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Who will be National’s leader?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, April 22nd, 2020 - 65 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, mark mitchell, national, paula bennett, politicans, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags:

Will Simon survive? Or will Paula and Mark team up against him? Or will Judith somehow manage to persuade the caucus that she is the only chance they have of retaining their seats?

Stay tuned …

65 comments on “Who will be National’s leader? ”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    Who gives a shit?

    • KJT 1.1

      Agree. Whoever it is will be a "placeholder" as they lose this time, unless they can delay it enough to get the propaganda machine up and running.

      So. Irrelevant!

  2. observer 2

    Simon defended himself this morning, across all media. Interesting quote from him (Stuff et al):

    "The blessing of being an Opposition leader is to have these sort of stories from time to time ".

    Yes. But are "these sort of stories" true? What do they tell us about the leader's prospects? Here's a fact-check on previous Opposition leaders, chronologically:

    Ardern – only had job for 5 minutes, so no time for the stories.

    Little – Yes. Stories. So … stood down.

    Cunliffe – Yes. Stories. So … lost election.

    Shearer – Yes. Stories. So … stood down.

    Goff – Yes. Stories. So .. lost election.

    Key – NO STORIES. None at all, as opposition leader. Won subsequent election.

    Brash – Yes. Stories. So … stood down.

    English – Yes. Stories. So … stood down.

    Shipley – Yes. Stories. So … stood down.

    (never mind how much these leaders jumped or were pushed, it's the same result)

    Therefore, the last leader of the opposition to survive the destabilising "stories" and go on to win an election was Helen Clark … over 20 years ago.

    Maybe try a better line of defence, Simon. That one doesn't work for you.

    • Timing is important in leadership changes. Andrew Little stood down on August 1st, 2107, giving the relatively unknown Jacinda Ardern 7 weeks to establish herself before the September election. Enough time to make a positive impression, not enough time for the right to effectively challenge her.

      This year we also have a September election. Given the practical difficulties the National caucus face in meeting in person to dump Simon, I can't see the knives coming out before mid May, at the earliest.

      However, if I remember my Tory history correctly, their leaders are usually terminated by faceless apparatchiks, not caucus. Simon will be told his time is up and then nominations will open. So that could happen as early as today.

      The big problem National face is that they have no Jacinda, no John Key. Whoever takes over is going to lose the election. Nobody with genuine ambition wants that poisoned chalice.

      So my pick is Judith Collins. She'll be satisfied with having Leader of the Opposition on her CV, even if it is only for a few months.

      Long term, the Nats face the same problem Labour did when Key was PM. How do you refresh caucus if you aren't bringing in new MP's at election time?

      • Sacha 2.1.1

        Her party do not trust Collins, not even temporarily. Selecting her would cause an almighty fight behind the scenes, and for what gain?

        • Andre 2.1.1.1

          A sneaky way to free themselves from her? Set her up to fail at this election so she can be dumped afterwards?

          • Sacha 2.1.1.1.1

            Thought maybe publishing her 'tell-all' book this year was a sign she was going anyway.

      • Wayne 2.1.2

        National has bought in a lot of MP's in the last few years. Very few are still there from when I was an MP. And there will be at least 10 new MPs this time round, mostly in safe National seats.

        As for how National changes the Leader, I can assure you it is the caucus, having been there for 5 different Leaders (3 PM's). No shadowy puppet masters.

        • adam 2.1.2.1

          But wayne, conspiracy theories are the current vogue – why take away all their fun.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.2.2

          " National has bought in a lot of MP's in the last few years "

          Freudian slip there

          • OnceWasTim 2.1.2.2.1

            'snap'

            Exactly my thoughts when I read it. Mind you, even my heroine JA can't seem to get it either. That, and not realising 'something' ends in a 'g' not a 'k'. Other than that, she's perfik!!

      • swordfish 2.1.3

        Timing is important in leadership changes. Andrew Little stood down on August 1st, 2107, giving the relatively unknown Jacinda Ardern 7 weeks to establish herself before the September election.

        Fortelling the future is always going to be fraught with difficulties. I'm not saying you're flat-out wrong here … but let's just say I'm a wee bit sceptical that Andrew Little will be elected Leader of the Labour Party again when he's 142 years old and will then, in an extraordinary case of deja vu, suddenly stand down in favour of Jacinda Ardern … and that she – despite her particular prominence as PM in the earlier part of the 21st Century – will revert to relative obscurity again before emerging once more as Leader in the late late autumn of her life at 127.

