Memo from Crosby Textor – Simon Bridges limo expenses

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, August 15th, 2018 - 90 comments
Categories: crosby textor, making shit up, Media, national, same old national, Shane Jones, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trevor mallard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

We have been contacted by concerned elements from within the National Party to provide urgent advice on the handling of a media crisis. Our bill has already been paid and we are happy to provide comment free of further charge.

We note that over the past couple of days a media story has arisen about the use of Crown limousines and the incurring of significant expenses for the provision of hotel rooms to allow the current leader of the National Party to visit ordinary people throughout New Zealand and persuade them he is just like them.

We note also there has been some controversy over the level of the expenses and the fact the information was released by an unknown source to the media a few days before it would have in the normal course of events been released.

If we were to have been asked initially for our advice we would have said to do nothing. The amounts involved were relatively small. Examples could have been provided through third parties to show that the socialists have also spent considerable amounts on travel and accommodation. And a trusted media person could have recycled the history of Shane Jones watching porn at the expense of the Crown.

But this rather obvious course of action has not been followed and we understand that a third day of media attention has now started.

With the greatest of respect the handling of this issue by the Leader’s Office has been appalling.

Not only did Bridges say something, but he has made a number of clearly contradictory statements.

He initially tried, in a rather hamfisted manner, to blame Labour for the spend. Only the most diehard supporter would argue such tosh.

He then suggested that no one from his caucus would have leaked the information immediately after he said that he had not turned his mind to the issue. These statements are clearly contradictory.

Late yesterday he said, and we cannot understand how this made its way through his office, that a High Court Judge should be tasked with conducting an inquiry into who leaked the information.

We are dumfounded that such a suggestion should have been made.

There are two significant problems:

  1. The cost will be prohibitive, at best equalling the spend that occurred providing transport and accommodation, at worst exceeding it by a considerable amount.
  2. The result will very likely be damaging for National and an indication that its caucus is divided and factionalised. The only possible leaker outside of Caucus and the Public Service is Speaker Trevor Mallard and our assessment is that he, because of his current role, is no longer engaged in this sort of behaviour.

A great deal of money has been spent on creating the illusion that the National caucus is united and this incident puts it all at risk.

We note that Speaker Mallard has indicated that he will consider seeking a forensic analysis of the document. We urge caution. It is clear from his comment that he believes it will exonerate his office and him from blame for the leak and such a result would focus the attention of the media on National’s internal divisions.

National cheerleaders have attempted in social media to divert attention at the same time that Bridges has fanned the flames of the controversy.  Their efforts, which in any event were inept, are made worse by his continued involvement in the issue.

This is a cluster intercourse of the worst sort.  We recommend that Simon Bridges be told that he should not under any circumstances say anything further about the issue.

We are happy to continue to provide advice on the previous contractual basis but taking into account our new scale of fees.

90 comments on “Memo from Crosby Textor – Simon Bridges limo expenses”

  1. I’m picking it was probably leaked by Simon himself, via a third party, to lower the impact of the announcement and take up some air. In light of Judith’s somewhat arch comments on the matter, she probably knows or suspects.

    • Barfly 1.1

      I have had that suspicion to – Bridges is playing the victim hard to suck on the teat of media attention

      • Cinny 1.1.1

        Interesting when something is leaked about national there is a witch hunt for the leaker, just like the Hager saga.

        Focus on the leak not the issues, that’s how national rolls.

        • dukeofurl 1.1.1.1

          Agree. They have the media hounds chasing that fox while the rabbit is unnoticed with a massive expenses carrot.

          So easily pirouetted with an opening statement of: ‘Aw shucks’ I havent put my mind to that at all’

          nekk minute : ‘ Find them & Lock them up’

        • mosa 1.1.1.2

          Totally agree Cinny and that’s exactly how the MSM have been selling it.
          No in depth coverage of the fact that he spent taxpayers money like it is his own personal piggy bank.
          That fact would have caused instigation and outrage throughout the this country once upon a time.
          A list of expenses of what and where the money was squandered would be of interest and who else benefited.

        • georgecom 1.1.1.3

          remember how Don Brash had been exposed for doing secret deals with the EBs after months of denials. When emails were produced showing the level of collusion and cover up designed to rig the election with subterfuge, all Brash focused on was how someone had stolen his emails. Pretend the issues are not issues at all, and in Brashes case, just play the victim.

    • Muttonbird 1.2

      Yes. And in his mind this troughing spend is evidence of his virtue. Everyone should know how hard he works in a special announcement. Simon didn’t want it to be lost in the general release.

  2. Incognito 2

    Memo from TC to JC: D & C.

  3. Tricledrown 3

    Nearly $2000 a day on expenses for politicking.
    That should come out of the National parties coffers not the taxpayers.
    Where is the jerking twerk when it comes to politicians wasting money.
    Taxpayer’s Union come on.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Where is the jerking twerk when it comes to politicians wasting money.
      Taxpayer’s Union come on.

