Barry Soper: Why Simon Bridges clearly needs to go to an optometrist

Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Thursday, 27 June 2019, 9:17AM
Simon Bridges seems to be playing with the truth about a meeting with Judith Collins. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Simon Bridges seems to be playing with the truth about a meeting with Judith Collins. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Now Simon Bridges clearly needs to go to the optometrist - or his most popular MP with the public Judith Collins has a doppelganger.

After flicking her infrastructure portfolio in his shadow Cabinet reshuffle to new Finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith, Bridges was asked how he was getting on with Collins.

"Good, fantastic," he smiled before adding, unsolicited, "we had dinner together last night."

Unless they both ate twice, which is unlikely, the claim they dined together will come as news to the crowd in the Beehive restaurant who clearly saw Collins having a yak with Shane Reti who, unlike his dinner companion, was unmoved in the reshuffle.

In fairness to Bridges he did run into Collins on her way out of the restaurant and they had a chat for no more than a few minutes.

It apparently was the first conversation they had since she lost her portfolio because she'd been out of town and out of touch when Bridges tried unsuccessfully to call her minutes before he made public his new line-up at 3pm.

The others who had their responsibilities changed were called the night before.

Collins had to make do with a call from the media.

At least she kept her ranking and her housing responsibilities to keep the blowtorch on Phil Twyford - if he survives Jacinda Ardern's deck shuffling today.

There was more confusion involving Bridges in Parliament's bear pit yesterday when he was having a go about how Labour's "year of delivery" had turned to dross.

Parliament's father bear Winston Peters was scowling at Bridges when he let launch: "That's old nordy, and that's old nordy because the economy's getting weaker and weaker and weaker, old nordy."

That got the old grizzly to his feet objecting to the ageist language, telling the Speaker if it was allowed to continue he might resort to the retort "about young stupid".

The only one who felt a little stupid at the end of the exchange was the likes of me, who thought Bridges was referring to the author of the infamous Black Budget Arnold Nordmeyer who was known by some as "old Nordy".

It seemed an appropriate label for Peters considering he was once the Treasurer in the Bolger Cabinet.

But it turns out Bridges was calling him "old naughty," which is apparently what Peters is referred to when it comes to the interpretation of the Chinese written characters used by some Chinese-language media outlets here.

It can apparently also mean old skin, old leather or old rascal - which surely would have been easier for Bridges to try to get his tongue around.


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