What the hell is going on inside the National Party?
Here's the problem with that question. We shouldn't even be asking it. We shouldn't need to ask it. They shouldn't be making everything about them and drawing attention to themselves in this way - at a critical time for the opposition to make hay, with so much material available to them to clobber the government with. What are they thinking?
This hit job on Bridges is so poorly timed, mind you, so is his clearly bungled coup attempt.
But look at all the things they could be jumping on here: the staggering MIQ announcement yesterday - no Kiwis coming home for Christmas, no trans-Tasman bubble, in fact, no access for Australians at all without MIQ until April next year for goodness' sake.
I mean this is the most cruel and crazy decision. In fact, even the Kiwis who can come home mid-January still have to self-isolate for seven days when they do. It's pure fortress NZ madness and ripe fodder for a functioning opposition.
Add to that, the traffic light law rushed through under urgency last night - flawed and full of government over reach with holes all through it - again, ripe for the picking.
You can also add to all this the fact that today is day 100 of Auckland being locked down... one hundred.
Which in and of itself is so unbelievable and unnecessary. The timing right now for the opposition to have an absolute field day with the Government's mess is all there for the taking, and yet what does National do? Shoot itself in the foot, again.
And let's look at the incredulous leap we're expected to make here - again timing wise, in regards to this Jacqui Dean complaint.
She's had 5 years to litigate this and pursue it. Why now? Why wasn't it canvassed when Simon was elected leader? Why wasn't it raised when Todd Muller rolled Simon as leader? Why was it never pursued earlier when she had 5 years to pursue it?
Yet, on the brink of an alleged coup attempt by Simon, this complaint magically appears.
And speaking of Simon, coup 101 mate, do it quietly. Grinning all over the media like the cat who got the cream, playing with questions from journalists like it's all a big game, leaking about your prospects - how's that smart?
All that did was infuriate Judith, strengthen her resolve, clue her in to your plans, and ensure she was going to hobble them... and you.
And here we are. Back at the root of everything National keeps getting wrong - forgetting who they're here to serve, forgetting they're a team.
All this self-serving crap does is put voters off, and make the National Party look like even more of a circus than the government currently is, which is really saying something.
This is an opportunity squandered, a terribly timed hit job, on the back of a bungled coup attempt, by a party that just cannot get out of its own way.
Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.
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