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What is up with National?

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, October 31st, 2018 - 46 comments
Categories: national, Politics, same old national - Tags: ,

I put up a late post yesterday about National’s very bad day in the house.  I have not seen them so rattled and uninspired.

But it was not only me.

So the question has to be asked, what is up with National?  Where has that born to rule swagger gone, that insistence that they are right and we are just mindless eco freaking communists?

It might have been the realisation that Jami-Lee Ross is in it for the long haul.  He delivered a letter yesterday suggesting that he was going to sit tight.

He is clearly trying to preserve proportionality so that National then does not have an excuse to use the waka jumping legislation.

The problem is it appears that proportionality has already been affected.  In the Huata decision Chief Justice Elias said this:

I am of the view that the scheme of the statute is that the proportionality of party political representation in Parliament is distorted when a member continues to serve in Parliament after ceasing to be a member of the political party for which he or she was elected. The relevant distorting “conduct” of a member is not properly to be equated to voting conduct in the House because the statute itself identifies cessation in membership of the party as the distorting condition which gives rise to vacancy if the statutory procedures are invoked.

So the fact he has left caucus may be enough.

Legal guru Andrew Geddis thinks that if the power is invoked Ross is gone.  He sets out the problem for National in this passage:

In a nutshell, so there is no confusion, the necessary legal preconditions exist for Bridges to begin the process to use the party hopping law against Ross in order to force him from the House. If more than two-thirds of National’s caucus are prepared to perform a gymnastic political backflip of Olympic gold medal level standard, he can do so. I doubt he will do so – but then again, all I know about is the law. Politics is far weirder and scarier.

Process wise Bridges has to give Ross 21 working days notice, consider his response and then decide to put it to a caucus vote.  A two third majority of caucus is required on the motion to expel.  Notice is then given to the speaker and it is all over.

But will Bridges get a two third majority of his caucus?  My sense is that it is touch and go at best.  National went way too far with its “principled” opposition to the waka jumping law change to expect that it could then use the law with no one noticing.

So the options are either use the law and be branded as hypocrites or do nothing and let Ross attack National for the rest of the term.  There do not appear to be other options.

And it may be that there is further turmoil within National’s ranks.  It cannot be a very happy place right now.

This particular tale of woe is going to drag out for a while.  And I suspect a few careers are going to be irrevocably changed because of it.

46 comments on “What is up with National?”

  1. Ed 1

    Matthew Horton quote Politik saying Jami Lee Ross speaking in parliament on December 13th.
    Tick tick….

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MatthewHootonNZ/status/1056939420157337600/photo/1

    • veutoviper 1.1

      I don’t have time to check as have dentist appointment, but this assumption re Dec 13 is apparently based on the fact that the Speaker and his office have redone the allocation of speaking slots for the Wednesday General Debates and as Ross is now deemed to be an Independent MP, he has been allocated a slot to speak in the General Debate on Weds, 12 December – not 13th as tweeted.

      Nothing more, nothing less.

  2. Chris T 2

    I thought the rule was only Slater’s comments were to be taken as reliable now?

  3. ianmac 3

    There are 30 days in November + 13 in December.
    It takes 21 days for the Waka Act to be enacted. Mmmmm?

    What if Ross is repentant and very supportive of the National Party. His final day might be soft and gentle and even give his support to Mr Bridges. “Forgive me Lord for I have sinned.”

    • roy cartland 3.1

      Yes, and then the NATs can get props for supporting someone with mental health. And Simon will look pathetic, Collins will take charge and Jami will be back at the front bench.

    • mickysavage 3.2

      21 working days. My calaculation is National has until November 13 …

  4. Anne 4

    So the options are either use the law and be branded as hypocrites or do nothing and let Ross attack National for the rest of the term. There do not appear to be other options.

    And therein probably lies the answer to”What is up with National”?

    They’re having a big row over which way to go?