        But, then again, who knows ? you may be right. More surprising things have happened at sea.

        (OK … that was an extremely laboured little bon mot … but, it has to be said, a brilliant one at that … a real crowd-pleaser)

        • pat 2.1.3.1

          lol…me thinks you may be a tad cautious

        • te reo putake 2.1.3.2

          Well spotted, swordfish. In explanation, I admit that in a moment of weakness, I gave my sub editor, Breen, the night off. I can assure that there will be no repeat of that error, even if he has to work double shifts for less pay.

          What I did was wrong, and there are no excuses. I have offered my resignation to the owner. However, that resignation has been declined as the Standard's priority is our collective fight against BRIDGES-2020.

          The Standard have released a media statement on the matter:

          We cannot afford massive disruption in the media sector as to our response. For that reason, and that reason alone, TRP will maintain his role.

          "But he does need to pay a price. He broke the rules.

          "While he maintains his sarcasm portfolio, I am stripping him of his role as Associate Fun Minister and demoting him to the bottom of our Cabinet rankings. And, indeed, our Cabernet rankings.

          The Standard, as well as New Zealand, expect better.

          ENDS

          [lprent: Ummm.. I suspect that I would never be so lenient… Where are pushups and hard physical labor ? 😈 ]

  3. Muttonbird 3

    What a nasty bunch.

    Bennett outed the personal details of a beneficiary who criticised the government.

    Collins used Slater to harass and threaten the SFO and FMA.

    Mitchell was a mercenary for hire in a war begun on false pretences.

    If this is what the National Party is offering the people of New Zealand then the RW is truly corrupt indeed.

  4. Obtrectator 4

    STOP GLOATING! The Nats are far from finished yet. If a week is a long time in politics, then 4-5 months is an eternity.

    • Peter 4.1

      National might get in. Things do change and could change.

      What won't change is that Bennett, Collins and Mitchell will still be arseholes.

    • Wensleydale 4.2

      No one's gloating. They're speculating… which is an entirely different kettle of fish. Gloating would be saying in an irritating sing-song falsetto, "Ha-ha, Simon's toast! What an utter muppet! Next time pick a leader who can cobble together a cogent argument without violently inserting both feet into his gob halfway through the second sentence!" And no one, absolutely NO ONE here at The Standard, would ever stoop so low.

    • Bg 4.3

      I wonder if folk will be so confident in a Labour victory when unemployment is 15%?

      However with Bridges in opposition, they probably should be

      • alwyn 4.3.1

        You think that it will only be 15%? I hope so, for the sake of the country but I think it will be a long way on the high side of that before September.

        Given the total ignorance of MPs like Deborah Russell, who was supposed to be one of the intelligent ones God knows what we will end up at.

        [I’ve lost count of the number of diversions by you but it must be close to the number of votes for National coming Election – Incognito]

        • Peter 4.3.1.1

          Is it totally ignorant of Russell to say, "We are seeing a number of small businesses really struggling after only a few weeks in a pretty bad situation, which must speak to the strength of those small businesses going into this lockdown?"

          If Russell had said, "A business like Bauer NZ was really struggling after only a few days in a pretty bad situation, which must speak to the strength of that big business going into this lockdown," would she have been totally wrong?

          • Muttonbird 4.3.1.1.1

            MS probably knows Russell quite well. I hope this is just a case of first term nerves and knowing when and when not to push a particular case.

            The butchers committee zoom calls are the perfect ground for people (particularly new politicians) to over or under do it.

            Everyone knows small businesses don't go around with significant amounts of capital sloshing around to protect against one in one hundred year events. When you have capital you reinvest in equipment etc – you get rid of it for the benefit of the business in the hope to grow.

            But at the same time the government has released $10billion in wage subsidies to keep them afloat.

          • xanthe 4.3.1.1.2

            Dont know Deborah Russell but it is possible that she was taken out of context. her comment could possibly be pointing out how fraught our economy is at the best of times. dont know but do not trust the media spin machine at all particularly as they are behaving so badly now!

        • Incognito 4.3.1.2

          See my Moderation note @ 3:34 PM.

