Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Three Ministers resign

Three Cabinet Ministers are reportedly stepping down: George Hawkins, Paul Swain and Marian Hobbs.

George Hawkin's resignation has long since been anticipated ever since he took his name off the Labour party list. He claims that he would have had support to remain in Cabinet which only demonstrates that his colleagues didn't have the heart to tell him the truth.

Marian Hobbbs has always been known as a bit of a bumbler but I had thought that she would have remained. She says that she informed Helen eighteen months ago that she would not seek a cabinet spot if Labour won a third term. I can only presume that eighteen months ago, Marian made a huge blunder that was successfully covered up. But the price for the cover-up being that she was out at the next election.

Paul Swain is a huge surprise as he has been a competent minister. His official reason for quitting is the "spend more time with family" bollocks. Unofficially? I guess that after being lied to by his Immigration Department in the Iraqi immigrants scandal, he lost whatever stomach that he had for being a minister.

Of the other possibilities that have been mentioned: David Benson-Pope isn't stepping down because to do so at this stage would look like an admission of guilt in the Tennis Balls affair. Jim Sutton looks an almost cert to retain his cabinet seat as does Rick Barker. The other ministers, being outside Cabinet, hold their portfolios at the discretion of Helen Clark and so nothing will be gained by resigning.