You know you are screwed when media start analysing your replacements despite claiming you are safe

You know you are screwed when media start analysing your replacements despite claiming you are safe

Red Claire analyses  the pros and cons of various candidates to replace Bill English:

Judith Collins:
Pros: Definitely has the ‘mongrel’ required for Opposition and the ambition to match it. Not squeamish about tackling Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern where others might hold their punches. Has support in National circles as one of its right wing.

Cons: Has some political baggage and is polarising. May not be able to secure confidence of whole caucus – carries the risk of dividing caucus.

What a stupid statement. Who in politics does not have baggage? If they don’t then I don’t want a bar of them, they are too puritanical.

Simon Bridges
Young enough to be ‘new generation’ change but experienced enough to know what he’s doing. Well versed on the economy and regions. Aggressive in Opposition. Would be first Maori Prime Minister if he made it that far.

Cons: Strong accent, wears ambition too openly and treads fine line between holding government to account and being obstructive for the sake of it. Opinion of him is divided in caucus.

Plus he failed in trying to politely edge Bill out. His team was indiscrete and he was even worse. His attempt to emulate John Key on Campbell Live was cringeworthy.

Mark Mitchell
Pros: Former security contractor in Iraq is likely the only politician who has shot at other people, but is well-liked and even tempered. Works hard on relations with media and other politicians.

Believes National should mend bridges with NZ First – and is one of the best placed to do so. No political baggage.

Cons: Intellectual rigour unknown, not yet seen as a heavyweight. Low public profile. Has been tested under fire literally – but not yet in politics. Then again, neither were John Key or Jacinda Ardern

Any one who went toe to toe with Viktor Bout, Muqtada al-Sadr and Joseph Kony…and lived to talk about it isn’t going to care a bit about silly sledges from the Labour party. He knows what being under fire in a siege is all about, he’s lived through two of them.

Amy Adams
A steady hand with brains and a measured approach. Was one of former PM John Key’s favourites. Impressive in her ministerial portfolios.

Cons: Low profile in Opposition and may struggle with the likeability factor. Is also yet to show if she has the ‘mongrel’ required for the job. May be consigned to good deputy material.

Arrogant, has a belief in herself that exceeds her abilities. Has got baggage Labour knows all about and are itching to use. Not well liked in caucus. Her upside down smile is off-putting and her close links to the nasty side of Dirty Politics inside National will harm her.

Jonathan Coleman
Combative, which is good for Opposition. Not ideological and showed guts standing for the leadership before.

Cons: Has little support and is unlikely to build it. Not popular enough in caucus or the wider public.

He was not happy with the ascension to the top job by Bill English, the stage managed march orchestrated by John Key, that ultimately ended in defeat for the National party.

Nikki Kaye
One of National’s socially liberal MPs, like Bridges Kaye represents change but has experience. High public profile, especially in Auckland. Knows her enemy well, having beaten Jacinda Ardern in Auckland Central. Has adjusted quickly to Opposition.

Cons: Socially liberal views could make National’s base nervous. Doubtful whether she could muster enough support to beat Bridges and Collins.

Wetter than the Pacific ocean, conceited and craps on everyone, even those who got her to where she is. She is very much the monkey climbing up the tree, where the monkeys above her see a smiling face and the monkeys below see an arsehole. Also a creature of Michelle Boag. Not sure how she is getting on for need for constant advice and consoling now Janet Wilson lives in the Hawkes Bay. She is quite literally in the wrong party. She’s so wet she could be a Green. Her constant boasting that she beat Jacinda Ardern by not even fronting for debates with her might be a valid strategy in the sopping wet liberal seat of Auckland Central but it won’t work going head to head with the Prime Minister.

Not a bad summary of potential leaders from Red Claire, it shows how much talent there is in National. Imagine trying to put a list like that together for Labour.

However, National need to think hard about who is actually popular enough to give them the kind of 13 point bounce Jacinda gave Labour.

Who can look into the TV camera and be liked?

Who can come across as empathetic?

Who can connect with the voters by showing they understand the struggles of daily life for the vast number of voters, not the whingers, bludgers and moaners?

Who can actually do what is the single most important thing any National leader can do, lead National into government?

Who can do a deal with NZ First to get to 61 votes in Parliament?

Lets stop pretending that the leadership contenders here are the next coming of John Key, and start thinking critically about who can actually appeal to the voters, and potential coalition partners.


-NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.