So far, the nature of the allegation against Richard Worth remains shrouded in mystery, rumour and speculation. The MP's political future is absolutely clear, however. He does not seem to have one.
Not only has Worth been relieved of his portfolios and ministerial warrant. The Prime Minister's tone and demeanour when speaking to reporters this morning suggests Worth has not only lost Key's confidence as a minister, Key also believes Worth should leave Parliament altogether so serious is the allegation.
Whilst today's allegations are bad news for Richard Worth at a personal level, we are pleased that John Key has acted promptly and decisively, after giving Worth an appropriate period of time in which to answer the allegations against him. Any delay beyond that required for natural justice to be done would have opened the Key government to allegations similar to those which many of us made against Helen Clark's government.
We well remember the lengths to which Helen Clark and co went to defend Taito Philip Field from allegations that he had taken advantage of immigrants who had come to him seeking help. Helen Clark set up an inquiry, the Ingram Inquiry; and the pre-determined conclusion was reached - in Michael Cullen's words, Field was guilty of nothing more than helping his constituents. I guess that explains why Field is currently the defendant in a corruption trial in the High Court in Auckland, defending himself against those same allegations.
We guess, at the end of the day, this is yet another graphic illustration of the difference between this government and its predecessor.