Peter Williams : Can things get any worse inside the National Party?

Peter Williams 30/06/2021

OPINION: No love lost between the current leader and a former Attorney General.

Can things get any worse inside the National Party? I know we talked about this last week and thought that the blood might have been staunched for now. But then last night Newshub, in a story that you could say was a bit of a beat up because it was based around what someone didn’t say rather than what they did say, was trying to hint that former Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon is lining up for a shot at being the National Party leader. He wasn’t taking the bait of course, and frankly he’d be mad to try and tip out Judith Collins at this time.

That, however, is not the worst National Party story of the last 24 hours. No, that’s been provided by former Attorney General Chris Finlayson. He’s now back in private practice as a barrister and has been firing big, big shots from the sidelines at his old party. He’s calling the current National Party a disaster, and is placing the blame squarely on the leadership, both in Parliament and in the wider party organisation. He says the party leadership deserve everything that has come to them, and he reckons he’s never seen in his life, brand destruction as devastating as what’s happened to the National Party in the last year or two. He goes on to describe the party’s current rhetoric as unimpressive, saying he has no sympathy for the party’s present situation. And his final barrage - quote - “You’re talking to the wrong person if you expect me to express any sympathy for the current plight of the National Party. Put that in your article” he told Stuff reporter Florence Kerr. “They deserve everything they’ve got".

Geez Chris, tell us what you really think! This, remember, from a man who would be one of the most admired Attorneys-General's we’ve had and a successful Minister of Treaty Negotiations as well. If people with the heft and the standing of Chris Finlayson in the National Party are saying that, shouldn’t some people be taking some serious action? One thing is for sure, Chris Finlayson and Judith Collins might not be exchanging Christmas cards this year.