Shane Jones' new colours are NZ First, and the pundits immediately asked: When will he make a move to topple Winston? Not, what can he contribute to the country he's supposed to serve that has been paying him rather well the last many years?
I've not read a single warning that deputy-leader Ron Mark might make a move for the top job. Ron has gone from state ward to a successful army career, politician, mayor of Carterton; loyal, steadfast, capable, a man who'd take a bullet for his boss.
But Shane Jones is hardly the first politician with naked ambition; probably describes a good quarter of them if not more. To my eyes Jones has that smug, self-satisfied air of an over-confident club rugby player convinced he should have been an All Black.
At least his boss represented New Zealand Maori in rugby. Jones looks like a club player who still turns up on a Saturday expecting to be starting - and start he does because he has that way about him: charming, a little bit naughty, gift of the gab.
If the club has a win, hand the mic to Shaneyboy. He'll weave his own deeds into the story, you can be sure, and make everyone laugh. So they forgive the fact he's an average player who sure talks a beautiful game.
For the election, Shane the camp hopper goes up against Shane the Maori doctor in Whangarei, the incumbent National M.P. I don't know a lot about Dr Reti, but do know of his commitment to the community. He's done his time in various overseas roles and at local level and seems a decent bloke.
Shanes Jones? Hmm. Excellent public speaker, the sneaky smile/smirk/grin that we could read as, either self-deprecating. Or vanity oozing out a full tube. I can only ask of Mr Jones: What have you done for your country that voters can measure and assess if you're worthy of representing them?
Also are we seeing signs of arrogance in the National Party? I'm worried they've stopped listening, can't hear us for the sound of their own voices. The country has a raft of big issues voters are very concerned about. Are National's key players aware of this creeping arrogance? Or has everyone caught it?
I can only ask of Mr Jones: What have you done for your country that voters can measure and assess if you're worthy of representing them?
Sure, a Prime Minister who uses tinned spaghetti on a pizza sounds endearingly rustic - or gauche. His female deputy leader was once on a single parent benefit; so she should be good at connecting with ordinary folk. But are either of them connecting?
Have government ministers put up thicker walls to insulate themselves from the sound and fury of disgruntled voters demanding change? If National stays with eyes on the polls, they'd better prepare for new jobs as government consultants. Albeit, a nice little earner to switch to.
Back to Winston, who everyone is saying will be the king-maker - if not the king. A man of his personality would not have invited Jones inside the tent if he thought him a threat. But, Winston, you know that saying about the definition of a consultant being the man who comes down from the hills after the battle is over and kills the wounded?
Don't show your new bestie even a scratch.