Key's worst-yet week in office?
With no 'big' rugby matches this week to blot out the real news, politics came back to the fore, and things went very very badly for the government. Let's list the disasters:
Another Kiwi soldier killed in Afghanistan. My sympathies go to the grieving family. (But the government's claims that he died in the cause of 'fighting terrorism' or 'making the world a safer place' are very unconvincing, if we look closely at what the conflicts in that country are really like. Example.)
The PM's ducking and diving over the difference between 'mentoring' and 'combat'. (How can we forget the Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp's moment of honesty about 'a substantial combat component'? As if that weren't enough, the Chief of Defence said of the SAS role: 'They need to be in the midst of the action to be able to provide the mentoring.')
A freelance journalist in Afghanistan telling us that the SAS's raid was misguided from the beginning and was not approved by the local provincial governor.
Then the economy: The sovereign-debt rating downgrade by two credit-rating agencies.
Then the torture inflicted upon the National Party in the House all week over their unconstitutional video-surveillance legislation.
What's more, the National Party's right-hand support partner, ACT, caused all the wrong kinds of headlines over its leader's politically 'dopey' comments. (There must be more dope to come, surely!)
Could things get much worse? (Yes. The ABs could lose a knock-out match. Or, a whole range of other things could go wrong too.)
Could this last week signal the beginning of the end of those over-50% poll ratings for National? Wait and see.
But, does John Key really want another term in office after this? My gut instincts tell me that he's sick of the job, and would happily kick back and live quietly off his fortune. Wouldn't you?