The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

man down

Just noticed on Scoop that Paul Swain is not seeking Cabinet again, which means there will definitely be new faces in the areas of immigration, corrections and employment law.

He's cited family reasons, but I'm wondering about the new Labour caucus and whether those on the right of it are feeling a wee bit insecure about getting much Cabinet action. Field is likely to go in the short term at least, and there could be an influx of Greens, so we could be looking at a very different group around the big table than we had in the last three years.

Update: Idiot/Savant has more goss, namely that Hobbs and Hawkins are also jumping - clearly Environment could go Green but who would get Police?

11 comments:

Idiot/Savant said...

Which is good. Labour's got a third term, but if it wants a shot at a fourth, it has to renew itself and lose the stale feeling from having the same old faces around for too many years. Unfortunately, this means getting rid of those who are competant as well as those like Field and Hawkins.

span said...

i'd love to be a fly on the wall at those Labour caucus meetings - those few new MPs must have already been lobbied beyond belief.

i agree that new faces would be good, but i'm a bit concerned that we might lose some of the good 'uns but keep the bad ones. Hawkins in particular comes to mind.

i think Mallard will shift into the Finance role full time, freeing Cullen up a bit (apparently Mallard was Finance on Fridays for the last year or so).

Joe Hendren said...

interesting you mention the portfolios - this would give Wilson a chance to come back into some of her old roles - apparently she is sick of being the speaker.

Bringing back wilson would not help Labour convince people there are fresh faces coming through - Labour internals may make it political expedient.

Idiot/Savant said...

I would love to see Wilson back in Cabinet - but then who would get the Comfy Chair?

It would be interesting if they got a non-government MP to do it - and it would advance the separation of legislature and executive some more - but who? Peter Dunne's qualified, but won't want it. I can't see any of the Greens going for it either. Which leaves Clem Simich...

span said...

Why I/S I can't believe that you would overlook the most credible, and reasonable answer - think of the MP who raises the most points of order, who is looking for a legacy as he faces the end of his career, and suddenly has a lot less electorate MP work to do... ;-)

Idiot/Savant said...

Oh, I thought of He WHo Shall Not Be Named - but the prospect is so terrible that I dared not voice it. I'd rather have Shub-Niggurath for Speaker than him.

Maria von Trapp said...

Personally, I'd like to see Wilson back in charge of employment. The woman is a genius in that field.

span said...

oh no MVT, you do not know what horrors your comment may unleash!

see:
http://spanblather.blogspot.com/2005/03/she-devil.html

I'd like to see Wilson back in employment too (smelly unionist that i am) but i don't think it's very likely. but we do need a new Minister of Police...

Maria von Trapp said...

oh well, I got an a+ for employment relations so people are welcome to take me on!!! (actually THAT will probably get lots started on me for being arrogant blowing my own trumpet - oh well, bring it on!)

I once heard a very right wing member of the EMA proclaim that the ERA is a "beautiful piece of legislation" and, it is.

I had a read of your post and the comments, and one thing that strikes me is that Wilson hasn't had any major f*&$ ups, so can't be pinned for anything. She spear-headed what I believe to be one of the Labour Party's most significant pieces of legislation, and I think, given her background, is still the best person to continue with the necessary "tweaking."

dpf's comments about consultation made me chuckle. someone should remind him that the ECA was snuck in right before Christmas, to try and minimise the public backlash, as everyone was focussing on their turkeys, booze and prezzies, rather than worrying about an essential piece of legislation.

The comments from maps/scott about Wilson not having a working class background aren't justified with regard to employment law. The ERA strongly favours the working class, those who have little power (inherent bargaining inequality, blah, blah, blah!).

Lets just be bloody thankful we don't have Wayne Mapp in charge.

Joe Hendren said...

MVT - While the ERA was a big improvement on the employment contracts act, much of the wording of the 1991 legislation survived - at least a lot more than people think.

Internationally speaking, the ERA remains quite moderate. If wages in NZ continue to lag behind I think a strong case can be made for the legislation to be strengthened further, along with a hefty increase in the min wage.

Maria von Trapp said...

Joe - Yes - the ERA and ECA actually have a lot of similarities, for example, freedom of association. The key difference being the recognition the ERA gives to Unions.

And I'm in total agreement with you regarding wages. Have you seen the workers charter? www.workerscharter.org.nz