Bill keeps failing because he’s the right guy at the wrong time

Bill English, loser, in 2002 and 2017

Poor old Bazza has taken pity on Bill.  If only Bill’s timing was better.

English was out of step with time when he had to face off against Helen Clark after she’d had just three years in Government. He was on a hiding to nothing and got a thrashing.

Timing looked as though it was finally ticking away in his favour in the run-up to this election until Andrew Little called time and the Jacindamania juggernaut took over, with time passing English by in a flash.

As it turns out the timing of John Key’s departure has dealt English another blow, given the events of the past week.

After he finally calls it quits and unless he can make it back as Prime Minister he won’t be eligible for the Prime Ministerial pension, currently at $52,000 a year for life, nor the new taxpayer-funded car after the last one’s done 60,000km, nor will he get free air travel if he’s going somewhere to talk about the old job. The perks are also passed on to the former PM’s wife once he departs this mortal coil.

But none of them will be available to Bill English, because he wasn’t in the job for two years. Jacinda Ardern will have no such trouble when she moves on, providing she can hold things together for the next term.

And timing hasn’t served him well as he heads the National Party into Opposition. The party will be scrambling to find more than $600,000, ordered by the High Court, because it used Eminem’s Lose Yourself in its 2014 election campaign. It’s turned out to be something of an omen for the Nats this time.

When the court decision came out it was as though National president Peter Goodfellow was in denial, putting out a press statement saying the judgment “found that the party in using the track did not act flagrantly or in a manner which justifies the party being further punished”. No mention of the $600K at all. Perhaps he didn’t think the media would read the judgment.

But then it’s been a tough week for National…

Welcome to the Jungle.   The problem is that National, like Helen Clark in her 3rd term, had convinced themselves of their natural right to rule.  This sets a mindset that blinded them to the possibilities that include the current coalition.

They didn’t work against it.  They had no answer for it.  They simply assumed that it could not happen.

In the end, sitting there having a good cry may be understandable, but you need to be honest with yourself and admit you’ve stuffed it up somewhere along the line.

Instead, National are celebrating as if they have won.

Sorry Bill, but timing or not, you had it in your hands and let it slip through your fingers.

The buck stops there.


– Barry Soper, Newstalk ZB

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