Deborah's column has a few things in it I can'tr resist responding to:
More puzzling than Helen Clark's refusal to sack Peters is Key's rush to judgment, ruling out working with NZ First before the committee's report was tabled.
Key's no crystal-ball gazer; he can't know for sure NZ First won't be back in November.
No. As he has said he would rather remain in Opposition than rely on Peters, as he can't be trusted. It is called a principled decision. To be fair, it is also probably a recognition that such a Government would only last weeks or months anyway.
How this is even relevant, I don't know. But it is not National campaigning – it was Katherine Rich and Don Brash. But asking for a Royal Commission into the Ellis case (something I support) is not about campaigning for a paedophile – it is about campaigning for a better justice system.
Several years ago a National insider who quit the leader's office told me if the party ever dies, trace the DNA back to McCully.
“He's a trench fighter, and all his decisions are made according to what's good for him. He was behind Jenny [Shipley] rolling Jim [Bolger], then he pushed Jenny over.”
This is why I responded, because I know this is false. McCully was not supporting Shipley. Far from it – he was a member of the Bolger team trying to defeat her coup. This is a matter of fact – many witnesses would testify to this.
A current National staffer says he overheard MPs discussing what they'd do about Peters if he held the balance of power after the election, and McCully expostulated; “The f***** wants my portfolio.”
This seems unlikely to me. Up until the donations scandal this year, National were actually quite keen to do a deal with NZ First. I know this, because it worried me. It was very well understood that Peters would keep Foreign Affairs and McCully was very relaxed about this state of affairs. This was common knowledge.
Peters has no-one to blame but himself. National were all set to do a deal with him if he made it back. But during the course of the last seven months, he has shown himself to be a man who can not be relied upon.