Oh what a tangled web we weave

If you are a fan of Shakespearean drama, particularly the tragedies, you will know that there is one golden rule that is played out every time. Everyone – and I mean everyone – who has been in any way tainted by the matter that caused the tragedy has to be cleared out before a new future can be forged. Everyone. Even those standing on the sidelines, who didn’t take a major part in the overall plot, are seen to be complicit in some way and have to be removed, usually in a brutal way. Even innocent parties sometimes. This is because it is the only way to really rid the world (the world that is contained on the stage) of all hints of the corruption and evil that has gone on before. Only then can a new world order be established.

Moving forward about 400 years, that is the situation faced today by the National Party. Everyone who is there at the moment has to be cleaned out. There is no other way. Ask the Bard himself.

Folger Theatre, Henry IV part I, Tom Story as Prince Hal and David Graham Jones as Hotspur.10/7/2008

Jami-Lee Ross. His revelations won’t save him. He has to be cleaned out. Whether his problems are mental health issues or he is just plain evil, he has to go. The good people of Botany will not, in the end, vote for someone who has openly admitted that he is guilty of electoral fraud, whether or not his boss asked him to do it. He will end up with a dagger through his heart. In modern times, that will mean either in jail or in a mental institution. Or similar.

Simon Bridges. The smell of corruption hangs around him now. He cannot survive it. It will never go away. He has been stabbed through the curtains by someone screaming – A rat! A rat! He lies on the ground in a pool of blood.

Paula Bennett. Obfuscating. Vague. Knows more than she lets on. Hides behind her mask. Pretends that Ross’s behaviour was a complete shock. It wasn’t. How much did she know? What is she covering up? She has the smell of complicity about her. She must drink from the poisoned chalice.

Amy Adams? What did she know? Mark Mitchell? Judith Collins? All the senior National MPs have a whiff of complicity about them. They were part of a corrupt administration. Even if they did nothing wrong themselves, they are tainted by it. Did they know about the secret donations and say nothing? Who knows? The audience is very poor at giving the benefit of the doubt where there is a whiff of corruption, so they throw rotten tomatoes at those they see as complicit.

This is why the next leader of the National party will not be the next prime minister. For Labour, this is the gift that keeps on giving. Until the current senior National MPs are all cleaned out, along with the board of the party, Labour stays in government. There can be no moving forward. They are all tainted.

Jami-Lee Ross threw a grenade into the future of the National party. In his overwhelming desire to bring down someone who has crossed him, he has inadvertently brought them all down with him – even those that he described, ironically, as ‘honest’ people. No one in the senior ranks of the National party today will survive this.

For any of the possible next leaders of the party, this is a poisoned chalice. They have to try to show the public that they are clean and honourable when they came from an administration that was brought down because it was corrupt. Therein lies the problem.

I pity whoever becomes the next leader. It may be the pinnacle of their ambitions, and yet it will probably end badly. The media will constantly be asking questions that take them back to the old administration. Every time anything is even slightly suspect, they will look guilty. The voting public will never be quite sure and if the public is not sure, they will not vote for them.?Better safe than sorry, and vote for the new guy. Or the other guy.

Those that said, during Andrew Little’s tenure, that the next Labour leader was not born yet were wrong, but those who now say that the next National prime minister is not in politics yet may very well be right.