National’s problem with uninspiring to inept Simon Bridges

I think that the National caucus should be seriously reconsidering having Simon Bridges as their leader.

Choosing a new leader for a political party is always a risk. It is impossible to know how they will step up and measure up.

Labour had four failed attempts to find a successor to Helen Clark before having no choice but to give Jacinda Ardern a go heading into last year’s election. Some Greens must be wondering whether Marama Davidson was a good choice to replace Metiria Turei.

While National party support had held up remarkably well (there hasn’t been any polls for quite a while to see if that’s still the case) Bridges has always failed to impress many if not most people. His ‘preferred Prime Minister’ results were poor, around 10% compared to Ardern around 40%.

An apt description of Bridges public performances is ‘damp squib’, although “much less impressive than expected” may overstate initial expectations.

I know I’m not alone here or elsewhere in finding Bridges’ public speaking not just uninspiring, it is often a turn off.

It was bad enough having a leader that didn’t appeal or inspire, but with his handling of the standing down from duties of MP Jami-Lee Ross, Bridges has added ineptness to his repertoire.

I don’t think it’s necessary to show examples here, but from what I’ve seen across media and social media, and across the political spectrum, there has been universal condemnation of Bridges.

I don’t see how he can recover from this – he was starting from ‘poor’ anyway, but has dragged that down with ‘appalling’.

Insisting on an inquiry into the leak of his expenses a few days early could be seen as a self inflicted cause of his failure but it if that hadn’t proven his unsuitableness something else would have.

At least National have plenty of time to choose a replacement leader, there is two years until the 2020 election.

Will they act now? Some say that a party shouldn’t replace a leader if the party support is remaining steady ahead of their opponents, but letting Bridges limp on would be a risk.

If support starts to slide a successor would not only have to prove their own worth, they would have to try to turn around a loss of voter faith in National.

I think they have to reconsider Bridges’ leadership position sooner rather than later.

Who should they turn to? The only virtual certainty is that Jami-Lee Ross is out of the running.

101 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  October 4, 2018

    “Stay on Simon” says Jacinda you are doing a great job

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 4, 2018

    Might have to bring in an outsider like Lange and Key.

    • robertguyton

       /  October 4, 2018

      Can’t, Alan. Lange’s dead. Key’s puppet-license ran out (a little earlier than expected, hence his early departure).

      • robertguyton

         /  October 4, 2018

        How about Brash, he’s good.

        • Corky

           /  October 4, 2018

          As a matter of fact the time is right for another Brash.

          • robertguyton

             /  October 4, 2018

            Don’s still young. If we could create a romantic back story, he’d fly in! Just think, sensible policies from a no-nonsense leader, a real leader, at last! We could all live as one people, draw a line through the gravy train that’s been an albatros around our necks since forever and best of all, there’d be a chance for a new flag! Vote Don Brash (plus, we would wave good bye to those stupid universities – it’s all positive! (there’s yer campaign slogan, right there!!).

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

            • Corky

               /  October 4, 2018

              I was thinking as a co-leader. He would be partnered by a younger person. Ticks many boxes.

              As to the gravy train…now that I’m a beneficiary of this process I think it only fair that I reevaluate my position. Maybe a more inclusive attitude towards these processes would be fair to all involved.😃

          • PartisanZ

             /  October 4, 2018

            There isn’t another Brash … Thank the Lord!

            He or she would have come forward by now …

            Brash and The Right Brigade are a dying breed.

            • Corky

               /  October 4, 2018

              I would worry about your own tribe before wasting your energy on us Righties, Parti.

        • lurcher1948

           /  October 4, 2018

          Corky i feel this blog ISNT a rightwing attack site full of knuckle dragging posters, other than some knuckle draggers who support trump

          • Corky

             /  October 4, 2018

            My pro Trump stance pales into insignificance when compared to your anti
            Trump invective, Lurchy.

