Why Willis is no Thatcher (and shouldn’t lead National)
After a strangely intense speech in parliament two weeks ago, National’s deputy leader Nicola Willis is being heralded as the next big thing. She is even being compared to the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.
They’re not alike at all. Thatcher was a Conservative who intensely disliked feminists. Willis is a feminist and a Progressive.
“The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.” Margaret Thatcher 1985
Willis is driven by a relentless steely ambition that is visible in her eyes and her mannerisms and (leaving the ghastly accent aside) her speaking tones. She has four young children at home being largely looked after by her husband while she chases political fame in the Beehive.
Given Chris Luxon’s leadership is shaping up to be a re-run of the Todd Muller embarrassment, there is a good chance Willis will be the Nat’s leader before the next election. All that is needed is an acceptable escape strategy for Luxon.
The fast approaching Christmas period is the least damaging window for a leadership change and National’s back room operators are working on that possibility right now.
Margaret Thatcher led the UK Conservative party for 15 years and won three election victories. Could Nicola Willis match this record as leader of the Nationals?
Willis provided major input to John Key’s govt. A govt that in reality did little to address serious political problems in NZ. Key pretty much ignored popular referenda on smacking and the MMP voting system while pushing hard to have the Union Jack removed from the NZ flag. Some say at the bidding of high value Chinese donors to the National party.
Key scorned global warming prior to winning the election, but became an advocate for it soon after. Working for Families was “communism by stealth”, Key said in opposition. In govt he raised the payments.
“the new dogma about climate change has swept through the left-of-centre governing classes and it provides a marvelous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism” Margaret Thatcher 1988
Willis wrote many of Key’s speeches. In one of these speeches Key boasted of how he had made Sid Holland’s party more “progressive”.
After being badly beaten by Grant Robertson in Wellington Central, Willis entered parliament by way of the party list. She later played a big part in the leadership coup that replaced Simon Bridges with Todd Muller. A disastrous move that led to Labour winning the 2020 election with 52% of the vote.
Willis later played a similar role in replacing Judith Collins with the obviously inadequate Christopher Luxon. Given she has backed two major failures, her political judgment has to be questioned.
“Abortion only applies to the very, very early days, but the idea that it should be used as a method of birth control I find totally abhorrent.” Margaret Thatcher 1978
Wiki says Willis is a “social liberal”, focused on LGBT rights and Climate Change. She has urged brainwashed school kids to attend so called “climate strikes”, and is a leader in the “Blue Greens” faction of National. She is pro late term abortion and supports euthanasia. She stated she was “gutted” by the recent US Supreme Court decision to return abortion law to individual states.
She has said she is not about small govt but “good government”. She has been a strong advocate for Jacinda Ardern’s vaccine mandates and lock downs and signed a letter with James Shaw and Grant Robertson asking Wellington protesters to leave parliament grounds.
In a move considered a deep betrayal by some National supporters, Willis enthusiastically backed and even jointly promoted (with Megan Wood) Labour’s new environmental regulations allowing high density flats to be built on previous one house sections.
US Democrats have used similar high density housing schemes to swing voting demographics to the left in Republican strongholds, as traditional single family homes are replaced by blocks of flats housing large numbers of left voting immigrants. Why would Willis be so keen to do the same thing in NZ?
Willis has said she is open to a coalition with the Maori Party. A recent speech addressed many problems but did not touch upon the raw issue of co-governance. When asked about this Willis (according to someone who was there) responded with words to the effect that “no one under 45 was concerned with the issue”.
None of the above sounds much like Margaret Thatcher. In fact New Zealand would have been far better served politically if Nicola Willis (and many others like her, Chris Bishop for example) had joined Labour and dragged that party to the right. Rather than joining the party of Sid Holland and converting it into a “progressive” political force.
If there is indeed a version of Margaret Thatcher in NZ politics, male or female, they are yet to surface, and if they did, it is not a given they would want to be part of what Sid Holland’s party has become today. Especially if it is led by Nicola Willis.
Willis is full of praise for Ardern’s speech at Harvard University