A big day for Simon Bridges

Yesterday was an awful day for Simon Bridges, and for the National Opposition, but I actually think Bridges handled the mess reasonably well, stepping up in difficult circumstances, showing he may have some leadership abilities after all. To me he came across ok at his media conference, speaking better than normal – having to speak off the cuff on important matters, and no lame scripted platitudes nor his normal boilerplate criticism of the government.

There were signs of solid support from other National MPs like Judith Collins and Maggie Barry. I can imagine most if not all National MPs being very pissed off at what Jami-Lee Ross had inflicted on them, their party, and on their prospects in the next election. It was a possible sign of real solidarity rather than feigned fawning.

How Bridges handles today may determine whether he survives as National leader or dives irrecoverably.

The National caucus will meet to consider what to do about Ross over what now looks like his very likely leaking of Bridges’ expenses (the original offence), him almost certainly being the MP who sent messages asking for the inquiry to be called off because of mental health pressures (was that real or was it a desperate attempt to escape exposure), and his very clear deliberate damaging of Bridges and the National party yesterday.

Bridges also referred to other matters:

I also discussed with Jami-Lee other matters concerning his conduct that have come to my attention and suggest, together with the leak, a pattern.

MP Maggie Barry gave more of an indication what this referred to:

What a disloyal disgrace this flawed & isolated individual has become. Having now read the PWC report I personally believe the unpleasant & bullying pattern of behaviour of Jami Lee Ross has no place in an otherwise united National Caucus under our leader Simon Bridges.

I think that Bridges and National caucus have no option but to dump Ross from the caucus, on his behaviour yesterday alone.

How Bridges manages this publicly will show his mettle as a leader. If he is as decisive as he is able to be it may end up enhancing his leadership prospects.

There are limits. Ross cannot be removed as an electorate MP by anyone but himself or the voters at the next election. He could continue to spit the dummy, causing ongoing problems for Bridges, but his credibility is wrecked and if Bridges does ok handling it then he may build his leadership mana.

From what I’ve seen so far I don’t think the stuff yesterday about donations is a big deal. MPs and parties (plural) fiddle their donations, usually within lax rules, and generally the public don’t care much.

Yesterday looked more like an attempted hit job on Bridges. That may not harm him.

Ross also claimed to have a secret recording of Bridges “discussing with me an unlawful activity”. As Judith Collins said, he needs to “put up, or to shut up”. It also raises the question of whether making a secret recording is an unlawful activity itself. It is certainly political career ending action or threat.

Bridges has a chance of coming out of this ok, of actually looking like a leader. There will be difficulties and repercussions for National, but that’s what leaders have to deal with. If Bridges does it well his job may be more secure.

On the other hand if he fluffs it he will be toast.

So it’s a crucial day for Bridges and his leadership, and also for the National Party.

There’s an old saying in politics that goes something like ‘it’s not the original issue that causes the damage, it’s how it is handled’. The same could apply here.

I think voters know leaders will find themselves in difficult situations dealing with difficult people. That’s politics. The key here will be whether Bridges steps up as a leader to sort things out or not.

There were glimpses yesterday that this  could be the un-wimping of Bridges.

147 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  October 16, 2018

    Hard to fluff your lines on this one. “You’re fired”.
    Only problem will be if JLR can galvanise enough support in caucus thwart Bridges. And no one is predicting that.

    • I think it would be political suicide for any other MP if they tried to support Ross now. He’s toxic.

      And it appears that he had little support over the last few months too. Taking leave from Parliament was not a strong move.

    • Corky

       /  October 16, 2018

      If there is a clique in caucus who want Bridges gone, now would be the time to apply pressure. Win or lose, plotters will not be presented with a better opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. It all depends of those recordings..or lack thereof.

      Meanwhile Jacinda will be thanking Gaia for giving her respite from watching how hopeless her government is becoming..and being told that by media.

      • Trying to roll bridges now will look very bad for National, and probably bad for whoever tries to do it – it would associate them with Ross’ behaviour.

      • Blazer

         /  October 16, 2018

        poor old Paula trying valiantly to keep her neck up so her turkey gizzard doesn’t show.
        All that weight loss and…still..

        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  October 16, 2018

          What relevance is your nasty ad hom attack. Why Pete allows your constant shit is beyond. You’re a complete joke and nasty little prick to go with it…

          Pete you bang on about the standard of debate on the Standard, WOBH and even Kiwiblog… but you allow this little abuse troll to continue….. maybe you should desist in your proclamations on the standards of other blogs until you sort BOL out…

  2. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    but,but…shouldn’t they be more sympathetic…mental issues and…all.

