John Key’s shakey government

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, May 3rd, 2011 - 35 comments
Categories: act, national - Tags:

The Nats have ‘soft-launched’ via Kiwiblog and Whaleoil that Rodney Hide and John Boscawen will both lose their portfolios and ACT will have no ministers. Farrar points out this will benefit ACT’s taxpayer funding to the tune of $130,000, which is somehow sweet while spending $500,000 on a by-election to get a mandate is a serious crime.

The fact is that ACT does not have anyone who is acceptable to everyone who gets a say:

  • Don Brash won’t have Hide or Boscawen as ministers because he overthrew Hide and Boscawen stayed loyal to Hide throughout.
  • The ACT board won’t have Heather Roy as Deputy Leader so she can become a minister.
  • John Key won’t have Roger Douglas or Hilary Calvert – who is a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket even by National standards – as ministers.

There’s a ghost of a chance that Hide will leave ACT in a bid to keep his portfolios but, assuming that doesn’t happen, let’s look at the list of Key’s lost ministers:

  • Richard Worth – for reasons we’re not allowed to know
  • Pansy Wong – for reasons we’re still only just learning about
  • Phil Heatley – for just long enough to look like he had learned his lesson
  • Heather Roy – because Rodney Hide said so
  • Rodney Hide – because Don Brash says so
  • John Boscawen – because Don Brash says so, and because everyone in Parliament except Rodney Hide despises him

And how about those sudden mysterious portfolio drops?

  • Paula Bennett losing disability issues.
  • Anne Tolley being ‘unloaded’ of tertiary education.
  • Simon Power dropping SOEs.

Not to mention Power quitting when he was first in line to succeed Key as Nat leader.

Then there’s the support parties. The Maori Party has become so discredited by completely betraying its principles that one of its own MPs left (along with most of its activists) and set up a party that will be its executioner. ACT lost one MP after he admitted he stole a dead baby’s identity and then lost the leader who covered for him to some old duffer who isn’t even in Parliament.

This has been anything but a stable government. And if the Nats fall short of a majority in November, as they certainly will, a second term would only be shakier.

35 comments on “John Key’s shakey government”

  1. It really looks like a soap opera.  Like a few people have said, time to get the pop corn out.
     
    I think that Power’s dropping of SOEs is the story that needs the most investigation.  The reason given was “percieved conflict of interest”.  The only conflict that I could see is that either he is taking up a senior position in one of the shortly to be privatised entities or that he was going to join a law firm that was going to do the work.  Something smells though.
     
     

  2. PeteG 2

    Re Act, if they want to retain a bit of coalition credibility they need to retain a ministerial presence, otherwise Brash just reinforces his “my way or the highway” brand.

    Re the turnover of ministers – if they have to stand aside or be stood down due to inquiry or performance issues that’s a good thing, retaining ministers that can’t do their jobs properly or aren’t doing their jobs well enough should be a normal part of managing Cabinet.

    • Re the turnover of ministers – if they have to stand aside or be stood down due to inquiry or performance issues that’s a good thing, retaining ministers that can’t do their jobs properly or aren’t doing their jobs well enough should be a normal part of managing Cabinet.

      But, surely, the number of ‘inquiries and performance issues’ in the Cabinet does raise questions about the judgment of the person at whose pleasure they were appointed (and served as long as they did)?

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        Certainly it raises questions, but I don’t think it’s unexpected for a new government, with no ministerial experience for the previous nine years, and some of the individuals with no ministerial experience at all, to find that some MPs aren’t up to scratch. I’d be far more surprised if they all did a marvelous job.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          6 months in is a “new Government”, but 30 months in?

          And does it really need more experience as a Minister to know not to inappropriately hit on women, use dodgy office arrangements and Ministerial travel to do private business, and help out someone who stole a baby’s ID?

          Appreciate the excuses though PeteG.

          I’d be far more surprised if they all did a marvelous job.

          With the Cabinet Key has chosen, you are not at risk.

    • felix 2.2

      Re the turnover of ministers – if they have to stand aside or be stood down due to inquiry or performance issues that’s a good thing, retaining ministers that can’t do their jobs properly or aren’t doing their jobs well enough should be a normal part of managing Cabinet.

      Can’t see how that applies to any of the Ministers listed. Maybe Heatley.

      Definitely not Heather, Worth, Wong, or Boscawen though.

  3. M 3

    That anyone can countenance Brash being in parliament in future whilst operating by remote control now defies belief – voters elect him at their peril.

    Brash – the sarin gas of democracy and humankind.

  4. JS 4

    The loser in all of this is the poor old public. For example, Rodney was in charge of the very important portfolio of special education after taking it off Heather Roy last year. He has been on a sharp learning curve since (as can be seen in his TV appearance on Sunday). There is a lot of inequity and injustice in special ed and thousands of vulnerable children and stressed parents – and he was almost ‘getting it’, after the major review last year. Looks like it is back to square one for a few months and then a new cycle of ministers and policies (unless of course we get someone who actually understands the philosophy and complexity of it all – and there are a few of them in the opposition parties).

  5. randal 5

    this government seems to have been handed a de facto six year term and whil;e we all fart about deciding to who to vote for the nats will be lining up buyers for the SOE’s.
    democracy in action. WOW.

  6. A Teamster 6

    Make no mistake this was orchestrated by National, takeover Act and get a tame coalition partner on the right so NATS can stay in the center.All national people in the coup.

    • PeteG 7.1

      I don’t think it’s a fail, I think that’s a reasonable approach to transition. Replacing Hide at this stage of the term makes little sense.

