Don’t worry if McCully has disappeared, Boss – we can suggest an admirable replacement

Alf reckons he saw McCully head off in that direction...


Dunno what The Boss thinks about a Minister with an aversion to answering questions.

Or a Minister – more to the point – whose current whereabouts are unknown, except that he is “in the media”.

Alf accordingly senses an opportunity to get himself a Cabinet job at long last, and has let The Boss know of his willingness (a) to take over Foreign Affairs; and (b) front up to the news media to explain MFAT job cuts, our position on Syria and so on.

Immediately, it’s fair to say, The Boss seems disinclined to take advantage of his hard-working Eketahuna North MP’s willingness to do what Murray McCully won’t do, which is explain what’s doing.

While he has got to be worried about the mystery of McCully’s whereabouts, he is doing his darndest to appear indifferent.

Prime Minister John Key has defended his Foreign Affairs Minister, saying although Murray McCully is not missing in action, he has “absolutely no clue” where he is.

McCully has been in the media in recent weeks after Fairfax media revealed his private email account had been hacked.

He has admitted his Telecom email account had been hacked between last April and June but has refused to confirm the authenticity of the alleged emails saying he would not comment “on stolen material”.

McCully has also refused to comment on news 305 staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) will lose their jobs as part of the Government’s drive to cut costs.

He has also been unavailable to discuss the situation in Syria.

The bloody media – forever trying to make trouble and claiming to have some entitlement to get answers whenever they ask questions – are kicking up a fuss.

Today, the tossers at 2ZB – that ratbag Soper, maybe – asked Key why his Minister won’t front.

“I have absolutely no clue where he is, being the foreign minister he travels all the time and I haven’t had a need to speak to him in the last few days,” he told Newstalk ZB.

But The Boss had a highly plausible explanation for McCully becoming mute about the massacre at MFAT.

Oops. Alf means the restructuring at MFAT.

The Boss is reported to have said –

McCully was not commenting on the restructuring at MFAT because he wanted chief executive John Allen to explain the changes.

“MFAT is a great organisation but most people within that organisation would accept there is some need for change and modernisation of that organisation.

“Yes, is likely to have less people in the organisation as a result of that.

“I think they would say they have some people in the wrong jobs in areas, and one or two in the wrong places.”

This, of course, reminds us The Boss prefers to thinks and talk in billions, which is the sort of money up for grabs in an hour or two of currency trading in his hey day in the finance racket.

Hence 300-odd MFAT folk are “some people” and “one or two”.

He’s right of course.

Their numbers are few, when it comes to the handsome majorities enjoyed by the likes of Alf and John in their respective electorates.

If 300-odd out-of-work MFAT staffers were to head for Helensville to vote against Key at the next election, they would do little to dent his majority of 21,066.

If they headed for East Coast Bays to vote against McCully, come to think of it, they would not change things much, either, although Murray might wince at the dent to his majority of 4774.

Actually, Murray runs a splendid electorate web site – as Alf does with this blog – to keep his constituents up with the play.

And the good people of East Coast Bays should know where Murray is, because he says:

I hope to use this site to keep you up to date on my travel, ministerial duties, electorate events and general news.

Mind you, at first blush something might have happened to him, because the last news item posted on his site to keep his constituents up with the play is dated 23 February.

That was the day MFAT released a comprehensive set of proposed changes for consultation with staff on the ministry restructuring.

Murray was thinking in billions, too.

“We are a small trading nation that earns $58b per year from selling goods and services to over 170 countries. Over recent years we have seen dramatic changes to the location and profiles of our markets, and we can expect those changes to continue. The consultation document prepared by the Ministry leadership is a constructive attempt to develop a Ministry that can serve New Zealand’s interests in a changing world.”

But hey.

He made no secret then that he would not be saying much more about the restructuring and the consultation process that will shape it.

“…the Government will have discussions with the Ministry to ensure that its priorities are taken into account in the final decisions. For that reason I do not intend to engage in detailed discussions about the proposed changes until the process of consulting staff is completed,” said Mr McCully.

The media accordingly are out of order in trying to pursue him on that matter.

Syria – on the other – looks like fair game, although the media first have to find the bugger.

Where is he? In the shit?

Unlikely. He is a survivor.

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