Colin James’s column in today’s ODT “A matter of our general self interest” (not online yet) looks at poverty and how to deal with it. But he also touches on another issue – the relationship between John Key and Bill English.
On an outer orbit Bill English appeared last week to have a memory blip: his expressed openness to feeding poor kids in schools did not chime with the Prime Minister’s dismissal of the notion when it resurfaced in the Children’s Commissioner’s poverty report and then got a run from David Shearer.
It appears English and the Prime Minister share less these days than efficient government requires, judging by his not telling John Key about the GCSB’s bid to suppress its nefarious goings-on in service of the FBI’s mission to uplift Dotcom for infuriating Key’s film mogul mates.
Professional cabinet management demands tight congruence between the top two. When light appears between a Prime Minister and deputy their government loses coherence and then voter trust.
James suggests a divide between English and Key/Joyce:
English seems now to be sort-of saying that. Is he right or are Key and Joyce?
Poverty is one issue that could overwhelm a disjointed National, but it’s far from the only one as a series of missteps and mismanagements this year keep accumulating.
If National don’t get it together at the top then what we are seeing could be the beginnings of a major falling apart – of the party and the Government. It’s not a good look.