I've been trying for a while to conjure together some coherent thoughts on the way John Key runs his cabinet and government compared to the way Helen Clark did and the political philosophies each adhere to and whether those philosophies manifest themselves in their respective leadership styles. But I am struggling.
So as a result of absence of coherency I will just prattle on and see where that takes me.
Clark was a control freak. She therefore ran a very tight and disciplined ship. Clark wanted to control ministers' actions and words. Key is less controlling and a lot more relaxed. He prefers his ministers actions to speak louder than their words. I guess he wants some personal responsibility to shine through whereas Clark deemed herself personally responsible.
Of course not all of Clark's ministers had halos over their heads: there was a long line up of "failures". But her ship was certainly disciplined and tight whereas Key's seems straggly and loose: the threads are barely holding together.
I've heard through the grapevine that Richard Worth was picked on especially because of his predilection of women. What I also heard was that Bennett was next. When Bennett is dealt to/with Nick Smith had better watch out. And for the hypocrites out there just remember this: if it was Rodney Hide doing this you'd be loving it.
So for me the most bizarre thing out of the Bennett fiasco (and I think she is out of line) is that she took the bait. She didn't have to go to the media. She didn't have to prove a point. She could have just shut the fu*k up. In the same way as Worth could have just kept his clothes on. She could have asked Key "what the fu*k do I do"? But she, and Key, are loose.
Perhaps if Paula was more focused on her job and less focused on what the local government minister is doing (so she can fend off the whinging westies) she might have done a little better.
Stay tuned Nick Smith. They're coming for you. My guess is in about 4 months when the Copenhagen meeting is due. Key should be warned; if he doesn't know what to do just pick up the phone. After all, Helen's only a txt away.