Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Some free advice for Helen

Both John Tamihere and Clayton Cosgrove have apparently made threats to resign their posts if George Hawkins is ousted from Cabinet. If these threats are true and that's a big if, then the best course of action would be to find John's price and give it to him. Then Helen can sack George with the added pleasure of watching Clayton resign.

I'm left wondering why they would made this threat at all or even convey the impression of having made one. George is in Cabinet primarily because he's in the "right" faction and does some good in mediating differences within the Cabinet. He is not an effective minister and for that reason holds portfolios in which he can do little damage (such as the Police whose professionalism makes the need for a minister redundant). Even then, he has still managed to bungle matters, such as the Leaky Buildings affair, making Clayton's comment that George is a "damned good performing minister" somewhat bizzare.

If George were to be dismissed, then his replacement would be from somebody else in the right faction, such as Damien O'Connor. While this would make little difference for John, Clayton could expect a promotion as a result (assuming that Helen doesn't snub him yet again). John's threat or pseudo-threat could be interpreted as sympathy for somebody who has mediated between him and Helen but Clayton's actions looks completely deranged.