John Armstrong indulges in some straight talking:
Whatever your opinion of Rodney Hide, he is dead right about one thing. John Key’s refusal to work with Winston Peters amounts to a seismic shift in the political landscape.
The ramifications of Key’s decision are vast, not least in putting the Maori Party in the box seat after the election.
National probably has more policy areas in common with NZ First than the Maori Party, but you have to be able to have at least a modicum of trust in your partners. One might not agree with Pita Sharples on a lot, but you can trust him.
To a large extent that is because all eyes remain riveted on the unfolding political horror story that is NZ First.
In a few short weeks, the party has gone from being seen as the paragon of virtue on political donations to being subject to possible prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office and the police.
Peters’ blanket denials of anything being amiss have been exposed as worthless. They have been replaced with excuses for failing to handle things by the book, which veer between the incredible and the pathetic.
Worthless and pathetic. Very apt words. As I said yesterday, the challenge is no longer to identify lies told, but to identify if the truth has ever been told.
As one senior National MP put it, when it comes to looking for partners in Government, the Maori Party is no longer the last cab off the rank – Clark’s designation after the last election. The Maori Party now owns the rank.
Heh, not quite, but nicely put.