Now that Trevor Mallard and Phil Goff have been exposed yet again for the shameless muckrakers and liars they are (They haven't learned much from November 2008.) and the dust around Mellissa Lee has settled, someone needs to ask some hard questions of the National Party. Not the parliamentary wing of the party but the party organisation itself.
Are you serious about this Mt Albert by election?
Why did you hang an almost totally inexperienced candidate out to dry?
Is there no communication between ministers, party and candidates?
Who is the party president? Has your arse been kicked?
Have you made changes to ensure there are no more unnecessary stuff ups like the 'motorway' debacle?
Adolf is reminded of the Australian Labor Party's folly in mismanaging it's prime ministerial aspirant and loose cannon Mark Latham in 2004. He, like Melissa, was a bright young shining star, albeit unhinged. Like Mallard he would resort to fisticuffs when his limited mental faculties were stretched.
Latham looked a shoe in to beat Little Johnny but during the last fortnight of the election he slipped away to Tasmania, shot his mouth off with some foolish statements about the forestry industry and lost Tasmania for Labor, thereby killing the ALP's chances of victory. Remarkably, the glowing Wikipedia account of his political life carries not one word about this memorable debacle.
Now to National's mismanagement of Melissa Lee.
She is a high flying list MP with almost no experience campaigning for an electorate seat, yet she seems to have been left to her own devices.
She was allowed to appear at an important televised multiparty event without being briefed on the next day's motorway announcement. Worse, she was allowed to assume the whole damned thing would be above ground. Imagine the PR triumph for National if Melissa Lee had been allowed to let slip that National was going to put in a tunnel AND save a billion dollars. Mallard and Goff would have absolutely shit themselves. As a political issue in Mt Albert, the motorway from that moment would cease to have existed.
Adolf has been ferociously critical of Helen Clark but one thing is for sure. She never would have allowed her party machine to stuff up as National's has done here.
We are lucky our party has three weeks to recover from this near fatal mistake.