Willie Jackson: National are a party still in 'pure denial'

Willie Jackson: National are a party still in 'pure denial'

OPINION: So Simon Bridges is the new leader of the National Party and Amy Adams is the new spokesperson for finance and what is the message from the new front bench of the National Party?

Pure denial.

Amy Adams' first press release is a journey into National Party delusion! Look at what National perceive are the issues confronting us as a nation.

"Labour's overseas investment changes, employment law changes, and proposed new taxes..."

It's almost as if National are simply not cognitive of the damage their last nine years in power has caused us as a people.

The new Government are proudly limiting the power and influence of rich foreign interests so that kiwis can own their own home, an issue that was secondary to National in favour of a speculative property bubble.

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We are proudly changing employment law so that it is written to protect and empower workers because under National, worker safety and job quality went backwards.

Also, the Government will ensure the economy is fair for everyone by taxing those who escape their obligations by closing the loopholes National were so happy to allow exploitation.

National's refusal to face up to the future challenges by fighting yesterday's battles shows a party that are in denial that they even lost the last election.

The poor state of government that National left for us to clean up and fix is enormous but they're delusional at how their economic settings which were biased towards the wealthy have exacerbated the hurt and suffering in our communities manages to eclipse the work before us.

While Simon Bridges deserves to be congratulated as the first Māori leader of a major party, his leadership will not improve things at all for National. There will be no more polls that will see the National Party at 45 percent plus, in fact, expect them to drop towards the mid-30s, and maybe even lower, over the next 12 months.

Now that's not because Bridges isn't a capable politician – because he is – but the reality is that he just doesn't have the people skills or the 'feel' for the people that our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, most certainly has.

It's been a magnificent last couple of months for Jacinda, who has captured the hearts of kiwis everywhere she goes. Her presentation at Waitangi was the finest performance from a Prime Minister that I have ever seen at that venue.

There's no doubt that she's got 'magic' written all over her, but I suppose the big question will be, how long can that last? Of course we're all hoping that that's going to be at least 9 years, but time will tell.

Until National can acknowledge their own hand in the damage they've left us to heal, they are in no position to offer solutions.

Appointing Simon Bridges and Amy Adams to the leadership is only going to make things worse for them. Both John Key and Bill English had much broader support than Bridges and Adams, and National will feel the effects of the Key-English resignations over the next few months.

- Willie Jackson is the Minister of Employment and a Labour Party List MP.

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