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When Bridges’ social media goes wrong

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, April 21st, 2020 - 77 comments
Categories: Economy, health, health and safety, jacinda ardern, making shit up, Media, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, social media lolz, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Yesterday was Jacinda’s day. She obviously thrashed things through cabinet and despite some muscling up by NZ First she managed to get an extension of level 4 lockdown for another week.

It is not as long as some of us would have wanted. For me I would have been happy for a longer period of time but if the current trend continues and we get down to pretty well no new infections then all good. Given that today the briefing suggested all new cases probably came from infections two to three weeks ago we should be close to experiencing the level 4 lockdown norm.

And with the local reinfection rate currently at about 0.5 the number should continue to taper off.

My sense is that there is overwhelming support for the general direction the Government is taking. But Simon Bridges was having nothing of this.

On facebook he posted this comment:

The decision for New Zealand to stay locked down in Level 4 shows the Government hasnʼt done the groundwork required to have us ready.

The public has done a great job of self-isolating and social distancing. The entire country has made huge sacrifices to ensure the four week lockdown was effective.

Unfortunately the Government hasnʼt done enough and isnʼt ready by its own standards and rhetoric.

New Zealand is being held back because the Government has not used this time to ensure best practice of testing and tracing and the availability of PPE hasnʼt been at the standard it should have been.

The rate of testing for the first half of lockdown was low, work has only just begun on surveillance testing to confirm whether community transmission is occurring. Tracing is the biggest challenge and experts have identified major shortcomings in the methods being used by the Government.

This is a real shame as businesses will suffer further damage and that will lead to poor health outcomes as a result of the huge stress this will cause for a lot of people.

Rapid and easily accessible testing for workers with symptoms will be essential to give small businesses the confidence needed to get back to work.

Iʼm sure many Kiwis feel frustration that we still canʼt do many things Australians have done through the entire lockdown period, at great cost in terms of jobs and livelihoods, with similar health outcomes.

I now worry that the harm of staying in lockdown will be greater than if we were to come out. We will no doubt see a rise in mental health problems and stress related illnesses.

I also have real concerns about the delay in healthcare for some people, like cancer treatment, screening and thousands of operations across the country.

New Zealanders can be proud of the sacrifices they have made during this difficult time. The Government must now move as fast as it can to sort out the issues with tracing, testing and PPE so we can get our country moving again.

The comments that were made in response were a wonder to behold. Reading them brought a grin to this jaundiced lefty’s dial.

Like these:

  • “You wouldn’t even know where to begin. At least she’s not cruising around new zealand cause her half million year salary can’t sort her internet, muppet.”
  • “That is a really ridiculous post. For the sake of your reputation I recommend you take it down. Please stop trying to play politics with this crisis.”
  • “I’m not happy either but man you need to really stop being a dick. I love and support National but you’re acting like a twat waffle lately. Stop that please. Thank you x”
  • “Jacinda had her peoples health and welfare in mind. You! Are just worrying about workforce returning and not a care of reinfection. Thank God your not our pm”
  • “I did not Vote Labour but what I am proud of is the way Jacinda has lead us through this unprecedented time. Thank goodness Simon your not leading us through this because I’d put my hand on my heart and believe we would be in a worse situation. Jacinda Thankyou for showing leadership , strength , guidance and persistence on what and still is a challenge for us all.”
  • Honestly Simon Bridges this unnecessary comment will not serve you or us well at all…. Been a Natl supporter for years but not with you leading…… you just lost my vote….. there lies your problem. Now pop your big boy pants on and lets move forward [together] and support eachother on this unknown journey….

His comment about cancer screening received a supportive comment claiming that all specialist appointments, diagnostic screening and treatment are being denied to people recently diagnosed with cancer. It received scathing responses like these:

I work in one of the tertiary cancer specialties at one of the major hospitals in the country and can confirm I have seen MULTIPLE patients receive new cancer diagnoses, after seeing their GPs and being appropriately referred to our service.

There are lots more. Read them at your leisure and celebrate the good will and logic that most people have brought to this issue and scratch your head at the tone deafness shown by the leader of the opposition.

And the Facebook ratio for Bridges’ post is phenomenal, the likes of which I don’t think I have ever seen. The ratio says it all.

National has been reduced to saying that Labour got it wrong because Aussies can get a haircut and a take out coffee. And that cancer treatments have been affected. Shame on them.

When you look at the devastation that has been caused to China, Europe, the UK and especially the US criticising Ardern is a high rick tactic that is bound to fail. Especially with daily new infections being in single figures and trending downwards.

The Government’s steps have clearly stopped the surge and reduced infections to a position where eradication is a possibility. The country overwhelmingly supports the Government’s actions and are taking pride that we are not seeing the sort of devastation occurring throughout the world in New Zealand. Bridges would have been better to have continued to constructively engage in refining the response.

Oh to be a fly on the wall of the next National Caucus Zoom meeting.

77 comments on “When Bridges’ social media goes wrong ”

  1. Andre 1

    I still get actual lolz from Bridges coming out with "the medicine potentially being worse than the cure".

