Monday, October 17, 2005

New Cabinet appointments

Labour's new Cabinet has been announced with six new faces. They are:
Clayton Cosgrove
Damien O'Connor
David Cunliffe
David Parker
Lianne Dalziel
Nanaia Mahuta
In addition, Jim Sutton has fallen on his sword and is no longer in Cabinet. This is a surprise since he had stayed on when Paul Swain, Marion Hobbs and George Hawkins announced their resignations. David Benson-Pope still seems to be hanging on.

Damien O'Connor and David Cunliffe are Ministers outsider Cabinet and their promotion to Cabinet was not unexpected. Lianne's return to Cabinet was similarly anticipated as she has served her penance for lying to the media.

Nanaia's elevation was not expected as she had done little or note in the past term. I suspect that Helen raised her because she needed fresh Maori blood in her Cabinet. Considering that Nanaia almost lost her seat in 2002 after a scandal in which her first cousin left his wife for her, Helen could make her Minister for Closer Families.

Clayton Cosgrove had merit but his main shortcomings are that he had been bloody stupid when Helen dethroned Mike Moore as Leader of the Labour Party and that nobody likes him. His sudden elevation (he has not had a portfolio outside Cabinet nor even a PPS) indicates to me that Helen is really desperate for fresh blood.

David Parker is literally a Dark Horse. He won Otago, a National stronghold, in 2002 and lost it again this year. Until his mention just now, I was literally unaware that he had managed to return as a list MP. Heaven alone knows what Helen sees in him.