3 years ago, even 1 year ago, there would be no doubt what would happen next. John Key’s political instincts then were sharp.
He would have sized up Nick Smith weighing his value as a minister – he failed to find a way to let private companies compete with ACC and is currently being caught out with his same use of dodgy numbers over local government reform as he was with ACC levy hikes – against the political liability he has become over the Pullar affair.
Key would have sacked Smith without hesitation.
Has Key lost those instincts? Has just 3 years in the artificial world of government been enough to dull them?
Update: Key won’t comment now but will this afternoon. Needs time to make some backroom deals so that skeletons stay in closets
Update: Smith has been summoned to Wellington. Press conference at 1.45
Update: He’s gone. They’re trying to downplay the reasons. What a disgrace.
Update: The video of Key explaining his timeline. hat-tip: <a href=’http://www.interest.co.nz’>Alex Tarrant</a>