Out of her depth

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, July 1st, 2009 - 11 comments
Categories: unemployment, welfare - Tags:

I wonder if Patrick Gower could keep a straight face while writing this:

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has dropped her additional Disability Issues portfolio because Prime Minister John Key wants her to concentrate on the growing numbers of people losing their jobs.

Note his phrasing. Not ‘concentrate on reducing the growing number of people losing their jobs’. In fact, Bennett herself has contributed to the dole queues by several hundred just from sackings in her own ministry. Let alone her total failure to save any significant number of jobs in the wider economy.

The Westie (from Rotorua) straight out of central casting, Paula Bennett has never been anything more than a marketing gimmick. From the start it has been obvious she is hopelessly out of her depth (listen to her try to talk about what she does as minister, it’s like a kid explaining why they haven’t done their homework). This level of incompetence would be disastrous in any minister, let alone the one whose ministry has the biggest budget and is meant to be at the leading edge of the government’s reaction to the recession.

Taking away her other portfolio is a vote of no confidence in her from Key. He’s effectively saying ‘you’re not performing well enough. So I’m going to lighten your load. Last chance to do better’.

Unfortunately, this is a government built on such gimmicks and that is what will save Bennett no matter how badly she continues to perform. Key can’t afford to lose face by admitting Bennett was never up to the role and only got the job because of her image.

The Key government is all about brand over substance. Bennett can continue stuffing up all she wants. She’s part of the Key brand so her job is safe. Pity we can’t say the same for tens of thousands of Kiwis who are going on the dole under her watch.

[Key just invented a new ministry in Question Time saying: ‘well, actually Paula Bennett asked to be relieved of responsibility for the Ministry of Disabilities’. Um… the guy doesn’t even know that ministries he governs. This just gets worse]

11 comments on “Out of her depth”

  1. bobo 1

    Interesting how the media didn’t pick up on Bill English in the house yesterday saying that anyone who is losing their job really didn’t have a real job in the first place as it was based on consumer borrowing.., in that argument anyone who isn’t working directly in export market is not in a real job, most of NZ.. An offensive howler but missed by the media as usual. Labour should attack him today on that statement.

    The Disability Issues portfolio would be a hospital pass to who ever takes it I would think.

    • In that case let’s dump the governing lot as they are only governing because all those people not having real jobs voted them in. And they aren’t governing very well and actually it’s not a real job either.

      Captcha: All nannie. Lol

    • r0b 1.2

      Interesting how the media didn’t pick up on Bill English in the house yesterday saying that anyone who is losing their job really didn’t have a real job in the first place as it was based on consumer borrowing

      Interesting – have you got a link for that somewhere bobo?

      • Zetetic 1.2.1

        “Hon BILL ENGLISH: New Zealand is dealing with two recessions. One is the coordinated global recession. The other is the New Zealand recession that started in early 2008, which was caused by 10 years of unbalanced policy under the last Government. Many of the people who are losing their jobs today are the unfortunate victims of policy that built economic growth on borrowed money and big Government spending. Those were never sustainable jobs, and it is unfortunate that those individuals and families are now feeling the pain of losing jobs that were not sustainable”


        • Pascal's bookie

          God. As if the US didn’t stave off entering recession (using our definition) by having helicopter ben slash interest rates and pump liquidity like mad, while the govt was slashing taxes and spending like a loon on fresh bullets and kevlar wraps for hummers. Bush’s economy was on an iron lung for over a year before it finally collapsed, our’s went south when it did because our RB is independent.

        • r0b

          Cheers Zetetic

          • bobo

            Labour were pretty weak in the house today I thought a bit more focused questioning was called for , more questioning of Pita Sharples would be good as he is prone to giving unscripted answers. John Key seems to find the topic of 1000s losing their jobs each weak humorous with every answer ending in a sarcastic gag or laugh, wonder if those who are losing their jobs find it such a funny topic. Watching his performance is akin to watching a Dean Martin celebrity Roast all that’s missing is flared trousers and a Sammy Davis Jnr dance routine.

  2. Craig Glen Eden 2

    Bennett is a disgrace I have to say she is the worse minister I have ever heard in my life. However I am not surprised , during the election she stood on street corners saying “its a nice day vote National” This was followed up with at public meetings” Its my turn give me ago”. To those who are reading this and thinking no way, yep I am not kidding. The give me ago was in relation to the fact that she had been on the list and wanted to be the Electorate MP.
    Rob Muldoon would do a better job of a media interview half cut. Which of coarse he was exactly that at times.

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    I’ve been sitting here awhile trying to think of something intelligent to say (rather like the lady herself, but then the fate of workers isn’t in my hands and I’m not paid $300k).

    But reading Craig Glen Eden’s account of Bennett’s performance all I can think is that if Lynn of Tawa and Chloe of Wainuiomata somehow contrived to have a love child, it would sound like Paula Bennett.

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