The full extent of the political damage caused by David Shearer's "forgotten" stash of cash in an offshore bank account became all too apparent in Parliament yesterday.
That's because Shearer got absolutely owned by John Key in question time in a classic stones-in-glass-houses scenario. Absolutely owned.
Shearer was trying to pierce the Key Government's defence that the EQC privacy leak was down to "human error". Putting it down to a human error wasn't good enough, according to Shearer.
It was a tactic doomed for failure from the get-go.
Because Shearer himself was just a week before defending "forgetting" to declare a figure that could be anything north of US$50,000 - possibly even US$1 million - in the MPs Register Of Pecuniary Interest.
I have never before seen Key given such an easy hit in the Parliament.
Shearer himself took to his feet and actually uttered the words I was thinking: "This is unbelievable" - although we were both thinking of it for different reasons.
So Key smashed Shearer not once, not twice, but five times from what I saw.
Key's line was that the EQC worker made a mistake - just like the mistake Shearer claims he made. Over and over and over again.
Was it "human error" that led Shearer to think he could attack Key over "human error"?
Or was it another "brain fade" by Shearer to think that Key wouldn't throw his brain fade back in his face?
Labour's morale-boosting line will be that Shearer had no choice but to try and take Key on over the privacy issue, and that Key didn't look like he was taking it seriously.
But the political reality is that it looked like Shearer was isolated and completely exposed and couldn't handle Key coming at him over the missing money.
And that would have to be the big concern here for Shearer because Key and National aren't going to stop coming at him on this one. And at the moment it looks like Shearer can't take it.
Shearer spent most of last year bagging the PM over "brain fades".
Shearer bagged John Banks over "brain fades" too. And yes, I can see the difference about Shearer owning up to his.
But still, Shearer got all indignant about "brain fades" - and it's come back to haunt him - big time.
As Parliament showed yesterday, the "brain fade" boomerang is having many not-so-happy returns for David Shearer.
Yesterday, it came back and hit him in the face.
source: newshub archive