COMMENT:

A smokescreen is a tactic of war to provide cover for troops to either attack or retreat, depending on the circumstances. On occasions, it can also be used to asphyxiate.

This week saw the National Party deploy one after it somehow managed to obtain some of the spending figures which will be in Thursday's Budget.

They merrily released them as both Labour and National MPs went into their weekly caucus meetings, and then watched the fog swirl.

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A couple of hours later the smoke had reached its peak.

National released two further statements: The first was an announcement that

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