“Unleash Kiwis”: Simon Bridges’ Budget Day Speech

Simon Bridges' Budget Day Speech
4.3 Reviewer
To borrow the leader of the opposition's own line when describing the Government's initial actions in the fight against COVID-19: Credit where credit's due, Simon Bridges did have two (comparatively) good lines in his speech: "Having flattened the curve, we must not flatten the economy." "Having gone hard and early on lockdown we have gone soft and slow on the economy."
Bridges stumble over his words on multiple occasions, which makes this speech disjointed and amateurish. He's already said most of what he says already and as the Prime Minister pointed out his lack of a no-confidence vote leaves one with the distinct impression that National are all bark and no bite. No great lines, no memorable or rousing slogans, Mr. Bridges' speech is as dry as ever and quickly forgotten.
Sensibility 5/10 Entertainment value 3.5/10 Electability 3.5/10

Simon Bridges’ budget day speech is all about unleashing the fearsome power of ordinary Kiwis. Unlocking the awesome potential of New Zealand’s economy. Breaking New Zealanders free of the economic constraints of the Prime Minister and her government’s economic policies. It’s a very sexy thought, but the delivery is lacking and content is tired.

Mr. Bridges’ speech is a collection of everything he’s already said. He hits the high notes- taxes, borrowing money, wasteful spending. It’s not particularly clever or entertaining, and it rambles much like a first year essay spinning a single sentence argument into 2,000 sloppy words with no great substance.

Simon nails the government on Kiwibuild and light rail failures, both relevant points when the Finance Minister is promising a wide variety of spending projects. If you’re a fan of Bridges’ centre-right common sense then he will no doubt have said what you’re thinking. He follows his greatest hits compilation of government failures with a list of National’s own great achievement- ultra-fast broadband, Roads of National Significance and the like, and goes on to outline his own five-point plan for recovery:

  1. Lighten the lockdown
  2. Save jobs by getting cash to small businesses
  3. Common sense and pragmatism with regards to the “1 and 2 metre world.”
  4. (And he’s serious about this) Unlock private sector investment. Keep taxes low.
  5. Turbocharging the innovation sector

One hopes the Leader of the Opposition would take to the Government’s Budget with a fiery passion and a collection of alternatives. Bridges does not, and as such gives me little to work with.

Ordinary Kiwis who are already appreciative of the Leader of the Opposition’s party and policies will find themselves nodding along with criticism of pet projects and fiscal mismanagement, the accumulation of debt and a lack of a comprehensive plan, but there is very little chance he will be swaying any swing voters with his joyless oration.

I’ll leave you with a few choice comments from Facebook in reaction to the speech:

“National is embarrassment…. they have not direction no answers, just moaning”

“go away noddy”

“1000 moans per minute. Shut up soimin bwiges”


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