When Shearer first revealed on 3 News last week that his sources within GCSB reported that Key had made a comment about Dotcom in the staff room after a February briefing, and there was possibly a video of it, a little thrill ran up the spines of onlookers.
It was the type of thrill that precedes a monumental shift in the parliamentary landscape.
Alas, poor Shearer. When he pulled the trigger, all that came out was a little cartoon-style flag with “bang” on it.
A bit like Wile E Coyote!
Lesson 2: If the gun is unloaded, send out a deputy rather than the sheriff. Now, rather than having some unfortunate lesser caucus mortal come unstuck, it is Shearer’s barrel that has twisted dangerously and is pointing back at him while Key gleefully tamps in the gunpowder.
Shearer’s predecessor, Phil Goff, left that lonely place known as the leadership with Key’s taunts of “show me the money” echoing in his ears – the salute to that moment in the 2011 election when the PM truly asserted his dominance and from which Goff never recovered.
There is a rising suspicion that “show me the tape” will be the equivalent for Shearer.
It is unusual that with no proof at all, the Leader was the one making the wild allegations. Normally that is what your Mallards and Hodgsons have been for.