Kate Hawkesby: Bridges must be licking his chops after Muller's performance

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 May 2020, 9:29AM
Photo / RNZ

Kate Hawkesby: Bridges must be licking his chops after Muller's performance

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 May 2020, 9:29AM

Simon Bridges must be licking his chops.

If the Nats new team thought a new leadership would mean a cake walk to September, they’re sadly mistaken.

Not only are they up against Jacinda, they’re up against a relentlessly unforgiving media who're obsessed with the current government. The Nats don’t just have to cut through the government, they have to get past the media first and they’ve formed a pretty formidable impenetrable wall around Saint Jacinda.

Just ask Simon Bridges how tough that is to pierce.

I’d hazard a guess Simon spent more time battling the bad press and the shabby headlines than he did the government.

The media at the moment, is doing the government’s job for them.

Let’s start with the MAGA hat – how that got traction as a news story for 3 days beggars belief, but Muller addressing it and indulging it probably didn’t help. His fatal move – acquiescing and backtracking by day 3. Harden up. If you’re going to give in to the luvvies and the perpetually offended within minutes of taking over as the allegedly 'strong' new face of leadership, you’ve already lost.

The fact Muller allowed the media to stir it up and call it a.. “controversy”.. shows his naivety.

He now says the hat’s packed into a box and won’t be back out.

Hopefully he hasn’t packed his nerve into that same box.

Then there’s the media’s other “controversy” ..quote unquote.

That of Nikki Kaye trying to defend the diversity of the party’s front bench. “Diversity blunder” they called it.

First of all, why are you trying to defend it? Who questioned the front bench’s diversity in the first place?

A Labour MP known for not much more than attacking stuff and sounding off.. Willie Jackson.

The best policy there? Ignore him.

Or give the slap down Judith Collins did, 'is there a problem with me being white?' Give it the weight.

If you were, say, the Green Party, hell bent on diversity, gender splits and assigning people jobs based on quotas, then sure, get upset about diversity. If you’re a party known for putting the best person in the job, not because they’re male or female or Maori, but because they’re the best person for that job, then see the Willie Jackson jibe for what it is.

Sadly Muller and Kaye freaked out, engaged it, got it wrong, made dicks of themselves, turned the whole thing into a comedy.

If this new lineup are going to fall over themselves responding to everything the government or media throws their way, then it’s just Simon Bridges 2.0. It’s an easy trap to fall into. You’re being baited, you’re being played, but you’ve got to get savvy.

This is why Jacinda is so hard to beat. Politics is not just about cred and nous, it’s about street smarts.

She has it in spades, this lot don't.