National’s had their best shot and failed

National and especially Paula ?Back Door? Bennett decided to get involved in personal stuff. They thought this would end everything.

Instead Jami-Lee Ross let them have a day where they thought they had won, and ruined it with a late afternoon tweet. Quote:

Rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross has released a text message exchange relating to the $100,000 donation that Ross alleges came from a single businessman but was illegally hidden in smaller chunks.

The text messages were with National Party general manager Greg Hamilton, but once again do not provide an obvious smoking gun for Ross’ allegations.

In the 12 September exchange Ross asks if it is a “sticking point” that there has been some trouble tracking some individual donors of the wider load of money, all of whom gave under $15,000.

Hamilton replies that the party does need a name and address and “many of the addresses provided don’t match what is on the electoral role [sic].”

He then asks if there was a particular person who organised the donations, to which Ross replies “It was Simon Bridges that arranged the donation, or group of donations.”

Ross asks if to comply with the law the money should be returned, to which Hamilton replies “may be but that would be a shame,” before asking what else can be done to try and line up the donors with real addresses.

Bridges has denied any wrongdoing and said that Ross has defamed him. The police are looking into the matter.

Alongside the messages on Thursday, Ross sent a message to journalists saying the texts “show the National Party knew about the legality issues with the donation back in September. I had also been telling them back then that Simon Bridges was the one offered the donation. Their statement that they knew nothing of it, was false.”

National Party President Peter Goodfellow released the same text messages minutes after Ross on Thursday afternoon. End quote.

The problem for National is that he is now totally rogue. After what they did today he can do anything he wants. If he wants to tweet out why an MP is known as Sick **** then he can.

If he wants to tweet out he wonders if X knows about Richard he can. He can do anything.

If he decides not to resign, and he hasn?t resigned, he can do it all in parliament whilst protected by privilege and do things like lift suppression orders.

Or mention that a certain puritanical MP got a bit handsy with another MP.

National would be wise to get someone to broker a peace treaty with him before they lose most of their front bench.