(Unlike John Key, I have read the book.)
But now we have reached a somewhat odd pass where when things should be happening, but they aren't. I refer, of course, to the sacking or resignation of Judith Collins, who claimed she didn't leak Simon Pleasant's identity to Cameron Slater, and who also claims she didn't leak Browyn Pullar's identity either.
One of these claims we now know is massively untrue, as we've seen the emails where she tells Slater who Simon Pleasants is and what he does for a living.
The other? Well, she SAYS she didn't tell Slater who Pullar was. And we'd take her word for it, wouldn't we? I men, it isn't like she has a history of lying about what she has said or done. We trust you, Judith. Totally. It isn't like you've been exposed as a frequent liar about your influence peddling and abuses of power, or anything.
It is quite strange watching this car crash in slow motion. And the hapless defences offered by the supposedly media savvy and unfazeable John Key provide no end of amusement. But the uselessness of the journalists interrogating him is annoying. They need to challenge him on specifics, shoot down every airy generality he tries to foist on us. It isn't good enough to hear him getting away with waffle when we're talking about the rank corruption in New Zealand's democracy. He's in charge of it, and he needs to be held to account by our representatives in the media.
Every time I hear Key bleat, “The left do this too,” I really wish the journalists would challenge him on it:
“When, Mr Key, have ‘the left’ abused their ministerial position to leak the identity of a public servant to an attack blog, so they can be held up to public abuse and threats? When have ‘the left’ abused the OIA process by alerting people to when information is being released and expediting the process?”Anyway, Collins has utterly, obviously lied, as she told Key she didn’t leak the name, just the job title (which is a bit like Slater’s attempts to get round name suppression). But it is right there in the email. While she claims she didn't do it.
Yesterday, Mr Key said he’d asked Ms Collins about the release of the civil servant’s name, identified as Simon Pleasants, and she told him she’d only passed on the job title to the blogger.Surely, she’s got to go after this? Key can’t let her carry on making him look really stupid.
Come on, Judith. If Pleasants' name was already linked to the leaking of Bill English's expenses claim, it shouldn't be hard for you to prove that. Your failure to face up to very credible charges of misconduct makes you look, well, just a bit guilty. Follow the lead of Britain's Joanthan Aitken! Take up the trusty sword of truth and the trusty shield of fair play! Smite the liars and smearers!
Just don't ask what happened to Aitken ...