Nats’ attack on Ardern backfires

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, March 17th, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour, leadership, national - Tags: , , , , ,

National’s nasty, obvious, hamfisted attack on Jacinda Ardern has backfired on them big time. Here’s Vernon Small:

National’s attack on Labour’s deputy suggests concerns more than skin deep

Why did National wheel out Nikki Kaye to launch a personal attack on Jacinda Ardern in the House?

It’s been the talk in Parliament’s corridors and in the coffee shops down on Lambton Quay today.

The aim was obvious; try and “frame” her as empty, superficial, without any significant achievements. A show pony. It’s the same tactic National has used with effect in the past. When Andrew Little took the leadership it immediately launched a coordinated attempt to type-cast him as “Angry Andy”.

Whether it was a wise move on National’s part is a different question.

The speed and intensity of the attacks confirmed, if any confirmation was needed, that National sees her as a threat.

Her profile is high and she has got people talking. There is a consensus across Labour and National insiders; she has the potential to bring votes and interest back to Labour and National’s formidable opinion-sampling may have already picked that up.

Ardern’s reaction was to head for the moral high ground.

Perhaps for the first time since Helen Clark and Michael Cullen – aided hugely by the retirement and early exit of John Key – Labour has a leadership that is not in the shadow of National’s line up.

But was he [English] concerned at Ardern’s popularity? “Not particularly.”

National’s reaction suggests otherwise.

No doubt the poll-driven Nats have had some bad news about Ardern’s popularity, and reached for their usual attack tactics. But Key would have been much more subtle. This bungling only boosts Ardern’s profile, and draws attention to how worried the Nats are about Labour’s leadership.

Good.

34 comments on “Nats’ attack on Ardern backfires”

  1. Tui 1

    the nasty [r0b: deleted] nats are running scared!!!

    ~ Tui

  2. Keith 2

    Its no secret, their polling and focus groups that National run their useless short term government by are telling them Jacinda is harming their line up of ghouls, freaks and crooks. So a hastily thrown together strategy to put the boot in surfaced, but shamefully whilst she was not there. Whose dumb arse idea was that, their chief strategist Joyce?

    Kaye ironically is a rank non achiever and her ugly comments were just pathetic and Maggie Barry has yet to come across as anything but a bitter and twisted unpleasant old creep in parliament. Whatever happened to the warm fuzzy grandmotherly gardener of TV fame? That was clearly a front!

    Actually Nikki, what have you and National done for your generation apart from pulling the plug on government contributions to Kiwisaver and ensuring most cannot ever buy a home?

  3. Right wingers gloated on and on about how personal attacks on Key were futile and only served to increase his popularity. Now, they’re attacking Jacinda Ardern.

    It’s curious they didn’t heed their own advice.

  4. ianmac 4

    So, Nikki Kaye is a nasty spiteful woman. Skin deep attractive but underneath a grabbing unpleasant scrapper. Who would have guessed.

    • roy cartland 4.1

      She’s actually just thick. She’s worked well with Greens et al on marriage equality etc, so has some conscience. Obviously isn’t her idea to attack J. Perhaps the real agenda was to use Kaye as the pawn and blame her if/when it goes wrong. Replace her with someone more aligned to Bill’s hateful ways.

      Conspiracy? Maybe.

      Beyond this Government? Hardly.

      • Chris 4.1.1

        Yes, just thick, and I’d add insecure in herself. Politics for her is about filling the void that’s the source of her insecurity.

      • McFlock 4.1.2

        Barry used some of the same lines.

        My guess is that the nats realised that if it were tory men laying into Ardern with that angle, they’d look like bullying misogynists rather than just desperate.

    • Who would have guessed–? joyce knew, Release the hounds.

    • John 4.3

      I think Kaye is just trying to impress her boss. Just think this Cabinet Minister is supposed to be the next Minister of Education. Disgraceful example. No wonder people disengage from the political process.

  5. Reality 5

    She accused Jacinda Ardern of being all about photo ops/billboards. So somewhat hypocritical to this week being in a woman’ mag soft soap article and photo on cover.

  6. Johan 6

    Nikki Kaye is nothing but a light weight, who as a politician has rode the wave of Mr. Popularity. Now that Key is gone, all/most National Party candidates for their first time, including Nikki Kaye need to front-up, without the aid of the former leader’s buoyancy. Kaye doesn’t sound genuine in her attack against Ardern, and will lose credibility and voters will see through that. Ardern displays the wiliness of a seasoned politician, but most important she is highly skilled in delivering that sound bite in a superb manner.