      Boscawen had minor portolio responsibilities so he can better spend his time leading the parliamentry team and preparing for the next term. Dumping him would have pissed a lot of Act supporters off.

    • ianmac 7.2

      Whats the bet that Hide refused to jump and said, “Keep me as Minister or I call a by-election.”
      “But can’t do that! Embarrassing.” But after the 26 May it will be too late for a byelection. Ha ha.

      • PeteG 7.2.1

        I think Brash was confronted with a dose of reality. Hide has all the experience, dumping him would have caused major difficulties. Boscawen is probably the most respected Act MP and had to still be doing something worthwhile. Promoting Calvert to whip shows how sparse the options were.

        Roy and Douglas to both be retired?

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Hide has all the experience,

          All the experience of what? Helping baby identity thieves?

          Brash has been around the Governmental block himself you know, that guy has more experience than bloody Hide does.

          • PeteG 7.2.1.1.1

            No he doesn’t. He has no experience doing the hard yards to win an electorate. He has never managed a small party. He was a list MP from 2002-2007. He has never been in Cabinet. Carried by a large party.

            Hide has been a list MP from 1996-2005, and an electorate MP from 2005-2011. Three times longer an MP, carrying a party for six years.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1.1

              You’re counting winning Epsom as Hide’s credentials to campaigning? (Ignoring the fact that its the party machinery which does most of the campaigning, and that standing on Manukau Rd in a yellow jacket is just not that hard)?

              National could have put in a half baked new candidate into Epsom and won it, a candidate with NO campaigning or MP experience whatsoever but with Key’s backing would have carried the day easy.

              He has never managed a small party. He was a list MP from 2002-2007. He has never been in Cabinet. Carried by a large party.

              You have to be fucking kidding me.

              You’re extolling the virtues and experience of Hide in managing and leading a small party?

              Have you even watched what Hide’s “management” and “leadership” of ACT has done to that party in the last 12 months? He cut his own throat with such awesome performance that National had to engineer his downfall! lol

              Can’t believe you have the nerve to list that lame arse “leadership” performance as a positive for Hide. Trust me, Brash would have to try pretty damn hard to do a *worse* job of leading a small party than Rodney Hide.

              Seriously, Brash was briefing Prime Ministers while Hide was still in diapers.

        • McFlock 7.2.1.2

          The Act caucus having a Whip is damned close to self-flagellation…

      • Rob A 7.2.2

        A quick question for those who know. If Hide had forced a by election and another parties candidate won, would ACT stay in parliament? ACT only got 3% of the party vote from memory so rely on Rodney to have got into parliament

        • Alwyn 7.2.2.1

          Yes they would remain in Parliament. The representation is decided when the final results are declared about three weeks after the election.
          It wouldn’t even matter if the Electorate winner lost their seat as a result of an Electoral petition after that date I believe.
          I don’t know quite what happens if the new member after that came from a party that failed to get an electorate seat, and didn’t get 5%. I think they would simply remain as a singleton member.
          Graeme Edgeler. Where are you when we need your advice?

          • Rich 7.2.2.1.1

            In the absence of Graeme, I’d opine that if a new member came from such a party (e.g. NZ First) it wouldn’t make any difference. List seats are allocated after a general election and not otherwise.

            (see the Electoral Act, which answers all such questions).

            • wtl 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Yes that is right, the electorate vote only has any effect on the list during the general election. Apparently it is also possible to ‘nullify’ an electorate vote in the general election by registering as a candidate in the electorate, but dying before election day. E.g. if one was to register as a candidate for Epsom in the general election, but then died before the election, the election for the Epsom electorate would not go ahead. Although a by-election for Epsom would be held later, this will not affect results of the party vote. So if Act failed to get 5% of the party vote, they would not be in parliament, period (unless they won another electorate apart from Epsom).

              • Rob A

                Thanks for the answers. It was a situation I had never thought about until today.

  7. right rider 8

    Do you guys ever get ever so slightly embarrassed when your predictions (in this case of what would happen, and Farrar’s supposed intimate involvment in the strategy) turn out to be 100% wrong??

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      its still in process laddie, final time has not yet been called.

    • Bunji 8.2

      Eddie’s certainly not 100% wrong – Boscawen’s losing his portfolios, despite keeping deputy ACT dawg.

      One can only assume Rodney’s keeping his because he threatened to throw his toys out of the pram if he didn’t get to keep his baubles and BMW. Played a bit of hardball against Brash’s plans and did a deal to go quietly at the election.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1

        Reckon Boscowen’s out because he supported Hide, Hide is still in because Roy is hated by the broader party and there are no other options.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          Why’s Roy hated? She’s actually borderline normal and intelligent.

          • felix 8.2.1.1.1

            Is that a question and an answer?

            • Mac1 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Sharp, felix. To paraphrase Thomas A’Becket, “Sheathe thy claws, felix, before they impale their mortal selves upon your wit.”

      • ianmac 8.2.2

        Hide has announced that he will not be standing for election in November.

    • Treetop 8.3

      right rider you tell me what I got wrong in the last sentence of 28.2.2?

      /act-bought-by-nats-for-a-song/

      Hide will need to see a chiropractor by the time the time the general election rolls by because after 26 May he will need to look over his right shoulder for Brash and his left one for Key.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 9

    What a circus, it would be funny if I didn’t know better. I predict Act will run hard right ( no surprise I know) in order to make National look centre ish, Key will let Act take Epsom and Brash will get to implement some of his crazy plans and Key will have Brash to blame. I suspect thats the plan and it could all come off unless Keys Mr Nice guy act is finally exposed. There is a terrible smell of money about this and what’s happened to MR Douglas who seems to have suddenly gone very quite, way to quite.

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    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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