The fat grey tout jumped over the slippery blue fox.
I’ve had the opportunity to interact with Simon Bridges in the past. More so than any other National Party leader.
He’s actually a very interesting and charismatic chap face to face. He is far more pragmatic than his socially conservative public persona and far less dogmatic than he’s desperately trying to paint himself.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s ruthless as well. Chris Trotter captured his services towards the corporate rule of NZ perfectly with this excellent blog…
That Bridges was willing, coolly and efficiently, to curtail New Zealanders’ protest rights, would not have gone unnoticed by his political patrons (among whom were John Key and Steven Joyce). They had set him a test – and he had passed it with flying colours. In order for Bridges to become a successful statesman, his political peers needed to be convinced he had it in him to put his most cherished ideals to the sword without flinching.
…he’s done enough social damage to prove he can be leader of the National Party. I’m not suggesting he wouldn’t break children’s hands for political gain, but he wouldn’t chop them off.
The problem is however, that while he is ruthless and clings awkwardly to the dead old mantras mouthed by the TalkbackRight…
…and ended up sounding 18th Century on Abortion rights, he’s a better person than what the National Party base are foaming for.
The reason Simon Bridges is not succeeding as National leader is because he’s actually not as spiteful and nasty as the party electorate want him to be!
I’ve blogged a bit about the culture inside the National Party recently because it fascinates me and I think the Left need to get outside their immediate social media bubble to appreciate how toxic the Right are becoming.
The fury with which many still feel at being ‘cheated’ is real. The rage that everything they culturally feel intimated by is suddenly calling the shots gives genuine insight into the fragility a nation of neoliberal individuals creates.
Watching the Northcote by-election was instructive with National Party supporters screaming ‘Communist’, and ‘Go home to Russia’, at the Labour candidate.
In a world with Netflix, can you imagine the effort required to go to a bloody by-election debate mid week to scream juvenile abuse? It takes an enormous amount of bitterness to do that.
And that’s what National are now, a Party supported by bitter individuals who want leaders who strike with the same spiteful resentment they want to strike with.
Simon is touring the country trying to get to know National voters.
I think he’s wasting his time.
They know him and he’s not mean enough to fulfil their cravings for vengeance.
Simon Bridges either embarks upon an internal cultural reformation of civility and generates policy that challenges party status quo and aims to pull a middle class who will be dizzy from petrol price cost increases, mortgage hikes and a public service that isn’t helping over to a milder less angry National Party or he just waits until Judith slides her knife into his back to the cheering of National Party members.
Simon has inherited a throne that his support base want to see butcher their enemies, he either becomes that monster for their continued support or he leads them in a different direction, all the while with Judith waiting like a brain hungry zombie in a nursery.