John Key

Who is Andrew Little? – Can Andrew Little Compete with John Key?

Labour have been confident that they finally have a leader that can compete with John Key.

They were stoked when he said “cut the crap”. They liked his no nonsense, straight talking style, not realising that he would have to actually compete in likability stakes with John Key, as well as competence stakes.

Little’s first head to head confrontation, yesterday’s state of the nation speeches, did not go well for Little.

He ducked and weaved and delivered a speech that was pedestrian at best, and “very flat” or “Even if his delivery and presence at the podium still needs a lot of work” according to whichever left wing pundit you choose to follow.

Whats worse is todays usually reliable Dominion Post has a headline “Key trumps Little on speech day”.

The even more reliable Vernon Small had to point out the obvious, a big win for John Key.

The battle of the speeches has delivered a clear victory to Prime Minister John Key, who set out headline-grabbing plans to revamp social housing, including a potentially unpopular sell-down of thousands of state owned houses.    Read more »

Labour trying to save state baches?

Labour has been boxed in by John Key into fighting for state house tenants.

They have even produced a lovely graphic to go along with it.

state house

That looks like a lovely state house, complete with deck, and outdoor wood burner and some lovely kids sitting on the deck and some towels rolled up in the background.

Is this a state house?

Well the lawn looks suspiciously like kikuyu grass, endemic near beaches these days, yes it is in the suburbs, but better than even chance this “state house” is near a beach.

Especially when you consider the outdoor wood burner on the deck and the towels in the background.    Read more »

Trotter gets a bit wonky with his thinking

Chris Trotter looks at Winston Peters and at John Key.

It’s a good article but gets some things dreadfully wrong.

The successful populist politician’s response will always echo that of Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, one of the leaders of the February Revolution of 1848 in France: “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

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 Key’s 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. What’s 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. That’s why he’s 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 Key’s Cabinet’s slavish adherence to neoliberal ideology has meant that economic and social policies that could have really assisted the “average Kiwi” are consistently ruled out of contention

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John Key upset at “stuck up” New Zealand authors

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Popular Prime Minister John Key says he’s struggled with being an ambassador for the literary arts because he doesn’t think the literary arts are doing as much as it could to support New Zealand.

Key, who won the 2008, 2011 and 2014 elections as leader for the National Party, has been at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he told reporters he’s struggled with his identity as a New Zealand politician.   Read more »

John Key between a rock and a hard place?

Prime Minister John Key has dismissed media reports that there is a police investigation into National MP Mike Sabin as rumours.

…as rumours?

There have been reports in some news media since December last year that police were investigating allegations against Mr Sabin, who is the chair of the law and order select committee.

Mr Key told Morning Report Mr Sabin remained a fully functioning member of caucus.

The prime minister said he had taken legal advice about what he describes as rumours.

“I’m obviously aware of people wanting to make allegations but I’m just not in a position for a variety of different reasons, legal and otherwise, to want to make comments about that,” said Mr Key

“I’ve got very good advice that I shouldn’t be making comments about either him or anybody else.”

John Key said he would not buy into a rumour mill and he was happy for Mr Sabin to continue in his role with the law and order select committee.

He said if he was required to comment on the case, he would.

Of course, it’s not that easy.  And what I warned him about has come to pass:   Read more »

Green Taliban fighter Eleanor Catton attacks most popular PM in recent history

It’s not that people outside of politics aren’t allowed to have an opinion.  It’s the fact they do so pretending to have come to such views independently, and aren’t really speaking for a political movement.

Prime Minister John Key has defended his Government’s record on supporting the arts, following a stinging attack from acclaimed author Eleanor Catton.

Catton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her West Coast-set novel The Luminaries, told reporters in India that she’s struggling with her identity as a New Zealand writer, and is “very angry” with the Government.

“Coming and being an ambassador for my country when I feel that actually my country is not doing as much as they could for the intellectual world in general, but for the literary arts… It’s just a slightly complicated position to be in,” she said.

“At the moment, New Zealand, like Australia and Canada, [are dominated by] these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture. They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want.”

“neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture”.

…because that’s how we all speak when we say things off-the-cuff.
Read more »

And for completeness if not balance, John Key’s SOTN speech

Ladies and Gentlemen.

New Zealand is in good shape and getting better.

We are making great strides towards building a stronger, more prosperous country – a country where we can have a great lifestyle and earn a good income that compares well with the rest of the world.

That progress is due to the hard work and positive attitude of New Zealanders.

It’s also because of the stability, cohesion and confidence that’s come from six years of strong and stable government.

New Zealand is doing well compared to other countries.

The economy is growing, employment is increasing and wages are rising.

Consumers are benefiting from low inflation and a long period of stable, low interest rates.

We are growing new industries like ICT and high tech manufacturing, and strengthening existing ones like our food industry, tourism and international education.

The Government is working towards a surplus and repaying debt.   Read more »

National will have to lance the Sabin boil eventually, might as well be now

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Claire Trevett explains the current situation

Prime Minister John Key has refused to comment on reports National MP Mike Sabin is under investigation by police but said he would be surprised if Mr Sabin was not at Waitangi this year as the local Northland MP. Read more »

Argh crap. I warned him about this

assetsales

John Key may get good advice but it doesn’t mean he accepts all of it.  He’s breaking one of the golden rules for starters:  explaining is losing.

Prime Minister John Key and Labour Party leader Andrew Little are both poised to deliver keynote speeches tomorrow, but Mr Key has got in first, setting the agenda with the issue closest to everyone’s heart – housing, but specifically selling off the ones the state owns. Read more »

David Cameron promises to reduce benefits to get people off their arses

David Cameron is seeking to show a clear difference between his party and the opposition parties and is moving to reduce the levels of benefits.

He has done it once before and it was remarkably successful….now he is set to reduce the benefits cap even further.

David Cameron will reduce the annual benefits cap to ÂŁ23,000 as the first act of a new Conservative Government, the Prime Minister has pledged in an interview with The Telegraph.

The move follows the “stampede to the job centre” caused by the original introduction of the ÂŁ26,000 benefits cap which was heavily opposed by Labour and will form one of the key battlegrounds of the general election campaign.

In an interview to mark 100 days until the general election, Mr Cameron said that his reform of the welfare system is a “deeply progressive programme” that is “changing people’s lives”.

The policy will pay for thee million apprenticeships and everyone in Britain is given “the chance to make the most of their God-given talents”, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Cameron said that the promise of an immediate law after May’s election “tells you everything you need to know about our values”.   Read more »