There is a power struggle erupting within National as Key’s grip on Parliament starts to wane and the logic of the polls slowly builds a clear majority leaning towards the Greens & Labour. The cost of the unity that National exhudes is that the vicious internal fighting is far deadlier. The pressures of that power struggle popped up unexpectedly last week in the Simon Bridges vs John Campbell interview with Bridges fronting to attack John purely to arouse National’s rump voter base, not to answer any actual questions about deep sea oil drilling.
This change of tactic, to flog a well perceived ‘liberal’ broadcaster to rally the more reactionary members of National’s electorate is a symptom of the factions within National building to fever pitch and no where is that activity most frantic than around Judith Collins.
What is most fascinating about the Luigi-Palino-Slater-Cook smear job is the amount of National Party insiders who are furious and terrified that any of their skullduggery will blowback on the rest of them.
Slater’s 180 degree turn by first championing Bevan to now calling her the Chinese Lisa Lewis are the words of a desperate man, a desperate man the MSM have given a very smooth ride to. Slater is the wolf that cried boy, attacking everyone for questioning his motives with all the logic of a defrocked monk hell bent on justifying his heresy.
If Bevan Chuang’s latest affidavit making all sorts of claims about the motives of those who sold this message and would politically benefit from outing the affair finds its way in front of the Police, what will be most interesting to watch is the relationship between Collins and Slater.
Slater is Collins favorite attack dog, the two of them are in contact far more directly and far more often than most guess and if Collins feels the internal tidal flows of influence leaving her because of a sense that she is tainted by the tactics of her pet, watch her start to put public distance between the two of them.
This would be a dangerous tactic as Slater is wedded to Collins and believes activating the white angry vote is an essential part of National winning 2014. This will come down to how publicly reactionary Collins wants to be, does she shun Slater or does she embrace him? Her public actions now will give a hint to how she will conduct her inevitable tilt at the leadership as Key’s ability to win fades.
Collins knows she needs to soften her ‘Crusher’ image or risk becoming a polarizing figure that generates more resistance than support, to that end she may jettison Slater leaving NZs rogue blogger with no restraints.
Slater’s comic book villain status mutates more grotesquely by the day, and the dawning realization that some bloggers just want to see the world burn seems to be sinking into the National Party.