Jul 2, 2008

Labour's Little Helper

John Armstrong also looks at the rail deal. We break his analysis into three parts. First the Bolger factor:

The politics in Jim Bolger's appointment are more blatant. Already chairing Government-owned New Zealand Post and Kiwibank, the former prime minister is fast becoming Labour's little helper.
In agreeing to chair KiwiRail, Bolger has given his seal of approval to the purchase by virtue of his former position even if it is a decade since he left politics.
His appointment will not stop National criticising the Government buy-back. John Key made that clear yesterday. But it will make it more tricky for National to do so without embarrassing Bolger.
The political value of Bolger's appointment to Labour was quickly demonstrated. His comments about being disappointed successive private owners had failed to inject sufficient capital into the rail network were picked up by Finance Minister Michael Cullen and wielded against National in Parliament.