    It's even more garbled and nonsensical than what comes out of fake-Bronzo von Flaghumper's orifice. He was at least sufficiently coherent (for a change) to come out with:

    “We can’t have the cure be worse than the problem,” Trump told reporters at a briefing Monday, echoing a midnight Sunday tweet. “We have to open our country because that causes problems that, in my opinion, could be far bigger problems.”

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/03/24/trump_we_cant_have_the_cure_be_worse_than_the_problem_142750.html

    • Karl Sinclair 1.1

      So Simon Bridges

      If the cure is worse than the problem, what’s the solution?

      What I want from an opposition leader is to be respectful and provide intelligent logical questions. I am more than happy for them to play devils advocate if the questions are intelligent and thought through, not playing political points scoring (particularly now with COVID).

      Also, sometimes would'nt it be good (honorable) if the opposition just went and had a quite chat (chatham house rules like) to discuss the pros and cons, (getting the best outcome using their best analysis). I would more likely to be receptive to Simon.

      The cognitive load on everyone is massive (both political parties). If Simon is to play devils advocate, he needs to have thought it through and give a well timed researched summary that is easy to digest and based on evidence.

      It would be great to see Simon get his people together and do the analysis just as an exercise and go and have a quiet chat with opposition

      I see Andre is the first post in the comments above.

      "21 April 2020 at 8:30 am I still get actual lolz from Bridges coming out with "the medicine potentially being worse than the cure"

      "It's even more garbled and nonsensical than what comes out of fake-Bronzo von Flaghumper's orifice. He was at least sufficiently coherent (for a change) to come out with:……."

      So just taking on Andres point, however, what more worries me is the FOG of war that Simon introduces by grabbing at ideas without proper presentation. Come on man, your better than that.

      So lets do this as an exercise as playing devils advocate on Simons behalf (not saying the attempt below is any good but it would be the kind of thing I would want from Simon)

      COVID: If the cure is worse than the problem, what’s the solution?

      A thought experiment (not taking sides)

      An article by the NY Times from the 24.03.2020 interviewing Dr Ionnnidis and Dr D Katz may have the answer (see later in this text for full exerts). They have some impressive qualifications. In summary, if I understand correctly, they Indicate:

      Most people will be ok, focus your protection efforts on the vulnerable until a cure is found, let the rest of the working population get back to work otherwise there will be massive harm.

      See article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/opinion/coronavirus-economy-social-distancing.html

      Furthermore, other independent articles are indicating that testing on mass (rather than targeted testing) may not be the way to go either:

      “Based on this new data, do you now accept that it's unnecessary and impractical to identify, isolate and contact trace everyone who has this virus?”

      Note: Just looking at the potential advantages of this statement = less money spent on testing + potential for development of herd immunity among the healthy, allowing focus of resources on vulnerable. I’m not saying it is right.

      Distilling all the above down, you could get to the following solution given below.

      Solution Statement based on Dr Ionnnidis and Dr D Katz:

      Focus on testing those who could infect the vulnerable and the vulnerable themselves (when necessary). Ensure the vulnerable are protected by having capabilities in place to protect them (medical, PPE, protected safe houses/facilities, food etc, all elderly health care home workers, Dr and supply chain people tested regularly), particularly if an outbreak occurs. Allow the healthy (non-vulnerable workers) to get back to work (many will be asymptomatic). Ensure safety nets are in place for healthy workers to protect them early on if symptoms become dangerous.

      Ideally NZ Inc will be taking different solution scenarios to the above and comparing them (cost benefit analysis), these will be dynamic as new solutions will come to the fore.

      Note, a criticism of many countries has been that they have not adequately protected the vulnerable (particularly elder care facilities). Assuming this has been rectified it will be interesting to see the new statistics come through and how that impacts NZ approach.

      Note: I’m not saying the above solution is right, as its just a desktop experiment aka we are in a dynamic environment, testing could become fast cheap and easy, this may not be the right solution.

      Examination of the impact of the proposed solution:

      In other words, if we followed this solution, who do we protect and what is the size of the problem (population).

      Examination of Comorbidities and Elderly

      The number of vulnerable that would require protecting under this solution can be gleaned from studying the worldometer data and other sources then extrapolating to our NZ population:

      • Age range death rate
      • Sex (male + female)
      • Comorbidities
      • Healthy that have no pre-existing conditions

      If we just focus on comorbidities and age in NZ to determine the number of vulnerable you can get a handle on the size of the problem and then look at how to manage this. Note, there will be error in the below approach (this is rough and might be over the top as there will be significant populations that have more than one condition and are counted more than twice). Caveat, the data below maybe wrong as it was done in a rush.

      Comorbidities:

      • 180,000 Cardiovascular disease
      • 250,000 Diabetes
      • 610,000 Chronic respiratory di sease (Medicated asthma)
      • 980,000 Hypertension (1 in 5 NZers)
      • 23,000 Cancer (number of new cases in 2015)

      Age Over 65+ (could not get 70+ so went for 65+):

      • 711,200 At the end of 2016,

      Total comorbidities = 2,043,000 while age over 65+ = 711,200 (vulnerable). This rough calculation is probably wrong and too high (duplicates of one person having more than one condition etc) in terms of those vulnerable.

