Bridges versus Ross escalates

Saying that the battle for power and utu between Simon Bridges and Jami-Lee Ross has escalated is an understatement.

Ross has been kicked out of the National caucus, but he resigned from the National Party and from Parliament, saying he will contest the by-election he has precipitated as an Independent candidate (his only option if he want’s to stay on as Parliamentary politician).

Accusations have been flying in all directions.

Bridges is going to have a tricky time dealing with an onslaught from Ross, including accusations of corruption and imprisonable offences. Too much to detail here- I’ve had a busy day so have only picked up bits of  what has been going on.

A couple of things seemed odd.

Ross insists he didn’t leak Bridges’ expenses, they thing that triggered this flare up, but he admits leaking texts. Doesn’t that mean he knows who the the original leaker is? If he named them that would clear his name.

He also says he had a mental breakdown, the reason for him taking leave from Parliament, except he also says that Bridges forced him to take leave.

And his mental health issues (which he says he has recovered from despite his political situation turning to crap) are coincidental to the original leaker having mental health issues serious enough to plead that the inquiry be called off?

There’s a lot more on this that needs clarification. Journalists will be busy for a while sifting through all of what came out today.

There are a lot of claims, counter claims, denials and a heap of smoke making it hard to see the most serious flames.

And tomorrow Ross is going to the police to report on alleged crimes committed by Bridges – that Ross played a role in, according to him.

55 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    Bonfire.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Hmm. All the usual suspects who might want to reckon Simon’s coming up smelling of roses & it’s full steam ahead now seem to have taken their dogs for a walk or locked themselves in their bedrooms and refused to come out? 😕

      • MaureenW

         /  October 16, 2018

        Very funny, probably true. Who’ll be the last man standing saying all for one and one for all. Bet they’re doing their numbers now – hell, he might be gone by this Friday

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          TRACY WATKINS • POLITICAL EDITOR
          National leader Simon Bridges is still standing. But the series of sucker punches from his former numbers man Jami-Lee Ross may have dealt his leadership a killer blow.

          Regardless of what happens now, National is reeling, its wounds laid bare, and Bridges lacks the political capital with voters that otherwise might have allowed him to rise above it.

          National’s legendary discipline has also been rocked, effectively neutralising its trump card against Labour.

          Rarely has Parliament seen such a spectacular act of self destruction from an MP – the bombshells kept coming as Ross accused Bridges of corruption, revealed a secret tape recording he intended taking to police, talked about his own mental breakdown, and accused the National leader of attempting to heavy him out of Parliament with trumped up allegations of harassment.

          It was an explosive and extraordinary press conference from Ross, lasting nearly an hour, the allegations given weight by the fact he was once so close to Bridges, and a senior member of his front bench.

          When Bridges finally emerged after a caucus meeting to announce Ross would be expelled from the party, it was almost irrelevant.

          More…
          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/107890403/after-a-horrendous-day-nats-leader-simon-bridges-is-still-standing–for-now

  2. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    Listen to this, Pete!
    Oh dear!

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Corky’s right. HDPA utterly destroyed his credibility there. Once again, he couldn’t give a straight answer and he also pronounced some t’s as d’s.

      • MaureenW

         /  October 16, 2018

        I heard it, he refused to provide any yes or no answers. Deflected and obfuscated. There’s some truth in those accusations, guess it all depends on how well it’s been covered up

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Maureen it’s how the silly boy does all his interviews, he’s feckin hopeless.

          • Gezza

             /  October 16, 2018

            Jami-Lee does a better job. That’s the bit that must really bloody hurt!

          • MaureenW

             /  October 16, 2018

            Well he needed to change the gear-stick with this particular interview

            • Gezza

               /  October 16, 2018

              He can’t ! That’s been his problem. He’s only got one gear and it’s first gear.

            • MaureenW

               /  October 16, 2018

              Well he’s going to have Reverse found for him is my guess

            • Gezza

               /  October 16, 2018

              Yup. He needed to do more than just plod along off a script of repeating slogans but he’s congenitally unable to do that. His advisers are probably either incompetent or off somewhere getting drunk out of despair.

