RAW DATA: The Simon Lusk documents
To NBR, the brouhaha over the Simon Lusk documents seems overblown.
The memos, leaked to media, are a fairly routine display of armchair strategising.
The Havelock North "fixer" wants to raise more money, influence media and bloggers and purge economic cause purge MPs not true to its economic cause - common themes from an activist on the left or right as any government's time in office wears on.
Mr Lusk has no formal role in the National Party but has offered training to prospective employees, and is credited with persuading Aaron Gilmore to resign, easing John Key's path to the Budget (which does not fit the narrative of Mr Lusk trying to undermine the current leadership, but never mind).
The leaked files also include National Party board meeting minutes from March 2012m noting that Mr Lusk is stirring it up a bit - and possibly flatters the Hawkes Bay strategist by describing him as a "serious risk."
Interpreting the documents as evidence of a Cold War between possible John Key successors Steven Joyce (pragmatic centre right) and Judith Collins (slightly further to the right) is also a stretch. Essentially, a long bow is drawn to say any agitation for fiscally drier MPs by Mr Lusk will ultimately benefit Ms Collins, should she make a leadership bid one day. But if the topic must be discussed, then do read the results of NBR ONLINE's Joyce v Collins poll here.