Bill stood up and answered some questions, and Audrey needs a fresh set of knickers

The Press Gallery really are pathetic at times. Audrey Young got sticky knickers because Bill English had a decent press conference.

The Labour Party was quietly thrilled last week after getting over the shock of John Key’s resignation as Prime Minister and his endorsement of Bill English.

It has less reason to be thrilled after English’s election as leader and appointment as Prime Minister.

In a 40-minute press conference he showed a political dexterity that would have matched Key and a depth that surpassed him.

Key was usually well briefed and could answer most questions.

Even when he had nothing to say, he could say it rather well.  

But English, after a lifelong relationship with the National Party, 26 years in Parliament and eight years as Finance Minister, has an unrivalled breadth of knowledge about New Zealand, it constitution, its history, Government, economy and politics.

And today, all of that was on display.

The strength of the English story that political pundits say is essential to political success is not a rags to riches story.

The English story is an ongoing and forward story, his ideas to concretely tackle social ills and how he has put that into effect through the social investment approach, in parallel with a health economy.

He is both a theoretician and a practitioner. As Prime Minister he will be its monitor in chief.

Andrew Little is well known for demanding “do-overs” when he screws up answers in press conferences. And he gets angry with a daily sweepstake amongst the gallery to see who can get him angry first.

It must have been a surprise to Audrey Young that Bill English, a veteran of 27 years in parliament actually did a reasonable one. Maybe it was all that media training he got in Karori the other day.

Labour will do what they always do and attack the Prime Minister. That would be a flawed policy. They should go after Paula Bennett. There are more than enough disgruntled former staff members who were ordered to get her eggs, had cutlery thrown at them, been shouted at and treated like shit to make any union boss happy. That is of course, all before they start looking into her policy screw ups.

They should leave Bill alone, he will just bore them to death with ponderous answers. Bennett is the soft underbelly of the new government.

 

-NZ Herald


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