Hooton: ‘Thanks John, time to move along now’

Matthew Hooton asks the Prime Minister to move along in his NBR column.

It has been clear for some time that Mr Key has no interest in the prime minister’s job of the sort that legitimises someone holding it.

Asked to name the government’s achievements since the last election, his sidekick Steven Joyce named “good achievements in the economy,” Tim Groser’s free-trade agreement with Korea, increasing welfare and free GP visits for under 13s.

Given several platforms in Parliament by Labour and the Greens to boast of his government’s achievements, Mr Key declined, instead chronicling the failures of the Clark regime, including not funding Herceptin. He appears either unwilling or incapable of following his chief of staff’s advice to stop prattling on about the flag to every audience.  

What polls suggest may be the prime minister’s humiliation in the flag referendum next year may provide him with a suitable pretext to step down. He should take it.

The usual cliché for a column like this dates from the 17th century: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

But that language is far too cerebral for Mr Key and flatters the importance of his troupe. Still, this week he has achieved a legacy. When the next prime minister passes their use-by date, their colleagues will break the bad news to them with the words: “Sorry, mate, but you’ve cuddled the panda.”

John Key is still popular because people still believe in the false premise of TINA (There Is No Alternative).

Logic suggests that TINA is not valid. If John Key were to be mowed down by a bus driver on Lambton Quay on Monday morning it is certain that there would indeed be a replacement. When he does finally step down or is knifed, or gets voted out there will be an alternative. There is always an alternative…whether or not an alternative is apparent depends entirely on the vision of the person stating TINA.

The belief that TINA is real…suggests these people think John Key is immortal and can reign forever…neither are true…politically or in reality. There is always an alternative.




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