Chris Trotter looks at Winston Peters and at John Key.
It’s a good article but gets some things dreadfully wrong.
The successful populist politicianâs response will always echo that of Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, one of the leaders of the February Revolution of 1848 in France: âThere go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.â
To carry off this leading-by-following trick, the populist politician requires both a vigilant eye and an unusually sensitive ear. In present-day New Zealand, for example, only a blind, deaf and extremely dumb populist would assume that to stay behind the rage he has only to hurl abuse at John Keyâs government. All he would demonstrate by such tactics is how thoroughly he has missed the fact that John Key is, himself, an extremely accomplished populist leader. Whatâs more, John Key, unlike Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, has no need to go running after the crowds. Thanks to his pollster, David Farrar, and focus-group supremo, Mark Textor, the Prime Minister knows exactly where the people are going. Thatâs why heâs so often to be found parked there, waiting for them to arrive.
David Farrar is probably New Zealand’s best pollster…he keeps John Key and Steven Joyce focussed.
Though the article is wrong and shows it clearly in this statement.
Mr Keyâs Cabinetâs slavish adherence to neoliberal ideology has meant that economic and social policies that could have really assisted the âaverage Kiwiâ are consistently ruled out of contention