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Mike's Minute: The Govt begins the week in a world of pain

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Aug 2022, 10:03am

Mike's Minute: The Govt begins the week in a world of pain

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Aug 2022, 10:03am

When Chris Hipkins says Gaurav Sharma's expulsion isn't pre-determined do you: 1) laugh or, 2) simply not believe him?

For a government that is this under the gun, statements like that don’t help.

Not helping either is the release of the letter from Sharma to the Prime Minister's office last December, proving this thing has been going on for a while and showing that despite the Prime Minister's office saying it’s all dealt with and it was all settled, the fact we are where we are, tells us that’s not true.

Then we have the Chief Ombudsman's office writing to the Prime Minister's office - who must be getting sick of all the mail by now - asking whether this Official Information Act activity that Sharma says they are involved in is above board.

The sad thing about ombudsmen is they are close to being pointless, they have no teeth.

You can see from here how the Prime Minister's office will respond, by saying "no need to worry, it’s all under control, squeaky clean, nothing to see here".

To which the ombudsman will say, and I have the response, they will assure all is well and I must accept their word for it. So sort of a waste of time really, eh?

Anyway, back to the expulsion.

By tomorrow, Sharma is gone from the party and the issue for him then is whether he sits as an independent or goes full nuclear and calls a by-election.

Either way, none of it is resolved and none of it helps the Labour Party, who are now dreadfully exposed for a variety of behaviour and attitudes they would hoped to have kept under wraps a lot longer than they have.

Sharma's only risk is if the public tires of it. All scandals have a life and that life is determined by the specifics of the so called crime and the material associated with it.

And also, the news cycle.

If something else big rolls in the media only has a capacity to handle one story at a time and the public not much more either.

The Labour Party will be praying for something big and/or Sharma to have basically played his full hand.

But as we sit here this morning, that is speculative. What we know for a fact is the Government start the week in a world of pain.

Most of which is entirely of their own making.

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