Accusations by Judith Collins and Rodney Hide against Benson-Dope have been backed up by former students of the Dope who have come forward four days after their initial airing to substantively confirm the details.
And a reader has suggested here that I apologise to Rodney, but I'm really not sure why. As I said a few weeks ago here, this idea that going after Government scalps is what an opposition should be doing is nonsense, now matter how odious the target, and rightly attracts little support from those outside the 'loop' of Wellington's political observers. For them this sort of thing is fun, but for the rest of us it's irrelevant, as was the Dope in any case. Colin James argues a similar point here.
I can understand the desperation to lever oneself up in the polls, but I'd suggest that this 'going for scalps' nonsense isn't doing that anyway, and particularly for a party that makes some claim to being the 'freedom party' there' s an opportunity cost in doing it: if you're attacking someone for putting tennis balls in people's mouths then you're not attacking the Government for the many issues on which it really should be attacked; and you're also open to accusations that if this is all you regularly do then you're open to the accusation of just being a smear merchant. And going on Hide's record that wouldn't be wrong, would it. He's Winston-Lite.
Russell Brown said last week, "Good grief. Is this the sort of election campaign we're going to have?" Sadly, a campaign in which we see opposition politicians arguing the substantive issues is further and further away.
[UPDATE: Now this is good satire. I do hope the choir master can laugh about it.]