RNZ deputy political editor, Craig McCulloch, says that Judith Collins leaves National’s leadership with the party in ruins.
No it’s not. The party is bigger than the leader and caucus and neither the caucus nor the party are anywhere near ruined.
On Friday I was with the capacity crowd for the party’s Southern Region’s Christmas lunch.
I can’t speak for everyone there, but the mood of those I conversed with was one of relief and cautious optimism.
Most of the media had been predicting the end of Judith’s leadership from almost the start of it.
For several reasons, some of her own making, some not, predictions that she would be replaced sooner, rather than later, were gaining more and more traction.
She precipitated her own demise and that has provided an opportunity that the whole party can grasp.
Being a member of course means I’m looking through blue tinted spectacles. It also means I have a better knowledge, and much more positive view, of many MPs than others get through the media and that gives me confidence that the party is far from ruin and is poised for resurgence.
Whoever the new leader is, the caucus will, with discipline, focus and unity, hold the government to account for its many failings; and, in consultation with, and input from, members, it will develop better policies for dealing with the many challenges New Zealand faces.
Caucus will have the support of the wider party and, as it hasn’t for more than three years, it will show it can not only run itself well, but is ready, willing and able to run the country.
The cost of doing anything else is far too high and would risk turning McCulloch’s assertion into a prophesy that came true.