Bill English: Our savior?

When the final result of the election is declared today National is almost certain to have its victory confirmed. The margin over Labour will probably be reduced but still decisive. We should pause to acknowledge what an historic result this is.

Historians and political scientists know exactly what I mean. No government has won a fourth successive election since 1969, nearly half a century ago. Only four have done it since party politics as we know it, brought stability to government more than 120 years ago.

This Government’s achievement stands comparison with Seddon’s, Massey’s, the first Labour Government and Holyoake’s.

Richard Seddon won a fourth election in 1902 and a fifth before he died. William Massey’s Government won a fourth term just after his death. Labour’s first Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage, died after winning a second election and Peter Fraser won two more. Keith Holyoake was the first Prime Minister since Seddon to win four times. John Key looked certain to become the second until he resigned at the end of last year not wishing to stay for another full term.

This victory is a notable personal achievement for Bill English. The record of prime ministers who take over between elections is not good. English has succeeded where Shipley, Moore, Palmer, Rowling, Marshall, and Holyoake, in 1957, failed. English has proven, to himself as much as anybody, that the Government’s sustained support over nine years was not entirely attributable to “Key love”, as Jacinda Ardern used to call it.

I can’t help suspecting if a Labour Government had just won a fourth election it would not have taken two weeks for someone to write about it. Historians and political scholars would have been extolling the achievement of the party and its leader ever since election night.

I think John Roughan is right except for one thing:  This isn’t a notable personal achievement for Bill English.  It is a notable achievement in spite of him.

A large enough bloc of voters is so shit-scared of a Labour/Green/Someone alliance that they can not do anything else but vote National.  Last election it was the Labour/Green/Kim Dotcom/Hone Harewira bloc that caused that result.   There is no other choice right of centre.

To confuse National’s fourth term with popularity for its policies is a huge mistake.  The other side wanted to tax us into an early grave!

In truth, the National party have been more or less competent enough but allowed to wander due to a completely useless opposition; something that will continue for another three years.

I myself am not ruling out a fifth term.  All I do is look at the talent entering the Labour and Green parties and as long as National keeps getting well-balanced adults with life experience on its team, they should not lose the seat of Government for the foreseeable future.

In the end, a sufficient amount of voters can recognise one side is a steady and reliable influence, while the other is totally about disruption and taking more from those that work and giving it to those that don’t.

No thanks.


– John Roughan

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.