For overseas readers: we are having a bit of a contretemps in our main opposition party, whereby one MP (Chris Carter) has told the world (well, us in Kiwiland) that the leader of his party (Phil Goff) is not up to the task of leading his party to victory in the next election. Carter has been expelled from the parliamentary caucus and is under threat of expulsion from membership of the party. In the last day or so he has declared himself to be 'unwell.' Now our Prime Minister - like his Ozzie counterpart, an atheist - has made a few comments, including the pronouncement of a miracle:
"Key said the bid for sick leave was "a bit remarkable".
"Here's Chris Carter, he's told the truth about his leader and now he's in the sick bin for two months," Key said.
"He didn't look very sick to me last week. He looked fairly exercised about the fact that he didn't think Phil Goff could win an election, but he didn't look terribly sick."
Key joked that Carter should have to provide a doctor's certificate - something proposed legislation would require of ordinary Kiwi workers who take three days of sick leave.
"He's going to have to tell the New Zealand public that he genuinely believes that he is sick," Key said.
"He was asked that question last week, and he said no. He said he was concerned about the Labour Party and he was concerned about his leader. Miraculously, that's changed."
Key said he understood Labour was having great difficulty trying to expel Carter from the party and putting him on sick leave was "a way through that". " (From Stuff).
Whether Carter is sick or not I leave to the High Priests and Shamans of our Political Life to diagnose. What I do know is that it is a bit odd that so much attention is being paid to his view that Phil Goff cannot lead Labour to victory in the next election. Every sane, intelligent voter knows that already. They also know that (1) it has nothing to do with who is leading the Labour Party, (2) there is no wonderful/amazing/ prodigious successor to Goff in the Labour Party, (3) it is not helped by twerpish behaviour by certain Labour MPs :)