The Jackal: 2018

14 May 2018

National Party train wreck

The National Party has gone through a number of major changes that in my opinion should be viewed as strategic blunders. Firstly Teflon John resigned under dubious circumstances, which likely cost them the 2017 election.

Then Bill English packed a sad knowing full well that National is down and out for the count. With a lack of renewal, the right wing simply aren’t able to compete with a resurgent Labour, Greens and NZ First coalition, and English could obviously see the writing on the wall.

Much of the decline is because National has worn out their credibility and their current leader, Simon Bridges, simply doesn't inspire any confidence. He's about as charismatic as a dead fish when trying to blame Labour for everything and initially even failed to gain a majority in their leadership race.

Obviously Bridges was chosen because of his age demographic being similar to Jacinda Ardern's and not because of any particular skill set. The usually biased media have also stopped going to Simple Simon for comment, mainly because he often cannot remember his lines properly. I mean does anybody actually "like" Whale Oil anymore? What a complete plonker!

You can tell there are already leadership issues within National as well, because of a lack of any effective narrative coming from within their ranks or from their media hacks. In fact much of their propaganda lately is actually undermining Simon Bridges' leadership, presumably to later promote someone like Judith Collins and a more radical right wing agenda.

After a failed leadership bid, Former Finance Minister Steven Joyce also resigned from Parliament. The Novopay debacle, a costly copyright infringement case, a flying dildo and the fictitious $11.7 billion hole just a few controversies Joyce will be remembered for.

On 5 March, Newshub reported:

Steven Joyce threatens Matthew Hooton and NBR with legal action

National's finance spokesperson Steven Joyce is threatening the National Business Review (NBR) and Matthew Hooton with legal action, Newshub understands.

On Friday, NBR published a column in which Mr Hooton was highly critical of Mr Joyce.

A source told Newshub that NBR received an "aggressive" letter about the column, which said it has until 5pm on Monday to retract or apologise.

The NBR's publisher Todd Scott says Mr Joyce won't be getting either a retraction or an apology.

He told Newshub if Mr Joyce is successful in launching legal action, NBR will subpoena a number of senior National MPs including Simon Bridges and Amy Adams.

Talk about a lack of media skills.

However the bad news wasn't over for the National Party. After more negative headlines about how degraded the public health system became under their watch, former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman also resigned.

On 23 March, Radio NZ reported:

Jonathan Coleman hangs up on hospital rot interview 
Mr Coleman announced yesterday he would be quitting politics to take up a role at Acuity healthcare.

He told Morning Report's Susie Ferguson he had not explicitly been told about the state of the Middlemore buildings. 

Ferguson: "That seems astonishing Minister, that if most people in Wellington at the ministry were aware of this, and the Counties Manukau chair knows about it, and the Health Minister doesn't, isn't that stretching incredulity to breaking point?

Dr Coleman: "No, it isn't actually, if people don't tell me I don't know."

Ferguson: "Why would people keep this from you though?

Dr Coleman: "I don't know, but this is not the topic of the interview so I'm a bit disappointed that once again Radio New Zealand ring up and say they want an interview on my exit from politics, and then make it about something else, but anyway, there you go."

Ferguson: "But isn't this quite interesting coming at this particular time when this is a problem that seems to be pretty significant at Middlemore, and you were the Health Minister for some time beforehand. You're saying you had absolutely no knowledge of this.

Dr Coleman: "No, hadn't been told about it. Anyway, have a great day, I'm walking with my kids and I'm leaving politics, so thanks very much Susie, bye bye."

Mr Coleman then hung up.

Perhaps Coleman was working for the private health sector all along?

The National Party is a train wreck full of factions, infighting and political lethargy. As more of National's rot is uncovered, an increasing number of rats will jump off their sinking ship.

The down side is that without an effective opposition in parliament Labour could very well sleep walk to victory in 2020. They may even become complacent about delivering on their election promises.

In the very least the new Coalition Government now has enough breathing space to undo some of the damage caused by nine long years of a socially and environmentally destructive National led government.