Heather du Plessis-Allan: Have we ever seen such an epic own goal in politics?

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Nov 2021, 4:59PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Have we ever seen such an epic own goal in politics?

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Thu, 25 Nov 2021, 4:59PM

What the hell Judith Collins was thinking last night?  

Have we ever seen such epic own goal in politics?  

She tried to take out her biggest opponent in Simon Bridges, but she only ended up taking out herself. 

And let’s be clear, that is very much what last night was about, I reckon  

It was a desperate, dirty tactic to keep the leadership.  

She knew Bridges was going to try to roll her, it was an open secret around Parliament, he wasn’t even hiding it anymore  

The rest of us we were just waiting for it. 

And so, by the looks of things, she decided to try to kneecap him before he could.  

As he said she would do "anything to hold onto the leadership".  

But what’s weird, is that she thought it would work. 

Dragging up a half-arsed complaint from five years ago, pretending it’s more serious than it is, and then stripping him of his portfolios late on a Wednesday night without, by the sounds of things, even giving him much warning, if any.  

I think she genuinely thought she would get away with this  

She got away with knifing Nick Smith.  

She got away with knifing Todd Muller  

And after years of practicing dirty politics and playing dirty, I think she thought she would get away with this  And heck, maybe emerge as some sort of #MeToo hero.  

But she overplayed her hand badly, and the minute that statement came out last night, Judith set in motion the wheels of her own demise. 

Because, what she proved beyond any doubt last night was that nastiness and self-protection were more important to her than the National Party was.  

Labour was on the ropes yesterday. 

They were getting clobbered in the house, even by their own speaker, for rushing sweeping laws that are too important to rush. 

And they were getting nailed by the media for ruining Christmas by keeping the borders locked.  

And what Judith do?  

Instead of going hard on Labour and being a voice for all those Kiwis hurt by these decisions, she changed the subject.  

It was the worst example of self-indulgence and dirty politics that we’ve seen in a long time. 

What a mess.