John Key has given Andrew Little a brilliant start as Leader of the Opposition, being his usual snarky self under attack over the inquiry into Judith Collins’ resignation, then forced to return to the house later to correct false statements.
Now before anyone starts shrieking that he should resign for lying, this is John Key — he’s always lying. Moreover, if you mislead parliament but correct your misstatements voluntarily like Key did, it is not a contempt of parliament.
What Key has really done is furnish a hefty cosh to Little, with which the new leader can beat the hell out of the Government’s best asset. Since this happened on a Wednesday means that question time today will be very unpleasant for the National party.
The mistake Key made was the occupational hazard of the pathological lier. He tripped up on his own lie, when it would have cost him nothing to tell the truth. He said he had had no contact with Cameron Slater between November 22-25 about the inquiry. He had to recant and acknowledge a text from Slater. The slovenly blogger referred to it online.
So Whale Oil still has a direct line to the Prime Minister. And the Prime Minister pays enough attention to feel uncomfortable about it. No doubt he’ll feel more uncomfortable about Cameron Slater in the near future.
What a bonus for Little. He’s currently introducing himself to the New Zealand people, and this week he gets to show himself as strong. David Shearer failed at that, and David Cunliffe coloured his strength with a toxic dose of pride. If strength is what he walks away having shown this week, he’s doing very well.