Talk about a long week in politics. Famous Ngapuhi son and MP Hone Harawira sent an inflammatory email to one of his nemeses after being attacked.

Mainstream media, other political leaders and the chattering classes have gone into a hysterical feeding frenzy. Even old war horse Winston Peters came out of retirement to join the stake-burning.

As a result, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has summoned the chairs of the Maori electorates to a hui today. If we believe the media spin, she wants him out.

Rodney Hide, who was toast last week, must be thanking God for his deliverance by the Harawira distraction.

Frankly, I can't get excited about any of this. I find the whole media coverage shallow and juvenile. Sending three backbench MPs on a junket to Brussels was a waste of taxpayers' money anyway, but Harawira shouldn't have taken a day out for a Paris excursion, even if his hosts couldn't have cared less. If he had tacked on a private day at the end of trip he would have been fine.

Unlike former perkbuster Hide, Harawira paid for the excursion himself and didn't try to conceal it. In fact, he wrote about it in his electorate newsletter. But it was an error of judgment. In situations like this an MP would normally be censured by the Speaker of the House and that would be the end of it.

Of course, it was Harawira's incendiary language in the email that upset people. But if you take out Harawira's expletives, while we still might not like it, he's merely telling the truth about the colonisation of New Zealand.

Harawira's mistake was not eating humble pie quickly enough. His defiance allowed the story to keep rolling for days so it's now got to the silly stage where his future is on the line.

So what exactly is Harawira's crime? He skived off work for a day and sent a private email with an inappropriate, hot-headed response in a fit of anger. For God's sake, half of New Zealand has done that. He's a backbencher, not a Cabinet minister.

Was the email racist? Was Don Brash using his Orewa speech to dog-whistle up redneck support racist? Was Helen Clark's decision to drive through the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, to stop Maori taking land cases to court like everyone else, racist? Was MP John Carter phoning John Banks on his talkback show pretending to be a Maori dole-bludger racist?

So, what's going on? It's no secret Turia and Harawira have a distant relationship. Harawira is lukewarm at best with the National Party arrangement and has baulked in private at the willingness of the co-leaders to accommodate National's agenda.

It's always difficult for a small party in coalition but tensions over policy have become more pronounced recently.

The hysteria this week has panicked the Maori Party into thinking it has to take drastic steps. Turia has decided there's no other option but that Harawira has to go. It is instructive Key has publicly endorsed Turia's decision.

Unfortunately for her, Harawira isn't accepting the offer to be an independent. The Maori Party constitution requires Harawira's electorate to support any expulsion as well as a national hui. Neither is going to happen.

They could try to expel him unconstitutionally from the caucus then bluff it out. Believe me, I've been there and that's a party suicide option.

Even if Harawira is eventually forced into a by-election, he would win. The consequence of that though is there would be two pro-Maori parties in the Maori seats at the next general election competing with Labour. Harawira gets two years to brand a new movement by attacking the Government. Turia and Sharples would be forced to spend their time defending modest gains from National. I wouldn't put money on the Maori Party surviving that three-way fight.

So before the Maori Party is railroaded into decapitating one of its own, it should slow down and carefully consider the possible fatal fallout to themselves.