There are two losers and a winner out of the Trevor Mallard no confidence vote, come scandal.
Like most things in life, it didn’t need to be this way.
Trevor Mallard destroyed a reputation, if not a life. The poor man's lawyer the other day suggested in court the man still feels like a leper.
Mallard doesn’t talk about any of this. For a while last year when the full detail of the mess he created became public, not to mention the bill that we are picking up, the press gallery chased him about the place for a while. But he hid, ducked, and said nothing.
The big question as to just what he thought he knew, to be able to say the things he did, remains largely a mystery.
But here's the thing, everyone makes mistakes. If he'd gotten a grip on himself early, fallen on his sword, apologised profusely, offered amends, asked for forgiveness, and generally behaved like a human being, at least some of the carnage could have been mitigated.
He didn’t, and we are where we are.
The winner is National, because this is exactly the sort of thing an effective opposition should be doing.
They should not just be on the side of right, they should be representative of, what I suspect is the majority view of the country, when the government because of petty party politics isn't doing their job.
Matters of justice, decency, and morals should be the domain of a good opposition. Even as they can't win a vote of no confidence, given they don’t have the numbers, they win a moral victory and hang a few reputations out to dry.
Which brings us to the losers. Obviously, Mallard who if he had any shred of decency would have, along with the aforementioned apologies, have quit as Speaker. You can't oversee rule, demeanour, and behaviour when your record is as stained as his.
And the Labour Party who, by defending him, protecting him, sticking their fingers in their ears, and pretending it'll all go away, align themselves with him and his character.
By protecting him, they protect the indefensible as though its acceptable. That speaks to their character as much as Mallard's.
Yes, with time this will be just another mess swept under a carpet, politics is like that.
Lives and reputations tossed asunder, only drawing attention until the next news cycle, press release, or headline.
But doing the right thing is still important. National, by not letting Christmas get in the way the way Labour had hoped, are indisputably doing the right thing.