      Generally speaking, they’re only concerned about the spending of those on the ‘Left’. They understand the spending of the exalted individuals on the ring-wing.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1

        @Draco T Bastard,
        Exactly right, people just can’t (and the MSM doesn’t help) get it through their heads that the right wing are fucking terrible at managing money…I mean you don’t have to get historical on it, just look at the stinking big mess they have just left the country in…it beggars belief.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    if he gets to use a Crown limo like Ministers do, then he also gets a self drive car like Ministers do.

    hear that Simon . SELF DRIVE

  5. Sucker Simon

    I am disgusted at the abuse being lobbed on the unfortunate Simon Bridges. He is after all a Capitalist, and has a right to do anything he wants provided it furthers his own and the interests of all his wealthy colleagues.

    He made that long trek from somewhere to somewhere to demonstrate his hatred for the Pigs (-Capitalist slang for persons not wealthy- ) and sat his precious ass on a mere BMW for hours on end.

    There should be no rubbish thrown at Simon, because he is making sure that the Pigs will pay for every cent he spent on his pilgrimage. The Pigs are the poor who pay the income Tax in New Zealand.

    No wonder Simon screams like a child in Parliament. He is but a child. Bundled into a tinpot BMW and slum Accommodation. Have some pity on him please.

    He is a Capitalist. A dumb breed. Please ask the Greens what he really is.

    • Michelle 5.1

      following on from Observer Tokoroa Simon, is but a dumb breed that went to see the ordinary people of NZ many of whom have the same characteristics, they are old and white ( the selfish generation) & what does this say about his party and our country.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        National is a fund raising operation with a political action group on the side.

        Bridges was making sure all the medium donors and those making regular monthly payments got to shake his hand and he could ‘nod his head’ to all their crazy ideas.

        • Michelle 5.1.1.1

          So it cost us tax payers 114k for him to shake the hands of his followers bloody hypocrites simon and his party are and so are the so called ordinary followers of this lot. I noticed we don’t hear them moaning about this hand shaking being a waste of money but they are bloody quick to put the boot into others when it comes to spending up large.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Pigs (-Capitalist slang for persons not wealthy- )

      The correct terminology is Punters out in punterland.

      As for Michael Bassett’s column, I wanted to write a book that helps ordinary people understand why they feel put off by politics and what needs to be different for that to change. What makes the book unique is that readers can see – in the participants’ own words – the cynical strategy discussions behind events like the Orewa speeches, the even more cynical techniques used to try to win the votes of the ‘punters out in punterland’, the unseen role of the big donors and, generally, how the leading National Party politicians and staff acted when they were confident that no one would ever hold them to account. The information speaks for itself.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    After careful consideration I’ve decided theres nothing to see here and we should all move on 🙂

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Until Thursday when we can see all the Mps spending.
      Whats the bet there’s an outlier amoung the Nats- along the lines of the previous List Mp for Wellington Central who had very high airfare expenses !! LOL

      For my moneys worth it was a nat who released early , and it was just pique over missing out on a portfolio

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        Could be a smokescreen for other toughing – better check judith’s with a fine tooth comb – she has form.

    • Thanks for the memories PR. LOL

    • Cinny 6.3

      Lmfao Pucky.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    The leak has done a wonderful job of diverting attention from the issue itself.

    Rather than talking about Simon’s wasteful spending, we have an old fashioned who dunnit circus with both parties pointing at the other in some unseemly school yard argument.

    National are saying the leak must have come from Labour because they have the motivation to discredit Simon Bridges.

    Labour are saying the leak must have come from a National insider as there is an apparent factional war going on.

    Both theories have credibility, meanwhile Simon spent a shit load of our money on nothing.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.2

      “Both theories have credibility, meanwhile Simon spent a shit load of our money on nothing”

      Well no, he’s getting around and actively talking to the people of NZ so its not a waste of money if you think thats important

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        Generally speaking, I think it’s a waste of time and money. No single person can talk to all the people and as such I’d much prefer spending the money developing the technology so that all the people can have a say. It’d be much better than having the country run on the reckons of a minority.

        • marty mars 7.2.1.1

          I think he was on a pre-employment recon – putting the feelers out – just in case like – getting the face time in.

        • Puckish Rogue 7.2.1.2

          Personally speaking one of the things that I think makes NZ one of the best countries to live in is the accessibility of our politicians

          That they turn up to public meetings and you can question them, that we’re not like other countries where theres no access to politicians or they have stage managed events like town hall meetings, with hand picked questions

          • Anne 7.2.1.2.1

            We did have one of those once. His name was Muldoon. He insisted all questions be vetted by him in advance – including media interview questions – otherwise they wouldn’t be answered.