    • NOEL

       /  October 16, 2018

      Are you Blazer oris the gloating?

      • Blazer

         /  October 16, 2018

        No I have no sympathy.
        Bridges ,National and the media have said the leaker has mental issues and they could be very serious.
        Ross says he is not the leaker.
        By their own admission they should be careful…yes!

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107867835/live-nationals-leak-crisis
      NATIONAL’S LEAK CRISIS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

      – Just minutes before National leader Simon Bridges announced the results of the inquiry into who leaked his travel expenses on Monday, the man he was about to finger as the leaker – National MP Jami-Lee Ross – struck out on Twitter, alleging that Bridges had asked him to do illegal things, and he had tapes to prove it. He said Bridges would “pin the leak” on him while denying he had been the source.

      – Today could well be the most consequential day of Simon Bridge’s tenure as National leader.
      – He will head into a meeting of his MPs at around 10.30am and attempt to put a firestorm of internal conflict to rest.
      – That meeting comes after an explosive series of events on Monday that rocked the National Party’s long-held image of strict internal discipline.
      – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      Oct 16, 2018 9:34 AM Stuff Editors (that could well be a management policy?)

      Judith Collins denied accusations that Jami-Lee Ross was acting on her behalf.
      “Jami-Lee Ross has routinely stood against me and obviously never supported me in any leadership issues and he’s certainly got nothing to do with me.”
      If Collins were the party leader, she would do “pretty much what the leader’s been doing”.
      “I think this is an extraordinary situation and I’ve got to say those tweets yesterday were without reason,” she said.
      “Everyone, as far as I can see, is 100 per cent behind Simon Bridges and the way that he’s handled it.”
      She did not expect for Bridges’ leadership to be discussed at the caucus meeting.

      Meanwhile, National Party president Peter Goodfellow said he did not think it would be appropriate to comment further until caucus had considered the matter.

    • PartisanZ

       /  October 16, 2018

      Absolutely …

  3. David

     /  October 16, 2018

    Its a bit ugly and not a great look and would be ironic if they used they could use the waka jumping rules and sent a thank you note to Peters.

  4. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    Mr Bridges new game today…’toss the ..Ross’.

  5. Ray

     /  October 16, 2018

    Winston Peters had a similar problem a couple of years ago, his rather dodgy handling of that didn’t dent his support.

  6. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    Those here who refuse to accept the existence of climate change because “there is no solid proof ” will be supporting Jami-Lee Ross, who claims he is innocent and is right in saying there is no definitive proof that he leaked.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Different issues. Different considerations. As you know. Don’t get into making that daft mistake that people are cardboard cutouts like you might be & blindly apply the same approach to everything robert. On the balance of probabilities the evidence against Ross is extremely strong and his behaviour yesterday (NOW he says he wants to tell people about illegal donations and cover up activity?) show he has few scruples. More will come out about him by the look of it.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 16, 2018

        It’s waste of time trying to tell some people that it’s the cause, not the fact, of climate change that people doubt.

    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  October 16, 2018

      Diversion troll croaks again….

  7. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    And some questions for Simon to answer:
    “Another party insider revealed to Garner Mr Bridges’ election returns were handed in late after amendments were made. Two donations – one of $10,000, another of $14,000 – were initially recorded on Mr Bridges’ own return, but removed and placed on the National Party’s return instead.

    The $10,000 donation came from ‘Cathedral Club’. Mr Bridges refused to talk about who that was. According to blog posts by National-aligned pollster David Farrar and far-right blogger Cameron Slater, Cathedral Club appears to be bimonthly dinner featuring speakers from the political world. Both men imply attendees aren’t meant to reveal the details of conversations that take place at such meetings.

    The larger donation came from Cubro Ltd, which Mr Bridges said was a healthcare business in Tauranga. Garner revealed the owners are also members of the Exclusive Brethren, a religious sect who controversially spent more than $1 million of their own money trying to get National elected in 2005. Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men detailed how the National Party worked with the Brethren behind the scenes, while publicly denying it.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      These are awkward:

      • Blazer

         /  October 16, 2018

        what a …motley crew!

      • lurcher1948

         /  October 16, 2018

        Notice David Farrar,Kiwiblog third from the left the blog owner who never gets paid to push Nation and Slag of the Govt.Nice national blue tye David

      • PartisanZ

         /  October 16, 2018

        Looks don’t count …

        It’s the taint of this ‘stuff’ amidst our wonderful so-called ‘democracy’ with its enviable “separation of Church and State” …

        Palmer & Butler would limit and make totally transparent political party donations in a superior law Constitution … under which this kinda *shite* would look really bad …

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 16, 2018

          One can know who someone is, and have met them, but not know them in the sense of having spent any time with them.

