Not good enough, Mr Hide. Not good enough at all.

The press conference held at Parliament early this afternoon featuring Act leader Rodney Hide, the party's new deputy leader, John Boscawen, and party president Michael Crozier was little short of a disgrace.

Act is the one party which bases its sales pitch on the notion of accountability. Not a skerrick of that concept was apparent during the 20 minutes or so that Rodney Hide and then Boscawen repeatedly refused to utter one word which might have added up to an explanation as to why Heather Roy had been dumped as the party's deputy.

Voters - especially Act voters - deserve better.

No doubt Hide and company were advised to put up a brick wall to any questioning about what happened at this morning's caucus in the belief the media will soon tire of the story and move on to other things.

If so, those advisers should be sacked.

The shambles which passed for a press conference will be bad enough publicity in itself once excerpts are shown on television news tonight.

Hide and Boscawen's silence has also left a huge vacuum for all and sundry to fill with every theory as to why Roy got the chop. The blogosphere, heavily populated by adherents to Act's ideology if increasingly less so to the actual party, will go into a feeding frenzy.

Throughout this afternoon's farce, Crozier stood beside Hide, his demeanour giving new meaning to the old cliche about being a possum caught in the headlights. Crozier's facial expression suggested the truck had already run him over and then engaged reverse gear for good measure.

When questioned, his fumbling responses suggested someone still in a state of shock.

But at least his response was human - unlike the cynicism flowing from the automatons to his right.

Perhaps, as the person who is supposed to communicate and mediate between Act's parliamentary wing and the wider party membership, he understood one thing that both Hide and Boscawen seemed to have forgotten: if you treat people like idiots, they tend to rapidly come to the same conclusion about you.