Meaningless but mean leadership speculation

Supposed issues over the leadership of Bill English was very suspiciously leaked on the day he was due to give a big ‘state of the nation speech’ earlier this week, and of course the media thrashed it.

There were the inevitable denials, and inevitable media claims that denials mean the opposite.

Leadership speculation is one of the great blood sports of politics – and is often dirty, whether orchestrated by people with their own leadership ambitions, or by opponents trying to create mischief.

Bill English appears to be secure as National Party leader at the moment, but it hasn’t stopped the speculation and stoking of a what appears to have been a non-story.

Every MP ‘absolutely stands behind the leader’ – until that leader’s position is in jeopardy. It is political suicide not absolutely appearing to stand by your leader.

Political journalists love intrigue, especially over leadership, so are a major (and willing) part of the game.

20 Comments

  1. What annoys me is that when there is a strange coalition in place and all we’re getting is commissions, enquiries and intentions the focus is on the Opposition, when Ms Ardern releases nothing but targets to meet her 100 day “promise”- her “only reason to be in Parliament”. Also, what about the 100 million trees debacle. If they’re to get going in winter there’s several thousand hectares to be bought or leased and training tree planters to be undertaken. This was a major plank from NZF. All we know so far is that Winnie is paying for play with the Racing Industray donors. What about work for the dole.

    Other thoughts. What is wrong with Winston? Does he have some type of pulmonary disorder due to fags x 80 a day or is it something more sinister as per the rumours flying about?. Exhibit A would be the video of him from newshub being asked about 3.8%. He could hardly talk when walking on the flat in halls of Parliament.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/01/newshub-poll-labour-swallows-nz-first-whole.html

    • Blazer

       /  February 2, 2018

      oh…diddums…everyone is being…mean to Bill.

      • Ray

         /  February 2, 2018

        Enter our two resident lefty trolls fron stage left.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 2, 2018

          Alas, no ‘Exit, pursued by a bear.’ (which has to be the best stage direction in English literature )

    • Gezza

       /  February 2, 2018

      If you watched The Trevor Show at Question Time yesterday, when Winston was answering for Jacinda, you’d be having nightmares about when he becomes acting PM after the celebrity birthing, trav. God what a blitherer & disrupter he is. I dunno if he’s any worse than ever in that respect, tho. He’s always been like that.

      Trevor let too much mayhem happen yesterday becos he obviously felt he had to let Winston get away with smart-arsery seeing he was standing in for the PM. And that set the tone for everyone to make it a circus.

      Hopefully Trev will reflect on this because he was pretty partisan, imo.

      Paula’s not up to the job of replacing Bill though. She’ll cost the nats too many supplementaries. Gets provoked & goes all bulldog. No class.

      • Gezza

         /  February 2, 2018

        Judith’s got a new look. Possibly a new, more relaxed style. Quite enjoyed her performance yesterday. Bill better keep an eye on her. I think he’ll be promoting Simon as his replacement when he steps down, but Judes might have drummed up a few numbers by then.

        Nikki is getting annoyingly whiny, I noticed this week. Face it Nikki, your slapdown of Jacinda as a nonentity turned out to be a really wrong read. Suck it up sister!

        God Coleman’s a bore. He’s wasting his time asking Clarke questions on health services. He only ends up getting laughed at for National not actually appropriating any money for the shortfalls he’s trying to catch Labour out on.

      • NOEL

         /  February 2, 2018

        Was some commentary on right wing blog couple of days ago.
        “So, where to from here for Judith Collins. She was acknowledged as a very effective minister on top of her brief. Post the election she was elevated back onto the Opposition front bench and given the shadow transport portfolio where she is already making waves. Bill English will remain leader for as long as he wants it but it may well be that his deputy may choose to step down in which case Judith would be her obvious replacement. It would be a good mix with Bill on the centre-left of the Party and Judith representing the centre-right. Together they would present a formatable duo in holding the government to account and pillering their many weak links. There would be collateral advantage too … Collins as number 2 would make it harder for parties on the right of National to gain traction.”

        Suggests there is a call for her to stand beside the leader not behind?

        • Gezza

           /  February 2, 2018

          Smart move. Nicely placed then if his farm bike’s brakes fail on a steep incline.

    • duperez

       /  February 2, 2018

      I don’t like enquiries, commissions and reports. Or fact finding and data gathering so decisions can be based on them.

      I think forging ahead holus-bolus is the way to go so that I can grizzle about ill-considered, unnecessary, short-sighted, unresearched, costly, misdirected Government actions when things go awry or prove wasteful

  2. robertguyton

     /  February 2, 2018

    Out to pasture, Bill.

    • PDB

       /  February 2, 2018

      After you….bob

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 2, 2018

        Out in the pasture,
        where green grows the grass,
        there’s Winston Peters,
        out on his arse.

  3. Blazer

     /  February 2, 2018

    right-left-right-left-right-

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 2, 2018

    To quote Pierre Trudeau: “Not much news, is there?”

  5. duperez

     /  February 2, 2018

    Every MP ‘absolutely stands behind the leader’. Sometimes from there the pat has already been given, sometimes it is about to be given.

    Sometimes the knife is poised, sometimes it has already been thrust deep. And on occasion it is being twisted.

  6. Zedd

     /  February 2, 2018

    I heard the reply from one Natl MP, when asked about the rumors ‘YES there are a few’ (paraphrased) BUT since then its all been ‘hushed up denials’ & ‘fake news’ from the tories/right. Does anyone seriously think a two-time LOSER really wants to make it Three ?
    BUT I think the Nats will give him about a year, to decide.. unless Judith etc. decide ‘its their time to shine’.
    ‘some’ say Key was seen as a ‘likeable guy’ & connected with most of the ‘centre-right’ voters.. BUT I dont think Bill has the same ‘charming character’.. but looking at the Nat front-bench; it looking a bit grim ?
    A bunch of tired, old ‘Key men/women’ who should be following him out the door too.. 😀

  7. Zedd

     /  February 2, 2018

    btw: I heard recently on ZB talkback “BUT Natl did win the election’ (most seats) & similar nonsense.. It really seems that many on the right, are still either ‘in denial’ OR really just dont get MMP; It is not.. FPP.
    Natl’s real/current political problem is: NO FRIENDS to join them in an MMP coalition. Just offering dodgy deals to one seat parties, to make up the numbers is FPP thinking !
    I hear that there were whispers of a ‘Grand coalition’ with Lab-NZF-Grns-Natl, working together for the good of all NZers.. but it just shows the mentality of the right; ‘Winner take all’ & nothing more/less 😦

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 2, 2018

      English’s mistake was to think he could do a deal with an untrustworthy old fraud and to let voters expect the same. Key was too smart for that which robbed afore-mentioned untrustworthy old fraud of enough votes to make trouble.