It is good to see that National is still in chaos.
Its caucus discipline is still shot and Judith Collins clearly has no control over her MPs.
The latest piece of evidence is Simon Bridges attacking Police Commissioner Andy Coster by describing him as being “wokester” and saying he is soft on crime.
Bridges’ portfolios are Justice, Pike River reentry, water and Maori Crown relations. Simeon Brown has the responsibility for Police.
So it is pretty surprising that he is delving into personal attacks on the country’s top police officer.
The detail is described by Thomas Manch at Stuff:
National Party MP Simon Bridges has taken aim at “wokester” police Commissioner Andy Coster, claiming he is more concerned with being nice than “actually catching criminals”.
Bridges, the party’s justice spokesman, on Tuesday told reporters the commissioner had put being “nice” above “the law of the land and actually catching criminals”. He first labelled the commissioner a “wokester” on Twitter last week.
“What you see is, right from the top, an agency or police force that’s much less about arrest, much less about catching gangs and criminals despite huge problems in our society at the moment, and much more about being hip and doing things to impress a bunch of other wokesters,” he said.
A National Party spokesman says the stance is not the official party view, and the Government has hit back at Bridges’ claims.
This is not the first time Bridges has had pot shots at Coster. Last week Bridges tweeted this:
With this softly softly approach from our wokester commissioner, expect gang and gun violence to continue to worsen https://t.co/pgmQO5swiH
— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) February 18, 2021
The strategy is weird. Does National think that there is a benefit in attacking the top Police Officer?
And it reinforces how weak Judith Collins’ leadership is. Normally disciplinary measures would be taken. You cannot have MPs trespassing into areas that are outside their responsibility and engaging in risky divisive publicity campaigns that have no official sanction.
All that happens is it makes your caucus look like a bunch of clowns. Maybe that is the intent.