- Date published:
6:05 pm, April 6th, 2020 - 67 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, democratic participation, doofus of the week, health and safety, jacinda ardern, leadership, Politics, Simon Bridges, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: jacinda ardern, lockdown, simon bridges
The current leader of the National Party has been snapped driving from Wellington to Tauranga in defiance of the lockdown.
Simon Bridges is the chair of the the Epidemic Response Committee, which meets each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
While other MPs are joining the meeting remotely via the internet, Bridges is turning up in person in Parliament and then cruising back to the Bay of Plenty to be with his family bubble.
But hang on!
Simon has a second bubble. This one appears to be some advisors and at least two Tory MP’s who are also on the Epidemic Response Committee, Whangārei MP Shane Reti and Taupō MP Louise Upston.
Bridges says because the PM has a bubble at Premier House in Tinakori and one in the nearby Beehive, he’s entitled to a bubble at Parliament and another at his Tauranga home.
“I don’t take these things lightly, but I am the leader of the Opposition, I’ve got constitutional duties, I’m running a committee in extreme circumstances where there is no Parliament.”
Yeah, nah. Simon’s been given the chair of a committee that is useful, but not crucial. A taxpayer funded tiki tour is not an essential journey.
Jacinda Ardern is actually running the show and her two addresses are discrete, secure, well locked down and only minutes walk apart.
What the Prime Minister does clearly is essential.
What Simon does is, well, hard to tell. But it sure ain’t essential.
As an aside, does anyone know if he gets an allowance for turning up in person? I don’t know, but we really should be told.
But wait! There’s more!!!
The day before the lockdown came into effect, Bridges hung out in a Mount Maunganui supermarket for a photo op. No social distancing at all.
The staff don’t seem thrilled about the chat, but that’s understandable. It is Simon Bridges, after all.
UPDATE: Twitter has been brutal:*
*hat tip ms!
Imagine if Simon was running the country. It would be a mess.
Every MP other than the Ministers should just donate their pay back.
Maybe keep the Epidemic Response Committee, and Bridges Chairs that.
Apart from that none of the MP's are useful for anything right now.
They should get in there and stack shelves.
Bridges can do what he likes I don't care.
I'm more interested in those who're standing in boots bloodied from giving David Clark a kicking, who wouldn't accept any of the different angles put forward as mitigation for his actions, who are now coming up with more angles than a protractor to excuse Bridges.
He's essential, you see. So essential.
Unlike, say, a doctor or nurse working in Auckland to save lives who has a family in Taupo or Taranaki who they really miss. They can stay put.
Bridges is always in a bubble.
Don’t burst his bubble.
As I said on Open Mike, I'm not really "outraged" by this and not interested in pretending to be, BUT …
I had assumed he was just going to say "my bad, lesson learned" and the story ends. Turns out that Bridges intends to continue doing it. So it is not like Clark's case at all.
(presumably some adviser will whisper in his ear and he'll cave later, but it would be good if he could work that out for himself)
I never listen to talkback normally, but while scanning what was on I happened to tune into ZB late last week after David Clark’s bike ride hit the news. I wonder if the rabid talkback callers will hysterically rant and rave about Simon Bridges’ road trip as they did then.
Do you really have to ask that question? I've just asked the guys on Kiwiblog for a response and their silence is deafening.
Heh. So, business as usual then. Labour = BAD! National = SAINTS ABOVE ALL REPROACH!
The biggest bubble around is the one between Bridges' ears.
More seriously – interesting to see how many of our really essential workers are among the lowest paid: supermarket workers, drivers, aged-care workers, cleaners, rubbish-collectors, etc. The left really needs to come up with an alternative way of describing the value that people create – rather than simply the income they can command in a labour market. Without it, we cannot explain this phenomenon happening before our eyes.
Keep calling them "Essential Workers" even after this. I should point out teachers are still working through this too, I'm getting updates and heads up to what to expect in the weeks ahead, online lessons etc.
Disgraceful behaviour. Simon's a public health risk and a danger to society.
…whether he drives backwards and forwards between Wellington and Tauranga or not.
Some friendly advice in this time of challenge.
SIMON STOP DIGGING!
When his National party supporters call him a "pillock" on Jacinda Ardern's Face book, and say they will be voting for Jacinda, I think his Bubble will be burst.
Bill, your silence about Bridges’ travel is deafening.
Now where's that dob-in page? I feel like filing a report.
