Todd Muller has his precious, he’s treacherously wrestled away the leadership from the first Māori leader of the National Party to reassert white male Farmer dominance once and for all.
Driven by the fear of unemployment, Muller’s political cavalcade of self interest masquerading as ambition is a reminder that these National MPs would have been pushing aside children to buy seats on lifeboats as the Titanic sank.
Muller’s mix of socially conservative values alongside the most weakened climate crisis legislation possible alongside his naked faith in free market capitalism makes him a sort of neoliberal throwback, like a taller Milton Friedman without the charm.
Such an enormous reset of the Political landscape creates many winners and losers.
White male privilege: Right off the bat, Muller has come out and said he expects to be the Prime Minister in September. Really? After all Jacinda has done in 3 years, after steering us through terrorism, volcanism and the almost bubonic plague, an unknown Backbench MP just thinks he’s going to stroll into the Prime Ministership of NZ because, you know, the boys-are-here-now-love-pop-into-the-kitchen-and-get-the-kettle-on-eh-the-men-need-to-chat styled sensibilities? Muller has done NOTHING other than driving a knife into his previous Leader’s back. The balls to roll up and state that within 4 months, an invisible nobody like him will beat a Prime Minister who is a phenomena and has attracted political loyalty through gratitude borders on the out right delusional.
Death Cult Capitalists: They have truely struggled in selling their death cult mantra to force the slaves back to work during the pandemic, but in Muller they have the exact right blend of stern headmaster who knows what’s best for you combined with open eyed free market sociopath. Muller is small business morality mixed with free trade ethics.
Matthew Hooton: The four things Hooton has repeatedly said in his columns and media platforms is that the Auckland Port needs to move north, Jacinda Ardern’s Government was on the perpetual verge of collapse, leadership rumours against Simon Bridges and that the Auckland Port needed to move north. Now I just suspected that Hooton had property north of Auckland that would be very profitable if the Port moved, but his constant push against Bridges, him suddenly disconnecting his Twitter account and rumours swirling that he has a job in the new Muller team all suggest a grotesque conflict of interests that Radio NZ and the NZ Herald will have to explain.
NZ First: With Muller opening the door to NZ First again, they are suddenly politically relevant. Might get over 5% if enough dumb National voters think this means anything, but the trouble is Winston is heading towards conflict with China where as Muller is a gleeful slave to our Chinese Overlords. Could cause problems on the election campaign.
China: Our Chinese Overlords are peaceful and full of harmony for their new leader of the National Party.
ACT: With Muller doing the family values routine with a promise of less teeth in the campaign the hard right of the National Party will turn to ACT as their voice for Trumpian crazy.
Family Values: Muller cleverly uses the word ‘family’ as a means of exclusion. It’s the perfect dog whistle, when he says ‘family’ his supporters know its them and not the ‘others’.
Selfish Cowardice and naked ambition: This coup was driven by National Backbenchers terrified they would lose their job. This isn’t some great re-ordering of National Policies, this is selfish cowardice by desperate people clinging onto their jobs and sense of power. National MPs have all the ethics of hungry piranha.
Farmers & Dairy Sunset Industry: Muller loves the Farmer so much he did everything he could to water down the meaningless Carbon Neutral legislation to maybe do something about climate change in 30 years. Despite these industries being sunset ones the moment synthetic meat and dairy are perfected, we can see Muller continuing to prop up these extinct dinosaurs with all the passion of Creationists denying evolution.
Paula Bennett: After the draconian venom she spat at beneficiaries, no one will mourn her passing, but it is a painful reminder to Paula that National used her to bash the beneficiaries but they were never prepared to allow a solo mother to actually stay inside the Leadership team a second longer than her usefulness ended.
Social media culture war: Simon had set in place a social media team who were going to play to culture war fracture lines on Facebook, but that’s not Muller’s style, so expect a much less robust social media campaign.
Judith Collins Leadership aspiration: If Collins had any leadership aspirations left, she would have backed Bridges, allowed him to die at the election and taken him out the day afterwards. Judith has no more Leadership aspirations, that’s why she backed Muller. Expect to see a lot of Chinese business deals to be launched.
Climate Change: Muller is the man who managed to water James Shaw’s meaningless climate change legislation into an even more pathetic nothingness. Muller will entrench the interests of polluters, not challenge them.
The first Māori leader of the National Party – Simon Bridges: Was National ever really that comfortable having a Māori battler as leader? Sure Simon had the ambition the free market rewards, but he didn’t have the white old boy contacts.
Labour’s Cabinet: Muller has an almost Hooton level political eye for weakness and has clicked that attacking Jacinda is hopeless, but to focus on the shallow talent puddle of the Cabinet is a smarter attack line, which is another reason why Labour needs an urgent reshuffle in Cabinet.
If the answer is Todd Muller, you’ve asked the wrong question. Simon didn’t get the fundamental psychological change of the electorate so came across as tone deaf, National could have been led by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Blue Eyed Blonde Jesus and they would still be in the low 30s.
Muller is a free market believer, he represents the entrenched political interests of the National Party, pushes meaningless climate change legislation so that he can pretend to have dealt with the issues the climate crisis demands of us and is beholden to our Chinese Overlords.
His socially conservative play to a definition of Family that includes through its exclusions and the morality of Small Business owners represents an enormous step backwards politically, socially and economically for New Zealand.
Muller’s leadership is a knee jerk reaction, a cultural gag reflex that comes from becoming politically irrelevant, Muller draws in National supporters and no one else beyond that gated community of voters.
Todd Muller is all about ‘Making National Great Again’ without the burning crosses Trump inspires. It is a message that will solidify National vote, but the desperation it brings and his likely crucifixion in the debates up against Jacinda will see Labour win an outright majority.
Muller is 1950s New Zealand in the year 2020. Hooton’s ambition has bitten off more than Muller can chew.
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