Tova O’Brien on Judith Collins

Tova O’Brien writes at Newshub on Friday: Quote:

“They should get in behind me.”

That was Judith Collins’ message to her colleagues when she ran for the National Party leadership.

Perhaps they should have listened.

Collins seems to be getting more airtime, more name recognition and landing more hits on her opponents than the man who actually won that leadership contest, Simon Bridges.

Bridges is travelling round the country on his getting-to-know-me tour, with “Hoi oim Soimon Brudges“?echoing through town halls across the country.

Today it was Gore and Invercargill… Palmerston North and Paraparaumu prepare yourselves.

Meanwhile Collins doesn’t need to leave her electorate or the Wellington beltway – her mug is all over the news and riddled through the papers.

She seems to be the only Nat loving Opposition and is leading her party’s assault on the Government’s housing plans – and with the Kiwibuild policy changing like the price of petrol, she’s had plenty of fodder.

But it was her latest strike that cut Labour deepest, forcing the Transport Minister to offer his resignation to the Prime Minister.

Someone tipped her off that?Phil Twyford used his phone on a flight?- and as Jenna Lynch has just reported – he allegedly unbuckled and stood up on the same flight when the plane was taxiing.

He can’t remember doing it – classic brain fade – but if he did that’s a minister breaking the law twice in a matter of minutes. The very law he had ministerial responsibility over.

Collins’ source knew where to take the intel – knew Crusher would crush him.

But there’s a cautionary message here for her leader, keep your attack dog on a leash.

You never know who she’ll turn on next and long-harboured leadership ambitions do not die easy. End quote.

Judith is the most effective National MP right now. Her attacks in the house are leaving her targets bruised and probably developing PTSD as a result. Despite attacks nearly every day in the house Simon Bridges is yet to land a single blow on Jacinda Ardern. She easily bats his questions away.

But, Bridges has a problem. If he stops his attacks on Ardern then Ardern wins. If he gets someone else to run the attacks, who is more effective than him, then he also loses. If he changes effective MPs roles and responsibilities then he looks weak and defensive. There is plenty of time yet for Simon Bridges to get his act together, but there is also plenty of time for Judith Collins to keep putting ministers’ heads on pikes.