Hard work not enough, Bridges a link over muddly water

I wonder how many voters could name the leader of the Opposition? Simon Bridges has been leader of the national Party for a few months, but he is not making much of an impression, especially not a positive impression.

Newstalk ZB – The Soap Box: If Simon Bridges fails, at least he’s tried

That headline on it’s own has quite negative connotations.

You can say plenty of things about National’s leader Simon Bridges and plenty of people have. Of the aspirants for the party’s top job, Bridges was probably the least known but was considered shrewd.

His own biggest problem though is prominence. He’s not well known by the electorate, and with the last opinion poll putting him at nine per cent, he knows he has cause for worry.

So there was only one thing for it: to get his mug out to the masses.

By Saturday, he will have held 66 public meetings through the length and breadth of the country since May.

No one can argue that he’s work shy, even if a number of the meetings were at inconvenient times in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

While he’s been putting himself out there glad-handing, he’s also become a social media warrior, hitting all the platforms, some of the time telling us stuff that we don’t really need to know, like how good he is at changing nappies or how obsessive he is with the laundry.

Who has heard? Who cares?

But it’s away from Parliament that Bridges really needs to make his mark and if he can’t make it there, his 55 National colleagues will become restless.   But at least they won’t be able to say he hasn’t put in the hard yards.

Andrew Little put in some hard yards as Labour leader – like Bridges he toured the country meeting as many people as he could. I went to see him at a Dunedin promotion, and he looked lame. Most of his hard yards were limping down hill.

David Cunliffe worked hard as Labour leader, as did David Shearer, and Phil Goff before him. All failed to impress voters.

Bridges still has time to find out how to step up, but at the moment his yards are going in small circles, nowhere politically.

At the moment his best chance of success in 2020 is if the media and voters get over-babied and over-Arderned.

National still has a chance if the current Government continues to misfire and if it makes major mistakes, or if there is a financial crisis.

But Bridges is far from being a tower of strength. He looks more like a link over muddly water between national’s past and their future.

21 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 17, 2018

    Most of his positions come across as manipulative and self-serving rather than principled and strategic. He’ll have to go.

    • Gezza

       /  July 17, 2018

      Yup. 😡

      🤔

      Who else have they got? 😳

      • Gezza

         /  July 17, 2018

        He comes over on telly as the National Party’s Andrew Little.

        Uninspiring. Dull. Barking at every passing bicycle. Complaining about hopeless flaws in National Party policies that the government is implementing. The only main difference is that Andy was a whinger, & Simon’s a whiner.

        • Corky

           /  July 17, 2018

          Maybe if Bridges grew a beard like Andy? I reckon the beard gives Andy gravitas. But would it work for Simon?

          Hey, what’s that sniggering I can hear?

          • PDB

             /  July 17, 2018

            You mean ‘let-em out’ Little with the beard? Great success that.

            • Blazer

               /  July 17, 2018

              Squeaky Bridges can’t even remember Nationals prison policy.

          • Gezza

             /  July 17, 2018

            Yes the beard certainly gives him the elder statesman look but when you listen to the guy answer questions either from the media or in The House, it’s still the same old Andy. There’s just nothing there. The useless git STILL hasn’t told anyone what sort of offenders currently remanded in custody come under the category of “low level offenders”.

            When I checked out what the changes to the bail laws entailed they cover only those offenders who keep on offending after being arrested once or more already, keep on breaching bail or community-based sentences, or commit serious including sexual crimes & are properly assessed as a potential threat for repeating them.

            These offenders really DO warrant detention until trial, or are past the point where their refusal to obey Court-ordered community orders, non-molestation orders etc really leave no other option. A judge still HAS to decide whether remand in custody is warranted.

            The problem may actually be NOT that there 3 times more offenders being detained than there should be, but that there are 3 times more offenders who need to be remanded than was predicted. Precise breakdowns aren’t known. Detailed stats on these offenders are hopeless. So is Andy. By now he should have them – from Kelvin.

            Let’s hope the various working parties can all get some sort of co-ordination going to address & fund & put in all the services that are obviously needed to fix the issues that CAUSE all the offending & reoffending.

            • Corky

               /  July 17, 2018

              Yes, spot on.

            • Gezza

               /  July 17, 2018

              I’m not just another pretty face, Corks. Sadly, I can see that when I look in the mirror. And Possum & Sir Alan would be happy to confirm that too, I reckon. 😐

            • Blazer

               /  July 17, 2018

              you under rate Little…no he did not have the charisma to be leader.He is diligent,decent and determined to make a difference .

            • Gezza

               /  July 17, 2018

              Last sentence. I have no doubt of that. But he is clueless about how to DO anything. Or even WHAT the problem is EXACTLY. He is dim, Blazer. I wish to hell he wasn’t – but he is.

        • Zedd

           /  July 17, 2018

          I agree Gezza.. as I said a while back, just waiting until Judith’s had enough of the ‘seatwarmer’ & decides to SERIOUSLY challenge :/

  2. Grimm

     /  July 17, 2018

    Bridges just needs to announce that he is pregnant. Name recognition taken care of.

  3. Trevors_Elbow

     /  July 17, 2018

    Frankly I don’t think Bridges needs to do a huge amount.

    National’s strategy will instead hinge on resurrecting the Maori Party to undermine Labour and going after NZ First big time

    And possibly vacating a southern Auckland electorate for the New Conservatives Deputy Leader and going hard at the Pacific Island vote.

    Labour are only 2-3% away from losing the Treasury Benches – and if NZ First drop off she is a dead heat race…

    Wait – build a strategy to pick off a few seats and let Labour stumble along then go hard at them in from mid 2019, highlighting their numerous faux pas…

    • PDB

       /  July 17, 2018

      If National win it will be in spite of Bridges so why bother taking the risk? You have to also wonder about National in choosing a Bridges/Bennett combo in the first instance which was never going to be a great success.

      As for replacements – still think out of what they currently have Kaye is the best pick, especially if she had the bullish and experienced Collins as deputy. Collins I can see becoming Auckland Mayor down the line.

    • Blazer

       /  July 17, 2018

      ‘National’s strategy will instead hinge on resurrecting the Maori Party ‘…Good luck with that…may need more than O’Sullivan though.

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  July 17, 2018

        Labour are not the answer for Maori

  4. Gezza

     /  July 17, 2018

    When’s the next poll due out? It irritates me that polls here are so few & far between. And when they do come out, they can be totally skewed by one big event (good or bad) that happened that week & must have dominated the thinking of many of those polled.

    So spotting trends is impossible really.

    I like the US system where you can track where things seem to be going more constantly.

  5. lurcher1948

     /  July 17, 2018

    Putting it bluntly 2 MAORIS are running the national party,the blue rinse brigade in Remuera don’t like MAORIS running the party of RICH PRICKS,got to be rich white like the run away KEY and the failure ENGLISH,WHITE

    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  July 17, 2018

      geeeez… the hate is strong in you Lurcher…. So you are saying the 44 odd percent of NZers who voted National last election are all Rich Pricks?

      Delusion is not your friend!!

  1. Hard work not enough, Bridges a link over muddly water — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition