Crusher by name, Crusher by nature…

By Mandy Hager.

Mandy Hager

This morning my brother Nicky wrote an interesting piece in The Spinoff about the rise of Judith Collins, a major player in his books The Hollow Men and Dirty Politics.

He cites five reasons why he doesn’t believe she’ll succeed in winning the election:

  • Personal ambition is not enough;
  • Attack politics are unpopular;
  • Collins wasn’t ‘cleared’ of Dirty Politics;
  • Many of her own colleagues don’t like her;
  • Judith Collins is not Donald Trump.

I wish I shared his optimism.

As someone who watches the comments on social media with interest (and often disgust), it deeply worries me that there are players like Collins who will do anything to undermine our democracy and drive wedges between us, in order to achieve their own ambitious goals.

I believe Collins is one of these people, driven by her own desires for power rather than the good of all New Zealanders.

Judith Collins, target-shooting in an earlier life

Her first words as leader

I base this claim on her past performance, but also her very first words on being made leader. ‘‘I am hoping that the National Party will collectively crush the other lot, come September 19,’’ she said. Let’s unpack this. 

I believe these four highlighted words tell us all we need to know about her intentions and character. By speaking of crushing, and resorting to calling our government ‘the other lot’, she’s signalling:

  • A dirty campaign, intent on destroying the opposition for her own ambition’s sake;
  • That she’ll allow any tactics to win – it’s about winning, not what’s best for the country and its people;
  • An over-bearing sense of entitlement – that only ‘her lot’ can save us – and that it’s been a travesty that anyone else should hold power except for National (three years later they’re still indignant that they lost power);
  • It’s a dog-whistle to her followers, giving them licence to continue with their dirty tactics and abusive online trolling.

Other comments, re-upping her infamous ‘what’s wrong with being white?’ line, are also deeply concerning. This is a directed whistle to racists, the very same kind of divisive pro-white statements used by Trump and his ilk.

I personally find this disgraceful and very worrying. The last thing we need is the empowerment of white supremacists here.

All this isn’t helped by a mainstream media who love the drama of it, goading her on, forgiving her with words like ‘warrior queen’, ‘strong’, ‘arch’ etc. Gordon Campbell explores this well in his piece On The Mainstream Media’s Romance With Judith Collins.

All we, the unwashed public can do, is call this out at every opportunity and continue to push for kindness, truthfulness and even-handedness in our public discourse. I wish I felt more confident that this will be the case.

Wow – Mandy Hager has made some significant assertions from two conversation snapshots comprising four words and a separate five words made by Judith Collins among the rather large number she must have made in recent days. I do not normally read articles which express opinions by individuals on politicians (I vote on whichever person or party I believe will be good for all, sometimes wrongly), so I am not sure why I read this article but as a member of the ‘washed public’ I will see what comes to pass to support or otherwise the comments.

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