COMMENT: If slushies are effective at lowering the heat, National Party leader Simon Bridges might want to follow the lead of the Department of Corrections and install a slushy machine in his caucus room.
Some of his inmates are certainly showing signs of restlessness.
The worrying thing is the kind of thing Bridges is now being criticised for is from within his own ranks.
One is the treatment of the staff member who took down the petition against the UN Compact on Global Migration after the Christchurch terror attacks.
Then came criticism for his attacks on slushies for prison guards.
In normal times, the spending of more than $1 million on slushy machines in prisons would be a perfectly legitimate attack line. Such things become symbolic of a wider issue, in this case a waste of money.
National and MBIE were hammered by Labour when it was discovered there was a hair straightener installed in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's flash new digs.
And at the same time Bridges was dealing with complaints about his staffer, the PM had a complete cleanout of the press team in her office. There was some disgruntlement. But there was not a whimper of criticism publicly.
So neither of these issues should be substantial enough to imperil the leadership.
If the leader was solid, they would be mere ripples in the pond. As things are, they have taken on an importance far beyond their merit.
That is worrying because it shows some in National are determined to force things to a head. If it is just a few rogues, Bridges may be safe. The question is whether the others let those rogues get away with it.
On the bright side for Bridges (and for Bridges at the moment, the "bright side" is about as bright as the Battle of Winterfell episode in Game of Thrones) all this petty undermining in quiet whispers indicates no challenger yet has the numbers to roll him.
But in an effort to make that happen, more than one MP is clearly speaking out of school to the media. One of the things leaked after Tuesday's caucus meeting was that Bridges had ordered MPs not to leak.
Those post-caucus leaks were not damaging by dint of explosive content. They simply spelled out what was pretty obvious anyway.
They were damaging purely by being leaks, despite the dangers being spelled out by Bridges and other senior members in the caucus.
It was undermining purely for the sake of it. It was what Shane Jones' referred to as "the virus of treachery".
There could not be a worse time for National to start contemplating its own navel. It is now the lead-up to the Budget.
The Government will be rolling out funding announcements on a regular basis for the next few weeks. It will be governing.
Yet all the headlines are around National's leadership rather than its response to Government announcements.
Nor would a change of leadership change that. It is the perpetual hex of a Leader of the Opposition to face leadership speculation.
No leader is universally popular in their caucus.
There are always some MPs who feel they have been over-looked, are under-appreciated or do not feel they will get a chance at a good job.
There are also those who think they could do the leader's job. Both of those types are usually deluded.
On the other hand, high polls are universally popular. They are insurance. And at the moment, Bridges is a high risk policy in that regard.
All leaders of the Opposition tend to have a rough time of it, at least until the last one who goes on to become Prime Minister. But Bridges seems to be particularly jinxed.
There was Jami Lee Ross' dramatic implosion, a far more severe case of disloyalty than most other leaders face. Then, just as National was regaining ground in the polls, the Christchurch mosque attacks happened and swept it all away again.
Bridges is even ill-fated in the timing of the polls.
When National is polling well in its internal polls, there are no public polls.
Then, just as either 1 News' Colmar Brunton or Newshub's Reid Research pollsters go into the field, something dramatic happens which either puts Bridges on the back foot or sends Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern soaring.
Bridges' deputy Paula Bennett describes such events as "little bumps on the way".
Both Bennett and Bridges have taken the public stance that dealing with these little bumps makes them stronger.
But over time little bumps trash the shock absorbers.