Alf’s personal best interests are under serious threat, as The Boss dishes out plum jobs to the one-seat-only parties that will form part of the new administrtion.
He hankers for a ministerial job and feels entitled to one.
But The Boss reckons the party’s best interests call for him to deliver a few baubles to the one-man bands.
Alf – as you would expect from a loyal Nat – is saying nothing about his disquiet.
But he isn’t going to stay silent when bloody Winston Peters shoots off his mouth. Again.
Peters will still be sulking about not being the king-maker, Alf imagines.
And so he is trying to win a headline for himself by criticising The Boss’s ministerial appointment.
A statement today from the great huffer and puffer says:
Prime Minister John Key is thumbing his nose at the status and importance of public office by promoting the new, inexperienced and sole ACT MP in Parliament.
“New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters was commenting after Mr Key announced the appointment of David Seymour as parliamentary undersecretary to the Minister of Education and the Minister for Regulatory Reform.
“This is a further abuse of our electoral system by the Prime Minister,” he said.
“The Prime Minister had no need of the ACT Party before the election or after it. After all, who wants to join up with a political corpse.
“Mr Key and the National Party promoted the Maori Party, the United Future Party and the ACT Party with comment or financial help before the election. All three will be consigned to political oblivion and, in the case of the new ACT member, Mr Key would have saved the taxpayer a fortune by just appointing for him the services of a minder.
“For all of those voters and commentators enthralled by the Prime Minister’s so-called prudent management and financial accountability today’s appointments are a mirror image of their political hypocrisy. Enough said.”
Peters will be seriously pissed off by The Boss’s ability to bypass him in building a new team.
Things have changed, for the better, since 1996 when Peters did play the role of king-maker.
Among other things, he was able to work the system back then and secure a plum job for Deborah Morris.
Deborah nicely fitted the description of being a new and inexperienced MP.
She was elected to Parliament on New Zealand First’s list in the 1996 election and when her party formed a coalition with the National Party, she became a Minister.
Her most prominent role was as Minister of Youth Affairs, where her own relative youth was seen as an asset — she was understood to be the youngest person ever appointed to ministerial rank (at the age of 26).
Inevitably the coalition collapsed and New Zealand First itself began to fall apart.
Morris was one of the first MPs to leave the party, saying that she could no longer accept the “perpetual state of crisis” generated by its leader, Winston Peters. Unlike some other New Zealand First defectors, Morris did not make a deal with the National Party to keep her ministerial portfolios, resigning from her position on 18 August 1998. Morris remained an independent until her resignation from Parliament in 1999.
That was a nice line – the one about a perpetual state of crisis.
Dunno if things have changed much.
Mind you, if Peters had mentioned in his latest press statement that Alf deserves a ministerial post before the ACT, Maori Party and United Future MPs…
Well, in that case maybe this post would never have been written.