Pressure building on weak Bridges

Simon Bridges has not ended the week in a strong position. He’s turned the quiet time of the parliamentary recess into a publicity nightmare that is now focused on his struggling leadership.

Peter Wilson at Red radio reports: Quote:

Mr Bridges’ grip on the National Party leadership has almost certainly been weakened by the disastrous press conference he called to explain why Jami-Lee Ross decided to go on leave.

The Botany MP will be away for several months dealing with what he described as “personal and private” health issues.

Inevitably, the media questioned Mr Bridges on whether it was in relation to the imminent release of the inquiry report on who leaked Mr Bridges’ expense claims.

It was Mr Bridges who decided to hold the inquiry and it has caused nothing but trouble for his party.

If there were seeds of doubt about Bridges judgment before among his MPs, they must have blossomed into full blown dismay that Bridges’ decision to order an inquiry keeps blowing up in his face,” wrote Stuff’s Tracy Watkins.

Tuesday’s train wreck of a press conference dealing with the abrupt departure of front bench MP Jami-Lee Ross must have only deepened their dismay.” End quote.

There is open talk amongst MPs and they are now wondering why they never hear about Bridges’ favourable ratings anymore. They are rumoured to be approaching -30%. Sensible journalists will ask Mr Bridges if that is true. When he says they aren’t, they should immediately follow up asking what they are then.Quote:

The NZ Herald’s Audrey Young, noting Mr Bridges had been a highly regarded and competent cabinet minister, asked the question: “Why is Simon Bridges making such a hash of the job of Opposition leader?

Mr Bridges called the press conference to shut down media speculation and ended up intensifying it. End quote.

Tits for hands?Quote:

Mr Ross, he said, was dealing with a sensitive and “potentially embarrassing” situation.

Mr Bridges subsequently said “embarrassing” hadn’t been the best word to use, but the damage was done. End quote.

Bridges showed weakness when he apologised. He is now exposed as vacillating and weak. The very things he was trying to accuse Jacinda Ardern of.Quote:

Parliament’s highly efficient rumour mill is, meanwhile, cranking out a leaker shortlist. If it was an MP acting alone, the others are being wrongly identified and that’s something they’ll be extremely unhappy about.

It’s not a good situation to have within a caucus, and it wouldn’t have happened if Mr Bridges hadn’t insisted on going ahead with the inquiryEnd quote.

Bridges was convinced it was Trevor Mallard, because he looked him in the eye and detected a falsehood. If that is true then God only knows how he ever did his job as a prosecutor. Quote:

At the time, he apparently thought it was more likely to have been someone outside the caucus and wanted to end any suspicions that an MP, or a group of MPs, were unhappy with his leadership.

It has backfired badly and now the speculation is firmly focused on the caucus. End quote.

It has backfired really badly. MPs are now talking about how many people are coming up to them each day complaining about Bridges, rather than a few each month. It is that bad. The truly sad thing is that Bridges did it all to himself and has no one else to blame but himself.


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