A matter of record
polls are all over the show, but Act going down the tubes is one of the more noticeable common themes.
The teapot tapes may still be a tremendous bluff - that's my sense. If there was anything "game-changing" recorded surely the Herald on Sunday would have printed it at the weekend. The legal ploy of seeking a declaratory judgement in the High Court is a shrewd one as it keeps the ball in play and continues to put the shits up them. The Nat-Act bandwagon has been hobbled by the teapot cloud and the Judge will lift that cloud when she releases her decision at 2:15pm this afternoon. It may rain or it may clear depending on what was recorded. However not to release it - when it is almost certainly in the public interest - is weakness supreme on the part of the media.
The recording is being treated like the missing 15 minutes of the Nixon Watergate tapes even though the PM insists nothing but blandness was said in the cafe. It smells whiffy.
The media rushed to publish private and confidential information that Paula Bennett maliciously leaked to the press about people on her department's file, but when the tables are turned and it is the politicians who want to protect their privacy the media go wobbly at the knees at their threats. One rule for them another rule for the plebs.
As for the Solicitor-General himself turning up to give arguments? - that is the PM using the officers of state to do his bidding in a personal/party matter and is completely inappropriate. As inappropriate and constitutionally dodgy was his flouncing off in a paranoid huff to the police to get the tapes from the news media. He is in statute the ultimate boss of the police so of course they over-reacted to his request. This is a misuse of power and ought to be recognised as such.
If ther PM is claiming some matter of state (like state security etc.) to justify using the resources of the government to help him suppress a recording then let him be open about it. But he isn't justifying it on those lines because there never was a legitimate reason to involve the police in this matter. He was persuing electoral and party business and acting as though it was a matter of state - it isn't and the threshold isn't met. The judge though is not ruling on these issues, so everything turns on whether she believes it reasonable that what went down in the cafe in front of dozens of media was private or not.