Bridges highlighting ‘discipline and unity’


When a leader sees a need to publicly demand unity and discipline in their caucus I think they have major problems.

National leader Simon Bridges speaks out on leadership, discipline and unity

National leader Simon Bridges is expected to deliver a strong message to his caucus on Tuesday that the only path to power is through discipline and uniting behind his leadership.

He said the message he got from delegates at the first of four regional conferences he attended at the weekend, in Hamilton, was the same.

The issue of leadership had not been raised specifically with him, he said.

“But there was a clear and strong message that in addition to holding the Government to account in developing our plans, we win back power by being disciplined and unified,” he told the Herald. “That came through loud and clear.”

“I think there is a mature understanding that this is a new Government and the country has rallied around it in the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks,” Bridges said.

“But National is still in the 40s, within striking distance of Government with a good campaign.”

Bridges is either fooling himself or trying to fool the public. Either way, he just seems foolish.

Asked if the speculation about his leadership inevitably destabilised it, Bridges said: “Whilst none of that was raised [at the conference], it is very clear from members of the party that they know to win we need certainty about leadership, we need discipline and unity.”

“Our members are proud that National has defeated the capital gains tax although they are anxious that they are going see more attempts at cash grabs from the Government to pay for slushy machines and [NZ First MP] Shane Jones’ slush fund.”

There was a strong view that there had been a real lack of delivery from the Government from housing to transport, where no new road had begun under this Government.

“They talked a big game but aren’t delivering.”

Unity and discipline are relatively easy under strong leadership. They become a problem under failing leadership.

Publicly talking about them shows signs of a major problem.

Bridges appears to be flogging a dead leadership.

Whipping caucus into shape

Whippings and unity