National's Maurice Wimpianson has been hoist upon a petard of his party's own making, just as Bill English was last month, as Kate Wilkinson was the month before that, and as every National MP with both a a viewpoint and a mouth will inevitably be before this election is over.
It's a petard made entirely of timidity -- of a policy of being too scared to ever say what they mean, or to mean what they say. It's a policy that means that National politicians are required to be saying less and less, which means their every bland utterance will be examined for more and more of what they might signify. It's a policy that means every time a National politician stick their neck out it's immediately and embarrassingly withdrawn amidst headlines of wimpishness and wowserism.
It's a policy born of desperation for power, and a the typical Tory tendency to appeasement, but it's a policy that presents a seasoned politician like a Clark or a Cullen everything they need to make a meal from -- as they already have -- and that requires every position the Tories might eventually wish to adopt remains essentially undedefended.
That's not a recipe for real substantive change, is it.
If there's anyone to blame for the accusations of National's 'secret agenda' being flung around it's the National Party themselves -- not because they have one, but because their public timidity and instant backtracking when challenged suggests they've got something to hide. And frankly, they have: their spinelessness.
UPDATE: The Dim Post's Daryl mercilessly satirises the 'secret agenda.'