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Poor Paula’s position’s in peril

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, February 1st, 2018 - 24 comments
Categories: bill english, national, paula bennett, same old national - Tags:

Spare a thought for Paula Bennett. Looks like her political career is on the long slippery slope to oblivion.

And clearly there has been sabotaguing of Bill English’s leadership with leaked rumours from within National’s Caucus of his leadership being under threat being made on the day he was giving a major speech. The context is National’s loss of power. Nothing annoys them more.  And knives are being sharpened for those who are perceived to have been responsible for poisoning the relationship with Winston Peters.

From Sam Sachdeva at Newsroom:

Several sources spoken to by Newsroom suggested some of the speculation was overblown, with no strong appetite for a change of leader in the coming months.

One source said there was still a high level of respect for English within the party, and he would be given the space to decide what he wanted to do.

Another said there were many in the party who were keen for him to hold the leadership through to the 2020 election, if that was what he wanted.

However, there appears to be a feeling that Bennett’s position is much less secure than English’s, with some media reporting she may be forced out of the deputy role.

She was seen as a poor performer during the campaign, and few within National now see her as the natural successor to English, despite his decision to support her elevation to the deputy’s role last December.

She returned to yesterday’s National caucus meeting in Parliament in a bright and breezy fashion after her gastric bypass, but may find herself under the pump at a two-day caucus meeting in Tauranga next week.

And from Tracy Watkins in Stuff:

Rumblings have started in National over its election loss and the knives are out for key figures in the outcome, including deputy Paula Bennett.

But with the party still polling above 40 per cent leader Bill English appears to be safe for now.

Jostling is already underway over a replacement should English step down, however. He had planned to retire from politics before John Key’s shock resignation thrust him into the leadership.

A senior National Party source said English commanded a lot of respect in the caucus and there would be a backlash against anyone who tried to roll him at this poi

He was seen as having earned the right to go gracefully, though the mood may change if the polls dropped.

But English is loyal to Bennett and may see any move against her as a move against him.

The source said an early move against Bennett could not be ruled out, however, as the party comes to terms with its defeat and the prospect of more than one term in Opposition.

The dominant line about English, that he continues to have respect and will be given the opportunity to go out on his own terms may be true but its publication causes significant damage to his leadership.  I have seen this before, the drip drip drip of leaks causing conjecture about a leader causes damage and almost inevitably failure.

I almost feel sorry for English and Bennett.  Almost …

 

24 comments on “Poor Paula’s position’s in peril”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    No need to feel sorry. Every leader knows that it is inevitable they will be rolled in a coup or rejected by the public. (unless you are John Key).

    Paula will probably be upset by it as she hasn’t achieved anything.

    Bill will pretty philosophical. He’s had his time and it is now time to move on.

    • ianmac 1.1

      I wonder if Bill had intended to bow out hence moving onto the List a couple of years ago, but then Key gave him the PMship. The chance was too good to miss but now, having lost the Election he must be again considering retirement if not now then soon?

  2. Anne 2

    Dirty politics… only this time the targets are their own kind.

    What a lovely turn of events.

    • SpaceMonkey 2.1

      I don’t think this is dirty politics, just the usual rumblings and movement before change happens.

      I’m looking forward to the next phase when it becomes clear to National they have no one to lead that hasn’t been tainted by their shitty 9 years in Government under John Key – often the case with any political party following a charismatic or strong leader.

      But it is a lovely turn of events.

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      Don’t overuse the Dirty Politics term.

      Leaks are how we get most of our political news. How do you think we know about coups (on both sides of the fence) weeks before anyone says anything officially.

  3. SpaceMonkey 3

    I can’t feel sorry for either of them. Not after what they have done to NZ.

  4. paul andersen 4

    its hilarious. nobody really wants the job now as they realise that jacinda is on the up. whoever gets the poisoned chalice knows they are looking at a defeat next election, and the nats numbers will only go down. for such a greedy self-serving mob to be saying to each other, “you first, after you” etc is such comedy….

  5. patricia bremner 5

    Those costumes speak volumes! Pirates is right. Plundering the public purse.
    Paula’s party is over because she will lose her dance partner.

  6. Bennett was always just kept on as the clown quotient , albeit a vicious one. Well , it was all very fine when they held their quasi dictatorship but now they dont.

