Simon Bridges has decided he’s more special than everyone else and decided that he is entitled to make his bubble his house in Tauranga and his apartment in Wellington and Parliament; along with State Highway 36, State Highway 5 and State Highway 1.
The Opposition leader is defending his decision to commute between Wellington and his home in Tauranga during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Simon Bridges is chairing the Epidemic Response Committee, which meets each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
While MPs are joining the meeting remotely via Zoom, Bridges is working out of Parliament, and driving himself back to Tauranga for the rest of the week.
Bridges said just as the Prime Minister has a bubble at Premier House and the Beehive, he has a bubble at Parliament, and his home.
“I don’t take these things lightly, but I am the leader of the Opposition, I’ve got constitutional duties, I’m running a committee in extreme circumstances where there is no Parliament.
“I have to do that in the best way possible and it seems to me that does mean doing it in Parliament where I have the resources, where I can do it in a professional way, and I’m available to media,” he said.
Bridges said he did not have concerns about his travel going against the advice not to take long road trips during the lockdown, because his role is essential.
He said he did not consider relocating his family to Wellington for the shutdown, saying that this was “absolutely an appropriate way to organise things” and no different to what other senior politicians and officials are doing.
The Leader of the Opposition is entitled to a chauffeur-driven car. I wonder if he is using that or his self-drive? If he is using a crown limousine, that presumably means his bubble also includes his driver.
It is a 524km trip one way, 1048km return. No electric car can do that without recharging. So he has to stop somewhere just as he would need to top up with gas in a petrol driven car. So touching fuel bowsers, paying for fuel, wee stops for a 6.5 hour journey, food, beverages and God knows what else.
Mind you it is only half a tank in a Crown BMW 7series diesel.
Exactly what resources are there that he needs that aren’t in his home office? And why can’t the media just video chat with him instead? Maybe no one has his cellphone number?
From the Zoom committee meeting, it looked like his pals Todd McClay, Shane Reti and Louise Upston were similarly at parliament too.https://static.apester.com/js/sdk/latest/apester-sdk.js
In Scotland the other day the Chief Health Officer resigned when she was busted moving between her two houses and work.
Scotland’s chief medical officer has resigned after making two trips to her second home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Dr Catherine Calderwood had apologised for her actions, and initially said she planned to continue in the role.
She was backed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said Dr Calderwood had made a mistake but should stay in her job.
But Dr Calderwood released a statement later on Sunday saying she had quit.
She said she had done so after speaking again to the first minister, and had agreed with her that the “justifiable focus” on her actions risked distracting from the pandemic response.
Dr Calderwood had earlier been given a police warning for breaking the lockdown rules after the Scottish Sun published photographs taken on Saturday of her and her family visiting Earlsferry in Fife – more than an hour’s drive from her main family home in Edinburgh.
So it seems there is some integrity in the Scottish civil service. It’ a shame that David Clark doesn’t have the same level of integrity. But now that Bridges has been busted taking the proverbial, it explains why no one in National was officially calling for Clark’s resignation. Their trolls were vociferous though:
I wonder what Todd McClay‘s troll farm is going to say about this? Sadly it looks like all there is is the sound of crickets over their leader’s outrageous taking of liberties.
Once again we have a politicians thinking that the rules don’t apply to them.
I’ll leave the last word to Simon Bridges: