Why Bridges Gets No Traction on Jacinda

Simon Bridges is constantly criticised for his accent, for being boring, for failing to have any public appeal, and for failing to hold a poorly performing government to account. Many of those criticisms are justified. But there is a reason why he can’t get any hits on the prime minister. It’s because, as soon as he tries, Labour pulls out the gender card.

National Party leader Simon Bridges this morning went on the attack, calling Jacinda Ardern a “part-time Prime Minister” for getting involved in the Ihumatao land dispute just before leaving for Tokelau.

Ardern departed for Tokelau on Saturday, the first Kiwi Prime Minister to visit in 15 years, and is expected to return on Thursday.

The day before she left she brokered an agreement for Fletcher Building to put its planned property development – planned in conjunction with Te Kawerau a Maki – on hold while a solution is sought.

Bridges attacked Ardern’s trip to Tokelau this morning, saying that she could have traveled there during the recent three-week parliamentary recess.
“I’m not saying no ifs no buts people shouldn’t be going to Tokelau or the Chathams or other Pacific Islands. Of course there’s a role for that, but right now, when she’s just had a three-week recess, when she’s got so many issues at home that everyday New Zealanders are focused on?”
Bridges said that Ardern had escalated the dispute at Ihumatao by stepping in.
“She’s put herself right in it and where is she? She’s gone on a trip for days to Tokelau.

All fair comment by Bridges. We say these things on this blog all the time. We also give him a hard time when he fails to get any hits on the government when there are so many things he could be criticising them for.

So what happens when he does?

Standing in for Jacinda Ardern at Parliament, Grant Robertson says she’s hard-working and her trip to Tokelau has been a long time in the planning.

“I think most of you would recognise she works extremely hard, and I don’t quite know what Simon Bridges was saying when he said part time Prime Minister. I do wonder if there is a bit of a sexist overtone in that.” 

Newstalk ZB.

What absolute rubbish.

Women can do anything. Jacinda is a feminist. She is capable of doing anything that any man can do… until she is criticised by a National party male, and then, it is game on. Simon is being sexist.

She is also the most protected prime minister of all time, with henchmen on all sides, ready to defend her at all costs.

It is garbage, but it is effective. Two things shut down dialogue really fast… racism and sexism.

So Grant Robertson went with the sexism card.

It really is an unfair world if you are a male these days.

Jacinda is a part-time prime minister. She is the laziest prime minister we have had for decades. She regularly misses Question Time, or leaves early, to put Neve to bed. She prefers going to schools and kindergartens rather than working with adults or dealing with tough situations because children don’t ask hard questions. Even seeing her in Tokelau, she focused on the children more than anything else. She really is a frustrated kindergarten teacher.

Jacinda does not work hard. Rumour tells us that she arrives to work after other ministers and often leaves before them. She is a part-time prime minister, and there is nothing sexist about saying so. But when in doubt… use either sexism or racism. One of them will work for sure.

Can you imagine trying to use the gender card in Helen Clark’s time? The fact that Robertson did this means that there is truth in what Bridges has said. He wouldn’t have to resort to gender issues otherwise.

And you wonder why Simon finds it so hard to get a hit on Jacinda? Let’s give him credit though. I’ve never heard him try to play the race card. Good on him for that.