It is perfectly reasonable for Simon to go to Wellington. He will be able to do way more background research there. Even Standardnistas must have some appreciation that the Leader of Opposition needs some staff assistance to properly prepare. We can't really expect that the government can have all the resources they want, but the Opposition has zero.
Or would you prefer a one party state?
Jeez, it's just a bit of fun Wayne, slight tongue in cheek, Simon is like David Brent from the Office, "an entertainer". The man can't get a break, now he's blaming his internet connection and getting laughed at.
"way more background research" wot, like trawling through dusty files? nah, get with the internet age wayne. flimsy excuse. if he needs staff assistance and cant get it without physically standing beside them, he obviously IS stuck in the past. my niece is a senior treasury wonk and they are all working from home, doing waaay more background research than simon ever will.
I'm sure the taxpayer would be quite happy to put Simon's family up in Wellington for a few weeks while he bravely battled for our butchers.
Somehow you've made a short hop from there to a totalitarian mono-state though!
You rhetoric is beginning to rival David Farrar's…
Forget that last sentence and the comment about the opposition having no resources but to address the other stuff.
Nothing remarkable in the comments, nothing intellectual about them, just common sense. Does that commodity count though? How many times have I seen that Ardern should be in Wellington 'working?' How many times have I seen that she does nothing but photo ops and spends all her time with little kids?
It might be perfectly reasonable for Simon to go to Wellington. But expecting rational, reasonable attitudes and debate? Don't you listen to Newstalkzb and people like Mike Hosking? Fuckwittery rules and dominates.
Kiwiblog would be the yes place for a one party state, as long as it's a National one.
Bridges true intention on his trips to Wellington will be revealed.
As for a one party state who chairs the Epidemic Response Committee?
It just so happens that the government gets the Lions share of the resources.
Of course it's perfectly reasonable for Bridges to be in Wellington. Or in Tauranga. Or anywhere else he can stay in his bubble.
It's perfectly reasonable for thousands of people in essential services to be working in one place, and then to be driving for hours to see their families in other places, hundreds of km away. To see the people in another bubble, the whanau they miss and want to be with. Reasonable.
But … they don't. They would like to be exceptions. But they are asked to accept that we can't all be exceptions. They are being asked to accept that "We are all in this together". And that is really tough, for so many families.
Bridges has decided that he doesn't need to make this sacrifice. So why should anybody? Why shouldn't the empty roads he drives on be … full of exceptions?
The more I think about it the more annoyed I get. There are thousands of spilt families who have no ability to connect right now but Simon needs to be in the same room as his secretary for some strange reason.
We'll hear nothing more from him on Greens MPs travelling to climate conferences, will we? Apparently it's now crucial to be in the same room to be able to do your job.
I try to get the facts right, so I've checked the official Covid-19 site on essential workers.
I found nothing that said – or even hinted – that it might be OK to drive hundreds of km between work and home, when you can work from home OR live near your work (both options available to Bridges).
Happy to be corrected, but the rules (guidelines, whatever) seem clear. Bridges is not bending them, he's completely ignoring them.
And proudly so. He got defensive (that's his go to response) when asked today and lashed out saying he didn't have to ask for permission.
What a twat.
Same room as his secretary….Hmmm?. Or is that unfair?.
Hey Wayne, there is always zoom and the many many other internet tools. I've been using them to do remote organizing for decades.
These are pretty accessible and very cheap. My families are using them to good effect during this pandemic. My work is as well – I'm working on a project that runs over the UK, US, aussie, and her for people. Not exactly expensive even at corporate level either.
I realize that it could be the the notable technophobic tendencies of professional politicians. But I see that the Minister of Health has been able to work from home. Same with the deputy PM. So it isn't insurmountable even for the technically illiterate.
Surely the coffers of the National party could cough up money for the party network. Just get the VPN that was running in 2008 for parliament with the daft LCD RSA confirmation id – that would be good enough to access files that aren't on the parliamentary or party networks. These days we mostly use confirmation Ids via the cellphone on cisco OneConnect or GlobalProtect.
Otherwise you could ask David Farrar who his benefactors are who pay for kiwiblog. I am pretty sure that they could get a very private comms site going in hours.
Basically – that would have to be the weakest excuse that I've heard for a while. Especially when you consider the driving with all of the additional exposures or that his staff will be suffering unnecessary exposure to both Bridges and each other – because someone doesn’t know how and when to use technology.
No. But expecting more sense from the leader of the opposition to be doing a commute halfway across the country, when nurses cannot live with their families because of CV19 risk.
After going to town on someone else who didn’t do anything near this level of crassness, and ignoring this one, the right wing talking parrots should be fired.
