Why the media beat-up on Simon Bridges?

When you have the most incompetent government in decades, it really surprises me that the media pack seems to be closing in on the leader of the opposition for incompetencies that are, in the overall scheme of things, relatively minor.

Yes, I know a large number of readers wanted Judith Collins as the leader, and that may happen yet, but the way the media are decrying Simon Bridges and describing him as a ‘dead man walking’ is just way over the top for the things he has done.

Sure, it wasn’t smart to insist on an inquiry into who leaked his travel expenses, but he probably found himself between a rock and a hard place. If he had done nothing, he would have been seen as weak. What he did was unfortunate, as it has been dragged out for weeks, with speculation on the identity of the leaker still being rife.

But is that really as bad as an MP physically assaulting one of her staff and the Maori caucus all standing by her, thus effectively condoning workplace abuse? No one has called Meka Whaitiri a ‘dead woman walking’ so far, have they? No journalist is calling for her resignation from Parliament because of the way she treats her staff.

Here is the latest in a long line of anti-Simon Bridges articles, designed to destabilise him even further. quote:

Winston Peters says Simon Bridges will not last until the election.

Wishful thinking with a touch of hyperbole.

But I suspect Bridges will never be Prime Minister.

There is no suggestion he is finished just yet. His caucus remain loyal and there is no hint of a leadership challenge. end quote.

Winston Peters also said he would abolish the Maori seats and cut immigration by half and they were things he had some control over. Anyone who listens to anything Peters says is a fool. quote:

But the brouhaha over who leaked National’s travel expenses was a crisis of his own making.

And his handling of Jami-Lee Ross’ sick leave was excruciating.

Both events show he lacks two skills vital to holding the premiership: strong leadership and smooth communication. end quote.

At least he isn’t just all talk, like Jacinda, who seems to have completely forgotten how she said the government would house all homeless people this winter. Why isn’t the media all over that? quote:

On paper, he looks great: young, photogenic, Maori, real world and ministerial experience. But his media appearances lack weight and authority and he often gets tangled up in word salads.

And the harder he tries, the less authentic he appears. And he’s a bit too slick to play well in the rural heartland.

But, while Bridges lurches from one gaffe-laden press conference to the next, his MPs are making the most of opposition. end quote.

‘His media appearances lack weight’ when we have the flakiest, most lightweight prime minister of all time in residence at the moment? quote:

Two years out from an election, the policy work has started. Business leaders, NGOs, experts are coming regularly to the Parliament’s opposition corridors for consultation on climate change, conservation, health, agriculture.

Winston is very wrong when he says the National party is “moribund.” They are not making the mistakes of Labour’s shambolic, successive terms on the Opposition benches.

And the issues they champion are getting cut-through: the increasing costs of living; government-by-working-group; ministerial scandals. end quote.

Most of those issues are being given very gentle treatment by the media. Why are they not screaming about the effect of rising fuel prices on those on low incomes? Why are they not up in arms about all those ‘redacted’ documents released as a result of OIA requests?

Crickets… quote:

And, without any viable coalition partners, they need a charismatic figure at the top.

The name that keeps cropping up in certain circles is Air NZ boss Christopher Luxon, seen as the ‘next’ John Key. (What, you didn’t think Shane Jones’ attacks were motivated solely by concern for air passengers!?). end quote.

Christopher Luxon? He isn’t even in politics. How silly can this woman be? The last time I looked, he was another Jacindaphile, hanging on to her every word as she formed yet another working group, this time to improve business confidence.

I will admit that Bridges did not handle either the issue of the leaked expenses or Jamie-Lee Ross’s departure on medical leave very well. He could have done better on both counts but that doesn’t make him a ‘dead man walking’. Marama Davidson can hold a press interview about increasing welfare without the foggiest idea of how much her proposals would cost, and no one is describing her as a ‘dead woman walking.’

I think it is time the media made an effort to hold the government to account. Writing fluff pieces about Jacinda meeting Anne Hathaway and possums at Premier House just doesn’t cut it.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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