          • PartisanZ

             /  October 16, 2018

            And presumably Miss Kitty, have met them as a politician, but not know them in the sense of them making a $14,000 [or however much] donation to one’s political party …

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 16, 2018

              You can’t think that he knows by heart how much every donor has given….be realistic. I have no idea how many there, but nobody could remember every single one.

      • PDB

         /  October 16, 2018

        Don’t want to particularly go into bat for Bridges as we don’t know the outcome of the donations accusation but some ‘fake news’ from Reed Fleming there;

        1. Bridges says: “”Not at all well, not well” – not “Not at all”. If you listen carefully the first “well’ is understated but he then confirms by saying “not well”.
        2. Reed apologised to Farrar as he was incorrect about him;

        • robertguyton

           /  October 16, 2018

          Lie?
          What is it with your righties, accusing all and sundry of lying?
          Reed said, sorry, it was a mistake.
          I think you righties are projecting.

          • PDB

             /  October 16, 2018

            The ‘lie’ is in editing what Bridges actually said from ”Not at all well, not well” to “not at all” which has been wrongly reported upon as fact here and elsewhere. Bridges is fair game but that is below the belt and dishonest – a ‘lie’.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              You’ve over-used the word, PDB; now it’s your signature and by association, it defines you. You should have been more careful.

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              Considering I didn’t even use the word ‘lie’ above (Farrar did in his tweet) where do I ‘over-use’ the word?

              Ardern for instance has told many lies of late – just because you choose to avoid acknowledging them doesn’t make them magically not be lies.

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              As I know how your mind works (or doesn’t) – in my reply to you I mention ‘lie’ only in defense of Farrar’s mention of the word. My originally post does not mention the word ‘lie’.

            • Blazer

               /  October 16, 2018

              my knowledge of body language,from my experience at not being a Crown prosecutor, leads me to the conclusion that Mr Bridges is…lying.

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              Well somebody is – just don’t mention the word to Robert as he’s all sensitive about it.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              Bridge’s super-natural ability to detect a liar has … reflected badly on him.

  8. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    Very good, Jacinda!
    “And one further comment, Jacinda Ardern’s response has been magnificent and in keeping with her mantra there should be more kindness in politics. She has kept out of commenting on National’s problems even though for a fair period of time *Bridges was trying to blame Labour for what has happened . This is in stark contrast to what National would do. Remember Key’s political monotones on the inner workings of Labour?”
    (*as were some hard-boiled commenters here)

    • Corky

       /  October 16, 2018

      Meanwhile in Labour’s caucus room comrades gathered around the wireless. Trim the signal comrade leader so we don’t miss a comment. 😄

      • robertguyton

         /  October 16, 2018

        More like, “Tone down the laughing and cheering, guys, we want to hear what what’s-his-name says and see if Paula’s frozen-face has thawed yet!”

        • Corky

           /  October 16, 2018

          That frozen face may be your next PM.

          • robertguyton

             /  October 16, 2018

            By 2050, Paula’ll be well out of the picture.

          • Blazer

             /  October 16, 2018

            Bennett is still soaked in creosote but since the surgery she is very subdued…’it is better to be beautiful than to be good….but it is better to be good than to be…ugly’OW.

          • lurcher1948

             /  October 16, 2018

            The National party reminds me of the TV series,I Claudius, who going to get executed, stabbed or poisoned next and what will the Chinese and the exclusive brethren get for their national donations, our country and souls…DONT VOTE DODGY NATIONAL

            • Corky

               /  October 16, 2018

              Easy, Lurchy. Remember…it always ends badly for Labour..no matter how bad things get for National. Best just to keep quiet..that way you don’t get egg on your face and start taking your bad mood out on Red.

            • lurcher1948

               /  October 16, 2018

              Harsh Corky, i don’t rescue dogs to abuse them,just saying

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              What about animal training for events – starving dogs so they do stuff on command for treats etc? A form of animal abuse?

            • Blazer

               /  October 16, 2018

              rewarding dogs in training is not starving them….check out border patrol sniffer dogs..

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              I’ve known a few big time animal event trainers in NZ and they underfed their dogs so they would do anything for a morsel of food. Their training ‘methods’ weren’t too crash hot either. Not saying Lurch is in the same boat but it does happen.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              PDB’s talking squirrels here, not dogs; don’t be fooled.