            • MaureenW

               /  October 16, 2018

              The latter I expect, or laughing that their cunning plan has finally been realised

  3. Gezza

     /  October 16, 2018

    Unprecedented political scandal, according to 1ewes. Total clusterfuck, not to put too fine a point on it. The fallout from this will take weeks to subside. If Jami-Lee thinks he’s got a political future after this, the dosage of whatever meds he’s on need reducing.

    Going down in flames for dodgy behaviour and taking the leader with you is hardly likely to be a vote-winner.

    I read somewhere Simon indicated he won’t be taking defamation action. Probably wise to think about that – but it does create the smell of “Hmm – is that because he’ll come out of it looking dodgy, or worse, corrupt?”

    Ross’s claim he was denied “natural justice” – the opportunity to know who his “harrassment” accusers are and what is the “harassment” claimed, and to respond to those allegations reflect badly on Bridges & Wotsername and more can be expected to come out about that – especially as Ross says Bridges told him he could produce 15 women complainants if he wanted to insist on knowing the details.

    How could an MP harass 15 women and only get held to account after all this time? And via an improper process? Is Bridges a lawyer?

    If JLR’s not lying about this, and they say it didn’t happen, that could be tricky for them too.

    Jesus. There’ll be champagne corks popping in the government enclave in Bellamy’s tonight.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Wotsername = Bennett. (Sorry, mind went blank there for a minute). o_O

  4. MaureenW

     /  October 16, 2018

    The early smears from National re inappropriate behaviour for a married man are particularly smelly and telling.
    My prediction is that Bridges has got about 2 weeks left – don’t think he’ll survive, maybe Bennett too

    • Corky

       /  October 16, 2018

      I think you aren’t too far off the mark, Maureen. But they can’t chuck Paula. She is the only neutral candidate who would be acceptable if National factions are stalemated…surely??

    • That was to refute claims by Ross that he was accused of harassment. It doesn’t look good but both sides are doing it.

      • MaureenW

         /  October 16, 2018

        It’s very unusual for political parties to make those types of smears against other MP’s whether true or not. If there’s no truth to the accusations, they’ll clear themselves without the personal smears. They add nothing other than trying to completely obliterate Ross’s character (irrespective of how compromised he may be)

  5. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    It seems Ross’ opposition to Bridges has been fermenting for some time now.
    Alerted to it,Bridges appears to have found a way to sideline him with the help of Bennett,whose fate is firmly tied to the LOTO.

    Ross has over estimated the disatisfaction in caucus and over played his hand.

    Timing is where Ross has blundered.

    Bridges is hardly coming clean on the harassement or donation issues.

    ‘Baseless’ is the answer du jour when asked for detail.

  6. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    Bennett won’t survive this.

  7. Geoffrey Monks

     /  October 16, 2018

    Do I detect the distant clanking of tank treads as the Crusher manoeuvres into position?

    • MaureenW

       /  October 16, 2018

      Probably

      • Gezza

         /  October 16, 2018

        Probably will have to be her. Frankly it could just about be anybody except Jonathan Young now.

        • PartisanZ

           /  October 16, 2018

          The clanking of Crusher’s tank treads is her reversing towards us …

          She’ll send National into a conservative tail-spin from which they may not recover …

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Very unfortunate first frame in that video clip:

      • Gezza

         /  October 16, 2018

        Yep. Heather nails it. It’s just a question of timing now. That interview of hers is another Bridges disaster.

      • Zedd

         /  October 16, 2018

        paula’s look (down) sez it all..

        now moved from denial to total disarray !

        would the real Natl pty leader.. plz stand up ? 😀 😀

        • robertguyton

           /  October 16, 2018

          “Dennis Frank 7.1.1.1
          16 October 2018 at 8:37 pm
          The other thing is that meeting where JLR was called by Paula to her office, then she took him to meet with Simon – seems a pre-determined setup. He gets told about four women complaining of harassment, asks for details, Simon refuses to give those. JLR says he referred to natural justice (accused supposed to be told who’s accusing them, and precisely what circumstances, where/when).

