An opinion piece by Claire Trevett in Thursday’s Herald was very revealing. Revealing in the sense that she seems to know a lot about what is going on behind the scenes in the National Party. Reading her article one could be forgiven for thinking she knows more than the Board does. The question then has to be asked: how difficult would that be? The National Party is not looking like a government in waiting and I don’t blame Judith as the leader for that. National MPs refused her numerous times as a leader only to turn around in a panic and beg her to do the job immediately prior to the last election.
No leader of the party was going to win what Ardern made a Covid election. Now, it appears the thanks Judith is getting is having to try and unite a party whose priority seems to be trying to find the next leader (that’s if Claire is to be believed). If true, it’s a bit rich of MPs in National to be behaving in this manner. They need to work out that this is doing neither them nor the party any good in the eyes of the public. I am aware politics has become something of a personality sport but when Ardern’s and Labour’s popularity starts to wane (hers already is), largely due to people waking up to the economic damage being done, the electorate will be looking at policies as much as the leader.
National need to stop looking like a bunch of Labour-lite lefties. Judith never spoke a truer word than when she said she would be taking the party back to its founding principles. So far I’ve seen precious little evidence of that. What is stopping this from happening? Is it the younger generation of MP’s in the party who think going down the PC and woke road is the way to win the next election? A piece of advice to them: forget it. That is Ardern territory, she owns it and you’ve got as much chance of getting it off her as a first home buyer has of getting a foot on the property ladder.
- A truancy inspector in every school
- A choice of school
- Reinstate charter schools for lower socioeconomic students
- Increase regular home visits by Plunket nurses and the number of nurses
- Reduce red tape for farmers
- Create policies to make it easier for first home buyers
- Welfare hand-ups not handouts
- Assistance with budgeting and better-targeted financial support measures
- Policies that will get tougher on criminal behaviour especially violent crime and gangs.
- Get off the climate change bandwagon with policies that are relevant and realistic for New Zealand
- Reinstate oil and gas plus open cast mining where it is appropriate and safe to do so
- Stop importing low-grade Indonesian coal
- Exit the Paris climate accord
- Build roads where they are needed
- Introduce transport policies of need rather than nice to have
I read two articles in the NZ Herald published within hours of each other and both concerning Wellington. The first was their loopy Council wanting to make the entire CBD car-free by 2025. The second concerned a shortage of 50 bus drivers and services having to be cancelled. Typical of the left. They never think of the unintended consequences of their half-brained ideas.
National desperately needs to get back to the party it once was. This does not mean going back 80 years. What it does mean is applying the founding principles of the party to the society and the world we live in. They are still relevant.
National needs to prepare for a world beyond Jacinda Ardern. There is going to be a world beyond the Colgate smile and the flapping arms. Those who understand the damage currently being done to this country need that world to happen in 2023. There are only two parties who can effect that change: National and Act.
My suggestion is that they get their heads together, find out what each of their strong points is and then campaign on those. The reality is that neither party is going to win on their own. It is going to have to be a united effort. Ardern has Covid to thank for her absolute majority. I believe that campaigning with the right policies from both parties is the best strategy to win in 2023. As I see it at the moment Act is the party on the right with enthusiasm and momentum. National is not and this needs addressing urgently.
In regard to National’s leadership (Claire talked about Simon Bridges and Christopher Luxon) I would note the following: Simon Bridges, who I happen to like, would make a better deputy. You need someone feisty as a deputy and he is that. Christopher Luxon. I can see the rationale behind wanting him as leader. I have heard him speak and he was very impressive. He has something of a John Key persona about him. He has an excellent CV. He is a man of the world, so to speak. There is something though, apart from his newness to politics, that I can’t exactly put my finger on which is holding me back from saying he is the person for the job at this point in time.
National, your priority right now is to come up with policies that the public want. Back to basic type policies that will improve people’s lives, not the PC, woke and nice to have rubbish we are currently being dished up. Once you have those policies take them out and reconnect with the public. You also need to unite behind Judith as your leader and currently, the best person for the job. Judith can’t be expected to function as a leader should when there is disunity in the party. We need her to be firing on all cylinders as we know she can.
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