  3. Blazer

     /  October 4, 2018

    ‘I’d like to play a game
    That is so much fun
    And it’s not so very hard to do
    The name of the game
    Is Simple Simon Says
    And I would like for
    You to play it too
    Simple Simon says put your hands on your ears
    now listen to what Simple Simon says
    If you leaked my expenses…. put your hand in the air
    and If you want a new leader ,say it loud and clear
    Because Simple Simon says,….. he has nothing to fear
    Now Simple Simon says its time to…. take a wee break
    Because Simple Simon says no one else,… has got what it takes
    But deep down Simple Simon knows, ..that when you see the next polls
    Simple Simon, won’t be kicking any…. goals.

    • Corky

       /  October 4, 2018

      I think that’s trite
      I think that’s bad
      2020 for you chum
      Will be all bad.

    • robertguyton

       /  October 4, 2018

      Another leak!!! Parting shot from Jami-Lee Ross? Judith, stirring the pot? Simon, misstepping again ???

      • PDB

         /  October 4, 2018

        Leaks everywhere…how’s Jacinda’s enquiry into the Labour leak going?

  4. robertguyton

     /  October 4, 2018

    I think we’re being a bit harsh on Simon. Sure, he’s fluffed his lines a couple of times but every actor does that once in a while; John Key misspoke on a number of occasions and still kept his job. Simon does masticate his words and style himself as a greaser, but so did John Key; both are said to popular with the women-folk! There will be plenty of opportunities for Simon to redeem himself between now and the all-important election and what if it turns out that he was right, and the leaker is from Labour! That’d give him a tremendous boost in the polls! Also, with him gone, we’d have to have Judith. Let’s give Simon some more rope, aye!

    • oldlaker

       /  October 4, 2018

      “Popular with the women-folk”… with 10 per cent support?

  5. lurcher1948

     /  October 4, 2018

    Jacinda Ardern for the leader of the National party….wait

  6. Gezza

     /  October 4, 2018

    I actually feel sorry for Simon. He’s had constant bad press from day one when his claim National was basically a Maori party because he and Paula are Maori left peploe standing there like stunned mullets wondering if he’d had a knock to the head.

    And these days whenever he’s accompanied by just about any of his MPs they might well be nodding their heads at whatever utterances are emanating from his serious-looking face, but let’s face it, they look depressed.

  7. Sunny

     /  October 4, 2018

    Obviously he was trying to clarify why Ross was leaving and seperate it from the leaks. A couple of words misspoken is trivial. Especially in opposition this far out from the election. It would be difficult for any leader to look powerful in opposition at this time. Hard to look like a winning alpha lobster in opposition. Jacinda is in the early honeymoon phase. Simon is doing the right thing, just hold steady and keep chipping away. If there was to be a leader change – why would Nats do it now. Do it a month out like Labour/Jacinda did so there’s no chance for any thorough analysis or attacks on the leader.

  8. robertguyton

     /  October 4, 2018

    National: from Top Dog to whipped curs in just a few months.

  9. robertguyton

     /  October 4, 2018

    “I think it’s over for Simon, they’re even tearing him apart like soft bread on the AM show this morning.”
    “Great. Hope he gets rolled and petulant Paula gets top job. Then it will be all over for Nats.”
    Two great quotes from today’s TS

    • Blazer

       /  October 4, 2018

      Bombastic Bennett to succeed bumbling Bridges?…the B team will be completely..blown up.
      No chance the new Bennett is a pale version of the older one…may have stopped using…concealer! 🙂

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 4, 2018

        You may mean blusher. Concealer is what it sounds like.

  10. PDB

     /  October 4, 2018

    Plenty of time for National to find the right leader – this govt has been so bad I don’t think the National votes are going anywhere fast however that vote needs to grow and getting a decent leader might do that.

    The left should be talking Bridges up at every opportunity.

    • Griff.

       /  October 4, 2018

      Hell no
      We want Collins
      Make all the conservatives happy.
      Ive been backing her in every poll .
      I am soooo nice to you guys.

      • PartisanZ

         /  October 4, 2018

        Yep … Collins for me too …

        The Nats might as well seal their fate properly.

        Many sensible voters will turn to TOP next election anyhow.

        • Gerrit

           /  October 4, 2018

          TOP will never get into parliament whilst they have the granny tax on asset value.

