The conventional wisdom is setting in around David Shearer’s GCSB tape adventure – that it was a tactical blunder, that he shouldn’t have said anything unless he had the alleged tape, that he’s been set up by disloyal MPs and staffers, that Fran Mold should resign etc.
But if you step back and take a look at what Labour had, and what the PM has conceded regards the tape, it was actually pretty damn good. We have Key admitting that he made a speech to the GCSB, that he may have referred to Kim Dotcom, that there was a camera in the room – but apparently it wasn’t turned on – that there was an exhaustive search for this footage before the story broke, and there are (undenied) allegations that hard-drives were removed and wiped.
Put all that together and it sounds as if there was a tape, that the PM did mention Dotcom, and that there’s been a cover-up and the tape was erased. Either that or the PM has been the victim of a pretty incredible set of coincidences to make it look like he’s lied and then ordered his spy agency to cover it up.
Either way, that’s good stuff for an opposition leader. It worked out badly for Shearer because he’s a bad politician, but it was tactically sound.