Mike's Minute: Bridges' leak investigtaion will cause drama

Author
Mike Hosking,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Friday, 17 August 2018, 7:36AM

Trevor Mallard wins my person of the week award, he has taken seriously an event that needed a bit of gravitas shown.  

What started out as a lame, cheap, and nasty piece of work by some low-life, who hopefully now will be ousted with the Mallard inquiry, has turned, as these things so often do, into something completely different.  

The leak of information that was already going to be released seemed an odd thing to choose to try and damage the Leader of the Opposition with.  

Mind you the recipient of the detail, the Political Editor of TV3 went to town with it and tried her best to rouse us into a sense of outrage, by suggesting the money was wasted given Bridges still suffers in the polls and that he hadn't released a single piece of policy.  

All of this forgets we are less than a year past an election and no one ever releases policy now because no one is paying attention.

It also fails to understand that unless Bridges walked, hitchhiked, or caught a bus, what other way was he going to get around the country to work out where to next for his job?

And it also forgets, bizarrely, that the car he was in is charged out at a far greater rate than it is for Ministers. So if you compared apples with apples the bill probably wasn't that dramatic at all.

And that's if you ever, and here's where the original scandal failed to take flight, ever got excited about this in the first place, which short of a few beltway obsessives, no one did.  

A bloke's got to be able to do his job, and once Ardern et al lined up basically saying they understood and that's life, the whole "let's embarrass Simon plan" was a complete and utter bust.  

The real story is, of course, the leak. And that is where the real drama lies.

It's either a Labour Party operative, a National Party operative, an operative from one of the other parties, or a mandarin in the bureaucracy.

If it's the latter, it's a sacking. And an alarming revelation that these people who are supposed to be neutral aren't.  

Or it's a politician and what you do with them, depending on whether they're electorate or list, is a major, major issue for the party leader. And one that will provide high drama for weeks.  

It's high stakes too, given everyone is adamant it's not them.

The great thing to come out of this, and this is why Mallard is to be commended, is that in flushing the low-life out it will bring to an end the sort of skulduggery that has no place in a proper robust, and well-functioning democracy.  

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