          An accountant and valuer’s dream, a nightmare to govern, impossible to implement impartially and totally incomprehensible to be able to be “sold” to the electorate.

          How will you tell a voter that they will have to pay tax on their car? or boat? or Rembrant painting? or Granny’s freehold house? when there is no income from owning those assets?

      • PDB

         /  October 4, 2018

        Collins would make a good deputy where she’d have room to be the attack dog (see below) – she would also be an ideal mayor of Auckland. Can’t do any worse than Davis who was rated the worst Labour minister in the latest mood of the boardroom report.

        • Gezza

           /  October 4, 2018

          Deputies are best to keep a low profile and just keep things ticking over in the background not scaring the horses and not threatening the leader. Simon is an ideal deputy for National. He would follow instructions like a good soldier and not get into trouble by using his initiative – for which his instincts are poor.

          I’m still trying to pick who’d be good. The best options are still among the old crew, in my view, But their appeal is to a different generation.

          I don’t think the Nats should pick a female to go head to head with Jacinda. Not sure why. Maybe because the girlie press would play up any opportunity to exploit anything that might be seen as “bitchiness”. My feeling is just they’d be more electable with a bloke.

          • PDB

             /  October 4, 2018

            “Simon is an ideal deputy for National.”

            Nup. Simon’s highest calling should be as a minister. Bennett has had her day in the sun as well.

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              I think she’s Maori. Either that or its the wrong foundation shade.

            • PDB

               /  October 4, 2018

              Sunbed? She actually fits on one now.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 4, 2018

              “Bennett has had her day in the sun as well”
              Hence the raisin look?

  11. PDB

     /  October 4, 2018

    I’ve said all along the best pick for National leader as it currently sits is the ‘Adernminator’ Nikki Kaye – essentially a more intelligent upgrade on Adern that has actually done stuff as an MP rather than produce a couple of half-assed bills that were thrown out quick-smart like yesterday’s fish and chip paper.

    Regarding this it’s interesting to see Nikki Kaye working closely with Judith Collins on this: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12135609

    One would have thought they were at different ends of the political spectrum within National – watch this space.

    • Gezza

       /  October 4, 2018

      Nope. There’s something of the spiteful little schoolgirl about Nikki Kaye. That’s how she comes across. There was even an amusing little aside in the last week of Question Time where she said something not very nice and ducked down – and Speaker Trev said something like:
      Nope you can’t try and hide there. The member will withdraw and apologise!”

      Too tiny and too waspy. Might appeal to Nats core but probably not to anyone else.

      • PDB

         /  October 4, 2018

        I think you underestimate her – let’s see if she gets the chance. I’ve said all along that the best ‘ticket’ for National looking through their ranks is Kaye/Collins, thus uniting the conservative and more liberal factions of National.

        • Blazer

           /  October 4, 2018

          2 ‘wimmin’ would not go down well with the conservative pale,stale ,male backbone of National support.

          • PDB

             /  October 4, 2018

          • PDB

             /  October 4, 2018

            Collins has more balls then most men in parliament…in fact she’d probably have more male support than female.

            • Zedd

               /  October 4, 2018

              Judith would be better off moving to ACT.. save them from oblivion ?
              …..further to the Alt-right ! :/

            • Blazer

               /  October 4, 2018

              how many has she got…the Labour men only have 2…apparently…

            • PDB

               /  October 4, 2018

              Most of Labour’s male MPs are sorry for being men.

            • PDB

               /  October 4, 2018

              ACT are beyond saving.

            • Blazer

               /  October 4, 2018

              Tory males are big on…’macho signalling’ but when the rubber meets the road are found out…as big girls blouses.

            • Zedd

               /  October 4, 2018

              ‘ACT are beyond saving.’ sez PDB

              BUT.. Natl need ‘friends’ surely other Tory parties are worth saving OR creating ?

              >Get you head out of the FPP & into this MMP reality.. man ?

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              No. Labour under Andy was far worse. Total disaster. That’s why Labour was polling so low.

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              Sorry Zedd – wrong place. Reposted below.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  October 4, 2018

            They wouldn’t care so long as they won. Nats are results driven not aspirational wafflers.

