So Colins survived Parliament yesterday. Some of the papers are talking as if the opposition had a chance yesterday to force Collins’ removal as Minister but this was never going to happen. Instead Collins managed to get through question time, deflect answers and create the impression that her answers to Parliament were yet again, how shall we say, problematic for her.
Rob Salmond at Polity has prepared an excellent analysis of the timeline for Collins’ China visit and after you read it the overwhelming impression is that a Justice related event was removed from Collins’ draft calendar so that the Oravida visit could be squeezed in. No doubt further OIAs are flying around. Interestingly Oravida was one of the sponsors of the Apec Women’s conference where Collins gave her anti corruption speech. Oravida does seem to have had much involvement in the events that Collins attended.
My overwhelming impression of Parliament yesterday is that the Government’s morale is shot. John Key’s performance was the worst that I have seen in the house. The sense of discomfort was palpable.
Yesterday belonged to the opposition. Bill English could not even use up all his time during the urgent debate on Maurice Williamson’s resignation.
Here is Russel Norman’s question to Key:
Here is Cunliffe’s question to Key:
Here is Robertson’s questions to Collins:
Here is Cunliffe’s speech during the urgent debate on Williamson’s resignation:
And here is Robertson’s speech during that debate.
And for today in Parliament Judith Collins has been spared questions. It may be that claims of ill health made by Rachel Glucina have made the opposition rethink. Maybe John Armstrong’s analysis that Collins is now walking dead is correct and some mercy has been shown. If it was National hunting a Labour Minister I am sure the decision would have been different.
Collins’ acolyte is claiming this as a success of sorts but he should think again. National’s problem is that its one strength, John Key, is being damaged by what is happening. And he cannot extract himself. Because National’s fingerprints are all over what has happened. Not only are there the donations and the expensive golf game to explain but National President Peter Goodfellow’s Sealord company is in a joint venture with Oravida. The National links to Oravida are strong and undeniable.
I am sure this issue has not finished yet.