Personal or political?

Is the media’s determination to claim the scalp of National leader Simon Bridges personal or political?

Two months ago John Armstrong said the media script required Bridges to end up as dog tucker:

The media have proclaimed Simon Bridges to be dog tucker. Having issued that decree, the media will do its darnedest to make sure he does become exactly that – dog tucker.

That is the ugly truth now confronting Bridges in his continuing struggle to keep his leadership of the National Party intact and alive.

It might seem unfair. It will likely be regarded in National quarters as irrefutable evidence of media bias.

It is unfair. Some pundits had made up their minds that Bridges was the wrong person to lead National within weeks of him securing the job. Those verdicts were quickly followed by bold predictions that it would not be long before he was rolled by his fellow MPs. . . 

Those predictions are heating up again, but why?

Is it personal dislike of him?

Probably not.

There were similar campaigns against Bill English and Don Brash when they were opposition leader.

So is it partisan?

The media were just as quick to criticise and slow to praise Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little so no, it’s not necessarily partisan.

But is it political?

The media tends to be liberal on social issues and Bridges is more conservative.

Could the sustained campaign against Bridges be because he has said he will vote against the Bill to legalise euthanasia and is likely to oppose any liberalising of abortion law?

4 Responses to Personal or political?

  1. Andrei says:

    Simon Bridges seems to be a sober, Christian, family man in a time of vapid celebrity culture.

    Everything the “beltway” loaths.

    In my opinion what he needs to do, which Bill English didn’t, is to speak his mind clearly and succintly on these issues and wear the scorn he receives as a badge of pride.

    Think about the Crusaders name change thing – that he could comment on, call it for being extremely silly, get bad press for but in heartland New Zealand the vast majority would be cheering him and that’s a fact.

    Believe me most New Zealanders I know are heartily sick of empty headed, mealy mouthed virtue signaling gestures.

    He should speak, directly, plainly but politely to New Zealand on every contentious issue expressing his honestly held opinions forthrightly and then he will look like a leader we can trust (even when we might disagree with him on some matter).

    He is never going to win the press gallery over – thats a fact

    And that is my thoughts on the matter

  2. pdm says:

    Well said Andre – I like your thinking on this.

    If only he would sharpen up his questioning of Ardern in the house. He seems (mostly) unable to lead her into a trap.

  3. Murray Roxburgh says:

    Bridges needs to become more independent of thought.
    Take a leaf from Donald Trump and treat the agenda driven socialist imbued Media hacks with the disdain they deserve.

  4. Roj Blake says:

    Dog forbid that any NZ Politician can develop an independent mind. Blindly following the uStates, what a great patriotic gesture.

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