When Key had his out of body experience at an Italian restaurant last week where he heard voices but couldn't move, he must have thought his Cabinet meetings had started early. The dull boredom of running the country and the headache of implementing policy that only works for rich people is taking its toll on a greying John Key and 2013 doesn't look like it's going to get much easier for our money trader turned Prime Minister turned juggling Gangnam styles dancing jester.
His first set of problems is the Cabinet reshuffle. Hekia Parata is safe but not for the ridiculous reasons Key has claimed. Key tried telling us all last week that Hekia was safe in Education because she is one of National's best communicators. When you consider the larger class room fiasco, the school closures in Christchurch clusterfuck and the Novopay scandal, if Hekia Parata is National's best communicator, I'm John Key's secret gay criminal lover.
Hekia's decision to try and merge a special needs girls school with a special needs boys school was overturned by the courts because of the higher risk of sexual molestation. This is surely a new low point for any Education Minister in NZ. Education policy can't end in the sexual assault of female students, who does Hekia Parata think she's the Eduction Minister for? The Taliban?
Hekia is staying because National are quietly plotting a vast privatization of education via Charter Schools in Christchurch using the Naomi Klein 'Disaster Capitalism' tactic. National intend to use the shock of the Christchurch earthquake and deep poverty in South Auckland to implement Charter Schools as a means to drive teachers wages down in education and thus lower the cost to the State. Replacing Hekia at this crucial lynchpin moment for the destruction of public education could derail the entire plan so Hekia would need to get caught selling meth to school students before Key would replace her.
As for Nick Smith, his return is crucial to Key. The reality is that the National Caucus aren't that bright and Smith is one of the few heavy weight intellectuals National has. Key intends to ram through massive amounts of legislation this year and Smith is the best drafter of complex legislation, National need Smith and he will be brought back.
Smith's affair with Pullar was an open secret in Parliament, someone from Labour would always yell her name during question time when Smith was pissing them off so the only surprise about it coming out was that it came out from National's own side. Smith was friendly fire in a fight between Judith Collins and Michelle Boag, so National need to clean up this home goal ASAP.
The real problem confronting Smith will be to start working on the vast legislation changes Key intends to ram through Parliament if NZ signs up to the TPPA in October. What most of the sleepy hobbits of NZ don't yet appreciate about the TPPA is that it's not a bloody free trade deal at all, it's a paranoid leash for American corporations to deregulate the entire NZ economy to that of Pike River Mine levels. It's been elevated by National Security neurosis because of China's growing influence in the Pacific.
Smith will have to organize the vast deregulation of the entire economy shortly after the TPPA is signed because the domestic realignment with America has to be passed shortly afterwards. This means the legislation will have to pass in the 2014 election year. IF (and it's a big IF) the NZ public realize what the TPPA actually means and what Key is actually signing us up for there will be outrage, luckily for National, current affairs and news has been so ground down to Seven Sharp levels, it is highly unlikely the news media will even be aware of the ramifications of the TPPA.
Claiming the reshuffle is because Lockwood is leaving are just busy words to keep the mainstream corporate news pacified.