Spring is upon us and Helen Clark is preparing to dust out her executive. DPF has done a good job making recommendations. Not bad for a Nat! However, armed with the trusty transTasman Guide to MPs 2006, there a few points I'd like to add:
Cullen - Loses Finance, gets Health. Also throw him Economic Development to utilise the knowledge gleaned from Finance.
Goff - Finance, obviously.
Maharey - Demote but keep in cabinet. Education is going to get hammered between now and the election, and the wounded Maharey is on his way out to Massey pastures. Education needs someone to give a shit.
King - the old man said that while Annette was competent enough, she would never amount to very much. King has proven him wrong. Give her Education.
Mallard - Deserves to be sin-binned for a while. He should lose Economic Development. Give him Corrections instead. The man needs to focus his finite talents. Let him be grateful for keeping the rest of his portfolios, and hope for a carrot if Labour wins the election.
Hodgson - Hmmm... tricky... DPF says Social Development. Good call.
Cunliffe - Give him Trade and Defence.
O'Connor - His latest gaffe more of a "D'Oh!" than a sackable offence. If it's a small world for a Nat's partner, it's a small world for a private secretary's hubby too. Stays in cabinet but out of Corrections.
Cosgrove - Give him more, but what? DPF says Justice, I say Immigration. Why not both?
Parker - Attorney General. Again. Maybe Economic Development if Cullen is preoccupied.
Dyson - In spite of a big of some comments received that she is useless, I have gut feeling that she could do more with more. Local Government maybe?
Dalziel - Same as Dyson. Civil Defence? Maybe throw an Associate Minister of something in there too.
Mahuta - Give her Environment and Conservation.
Laban - Big mana for the Mana MP. Give her Pacific Affairs. Housing too?
Duynhoven - What to do with Dutch Harry? Would he be missed?
Burton & Barker - If they were in Star Trek, they would be wearing red vests.
Tizard - Why is she still in cabinet? Clark needs someone to pass the ammo, not hold her handbag.
Carter - Another waste of space. Has had plenty of chances but a non-performer.
So, four or five gaps in the executive to fill. Who deserves a seat at the table?
Barnett - Now Tim isn't running for Christchurch local government, does he want something more or is he happy being Senior Whip?
Hughes - As transTasman observes, he is nearly old enough for promotion. That was last year. Give him something unfuck-upable like Transport Safety to get his trainer wheels.
Chauvel - DPF is taking the piss. From what I observe, Charles has got it. He just hasn't earned it yet. Still, if Tizard can be a minister, it's an insult not to throw Chauvel a bone. Minister of Courts, Law Commission and Associate Justice.
Jones - Shane has a fine balancing act ahead. Avoid the Curse of JT on one hand, but keep himself busy on the other. If he can assure genuine objectivity, give him Treaty Negotiations. Dagg knows, the position has been missing someone with balls for a long time.
Street - Give Maryan Women's Affairs. It's right up her alley. Maybe Ethnic Affairs too.