Perhaps it would help us all if Labour and the Greens drew up a list of whom the Prime Minister can and can't text?

Key likes to text. I have kept a very touching one he sent on the birth of our daughter.

But although Labour and the Greens are apoplectic about the Government peeking at the emails and texts of suspected terrorists, paradoxically they want to monitor and censor what we say and do.

The right not to be offended now trumps free speech. We must tiptoe around the delicate sensibilities of the thought police.


It's now not enough just to avoid saying anything remotely politically incorrect, you must sever all contacts with those who do.

Labour and the Greens have spent a great deal of time in Parliament pestering Key about his text contact with Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater.

They are in a frenzy that Key has texted him.

They are shocked and appalled that he won't rule out texting him in the future.

In our great pressure-cooker of democracy the Opposition has been fearlessly teasing out whether Key's texting is proactive or reactive.

Their great victory was to catch Key not accurately recalling whom he texted on what date.

Are we seriously saying, after National's six years in Government, that the big gotcha is Key's failing to recall a text, whether deliberate or not?

Surprisingly, Key won't let Labour and the Greens dictate to whom he texts.


He thinks - very controversially - that he can text whomever he likes. That has enraged Labour and the Greens even further.

Labour leader Andrew Little took to TV to offer his professional diagnosis of Slater's mental state and described Key's texting as "unhealthy".

Green co-leader Russel Norman found it "inexplicable". They both surmised that Slater has a dark and nasty power over Key.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Cameron Slater has information that could hold the Prime Minister over a barrel," Little said.

Norman questioned why Key gave Slater his new number: "Because Cameron Slater is a friend or because he fears Cameron Slater?"

In the meantime, I am sure National hopes Little and Norman will keep banging on about Key's texting.

I know that as a minister I would have welcomed the Opposition making that the news of the day.

And Slater?

Well, he must be revelling in the publicity.

He has just again won Netguide's prize of best blog of the year.

Debate on this article is now closed.