Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Mike Hosking: We finally have a Cabinet - it's time they get on with it


Let’s be honest, the names attached to the portfolios isn’t of great interest to most of us.

From a personal point of view and given his attachment to the show, Stuart Nash has got to be happy with economic and regional development. Yes, he loses police and revenue but anything to do with the economy right now is as important as it gets and clearly reflects the PM’s view of his contribution.

But as for the rest of it there are a bunch of them in there that broadly you would believe they would have a clue as to what they are doing.

Robertson, Little, Parker, Hipkins, Woods and co are solid. You might not like their style of politics, but there experienced and they won’t end up like Clark or Curran or Lees-Galloway.

But in that latter is the key to all of this.

There are new names and incompetent names. We might note the scrupulous inclusion of David Clark, a simple incompetent who let the country down badly and yet still has work. That says as much about Ardern as it does Clark.

But almost redeeming herself is the demoting of Phil Twyford, with a portfolio as inconsequential as you can get without actually sacking him completely. Fortunately he’s outside cabinet, and the fact those two are still about reveals the truth they will never really confess.

And that’s that a larger caucus doesn’t mean a more talented caucus. And the pressure this time is they own it all.

They don’t have New Zealand First to blame or to unload work and portfolios on to. And if you look at their first term record, one, they didn’t get much done, and two, they ran into too many issues with too many embarrassing moments. Their lack of talent and delivery was well exposed.

The up side is there are no excuses. They have a mandate and they should if they know what’s good for them, have the confidence to start really rolling out their programme

From their point of view you would hope all the trouble they had was a lot to do with MMP not incompetence, but in all reality I think we know the truth.

So the test and pressure is real, but here’s another truth. If you’re smart you only need a handle to actually run the place.  A lot of a cabinet is window dressing its jobs and rewards for favourites. It’s as much political as it is practice.

This next three years is about money. Spending, recovery, the economy, cover those bases well and you’re half way there. Who dabbles in internal affairs or arts or broadcasting is of no real importance.

The biggest part of yesterday’s reveal is after two long, long weeks thank god we can actually get on with it because it’s not like there isn’t an economic disaster to sort.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.

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