  5. SDCLFC 5

    Reminds me a lot of the early days under the Key Government
    To a small degree he's not wrong – the Govt could have done better in some areas, especially considering the performance of Mnisters Clark and Hipkins, but it just doesn't matter – nobody shives a git
    Labour was like that in opposition too – they were trying to get across their position of why the govt needed to do better but nobody cared.
    Except Bridges made a special hash of it and then doubled-down on his incompetence this morning when he was eaten alive by Susie.

    Would love PB to get the leadership. She'll think she can go after "sweetie" but won't get a chance because Winston will be after her blood

  6. John G 6

    For those of us who are old enough to remember Dawn Raids Mark Mitchell is the grandson of Frank Gill. (commonly known as Rank Pill in those days !)

    National don't spend much time advertising that part of his history

    • Obtrectator 6.1

      "Frank Gill. (commonly known as Rank Pill in those days !)"

      We used to call him The Flying Commode.

    • swordfish 6.2

      During the Muldoon years:

      Frank Gill = leading figure in the morally-conservative wing of the National Party.

      George Gair = his main antagonist from the morally-liberal wing.

      Neighbouring MPs: Gill = East Coast Bays / Gair = North Shore

      • Anne 6.2.1

        Frank Gill DOM.

        For the uninitiated – Dirty Old Man. I base my thesis on the fact he leered me up once many years ago. I wasn't impressed.

  7. Ovid 7

    There's a news special at 3pm. I'm guessing Bridges has been rolled.

  8. georgecom 8

    stuff reported "National leader Simon Bridges has poured cold water on a claim there is a coup brewing among National Party MPs. The AM Show aired rumours that deputy leader Paula Bennett and MP Mark Mitchell were considering an attempt at toppling Bridges."

    shite, I hope not. Bridges is doing such a wonderful job at the moment, keep him on as long as possible

    • Chris 8.1

      Yes, keeping him there as long as possible also keeps Collins dry for a later date. We don't want them wasting all their unelectables too soon. Sure, there's a few of them, but better to be safe than sorry.

  9. Chris T 9

    Bridges days are numbered article number 3067.

    "If you want to check the first please Google search articles from 3 years ago"

    • observer 9.1

      But those "days are numbered" stories are based on a reasonable premise: that the National party are serious about winning the election.

      Obviously that doesn't apply, if they aren't.

      • Chris T 9.1.1

        I think at the moment unless Ardern is caught killing half the countries children simultaneously, while selling drugs to the other halve's kids, the chances of Labour not winning are very very slim.

  10. New view 10

    It doesn’t matter who wins the election because 15 -20% of the population are going to hate the Government’s guts by Xmas. Those without jobs are quite likely be lefties who are JA fans. Going on the unemployment benefit and not keeping up mortgage payments will eventually turn many against the Government of the day. If I was National I wouldn’t want to win this next election. Let The labour coalition win and sit back and wait for the shit to hit the fan. And it will.

    • observer 10.1

      "If I was National I wouldn’t want to win this next election. Let The labour coalition win and sit back and wait for the shit to hit the fan."

      In a democracy, our vote is precious. It is the one day, every 3 years, when the people are in charge.

      So if National MPs and candidates do not want our votes, and do not want the responsibility that comes with representing us they should disband the party.

      Otherwise it is fraud.

      • New view 10.1.1

        I was commenting as an Observer, Observer. National will want to win of course but will see the chilly dark water ahead. If they don’t happen to win they could be forgiven for not being too upset. There could well be another election before the three years are up. And they will be in the running again regardless of who’s on the poster. It’s the Government that makes the every day decisions, not the leader.

        • Molly 10.1.1.1

          " National will want to win of course but will see the chilly dark water ahead. "

          Yes. National strike me as a group of people who avoid challenges and services, and would hate the thought of leadership in a time of crisis – as it might be difficult. Their much vaunted business acumen apparently worth nothing in an economic crisis, and only of use when it is based on exploitation, speculation and immigration.

          • New view 10.1.1.1.1

            Yes it was that group of people that tried to deal with the GFC of the time and two earthquakes. They may not govern to your standards but don’t accuse them of not taking up the challenge or showing leadership. They lead this country for nearly a decade. Now why did they get to do that ?

