Garner on Bridges own goal

Duncan Garner doesn’t mince words with his column this week. Quote:

The National Party is tearing itself apart, limb by limb,  fingernail by fingernail, and the hard part is pretending everything behind the blue picket fence is in support of Simon and it’s all dandy.

Cause it ain’t. To pinch a word from Simon Bridges, it’s embarrassing. And it only has itself to blame. Face-palm central.

When Bridges launched that silly inquiry into himself, he then and there also took his first public death wish in front of the nation.

Wrong call, wrong time, wrong place. Be careful what you wish for. It might turn up something else previously secret. Add in Jami-Lee Ross and his personal issues to that mix and the roots have been laid for this to be a right old cluster.

Focus on what matters to voters. Voters find internal spats a turnoff, and they are never wrong in true democracies.

Mistake No 1 was going after itself when all National needed to do was watch incompetence in action by following the Government most days. National forgot why it was there. End quote.

Bridges went for the inquiry because he thought, from a look in the eyes of Trevor Mallard, that it was Trevor Mallard. He guessed wrong and now is going to fall because of his own poor judgment call. Quote:

The only winner was always going to be the fancy corporate suits pretending to be the sniffer dogs of state sending the invoice from hell for taxpayers to chew on  until they choked.

Wait till you hear how much it all cost. The clock stops next week on that front, when the results of the world’s most pointless inquiry ever will reveal … nothing of note.

Excellent. We are all the poorer for that. And Bridges is hoping the clock doesn’t stop on his leadership. Certainly his opponents within never thought it would turn this bad.

But imagine if they gave this much of a toss about things for the public good and in our interest.

The problem is that, no matter how hard National has looked, it has failed to finger the leaker. My understanding is the formal investigation has found no-one responsible for the leak. That’s right. Read it here first, but National and the power of an open chequebook could find no-one it can finger as being responsible.

The formal investigation into National’s little cluster-cake will be released as early as next week. Sadly for National, it comes away empty handed, apart from finding the many buried ghosts of past inquiries, where the boss went looking for a leaker only to find emotional baggage by the tonne and a hefty bill to be picked up by all of us. Send them your dirty laundry bill next time, and see if it’s paid. End quote.

If it comes back with nothing then Bridges is gone. Quote:

Bridges will, of course, say it was important. He’ll carry on moving his jaw, but all we’ll hear is this collective gnashing of teeth from inside a National Party that clearly made a call to make Simon look strong, but no-one workshopped this enough over a flat white and a whiteboard to realise no-one cared about his costly regional trip in the first place.

Heavens, in Northland, they’re still waiting for Simon’s first of nine one-lane bridges to be widened before they move on to the next thing. End quote.

The word is loads of people went to see the cut of the jib of the new fella and were disappointed that a P-Class turned up…and there was no jib. Quote:

National wanted to smoke out the culprit, but in the end it will this week find itself running from its own inquiry having scored an embarrassing own goal. 

It was a paranoid, twisted and stupid decision. Bridges’ travel bill story should have lasted as long as a pair of $2 Shop jandals.

We are nowhere near the truth, and when you add in the allegedly separate Jami-Lee Ross saga, confusion reigns.

But in the leadup to Ross’ messy leave on full-pay exit, the National Party endured 24 hours of crisis. Bridges faced more than just troubled waters as he negotiated Ross out of Parliament.

None of this is ever as it seems. Bridges has just had his worst week in the worst job in the business. Not that you’d know. On technicalities, he told me it wasn’t that bad. I then told him something that is not fit to publish.

Confidence has never been an issue, and he said to me: “Maaate, I bet I lead National into the next election. I promise you that.”

He’d hung up before I could say Jami-Lee Ross. End quote.

I bet he doesn’t. I do wonder what Garner told him though. Probably that he was fucked.


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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.

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