What do you make out this two-pronged attack? Not that I am saying it was premeditated but two ex (yet still influential) MPs have both stuck knives in Don Brash this week.
First Richard Prebble in his Letter, National MPs have decided that they can't fight another election with Don Brash. Don is in trouble not because of the recent publicity about his private life but rather his judgment or his lack of it. Putting out a press statement saying he was returning to Auckland because his wife was sick and then withdrawing it and admitting he was going to save his marriage, showed a leader panicking under pressure.
The professional way to handle the Independent front page story would have been to ignore it. To have stayed in parliament and fronted up instead of legitimising the story by issuing a press statement and then bringing all the media to your home by going there.
Back bench MPs are asking if this is how he handles his own crisis, how will he handle a crisis that affects them? Even if they win with Don, how would they survive as a government? The new MPs, who the media say are all grateful to Don, are the most shocked with his performance. Jonathan Coleman, MP for Birkenhead, is said to be gathering the votes for John Key.
Well, maybe not a knife, just a firm boot up the backside (I would have thought advice on how to politically handle marriage problems from Prebble best avoided - I guess it depends which you put first - party or partner).
This is a knife, from Mike Moore, who's becoming a touch sanctimonious of late; Don Brash, whose "Aw shucks, I'm not a politician' - his James Stewart act - will no longer wash. He looks suspiciously like an Invercargill barber from the 1950s, who you discover later sold condoms under the table. Still, I'm told, he inspired another thumb-sucking caucus meeting saying,"Not to worry, we will weather this storm of approval and get back to being hated well before election day."
Talking about 'being hated', it seems those who have been in and around the Labour Party a long time can't let go of their understandable but dated National-loathing, regardless of the personalities involved. Not something I relate to having presently little regard for either bunch, (although I had fleetingly held out faint but now forlorn hope National might make something of themselves under Brash.)