    Bennett will be the first against the wall.

    As for this : … ” One source said there was still a high level of respect for English within the party, and he would be given the space to decide what he wanted to do ” …

    The only ‘respect’ , …. if one could call it that ,… was from those intimately connected to – and firm believers in , the NZ Initiative ( the outpost of the London based Mont Pelerin Society ) and the neo liberal program. Well , that ‘ program’ is now dying.

    Like Bill English’s career.

    The man is a two time loser. Are we seriously to believe that those of the inner circle who have lived high on the hog for so long are really going to stand by and watch their privileged lifestyles put under threat by suffering a man who is not only past his use by date , – but also the man responsible for putting their privileges under threat ?

    Obviously not.

    There will be a move against English , – and Bennett the clown.

    The fact that all this is being cloaked in niceties and softened by the media for public consumption cannot hide the rancor that is taking place as we discuss this. And as with anyone with a modicum of intelligence in observing human nature and cause and effect could tell you , – they had it coming to them.

    No one can carry on as the National party did for a decade and get away with it. The amount of people who suffered because of them were not in the tens of thousands – they were in the hundreds of thousands.And now its time to pay the ferryman.

    Some would call it revenge, – others Utu.

    As for me , – Kevin Bloody Wilson coined the most appropriate acronym regards the National party :

    DILLIGAF .

    Leave it to the Aussies to not mince their words, …

    KEVIN BLOODY WILSON D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F. – YouTube

  7. OncewasTim 7

    They could just offer her a talkback slot somewhere and give her the push.
    Perhaps somewhere remote on local radio on a 5 watt transmitter.

  8. John 8

    Here is my pick. Judith Collins will jump ship to ACT to try and get National a better polling partner. Sort of like John Banks that great father figure. Then Amy Adams for leader because she owns the most farms I think. Then Shane Reti for deputy. A safe pair of hands as he has done nothing so no dirt on him. Just for shits and giggles

    • Bearded Git 8.1

      Chris Bishop for deputy….he was one of the very few almost human Nats that used tp appear on Backbenches (sob….pleeese bring it back Jacinda/Clare)

  9. SPC 9

    I wonder if Labour will do a Shane Jones move and appoint Bill English offshore?

    Aid and abet a leadership struggle, disunity does have its risks while in opposition.

  10. Michael 10

    I think the Nats should take their time over this, as befits a conservative political party. Perhaps they could give every one of their caucus a go in the top job and the number two spot before settling on whomever looks best (I have no idea how right-wingers judge these things). Of course 90 day fire at will arrangements are best to ensure business confidence in the brand.

  11. tc 11

    I don’t care which owned soul ends up fronting the national party division of corporate NZ.

    Labour/NZF need to deliver and get the message out there about the asset/rights/property stripping under National and let the electorate take care of them.

    Public broadcasting would help so c’mon Curran let’s see if you’re more than a beltway trougher club member as so far you’ve been about as effective as you were in opposition.

    • Michael 11.1

      I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Curran to do anything with her ministerial portfolios. So far, she’s distinguished herself as the first member of the new cabinet to trash the spirit and intent of our official information law. As for building up RNZ as a serious competitor to the low-brow MSM offerings (a category that includes TVNZ), I doubt she’s capable, even if she wants to. Perhaps that’s why she scored the job?

  12. Tricledrown 12

    How will they rehabilitate Bennett for leadership or is she to much of a liability.

  13. Michelle 13

    So now pullas colleagues are trying to put the boot in after all the dirty work she did for them.
    They were happy for her to treat people like shit when they were in power now they have lost they want to get rid of her
    I have no pity for her but people need to see the tories for what they really are selfish greedy a…wholes

  14. Jimmy Ramaka 14

    Bennett is the obvious successor the old boy network will have been grooming her for bigger things, they can obviously see the potential in her, She has dragged herself up by the boot strings just like our previous leader who was the most popular PM ever in the History of NZ.

    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      Jimmy. Jimmy. Jonny-boy “dragged himself up by his boot-(sic) strings?
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
      Nice.
      I remember the report of how Jonny decided to learn to golf, because that’s what the Kings of Neolib enjoyed. “Dragged”?
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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