COMMENT:

This is why they have the saying, "you can't write this stuff". Because, you can't write this stuff.

You'd buy tickets for a show like this.

And whoever thought that it would be the National Party? The 'we are one, we are rock solid, we are all in this together,' National Party.

Advertisement

The party that mocked Labour, their leaks and disunity, now in the middle of the most spectacular meltdown any of us who have been watching this stuff can remember.

Richard Prebble, Roger Douglas, and David Lange was good. Winston Peters and Jenny Shipley wasn't quite as good. But none of them threw the corruption grenade that Jami-Lee Ross has thrown. So he sets the record.

He quits and forces a byelection, we've seen that. But for good measure is off apparently to the police today with recordings and accusations galore.

The best that can come of this for National is that the police thing goes nowhere. And Simon Bridges' answering of that was as solid and resolute as you can get, as far as I could see.

Then the byelection is held and Ross is humiliated. And that over a relatively short period of time Ross very quickly isolates himself out as a deranged, isolated, conspiratorialist that we all end up seeing what he is - and perhaps feeling slightly sorry for.

In other words when it's this spectacular and this rogue, once the glare of the explosion wears off, we all dust ourselves down and get on with life.

Ross has done the right thing by everyone in quitting and not dragging this out by him remaining as an independent, that would have been truly ugly.

And having seen others hang on before, the Alamein Kopus and Brendan Horans, all it does is bring the game, as well as the individual, into some sort of disrepute.

So if that's how it plays out, then Bridges may well get through this unscathed. In the sense I don't think anyone in their right mind can sheet back this level of madness to a leader and their direction.

Apart from the fact, and this part Bridges can't escape, how is it possible you can have a bloke in your ranks this high up the tree, remembering Ross was at seven on the list, and then out of nowhere have him explode like this?

Disgruntled backbenchers yes, massive changes in policy or direction yes, a growing rumbling or underbelly of discontent, yes.

But from so far out of left field you literally see none of it coming that, you're so confident that you publicly, deliberately, and clearly and with a fist-pounding assurity declare your party is rock solid, and there are no leaks in your ranks.

And yet right next to you is the jihadist, how do you miss that?