Opinion: Key open to a deal with 'Wogistan Party'
Key is keeping an open mind about a deal with NZ First, despite the ordeal
Overlooked in all of the combustion over "Wogistan" has been the fact that John Key won't actually rule out working with the party that harbours ‘Mr Wogistan’ himself.
Yes, that's right - while Key hammered Richard Prosser at yesterday's stand-up, the very last question was whether he would rule out working with NZ First after the next election.
And Key's response? He hasn't made a decision yet.
That means NZ First is still in the game as coalition partner for National at the next election.
- VIDEO: Prosser fronts, apologies…kind of
- VIDEO: NZ First MP Barbara Stewart gets flustered during questioning
So even though Winston Peters is harbouring an MP who thinks diversity is "evil", and who calls Muslims "an upstart minority", Key won't rule out dealing with NZ First.
So even though NZ First is a party that essentially thinks it's OK to offend the Muslim world - which accounts for billions of dollars of trade for us - Key won't rule out dealing with them.
So even though NZ First thinks it's OK to have an MP who got so angry over a confiscated pocket knife he decided Muslims shouldn't be able to fly, Key might still go into Government with NZ First.
Even though Key says Prosser's comments show the lack of talent in the NZ First caucus - Key is still prepared to deal with those MPs in his own Government.
To be fair to Key, he's keeping his options open until early 2014 - he has no choice if he wants to win.
He probably hopes NZ First will destroy itself - and the Horan and Prosser debacles will be giving him hope.
The attack by both Key and Collins on NZ First yesterday shows they are ready to put a couple of hits in to help the destruction - although they are not completely putting it in a choker-hold.
The tactic by National is clearly this: NZ First could still be valuable to us - so let's not hurt them too much.
I have a sense that Key backs himself here and believes NZ First will blow up before the 2014 election - but he's hedging his bets.
Key's other solace will be that Labour is all too prepared to deal with Peters as well. David Shearer and Labour are just as desperate as Key for power - they will deal with the Prosser party too.
Peters of course looks like he's enjoying this and is probably hoping Prosser's invective will give NZ First a boost in the polls from those out there in voter land with racist tendencies.
So Key may hate what Prosser said - he doesn't hate it so much to rule out doing a deal with NZ First.
And while Key probably hates NZ First, he's not yet ready to rule out being mates.
That's because when you are desperate for power, you are prepared to let things slide.