It seems every day there is a new catastrophe for Judith Collins to deal with.
The latest is National arranging for Party activists to be normal members of the community and also to spontaneously line the side of Ponsonby Road at regular intervals to say nice things to Judith and give the perception that she is popular.
The only problem, dear reader, is that the media worked out it was a ruse.
All politicians do public walk abouts. I accompanied Jacinda Ardern on one last election in New Lynn. The intention was to walk through Lynnmall and get a few photos taken.
The problem was that people loved her. They flocked to her. Whether they were superannuants, middle aged, teenagers or young people they all wanted to have their photo taken with her.
This photo that I took sums up the day. A very young child could not help but to be happy in Jacinda’s presence.
We gave up the idea of the walk through and back tracked our steps. There were just too many people wanting to have selfies taken with Jacinda.
Our walk abouts include party members. But pretty well all of us wear Labour T shirtsor rosettes and we are there proudly in support.
Recent reports suggest that Jacinda is just as or even more popular than three years ago. Wherever she goes she is mobbed.
Obviously National thinks this is a problem. Which is why they planned and organised a “spontaneous” uprising of people interest in Judith as she walked along Ponsonby Road with Auckland Central candidate Emma Mellows.
But there was a problem. The media worked out what was happening.
The idea was to get film of Judith talking to ordinary people. But there was a second problem, ordinary people did not want to have a bar of talking to Judith. So National stacked the street with party activists instead.
Scenes became farcical as Hamish Price, right wing twitter troll, who I understand is Wellington based, was identified as one of the people expressing spontaneous support. Hilarity on twitter ensued as he seemed to have difficulty remembering his name but he did concede that he was involved in National. He apparently just happened to be on Ponsonby Road at the time, equidistanced from other National Party activists all wanting to say nice things about Judith while the cameras rolled, and this had nothing to do with the fact that he has a significant role in Emma Mellows’ campaign.
I am a bit surprised that Hamish was there. As far as I can tell he actively opposed dirty politics and I thought he would not be happy to support Judith. Simon Lusk described him as “a nasty, offensive and divisive self important fool of a man that should be avoided at all costs by any candidate.” Emma Mellows is possibly thinking similar thoughts right now.
Judith must have regretted that she did this walk. Not only was there the idiotic crowd sourcing idea but one shop refused to let her enter and she went into a cafe where a random M&M poll suggested that Labour was well ahead in this uber wealthy part of town. As they say in politics these were not good visuals.
Benedict Arnold had two words for it, cheeky and clumsy. I would have three words to describe what happened, freakin amateur hour.