            • Corky

               /  October 16, 2018

              Damn straight, PDB.

            • lurcher1948

               /  October 16, 2018

              PDB you are talking rubbish with no knowledge,RED isn’t a circus animal, Dont insult me and my dog RED and soon JESS my farm rescue tri Heading Dog and along with TULLULAH my CHCH rescue LOVED,
              A breed show is called a show where they prance their dogs around
              An agility event is called a event to be different from a breed show so PDB you are talking with no knowledge as usual of my dog sport, just saying,
              PS 4 day NDTA up at Fielding next weekend,the years big EVENT PDB
              with NO abuse of RED…he isnt an abused bear

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              As I mentioned above I didn’t think you’d be in the same boat Lurch but I know some (ex) top agility people and I wasn’t that impressed on them starving their dogs. Plenty of farmers never impressed me much with the way they treated their animals when I was growing up in the hill country either.

            • lurcher1948

               /  October 16, 2018

              PDB this is my Masterton farm rescue, does she look like an abused dog, the right hate anything if there’s as whiff of left in it,get over the bias PDB

              JESS my last rescue who didn’t have a great future,has eyes only for RED

            • Corky

               /  October 16, 2018

              I’m looking at that collar, Lurchy. I thought you don’t abuse animals? That dog would be the butt of cruel jokes within dogdom.

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              Nice dog there Lurch but nothing to do with left or right – can’t un-see what I’ve seen from my own experience. Whether it’s common place? You suggest not.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              That’s one handsome dog, Lurchy!

            • lurcher1948

               /  October 16, 2018

              PRETTY shes a girl Robert”SWEET JESS”is her dog NZ registered name, just JESS,cuddly

  9. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    “ScottGN
    I think Bridges needs to answer more questions about the gardening leave he sent JLR on a couple of weeks back. Clearly he’s been, at best, economical with the truth about the reasons for that.”

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      It’s bloody piss poor when the PM is economical with the truth and the leader of the Opposition is economical with the truth and nobody else in politics can be trusted.

      • robertguyton

         /  October 16, 2018

        How is, “Not at all.”, economical??
        As in:
        “Do you know the Currie brothers?”
        “Not at all”

        Here he is with Logan Currie opening his office:”
        ???

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Well exactly. His list of porkies will be rivalling Jacinda’s soon.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  October 16, 2018

            Really? Helen Clark opened our office once and I showed her around. I am pretty sure she would have said she didn’t know me if asked a year later.

            • Blazer

               /  October 16, 2018

              Yes, once, we will give the benefit of the doubt…but Mr Bridges met him on more than one occassion…Mr Bridges is lying.Not the only politician to.
              Key’s 400 plus take alot of…beating.

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              See my post above – the only one lying at this stage is Reed Fleming.

            • Blazer

               /  October 16, 2018

              @PDB…different…refers to Logan Currie…Bridges doesn’t know him. 😦

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              Bridges actually said “not at all well, not well” – being in a photo with someone doesn’t mean you know them ‘well’.

            • Blazer

               /  October 16, 2018

              I guess whether or not you know someone ‘well’ is quite subjective.

              Like the bloke who slept with a woman…who told him ,that event did not constitute an…introduction.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              He was asked, “Do you know the Currie brothers?”
              Not, ““Do you know the Currie brothers well ?”

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              Do keep up Robert: He answered the question: “Do you know the Currie bros” with ““not at all well, not well”. That’s totally different to the wrongly reported “not at all”.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              Lurcher said:
              “PDB you are talking rubbish with no knowledge,”

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              Quoting ole Lurch (as fond of him as I am) probably doesn’t do much to boost your sagging reputation Robert…

  10. Gezza

     /  October 16, 2018

    There’s an old saying in politics that goes something like ‘it’s not the original issue that causes the damage, it’s how it is handled’. The same could apply here.

    The version I’ve heard most often is along the lines” It’s not the original issue that causes the damage – it’s the cover up” (or, “it’s getting caught out lying about it”).

  11. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    NOT FORGETTING…

    “The author of the text warned they suffered from mental health problems in the past and said being exposed publicly could push them over the edge and put their life at risk.”

    ‘ National MP Jami-Lee Ross stands down from his portfolios and from the front bench of the opposition, citing personal health issues. In a statement, Mr Ross said he had asked for time off on medical leave for “a few months”.”