          Simon says if he keeps hewing to that line the four will become 15. Sounds like bullshit, made-up stuff, eh? JLR didn’t say Paula had left the meeting, so she’s complicit in the fake allegations. How do we know they’re fake? None were reported to their employer, PS. Also, a media report said none want to continue with their complaints. JLR says this was a blackmail attempt. How could anyone reasonably disagree??

          He didn’t say he taped this meeting though. If not, just hearsay. Even so, it was the blackmail on top of the donation setup that pushed him into a mental breakdown. Totally understandable. No wonder Paula looked so grim. Loyalty has got her sucked into a moral quagmire and there’s no escape she can see.

        • Zedd

           /  October 16, 2018

          I too thought Crusher was the obvious choice.. BUT on second thought.. :/

          maybe Dr Nick ? 😀

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Amy’s the only one who looks like she genuinely wants to support him.

  8. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    Collins=..the renaissance of the slug!

    She has too much baggage..too vulnerable over her business M.O.

    • PartisanZ

       /  October 16, 2018

      And the Don Brash approach is so last decade …

      And the Jenny Shipley approach is so last millenium …

  9. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    “Scott Hamilton

    Jichang Lulu, an academic who studies Chinese foreign policy, has been linking Ross’ allegations to the pattern of Beijing buying influence over National:

    He writes: ‘This scandal shows the effect the influence of a totalitarian, expansionist regime can have on a democracy. Zhang’s status as a CCP United Front figure is clear.’

  10. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    Dr Jiang,this character and how many others..National banner..’NEW ZEALAND FOR SALE’!

  11. duperez

     /  October 16, 2018

    I watched all the Ross press gathering in Parliament. I heard some of the Bridges post-caucus interview. I’ve just listened to the NewstalkZB interview.

    I assume Simon Bridges is expecting that Ross won’t have enough information for the police to act on him (Bridges).

    Regardless though, it is startling that Bridges in two forums today could say “I’ve answered that,” when the answers are like someone being asked if their car has a full-sized spare tyre in the boot and answering, “Sunday morning” or “chocolate mousse.”

    He must think that the media people asking him the questions should accept the nonsensical answers. He probably thinks or hopes they’d simply move on. That’s okay, but the exchanges are sort of about informing people. Us, listening at the other end.

    My conclusion after listening to two Simon Bridges’ bizarre efforts today is that he thinks we’re simpletons, gullible, cretins. And he thinks Ross won’t have enough on him.

    • Fight4NZ

       /  October 16, 2018

      Worked like a charm for Key

      • Gezza

         /  October 16, 2018

        Yes, but he was
        a) smart, and
        b) he knew how to organise cover, and
        c) he was essential to National’s success, and they knew it.

  12. robertguyton

     /  October 16, 2018

    • PartisanZ

       /  October 16, 2018

      Call me naive, but when people say CCP United Front do they really mean the Chinese Communist Party?

      Oh the IRONY ….. with a capital I … R … O … N … Y …

      And it’s bye bye National Party.

      • PartisanZ

         /  October 16, 2018

        Nothing like a good Spring Clean every now and again …

  13. Gezza

     /  October 16, 2018

  14. Fight4NZ

     /  October 16, 2018

    Where’s the usual National cheerleading club today? You remember, the one’s who after the Govt formed were full of bravado. “I’m going to keep this coalition under the blowtorch “, “Buckle up it’s going to be a hell of a ride” , and other meaningless bluster.
    Are turkeys are home to roost…

    • Corky

       /  October 16, 2018

      I’m here. What’s that you were saying?

      • Gezza

         /  October 17, 2018

        I think he might have called you a turkey, Corks? >:D

        • PartisanZ

           /  October 17, 2018

          Indeed …

          However, the relevant question here is: What would Fight4NZ like to replace National with?

  1. Bridges versus Ross escalates — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition