Barry Soper: It's absurd to suggest Simon Bridges' lockdown criticism is politicking

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 23 Apr 2020, 10:55AM
Photo / File
Photo / File

Barry Soper: It's absurd to suggest Simon Bridges' lockdown criticism is politicking

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 23 Apr 2020, 10:55AM

COMMENT:

Who are they kidding?

"This is not a time for politicking" was the rebuke Grant Robertson levelled at Simon Bridges for daring to criticise the Government's extension of the lockdown, which begins its fifth week today.

In case we have forgotten, the general election is just five months away.

We still have the same government in place that brought us KiwiBuild, which ended up in matchsticks. And we are still led by the woman who assured us during the last election campaign that she was making a captain's call, that capital gains tax would be in statute books by now.

Forget the sex scandals - you probably already have - or the other tumultuous times this government has endured.

And that's not to forget we also have the same Opposition leadership in place who left us gobsmacked at the Jami-Lee Ross fallout.

It's difficult to think beyond Covid-19 and the four walls most of us have been confined to.

It would seem that's what's happened to some MPs in the National Party. Idle hands are the devil's tools, they say, and they've been sitting at home stewing, hearing stories of National support tanking and the likelihood that Ardern's a shoo-in.

So those hands have been picking up the phone, they're unhappy with their leader. But in reality those who are now venting have generally always been unhappy with Simon Bridges.

The Nats' leader makes a Facebook post and all hell breaks loose. Fact is, Bridges said what many of us have been saying; the Government was ill-prepared by not moving the country out of level 4 this week, which is surely stating nothing more than the bleeding obvious.

There's the inevitable Facebook pile-on and the message is pretty much the same: I've always been a National Party supporter but with Bridges leading the party they can kiss goodbye to my vote.

Typical of the social media vacuum, the validity of their claim can never be substantiated. But it's out there, Bridges is undermined the and media make a meal of it, even if the plate's empty.

It seems to be forgotten that he's the Leader of the Opposition and as such is not only entitled but is expected to oppose what the Government is doing.

To suggest that now is not the time for politicking when the fearful nation has been cowed and forced into submission is absurd. We still live in a democracy even though at times it might not seem like it.

Even though Jacinda Ardern may have done a good job preaching from the pulpit every day, she's not infallible.

And it's entirely possible, given the storm that's most certainly brewing, that she could just become the victim of our own success considering she's forever claiming that we're all on the same team.

 Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website