Judith Collins – she brought out the worst in us

27
1804

I asked someone today what they think when they hear the name Judith Collins. Nastiness was the answer and I think this is how she will be remembered, not only by her political opponents in Labour but by a big chunk of her National Party colleagues.

Judith Collins has defined her political career with negativity through attacks on those she saw as enemies. 

She won’t be remembered for pushing or championing any particular policy on any issue because she didn’t. Instead her political career is associated with appealing to the baser instincts of conservative New Zealand. She gained media coverage, and lots of warm applause at National Party conferences, when she was beating up on beneficiaries, gang members or boy racers. She loved the limelight associated with “punching down” – picking on the marginalised, low income families whose lives had been screwed over again and again by successive Labour and National governments.

Picking on the victims of government policy is cheap and nasty politics. And behind the scenes she was much the same with her intense political relationship with Cameron Slater as exposed in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics.

She loved the sport of politics, not the substance. She seemed bored with policy and her eyes only lit up when she was on the attack – hitting out at someone or some group she was determined to take down. It seemed always personal.

She was tribal National without a coherent, or in fact any, vision for what the country could be. This is a bit surprising given her political idol – the UK’s Maggie Thatcher – always had a clear policy direction to go with her personal vindictiveness. Thatcher drove neoliberal change to enrich the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us but Aotearoa New Zealand already had these policies in place well before Collins was elected. Perhaps Collins thought there wasn’t much left to do.

She loved Thatcher’s style but had no politics to go with it.

In a column last year I described her as a typical low-rent conservative and looking back I think I was being too kind to her. Even in her last toss of the dice in trying to derail Simon Bridges before he could challenge her leadership she was venal and unprincipled.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

She brought out the worst in us and if we could learn a lesson from that it would be her most important political legacy.

 

 

 

27 COMMENTS

  1. “She loved the sport of politics, not the substance. She seemed bored with policy and her eyes only lit up when she was on the attack – hitting out at someone or some group she was determined to take down. It seemed always personal.” You have absolutely captured the essence of this woman. Great article! The expression ‘nasty piece of work’ was coined for Collins. In many ways, she shares personality traits with an American lump of lard who traded reality television and Beauty Contests for the WH in the most egregious blunder any nation could make. Has NZ dodged a bullet or will National present another despicable candidate in the future?

  2. Howabout you throwing your hat in the ring for the leadership of National on Tuesday? You are far better than anyone they have got John, and you express my thoughts about Judith so well.

  3. “She won’t be remembered for pushing or championing any particular policy on any issue because she didn’t.”

    Sums her up perfectly.

  4. I find it funny how the people on the left believe that Judith Collins is this super duper powerful person, who is so super duper powerful that she made people do stuff. Never mind that she is about as super duper powerful as was Cunliffe – if ever anyone still remembers this beige person who once wore a red scarf.
    In the meantime, we now have a second second class of citizens, courtesy of the Labor Party and her handmaiden the Green Party. Soon we will have more Castes in NZ then they have in India.
    Judith Collins did not bring out the worst in us, the worst in us is always there barely under the surface, barely hidden and can be brought out by anyone, one just needs to barely scratch the surface. She is however a good excuse for the left to use when the left don’t want to discuss things that should be discussed, like the emergency use for laws, like the hate bill that ain’t a hate bill but a conversion bill on steroids, the NZD 5 major increase that will stop childhood poverty in its footsteps totally, like the new two tier unemployment scheme and so on and so forth.
    But continue to discuss the women in NZ how for the last years had no power, no influence. After all we would not want to discuss the people warehoused in motels, the people depending on charity to eat A square meal a day, the people not getting healthcare because our stellar government has forgotten to invest, train and appropriate resource our healthcare sector and prepare it for Covid and for standard healthcare during times of Covid, our kids that have fallen out of school thanks the bullshittery that is learning from home in over crowded homes with no internet and so on and so forth.
    The left is as bad as is the right when it comes to ‘divide and conquer’. In fact, they mirror each others, and citizens suffer.

    from Aldous Huxley:

    “The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of mistreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”

    Lets continue to discuss the women who was never anywhere near the lever of power so that we don’t have to discuss the people who are pulling that lever, in the dark, silently and without any scrutiny.

    • Sabine. Agree with your general gist here, but there are many genuinely good people who are not concealing something horrid under the skin. Too few – if any now – engage in politics, and the msm rarely do the job that they’re meant to – at best they’re inclined to be vacuous sycophants, at worst, dunno.

      • I think this is absolutely true of MSM
        at best they’re inclined to be vacuous sycophants,

        Printing media releases from political parties as ‘news’ not enough investigative journalism going on by a country mile.

