What is John Key thinking? Why would he tie himself so firmly to the mast of the sinking ship that is Rodney Hide and ACT? And tie himself he has:
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Mr Hide has carried out his affairs in a personal and private capacity to a high ethical standard.
I can say about Mr Hide that as a Minister he has conducted his affairs in his portfolio to a high standard, and that in all of my dealings with him as a Minister he has been honest and trustworthy with me.
So let’s see. Rodney Hide is the party leader who knowingly supported as one of his MPs David Garret, a man who stole the identity of a dead baby, hid behind name suppression, hid a former assault conviction, and who knows what else. Rodney Hide concealed these facts while ACT hypocritically fronted campaigns against name suppression and in favour of tough (3 Strikes) law and order policy — policy that Key’s government turned in to law.
What else has the honest, trustworthy and highly ethical minister Rodney Hide been up to? Well, famously, he earned himself the nickname of the perk-Luster when he ignored Key’s directive and spent tens of thousands of tax-payer dollars on jaunts with his girl friend to Disneyland and Hawaii. In that single spectacular flameout be burned whatever credibility he had after years of (obviously empty) opposition “perk busting” rhetoric, and initiated the bloody internal backstabbing battle that has turned ACT into electoral poison. Way to go Rodney.
For the sake of argument let’s put aside the usual political lies, the dangerous and bullying behaviour, downplaying sexual harassment, the attacks on the Bill of Rights Act, the stupid politics of the Auckland SuperCity, privatising water and the like. Politics as usual, sadly. What isn’t politics as usual was Hide’s most honest, trustworthy, and highly ethical (not!) fiasco, his corrupt abuse of office in selling himself, in his role as Minister for Local Government, to raise funds for his party (against the rules of cabinet and almost certainly illegal). And how honest, trustworthy and highly ethical was it of Hide to blackmail Key by threatening to resign as a minister if there are any Maori seats on the Auckland SuperCity council? Perhaps Key’s dog enjoys being wagged by Rodney’s tail? Speaking of which, John, was it honest, trustworthy, and highly ethical of Rodney to point out that you’re a do-nothing Prime Minister?
None of these ministerial misdemeanours should come as a surprise to anyone who has been watching ACT for a while. Don’t even get me started on Hide’s pre-ministerial “honest, trustworthy, and highly ethical” antics over the years. The dishonest electoral stunts, failure to disclose donations, the failures over the Huata affair, and more.
Nope, sorry. Key’s vastly overrated “political instincts” are so far out of whack here it is laughable. Far from being honest, trustworthy, and highly ethical, Rodney Hide is a nasty amoral little political opportunist with a raging sense of entitlement and his head stuck right up somewhere that the sun don’t shine. In tying himself so firmly to this ongoing shipwreck (is Garret’s tell all out yet?) Key has made a mistake that he will come to regret…