Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hobbs fobs jobs

Marian "Boo-Boo" Hobbs is one of three current Cabinet ministers who have turned down roles in the next Executive. George Hawkins and Paul Swain are the other two with withdrawal symptoms. It's no surprise that Hawkins is out. The only curiosity is whether he fell on his sword, tripped on it or was pushed onto it by everyone else.

Paul Swain is slightly more surprising. He hasn't done a fantastic job in Immigration but then again, who does? His IT portfolio had been principled right up until Cabinet rolled his local loop unbundling ideas last year. Swain claims he wants to spend more time with his family and electorate issues. The best way for a politician to spend more time with their family is to quit politics.

Maybe he is concerned about his majority dropping from almost 13,000 to just over 8,000. If he doesn't help his rural constituents, I'm certain he will lose more votes to National next time round. It would be interesting to know what sort of electorate issues he needs to spend more time on. RMA applications?

No reason is given for Boo-Boo's decision not to aim for Cabinet again. Hobbs had told Clark some 18 months ago that she wanted outski. Pity she couldn't let her Wellington Central constituents know her plans whilst on the campaign trail this year. I suppose it is difficult to campaign as a high-powered Cabinet Minister who wants to chuck the stresses of the Disarmament and Environment portfolios.