When a Prime Minister’s memory and grasp of affairs disappears, isn’t it time to turn him in?
Sure, like a befuddled oldster he has a long history of losing his memory. Unlike every other adult in the country at the time, he couldn’t remember where he was during the Springbok tour. When he was promising “significant” tax cuts during the 2008 election, forgetting there’d just been a global financial crash, he couldn’t remember that his former employer Merrill Lynch—where he’d earned his fortune—had been swept away in the destructive tide.
He couldn’t remember when he first heard about Kim Dotcom; couldn’t remember a briefing about raiding his house, a cafeteria visit, or cracking a joke about it at the time; who he talked to, or not, about Sky City’s casino application; who he talked to, or not, about Mediaworks’ taxpayer bailout; who he talked to, or not, about how he voted on the drinking age.
And this week, at the moment, he’s saying he “can’t remember” the name of the senior American official who flew into Wellington last week in a liveried US government plane, or even if he’d seen a piece of paper with the name on it.
It’s like a little child lying about things he’d rather his mother not know, and hoping she doesn’t notice. But it’s still lying—and if it’s not lying, then it’s incompetence.