Mike Williams on the leadership race

Mike ‘Fat Tony’ Williams offers up his opinion on the National party leadership race:

At the time of writing there are three confirmed contenders; Amy Adams, Judith Collins and Simon Bridges.

The only nominee I haven’t met is Amy Adams, the MP for Selwyn since 2008 and an experienced minister in the Key/English Government where she was the Minister of Justice, Minister for Communications, Associate Minister of Finance, Minister for Courts and Social Housing, and Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand Corporation and Social Investment.

Unlike the other two contenders for the crown, Amy Adams had four MPs with her when she announced her candidacy and she appears to have more support in the National Party caucus than amongst the public at large.

Amy Adams broke a caucus agreement in an attempt to do what Bill English did when he became leader: force other MPs to declare allegiance and create a march. It failed. No other MPs declared, lending credence to the claims that caucus agreed to the process set out by Bill English. That is because Simon Bridges and his supporters and Judith Collins and her supporters are maintaining the integrity of the process set out by Bill English. It is now considered that Adams has lied about it and so has the whip.

As a keen observer of politics I can’t think of any success the 46-year-old Amy Adams has been associated with, and the only lasting impression I have of her is that she talks so quickly it’s close to gabbling.

If she does indeed turn out to have a majority behind her, the National Party will have a very big selling job.

Adams is trying to force an earlier vote. Bridges and Collins are resisting this, and sticking to the process outlined by Bill English.

I met Simon Bridges once at his old school, Rutherford High School, in West Auckland a few years ago.

He seemed pleasant enough but my lasting impression was of an accent so strong it almost amounted to an impediment in his speech which I found distracting.

We do have regional accents in New Zealand and Bill English was a classic example of the “Southlandic” dialect to which we became adjusted so perhaps this won’t matter.

Bridges is from the right of the spectrum, is against same sex marriage and likes drilling for oil. His attitudes may be an obstacle to his success amongst the urban liberal MPs and his tussle with Winston Peters in Tauranga in 2008 will not endear him to The New Zealand First Party, still National’s best chance of winning government in 2020.

In his early 40s, Bridges can argue that he amounts to the kind of generational change that might match the Labour Party.

People write off NZ First, but National should keep their options open regarding NZ First.

If I had a vote I’d support Judith Collins who I’ve met on several occasions and who I believe is the best Corrections Minister we’ve had in a long time.

In her late 50s, Judith Collins knows that, unlike her rivals, she’ll only get one shot at the big job so for that reason alone, she’s hungrier for success than the other two and more likely to go after Jacinda.

She already is. Neither Bridges nor Adams have even squeaked about the real enemy. Instead they have banged on about Maori issues and being “progressive”.

It’s quite possible that the winner in a couple of weeks will not be the person who leads National for the 2020 Election Campaign.

One drawback to National’s huge 56 member caucus is that if the party slumps in the polls, as usually happens to parties which lose office, many MPs will see their careers in jeopardy and look to change the Leader again.

That’s a good point. Paula Bennett is banking on that, and it sounds like she has secured an agreement from Simon Bridges for her to be his deputy. Bridges, of course, is too stupid to see the low-rat cunning of Bennett. She is banking on her belief that any of the three contenders will fail and she will be in a perfect position to then step up and save the party.

I’m not sure National’s base would countenance a party led by those two, and not because they are both Maori (when they feel like) and with the deputy prone to stupid and pathetic stunts like this:

Note that Amy Adams and Nikki Kaye were also in that car. In my view, any of those four idiots are distinctly unsuitable to lead anything.

 

-HB Today


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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.

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