So Judith Collins is gone. But she’s gone on the flimsy basis that Cameron Slater mentioned her in an email. She isn’t gone because of any revelations contained in Nicky Hagers’ book. I’m picking that Cameron Slater was indeed just ‘talking up a big game’ and leveraging off her name in that email. In other words, I’m picking that Collins had bugger all to do with any campaign against Adam Feeley, and that and all the Hotchin stuff was ‘Whale’ and ‘Cactus’ essentially ‘freelancing’. And I’m picking that Key knows that.
So now Key runs some inquiry. Collins is vindicated. Key gets to suggest that as Collins didn’t do ‘a’ as claimed in an email by Cameron Slater, then it follows that Collins also did not do ‘b’, ‘c’ or ‘d’ as claimed on the basis of other emails from the same Cameron Slater. In other words, he gets a shot at reinforcing any doubt he has already cast with regards the substance of the allegations in ‘Dirty Politics’
I don’t think it will work. But even so, Key gets to slip off the hook and National get to improve their re-election prospects to the extent that any distractions to do with Collins or who-ever get pursued. So I find myself hoping that people and media stay focussed and don’t go off chasing filthy red herrings. The big fish is sitting ‘over there’. And the big fish only gets snagged by dint of the revelations around the release of that IOA on Goff. And that relies on the extent to which the substantive revelations in Hagers book are pursued and followed through on.