Wrapped in a bit of fluff, John Armstrong has some pretty damning things to say about Nick Smith today:
He can be headstrong. He can be unpredictable. He can sometimes be the veritable bull in the china shop. He is prone to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. His cockiness can land him in trouble.
I think it’s his tendency to lie through his teeth that lands him in trouble.
He can also be a particularly slippery customer. He repeatedly fudged yes-or-no-answer-type questions
Watching him twist in the wind to trying to hide the lies that underpin his position is like watching a clown performance – hilarious for some, scary for others.
Smith was more intent on staying on-message and repeating National’s line
I’m yet to hear him say anything of substance that doesn’t later turn out to be a lie or misrepresentation.
there is a difference between annoying everyone a little bit and angering everyone hugely. When the tide of opinion is vehement on both sides, what looks like safe ground can suddenly seem less than solid. The measure of that erosion were remarks made by Richard Long, a former National Party chief of staff. The politically astute one-time press galley journalist had described National’s emissions trading legislation as a “dog” which, resulting in part from a race-based deal and lacking across-the-board backing, was akin to Labour’s death-rattle, the Electoral Finance Act.
One year in and you’re in your death rattles. Jesus.
He even took time out to congratulate himself on being the first Climate Change Minister to have introduced a price for carbon after 15 years of failure by predecessors in the portfolio.
A lie, of course. Labour’s David Parker introduced the original ETS last year.
Smith did have a brief queasy moment. But it was of his own making. He quoted a legal opinion. Charles Chauvel, Labour’s climate change spokesman, demanded, as is his right, that Smith table the official document from which he was quoting.
Smith suddenly realised other contents of the document – written for ministers in the previous Labour Government – could be prejudicial to the Crown’s interests. His plea that he not have to table the paper was not helped by Labour happily giving its permission for him to do so. Smith’s afternoon was turning to custard.
Yeah, it’s one stuff up after another with this guy. It’s only the fact that he’s an incompetent minister in a sea of useless ministers that has saved his job, so far.