  5. Sacha 5

    With JLR being ‘supported’ by Lusk and Blubberboy, the tension between their faction of the Nats and Bridges’ one must be ratcheting up.

    Especially when Mr Honnor has been dragged back into the frame, I guess Bridges may have to come out swinging against abortion law reform to stave off the christian money and influence behind the scenes. The party’s more progressive women and men will not be amused. Which way will Bennett sway? Those spring bbqs will be brutal.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    So the question has to be asked, what is up with National? Where has that born to rule swagger gone, that insistence that they are right and we are just mindless eco freaking communists?

    I think they have had a pretty good couple of days considering the main stories in the media yesterday were the Kiwibuild PR fail from the government, and the foreign drug dealing criminal being given residency by the Minister.

  7. Martin C 7

    For once National has a very real chance of having ALL its dirty linen hung out in public.
    For so long the smiling front man could brush it aside with ponytail pulling ease. Now that he has gone the ensuing vacuum has not been filled and the whole thing is looking very shaky.

    Add to the mix an ambitious aspirant to the throne who comes with baggage which has an uncomfortable echo of the ghost of Muldoon. Something many wouldn’t welcome and yet this game hasn’t even reached half time and more will no doubt come.
    Interesting times indeed.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Add to the mix an ambitious aspirant to the throne who comes with baggage which has an uncomfortable echo of the ghost of Muldoon. Something many wouldn’t welcome and yet this game hasn’t even reached half time and more will no doubt come.

      Actually, I think I’d prefer Muldoon over any of the present National MPS. He may have been an authoritarian drunk but at least he was our authoritarian drunk whereas the present National MPs all seem to be paid for members of the CCP.

  8. Martin C 8

    Has anyone noticed the sustained absence of Matthew Hooton from the RNZ Monday morning politics slot?

  9. mauī 9

    Awww… but we want him to stay!

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    All people happy happy

    Will the Chinese wonderful Donor to National – chair the next Caucus ?

    Will the good Zhang Yikun assist National with its horrible mess. Eg: What to vote for. What to vote against. Whom the females should sleep with for the time being. What pleases the China Communist Party – the real Leaders. ?

    Lots of happy happy things.

    Simon will only have to say how much Stronger he is. Ugh

  11. Gosman 11

    JLR won’t be as active in attacking National as he suggested he would be. Recent events would suggest he will be a little more circumspect.

    • Sacha 11.1

      Negotiations have been conducted. What is the price of silence?

      • Gosman 11.1.1

        I suggest his mental well being should be more important to him than attacking National.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          What if his mental issues is a result of National’s shenanigans and his only way out is to bring them to light?

        • Stuart Munro 11.1.1.2

          That’s not quite what it’s about I think.

          This is his career, and he is or was one of the better performers among the Gnats. It was nearly destroyed under false pretenses by Bridges (or casually, which may be from his perspective even worse).

          JLR wants his life back. But if he is allowed to come back, which will purchase his silence, then the blame for the debacle falls primarily on Bridges.

          A really strong party would scrap both and start afresh – but a really strong party would never have had deadwood like Smith or Brownlee or Woodhouse or Guy in senior positions.

          I expect a third way will be sought – where some sinecure is found for JLR and Bridges continues to shamble from crisis to crisis until the 2024 campaign, by which time some better prospect may have evolved.

          • Gosman 11.1.1.2.1

            You really think Jami Lee Ross was one of the better performers of the National party??? Name me one thing he did that backs this up aside from an ability to get people to stump up cash for the party.

            • Stuart Munro 11.1.1.2.1.1

              He wrangled them for a start – you don’t make clueless numpties whips because they can’t get stuff done. Of course much of what he did is reprehensible by democratic standards, and thus generally kept under wraps.

              And money matters. Even Labour and the Greens, who aspire to be more principled than the Gnats, are obliged to take a ‘nice little earner’ more seriously than someone who is not. It is the capitalist equivalent of the mandate of heaven – and it may indicate broader public support – when it is not derived from horse trading candidate school positions and list places.

