Someone texted me yesterday with a theory that Judith Collins is a sacrificial lamb.
They said she’s been after the National leader job for years, and that the Nats have resigned themselves to losing this election for a long time. I don’t think that part’s true actually.
I think most of them put up a fight, some are undermining things and making a hash of it, but in general I don’t think they gave up per se, I think they saw a viable fight in it, but perhaps felt knee capped by Covid and the dramatic response of this country to falling in love with Jacinda as a result of seeing her as some kind of medical hero for keeping Covid largely at bay.
Anyway, this texter said that the Nats have put Judith in as leader so she gets it out of her system, then she'll be rolled.
He claims Brownlee will be rolled too so the party can get on with a proper rebuild with Luxon and aim for victory in 2023. That’s this texter’s view.
There is an argument that actually if you’re going to lose an election this is the one to lose. But I said at the start of this week that I think the obvious winner here's Luxon, he’s getting the benefit of watching this all unfold, seeing exactly what not to do and who not to surround yourself with. And there's a very salient argument at the moment that the people Judith is surrounded by are not worth the trouble.
But she’s thrown everything at it. She’s said stuff that’s riled people up, we were almost in some kind of Mogadon malaise.. lockdowns, fatigue.. our thinking becoming increasingly sheltered. And then there's rapid fire Judith.. coming at us like a freight train, and I just don't know if people have been ready for it. She's saying stuff that makes people uncomfortable, she’s talked about taking responsibility for your own life. What a shock... because doesn’t the government do everything for us now including pay our wages?
For all her chutzpah though, she's earned the title of public enemy number 1.. particularly on social media but also mainstream media. She's been framed as horrible mean old Judith.
And I'm not sure why, with such a rich vein of content to run on the opposition, that she's chosen fat people? And in the last week of the campaign too. Why was she not talking about pre-Covid Labour, and what we'll go back to post-Covid Labour?
A government which failed to deliver on pretty much everything.. a government full of under performers and lightweights.. Twyford, Lees Galloway, Clark, Davis.. a government big on sentiment, light on substance. A government full of cliches and buzzwords, but little action.
So much material, and yet.. she went with fat people and who ate all the pies.
So I don't know whether the texter is right about her being a sacrificial lamb, but I do know this final week hasn't done anything to reduce her chances of ending up on the spit come Sunday.
Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.
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