Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, April 12th, 2012 - 21 comments
Categories: bill english, Judith Collins, Steven Joyce - Tags: cameron slater, hekia parata, Michelle Boag, National's civil war, simon lusk, useful idiots
Every time Simon Lusk’s name gets mentioned, Whaleoil (which is only Cameron Slater and has nothing to do with Lusk </sarcasm>) responds with a vitriolic and revealing tirade. In the latest, Whaleoil insists there are no National factions, before insulting and demeaning each of the factions except Collins’, and accidentally confirming the leadership tussle is on.
First, Slater/Lusk claim “the Brat Pack ceased to exist a long time ago”. Right, so we were all just hallucinating when we saw English and Ryall stand by Smith as he spoke to the media after his resignation. And we were imagining the expression on English’s face when he was asked about comments he made years ago that Collins was “pushed beyond her capacity”, with an “unfortunately high estimate of her own competence.”, and that she “spent too much time cultivating the media herself, and believing the resulting publicity”. English is Deputy PM and Finance Minister, Ryall is Health Minister. That’s a lot of institutional power and, between them, Ryall and English have saved the arses of their colleagues more times than Lusk and Slater have stuffed up smear campaigns.
Then, Slater/Lusk admit the Brat Pack still has power but call them a “creature of Michelle Boag”. Whom they claim was given some message from Bill Birch to “wither and die” last week – which doesn’t seem to have worked and, of course, just confirms that there is factional infighting going on in the Party.
Next, Slater/Lusk insist that Key isn’t aligned with the Boag faction. You might think he’s beyond the need for factional support now – he’s PM and his next move will be out of politics. But, if (and it’s only an if, but at that level of the game ifs matter) Collins tries to roll Key before the election and Key thinks he can win if he stays on, he’ll want support and you can bet he’s keeping his links with the Boag faction alive for that contingency. Which is why the Collins faction, notably Slater/Lusk, have been attacking Key recently on the back of his increasingly poor polling.
Finally, Slater/Lusk attack Collins’ two rivals for the leadership – Hekia Parata and Steven Joyce. Apparently, “neither is liked by their peers” and “hard working electorate MPs won’t countenance a duopoly of List MPs leading the party. If they can’t win seats then they shouldn’t be leaders.”. Hmm. Doesn’t that rather confirm that the question of who is to lead the party is currently a live question?
Nowhere does Slater/Lusk say ‘this is all academic, because Key is leader as long as he wants to be’.
And, there’s one strange omission from their list. Not a single mention of Collins or her faction. In a post devoted to trying to argue there are no factions and no leadership contest, Slater/Lusk doesn’t try to disprove the leadership aspirations of the leader of their own faction, or the existence of that faction – the facts they would, surely, be best placed to argue against.