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              Well, to be fair, we can’t conclude that at the moment. Unless they implode this coalition has committed itself to measurable outcomes at the end of their term. So a competent Opposition will be checking up on results and the government will have to produce some.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 4, 2018

              Worst.
              Opposition.
              Ever.

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              No. Labour under Andy was far worse. Total disaster. That’s why Labour was polling so low.

            • Blazer

               /  October 4, 2018

              yet Tolley and co always said there targets were…’aspirational’!!

              ‘lets ..screw this’!

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              Anne Tolley was much underestimated as a Minister in my view.

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              And she does an excellent job as a really professional deputy speaker, from my observations.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 4, 2018

              This mob is just getting started! Given enough rope time…

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              Well, maybe, but as Corks says, while the coalition is paying out the rope …

    • robertguyton

       /  October 4, 2018

      Dark times for you, PDB. Your mean-spirited claims of Labour’s “hopelessness” ring hollow against the backdrop of a collapsing National Party. The options you propose for new leader (this one’s almost fully stuffed) are unconvincing and desperate; there’s no one and no hope, PDB, that’s all that can be said. Is there a miracle waiting in the wings for National? Nope. Will Jacinda “blow it” and fall from grace? Nope. Your team is defunct 🙂

      • PDB

         /  October 4, 2018

        “backdrop of a collapsing National Party”

        Where? Even with Bridges their voting block is holding strong – imagine what a half-decent leader might be able to do. You sound a bit manic Robert…

        • Gezza

           /  October 4, 2018

          When one’s avatar is the March Hare, that kind of gives a clue? 🙂

          • PDB

             /  October 4, 2018

            Robert is more like a rabbit…with calicivirus.

          • robertguyton

             /  October 4, 2018

            What you like to believe is March hare-madness, is in reality, gleeful exuberance; unchained delight at watching the Nat’s crumble and Jacinda candescent with popularity and success. Manic? Delirious with joy, more like. I know you love to apply hyperbole to your attacks on Labour, PDB, so I’m sure you appreciate my taking the opportunity to do the same while National crashes and burns 🙂

          • robertguyton

             /  October 4, 2018

            Bridges did a Woman’s Day special???
            Kitty won’t like this!!!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 4, 2018

              Why ? The press fawned all over Neve whatever her surname is. Why shouldn’t someone else’s new baby have a share of publicity ? I don’t give a damn, to be honest, I won’t be reading it; I don’t read that sort of magazine.

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              Jacinda said Neve’s surname Gayford.

              Her full name is Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford (no hyphen).

              Using mum’s surname as an additional given name is a common practice now.

  12. Zedd

     /  October 4, 2018

    After 3-4 ‘Lab. leaders’ were all ceremonially dumped.. they got their ‘rising star’

    SOOOO.. who is the rising star in Natl ?
    perhaps ‘tricky Nikki’ (Kay.. not key).. face off with Judith in pic above :/

    • PDB

       /  October 4, 2018

      Ardern is more like a ‘shooting star’ mostly shot by inept people inside her own govt and occasionally shooting herself in the foot.

      • Gezza

         /  October 4, 2018

        Bridges says stupid things all the time too, though. Really stupid things. And he seems totally oblivious to how stupid they are?

        Like tonight, on 1ewes, getting his two second soundbite in the item about Chloe raising her personality profile by criticising Labour’s intention to make synthetic “cannabis” Class A so (she knows where she’s going, that girl; the Greens are just her current vehicle, imo), Simon starts with:

        “The Greens have always been soft on crime”. It doesn’t really matter what else he said after that, in fact I can’t remember. NOBODY is soft on crime. NOBODY likes crime. They just differ on how offenders should be dealt with.

        This sort of crap might go down well in the Remmers and the Police College bar but it’s dumb to spout it in public like that. They’ve got to get rid of him.

        • PDB

           /  October 4, 2018

          I don’t think many to the right of Karl Marx would disagree with you unlike the lefty defenders of similar mould Labour leaders of the recent past such as Cunliffe, Goff and Little (though Goff was slightly more capable than the other two). One would have to question the MP’s that put Bridges in the role as even before he became leader most of the public could see he wasn’t what was needed.

