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Wednesday
Mar212012

Nick Smith (The Ex Hon.)

With Nick Smith's sub-timely resignation following the revelation of a a further 'letter', described by the PM as "a letter too far",  has brought about a situation that incidentally, and totally discredits his 'eight-point' reform package.

Clearly Cabinet had reservations yesterday in agreeing to the package, and was concerned at the hasty manner in which it was compiled, and the obvious contradictions and lack of clarity that it demonstrated.

The almost gleeful reaction from local government generally does not auger well, and I think we can expect the entire package to be withdrawn by whomever is appointed to replace Smith. Gerry Brownlee took the immediate flak today, but was clearly uncomfortable.

So please resume the status quo prior to this debacle - the first major sign of a crack in the armour of this Government. Key will surely learn from this, but doubts have now been raised as to his ability to exercise full control - he should have pushed Smith following the revelation of the first 'letter'.

The more one looks at the 'package', and the PM's equivocating over the past 24 hours on 'public good' grounds, the more irrelevant the whole package appears. It will be a relief for it to be consigned to the bin, and I guess we can expect a replacement before the next election, but don't hold your breadth.

The departmental merge that has been effected by Stephen Joyce, Murray McCully's unfortunate debacle with MFAT, and other recent examples of shaky Government policy give the impression of a Government that is hanging on by the skin of its teeth, and that they had better start to take close note of their slender majority. Keith Holyoakes excellent advice to incoming members to "say nothing, and sit on your hands" begins to sound more and prescient, and sound advice for the current front bench.

 

 

 

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