Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Kate Hawkesby: Surprising to see Simon Bridges leave politics


I must admit I haven’t actually read his book, but I am reliably informed that Simon Bridges said in it that he was staying in politics despite getting dumped as leader, to fight the good fight.  

Hence his announcement that he’s now quitting parliament, surprised me. Why now? Surely with a government on the ropes, a promising new opposition leader and potentially a bright future as a senior player within the National Party, there was good reason to stay. 

But I guess he worked out that long term, any return to leadership is now out. 

He says there’s no precipitating reason, that he just felt it was time. 

A personal decision he says, at 45 years old with 3 kids under 10, he said those metrics were important, and he’s making the call for the right reasons – family. But also, the commercial opportunities a new career direction holds. 

And that part he seems to be touting quite a lot, including what he referred to as "a media project or two” which sounds like: 

A) like he’s got something already planned, and B) it may start soon given he’s leaving in a matter of weeks.

So, what is this new media project?  Is he joining Dancing with the Stars? Is he joining former National party colleague and new TVNZ CEO Simon Power? Is he starting a podcast? Going to be a political media commentator? Maybe he’s joining old mate Tova? 

But it will be interesting to see where he goes and what he does. 

And I think we may know that sooner rather than later. 

That wasn’t the only interesting political news this week though. 

The Government's made a few interesting signals of its own, one being that a vaccine mandate announcement’s coming soon. Cabinet’s considering changes to vaccine passes and mandates and will look to make announcements on it next week, apparently. 

We know it’ll be an announcement of an announcement, but at least they’re finally reviewing something that now seems largely redundant.  

With international borders going to open sooner than expected, and with most modellers saying we’ve had the Omicron peak already, it’s high time we ditched what’s left of our overbearing Covid framework, and well and truly got back to normal. 

The protestors will of course take credit for any change or removal of mandates, they shouldn’t, but they did at least spotlight the issue which got Kiwis talking about it. But the other thing that needs to go along with mandates is the traffic light system. 

I know there are some, still, who just love all the rules and being told what to do, but I think the majority of us are over it. The red light, despite the PM’s insistence that it’s ‘life as usual’ – is not. Hospo’s struggling, the events sector is struggling, all this overbearing over reach from the Government to micro manage us surely can wind up now. 

We can do without the live stream updates and announcements which just turn into party political broadcasts, we can do without the incessant Covid ads. 

Fold up MIQ, throw open the border, ditch the mandates, and let’s just get on with it. 

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Terry Morrissey said...

Maybe the new media project would involve shining a little light on the sources of propaganda and spin that have had such a detrimental effect on peoples lives over the last four years.
Maybe he has come to realise what a complete farce parliament has become and that it doesn't represent voters but only the party ideology.
Maybe he wants to deal with some positive people.
Whatever his reason I have no doubt the media will find a way to cast a shadow over it.

Ahwen Boone said...

1. Give up on the speculation. He is leaving. His decision. What he does with his life is his business and it will come to light in due course..
2. QUOTE: "..Fold up MIQ, throw open the border, ditch the mandates, and let’s just get on with it. ...". EXACTLY.