          In Ardern’s favour is her PR spin and ‘niceness’, not in her favour is any sort of leadership ability and she is lazy on the fine detail & lightweight in her words.

          • robertguyton

             /  October 4, 2018

            She’s improving rapidly, PDB and your concerns about her abilities are already redundant. She’s a force to be reckoned with and you better smarten up if you hope to keep commenting about her without looking…foolish.

            • Gezza

               /  October 4, 2018

              This on 1ewes tonight was interesting. (If Maike Sherman & everyone else can say poverTy, why can’t Jacinda?)

              https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/national-throws-support-behind-governments-game-changing-child-poverty-reduction-bill

            • PDB

               /  October 4, 2018

              Doubt I will be joining the foolish few headed by yourself Robert, so don’t panic as your position at the head of that particular table is safe. After all Ardern is so great that you have to come on here to remind us all the time as she isn’t all that ‘open and transparent’ to most others.

              Talking to a bunch of ‘vacant’ chairs at the UN the other day would be like her speaking at a cabinet meeting.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 4, 2018

              Your unrelenting negativity toward Jacinda means nothing to me, PDB, although it is amusing; such staunch grizzling in the face of Jacinda’s successful reign. Will you be able to maintain your Eeyorism for 9+ years? I suspect you will but even now, it’s sounding forced and unconvincing. If you had someone on your team who came anywhere near challenging Jacinda, then maybe you’d get traction, but… Soimon , and once he’s been tossed out…Judith??? Praise the Lord, Jacinda’s in for the looooooong term 🙂

  13. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 4, 2018

    “NOBODY is soft on crime.”

    Depends on the crime.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 4, 2018

      WordPress misdirected reply strikes again. Seems to me it is often when it is the last comment in a thread.

    • Gezza

       /  October 4, 2018

      Depends on the crime.

      Oh? Which ones are you soft on?

      • robertguyton

         /  October 4, 2018

        For me, it’s fashion crimes: I just don’t care about Amy Adam’s jackets or Soimon’s tois.

        • robertguyton

           /  October 4, 2018

          For Kitty, otoh, those are hanging offences.

          • Gezza

             /  October 4, 2018

            If it was up to me the Police would be speaking to Mikey Hosking about not wearing his wife’s jackets for his Mike’s Minute appearances – but ok.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 4, 2018

            Please stop putting words in my mouth and attributing views to me that are not mine. It’s rude and intrusive and is a form of trolling. Corky used to do this all the time until he finally stopped being a troll towards me for reasons unknown.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 4, 2018

              Words? Cut & paste those words and I’ll withdraw and apologise.
              Corky probably got bored.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 5, 2018

              Or realised that he was heading towards another ban.

              One of his sillier claims was that I had said that the people who live across the road from me were feral whites (an expression that I don’t use, and wouldn’t anyway of a young, professional couple) As I had said nothing at all about them, it was pure fantasy on his part. He made other, equally bizarre claims about my life and things that I had supposedly said (but hadn’t) The poor creature can’t stand it when he is proved wrong or encounters someone with more knowledge and education than he has, and becomes abusive when he is or does.

      • PDB

         /  October 4, 2018

        The Greens are soft on benefit fraud – all good by them.

        • Gezza

           /  October 4, 2018

          That will be why Metz has sunk without trace and nobody in the Greens seems to remember her?

          • robertguyton

             /  October 4, 2018

            Jami-Lee Ross will be benefitting from months of full pay for zero. That’s fraudulent, by most people’s definition but The Greens haven’t made anything of it, kind souls that they are.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  October 4, 2018

        I am soft on some forms of non-violent drug and sexual crimes as well as euthanasia in appropriate circumstances. I also have little time for most planning law. No doubt there are others but those come immediately to mind.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 5, 2018

          Was it fraud when Chris Hipkins hived off for 6 weeks or when Labour/Green MPs do this and take paid leave to which they are not entitled ?

          Or is it only fraud when it’s National ?