Things that make me go hmm

Things that make me go hmm

An opinion piece by John Armstrong made me go hmm for the following reasons:

  1. John Armstrong is very close to Bill English
  2. He isn’t a fan of Judith Collins
  3. He basically writes off Simon Bridges

Because of these three points what he says is significant. Quote.

[…] National’s hapless leader is not doing well. He is doing terrible. Everyone can see that. Collins can see that. But she can’t say it. She can’t rub her leader’s face in the dirt. Not if she wants his job. And make no mistake, she craves it.
Her cooing political sweet nothings in Bridges’ vicinity has the purpose of maintaining the fiction that she is not plotting to oust him.
Appearances are important.

[…] she now has her best but likely last opportunity to make it to the top.
Much the same logic attaches to what was a pretty straight up and down affirmation made by Collins this week that she accepts that Bridges will be the one leading the National Party into next year’s general election.
Of course, she accepts nothing of the sort. She intends to be the one leading National’s charge.

The National MP ranked higher than him on a recent poll […]
Being kind to Bridges is part of a wider softly-softly strategy. It is clever. It is shrewd. The objective is to have the leadership fall into her lap with the minimum of rancour and bitterness. It may well work.


It amounts to a leadership coup in reverse. For all intents and purposes, the current leader has already been toppled. More to the point, the person who has toppled Bridges is Bridges.

[…] He has now become such a liability that it is inconceivable that he will not be dumped.


[…] The quandary for National is whether the party sticks with Bridges at its helm with the hope that he can lift his game and stem the outflow of support and hopefully regain some of the share of the vote that has ebbed away since the last election.
The downside risk of sticking with Bridges is that National’s vote could go into free-fall as occurred in 2002 during Bill English’s first stint as the party’s leader.
Collins will no doubt be playing on the fears […]
For his part, Bridges will be living in his own fear of the knock on the door of a delegation of senior colleagues telling him it is time for him to go.
It is inconceivable that National would persist with Bridges. The ongoing pressures imposed on him by a never ending succession of bad polls have taken their toll.

[…] So should National dump Bridges and replace him with Collins?

[…] They have to ask themselves whether is it more important to give themselves a chance of defeating Jacinda Ardern-led Labour at next year’s election or whether their first priority is blocking Collins from ruling National’s roost?

[…] Collins’ strengths are well-documented. She is tough, decisive, fearless.
[…] She also polarises opinion. She is regarded as extreme. She has previously delighted in accepting invitations to speak at ACT’s annual conference. She could end up switching off National’s connection to Middle New Zealand.

[…] There is a long list of leaders from both Labour and National who failed to win the subsequent election and paid the price for that failure.
That will be of no worry to Collins. She has been an MP since 2002. The 2020 election is her last opportunity to become prime minister.
She will be 64 by the time the 2023 election rolls around. A new generation will be fighting the party’s battles.
Collins’ biggest selling point is that no-one else in National’s camp has the capacity to be the game-changer the party so desperately needs.
With Collins leading the charge, the chances of victory are still not that great. But they are exponentially better than anyone else can offer. end of quote.

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