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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

What the journos say about National and Brash

Jane Clifton: "It's uncanny how meticulously National times its own pratfalls. The churls won't let us sit in on their caucus meeting's but I'll bet at least an hour is taken up with small-arms instruction: "You hold your gun - so! You hold four foot - so! Now, point and shoot, point and shoot."[1]

"...what National MPs have managed to tell us, before the first parliamentary sitting of election year, is that they can't get on, and are therefore unelectable."[2]

Otago Daily Times (editorial): 'Losing spokesmanship may be attributed to the ruthless gamesmanship of politics in election year, but the demotion is the specific action that reflects poorly on Dr Brash and his advisers. While he might think Mrs Rich's relegation demonstrates his strong leadership, it will in fact further exacerbate the divisions within his caucus and the wider party over both policy and his erratic leadership style.'[3]

Barry Gustafson: "You had four prominent women I thought you could take into the next election - Georgina te Heuheu, Lynda Scott, Katherine Rich and Judith Collins - but it's a bit like bottles on the wall and I'm down to my last bottle." "It's not a good look."[4]

Jonathan Milne (NZHerald): "There has been much comment about the relegation of National's women MPs: of the six, only first-termer Judith Collins has anything remotely resembling a real portfolio now. Georgina te Heuheu was sacked as Maori issues spokes-woman last year, and Lynda Scott has announced her retirement and appears to now be an angry MP with nothing to lose."
"Moreover, Auckland-based Brash has upset five of his seven South Island MPs since taking the leadership. He ousted Bill English as leader, took the deputy leadership off Nick Smith, angered Scott and Brian Connell, and demoted Rich. Only deputy Gerry Brownlee and supporter David Carter remain."[5]

Timaru Herald (editorial): 'Just as it looked to be re-establishing credibility with the electorate, leader Don Brash has not only shot himself in the foot following his Orewa call for a tougher line on beneficiaries, he has removed the entire leg....His ability to handle caucus, his attitude to women and his motives in attacking beneficiaries are now all being debated.'[6]

John Armstrong (NZHerald): (5 Feb)"If Brash's own welfare spokeswoman could not swallow his more hardline ideas, what hope does he have of convincing the rest of the country of their validity?"[7]

Cook Strait News (editorial): "Don Brash is starting to show his age" Orewa II "...highlighted just how the good doctor is edging towards a twilight of shuffling around the kiwifruit orchard in slippers, making unsolicited and longwinded small-talk with passing strangers."
"...he's started coming up with schemes that were disastrous in the middle of the last century, but now have a certain nostalgic appeal to anyone who was young then."[8]

[1] Listener 12 Feb 2005
[2] Listener 12 Feb 2005
[3] Otago Daily Times, 3 Feb 2005
[4] Marlborough Express, 2 Feb 2005
[5] Herald on Sunday, 6 Feb 2005
[6] Timaru Herald, 4 Feb 2005
[7] NZHerald, 5 Feb 2005
[8] Cook Strait News, 1 Feb 2005

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