      • Sabine 7.2.2

        he could have ‘spoken’ to the New Zealanders via Facebook at a fraction of the cost but hey, why not a taxpayer funded holiday of NZ, sure beats paying your own way. Socialism, Simon Bridges loves it.

        Oh boy, I hope the dame of your heart will get the Leadership soon, bridges is boring and too expensive for the services he renders. Lets see if the next one is less costly and more productive.

        • Puckish Rogue 7.2.2.1

          “he could have ‘spoken’ to the New Zealanders via Facebook at a fraction of the cost”

          Really, you going to hold every MP to that kind of standard? So basically no one actually gets a chance to question, or meet, any MP unless they have a decent internet connection

          • Sabine 7.2.2.1.1

            actually i don’t have to hold any other to that standard as other people have yet to get a fully funded holiday pretending to speak to New Zealanders.

            When others do as Simon did, than i will say exactly the same. Use facebook.

            Or go on telly.

            your boy cost the country a 100.000$ for fuck all in return. Not even a laugh. Not even one smart comment. Nothing, nada. zilch.

            please petition your dame to get on with the job so that that geezer can stay at home and do what he does best. Nothing.

            • Incognito 7.2.2.1.1.1

              It is tough competing with Don, David ‘DWTS’ Seymour, JC, and S & M for attention and relevance when you’re the Leader of the Opposition. You have to take drastic action to cut through the noise 😉

        • cleangreen 7.2.2.2

          100% Sabine

          Simple Simon Bridges could have gone by a special rail carridge everywhere as most US presidents have done since President Abe Lincoln did!

          Opps I forgot then National party was the Government they actively run down and closed most rail services.

          So the truck loving Bridges should have gone by truck everywhere maybe, as he was so keen to build all those “road’s of national signifigance” using a massive $13 billion didnt’ he?

          And he wanted 10 new bridges everywhere up north that never got built, so going on a road trip was going to be his choice but was he always on the roads then?

      • miravox 7.2.3

        It would be pretty cool if there was a list of who he spoke to in one easily recognised, official and accessible place,

        Like, for example, here?

        https://www.national.org.nz/events

        or here?

        https://www.national.org.nz/blog

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      +111

    • NZJester 7.4

      National are saying the leak must have come from Labour because they have the motivation to discredit Simon Bridges.

      Labour are saying the leak must have come from a National insider as there is an apparent factional war going on.

      Both theories have credibility, meanwhile Simon spent a shit load of our money on nothing.

      Both theories do not have credibility as only one person in Labour has access to that information before the official release and I doubt he would risk the Speakers job to make political points. On the National side, however, a lot more have access to that info.

      He also spent it on National campaigning so it should really come out of their campaign fund for the next election and be recorded as such.

  8. Agora 8

    Is Judith making any moves yet?

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      How can she ?

      She wasnt even a runner up- that was Amy Adams. Collins only has a small support in the caucus.
      Her real strength is having big donors in her back pocket ( you can see this where Key could keep her out in the cold , but Bridges cant).
      There is no hard right vote out there that is waiting for Collins to pick up. Its not worth it to push ACT below 1% again.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        dukeofurl
        Your logic may not match National’s pragmatism.

        • dukeofurl 8.1.1.1

          believe me , they know the numbers as though they have them on their pillows each night.
          Enough of them have marketing nous to know that its a must to ‘counter program’ a young leader with another young leader. And match most policies that get headlines. After all its only down the final 4% or so.

          They are completely poll driven on ‘public facing issues’. Big business issues are kept hidden

          • Patricia Bremner 8.1.1.1.1

            Agreed dukeofurl, (National) “are oompletly poll driven on “public facing issues” Big Business issues are kept hidden.”

            Especially Big Business Issues which could cost the “Public” purse.

            The Trusts issue making NZ a tax haven, building contract shortfalls, micoplasma bovis, banking and finance behaviour, shoddy buildings and materials, wages and work conditions……. on and on.

            They are sulking because they have to behave more ethically. It makes them ill.

            • dukeofurl 8.1.1.1.1.1

              The rewrite of the Mining and Oil exploration Act in 2011+ was a case in point.

              Key put a new minister but a sharp young lawyer onto that – Bridges. They have the big donors/lobbyists all lined up , sometimes with the legislation pre written for them to go through the motions.

              • dukeofurl

                Regarding Judith Collins, shes now almost 60. If this was US she could be reaching her prime but we dont go for septuagenarians in public office anymore – last was Walter Nash. ( 75 when he became PM)

                Shes staying with national for the usual reasons Mps past their peak do . I cant say any more

  9. Robert Guyton 9

    Bridges: spending like a drunken sailor.

  10. Chris T 10

    Of all the leaks that happen in govt, this would have to be the most over hyped in history.

