Colin Espiner is blogging regarding his words just before the election:
I’ll go further. I’ll say this: the Maori Party will not go into a coalition government with National. If I’m proved wrong after the election, I’ll print out this blog and eat it, live on webcam.
Note that I’m not saying the Maori Party won’t offer confidence and supply to National (although I think this, too, is highly unlikely) or that it wouldn’t consider abstaining to allow National to govern. But I believe a coalition is out of the question.
So will Colin be eating his words literally?
His first defence:
One, it’s extremely unlikely there will be a coalition between National and the Maori Party. If anything, it will be a confidence and supply arrangement with ministerial seats outside Cabinet. That, by the definition of the last Labour-led government, was not a coalition arrangement.
On that defence, I am not convinced. People can play around with the words you use to describe an arranagement, but if you get to have Ministers in the Government, that is an effective coalition. If ti looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it is a duck.
His next defence:
Two, the context of the blog was that if the Maori Party was in a position to hold the balance of power, it would not go with National. This, of course, hasn’t happened; National doesn’t need the Maori Party but is seeking to do a deal anyway. That takes a great deal of the pressure off the Maori Party to make a choice that could alienate its supporters.
Colin is on stronger ground here. Certainly I understood his earlier blog piece to be talking about the scenario where the Maori Party get to choose. That was indeed the context for it. However, Colin did make a mistake by not making that context explicit.
So what is the outcome?
The point is, I have sufficient wriggle room to avoid having to eat my blog.
But this would make me no better than the MPs I criticise daily for the same flip-flops.
Therefore, in the interests of fair play and because I’m not afraid to admit I don’t get everything quite right, I will, if the Maori Party signs on the dotted line on Sunday, eat my blog as promised.
Here’s where you come in. Send me some suggestions about suitable accoutrements, sauces, recipes, etc, to make the experience a little more palatable for me.
I’m leaning towards shredding it and mixing it into an omelette, but I’m open to suggestions.
Give me your ideas, and if the deal is done I’ll whip something up in the press gallery kitchen early next week. I will, of course, video it and post it right here on my blog so you can all watch me eating my media lunch.
I presume Colin will only be eating the one offending page. He’ll get sick if he does much more than that. I think chocolate sauce would help – everything goes down better with chocolate sauce!