Some pretty damning pieces on on Hide today from John Armstrong, Tracy Watkins, and Fran O’Sullivan. They compare him to Winston Peters and say he ought to apologise to various groups for his troughing and his comments that John Key “doesn’t do anything”. What I find fascinating, though, is that a senior and powerful minister gave his view on the work ethic and effectiveness of the Prime Minister and that is portrayed as the minister’s problem.
The Dom Post proclaimed it ‘Hide’s gaffe’. Why is it a gaffe? Because he said what he thinks? Because he was overheard? Watkins awards Hide ‘Wally of the week’. I can see why he’s a wally from the Government’s point of view but for the public hasn’t he, accidentally, performed a great service by giving his honest appraisal from the inside of this Prime Minister?
The real problem is for Key. A insider gave his frank views of him and it isn’t a pretty assessment.
Armstrong reflexively dismisses “Hide’s labelling of John Key as a “do-nothing” prime minister [as] patently absurd”. Hmm, is it patently absurd? Has Key done anything on the big issues for left and right?
Sure you can point to some insignificant little measures here and there but actually Key hasn’t done anything, doesn’t even have a plan to do anything. And people are starting to worry that nothing is ever going to change.
So, Hide’s assertion that Key “doesn’t do anything”, far from being “patently absurd”, seems right on the money. It has prompted a circling of the wagons from the Right, with Hide firmly on the outside.
As O’Sullivan says: “He justifiably faced media flak over the devious method he used to circumvent Key’s dictate. But it was not until Hide was caught out slagging Key’s leadership to Act supporters that he faced political utu. It was quickly leaked that Hide had taken a weekend off while in London to attend the Crome family wedding, and another day off in Los Angeles to take his girlfriend sight-seeing at Universal Studios. As a past exponent of the leaking arts, Hide won’t have to search far for fingerprints”
So, O’Sullivan is making two important points – 1) that it was Hide’s comments about Key that garnered him this wrath, not the corruption. 2) O’Sullivan is spelling out in public that the PM is leaking against one of his own ministers (which hardly seems like the thing you do from a position of strength) to further embarrass Hide.
In the eyes of the Right, Hide’s crime wasn’t abusing taxpayer funds, it was exposing Key’s do-nothing government for what it is. And for that crime they are putting him to the sword.