Just quietly, Alf has been struggling to suppress his urge to join the Labour tossers in demanding Nick Smith’s head.
They reckon he is not fit to lead the Government’s local government reforms and must be sacked.
This follows Nick doing something Alf would never do: he apologised.
The advice never to apologise was drummed into Alf by his dad.
Nick, obviously, was not blessed with such sound parental guidance.
Stuff records his ignominy in a report today –
The Minister for Local Government and then ACC minister yesterday apologised for writing a reference last July on ministerial letterhead for friend Bronwyn Pullar to use in her medical assessment for an ACC claim.
Ah, Alf mused on hearing of this.
It looked like Nick had landed himself in big trouble and The Boss would not be pleased.
Your hard-working MP found it hard to disguise his delight, as he anticipated Nick’s sacking and the likely prospect of a phone call to the Ninth Floor and an invitation to take over.
Prime Minister John Key has rejected opposition calls for him to sack Smith, saying it was ”an error of judgment” and he had not breached the Cabinet manual.
He has also said the letter had not appeared to have influenced ACC because Pullar was still unhappy with the support she received.
Labour’s ACC spokesman, a former union leader and therefore a bloke whose ideas shouldn’t be given the time of day, is Andrew Little.
This morning he was saying local government reform was one of the Government’s key policies
… and was being led by a minister who had shown he would put his personal interests above what was required of him professionally.
”I just don’t think he is fit to be leading that level of reform.”
Smith would be dealing with a lot of people in his new role as Local Government Minister.
”Are we going to see National Party people in local government favoured over other people in local government? When he acts in that sort of way, these are the questions that arise in the discharge of his ministerial duties. That is why he is unfit to be a minister.”
Alf would hope Nick favours National Party people over other people at the best of times, and clearly he has done so in the matter that has landed him in trouble.
He was helping a National Party supporter, this Pullar woman.
She is a former National Party activist and was supported by a friend and former party president Michelle Boag when she met senior ACC representatives in December to discuss her case and the emailed list.
Mind you, her party credentials should have been questioned because it seems she had a cycling accident some years ago which is why she expects something from the ACC.
Tossers like Mallard ride bicycles. Tories ride in limousines.
But let’s shift up a gear, because the furore has brought out the ugly side of Winston Peters – again.
Come to think of it, does Peters have anything other than an ugly side?
NZ First leader Winston Peters in Parliament yesterday described the situation as ”a shabby little case, involving blackmail, sex, a minister with a conflict of interest, and he should go now”.
Good one, Winston.
Let’s see if those tossers in the Press Gallery picked it up.
The comments prompted media questions about Smith’s relationship with Pullar.
Smith initially said she was a friend and would not describe her as an intimate but later he refused to comment on his private life.
”I have an absolutely wonderful wife, I have four wonderful children … I have been loyal to my wife during the entire period of our marriage and that I will be till the day I die. I love her and my family so much.”
As Mrs Grumble can tell you (she keeps tabs on these things), Nick separated from his first wife in 2005 and remarried in 2009.
Mrs Grumble is astonished he could find one woman willing to become his wife, let alone two, and she hooted with mirth at the idea he might have been getting a bit on the side.
“Take a look at this picture,” she demanded (she spotted the picture reproduced above in the Herald and reckons it shows Nick at his best).
“This is not the face of a modern-day Casanova.”
But maybe someone felt sorry for him…