    I don’t get it. It was going to be released in a few days anyway

    I can’t work out whether it’s Bridges going nutty OTT about it, Mallard having a laugh, or a slow news week for the media

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      It’s the only way Bridges can raise his low profile.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Agreed so the big question is: What has happened that some people in National, including the leader, want to keep hidden?

      • Stuart Munro 10.2.1

        Internal poll collapse.

        • dukeofurl 10.2.1.1

          What ? Their internal numbers are much the same as the public polls.
          What a rubbish comment

          • Stuart Munro 10.2.1.1.1

            Orly – you have their internal polling then?

            It would go some way to explaining their desperation, and, thus far at least, they’ve failed to make a hit on Jacinda – nothing to do with the baby either.

            Polls tend to move around a bit, and in a party desperate for good news a normal downtick can bring the knives out or precipitate all kinds of shenanigans.

            It’s a plausible explanation for “What has happened that some people in National, including the leader, want to keep hidden?”, a question you have not ventured to answer.

            • dukeofurl 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Dont be an idiot. There was a public poll just the other week. Bridges numbers are weak , nationals as a party are strong.
              They arent going to ‘collapse’ as you suggest over a week. Secondly only the top leadership would see the numbers , they are not ‘shared out all Mps like scones’
              Youre ‘plausible explanation’ is risible in face of very recent public polls. Moving around a bit isnt the same as ‘collapse’

              However who in national released the numbers would allways be doing it for personal gain- my guess ( note my use of the word) is that someone missed out in the last nats shuffle.
              Who would you think has a towering ego but way down this list
              https://www.national.org.nz/team. Look how far Nick Smith has fallen!!

              • Stuart Munro

                They don’t have to plumb the low thirties – all they need to do is soften below 40 to show a trend they really don’t want to see. And, we are told, Labour polling has them there already.

                • dukeofurl

                  Raw numbers probably something like that.
                  Most other public polls ‘correct’ for dont know , which would boost that a bit. But that approach lifts all boats.

      • Incognito 10.2.2

        Steven found another hole??

    • AsleepWhileWalking 10.3

      Yeah.

      I reckon it was probably just a mistake with whomever was responsible being utterly mortified (assuming they themselves know).

      Seems more likely then some kind of weird political sabotage attempt.

  11. Pat 11

    Hit job on the “all too obvious” source…..the material is not damaging,(was due out shortly anyway )….but the leaking is. Someone playing JC at her own game.

    • Anne 11.1

      Someone playing JC at her own game.

      That could explain her ott outraged reaction to the leak.

      She’s in pastel pink again today with a soft frilly under-blouse. Don’t tell PR. It’ll send him over the edge. 😉

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        you sure he did not advice her on hte pink frills. You know, be attractive to the female voters. Pink should get them. right?

  12. Paul Campbell 12

    Q: What did National promise Northland?
    A: 10 bridges
    Q: what did they really get
    A: one in a limo

    • Tick and tick tock Paul Campbell. New Leader soon methinks.

    • Michelle 12.2

      what did national promise nz better more efficient and effective public services now we are seeing the impact of their polices. And when it comes to simon running around the country shaking hands with his parties supporters wasting thousands of our tax dollars just so he can shake the hands of the commoners the ordinary people that put him there, the ones that think they all know bests.

  13. KJT 13

    I am enjoying the spectacle.

    Last weeks “supporters of free speech”, conducting a Witch hunt to find out who “used their right of free speech” to out, National’s sense of entitlement.

    • cleangreen 13.1

      Yes KIT it is entertaining watching these national mice going around and around in circles chasing their tails. I am gigling.

    • Puckish Rogue 13.2

      I’m not a free speech absolutist and if any rules have been broken, as the speaker is suggesting there might, then yeah an investigation should happen because if nothing else it’ll hopefully put to bed the rumours that’re currently flying about the place

    • Anne 14.1

      From the link:

      Right-wing PR man Matthew Hooton told RadioLIVE Drive there is a “despicable smear campaign underway” against the National Party leader.

      “Aid and abetted by an extreme left-wing, anti-National Party journalist called Tova O’Brien, who is a disgrace to the profession and a disgrace to Newshub, and is running a personal campaign to get rid of Simon Bridges.

      He’s lost the plot!

  14. peterlepaysan 18

    The cost of Bridges “meet and greet” is irrelevant. The issue is how did the info get out?

    To suggest that an independent inquiry body be set up is ludicrous.

    The paper/email trail should not be that difficult to establish

    • Anne 18.1

      It’s going to be a one person inquiry by the looks of it – a QC.

    • Cinny 18.2

      The cost IS relevant to those who pay the bill…. ie taxpayers of which there are plenty.

      The ‘leak’ is a separate concern and only really relevant to those directly involved.

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