2 mins to read

Collins commits career suicide

The only question now is how much trouble she'll cause for John Key over the next three years.

Wed, 15 Oct 2014

What's left of Judith Collins' poltical career is over.

By kicking up a fuss over not getting an "Honourable" title immediately, she has ensured she won't return to the cabinet this term, or ever.

The only question now is how much trouble she will cause for John Key over the next three years.

An inquiry is currently under way into the events that lead to Ms Collins quitting as a minister, centering on an email that suggested she was attempting to undermine the then head of the SFO. Key took it seriously enough to accept her resignation.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the PM said, "It's the Prime Minister's intention, should Ms Collins be cleared in the current inquiry, to recommend to the Governor General that she be granted the use of the title 'The Honourable' for life." (All ministers are an "Hon" while in cabinet. But after they leave the executive, it is only extended to a lifetime title at the PM's discretion. Lifetime titles were conferred on Chester Burrows and Pita Sharples last Wednesday as they joined the Roll of Honourables.)

Collins took umbrage at learning of this development through media (if it can be called a development; as a former Justice Minister she should have taken the procedural point as read).

She turned on the melodrama when called by Fairfax, which reports:

Collins was upset and angry to be given the news by Fairfax Media. ‘‘No-one has given me the decency to tell me that ... I’m actually hurt and shocked.

‘‘Frankly, that you are the first person to tell me, I have to say, you could knock me down with a feather ... It’s appalling.’’

Her fury was directed at Key: ‘‘If you are the person that is charged with telling me this ,then that says an awful lot about the person that should be doing it, and I am utterly disgusted.’’

That is not being a #TeamKey player, or a good soldier in general.

The PM's office doesn't accept that sort of insult from a leader of the opposition (just ask Phil Goff), let alone alone a member of its own party.

Next stop: Key politely suggests she take an ambassador role, or maybe something requiring less diplomacy. I'm guessing he'll be asking McCully to find something that's coming up well before 2017.

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Collins commits career suicide