess a mod will be along at some stage to sort it out. 🙂

            • Andre 3.2.1.1.1.3

              Occasionally (very rarely) a comment of mine ends up in trash for no apparent reason. Seems to happen to other regular commenters too, now and then.

            • Anne 3.2.1.1.1.4

              There is an intermittent technical problem which causes comments from particular sources to be sent to the trash can. If Iprent (sysop) is around he will sort it when he gets the chance.

      • MG 3.2.2

        The Anon above wasn’t me…

  4. Doogs 4

    Indeed OAB, they do, and National have selective memory about this sort of thing. What SB is doing is fussing and niggling about a few crumbs under JC’s table while totally ignoring the festering sandwich in his own lunchbox.

    • Michelle 4.1

      The gnats don’t just have selective memories they are spinners everything that comes out of their mouths is utter bullshert. I cannot believe NZ political standards have stooped so low.

  5. FlashinthePan 5

    Anyone else hungry after seeing that photo?

  6. Tracey 6

    Law and Order already. They have started their election campaign. Law and Order and the Economy. John Key V2.0

    • Wensleydale 6.1

      Yeah. This sort of thing should simply be pre-recorded and played on repeat as National’s campaigning mantra.

      “Money! Money! Money! Prisoners are scum and should die in a hole! Money! Beneficiaries are all horrible welfare cheats! Money! Money! Only dirty hippies like trees! Oceans are for plundering and drilling! Money! Money! No taxes unless you’re poor! Money! If you don’t have any money, you’re irrelevant!”

      I think that just about covers it.

  7. Ad 7

    Just a pleasure to watch.

    Time to stop building walls, and start building ……

    …..

    … Bridges!

  8. mac1 8

    I watched these exchanges live as it were, on Popcorn Time in the House. I’ve already commented elsewhere on Bennett’s demeanour as Bridges began to falter.

    But when Prime Minister Ardern gave her answers they were to the Speaker or delivered straight down the eye-confrontational barrel to her questioner. She is impassioned and such a change from English’s characteristic “Well, Mr Speaker” while putting hands in pockets and looking away down the chamber and talking to Seymour or Stuart Smith down the back by the door.

    When she delivered the line “……he’d better not” all that was missing was that pointing finger that Mark Richardson so much deserved.

    As for the stupid question asking which serious offenders she would release first, it was ‘completely irrational”. She is very quick on her feet- a true debater.

    Phil Twyford is going to have to learn not to respond to a pointed question from the Opposition with “Ummm”! He got jeered for that.

    I now understand why so many Ministers such as Nick Smith began their answers with a loudly aspirated “Ohhhh, Mr Speaker” giving them time to think but not sounding off with a flummoxed-sounding ‘ummm’.

  9. Sparky 9

    To me National and Labour look like much the same party with much the same policies so really……”who cares”.

  10. Mark 10

    These things are in the eye of the beholder I guess; if your not a leftie, you would probably think that Bridges got he better of Cindy.

  11. Pete 11

    Bridges has questioned Ardern for the second day about prisons and crime.

    Yesterday he was on about how Labour wanted to set William Bell and Clayton Weatherston and others guilty of similar crimes free.

    Today the implication again was that the streets are to be filled with dastardly criminals while prisons aren’t built.

    That New Zealanders might be stupid enough to believe this man-child might could be indicated by the fact that the major opposition party could have someone so shallow and unprepossessing as leader. This has been demonstrated again today when he failed so dismally when given an opportunity to present something of substance.

    • Anon 11.1

      And has Labour done anything other than deflect? We already need more /quality/ prison beds, those half arsed container sweat boxes prove that. Arden would do well to throw some points and not just jibes.

      • Pete 11.1.1

        The relationship between social conditions, the type of society we have, crime and punishment are beyond some people.

        Ardern can throw as many points, jibes, beds, prisons, and long custodial sentences as she likes, it won’t be enough for some.

    • tracey 11.2

      History tells us that people are stupid enough to be influenced by this fallacious Law and Order line. We usually have to wait for election year but Nats are going to build a vision of a crime rampant NZ landscape for 3 years it seems.

    • Tanz 11.3

      No worse than the woman child we currently have as PM, who is all about herself, her partner, her houses and her photoshoots. When does she get time to do the job she is actually paid huge bucks to do?? Such a pretender for the job she said she didn’t want.

      • Incognito 11.3.1

        The PM is off to the Pacific for 5-6 days with the Deputy PM and other Ministers & MPs including James Shaw on the annual Ministerial visit to the Pacific nations with which we have strong ties – this year, Samoa, Tonga, Niue and the Cook islands. /open-mike-03-03-2018/#comment-1456503

        And I believe the PM has just been in Australia to strengthen the trans-Tasman ties with Malcolm Turnbull.

        Is that all part of the “job” she’s meant to do in your view or do you have something different altogether in mind? I’m curious. Obviously, she’s not supposed to buy a new house and has to hide her partner. In fact, any human traits are a no-go zone for the PM.

      • Craig H 11.3.2

        Complaining about a PM not doing their job in a thread about the PM specifically answering questions in the House from the Leader of HM Opposition?

  12. timeforacupoftea 12

    ( Fast forward a few years, and judging by Question Time this week it doesn’t appear that much has changed).

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I am thinking National will do just prior to the next election what Labour did to Andrew Little and Roll Simple Simone for the quick thinking good looking Judith Collins.

    Now that will be fun won’t it !

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      This is your strategy 2.5 years out? You think the horrible Judith Collins is going to be the equivalent of JA while Bridges is an Andrew Little?

      You right wing clowns are more desperate than I thought.

  13. … ‘ Afterall, I thought Key had all the public appeal of a fresh dog turd ‘ …

    https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail/photo/male-pedestrians-smart-shoe-about-to-tread-in-dog-royalty-free-image/155133625

    I think Bridges just stepped in it…

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