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      CREDIBILITY ASSESSMENT
      Jami-Lee Ross: -100%
      Simon Bridges: -80%

      • Gezza

         /  October 16, 2018

        POST JAMI-LEE PRESS CONFERENCE CREDIBILITY REASSESSMENT
        Jami-Lee Ross: -75%
        Simon Bridges: -80%

        • robertguyton

           /  October 16, 2018

          It was a stunner of an interview – 5 women? 15 women? Paula – what’s up?

  12. duperez

     /  October 16, 2018

    A couple of weeks back there was a feeling of sympathy for an MP with ‘health issues.’ Yesterday the towels, medicines and prayer beads were put down, the counsellors sent away and scimitars grabbed. And used.

    That aside is Ross a traitor for leaking caucus business with ill-intent? Is he a traitor for secretly recording his dealings with people?

    Is he a traitor for being uneasy about what he thinks is illegal behaviour? Is he a traitor for mentioning what he thinks is illegal behaviour?

    Or is he a traitor if he doesn’t speak out about what he thinks is illegal behaviour?

    If your boss asks you do something you think is illegal do you do it? What sort of a boss would ask their staff to be accomplices?

    And if you go along with your boss sure in your own mind it is wrong, do you record events and keep notes and details and keep them in a safe place ‘just in case’ you need them? If it is legitimate for a boss to in some senses ‘blackmail’ a staff member, is it reasonable for a staff member to play the same game?

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Before I answer those questions, would you mind providing yours first, dupers? o_O

      • duperez

         /  October 16, 2018

        I’m out on a photo mission shortly and will think about them then. The answers naturally depend on individual situation. If you’re a politician the morals and ethics which come into play are prioritised according to that – sort of all’s fair (and right) in love, war and politics.

        Which in turn might call to mind the e. e. cummings poem:

        a politician is an arse upon
        which everyone has sat except a man

      • duperez

         /  October 16, 2018

        Well Gezza I haven’t the answers but how about that? Not long after I wrote academic, rhetorical and philosophical questions they sort of became real and sort of need to be addressed.

        Ross will be condemned as a traitor. That crime is political. What he did was against his political/party colleagues. If Bridges was party to illegal activity his crime is far worse of course. Any transgression as claimed would be against all of us, any oaths he has taken and would have various ethical elements.

        Ross making recordings to protect his arse is different than him doing it to blackmail Bridges. If someone from your family was being asked to break the law by their boss what would you tell them to do? Resign? Refuse to go along and then have the boss find ways to make your life miserable? Or take recordings, keep notes and diary the behaviour to protect yourself?

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Oh, I can answer that. In my case I made notes, kept the emails, and diaried the behaviour.

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Anyway, I’ll have a bash at those questions of yours now.

          Is he a traitor for being uneasy about what he thinks is illegal behaviour?
          No.

          Is he a traitor for mentioning what he thinks is illegal behaviour?
          Depends on the circumstances & motivation. If he’s been a participant or even an instigator in the illegal behaviour and he only mentions it to get even & try & plea bargain his way out of a potential legal problem himself – yes. Ask the Mafia.

          Or is he a traitor if he doesn’t speak out about what he thinks is illegal behaviour?
          No, he might be a loyal member of an organisation with a record of dodgy behaviour but nothing specifically illegal yet that they can be prosecuted for.

          If your boss asks you do something you think is illegal do you do it?
          I haven’t so far. I don’t think I would but who knows what anyone will do until it happens to them. It probably depends on how bad it is, what the risk of getting caught is, and how desperately you want or need your job.

          What sort of a boss would ask their staff to be accomplices?
          A corrupt one.

          And if you go along with your boss sure in your own mind it is wrong, do you record events and keep notes and details and keep them in a safe place ‘just in case’ you need them?
          Christ yes. But if you’re implicating yourself as well in doing so that didn’t work at Nuremburg, so you need to have a damn good story & solid evidence about how and why you were forced to comply.

          If it is legitimate for a boss to in some senses ‘blackmail’ a staff member, is it reasonable for a staff member to play the same game?
          My oath. If the bastards try to blackmail you and you can blackmail them back it serves the beggars right.

    • PDB

       /  October 16, 2018

      If Ross was really concerned about any illegal going ons he should have gone to the police straight away with his ‘evidence’ not played silly buggers by leaking unrelated information for the sole purpose of smearing his leader.

      • robertguyton

         /  October 16, 2018

        Illegal goings-on, PDB?
        You reckon there were some?
        Sounds very much like it!

        • PDB

           /  October 16, 2018

          As I’ve no way of knowing Robert I can’t make that call without more information. If Bridges is guilty of anything he deserves all he gets, if Ross is making stuff up lets hope he gets the help he needs as he doesn’t appear all that stable at the moment.

