Muller off to a shaky start | The Jackal

26 May 2020

Muller off to a shaky start

We all know that many so-called journalists and political commentators in New Zealand work directly or indirectly for political parties or for certain political factions. This was obviously the case when pundit for hire Matthew Hooton launched a campaign against then National Party leader, Simon Bridges, over their numerous polling failures. Despite a clear conflict of interest that wasn’t declared, Hooton attacked Bridges relentlessly on TV, online and in print media, which clearly led to Todd Muller attaining the National Party leadership by only one vote.

Matthew Hooton
While Hooton was launching an extensive dirty politics campaign that will likely damage National further in the polls, Muller was travelling the width and breadth of the country during lockdown to promote his secretive coup against the National Party leader.

Despite his personal travel expenses costing taxpayers nearly $35,000 and direct questions being repeatedly asked, Muller continued to deny that he was after the leadership position right up until National MP’s were recalled to Wellington for a vote of no confidence in Simon Bridges.

Of course the mainstream media have largely ignored these problematic issues with Muller’s rise from obscurity. Over the last week, most interviews have provided Muller with a way to promote himself while attacking the Government unchallenged. Despite the bloody mess created by Bridges being repeatedly stabbed in the back, the mainstream media is generally still singing Muller’s praises.

That unbridled media support was prevalent until last night when Jack Tame (to his credit) asked Muller some direct and pertinent questions on Q+A.

Muller is clearly another disaster of a political leader for National. If he cannot even provide a viable alternative economic plan, National cannot hope to regain any of the ground they've lost under Simon Bridges. In fact by attacking the Government over things they’re already doing well, Muller looks entirely ignorant and out of his depth.

Then there’s the proudly displayed MAGA hat, which Muller initially tried to dismiss because he apparently has some other US political paraphernalia. Whether Muller is unaware or actually supports what the MAGA hat stands for is still uncertain, however his advisors have clearly seen that such adulation of Trumpian politics will be a problem for him here. The MAGA hat, which is a symbol of white supremacy, won't be on display in Muller’s new office.

What isn’t in question is the whiteness of National’s front bench. If the disproportionate selection of Pakeha MP's wasn’t intentional, then we must conclude that National is entirely inept in terms of choosing proportional representation. But if that wasn’t bad enough, Muller and National’s new deputy leader Nikki Kaye then falsely claimed that Paul Goldsmith, at number five on National's list, is in fact Maori. Of course the mainstream media have just presented this as some sort of harmless joke. Oh how we laughed!

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

National leader Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye's blooper over Paul Goldsmith

National leader Todd Muller and his deputy Nikki Kaye made a blunder today in defending the diversity of their shadow cabinet by suggesting that Paul Goldsmith was Māori when he is not. 
The pair were talking to reporters before going into their first caucus.
Kaye mentioned that Goldsmith was Ngati Porou and that they had three Māori in their shadow cabinet: Goldsmith at No 5, Paula Bennett at No 13 and Shane Reti at No 17. 
Muller then confirmed in answer to a question that Goldsmith was the only Māori in the party's top 12.

If Muller and Kaye don’t even know the lineage of their fellow MP’s, how can they be trusted to run the country? If Muller doesn’t understand the significance of a MAGA hat, how can we trust that he has consideration for New Zealand’s cultural diversity? If Muller doesn’t actually know what the Government is already doing, how can we take his opposition seriously? If Muller cannot provide any actual economic alternative to what is currently happening, why would we vote for change?

The only recourse Todd Muller and the National Party have is through robust policy initiatives, because Jacinda Ardern being both competent and highly popular isn’t going to change anytime soon. But unfortunately the blue "team" is completely failing in that area as well. There is in fact no effective opposition to the Government at the moment.

Perhaps the September election won't come soon enough for the National Party, so they can reconsider their choice in leadership for what will soon no longer be the largest political party in parliament.