Yesterday David Farrar blogged about Tim Groser and added a presumption on the end of the post that David Carter would be the next Speaker.
Farrar assumes, like John Key, that David Carter’s ascension to the Speaker’s role in order to accomodate the rehabilitation of their mate Nick Smith is going to go smoothly and is a fait accompli. They presume too much, and they assume too much. If Farrar is the one doing the numbers then perhaps he should reflect on 2005 and the last time he counted the numbers for someone.
With the pushing of Carter for speaker and the rehabilitation of Nick Smith John Key is now risking a back bench revolt as more talented people see themselves being passed over in favour of old white South Island men. The demographics of New Zealand have moved on but it appears that the leadership of the National party is still stuck in the rural rump of the 1950s.
Long gone is the perception that National is a meritocracy, and is now nothing more than old white boys club. Bringing Nick Smith back prevents rejuvenation of the ministry. Promoting Carter to speaker just risks scandal, and promotes the view that National is the party for old white men and ignores Auckland. Moving presumptive leader Amy Adams into Agriculture will go down like a cup of cold sick amongst North Islander farmers. And all that does is leave capable but ignored back benchers like Todd McClay, Sam Lotu Iiga and Nikki Kaye hoping for an election loss so the old fools can be cleaned out. All the while John Key is protecting another English loyalist in Hekia Parata instead of axing her. That would allow Nick Smith back in without promoting Carter, who frankly has all the gravitas of Lance Corporal Jack Jones, and many of the same demeanours.
When your back benchers start thinking that losing an election is a better option for their careers then you have trouble. When those same back benchers start thinking that the ministers in the way of their career are inept fools and can’t rationalise why John Key keeps on proven drop kicks like Hekia Parata then you have the makings of serious trouble. Add in the arrogant and ham-fisted manner with which the diminutive chief whip deals with people and I’ll put money on a bust up coming down the pipes.
John Key’s one seat majority is starting to look a bit shaky as his mismanagement of personnel comes back to bite him on the arse.