When you campaigned on being a centrist politican and a centrist political party, giving Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia and Act leader Rodney Hide senior government roles is not exactly starting out on the right foot.

Turia, among other responsibilities, has been appointed an Associate Minister of Welfare.

Turia, as I have mentioned in a previous post, has views on welfare very similar to that of the Act Party.

Similarly Hide,as Minister for Local Government, will be bringing his discredited neo-liberal views to this role as well - with Roger Douglas no doubt provding him with 'suggestions'.

He's also taking a role in the review of 'government spending' - which will mean, if Hide gets his way, taking the axe to welfare.

Both Turia and Hide are politicians carrying ideological baggage that has no credibiity. The crisis of global capitalism means that the high priests of neo-liberalism have been revealed as emperors with no clothes on.

Here in little old New Zealand our conservative corporate media have allowed the likes of Turia and Hide to front up at press conferences and pontificate. It doesn't seem to matter that they are peddling a bankrupt ideology.

They should of been booed off the stage by now but, no, they are treated with respect!

With unemployment set to rocket as the economic storm descends, no one has seen fit to question Turia whether 'work for dole' schemes really are the answer. What about the wider economic issues - or is she just going to dump on unfortunate beneficiaries?

It may well be that Key has added to his potential problems with these appointments because, as John Minto has suggested in his newspaper column, Key the 'moderate' may well find himself being outflanked by his more extreme ideological colleagues.

After all the likes of Murray McCully, Nick Smith, Tony Ryall and Bill English are all back in cabinet. They were all involved in selling state assets, cutting benefits, slashing government spending and helping out the rich. They are nasty pieces of work.

As Minto notes: 'In his cabinet John Key could well be the sole moderate voice'.

The problem for the Labour Party sympathisers is that they can rage against John Key all they like but if all they are offering as an alternative is the neo-liberalism of Phil Goff - well, they better have a serious rethink. Chances of that happening? I'd say zero.


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