Wanganui Chronicle editor: Why does Bill stay on?

The Wanganui Chronicle editor has some brutal advice for Smug Bill:

It is hard not to feel sorry for Bill English.

There he was this week having delivered his “state of the nation” address, but all the interest was in just who was trying to topple him as National Party leader.

He staunchly fended off the rumours of an impending coup, as he may well have to do many more times over the coming months until the game is up.

I wonder, how did that all happen?

Stepping into the shoes of the remarkably successful John Key was always going to be a challenge, but it was one he handled better than could have been expected, desperately trying to squeeze himself out from under the former prime minister’s shadow.

On election night, September 23, with an impressive 56 seats in the bag, he was paraded, arms aloft, as a winner. Three-and-a-bit weeks later he was a loser.

Life’s not fair, and that goes for politics even more. It’s a dirty business — just ask Winston Peters.

Or me.

Bill’s socialist policies, his dour but practical approach, his worthy track record as finance minister … all left in the shade by the radiant smile of Jacinda Ardern, aspirational and charismatic in a way he could never be.

It was his relentless decency against Jacinda’s relentless positivity.

I don’t know why people call Smug Bill decent. Anyone who knows him knows that isn’t true… even remotely true.

There is no reason to think things will change. Jacinda does “caring” much better than Bill. It will take a significant stuff-up by Labour to make him a contender again.

I assumed he would resign when the new coalition government was announced. But no.

Why stay on? Surely there’s plenty for him to do down Dipton way … does he really need the job? As a two-time election loser, this verges on the masochistic.

The only reason he visits Dipton these days is not to make Mary happy.

National need a bright, shiny — young — new face to tarnish Jacinda’s saintliness.

The murmurings that “Bill must go” will return and likely get louder. It seems he is just keeping the seat warm, while some up-and-comer waits to seize their moment.

I don’t think National needs someone shiny and young. I’m not sure there are too many Ritalin-sniffing youth-adjacent MPs in National’s caucus to compete with Jacinda. What is needed is a head cracker who isn’t afraid to front foot it with the snivelling, virtue-signalling Prime Minister.

National needs to bring back the biff.


-Wanganui Chronicle

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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.