Richars Prebble’s latest The Letter, contains a sad, but probably true, assessment of the political future of National leader, Don Brash.
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. (McCully’s many enemies say he drafted the statement.)
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.
Don’s problems are even greater than we have been told. Before the Independant story appeared Don had told senior MPs that he wished to resign for personal reasons. He had told his family of his decision, hence the need to return home to explain he had been pursuaded to stay on.
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.
11% in the preferred leader’s poll is huge. National voters have decided. The only question is whether to do the coup before or after Christmas.