Kerre McIvor: What can National do next?

Author
Kerre McIvor,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Nov 2020, 3:48PM
Shane Reti, Judith Collins and Gerry Brownlee. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Shane Reti, Judith Collins and Gerry Brownlee. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Kerre McIvor: What can National do next?

Author
Kerre McIvor,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Nov 2020, 3:48PM

What to do about National? 

At the moment, they are struggling to form themselves into a decent opposition far less an alternative government.  It's going to be hard - it's a bit like a poker playing sitting there with a couple of decent cards and a few duds.  You can shuffle them as much as you like but it's still not a winning hand.  Not the full house that Labour has. 

I feel for Judith Collins - she has just 32 MPs with which to re-energise and re-invigorate her party.  And that regeneration is not helped by the fact that two old dinosaurs within the party have refused to get their noses out of the trough and push off and find real jobs. 

Voters turfed out Nick Smith and Gerry Brownlee from their respective electorates but the two long serving MPS and former Cabinet ministers managed to get back to Wellington thanks to their places on the list. 

If ever there was a chance to bring new blood in, this was it.  These two could have and should have resigned and let fresher faces into the caucus because one thing is absolutely certain, if Nick Smith and Gerry Brownlee are the answer, people are asking the wrong questions. 

The announcement of the allocation of portfolios happens tomorrow and Judith Collins has made it clear that nobody apart from Shane Reti is safe. 

I think the National Party choosing to disembowel itself and eat its own entrails in public was the main reason why Shane Reti's majority was slashed - it's hardly just on his shoulders. 

But where does National go from here?  Judith Collins has said she will reward loyalty, talent and hard work.  I really don't think she has the luxury with such a depleted caucus of rewarding loyalty - talent and hard work must be the priorities in that order.  If you have to swallow a rat and appoint a sworn enemy then so be it. 

There's a whole crop of brand spanking new Act MPs who will be all wide eyed and bushy tailed and getting their bearings within Parliament so we can't really expect them to provide stiff opposition to the government straight out of the blocks.

The more seasoned National MPs will have to get to work almost immediately because by crikey, if ever a government needed to have its actions put under scrutiny, its this government. With its extraordinary majority which it may have earned through its Covid response and the personal popularity of the Prime Minister but which it should never have got based on its performance and delivery on policy.