Eyebrow raising ‘joke’ not funny for Collins

It is more than eyebrow raising when a party leader claims that making false claims is a joke. If what Judith Collins was really trying to joke it was dumb, silly, ill-considered.

Now she has left herself open to all manner of questions about her honesty and her mannerisms.

RNZ: Judith Collins claims prison escapes false statement a ‘joke’

During yesterday’s visit to Palmerston North, Judith Collins made the comment during two speeches – comparing her record to the government’s in managing the quarantine facilities.

“We’ve got the Prime Minister telling us we’re going to have regional lockdowns if we’re not good little people, well I’ll tell you what, all she has to do is sort out a quarantine, stop people from escaping and it wouldn’t be that hard,” Collins said.

“When I was Minister of Corrections nobody escaped.”

Officials figures reveal, in fact, more than 20 people escaped during her stint as minister.

“There was the odd one who might have popped out but they all got caught,” she told reporters this morning.

She dismissed any suggestion she had been misleading the public with her comment.

“I think you might want to understand a joke when you hear it”, she said, when asked why she had said something that was clearly untrue.

“I think you want to get your Monty Python right.”

When will the public know when she’s joking, reporters asked. “When my eyebrows go up.”

One reporter was told by Collins to “bone up on your comedy skills” when he asked to explain why her joke about prisoners escaping was funny.

I think this is very poor from Collins. She has had a difficult enough start to her leadership due to the poor behaviour of MPs (and Michelle Boag), but this is self inflicted nonsense that risks locking the perception that she is unsuited to leading National to recovery.

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25 Comments

  1. Brian Johnston

     /  28th July 2020

    Then there are the innocents in gaol who cant get out. Collins just has to know that Scott Watson is innocent along with a string of others, David Bain, Mark Lundy, Ewan McDonald, David Tamihere, Guy Hall to name a few.
    Not quite sure about Barlow can anyone help out here.

    Reply
  2. I am surprised as I thought Mrs Collins was more savvy than this. It is unwise to try and make a joke about anything because the media are out to get her. I think she will learn from this and keep it straight from now on… she has too. But there are double standards again from the media. Miss Ardern has told many lies and untruths but she is not called out on any of them. it is though she has been canonised by our media and any criticism of St Jacinda is not our allowed. Why is our so-called impartial media so blatantly pro-Ardern? Has the $50m bailout the media received a reason?

    Reply
    • The media were ruthless with Muller, they are being ruthless with Collins, she should be well aware of all the risks and not giving them anything that gives them and opponents easy shots like this. I’d hoped she would be better than this. She has to shape up quickly or it could be a disaster for National, not just a loss.

      I think it’s best that at least the two large parties are strong, and preferably a few smaller parties as well.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  28th July 2020

        Macslernz seems to have exceeded moderation standards with some of his unfounded claims….does he think this is Kiwiblog?

        Reply
      • whalerider3000

         /  28th July 2020

        The biggest problem many have when elected to party leadership is the constant scrutiny on multiple topics. Its relatively easy as an Opposition spokesperson to criticise and question around a couple of portfolios (see Davis, Kelvin – as an example). This is why Muller failed, also why Shearer struggled, and even Key had a few moments during his early months as PM. Key certainly grew in to the job. Collins gave one of the worst policy launches I’ve seen in Wairarapa last week. Now she’s being cute with facts. She really needs to tighten up, but the danger is that she’s not as good as she thinks she is. (see Cunliffe, David – as an example.)

        Reply
    • Yes, it may not be a great idea to make a remark that can be distorted and deliberately misinterpreted. Tova O’Brien is either a stirrer or devoid of a sense of humour.Both, probably. The hoohah about this obvious joke (she said it with a laugh, and followed it with ‘Absolutely’ and a laugh; a bit of a hint) is ridiculously out of proportion.

      Then there’s the supposed racism of Judith Collins who’s married to a man who’s half Chinese and half Samoan and has a son who is tri-racial…

      Reply
      • They are being ruthless in a malicious, personal and biassed way, which is not acceptable. Tova O’Brien comes across as petty and spiteful.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th July 2020

          It had nothing to do with Tova….

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  28th July 2020

          “They are being ruthless in a malicious, personal and biassed way, which is not acceptable.” ‘They’ meaning ‘she’? You are talking about Judith Collins I presume.

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  28th July 2020

        I didn’t take it as a joke. I thought it was yet another odd thing to say in relation to managed isolation escapees, but I assumed if she said it that it MIGHT be true & idly wondered if it was.

        So. It wasn’t true. It was an odd thing to say that a power drill she was weilding when she was putting up hoardings reminded her of a taser.

        Tova O’Brien is an irritating stirrer, however Judith’s idea of being down home & funny MIGHT be playing well to the hard core hard arsed National supporters (but even that’s not a given) but it isn’t going down well with quite a lot of folks, imo.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th July 2020

          It’s the sort of thing you say light-heartedly at a dinner table with friends but it’s a loser with political enemies and their media.

          Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th July 2020

    Yes, same tactic the media use on Trump all the time – take a throw away line and blow it up into a BIG LIE. She’ll have to cut them out or brazen them out like Winston.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  28th July 2020

      Well they’re not really throw away lines. Judith knows what she’s saying & they’re calculated to be provactive in my view. She may be hoping to provoke voters into thinking her opponents are humourless, so we’ll have to see if she’s going to keep this sort of thing up, but they’re not actually very funny lines. And if they’re bs, as in this case, she adds to existing perceptions she’s dishonest & everything she says should be fact-checked.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  28th July 2020

      The same tactic the media use on Trump all the time? Take a throw away line and blow it up into a BIG LIE?

      In the past 4 months Trump has uttered more ‘throw away lines’ than Colins and Peters have come up with in their whole careers combined.

      Trump doesn’t do throw away lines per se, he just says stuff. The media has no need to blow what Trump says into lies, big or small, they exist as lies all by themselves. I know you don’t like to watch videos so maybe you have been blocked from seeing reality.

      Maybe the ‘blowing up into lies’ are the various fact-checking platforms which blow up the stories for the lies they are.

      A speech I saw Trump give last week invited the usual question, “What the hell’s that all about? That sounds weird.” And it was:

      “One of those attacks included an accusation that task force recommendations from Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders included a mandate that would get rid of windows on buildings.

      Trump said that Biden plans to “mandate net-zero carbon emissions for homes, offices and all new buildings by 2030. That basically means no windows, no nothing.”

      The Biden-Sanders recommendations set a goal for having all new buildings achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. They don’t say anything about a mandate. The plan also doesn’t mention windows — and the presence of windows in a building does not mean that a building can’t achieve net-zero carbon emissions.”

      The range and mass of the Trump lies is astounding. To suggest that it’s just the media depicting him as a liar or taking throw away lines and turning them into lies is just silly.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  29th July 2020

        True. Every building could have its own nuclear power plant, not use any cement and have glassless windows. Or perhaps its own permanent forest to compensate. And Trump is the liar?

        Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  29th July 2020

      Trump doesn’t need the media to blow it up into a BIG LIE he is quite capable of doing that all by himself. In fact it is about the only thing he is capable.

      Reply
      • brianajnz@gmail.com

         /  29th July 2020

        The scary part about all this is it may not have been a throwaway line. I will go further, it was not a throwaway line, it was arrogance. Collins may have believed what she said. Collins may be that far out of touch. To then say she was joking is simply not honest. It was not said as a joke. Collins like all politicians treat the electorate with a certain contempt.
        The debate becomes what level of contempt and from whom.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  29th July 2020

          I think it was careless rather than a deliberate lie. Putting yourself in her shoes I can see her thinking that prison escapes never caught national media attention while she had the portfolio and so coming out with that soundbite as a reposte without much thought. More of a quip than a joke but landing her in trouble.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  29th July 2020

            It’s made her look silly. She was defending it on the AM Show again this morning – good humouredly, but as I noted yesterday it leaves her open to question about whether anything she says should be taken seriously.

            Her defence was that it was obviously a joke & anyone can tell that because people were laughing; “my jokes are funny”.

            She’s off to a silly start of her campaign.

            The other silly thing that’s happened is their 18 year old candidate in ILG’s former electorate apologising for a photo that’s turned up of him with a milk Hitler moustache doing what looks like a Hitler hand-raised greeting when he was blimmin fourteen!!

            She said he did that off his own bat; which I’m sure is true. But for God’s sake, how stupid is this woke stuff all getting? Fourteen? Being a bit silly. I probably did it with a black comb or something.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th July 2020

              The MSM’s part in this partisan nonsense is indefensible really. We have huge real problems to solve and the issues are completely beyond the competence of our media to address so they resort to sideshows.

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2020

              Yep.

  4. oldlaker

     /  28th July 2020

    I thought Collins would have decided to stand a little above the fray and let underlings comment on Boochani and whether Ardern know about Lees-Galloway etc but she’s putting herself in there, boots and all, on every topic.
    I think it’s a mistake. She looks petty (and much like the Collins whom many disliked in earlier days). Ardern is going to look much better in comparison than I thought.
    But if Jami-Lee Ross does release info on CCP donations to the Nats this week, as he is threatening to do, Collins’ will be in real trouble.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  29th July 2020

      Shes what they call in US a ‘retail politician’, takes on all the little issues etc. Peters is the best example of that here.
      Her self confidence means she isnt going to change in the election run up.

      Reply
  5. Brian Johnston

     /  29th July 2020

    I see my comment 29th The scary part….. is added to another comment ???
    It was not the intent.

    Reply

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