      “Question to NZ Government: how many people are considered vulnerable by their calculations?

      Examination of elderly care homes only

      Look at this another way, if we were to protect only the elderly in care homes how many elderly are there, what are associated number of health and service personnel connected to them that have to be COVID free and have the appropriate capabilities to remain so. A recent study shows care homes could be where over half of Europe's COVID-19 deaths occur.

      This may have changed with better protocols in place, however, a recent news article about Sweden suggested the protocols to where not good enough and the elderly were dying in care homes.

      Selected age groups for people living in residential care for older people 2013 Censuses

      Age Group

      • 85-89 years = 8,307
      • 90-94 years = 6,090
      • 95+ years = 2,526

      Total = 16,923

      Respectfully, questions to NZ Government include:

      • Do we think NZ current protocols are enough to protect the care homes (set up a safe fortresses to speak, that are not suspectable to error in national testing strategies)
      • Who and how many groups (people) are considered vulnerable?
      • What capabilities (people, training, equipment) are we putting in place to protect them?
      • Do we have the capabilities, if not how long to implement?
      • How much will it cost and how long can we sustain this
      • Where do we put the priority on tracing and testing (for example constantly test at all elderly at care facilities and all staff before entering them, supply chains to them?)
      • Could we employ people who lose their jobs to become part of the fight
      • For those who need to be protected, how can we give them a “normal” life while threat exists?
      • Do we have sufficient resources dedicated to studying other countries approaches will they emerge?

      The answers to these questions will naturally be dependent on context and dynamic nature of the problems/opportunities (forever changing). New Zealand might (and god willing) eradicate the virus, however, having the confidence to say so is another matter. The last thing NZ Inc will want is a giant game of whack a mole, the virus popping up, taking another victim here, critically sickening another there.

      Be Safe

      References & Key Quotes:

      Key Quotes If the cure is worse than the problem, what’s the solution from NY Times

      Dr. John Ioannidis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ioannidis)

      Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy and of Biomedical Data Science, at Stanford University School of Medicine:

      “We don’t have enough reliable data about the disease’s fatality rate to be making such drastic economic sacrifices, Dr. John Ioannidis, a Stanford epidemiology professor, argues at Stat. What would happen, he asks, if we simply let the disease run its course? Even in the most pessimistic scenario, the coronavirus would kill about 40 million people worldwide, roughly matching the 1918 flu pandemic. But afterward, he says, life would hopefully continue, as it did after the flu. Conversely, the short-term and long-term consequences of an economic shutdown are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives could be put at stake.”

      Dr. David L. Katz (https://davidkatzmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/katzdl.cv_.3-8-20.pdf )

      “A better way to fight the pandemic is to isolate the most vulnerable, Dr. David L. Katz argues in The Times. He suggests the United States focus its resources on testing and protecting the elderly, people with chronic diseases and the immunologically compromised. By keeping a smaller portion of the population at home, he contends, most could return to life as usual and prevent the economy from collapsing.”

      • In Vino 1.1.1

        I am 73, and do not want to be compulsorily bundled into any of your above scenarios.

        Poor Simple Simon (apparently a superbly-qualified lawyer, but incapable of expressing himself) was trying to say that the medicine (or treatment, called 'cure in earlier times) is worse than the disease. His failure is lamentable. I would put what he was trying to say this way:

        "The economic damage caused to the profit-gougers looks like being more serious than the benefits of reducing the number of deaths."

        Would that be about right? (And please spare me the crocodile tears about the severe psychological problems of poor innocent worriers about shutdown trauma syndrome.)

        • Karl Sinclair 1.1.1.1

          Hi In Vino,

          At your 73 years I respect your opinion of not to wanting to be bundled into any of the above scenarios. Thats quite a few times round the sun, and quite a few years of seeing the human race in action. Also, your generation and older will have contributed so much to what we have today, so you and our elders deserve respect.

          I get over the years you would have seen so much, have life experience and have sense of how things could be.

          Can I ask, what do you want to see happen with the COVID19 response, how would you handle this in terms of scenarios?

          In Vino Veritas………

          Take care

      • Shanreagh 1.1.2

        Thanks for this great contribution. I have given up waiting for Simon Bridges to stand alongside the rest of NZ in facing this pandemic. I half expected him to go across the floor to stand by PM very early on in the pandemic as indicative of cross party support.

        But no.

        And I could say he has been 'behind the eight ball' ever since but he has been so far from the table, busy travelling from Tga to Wellington. In doing so he has been busy shuffling himself into irrelevance. He could have been statesman-like and worked alongside the govt or at least got thinking/questioning along the lines indicated by Karl Sinclair. A sort of good devil's advocate making sure the best is being shared for the whole country and using expertise to find different slants etc. Stepping up in an emergency. Sort of the best of democracy, standing side by side for the moment.

        This is kind of thing I used to think was common-sense, went without saying, but the aspirations for power have may warped these types of ethical frameworks.

        • Karl Sinclair 1.1.2.1

          Shanreagh, good comment.

          When you say

          "He could have been statesman-like and worked alongside the govt"

          Totally agree, as history and NZ might be more inclined to remember him and Nationally favourably

          NZ Inc under these circumstances needs not only all hands on deck for this battle but cooperation to develop the best strategies to "knock the B&%&ARD virus off"

          NZ Inc is too small to be fractured.(divided and conquered)… good healthy debate with well thought our evidenced based solutions are fine (delivered respectfully), Rattling the cage just to for the sake of it and throwing stones probably not the best way to go.

  2. peterh 2

    You need to read the Herald facebook page on Hoskings article yesterday far more rage on there

    • Unicus 2.1

      From Facebook today something for “Hosk” and the rest of the National Party cheer mob to suck on

      “Ireland similar population got their first case the day after New Zealand since then

      13,000 Cases

      1,000 in the past 24 hours

      486 Deaths

      38 In the past 24 hours

      Dont listen to them when they say the New Zealand Government “overreacted “

    • Bg 2.2

      To be fair, FB is a left wing echo chamber. Hardly the feeling of the country.

      But yes Simon fails the political 'sniff test' every time.

      • left_forward 2.2.1

        Please explain how it is fair to say:

        FB is a left wing echo chamber?

        Countries have feelings?

      • Corey Humm 2.2.2

        Face book is not a left wing echo chamber, Twitter is….

        Facebook is the more universal platform. The fact is just about every national friend I have was in there attacking him ruthlessly, National may wanna act like that was a bunch of Lefty's but actually it was many of their own voters and even if it wasn't , usually the nats come out in force and attack the left on bridges and the nats fb page, where were they? This was mostly non politicals , the normal everyday people the nats often talk about, it wasn't woke Twitter, woke Twitter was busy freaking out about Paul Henry. This was a huge mix of the general Electorate , the left and many many soft Nat voters.

        Simons hated by so many in that party, his coms team, his speech writers, his emotional junior staffers, the youth wing, regional branch leaders, many friends in the liberal wing of the nats messaged me saying they are planning a protest vote because they won't vote for him. Here’s hoping they keep him on as leader .

      • Unicus 2.2.3

        Really wouldn’t know about the echo chamber jibe sounds like right wing denial

        These numbers can be easily checked

  3. Ad 3

    So now I'm going to move to Australia by canoe if needed to get a coffee and a haircut.

  4. Tricledrown 4

    Bridges has shown no leadership even his claim Stephen Joyce should be Thanked for giving us fibre optic broadband.Simon saying he has poor coverage ironically.driving a 1,000km a week to make a Dick of himself.Desperate panicking.Bridges knows National has no time for loser 's and his time will be over in September.

    • Scumbag Andy 4.1

      Bridges is the man National needs. Who else could put an amusing frat boy face to an otherwise bunch of homicidal money launderers? Simon "The Cookie Man" Bridges. I'd vote for him as long as he promised to never change. Why wouldn't we all want to literally die laughing?

  5. gsays 5

    Bridges attitude reminds me of Will Ferrell streaking in Old School.

  6. It needs to be said, from a Natz point of view, the last thing they wanted was for the Coalition to succeed, even if that cost plenty of lives.

    That Jacinda has not only been successful, but has also gained accolades from around the world, has thrown them completely into a tail spin.

    You have to feel sorry for then (but not much)!

  7. ianmac 7

    After watching Jacinda's rhetorical expertise then listening to Simon's effort and the differences are stark.

    Jacinda is clear and very concise and unequivical.

    Simon rambles and struggles to make any credible point. And very like Trump's Rambles.

    Try to imagine Simon asking us repeatedly to all to wash our hands or be kind to each other. I just can't.

    • Scumbag Andy 7.1

      As a professional scumbag, I thought Jacinda's pleas for kindness were hilarious. When I'm out stealing air that would be better stockpiled for use by upstanding citizens, people who I know vote for people who want me to die slowly in poverty are saying hello to me like they're long lost friends. Usually I'd give these freaks a good 10m berth. There's so many of them now I'm forced to reduce it to 2m. Up close they look like moths have been eating their soul while they sleep.

    • Tiger Mountain 7.2

      Jacinda’s comment on RNZ this morning sat Corin Dann on his arse. She said that part of the lockdown response was specifically to protect urban Māori and Pacific communities, extra C19 vulnerable, due to well known health inequalities for those groups. What a great response.

      Lockdown is ok for those with a stocked pantry in leafy ’burbs or on farmlets, but tiny units with a bunch of kids a different scenario.

      • ScottGN 7.2.1

        It was the first time I’d heard her or anyone else acknowledge one of the compelling reasons for ‘go hard, go early’. Our health service is in such a parlous state and in some parts of NZ our houses are so sub-standard and the co-morbidities of a lot of people who live in those houses are such that there was a real risk of a third world level outbreak if Covid had been allowed to gain a foothold.

      • Muttonbird 7.2.2

        That will get the stale, pale males in a state.

        "Shouldn't have kids if you can't afford it"

        "Poor life choices"

        "Why can't they be more like us?"

        "Lazy dole-bludgers are ruining it for everyone"

        • McFlock 7.2.2.1

          "If lungs don't want to work, they shouldn't have a ventilator. It's a hand up, not a hand out!"

  8. mac1 8

    The thing with lies from politicians is that there will always be people who know they are lies and that number grows as more lies are told and more people spread the message that they know lies are being told.

    In NZ governments are voted out as people get turned off gradually. People, National voters, are being rapidly turned off Bridges by his negativity, his lies, his inability to show empathy and true leadership.

    I'd go further to say that crises like we are experiencing show people who the true leaders are, but also points out the people, in business and in politics, who are poor leaders, who were promoted for the wrong reasons, who ride the good times but fall short in the hard times because of their shortcomings in personal qualities, skills and leadership style,

    • I Feel Love 8.1

      oh for sure this crisis shows up bad leaders, Johnson personally has fucked up the UK with his ""leadership", & the US, I guess we have a few more weeks to see how much worse it gets.

      All Bridges is doing is showing the contrast between a competent leader, and an incompetent one.

    • ianmac 8.2

      Paula Bennett I am sure is presenting herself as a Leadership candidate. Presenting herself as a friendly reliable person who has the wellbeing of voters front and centre.

      However some of us wonder if the leopard spots she likes to wear are really changed?

      • Peter 8.2.1

        What do you reckon the election hoardings will be with an election and Paula beaming out as the leader?

        Zip it Sweetie?

  9. Ovid 9

    This also wasn't an off-the-cuff remark. It was a lengthy post that presumably he ran by his advisors before he released it. It's indicative of the knee-jerk gotcha contrarian style of rhetoric he has taken in his tenure as leader of the opposition.

    I don't expect him to sit down and shut up, but to be an effective politician he should be aware of which way the wind is blowing, especially in the wake of polling showing broad nationwide support for the government's actions over Covid-19. And where New Zealanders are feeling proud of themselves for the collective effort we have undertaken rather than feeling beleaguered by the events of the past couple of months. He hasn't been picking his battles well.

    • observer 9.1

      That's what baffled me, Ovid.

      I can understand politicians getting caught out when they have to respond on the spot, in real time (like in Parliament). But this was an entirely predictable decision by the government (from a shortlist of only 2 or 3 possible ones). He had days, not just hours, to prepare his response. It was simply a matter of appearing statesmanlike, and finding a good soundbite.

      It's hard to believe he re-read his comments and said "nailed it!". Or that anybody in his team told him he had.

      • tc 9.1.1

        Who could've predicted he'd be expected to act like a statesman when voted in. Back then it was all about who can sling the mud, BS with a straight face and front the national party machine so him and Pullya got the gig.

        Time's changed and they're stuck with the wrong type of leaders, ones that suits them none the less.

        [Fixed the error in your user handle. Please be more careful next time, thanks]

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          please fix your username on your next comment to avoid getting caught in the filter.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    Soymun’s elevation to Dickhead in Chief is almost complete now, and all he had to do really was “zip it sweetie”, chair his committee, and nod quietly occasionally, in support of the Govt. and community response to C19. The Nat’s regular polling position would likely have been maintained through until the General Election.

    Plus–it is an MMP system–and Labour will need support despite Labour loyalists and insiders fantasies, like National’s, of being the “one party to rule them all”. Cut the Greens at least an electorate deal…

    There is likely a lot more to come yet in 2020, and the Govt. needs to address several things urgently…
    1.) Employment law and CEAs still stand, yet many employers are ignoring workers rights and just implementing some version of the bail out provisions and creating years of wage arrears cases and likely paybacks to the Govt. for false claims.
    2.) WINZ/MSD–the punitive culture and systems are not fit for prompt mass delivery of the genuine assistance needed right now for thousands. Leave it unfixed at your peril Labour. A whole world of pain awaits people that previously looked askance at beneficiaries–stand downs, 70 cents in the dollar abatement rates, sanctions, suspensions, lost documents, ritual humiliation and creepy prying questions, AND pittance amounts if a Job Seeker Allowance is granted. Oh–and you were going to mention your assets, relationships and that a partner is still working…

    • RedBaronCV 10.1

      Yes to both 1 & 2. The over entitled "me first" response from our larger companies as the elite hung on to their million dollar salaries whilst ignoring employment law and tossing their employees into poverty needs a fast fix.

      WINZ should be easier, a culture change at the top plus new instructions could go a long way towards improving the experience – then the money – maybe do a Universal basic services package for those on benefits as a starter. Cut the big salaries at the basic infrastructure level.

    • RedBaronCV 10.2

      Oh and the government needs to sort out some of the senior civs too who are reverting to type. Word around the 'hood is that some government departments that didn't manage to get rid of their contractors pre lockdown are now sending out notices to end all contracts as level 3 comes on.

  11. Wensleydale 11

    This is great. Just when you think Jacinda and friends can't possibly look any more competent and compassionate, Simon fumbles another verbal hand grenade which promptly explodes within his own ranks. Bridges is the CEO you hire when you secretly want your business to fail, all your staff to be made redundant, and the Serious Fraud Office to investigate you with extreme prejudice. He's an absolute legend.

    Jacinda must be cackling like she's inhaled lungfuls of nitrous.