  7. Ethica 7

    It is sad that Nikki Kaye has stooped so low here. It is also surprising that she is wasting time on such nastiness. With cancer many people re-evaluate their lives and decide what is really important. Strange that she has decided that unbridled political ambition and personal attacks are the way to go.

    • SpaceMonkey 7.1

      Maybe that’s the extent to which she re-evaluated her life?

    • I don’t find it at all strange that a Nat politician would re-evaluate their life and decide those were the things that were really important – seems right up their alley…

    • Jilly Bee 7.3

      Absolutely Ethica, most cancer survivors (particularly the ones I know) do certainly evaluate their lives and get their priorities sorted out. Regarding Nikki Kaye, I couldn’t help thinking, looking at the couple of photos published with the articles about her wee outburst that she doesn’t look particularly well and whether she actually is in remission. It does appear obvious that she and Maggie Barry have drawn the short straws to be Bill’s attack dogs and it does appear to be backfiring in spectacular fashion.

  8. Bob 8

    Silly move by National going on the attack, neither Little or Ardern have ever won anything other than a list position at a General Election, why give them any exposure by talking about them, let alone attacking them and giving people a reason to feel sorry for them!

    • Bob meant: “Silly move to go on the attack (but I’ll give it a go anyway); neither Little or Ardern have ever won anything other than a list position at a General Election, why give them any exposure by talking about them, let alone attacking them and giving people a reason to feel sorry for them! Plus, blah, blah, blah!”
      There, done! That felt good!”

  9. Cynical jester 9

    Make her the leader asap.

  10. I always had a gut feeling about Adern … that she was a Blairite type character, and for me that frankly sent up the red flags initially … but here is the innate quality about Adern that the Nats fear … Warmth.

    She is affable, approachable… and has a warmth that endears her to the people.

    She also seems to exhibit another very human quality , … a teacheability and a humility to listen and learn.

    This combination of Little/ Adern is a winner.

    Contrast that with the proven viciousness of English and the bombasticness of Bennett and we can see the enormous contrast.

    I’m supporting the winning Little / Adern combination.

    • McFlock 10.1

      pretty much reflects my impression, too

    • mosa 10.2

      WK you could be right.

      Little and Adern remind me a bit of Charles and Diana.

      I expect that Jacinda will be the main focus as she has incredible people skills and charisma and that is the ” warmth ” i think you are referring too and that comes across in the important medium of television.

      Finally a human face we can all relate too.

  11. Goodshepherd 11

    So am I, ever since I saw the two of them go from happily making mud pies with a bunch of tots in a preschool sandbox to putting their shoes on, washing their hands and going to a high powered multi NGO meeting about the housing crisis to listen, question, and suggest possible solutions.

    Top teamwork and that was three years ago. I got a good look at what I decided that day should be our future.

  12. Neil 12

    If Nikki Kaye thinks Jacinda has no substance, shes deluded & should take a good long hard look in the mirror at her own career, a couple of film appearances & competed in the coast to coast twice, then straight into politics, pot calling kettle black
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Kaye

  13. And btw- unfinished business regarding John Key and Mr Kim Dotcom – the latter is innocent and was a victim of the same globalist pro Hollywood / Obama politics that Key championed here in NZ – complete with being a lapdog for the TTPA.

    We owe it to ourselves to dismantle both this current corrupt hang over from John Key National govt and also support to Mr Kim Dotcom .

  14. the pigman 14

    Nats’ error is to assume Kaye has some cancer survivor capital/teflon so she can behave how she likes.

    No matter that the substance of Kaye’s attack (TINA on screwing youth over pension age) is shallow-as-fuck, it was just such an ugly, grasping look. I think they have massively overplayed their hand.

    Nasty, nasty Nats.

  15. mosa 15

    Natz Panic…Brilliant.

  16. Goodshepherd 16

    I expect they thought (?!) the sympathy most felt for Nikki Kaye when her breast cancer was diagnosed gives her a credibility and/or untouchability – she’s never seemed like an attack dog anyway.

    Collins. Bennett. They’re the two I’d expect to be let off the chain first down at the junk yard. Barry’s got a nasty bark. Trolley and Parata too.

    Not Kaye. Until now. But there you go.

    • That and that Kaye is both a woman and regarded as a serious parliamentarian, so they thought that her attacks on Jacinda as vacuous wouldn’t come off as too rich like they might have from some of National’s own lightweights, or sexist like it would have if a man had made the same criticism. (which is silly, of course- if an attack is sexist, it’s sexist when a woman makes it as well as when a man does)

      If this has done anything, it’s just undermined Nikki Kaye’s credibility.

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