Duncan Garner: Judith Collins ‘unhinged and out of control’

05/05/2014

If Judith Collins was a prisoner she’d be in the high-dependency unit on 24-hour watch, in a padded perspex cell. And this time the watch-guard is the PM – John Key.

Key clearly has her on an hour-by-hour watch; that’s not ideal for such a senior Minister. It’s also become pretty clear that Key and Collins discussed her standing down as a Minster in their ‘long talks’.

It must have been a close call for Key. Let’s be really clear: Collins yesterday lost the plot. She was unhinged. She was a bully. She plays this passive-aggressive game of threats. It’s no way to act as a Minister.

In my opinion, she’s no longer fit for her ministerial warrant. Although I said that in my previous columns on this – so I’m being consistent here.

She now looks ‘un-ministerial’. The Oravida mess has got to her. And she’s to blame. No one else.

Ask Winston Peters what a war with the media looks like. Every Prime Minister dreads a Minister at war with the press, especially in election year. What on earth has got into Collins? She’s no bigger than her Government, but she’s acting like it.

Collins has now bought a fight. And the Press Gallery is a strange beast – it loves a target.

Yes, it’s a competitive place, but I can imagine what’s happening today. They’ll be in each other’s offices ‘gossiping’ about how outrageous it was of Collins to attack Katie Bradford.

It will only serve to rile up the most ruthless amongst them to nail Collins. Key knows that, which is why Key has told Collins to chill out. He will have told her to stay away from the media unless it’s on important justice issues.

I would argue, with all the allegations swirling, Collins can no longer do justice to her big portfolios and some time out wouldn’t go amiss. Key should stand her down, come up with some excuse, frame it appropriately and give her some time out. That he hasn’t makes me wonder what she has on him.

If she’s going to stay on she also needs a minder and she needs to get off Twitter.

The truth is, her story about what she was doing in China with Oravida has completely collapsed. She has lost all credibility. What started as a pop-in cup of milk and a private dinner turns out to be a turbo-blasted official dinner involving both Governments, their officials, a senior Minister (Collins) and a National party donor (Oravida).

Collins presented it totally differently and she’s been found out, case closed. She didn’t tell the truth to the PM – she misled him, she misled Parliament and she misled you, the voter.

She must now front up to Parliament for another battering tomorrow, which surely won’t help her, given her current state. Key’s inaction on this means Collins remains a standing target.

Parliament is a brutal chamber where the weakest are executed. Collins used to be tough, but the front has been smashed.

Labour should thank John Key. He’s kept Collins as the main target at the firing range and Labour are once again loading their AK-47s and licking their chops.

source: data archive