Absolutely. In fact, Slick should stay there.
Yes dear. Even my 80 something year old national supporting aunty's seen through the Bridges bravado. Extra focus is a 2 way street in these locked in times.
A busy time for the apologists.
"Stop being mean to Simon! He's trying his best! You shameless bullies!"
Mapp still hoping Bridges will 'come good' – both 'tone deaf'.
Bridges said on Newstalk ZB "50% of the time my internet doesn't work."
Even if Simon's home internet is unreliable, his Electorate office in Tauranga has had UFB since September 2011.
Simon's making excuses and being dishonest.
He's got that big-man-on-campus strut about him. Voters do not like him.
He was doing pretty well last week too, hadn't screwed up and was calm and happy that he had something to do. Got the butchers some online sale and delivery ability which approximately 0% of them will be able to do because, butchers.
And then he has to do the dumb thing and drive 1000km/week in a nationwide lockdown not seen since country was inhabited!
" his Electorate office in Tauranga".
You mean the one that was closed down do you? There aren't any electorate offices that are currently open.
"UPDATE: As NZ is now in a period of the COVID 19 lockdown the Electorate and Community Offices are closed. Until further notice we ask that any contact with MPs and their offices be via email rather than by physical post. MP's email details can be found on the contact lists at the bottom of this page and also on their individual Parliamentary Biography pages. Thank you."
Surely an exception could be made for the leader of the Butchers Committee. It’s important work trying to get the local bakery opened up!
They have after all made an exception for Bridges to tiki-tour the country willy-nilly.
Of course Simon's electorate office is closed. The reality is that Simon could lock himself in his electorate office and use the internet, the office would still be closed. It makes more sense than driving to Wellington just to use the fucking internet. Simon is obviously just making lame idiotic excuses and being dishonest again. That's one of the reasons few take him seriously and why he's so unpopular, even among National voters.
No, I don’t think that’s possible. Simon needs emotional junior staff to let him in because his swipe card only works 50% of the time.
Did Bill and Rosemary fall out of the Car ?
Exactly where are these two pidgeons ? Are they steering the wheel for Simon ?
God help us !
What’s the point of your comment other than riling others? Cut it out, please.
This might not be as big a news today as many here would like it to be…
Keep up, he's basically neutered the whole bile ride thing, he's shown he's incapable of sorting out his internet even though he's trying to convince a country he can lead, he's a laughing stock.
It does rather limit any opportunities National might have had to exploit Clark’s stupidity though. They will have to rely on their proxies in the media to do that.
Here's an idea, Gosman: One person can be wrong and another person can be wrong and that means they're both wrong.
Bridges, of course, hasn't yet managed to say he's wrong.
Simon mate.. the bubble is supposed to be OUTSIDE you, not between your ears.
Ohh.. and Boris Johnson= shadenfruede.
And as someone sent me about irony, if only Trump was to be taken down by a Chinese virus named after a Mexican beer.
Tauranga to Wellington is trending on twitter, this comment stood out 🙂
Cinny Right "ridickolus"!! Funny if it was not sad.
I hope his family stay safe in spite of his silly behaviour.
Comment from Maria. "If Bridges says his connection is no good in Tauranga, he’s lying. It was great for Q & A yesterday morning."
Actually Simon saying, "Don't you know who I am!"
Well he didn't actually say that but he did imply it.
WE should all pitch in and buy Jacinda a air ticket to Auckland, so she could visit her other bubble she must be missing big time
Do you not think holding the government to account during a state of emergency is "essential"?
Yes Gosman but if the other Shadow Ministers can manage remotely, why can't Simon?
His connection worked fine for Sunday's Q&A.
I don't know why Bridges feels the need to travel to do his essential work however I do know that travelling 1000 km round trip is not something people usually do because it is fun
Bridges loves a limo ride.
Don't be a disingenuous tit all your life, Gossie.
The boss knows whats essential…
Just get Bridges to take her up!
Maybe Bridges' wife prefers him to be in Wellington for long periods, in order to retain her sanity, so she encourages these 1000 km round trips? Just sayin'
A wee heads-up for whoever wrote the summary that appears below the headline on the Home page: you FLOUT the rules when you set them at defiance. (FLAUNTing them means you put them on ostentatious display, which is a nonsense.)
Indeed! Though ‘ostentatious display’ and ‘Simon Bridges’ do seem to go together well.
The real reason he wants to be in Wellington is so he can get his face on the 6oclock news more often. Three times on TvOne news tonight with his silly carping stand ups for parliamentary reporters