Friday, January 26, 2018


Those of you who know me in real life as well as those you know me as 'The Veteran' will have figured out long before now that I count it as a signal badge of honour to be identified as firmly in the Judith Collins' camp.

Sure she has her detractors ... politicians that stand for something will always have their detractors, but with Judith Collins, you know what you get and it's the real deal ... not of the ersatz variety.   She is someone who punches well about her weight (which is perhaps befitting given that Joseph Parker is her nephew).

It's been my privilege to have known her and husband David for nigh on 16 years.    And what I know above all is that her word is her bond and that counts for much in my book.   Judith has a mind like a razor and the intellect to boot and when she commits to something she gives it 120%.   Her political journey is evidence of the old saying that 'if you aren't a socialist at age 20 you haven't got a heart and if you're not a capitalist at age 40 you haven't got a brain'.    She was a Labour voter until a restaurant business she established with David was dumped on by Union heavies.

Judith is recognised as a very effective electorate MP  and enjoys considerable cross-party support ... Papakura should be a marginal seat ... it's not, it's fortress Collins with a majority of 7,486.   That sez much.

It would be trite not to acknowledge what some might see as mistakes.    You show me a politician who hasn't made a mistake and I'll show you a liar (or alternatively a 'grey' person who, in their time in the House did nothing but eat their lunch and achieve nowt).   But whatever was thrown at her she kept her cool when lesser people might have responded differently and even when some in National distanced themselves from her she remained loyal and conducted herself with dignity and grace. 

So, where to from here for Judith Collins.    She was acknowledged as a very effective minister on top of her brief.   Post the election she was elevated back onto the Opposition front bench and given the shadow transport portfolio where she is already making waves.    Bill English will remain leader for as long as he wants it but it may well be that his deputy may choose to step down in which case Judith would be her obvious replacement.   It would be a good mix with Bill on the centre-left of the Party and Judith representing the centre-right.    Together they would present a formatable duo in holding the government to account and pillering their many weak links.    There would be collateral advantage too ... Collins as number 2 would make it harder for parties on the right of National to gain traction.   Many in that constituency see Judith as their standard bearer and her elevation would bring with it their Party vote.

What I'm saying is that the leader's inner circle needs real rejuvenation.    I'm also saying that an effective opposition politician requires a different set of skill-sets.  Judith Collins has those skill-sets in spades.   The National Party needs them and her time has surely come.


pdm said...

Excellent Vet and as you say an English/Collins combo would show up the ineptitude of their Government counterparts.In fact it would be an unfair contest.

Anonymous said...

I still think that it would be a mistake for the Nats to keep English at the leader.

No matter how you look at it he has had 2 opportunities to win an election and he has lost both times.

First to Clark in her heyday at building the Peoples Republic of Clarkistan.

Secondly to Clark's apprentice, a certain Ardern who's main achievements in life have been cooking takeaways and leading the International Union of Socialist Youth.

No matter how you look at it, English is a loser and Bennett has been tainted by association.

If Collins hooks her coat tails up to English she will suffer the same fate.

Ardern's pregnancy is a Godsend to the nats in the sense that they have a set time table against which to act.

Before her baby is born, (In March-April) there needs to be a clean out of the front bench of the nats. English retired, Bennett demoted, Old has beens like Nick Smith and Gerry Brownlee put out to pasture.

Collins should be angling to be leader outright and bring to the fore a crop of the new and motivated back benchers who have been chaffing at the bit for some time.

She can then transform the Nat party from a bunch of tepid water treaders into a party that stands for something. With all the labour law changes and other dicking around that the COL is doing, there is ample room for National to confirm their identity as a Center Right party that stands for smaller government and lower taxes.

Do the same thing and expect different results is insanity and will apply if English remains at the top.


Paranormal said...

I agree Jimmie.

The other option that has better long term outcomes is for Collins to leave, with Nationals blessing, to set up a list only party. National would then campaign on an electorate vote only basis.

With English as leader I can't see the Nats creating the sort of relationships with minor parties required to form coalitions. With the Nats effectively splitting their electorate and list vote it would ensure they remain in government. With Collins leader of the coalition partner, and possibly the larger partner, the government would hopefully retain the right direction.