          • robertguyton

             /  October 16, 2018

            You’ve no way of knowing many things you confidently assert, PDB; what’s stopping you here? Ross’s claims were convincingly put and point to corruption for which there are significant penalties. In any case, the Leader of the National Party now has serious allegations hanging over his head; that’s a major fail for him and the party. A disastrous situation for the Right and a great entertainment for those of us who don’t align with them.

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              Getting pretty excited there Robert considering Ardern has her own leak saga yet to reach a conclusion. Bridges is more of a hindrance than a help to the National party so be careful what you wish for I say.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              Bridges’ future doesn’t hinge on anything I might say, PDB, so I don’t think I need to take too much care with my wishing. Arden has a similar saga to Bridges? Is one of her team accusing her of illegality and corrupt behaviour??? This is explosive stuff; link please!!

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              ‘Arden’ up Robert!

          • robertguyton

             /  October 16, 2018

            “Winston Peters just walked up to a press pack, opened his phone, played a song named “Burning Bridges” (the theme to Kelly’s Heroes) into the microphones, then said “thank you very much” and then walked into the House.”

  13. lurcher1948

     /  October 16, 2018

    Leighton Smith the soon to depart rightwing newstalkZB host is bagging bridges and pushing crusher/trump…i suppose your talkback brain goes mushing when your govt of choice is in opposition and your hero Sir Key ran away what left only adulation of trump and rightwing blogs

  14. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 16, 2018

    I agree with your summation, PG.

  15. PartisanZ

     /  October 16, 2018

    I’ve got a new campaign slogan for National in 2020 … (or, as Robert predicts, 2050) … [I’m assuming the latter and that we’ll officially be Aotearoa NZ by then] …

    “Make Aotearoa New Zealand honest again … Corruptly”

  16. lurcher1948

     /  October 16, 2018

    So simon bridges gets $100 K from a Chinese businessman split into $15K lots as a series of donations so it doesn’t show up, damn donate to national, what a dodgy party selling our country and souls to get into power

    • robertguyton

       /  October 16, 2018

      This is a Big Hurt for National.

      • PDB

         /  October 16, 2018

        Could be Robert? Trying to hide youth sexual assault allegations didn’t seem to hurt Labour as much as it should’ve?

        • Corky

           /  October 16, 2018

          Labour are specialists in that field. The incidents they have moved sideways from media attention or lessened once media got whiff of a story is astounding. It’s in their DNA…passed on from one Labour intake to the next.

        • robertguyton

           /  October 16, 2018

          Whaddabout, PDB?
          Is that all you’ve … got?
          Sad day for the Nat’s – evisceration and humiliation for the top shelf.

          • PDB

             /  October 16, 2018

            Misusing the term again Robert? Whataboutism is avoiding answering or passing judgement on a subject by saying ‘what about’ someone else doing a similar action. I answered your statement by saying there ‘could be’ some big hurt for National then suggested there might not be considering how easily Labour were let off the youth camp saga.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              Splitting hairs, PDB, know that one?
              This is a day of Big Hurt for National and you too, as you side with the Right. It’s so messy and destructive. I suppose, all you have left is to squeal, “Labour!”, “Jacinda” but really, feeble .

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              All good in fact Robert – Ross obviously has issues and best he leave now and if Bridges has done a wrong same with him. Far better to sort all this stuff out 2 years out from an election than just prior to one. Some National voters might hedge their bets for a while but as the govt offer nothing at all I can’t see them flocking there in the meantime.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 16, 2018

              Yeah, PDB, it’s been a good day, aye! I hope National has many more of them 🙂

            • PDB

               /  October 16, 2018

              No doubt just a short respite from the ongoing train wreck we call our govt nowadays…….

  17. Gezza

     /  October 16, 2018

    Jami-Lee Ross’ revenge was astonishing and could prove fatal to Simon Bridges
    By: Claire Trevett
    Deputy political editor, NZ Herald
    claire.trevett@nzherald.co.nz @CTrevettNZH

    There is only word to describe the effect of the press conference held by Jami-Lee Ross to explain his “falling out” with National leader Simon Bridges: Boom.

    Ross stood for nearly an hour and outlined to the media what amounts to very serious allegations indeed about Bridges. The word “corrupt” was used, as was “a lack of moral compass”. In the process he set quite the bonfire under both Bridges’ leadership – and National’s chances in 2020.

