Leaks are the killers of political parties. They suggest that there disunity within the ranks. They also suggest a lack of faith in the leadership, and if members of a party cannot agree on if they should support their leader then why should the public.
They especially hurt where they contain criticism of the leader and even more when the critic is an erstwhile supporter of the leader.
Which is the position that National currently finds itself in.
From Tova O’Brien at Stuff:
There’s yet more bad news for Simon Bridges and his leadership wobbles.
Newshub has learned that one of his veteran MPs Nick Smith, an MP for 24 years, has written a letter to Bridges and copied in his entire caucus.
The letter expresses disappointment – or as one of his colleagues put it to Newshub, “he’s pretty pissed” – about Bridges setting up a new COVID-19 policy team.
Smith is the chair of National’s general policy committee and in the letter, he basically suggests it’s a double-up on his work and therefore what’s the point of his committee or his role.
When contacted about the letter, Smith wouldn’t discuss any private communications but said there was no offer of resignation. Several other National MPs have also leaked details to Newshub about the letter.
Smith putting his thoughts into an email shows deep dissatisfaction on his part. There is a saying on politics that you should never put anything into an email unless you are comfortable with it appearing on the front page of the newspapers. The fact there were multiple leaks of the information shows how toxic things have become.
This is not a recent phenomenon. I seem to have spent the past year noting National sourced leaks designed to undermine Bridges.
There is a National caucus meeting this morning. I wonder if the discussions will be leaked?