“The Government was worried about Solid Energy’s ambitious investment plans and rosy view of coal prices as far back as 2009 but was unable to order the company to steer a safer course, Prime Minister John Key says.” (26 February 2013, New Zealand Herald.)

Gee, that’s a surprise, Mr Prime Minister! Because here’s what you said on 3 June 2011:

“Speaking in Invercargill yesterday, Mr Key said he supported Solid Energy’s plan to dig up lignite and turn it into briquettes, saying the Government wanted companies such as Solid Energy, which is Government-owned, to expand.” (PM backs mining south’s lignite, Southland Times)

And here is a picture from the National Party’s own photo stream of John Key’s deputy, Bill English, turning the first sod for Solid Energy’s pilot lignite briquetting plant – a plant which now lies useless in the middle of the Mataura Valley:

Don Elder and Bill English: So happy together

Don Elder and Bill English: So happy together

Isn’t it nice the way Don lets Bill take the lead? Isn’t it nice the way they both smile for the camera? Isn’t it a pity how rats fight to be first to leave the sinking ship?