Mud sticks . . .

17/10/2018

Mud sticks to the hand that throws it and yesterday Jamie-Lee Ross left himself splattered with the muck he chucked at Simon Bridges and the National Party.

In making the accusations he did, he appeared to incriminate himself.

His lack of self-knowledge is confirmed by his determination to stand in the by-election he has triggered by resigning.

He had a majority of nearly 13,000 in last year’s election but that was under the National Party banner and the party vote was at a similar level.

I can think of only four MPs who have left their party and regained their seats.

For each of those there are others who resigned and failed to win the seat again but I’m struggling to name more them because without the party backing they lose and sink into obscurity.

The only way Ross could win would be if no other parties stood and supporters of them united to vote for Ross against the National candidate.

 

 


Still supporting Simon

16/10/2018

Why are some in the media saying the Ross saga is a threat to Simon Bridges’ leadership?

His expenses were leaked, he asked for an inquiry, the Speaker appointed someone to do one, cancelled it for no good reason, then secretly got one done anyway.

The PwC report didn’t find conclusive proof of who the leaker is but the evidence “points to Mr Ross”.

Bridges released the report and the caucus will meet to discuss it this morning.

None of this provides grounds to destabilise his leadership.

Even if Ross wasn’t the leaker his bizarre texts show he has ruled himself out of caucus.

If he has mental health issues, and those texts indicate he has, he should get the help he needs, but he should resign while he gets it.

Otherwise, I can’t see that caucus will have any choice but to expel him.

Rather than threatening Bridges as some in the media are forecasting, this will strengthen his leadership, and anyone I’ve spoken to in the party (admittedly a very small number) will support that.

Yes, his personal support in polls is reportedly low. That is inevitable for any leader of the opposition at this time in the electoral cycle.

Although there have been very few public polls, no-one who knows is disputing that National’s party support remains around the same as it was at the election.

Anyone who wants to challenge the leader when the party has that level of support doesn’t have the wisdom and sense to lead.

It might not be much fun being in opposition, but the road out of it is not paved with internal dissent and disunity under a revolving leadership.

Until this blip National was doing a very good job of being united, highlighting faults in the government – and there have been more than enough of them – and working on policy development in preparation for the election.

The decision for caucus is a no-brainer – expel the dissident, carry on united under Bridges’ leadership and earn the votes to return to government.

The alternative is to follow the bad example of Labour which left them wandering in the wilderness of opposition for nearly nine years.


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