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Leak, leak, leak, leak …

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, April 28th, 2020 - 19 comments
Categories: national, nick smith, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags: ,

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?

19 comments on “Leak, leak, leak, leak … ”

  1. observer 1

    When a party leader is in trouble, the usual response is for MPs to come out of caucus and stand close beside and behind him/her in a theatrical show of loyalty, nodding over-enthusiastically as the leader tells the media it's all good, nothing to see here, they all support me, just look …

    But with distancing "rules" in place, National MPs won't be able to do that today. The leader will be all on his own, while insisting he isn't. Poor Simon, another victim of this cruel virus.

  2. Adrian 2

    Alright, let them get rid of Simon if that's what they want as long as they make Nick Smith leader.

  3. Andre 3

    National's theme song …

      • Andre 3.1.1

        That one's a bit too creepy-stalky for my taste.

        But The Cure should really have a quiet word to the White Stripes about the bassline in Seven Nation Army.

        • Ken

          I thought the creepy-stalky bit was appropriate for Simon having to watch his back now that the knives are out.

  4. greywarshark 4

    The National Party should listen to the words of a successful career politician who has risen from the depths like a phoenix! All they care about is success in their personal, Party and funders' goals and appealing to their group and its narrow self-interest. Smith knows how to bob on top of the waves like a cork. The National Party can be seen as a charitable entity for the Righteous Right-Wing Religion.

  5. Incognito 5

    It is an interesting campaign strategy, I have to say. Did Paula come up with it, by any chance?

  6. Cinny 6

    Dr custard is worried about his seat and his ego.

    I'm predicting Nelson will turn red in September.

    There is a National caucus meeting this morning. I wonder if the discussions will be leaked?

    Tova will be on a mission me thinks.

    • Lettuce 6.1

      If only. Parliament by its very nature is full of tossers, but somehow Nick Smith always manages to win the ribbon for champion dickhead.

    • Peter 6.2

      Remember when J-L Ross departed the caucus, the terrible nasty leaker?

      Within weeks of Ross' departure there were leaks from caucus. Were those down to Nick Smith? I didn't hear his name of the 'possibles' list at the time. Even at that department he wasn't considered in the Mark Mitchell league.

  7. observer 7

    Say what you will about Tova O'Brien (and many do!) but she doesn't invent leaks. National MP(s) fed her details of today's caucus. There's only one reason to do that – to undermine Bridges.

    He should do the old "back me or sack me". Demand a vote of confidence. Otherwise it's drip, drip, drip until he drowns.

  8. Chris T 8

    All parties leak.

    Labour as much as the Nats.

    If I could just ask a straight up question.

    Who do people think would actually want the Nat leadership leading up to an election after Ardern has got that much air time after Covid?

    No one, even current MPs are that stupid

    • Anne 8.1

      Nobody being honest is going to disagree with you Chris T.

      Labour leaked like a sieve while they were in opposition. Think David Cunliffe etc. Now National is going through the same process. It boils down to the same scenario… different factions trying to gain dominance.

      In a way I feel sorry for Simon. Phil Goff, David Shearer and David Cunliffe went through it. It slowly built up and reached a peak when Cunliffe took over. Not a pretty sight. National is finding out what it is like even if it doesn’t play out in exactly the same way.

    • blacksand 8.2

      not to mention – why on earth would they want to win it?

      I could not see National doing well out of the next 3 years if they were landed the responsibility.

      They do best when it's not going to affect their electorate too badly, and they can ride that fine line where the aspirationals believe that National are their best bet.

      Leaving the hard work to Labour, and ramping the negativity back up through 2023 is afar safer bet for them. There's a reasonable chance that a lot of people will be hurting, and those that have the most to lose will be bleating hardest about it. Labour are gong to have to do pretty well to keep the center vote – hopefully they'll be able to shift what's important in that space too.

  9. georgecom 9

    Lucky for Simon 2 metres social distancing applies, will stop someone digging the knife into his back for a while

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