According to NZPA John Key is going to deliver a big speech tomorrow in which he will “detail the problems and solutions for New Zealand’s economy”. I’m not holding my breath.
As I said two weeks ago when he indicated he would announce a plan to stop job losses (he still hasn’t, perhaps this will be it) I don’t expect anything other than a few fine words and a PR gesture designed to deflect building criticism that the government is sitting on its hands.
Maybe he’ll announce some “new” spending that is only repackaged old spending, like English did with his “stimulus package“. Maybe he’ll announce the “Productivity Group” which will be stacked with all the same old faces that made productivity a synonym for “pay cut” in the 1990s and probably won’t go anywhere, or maybe he’ll just waffle out some focus-group tested catchphrases like “ambitious for New Zealand” that don’t mean anything but are intended to placate the gallery and make us all feel like National are doing something.
Or maybe it will be a real announcement. With real measures. Like public-private partnerships. Like contracting out large chunks of State Owned Enterprises. Like cutting restrictions on foreign investment. Like gutting public spending and outsourcing local government to “reduce debt”TM. Like all the crony capitalist things Fran O’Sullivan and National’s business backers have been baying for for months and still are in the Herald’s “Mood of the Boardroom” report today.
Damn, the more I think about it the sweeter Key’s empty tokenism starts to look.