COMMENT:

A couple of what I regard as important observations in the ever developing Karel Sroubek residency case. One, none of the new information coming our way is coming from the Immigration Minister or his department.

And two, none of what is coming forward is good - and would lead us any closer to coming to the conclusion that Iain Lees-Galloway made a half-decent decision.

We are here of course because Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, before she decided last Friday that none of this was quite good enough, had thought it was good enough earlier and counselled us to "read between the lines".

Advertisement

So we have: and what we have learned is that pretty much all you need to know was readily available, and easily accessed.

And once again not a single skerrick of it would lead you to the conclusion the Prime Minister suggested we would reach. In other words having read between the lines, all that's unfolded is that we are even more certain that Lees-Galloway has made a catastrophic error.

The latest twist is the family forced into witness protection because of our newly minted resident, Sroubek.

Add that now to the passport fraud, the lying, the gang links, the drug smuggling, the trips to the Czech Republic, the extradition order, the Immigration Department trying to boot him out, and what we have is what most of us would see as about as slam dunk of a case not to grant residence as you could ever possibly want.

There remains I assume the slim possibility that this Government holds some sort of weird trump card, that get out of jail miracle where they eventually spill that magical secret, and we all go 'oooooohhhhh so that's why you did it'.

But having been directed to read between the lines, with the indisputable inference all will become clear, we still don't see that magic rational or anything close to it.

And the more we look, the more I assume that what the Prime Minister meant that Sroubek was in danger, the more it looks like the Government believed it - that Lees-Galloway asked no questions, and made what is now potentially one of the biggest political cock ups of the modern age.

They believed a crook, didn't check, and have now found themselves in what will undoubtedly be a massive legal mess, when they go to boot him out and he heads straight to court.

Tell me I am wrong, happy to be proved wrong, but the great irony of this whole case is the media and the opposition seem to have done for the government and Lees-Galloway what he didn't, couldn't, or wouldn't. His job.

If this plays out the way it seems to be, he can't possibly survive. If Clare Curran went because she was inept, he has to go because he's dangerous.