Anonymous said...

English only 'lost' as he had no control over the bitter and vengeful Winston Peters.
He won the actual election by a country mile, with the Nats receiving by far the most votes and seats. It would be a mistake to replace him, he did nothing wrong, it's the quirks of MMP that this time failed him. With NZ First under the threshold at the next election, Labour won't have the numbers either, and possibly the Greens will be knocked out of Parliament also. Collins is too polarising with voters for leader, but second in charge, yep, perfect. Can't wait for the next election; will be FPP in all but name, and what a relief that will be.


Anonymous said...

English had the highers number of votes for an individual party.
Under MMP that doesn't mean a toss.
Do keep up.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

You throw English out at your peril. He was the architect of your about to be destroyed prosperity and yes, he did 'win' the last election when few expected him to do so.

He and Collins are ideal foils for each other.

Allan said...

Excellent commentary Vet, totally agree with what you said. Judith would be ideal as a Deputy to Bill. I am looking forward to the Parliamentary year. One can only hope that they give the Fairy Princess no latitude because of her changed circumstances. The coalition of Losers need to be attacked and attacked strongly so their credibility is totally destroyed before they do too much damage to the NZ economy.

RosscoWlg said...

Yes I agree, good analysis, and I think Judith has the credentials, and more importantly the balls to be deputy leader, and from their leader and PM. She has also endured trial by fire and survived, she has not given up.

I voted National not because of what they offered but simply because the alternative was insufferable, I suspect (being an ordinary guy) that a lot of NZ followed the same logic.

I like English but his blunder was to fall victim to the "Key" Andromeda Strain, stand for nothing, double down on the opposition policies, failed to see that the Maoris were the "Walking Dead", and offered no brand Johnny English. Day 1 he should have been promoting change, promoting policy, promoting a better deal for the average Kiwi, bringing forward tax reductions, cleaning up local govt, cleaning up the judiciary, ending corporate welfare, ending Maori corporta ewelfare.

No English went for he always failed 3 term policy, trust us, we did it in the past it'll be the same in the future. Key had unravelled by the time of his departure..English needed a vision.

So Judith is the future... I look forward to seeing her balls!

Anonymous said...

The majority of voters wanted National over Labour, despite the rules of MMP, and English over Ardern. To cobble together a govt with the three losing parties is an affront to our democracy, especially giving all power to a minor party who polled at seven percent. Labour are in power only at the whim of Winston, not because more voters preferred them, and stuff 'that's MMP.' It won't be like that next time, see how much the left defends MMP then.


Anonymous said...

Veteran...Spoken with admirable self restraint, in a lesser mortal that could well be seen as border line sycophancy. All things being equal I believe that PM Ardern will be a two term Prime Minister, I say that as it appears to be the norm in all elected parliaments now, speculating that she will screw up is not helpful and raises the hopes of members of this blog unnecessarily, not good for the ancient ones blood pressure.

In 8 years Mrs Tung will be 67 so she only has one shot at this and the fact she carries so much baggage that the uninitiated would be forgiven for thinking she was going on safari whenever she enters the house compared with PM Ardern who carries nothing but an overnight bag that fits cabin luggage specs. There is always the "Ardern effect" where she could be with child but the less gallant of our society would speculate on the method and view it as an unnatural event.

PM Ardern has so far avoided the icebergs and is proving a steady hand on the wheel but eight years is very,very long time in politics and I suspect if things follow their natural course I will be ready to vote National again, unfortunately I won't be around to vote labour in the following eight years. Its all about balance you see.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Wilbur said...

English is a loser.

A twice loser in fact.

Cauterize the wound and get rid of him - plus some of the other deadwood floating around too. Smith, Bennett, Woodhouse and Barry for starters. If National just sit in their arse (as they typically do) he'll end up a thrice loser. Best to avoid the shame and ignominy now than wait 'til 2020. His ham-fisted attempt to nut punch Winnie over the super payments is reason enough to kick him to touch.