    • tc 11.1

      Yes but the alternatives were the likes of Bennett, Collins etc so methinks they didn't want to alienate the female vote hoping Simon cops a sympathy vote or hopefully several thousand of them.

      bugger those women’s mags tanked eh Soimon.

  12. Sanctuary 12

    To use the ominous phrase, the phone is off the hook for Simon.

  13. Tricledrown 13

    Bridges could show some leadership with its connections to the Chinese Communist Party and all their big donations to the National Party. Crusher Collins should have no trouble getting PPE gear in bulk from their corrupt CCP businesses partners

  14. satty 14

    Good question, why the National Party (and Simon in particular) are not doing a better job here. Agree with the overall direction – so far it it seems to work and has public support – and propose improvements / show ideas for selected areas, like safety of health workers (and others), aged care, contact tracing, health and safety measures in certain industries so they might be able to open sooner etc.

    Just be constructive in the time of crises and show leadership in opposition. I hope they don't pay their "advisors" for the rubbish they are spouting at the moment.

    • observer 14.1

      Bridges was doing that to some extent, calling for more testing, quarantine at the borders, etc. He has chaired the committee well enough. But being "constructive" doesn't lead the news, and Simon thinks that he should.

      His problem is that the leader of the opposition gets nowhere near as much coverage as the PM in a crisis, and he seems psychologically incapable of accepting that he is a peripheral figure. It's really just an extension of National's attitude ever since the government was formed: Ardern's a usurper, a lightweight, got the job by accident, and he, Simon Bridges, is the PM-in-waiting, the rightful ruler who should be shown the respect he deserves.

      Unfortunately he IS being shown the respect he deserves …

  15. Reality 15

    Trickle.. Enjoyed your sense of humour! It will be interesting to see if Simon, Judith etc are as keen to buddy up to their Chinese business backers in the next few months. Maybe Simon will want more Indian candidates this election even if they don’t donate as readily.

  16. Dean Reynolds 16

    If Bridges & Paula Benefit were currently in government, we'd all be dying like flies. For the last 35 years, National has sown the wind & now they're reaping the whirlwind. Since the late 1980's, National has deliberately adopted vicous, inhuman policies designed to shift as much wealth as possible up the food chain, to the parasites at the top. In doing so, they have driven out of their party anyone motivated by decency, compassion or ability, so they're now left with a caucus of sociopaths, incompetents, seat warmers & mediocre non performers.

    The same deformation has occured inside the US Republican, the UK Tory & the Australian National-liberal parties.

    • bwaghorn 16.1

      You do know that if Ardern had of lost the election english would be PM at the moment.

      Hate to be pedantic but its bugged the fuck out me for a while the people saying lucky bridges isn't in charge.

      • Andre 16.1.1

        Well, yeah. You reckon that would be any better?

        Would sir prefer the shit sandwich or feces filled roll?

  17. NZJester 17

    I think this bit from a Stuff news story tells us all we need to know why a longer Level 4 is needed.

    Verrall’s report found significant gaps in the existing contact tracing system, including slow processing times and workloads that exceed the capacity of underfunded public health units – problems that may be due to structural flaws pre-dating this Government, but which nevertheless presented a difficulty in scaling down the current restrictions.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121146070/coronavirus-ardern-walks-fine-line-on-lockdown-bridges-missteps

    The Underfunding of our Health system under the previous National government that the current Labour government has been struggling to rebuild is now literally killing people in noticeable numbers. Before those dying while on waiting lists could be swept under the carpet by National thanks to their media hack friends.

    • I Feel Love 17.1

      And Woodhouse dared criticise the MOH, cheeky bugger.

      • Incognito 17.1.1

        MoH are not above criticism but what National is doing generally and actually is attacking with intent to wound and kill, politically speaking.

        • I Feel Love 17.1.1.1

          Oh absolutely, not above criticism, I just meant as an ex minister who was absolute shite and let the hospitals run down under his leadership, and now he speaks up. I got no time for the man.

  18. Gabby 18

    I guess Slick was sending a message to the wealth creators on behalf of ColonelComrade Jian that they can safely donate, relying on the short memory span of the peasants.

  19. infused 19

    He could of attacked this other ways.

    But what I am finding now is that if you have an alternative view of that of the government, everyone is going to take you down on social media. It's been interesting to watch the mob mentality sweep the nation of sheep.

    • Incognito 19.1

      When that ‘alternative view’ is so poorly presented and makes you cringe like the sound of nails on a blackboard you’re saying it’s worth paying attention to it!? Can you explain what the ‘alternative view’ is, in your own words? Do you think you can do better than Simon can and, if so, do you think Simon is an effective leader?

      • In Vino 19.1.1

        Anyone who writes 'could of' instead of 'could have' must be about as bad at saying things in his own words as Simon is.

