Why won’t Key sack his Minister?

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 pm, April 6th, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: john key, national, national/act government - Tags:

The Herald is now reporting that John Key won’t sack Richard Worth, despite new information coming to light that an associated company to WSD Global (in which Worth was director while a Minister) was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office:

Mr Key said today he had spoken to Dr Worth on Saturday.

“I believe he does understand my expectations of him…and I am assured by him that he is meeting those expectations,” Mr Key said.

Questioned about the SFO inquiry, Mr Key told reporters: “There’s some need for caution around that before jumping to conclusions.”

I just can’t understand why won’t Key sack Worth for his incredibily bad judgement. Why won’t he follow Bill Ralston’s advice? Why not show some strength, and some backbone, rather than letting a lame Minister with poor judgement reflect badly on him?

Key’s own credibility and judgement are at stake here. Why do you think he’s holding on?

23 comments on “Why won’t Key sack his Minister?”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    The associated company was investigated and cleared by the SFO according to that report. So, what exactly is the fuss?

    • Just isn’t a good look you know.

      National never gave Labour the benefit of a rational factual explanation, so I don’t see why Labour should offer that to National?

  2. Paul 2

    Six months in power and they are talking these issues? Chit how long till the next election, at this rate there should be at least a couple of dozen all for the chop. Still there’s the proportionate 1:63000 Auckland council seats in the offering. That sort of democracy is perfectly set up for right wing politicians.

  3. r0b 3

    I’m surprised frankly. I thought Key was smarter than this. It seems like easy money to sack a liability and get credit for being honest and tough. Instead he is tying himself to a liability, setting a very bad precedent indeed. “One strike and you’re out” appears to be just another broken promise.

  4. BLiP 4

    Has Simply Grubby got something on Key, perhaps?

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Mr Worth is a senior lawyer. An old, old friend of mine who is in the same trade, once told me that all right wing pollies have skeletons and always there is a lawyer who knows in exactly which closet they have been sequestered.

      I’ve not forgotten the very peculiar inconsistencies in Mr Key’s CV, especially around his employment history in the 1980’s with Banker’s Trust. Unquestionably something has yet to surface…. and maybe, just maybe, Mr Worth knows something about it.

      Is this speculation? Yes. Idle fantasy? Probably. But not wholly impossible either.

      The other more realistic explanation is that Key simply intends to tough it out, because he knows that buckling to pressure to sack Worth, however justified and desirable that might be, would allow the Opposition, for the first time, to frame a ‘loser’ perception around his government and leadership.

      A big part of the electorate doesn’t care much about policy, principles or good governance. They perceive politics as a sort of blood sport, all that matters in their world is who is winning the ‘game’. Cheating doesn’t matter much so long as the ref doesn’t red card you…. and so far Key is grimly holding onto the whistle.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Presumably Key is weighing up the two political considerations (principle doesn’t enter into it, of course):

    1) Sack Worth. Look strong (or would have done last week, it’s getting late now). No loss of talent.

    2) Sack Worth, set a precedent, a standard which can’t be maintained.

    If he sacks Worth for this, he probably figures he won’t have any Ministers left in a couple of years. Several have already gone very, very close to misleading the House, which can terminate careers.

  6. dave 6

    Key has confidence in Worth. He doesn’t sack ministers he has confidence in. Easy really.

    • BLiP 6.1

      Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if Worth is really one of the best MP’s National has. You could be right.

  7. Duncan 7

    I have it from a source in parliament that Richard Worth’s taxpayer-funded EA did most of the research for his PhD.

  8. Irascible 8

    Same old adage for the same old tory political has-beens or wannabes… one rule for us when we’re in power but it definitely ain’t the same rule as has to apply when Labour is in power. Labour must be always clear than upfront with its policies and conduct but National can be as corrupt as it likes as they’re the “natural” governing party.
    Same old clothes but sold differently to look honest and upright in 2008.

  9. On the Winston scale it’s about a 5 out of 100. And I think Worth is a complete pillock 🙂

    • Tane 9.1

      This kind of comment is coming up with increasing frequency as the Worth scandal deepens. Interesting to see the Nats are now using the behaviour of Winston Peters as their moral compass.

    • exbrethren 9.2

      So selling your products under the guise of a minister is a twentieth of the offence of fleecing a billionaire.

      Low standard of ethics you set for National.

  10. Joel 10

    Well Winston was a bit of a different story as he was leader of his own party. But yeah, I agree.

    The comment about lawyers knowing about these skeletons is very very apt. Had a discussion just the other day about the possibility of some skeletons in Keys closet, particularly as he is not very open about a pretty large chunk of his history which should be suspect to anyone!

  11. Jasper 11

    tsmithfield – investigation is still ongoing. Nothing has been cleared yet.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Speaking of the Winston Scale, an update:

    Internal Affairs Minister Richard Worth has blamed news media “misreporting” for him again being ticked off by Prime Minister John Key. (stuff.co.nz)

    Tomorrow: Worth denies wrongdoing, blames immigrants.

  13. BLiP 13

    I wonder if Worth will be attending any ANZAC Day Commemorations this year or is there, perhaps, a new camel ride concession he would like to try out?

  14. Unlike a certain minister who just sat in his car during ANZAC celebrations 🙂

    Tut tut.

    I will use Winston as a good gauge as you lot kept pretty quiet about him last year despite the evidence to the contrary. I myself am not afraid to slam the idiots in National and likewise if ACT (ie Garrett) starts being stupid. 🙂

    • r0b 14.1

      Helen Clark ran a tight ship, and sacked lots of ministers. Winston was stood down from his portolios.

      Key has fallen at the first hurdle here. Shielding this pillock Worth makes it clear that, right from the start, no one in his government is going to be accountable. Cosy yes, good for NZ, no.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      “I will use Winston as a good gauge”

      I don’t get what you mean. Are you saying that you will hold this government to the standards that Winston set, or those that you thought Helen should have demanded of him?

      “I myself am not afraid to slam the idiots in National and likewise if ACT (ie Garrett) starts being stupid.”

      It’s not about you though Clint. It certainly looks like Worth lied to Key, and he is yet to explain to NZers at least why the signage and Indian press referred to him as a minister of the crown. Has he explained that to Key? Has Key asked him? Has Key asked the Indian press? Why not? etc.

      I think those were the sorts of questions Rodney was asking re Peters IIRC, so if that’s the gauge, then that’s what Rodney should be asking here. No? 🙂

  15. You’re right. Worth should be given the appropriate punishment. I have no time for him, but then again I have no time for any politician who has legitimately broken the law or takes advantage of the open chequebook lifestyle of being a politician. (not making any references to anybody here but making a point that it shouldn’t be a lifestyle).

    Oh I meant that Helen would have got a LOT of credit if she told Winston to piss off and spoke openly about her Govt standing up for transparency. I would have been in the front row clapping that. Shipley told him where to go and Helen was just as capable to do likewise 🙂

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