A few days ago Adolf wondered if the reincarnation of Roger Douglas might sow the seeds of ACT's demise. Unless ACT engages in some very slippy crisis management, Adolf's gloomy prediction looks likely to become a reality.
The usually astute Matt McCarten seems to think so. He sees the entry of Sir Roger into the fray as a prime driver for National's determination to accommodate the Maori Party and I suspect he is right.
"Hide clearly overplayed his hand when he bullishly laid out Act's hard-right bottom lines to Key. Act underestimated the work in recent years by National's leadership, particularly Bill English, to cultivate a relationship with senior players in the Maori Party and in the wider Maori community. Clearly, National's leadership can count. Key's hint before the election that he would consider asking the party to be part of an incoming National
administration even if Key didn't need them for a majority was under-reported. But that was clearly National's insurance strategy against potential blackmail."
"Key is in the enviable position of neutralising Act by turning to the Maori Party when he needs a majority on any legislation. On centre-right policy he can rely on Act, but when they play up over matters that aren't right-wing enough, Key can always get the Maori Party onside.
Frankly, Act has no ace card to play when it comes to push and shove in the back room."
However of far more concern to the back room managers of ACT is the report of appalling behaviour on the part of its No 5 list MP David Garrett.
Mr Garret has just set off a hand grenade in the powder magazine of the good ship ACT.
It's not just the foolishness and crassness of his remarks that is a problem but moreso his blind stupidity in turning up three parts pissed to a TV studio to record a political discussion show. That is the real problem. You can't have a fool like this in a position of responsibility at a time of national crisis. A saner person with political nous would have cried off, feigning illness.
"Sources said Garrett turned up drunk and offended production staff when the Willie Jackson-fronted show was recorded at TVNZ studios in June.
"He was so extreme, I couldn't believe it," said one. "He was in the green room and he was so drunk. "
"Garrett: "Paedophiles, like homosexuals, 30 years ago homosexuals had, according to experts, a disease and they needed to be cured and it was a spectacular failure because homosexuality is a sexual orientation, so we decided that because there were 10 per cent of people who were homosexual it was no longer a disease. Paedophiles cannot be cured any better than ..."
"Hauiti said Eye To Eye regularly sought out controversial guests and Garrett was invited on as a legal adviser to the Sensible Sentencing Trust. "I did find him to be obnoxious. I told him we would never have him back again."
then the lames excuse
"I was at a business lunch that turned into a rather long one but I knocked off well before the show. It wasn't my finest hour. I don't believe I was offensive."
Rodney Hide has only one option. He should demand Garret's immediate resignation. You can't negotiate a coalition agreement when you are carrying Public Idiot Number One.