An honest Prime Minister confronted with the allegations made in Dirty Politics would instantly have said, 'I will order a thorough investigation, and if what my staff and ministers are accused of is shown to be true they will be sacked.' But he did not do that. Instead he attacked the messenger over and over and over again, at the same time as admitting that he had not read the message, but still asserting that it was nothing but smear. And when a journalist asked him why emails sent to newspapers were discoverable under the Official Information Act but not ones sent to bloggers, instead of replying, 'We want to be open, we want to show you that we have nothing untoward to hide, and therefore we will release to you whatever you ask for,' he shut the questioner down by saying repeatedly, 'We observe the law'--meaning that the Act does not cover bloggers so there's nothing in law that makes openness obligatory (from 02:15 on this video). His guilty guns are smoking like overwrought volcanoes and his counterattack guns are spiked. He has a lot to answer for but is answering none of it.
As the Southland Times remarked, 'If those persistently high polls have been giving the impression that John Key can walk on water, the first post-Hager poll will show whether he can walk on sewage.'
Key's strident ploy on the 18th of August defied the smallest semblance of credibility was to say that Hager's claims are dissolving before his eyes. That was the same day that the original emails were being released, and which proved the claims were rock-solid. The Prime Minister obviously does not know the difference between solidity and dissolution.
Then his arrogantly asserted 'solidity' began to dissolve.