            • Molly 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh, new view. They tried to deal … and did stretch themselves to ensure that all NZers were looked after, and failed quite often and quite badly They did manage to build a football stadium, lickety split though…

              It was your own comment that pointed out that National would have some appreciation to not to be given the opportunity to serve NZ during a time of crisis, because … well, it would be hard.

              I just agreed with you.

            • Gabby 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Some of them did alright out of it didn't they.

        • Peter 10.1.1.2

          It’s the Government that makes the every day decisions, not the leader all right but every single thing the present government does according to some is down to the dictatorial commie Ardern.

          • Sacha 10.1.1.2.1

            And why would we give their beliefs about anything the time of day?

          • New view 10.1.1.2.2

            I believe JA has done an exceptional job but her Government is struggling to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. not their fault as no Government could deal with this situation any better, but people that will be hurting in a few months just won’t vote if they don’t like National and that might work against the incumbent Coalition.

        • observer 10.1.1.3

          "And they will be in the running again regardless of who’s on the poster. It’s the Government that makes the every day decisions, not the leader."

          It's amazing how quickly you want us all to forget the time when there was ONLY a leader. Sorry, but it was unforgettable (and believe me I've tried).

          Here is National's video from the 2008 campaign. Not a single National MP appears, or speaks, or even exists (except at the very end, to applaud Great Leader). Ardern has done nothing – and I mean nothing – like this.

          It's only fair to issue a Serious Health Warning. Do not watch this without a sick bucket handy. It really is that bad.

          John Key 2008: The Hero

          • New view 10.1.1.3.1

            Apart from the sick bucket that is needed, the promises made by National that they didn’t keep aren’t that different to the housing and mental health fuck ups and backing away from a CGT that we see from this Government. The only difference is JA can do no wrong and JK was a pony tail pulling AH. Really the results don’t seem that different to me.

  11. Ken 11

    Sirocco the Kakapo has charisma, and doesn't shoot both his feet off every time he opens his mouth.

    Seems like he'd be more of a Green than a Nat, though.

    • Andre 11.1

      Reckon the electorate will be ok with his habit of humping people's heads? That's going a bit further than fondling ponytails.

  12. observer 12

    And right on cue, here's the not very subtle undermining of Bridges by the Luxon/Key tag team:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121200135/john-key-describes-what-chris-luxon-would-be-like-as-prime-minister

    • mac1 12.1

      Mrs Mac1 said that the purpose of an economy is to serve the people, not the other way around, and who am I to disagree?
      Here's what Key said in the article referenced by observer above.
      “If Chris was the prime minister, I think what you would see is a very strong emphasis on the economy," Key said, referencing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who he believed was focused on things other than the economy.
      "To me the number one thing the Government of the day does is to provide hardworking New Zealanders, whatever ethnicity they come from, to get ahead and progress in their lives and do well," Key said.

      The US Catholic Bishops amongst others agree with Mrs Mac1.
      https://www.uscatholic.org/blog/2011/12/economy-must-serve-people-not-other-way-around

      • pat 12.1.1

        Key was a currency trader…given recent history why on earth would anyone listen to what he had to say?

      • Gabby 12.1.2

        So Luxie would make sure hardworking NZers had plenty of competition from hardworking new NZers to sharpen them up, and hardworking non NZers to snap up any stuff they can't afford any more in their race to the bottom.

  13. Fireblade 13

    National could replace Simon with another seat-warmer, but what happens if the medicine is worse than the cure?

  14. The Filidh 14

    Make way for Luxton because business has all the answers.

  15. observer 15

    Genuine question, because I've drawn a memory blank so far:

    Did Helen Clark (post-2008) ever publicly undermine a Labour leader in opposition the way Key has done to Bridges today?

    We know Helen has always been happy to pontificate on many topics, but I can't recall her ever going to the media to promote her pick for future PM at the exact time as the rumours were swirling about the current leader getting rolled. In election year too.

    Poor Simon.

    • I Feel Love 15.1

      No, and imagine the furore from the right if she did, "she should shut up" etc.

    • tc 15.2

      Key's also telling the back stabbers to calm the F down help is on the way…superluxon.

      Having your own media outlets is so handy for nationals messaging and the govt cash to prop it up is greatly appreciated.

      • Rob 15.2.1

        Yes Luxon was he the guy who took the service out of Air NZ

        just as well they have a new Chief Exc to revive it in these times of crisis

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