May 30, 2008

Damaged Goods?

We did not post on this article by John Armstrong on Thursday as we had wanted to ponder the full implications of the Prime Minister's unusual hanging of Maryan Street out to dry. This would have been difficult for the PM as she and Maryan are good friends and, of course, the PM's senior press secretary and Maryan are even better friends, so normally this would not have happened. So clearly the PM was pretty worried about political implications of the Housing Corporation's ineptness, and about how her Minister had chosen to deal with the matter.

As readers might recall from earlier speculation about a possible move by Cullen (which seems not to have been Cullen's idea, but desperation/revenge by a couple of disaffected MPs) we, and several other bloggers, rate Street very highly and see her as potential Deputy Leader material. Will this mistake in judgement and public ticking off from the PM (combined with the stress on her inexperience) count her out in February?

Our conclusion is that it might. That is a shame.

As things stand we have Goff squaring off with Cunliffe for the leadership (Goff will probably win this 27 to 2 - 100% more support for Cunliffe than we would have judged likely two months ago). Cunliffe won't really be suitable as #2 - two males from Auckland will not be the best look. So who will the Labour Deputy leader be? The chances for a female from Christchurch or Wellington now look much better.

As for Cosgrove and Parker - we think Cosgrove will be one of the few Immigration Ministers to survive reasonably unscathed (indeed we think Cunliffe has more to worry about than Cosgrove). Parker is toast.

What do you think?