      • infused 19.1.2

        the alternative view is

        • govt was two weeks late on the lockdown – a report is going to come out to confirm this
        • the mosque remembrance should have been shutdown early on, instead jacinda left this right until the day before (if I recall) and refused to back down on it even on the day before. I get it, but it made her look desperate
        • very poor testing early on, only 100 tests being done a day. these tests 'overwhelmed' staff. tests per 1m we were at the bottom of the world for a long time, yet it was reported we were right up there with everyone – nope
        • we still don't have the testing correct, which is the *only* reason we get an extra week, or it would have been dropped on thursday.
        • the modeling is wrong, this will also be reported on shortly. the claims of 10k dead were false. it's 500-1k max
        • no clear plan, making it up as you go and being lucky

        We haven't got to this point because of what the government was done. Ireland had almost the exact same response, only they didn't close their border. I'm pretty thankful of that. However, I think luck had quite a big part to play in the country not having a higher infection rate. I think this is due to being at the bottom of the world.

        With the revised models out there you need to consider the mental health aspect of this. How many people is this going to affect. business owners committing suicide? I suspect it's going to be quite a few. this isn't about money. the lockdown is destroying families. if the data comes out wrong and it shows we over reacted and more people die by suicide or other issues vs the virus, I think some hard questions are going to be asked.

        My big worry about all of this isn't even a government problem. I am legitimately worried about the country as a whole going forward. I don't doubt that labour will throw money at this – and I support that. but the lockdown, the spending of this money without a clear plan it seems is going to seriously damage this country for a long time.

        the bullshit questions from reporters each day is infuriating as well. hey, lets ask the same question a bunch of different ways and get the same answer. ask the hard questions. as you saw with the beat down on simon, we are all questioning information, it doesn't matter which side you're on.

        • Incognito 19.1.2.1

          Well, thank you for that considered response, which I won’t even attempt to unpack in its enormous totality.

          You refer to two different reports coming out shortly and you already know the contents and conclusions!? Are you simply speculating?

          the modeling [sic] is wrong, this will also be reported on shortly. the claims of 10k dead were false. it's 500-1k max

          The “claims were false”!? Really? Do you know what you’re saying there? On what basis were they “false”? I seriously hope you are not going to refer to ‘Plan B’ or anything else from BlacklandPR.

          I’m afraid you did worse than Simon did, if that’s even possible. Yours, like his, came across as an unhinged rant full of false statements and misleading factoids.

          I will be sharpening the ban-axe for you if your claims turn out to be complete SB-BS and fabricated lies, which I believe they are.

          Your last two paragraphs were redeeming, ever so slightly, but the Government is formulating a plan and taking necessary action – Budget Day is just around the corner but where’s National’s plan? Indeed, some reporters could do better but having said that, I’m impressed with the Live reporting on Stuff followed quickly with articles that are more detailed.

          • infused 19.1.2.1.1

            There is a lot of information that's coming out. There's already a report underway for the govt response. I mean, I can't really say anymore, but there's been hints at this everywhere. It will all come out eventually. bookmark the post, ban me, whatever.

            My true concern is the last two paragraphs, regardless of politics. While I might shitpost here often, I do actually donate largely to mental health groups, specifically around suicide (think mike king). I fear out of all of this, the deaths that come from suicide will be silent. I don't even think we will have stats on this for 12+ months, although I saw an encouraging post about initial researching being done in to this now recently.
            by the way, you can look up everything I’ve posted here apart from the further report stuff and you will find information on it. specifically around the early testing. it’s just not reported on.

            • Incognito 19.1.2.1.1.1

              Indeed, you do “shitpost here often” 😉

              I personally don’t mind that so much as long as you own it and come ‘clean’ (and stay within the rules of the site, of course).

              You’re right that there could be a lag of increased suicides (which really is the tip of the iceberg of much greater and widespread mental health problems) and Government and other (mental organisations) are well aware of this risk, as are larger businesses. At the same time, the national solidarity may actually help people when they find themselves deep in the proverbial. Regardless, I would suggest and encourage all people but especially vulnerable people (i.e. prone to depression, etc., and likely to face financial and/or other hardship) to take preventative measures now (e.g. build a support network, confide in a close friend(s), wave a flag) and not wait till shit hits the fan.

              As to those reports, hints are not good enough for any substantive criticism. Until the reports have been made public, you should not pretend to possess or rely on some kind of ‘insider knowledge’. It is not a mark of good faith. FWIW, the modelling studies that I’ve seen looked robust given the available data and information at the time. You will be aware that as new data came in, updated and revised models were run. I am yet to see a modelling study that shows the early claims were “false” based on what was known at the time. I’d be quite interested, from a theoretical PoV, what those new reports will reveal (or not).

              Very early testing was slow, indeed, but even in hindsight I think you’ll have a tough job convincing me that it was too slow to a great degree.

              BTW, did you see this?

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/414720/health-inequalities-among-maori-pasifika-factor-in-lockdown-extension-pm

              It contradicts one of your bullet points.

    • Tricledrown 19.2

      Confused your a danger to public Health .NZ ers are uniting against the biggest threat to NZ Since WW2.

      Defending treasonous traitors would have you locked up in War time.

      • infused 19.2.1

        except it's not. and your post is the stupid shit that's doing the rounds at the moment.

    • KJT 19.3

      "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own, facts".

      Simon got such an extreme reaction because he was, so obviously, denying the "facts" of what really happened, that he even embarrassed his own supporters.

    • left_forward 19.4

      You missed the point defused: Why would he 'of' attacked the Government response at at all? Attack politics are so pre-Covid.

