The Nats usually look after their own. Hey, they defended Bill English’s housing rort until it became politically indefensible, and he “voluntarily” surrendered his allowance as a purported out-of-Wellington MP.
So you would expect the Nats to be rushing to back up Judith Collins’ defamation suit against Radio NZ and two Labour MPs with some public money. And all the speculation over the last few days is that they would.
Nek minnit, it is revealed Collins didn’t even apply to Cabinet for funding.
The Cabinet Manual requires that Ministers discuss public funding of legal action with the PM before approaching Cabinet.
My bet is that Key told Collins “no way”. And not out of some concern about public funding of what appears to be a private lawsuit, but because Collins is in the wrong Nat faction. She is ambitious, and she would like Key’s job, which Key would obviously like to keep, just for a little while at least, until he is assured of a significant place in history.
Then we have the backroom players: Michelle Boag and Bronwyn Pullar on Key’s side; and Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk on Collins’ side. And poor old Nick Smith gets caught in the crossfire for inappropriately taking sides.
It is a grand political game, worthy of the English landed gentry (anyone want their moat cleaned?)
But aren’t we forgetting some people here? While the various inquiries circle around which Minister or which ACC official may have done something wrong, no inquiry is being launched into the plight of the ACC claimants who have been wronged by the pernicious, and arguably unlawful, policies of ACC that are designed to deny them cover and entitlements.
While other parties close their ears and play the political games, only the Green Party considers the plight of wronged ACC claimants to also be a political issue.