    NZ First leader Winston Peters’ response perhaps best summed up the day when he walked up to the press pack, played a song called Burning Bridges on his phone and then walked off again.
    More…
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143235

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      “The most serious allegation related to a $100,000 donation which Ross claimed a Chinese businessman offered to National in May. Ross alleged Bridges instructed it to be broken up into smaller donations below the limit of disclosure and listed in separate names. Ross claimed a recording of a discussion with Bridges would be provided to police when he lodged a complaint tomorrow.

      If Bridges was to have even the slightest chance of killing the story he had to discredit Ross immediately in relation to that allegation. That he did not do. Bridges emerged from caucus…to announce the caucus had voted to expel Ross.

      But Bridges did not come with any answers on the allegations of the $100,000 donation. He simply declared claims he had engaged in unlawful or “corrupt” practices were “baseless” and said Ross should obtain a lawyer, a suggestion he might look at defamation action. But Bridges refused to talk about the details of the donation in question, including whether it had happened at all.

      It was unclear whether that was because he could not talk about it, or simply would not. It beggared belief he had fronted without coming up with an answer to that allegation.
      Bridges’ own appearance left more questions than answers.

      It may not be Ross’ allegations that hurt Bridges but Bridges’ response.”

      This saga looks to be a long-lived one. Bridges is as trashed as Ross.

      • Blazer

         /  October 16, 2018

        splitting donations and reconfiguring them seems to be bread and butter for the right…John Banks ….anyone!

        • PDB

           /  October 16, 2018

          John Banks and Winston Peters were both cleared of wrongdoing regarding donations.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  October 16, 2018

        How does it “beggar belief” that he fronted without an answer? – the allegation was only made while he was in the caucus room prior to the presser.
        They will need to front foot it from here though, or it will become the vacuum that is filled with destructive and murky rumours.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Rotorua MP Todd McClay has described claims made about him by National MP Jami-Lee Ross as “baseless” and says he stands beside Simon Bridges.

      National MP Jami-Lee Ross today claimed McClay knew of the false electoral return Ross is accusing the National Party leader of.

      But McClay has told the Rotorua Daily Post the claims are “baseless”.

      Ross made the allegation about McClay as part of his claims that Bridges had filed a false electoral return.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Jami-Lee Ross posts images of Simon Bridges with ‘$100k donor’ Zhang Yikun
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143343

  18. PDB

     /  October 16, 2018

    I presume the new allegations that have come out of all this of Ross sexually harassing four women was what Bridges referred to as ’embarrassing’ for Ross when he went on leave?

    • robertguyton

       /  October 16, 2018

      15, ‘parently. Bennett seems to have played an active part in pressuring Jami-Lee.
      Simon and Paula are gone.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      No the “embarrassing” bit was the mental breakdown he had, because of all the stress, according to Jami-Lee and he’s ropable about Simon calling his mental health problem “embarrassing”.

      • PDB

         /  October 16, 2018

        That doesn’t appear to make sense – I think Ross may be playing that up. Makes more sense if Bridges was talking about his alleged harassment of various women that apparently led to the mental breakdown.

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Yes, he does seem to relate it to that meeting where he was told he’d have to resign his portfolios as a result of the complaints by four women & the refusal to give him natural justice – generally accepted as the opportunity to know the details of allegations against, or adverse information about, you, & the opportunity to respond and have your explanation taken into account.He says he suffered “a medical event” a week later as he saw his career being wrecked by these allegations that he could not anwer. Watch the video here from about 2.14 onwards:

          https://yournz.org/2018/10/16/a-big-day-for-simon-bridges/#comment-317744

  19. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    unfortunately for the National party,this entitled,career pollie Ross, knows where the bodies are…buried.
    Could get very nasty and …expensive.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 16, 2018

      Yes, Ross might eventually add bankruptcy to his problems.

  20. lurcher1948

     /  October 16, 2018

    NATIONAL VOTERS you old fart pensioners need to learn chinese, your new chinese leaders demand it

  21. PDB

     /  October 16, 2018

    A by-election in Botany could be interesting;

    1. National candidate wins – no change in parliament except Ross is out on his ear.
    2. Ross wins – should benefit National if he then held the seat again at general election time as an independent (as long as Bridges wasn’t leader).
    3. Labour candidate wins – very unlikely but not totally out of the question if National & Ross split the vote allowing the Labour candidate to sneak in. Last election: National party vote 60%, Labour party vote 30%.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      2. Ross wins

      Snowflake’s chance in hell. Confessed to knowingly breaking electoral law (regrets too late), sucked in the National Party GM as well as Bridges, shat on the leader and deputy leader for crapping on him, allegations of “harassment” from un-named women – who knows the truth about that? Would you vote for him as an MP of integrity trusted to represent you to the best of his ability?