              • Gosman

                Plenty of numpties have become Whips. You just need to be a bully boy (which JLR is by all accounts).

                From a political point of view all you seem to have is that he managed to woo the donors. Not exactly star of the year award.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Yeah, but you’ve got to compare apples with apples.

                  They’re a fucking useless crew.

                  Brownlee’s Christchurch left thousands of claims incomplete or improperly settled, took court action several times and invariably lost.

                  Smith was utterly ineffectual on water quality and housing – so ineffectual that the housing title had to be taken off him because even the Gnats couldn’t keep a straight face over it.

                  Guy was the plonker who signed off on Thiel’s citizenship…

                  They’re really not a stellar collection – on any given day you could find a hundred better folk at Winz.

                  Among that crowd, JLR was a shining star, and as far as smarts go, infinitely better qualified to lead than either Bridges or Bennett.

                  • Gosman

                    And yet they won three elections in a row and came within a whisker of winning for a fourth time. What does that say about the quality of the opposition they faced?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Very little in fact. There are a few fools – but none on a par with the Gnats.

                      Labour suffers legacy issues from Rogergnomics and identity politics, but a lazy and corrupt media did their pathetic best to gift it to National anyway.

                      It’s tragic really that our media can’t even manage a basic performance indicator analysis of government effectiveness – largely they ran Gnat press releases about their vaunted (and non-existent) economic acumen.

                      Things were bad enough however that that glossy mirage lost its persuasive edge for a solid majority.

                      The coalition’s hope lies not in claims they’ve keep their promises (Clark ran than line, it doesn’t work), but evidence that they’ve responded to real problems. A dead frog’s leg can do that, but the Gnats of course could not.

                    • Gosman

                      I forgot. It is all the media’s fault. Nothing at all to do with the fact that Labour couldn’t elect a leader the people actually wanted until the last minute.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The media bear much of the blame for repeating baseless slanders on Little. Little would have been quite acceptable as a leader – democracy does not require platinum gods – only honest effort.

                      But the media, and vexacious litigant Hagaman chose otherwise. Hagaman lost, and his effort cost his cause, because JA turned out to have charisma to burn, as well as rather more in the way of smarts than most of National. The combination of her presenting policy, and Winston wrecking the Gnat’s feeble attempts at critique in the house is proving insuperable to the hapless Bridges led opposition.

                      The media still need reform, they may have machinated a brief respite by nobbling Curran, but in doing do they merely sharpened the axe for their worst performers.

            • Patricia Bremner 11.1.1.2.1.2

              Gosman, He got laws changed about unions under Key. (Auckland Waterfront) He was the “go to guy” who whipped people into line.
              He was seen as a safe pair of hands, hence his promotions under Bridges.
              His recent behaviour and challenges have rocked that. A conundrum.
              That photo of Bridges talking to Whaleoil on the phone. That expression.
              I read it as shining relief, as he heard what he wanted on the other end.
              Bennett, on the other hand appears to have lost out in some way.
              Her body language has completely changed, while Collins is attacking now.
              A deal? Never underestimate their machiavellian plotting for power.

      • mac1 11.1.2

        Eternal servitude.

      • Cinny 11.1.3

        How much is left in simons leaders fund……

    • Bearded Git 11.2

      Dream on….

  12. ianmac 12

    And right on cue:
    Q 1.Hon SIMON BRIDGES to the Prime Minister: Does she stand by all her Government’s statements and actions?

  13. Ross 13

    Well, yes, National could get rid of JLR if it wants to. But that would be quite a courageous decision. If he was angry before being ousted from Parliament, how much angrier would he be if he was dumped? All those recordings he supposedly has might get to see the light of day. 🙂

  14. R.P Mcmurphy 14

    whats up with national?
    nothing.
    flaccid!

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