How badly is English damaged?

Bill English had an awful day on Tuesday as the Barclay story emerged, with English complicit in a shoddy electorate civil war in Clutha-Southland.

English did much better yesterday as Todd Barclay was clinically removed from National’s candidate list, although he took a battering in Parliament transcripts of all of that here.

There is no doubt that English has been badly damaged by this. The big questions are how much damage, and how will this affect the election.

The story may have just become ready to publish this week, or it may have been deliberately timed to precede National’s conference this weekend.

The Clutha-Southland contingent at the conference are likely to be stressed, but unless journalists manage to dig something out that will be kept as quiet as possible.

More important than ever is how English handles himself. It is an opportunity to put the mess behind him and step up – and he needs to step up quite a lot. Plodding along isn’t going to deal to the damaging week adequately.

We will see whether English has what is required to look like a strong leader going confidently into an election campaign, or if the stress of this week looks like it has worn him down.

English can never undo all the damage done by self inflicted internal ructions, but he has to appear as if he can deal with adverse situations and continue leading the country.

43 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  June 22, 2017

    I just wonder if the media who are going full “we have one scalp” remember how “dirty politics” worked out.
    Ordinary people just don’t care about this stuff, maybe they should but sometimes it and the people driving it don’t bear close examination.
    You know how the media were on the other side of this argument about secret recording of the PM.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 22, 2017

      I agree. The media might think English is damaged but most voters are just going to see a people problem dealt with if they notice it at all and go back to focussing on their own needs.

      • He’s not damaged, I’d be prepared to bet.

        • Gezza

           /  June 22, 2017

          I reckon he is damaged, trav. Putting my bag of gold on it.

          @ PG – Would you be kind enuff to act as Banker & hang on to this 💰

          The bet is – the next poll taken after this week shows a drop in support for Bill English as pM

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 22, 2017

            Define “shows”. A drop difference significant at 95% probability?

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2017

              🤔 Lower % support from a previous poll by same polling org.

              Reminds me, received my first automated telephone political poll survey call last nite. I answered all questions truthfully. That’ll stuff things up if they’re from an org that’s polled me before. 😀

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 22, 2017

              No-one should take the bet on that basis. It would give you an entirely undeserved 50% chance of winning on a no-change statistical result.

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2017

              Ah shaddupayouface !

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 22, 2017

              Always willing to be helpful.

          • PDB

             /  June 22, 2017

            Unfortunately for Little the foreign students saga that is currently blowing up in Labour’s face will get more mileage and do more damage than a beltway issue of the Southland electorate nobody really cares about.

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2017

              I expect so, too. But unfortunately I only had the one bag of gold & that’s gone on Bill English’s poll support dropping from what it was previously.

            • PDB

               /  June 22, 2017

              I’m betting minimal change to Bill’s rating – within margin of error stuff.

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2017

              I’m not seeing any bag of gold …

            • lurcher1948

               /  June 22, 2017

              This is a nothing diversion nothing to see here,move on…

          • Conspiratoor

             /  June 22, 2017

            I wouldn’t have picked you as a betting man G, especially where serious wealth is concerned …but this prediction of yours has gone into the time capsule …to be unearthed at the appropriate time. Before I do however please define ‘a drop difference significant’ . Sounds Irish to me

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2017

              Sir Alan spoke those immortal, words, young c, not I.

              Sounded inebriated to me, or from the lips of someone exposed to some sort of mind-altering fumes whilst occupied in the laundry room.
              Very sad. Remember the days when was sometimes sort of a good bastard.

              Keeping on trucking, as always
              Jolly good
              Sir Gerald.

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2017

              Jesus Christ! With all the crapola flying about with the interns now bloody Bill English might even go up in the next bloody poll if he just keeps his head down now !

              PG: I’d like me bag of gold back thanks. Might invest it in Space-X.

            • PDB

               /  June 22, 2017

              Bill who?

            • Blazer

               /  June 22, 2017

              @PDB..Bill who..John who…knock.knock..who’s there..now!

    • High Flying Duck

       /  June 22, 2017

      Unless they can dredge up any more to report on this, it falls off the headlines as of today and everyone moves on.
      At it’s heart this is an employment matter that was handled badly by a young back-bencher but resolved.
      Bill English was “less than forthright” but was also probably fairly limited in what he could say.
      I doubt the majority cares one way or another.

      The one caveat is that there is a death by a thousand cuts campaign ongoing – building up every thing into a dishonest Government narrative. Ngaro, Wilkinson, Barclay, English…if the little things add up then things may change.
      Luckily Labour are fantastic at shooting themselves in the foot to even the ledger.
      It will be interesting what coverage the Labour unpaid foreign workers story gets.
      My pick is none.

      • “The one caveat is that there is a death by a thousand cuts campaign ongoing”

        That sounds like Whale Oil.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  June 22, 2017

          But in this case it is more the mainstream media outlets.
          I’ve seen more than one report tying the little things together to put forward the “arrogant and out of touch” narrative.

          • Blazer

             /  June 22, 2017

            arrogance is the perfect word to describe National atm.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  June 22, 2017

              Yeah…nah.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 22, 2017

              Doesn’t fit English at all. If anything he is a ditherer, not a nob, so the electorate will see through it.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 22, 2017

      Emmerson is Labour’s poodle.

      • Blazer

         /  June 22, 2017

        National is Emmerson’s…Donkey.

      • Gezza

         /  June 22, 2017

        Maybe, & I don’t always find him all that clever or amusing, but that’s a great cartoon – hits the mark, & chucklingly funny too.

  2. duperez

     /  June 22, 2017

    The only thing that has changed is that Barclay will not be the MP for Clutha-Southland. The car slowed down for a vehicle up ahead pulling off the road and normal running is almost resumed already. Soon we’ll be travelling past glorious sights which really involve us and the tiny glitch will be well gone and forgotten.

    (Glorious sights = my reference yesterday to the rugby test and the yachting.)

  3. Blazer

     /  June 22, 2017
    • PDB

       /  June 22, 2017

      This sort of over-the-top left-wing nonsense is what will ensure National remains high in the polls.

      • duperez

         /  June 22, 2017

        What’s with all this sensitivity about cartoonists having a go? (Well not ‘having a go’, simply putting a perspective.)
        Isn’t there much chortling and chuckling at the cartoons on Little gaffes and Peters’ foibles and follies? (Let alone the speed to post on everywhichsite.

        • PDB

           /  June 22, 2017

          The Nixon thing has been done to death in the US where everything in politics is the new ‘Watergate’.

      • lurcher1948

         /  June 22, 2017

        thats what the conservatives said before their election

  4. Blazer

     /  June 22, 2017

    I like this one…selective amnesia=a tory trait..

    • Every time you get on your high horse, think Helen Clark and Taito P. Field.

      That, Sir was criminal obfuscation by a PM

  5. Zedd

     /  June 22, 2017

    q-time in 3.5 hours.. we shall see.. is it still at top of agenda ? :/

  1. How badly is English damaged? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition