With a certain amount of schadenfreude I am watching the right’s response to the decision to elevate Simon Bridges to the leadership. Having been involved in the Labour Party during a time of turmoil it is satisfying knowing that it is now National’s turn to go through the same thing.
Cameron Slater was first off. His instantaneous response was not pretty.
National’s caucus has made their first big error: they’ve selected Simon Bridges as leader.
We can all look forward to him referring to himself in the third person for the foreseeable future.
And, from National’s twitter account, it looks like Paula Bennett is deputy:
— NZ National Party (@NZNationalParty) February 26, 2018
National certainly look like they have abandoned their base. Already there are poor attendances at AGMs and reports are that last night one Auckland seat had to abandon their meeting because it lacked a quorum.
The members will rebel now. You ignore your base at your peril. When the polls start dropping, and they will, then National are going to find themselves in a dark hole.
One thing is certain: there will be another leadership vote before the next election.
David Farrar was much more circumspect. But his commentators were not.
Nothing says “STOOPID” like making Soimon Bridges leader.
Nats Kiss my assssss first and my vote next. No more subscriptions or memberships from me. If ACT were not so inept I would go for them leaving me now in a quandary.
Or bigbruv, the one who welches on bets:
Right, lets all start work to get rid of this fuckwit as leader.
Meanwhile, over on Whale Oil, Cam Slater is ignoring your petty partisan approach, and instead advocates a magnanimous generosity-of-spirit response. Nah, just kidding. 😂
Or Wangas Feral
He always struck me, right from when he was first elected, as being all mouth and no trousers. I have not heard a single hitting speech from him his entire time in Parliament and I listen to parliament all the time. While he is not as dull as Adams, he is about as inspiring as overcooked mushy peas.
Or Southern Raider
Simon Bridges: Leader of the party formally known as National
Check them out. Intentionally or unintentionally some of them are very funny.
And it seems there may be a hole in his boy from Te Atatu statement. Because he has in the past also claimed to be a boy from Tauranga when replying to an allegation that his pants were on fire.
Today Simon Bridges is a proud Westie kid from Te Atatū. It's an inspiring journey he's been on since 2013, when he was just a boy from Tauranga dreaming of the big city lights. https://t.co/1GTZ8tGLG0
— Stephanie Rodgers 🌹 (@bootstheory) February 27, 2018
Back in 2013 he was accused by Greenpeace of misleading Parliament over his dealings with the oil industry. Greenpeace claimed he had met Shell Oil representatives to discuss the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill the aim of which was to criminalise various protest action at sea.
He denied the claim. The billboard was the response from Greenpeace. From the Dominion Post:
In a statement, Mr Bridges said he was not lobbied by Shell or anyone else to make changes to the legislation.
“I met with Shell, but the issue was not discussed. Ministers regularly meet with business. However, decisions are made by Cabinet.”
He also claimed to be “chuffed” with the billboard.
“As a boy from Tauranga, I’ve always wanted my name up in lights in the big city. Now it’s happened and I managed to get Greenpeace to pay for it.”
This Standard post analysed the claim at the time and concluded that his pants were actually on fire.
So an interesting start to Bridges’s leadership. National will be hoping that tomorrow works out better than today did.