Clare Trevett details in today’s Herald how Key has taken to bringing Ministers with good news to his Monday news conferences “to lambast the media with good news about the progress being made in a certain area.”
Making use of the captive audience at the press conference is a sign Prime Minister John Key is starting the campaign already and attempting to forestall any momentum Labour might build up. It is, more critically, a bid to try to stop perception taking root that his Government is descending into lethargy as it nears the end of a second term.
Sources tell me that the “good news only” tactic goes well beyond the Monday presser. Ministerial staff run a filter across all portfolio announcements: if they are good news, the Minister gets to make the announcement. If its not such good news, the job goes to the Departmental head.
The really good news is that the tactic is not fooling the media as the government descends into lethargy and worse. The final word to Trevett:
Then again, two of National’s own coalition partners – John Banks and Peter Dunne – are doing enough to damage National’s chances of winning the next election without Labour needing to lift a finger. Being forced into resigning your ministerial posts and then throwing a tanty because no road to redemption is set out is not a good start to audition to be Good News Minister.