    • Seriously? Which point are you trying to make? Apart from contradicting yourself all the way through, and utilising an utter ignorance of the recent history of the behavior of the national party when in office, then I fail to see why you bothered…

    • Sabine, in the immortal words of Greta Thunberg, “How dare you” your comments are a load of bullshit & “Blah, Blah, Blah”?? And, is there a point to your mindless, verbal diarrhoea diatribe? Labour BAD? Check? National GOOD? Really? You have put the boot in the guts to Labour but would your hopeless & shambolic, petty bunch of squabbling imbeciles called the National Party, have done a better job during the last 2 years than Labour during a Global Pandemic? This motley bunch of backstabbing misfits run by the incompetent Judith Collins, couldn’t organise a piss up in a Brewery, we dodged a bullet with Labour & can count our lucky stars that National weren’t in Power when the Pandemic hit or we would’ve truly been up shit creek! Pathetic, but just keep holding the torch for the nasty Natz, with a bit of luck they will have completely self destructed themselves into Political oblivion by the next Election?

    • Sabine, in the immortal words of Greta Thunberg, “How dare you” your comments are a load of bullshit & “Blah, Blah, Blah”?? And, is there a point to your mindless, verbal diarrhoea diatribe? Labour BAD? Check? National GOOD? Really? You have put the boot in the guts to Labour but would your hopeless & shambolic, petty bunch of squabbling imbeciles called the National Party, have done a better job during the last 2 years than Labour during a Global Pandemic? This motley bunch of backstabbing misfits run by the incompetent Judith Collins, couldn’t organise a piss up in a Brewery, we dodged a bullet with Labour & can count our lucky stars that National weren’t in Power when the Pandemic hit or we would’ve truly been up shit creek! Pathetic, but just keep holding the torch for the nasty Natz, with a bit of luck they will have completely self destructed themselves into Political oblivion by the next Election?

    • Sabine. I’ll bat for you. JC comes across as a thoroughly unlikable person. Possibly corrupt. So what. Did she do or even have the opportunity to do the same amount of benign nothingness that all the so called nice labour people are achieving. What ever she’s been accused of that may have adversely affected NZlnd, this government has had 6 yrs to reverse. Nothing has changed. I believe Sabine has a point. Talk about identity politics. Is smiling friendly nice Jacinda any less destructive with her lack of change or achievements. That answer will depend on your politics which ever side you take. JC wasn’t great but neither is JA.

    • Yes, a fundamentalist book burning throwback is exactly the right fit for the colonial privilege party… Pretty much sums up the party that has actually been the biggest handbrake on NZ since the Brits were still happily disenfranchising anyone who wasn’t “their people”…

  5. Well said John. Collins, and those supporting her, have been prepared to risk the total melt down of National in their lust for power. This is something the National Party should be reflecting on when considering their futures within the party.

  6. The thing is, once you are a part of a system for too long, you do become institutionalised in your thinking to a degree and Judith is no exception. Had she focused more on policy, and the issues of the day, she and her party would have polled higher. To be fair, issues such as the covid-19 pandemic, the government’s new abortion laws, and Jacinda Ardern’s huge popularity as PM in her first term, all conspired to give Judith Collins limited airtime.

    As for Collins’ political idol, the former UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, a lot is to be said for lasting eleven and a half years in a leadership role amidst national turmoil and crisis, high unemployment, and strikes. The issues were actually there while Thatcher was still in opposition, although they weren’t being sufficiently addressed.

  7. National are a basket case because of power hungry and corrupt MP’s like Collins.
    Plenty here wonder why Labour and dare I say it ACT are so popular. The answer is simple, their MP’s are all united behind their respective leaders. They don’t have aspirations to knife their leaders.

  8. To me she struck an almost clownish figure at times, a nasty vindictive clown. She had an almost Muldoonish quality as well , – without the welfare state or even any Big Thinking. Well,… she had her shot at PM, and that didn’t last long. For all the Dirty Politicking and all the build up about how strong she was, she showed herself the opposite. Weak, underhanded, unscrupulous and not fit for purpose in these difficult times. She was merely a distraction.

    • Judith got the job when no one else was interested.
      Judith mistook it for endorsement.
      Judith believed her own hype, and the praise from her closed circle.
      Judith never accepted the polls.
      Judith would never change to fit, everything else had to bend.
      Judith just needed more time, but her clock had run out.

  9. Collins prospered and then suffered from her long-standing, mutually parasitic and symbiotic relationship with Cameron Slater, “whaleoil beef-hooked off the starboard bow!” Collins was the the public face of vile Dirty Politics.

    It’s good to see the back of her bile-infested leadership of the National Party. The MAGA cap scuppered the leadership of Todd Muller. Whaleoil put paid to Judith Collins’ leadership.

    Good riddance.

  10. Probably quite unintended but Judith demonstrated this week that far from women being equal in the workplace, they can never be. They are far too sensitive to cope with anything.

    That a baffoonish comment said in the presence of a female (not at her) could cause such lasting trauma 5 years later that literally ended careers could easily be seen to prove that females are best avoided in communication with anything other than necessary professional conversation, with witnesses to corroborate, and that communication kept to the bare minimum.

    Anything else may be misinterpreted to the detriment of all around!

  11. We have a lot of very nasty people in our country I see many daily when I am driving to and from work and there lack of care makes a mockery of our team of 5 million rhetoric.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.