A tale of two leaders. It's Todd Muller one, Jacinda Ardern zero.
Having lamented the often sad and unfortunate end to too many political careers, this week's being Paula Bennett, what a reassurance it is to see Simon Bridges.
I sighted Dame Jenny Shipley's demise as well. Just because they vote you out as leader or deputy leader, it doesn’t make you a political zero, it doesn’t mean the talent and experience vanishes, and yet that is too often the outcome. The person leaves aggrieved, and the party misses their talent.
Muller to his credit has worked this out, and that’s why Bridges gets Foreign Affairs in the reshuffle. No, he wasn’t the greatest leader but he was and is regarded as a good MP, and an experienced player at the top level. He has a contribution, and that now stays within the party.
Contrast that to Ardern who has set the bar so low in terms of performance, that for the second time this term we have seen a resignation from a Minister as a result of the incompetence and ineptitude being so glaring, even they can see how hopeless their cause is, while their ever blinkered leader soldiers with fingers in ears going "la, la, la. Nothing to see here."
Just over a week ago I asked Ardern, why, given the emergency was over, and that was the only reason she claimed Clark wasn’t sacked, was he now not being sacked? She, almost gobsmackingly, bewilderingly, defended him. He'd done a good job and he was safe, she said to my amazement.
And yet poor old David Clark. Even he could see how bad he was, so like Clare Curran before him, he did the right thing, even when his leader wouldn't.
And that’s the trouble with the word, isn't it? Leader, it's a title. But it's also a state of mind, and the Ardern approach to leadership is so wet, so weak, that anything goes. It doesn’t matter what a waster you are, under her direction you're safe.
And the ones with the gall and arrogance, Phil you know everyone's looking at you Twyford, tough it out. Pretending the room doesn’t laugh under their breath when you walk in. So Clark, at least, exits having done the decent thing.
Further complicating matters is Chris Hipkins. In yet another reminder that if your name isn't Woods or Robertson, there clearly isn't a talent in the bunch to be promoted.
Health and education, are you serious? The whole government is essentially run by about four people.
That is, to be fair to Ardern, a leadership skill. Being able to recognise, in a room full of MPs there are next to none you would actually give a big job to.