Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, August 14th, 2018 - 102 comments
Categories: clickbait, jacinda ardern, making shit up, Media, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, twitter, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
Last night Newshub published figures showing that Simon Bridges had during his tour of the country spent quite a bit of money on hotels and limos. It was bread and butter click bait stuff. The left complained about the cost and the right, well they did what they normally do and tried to divert attention. And got owned in the process.
Then Simon struck.
First of all he claimed it was all Labour’s fault that he had gone around the country and spent up large on limos and hotel rooms on the taxpayer’s dime.
Simon Bridges says the country has been forced into “wasting a couple of hundred million dollars” because the Government did not do enough work while in Opposition.
Bridges was responding to a Newshub article that claims a leak shows he has spent more than $100,000 on travel and accommodation over the past three months.
The National Party leader said he’s been travelling the country “to understand what’s happening and what New Zealanders want from the Opposition and Government”.
But he said if Labour had done more groundwork before they won the election, “we wouldn’t now be wasting a couple of hundred million dollars on work on working groups and inquiries”.
That is a strange use of the concept of causation. Labour did not do something costing money before being elected so it has to spend money on consultants now so Simon had to go out and spend big on limos and hotel rooms.
Then there was this train wreck of an interview on Morning Report.
From Radio New Zealand:
Mr Bridges said he did not know who leaked his expenses, which were due to be publicly released later this week, to the media.
The Speaker of the House receives information about MP expenses and the whips of each party also get given the information to pass on to MPs.
“It does seem pretty strange but I haven’t turned my mind to any of those issues yet.”
“Already I’m getting a sense that this is not from my party, that there’s something different at play here. As I say though, I don’t have perfect information on that. It may be over time we see what the truth is but it does seem pretty strange,” Mr Bridges said.
Asked whether he could rule out his own MPs leaking it, Mr Bridges said, “the information I’ve had so far suggests that’s not the case”.
The statement is so clumsy. First Bridges hasn’t turned his mind to the issue of who leaked the information. Then he says he has a sense the leak did not come from his party and that the information he has had so far suggests it is not one of his MPs. Which is it? He hasn’t turned his mind to the issue or he has and concluded that it is not one of his MPs. And if he has concluded it was not one of his MPs while not making the most rudimentary of checks then that is ridiculous.
He should have been brave and said about his tour that the cost is the cost. Or he could have been really clever and driven himself around in an electric car, just like Jacinda would do, and then make a big deal about how he was saving taxpayers money.
Or he could have shut up and said nothing. The story would have died pretty quickly.
Instead we have a second day of adverse media attention and comment and the wonder if this was an inside hit job on Bridges by a disaffected National MP.
If Bridges wants to see how to be on top on your media game Clarke’s tweet above showed how to do it. Be funny. Be sharp. But above all else be sincere. And for one of National’s apologists to attack Jacinda in an attempt to divert attention is just too funny for words. The country loves her. The right should realise this and lay off the attacks on her. Otherwise this could be early evidence of Ardern Derangement Syndrome.
I hope Bridges stays leader of the opposition for a long time. For the good of the country.