      • Gabby 19.4.1

        I reckon Judith egged on the egg.

      • infused 19.4.2

        because there are legit ways to attack it

        • left_forward 19.4.2.1

          There could only be legitimacy in constructive critique – but not attack. Attack is violent and egoistic, whereas critique, if legitimate, makes contribution to the common purpose.

          Simon and his party will pay the price, because his attack in this new context will turn in on himself.

  20. Muttonbird 20

    Media has got hold of it. Not what Simon would have wanted although he's probably desperate for any publicity right now. Doesn't matter what it is.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/04/national-supporters-threaten-to-abandon-simon-bridges-after-facebook-post-criticising-covid-19-lockdown-extension.html

    • weka 20.1

      "Out of the 100 most recent comments on the post at the time of viewing it, Newshub found that four were in favour of the Opposition leader's remarks while 96 were opposed."

  21. JustMe 21

    In recent political history i.e in the 80s; there was a satirical party called the McGillicuddy Serious Party.

    Here we are now in 2020 and I could swear the leader of the NZ National Party has recreated/reinvented the McGillicuddy Serious Party and so National is now the satirical political party of the 21st century.

    It hasn't taken Bridges much to come across as a Village Idiot and reduced National to the laughing stock of the political stage in New Zealand.

    Long may Bridges continue to be its leader because it ensures no-one unless they are two sandwiches short of a picnic would vote for National. But then it's likely the ones who support National would vote for it even if even they too now comes across as idiotic as Bridges in their comments eg Mike Hosking.

    National have long lost any favour. They will be floundering but I am sure knowing their track record and modus operandi they will resort to their usual habit of blaming everyone else but themselves.

    Lets hope Simon Bridges doesn't expect a knighthood in due course because there have been more than enough unworthy recipients in the NZ National Party of it that never merited it one bit.

    • aom 21.1

      Hang on JustMe, McGuillicuddy Serious were satirical, but with intelligence! Presumably, the party stopped putting candidates forward for election when reality and satire became indistinguishable.

  22. Incognito 22

    "They are more than matched by the 50,000 people who contacted us about our quarantine petition and wanted to support that."

    Ah, yes, that petition, which is still open on-line. When will it be submitted to Parliament so that you can delete those e-mail addresses in your possession, Mr Bridges?

    "The many thousands of people who contact me, hundreds a day in fact, mums and dads, small businesses – who want National to ask the questions and stand up for them."

    The same ones keep contacting you because they want somebody, anybody to ask the questions and stand up for them. Don’t you get it, Mr Bridges? That somebody could be you!

    BTW, how can you tell they are mums & dads? Is that your training as Crown Prosecutor kicking in again? Amazing, eh, those skills never leave you and become almost instinctive.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121169737/coronavirus-simon-bridges-receives-huge-backlash-to-facebook-post-criticising-lockdown-extension

  23. bill 23

    The decision for New Zealand to stay locked down in Level 4 shows the Government hasnʼt done the groundwork required to have us ready.

    So what would a different government have done in terms of testing and contact tracing that the current government could have done but hasn't?

    How much of a negative impact has the past 40 years worth of shoe-horning the public health service to fit business models of "how things should be done" had?

    When was it that health services were broken up into competing regions btw? (That's not a rhetorical question- I don't know, and if anyone can provide the answer…)

    Regardless. Is it time to make the management of the health service national and free of business constraints (ie- a national body allocating resources etc across the entire country determined by need and only limited by non-financial health care limitations/factors )

    And let's get the fuck rid of all private health providers who are in the blood sucking business of duplicating what a public health service does for financial gain, aye?

  24. That_guy 24

    I'm sorry, but I think the real story is that the Leader of the Opposition said something about the availability of cancer treatments that was at best confusing and at worst false.

    "I also have real concerns about the delay in healthcare for some people, like cancer treatment, screening and thousands of operations across the country."

    We know this is confusing because at least one commenter concluded that:

    "all specialist appointments, diagnostic screening and treatment are being denied to people recently diagnosed with cancer."

    ..and then was called out on it by actual oncologists.

    This confusion could lead to:

    – Someone who thinks they might have cancer delaying screening because they don't think it's running or are confused.

    – Someone who is in the middle of treatment having the additional stress of having to call their oncologists to ask what's going on

    -Oncologists with limited bandwith having to spend time and effort reassuring all their current patients that treatment is still going ahead.

    This is scandalous and I don't think enough attention has been paid to this aspect of his rant.

    • mickysavage 24.1

      Yep this was the worst part of what he said. It was dishonest and a cynical misrepresentation.

  25. RedBaronCV 25

    The supposedly left wing Guardian has a story up about this.Unfortunately comments don't seem to be open. There is a mention of the negative social media reaction but the bulk of the story and the heading leaves the impression that Simon sort of has a point by printing much of what he said verbatum.

    Perhaps the Guardian needs to check its credentials

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/21/ardern-accused-of-making-new-zealand-businesses-sacrificial-lambs-in-covid-19-lockdown

  26. Tricledrown 26

    Dumbarse desperate Bridges trying to gain some traction politicizing this disaster for his own survival.Digging himself a deeper hole!

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