Kate Hawkesby: Simon Bridges' unfortunate invisibility

Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Tue, 19 May 2020, 8:25AM
National leader Simon Bridges (right) does not get the positive exposure PM Jacinda Ardern does at the moment. (Photo / File)

Kate Hawkesby: Simon Bridges' unfortunate invisibility

Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Tue, 19 May 2020, 8:25AM


The latest political poll says many things, but one of them I think might be, that we all have Stockholm syndrome.

We have fallen in love with our captor.

Think about the last two months…

Wall to wall unabashed unchallenged prime time coverage from one person, every day.

Pure unquestioned Prime Ministerial saturation.

And when she’s not on TV talking the Easter bunny and saving lives, she's doing Facebook lives from home.. Jacinda Ardern is an extremely savvy user of social media - she's way ahead of National on this.. in fact it appears she relies almost more on social media than mainstream media… who are so enamoured with her anyway it doesn't matter. 

And if she's not on TV at 1pm, or on radio stations in the mornings, or on Facebook, or the lead headline in every newspaper, then she’s got Clark at home tweeting out the cutesy family homey stuff, playing to the… “We’re real people just like you.." thing.

That.. 'I cut their hair with supermarket scissors' thing or whatever it was.

What's Simon got?

None of that.

No platform at all... no media support crew eagerly championing his every slogan.

No Facebook lives from inside Premier House with a toddler.

No social media savvy partner tweeting up a storm.

I’m surprised actually she hasn't gagged him like she did her ministers.

You’d think at some point she’d be like - Clark can you not? I’m drowning in publicity right now can you not grab headlines over the box dye and the cafe?  

Actually the media’s to blame for that too, they cannot get enough, they cannot breathlessly report fast enough his every tweet.

Stuff ran the box dye "expose" as a breaking news banner apparently.

I mean if that’s now what qualifies as breaking news, then we are actually all more sick than we think.

But add to the mix, a global pandemic - all that fear - what do people do in anxious times? Turn to leaders.

They become myopic - we can only see Jacinda.

And she's good. She has mastered the art of soothing communication in difficult times.

She's the warm blanket of reassurance we have all turned to.

Simon… or any opposition… is invisible.

Actually worse than invisible, they're actually attacked for even trying to be an opposition... how dare you.

How dare you question.

Not to excuse Simon's result, he doesn't wash with voters and that's for National to sort out.

But right now, we should actually be less worried about Covid and more worried about collective Stockholm syndrome.