Who will replace Bill English? | The Jackal

3 Aug 2017

Who will replace Bill English?

The real reason the National party is crapping their daks about Labour’s change in leadership isn’t just because Jacinda Ardern has hugely increased moral, it’s because National will also have to change leaders in the not too distant future.

Bill English has about as much personal appeal as a wet blanket, and National’s support will continue to slide with him at the helm. Even if the National party manages to retain power this election they will be looking to get someone who can foot it with the highly astute Ardern.

But who does the National party have to replace English? Judith Collins has credibility issues and also lacks appeal. Brownlee and Joyce have the old male syndrome working against them and Simon Bridges is simply not sharp enough. Until recently the National party was promoting Paula Bennett, however her leadership prospects now look to be over.

Today, 1 News reported:

Retired judge warns public after Paula Bennett threatens lawsuit over online post

According to a cease-and-desist letter sent to a North Island man by lawyers acting for Ms Bennett, a post and video were published on June 30 containing "material highly defamatory of the Deputy Prime Minister".

The post has been widely circulated and the letter states it has already had more than 5400 shares.

If that’s the case there’s not much point in trying to hide it.

The lawyers acting for Ms Bennett say that further action could be requested in future in terms of remedial action and also say a restraining order could potentially be requested.

The letter emphasises Ms Bennett's "categorical rejection" of all claims made in the post.

No corroborating evidence supporting the claims, which cannot be repeated by 1 NEWS, has been produced by the man.

I suspect the evidence to corroborate the claims will be held by WINZ.

Ms Bennett's lawyers copied media organisations on the letter to the man warning them off publishing the accusations.

If the allegations are baseless, Paula Bennett should front the issue. She will be doing her career more damage by trying to quell media and public interest using an outdated law that no longer applies to the digital age.

However if there is some truth to the claims, Bennett really only has one choice… and it makes her look guilty as sin. There’s even a protest planned for outside of her electorate office next Monday and a petition to have Bennett investigated.

The contrast between Bennett’s heavy-handed approach and Metiria Turei’s honesty couldn’t be more apparent. There will be similar contrast between Ardern becoming the new leader of the Labour party and English leaving his unelected position. But who on National’s front bench has the ability to match Ardern’s rising star? It appears the answer is nobody!