Watching ACT at present must be similar to watching a red giant finishing consuming all of its helium, expel its envelope, and collapse down to dwarf star.
Update: the origional docs are really fun to read – HEATHER ROY Notes for demotion caucus
The Herald reports on the back story of the ACT leadership discussion.
Confidential and leaked documents of Heather Roy’s statement to the Act caucus when she was dumped as deputy leader portray Act leader Rodney Hide as an abusive, intimidating bully who had been trying to discredit and humiliate Roy into quitting for months.
She paints a picture of a fractured party that has been consumed by in-fighting while pretending to be unified.
What I find astonishing is revelation of the attempts that Rodney made prior to the censure motions that strike at the heart of the confidence in ministers.
She said Hide had spoken to Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and tried to have her removed as Associate Defence Minister, to which Mapp “protested vigorously”.
“It is very difficult for me to work when my own leader is determined to undermine me … and it is very clear to me that he has used others to further this agenda.”
The pipsqueak is interfering in the process of government to further a vendetta against one of his caucus? Now that shows a serious distortion of a sense of priorities.
In a letter to caucus chair David Garrett and party president Michael Crozier last week, Roy said that the relationship between her and the leader was “tense”.
“It has become obvious by his actions that he has set upon a path to establish a foundation for humiliating me. After John announced his challenge for the deputy leadership at the end of the meeting, I realised that the intent to humiliate might have been thought merely necessary preparation, perhaps in the hope that I might fold my tent and walk.
“An unhealthy culture has emerged, characterised by combative interpersonal relationships, innuendo and side-deals, which is destructive to the integrity of the caucus as a whole.
“You should be aware that events since the 11 August meeting have borne out my concerns about the leader’s particular recent abuse of power and interference in my ministerial functions involving third parties.”
I don’t have a lot of time for ACT in general or even its MP’s. However I do think that spilling petty political issues over into the ministerial duties goes well beyond any normal coalition boundaries. Perhaps John Key should get unrelaxed for long enough to find out what in the hell has been going on amongst his ministers?
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching the collapse of the inflated bubble that is the ACT party under gravity – now that all of the hot air has been blown away.