      • PDB

         /  October 16, 2018

        I wouldn’t have voted for Ross even before this story broke – always came across a bit smarmy and full of himself.

  22. artcroft

     /  October 16, 2018

    All this and Labour are still going to be a one term wonder. Amazing but true.

    • PDB

       /  October 16, 2018

      Still issues will remain of National needing a viable support party, or else they take a risk and go ‘all-in’ and rule out NZL First as possible coalition partners post-election leaving Winston stranded on the left with Labour/Greens without the chance of being kingmaker.

    • Corky

       /  October 16, 2018

      Yes, Arty. It’s incredible when you think about it.

  23. Corky

     /  October 16, 2018

    Bridges crashing and burning on ZB. HDA is destroying on him

    • PDB

       /  October 16, 2018

  24. duperez

     /  October 16, 2018

    Jami-lee Ross has been dubbed the “rogue” MP. Is a party leader who breaks electoral law a “rogue’ leader, or just bloody good at doing what needs to be done?

    Gezza says Ross doesn’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell because he knowingly broke electoral law. Is there the assumption that he broke electoral law all by himself? And if he didn’t do it all by himself are any others involved also not fit to be MPs?

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Well, that’s all to be examined by the Police from tomorrow dupers, according to JLR. Now he said he knows what he did was wrong and he’s decided to come clean about who knew and/or authorised it. He has the recordings. The media keep saying “tapes” but today he said he’s the only one who’s got a recording on his phone of one conversation. Forget with who.
      Not to worry. No doubt all will come out in the wash (or the drainage) cycle that this load of dirty washing’s getting put through.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Anyway … waiting to see what sort of coverage 1ewes gives it. It’ll be sensational news stuff. Breathless reporters and announcers, speaking quickly. 1-2 second soundbites from key actors. Possibly meaningless comment from the PM. Corker tv. Might even be a 5 minute item, this one. Possibly longer.

  25. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 16, 2018

    National Party president backs Bridges and says no evidence supporting Ross’s allegations and they are not consistent with their audited donation records. (Presumably the claimed series of small donations didn’t happen.)

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      We’ll see. If JLR has recordings of Simon it would be pretty silly for a lawyer like Si to have let himself be trapped giving instructions over the phone to do something illegal. But then all I know is that he was a crown prosecutor. Not a senior one. And not if he was any good as one. Just having worked in a prestigious job before doesn’t mean you were good at it. Boy did we ever find that out with a succession of managers who their last employers were probably happy to recommend to get rid of.

      The National Party machine would be pretty slick at knowing how to fractionate large donations for recording & reporting purposes, surely? They’ll have had a lot of experience I expect.

      Everything now hinges on what hard evidence Ross has got. It wont’ exonerate him. But the smell around Simon of these allegations will linger. Ross is dreaming thinking he’s still got a future in politics but this saga is probably going to drag on for a long time – unless the cops come out early after his meeting and say: “There’s no evidence to prosecute”.

      The thing Bridges has to worry about is that Jami-Lee might have stuff all qualifications but he’s as cunning as a rat & he’s been outsmarting Bridges.

    • Blazer

       /  October 16, 2018

      National=SEAL…’slippery eels and liars’.

  26. lurcher1948

     /  October 16, 2018

    Corky,botany is china, and the communist chinese want value for their bribe money paid to National, the new national candidate will be a communist red army spy i expect

  27. Corky

     /  October 16, 2018

    Winston having fun with reporters by playing ”Burning Bridges” on his phone. Dumb move given the volatility of our political landscape around election time. National will no doubt extract utu from Winston. I will watch with glee.

    • Blazer

       /  October 16, 2018

      ‘National will no doubt extract utu from Winston’…how long they been trying ,..now!

      • Corky

         /  October 16, 2018

        Well, they haven’t started yet have they. Key sidelined Winston.

  28. duperez

     /  October 16, 2018

    There you go, nice and tidy. Dr Jian Yang stands in Botany, wins the seat comfortably and the next on their list comes in to Parliament

    • Blazer

       /  October 16, 2018

      Botany electorate 49% Asian.

      Nationals master plan..make .Aucklands suburbs too dear for ordinary Kiwis..and encourage wealthy foreigners to buy up all the housing.

      Enlist the Dr Jiangs of the world to lock up the Asian votes.

      Push the average hardworking Kiwi down to Huntly.

  1. A big day for Simon Bridges — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition