970 words of hollow platitudes. How ambitious.

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, November 19th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Classic, I was just saying yesterday that Key is probably concerned about focus testing turning up ‘do-nothing’, ‘weak’ and ‘visionless’ memes and today he’s got a little puff piece in the Dominion Post that purports to lay out his “vision”.

Of course like every other missive from the great leader this one says exactly nothing. In fact the comments section is filled with people pointing that out:

My favourite bit was “I could go on listing”…

What a mess of vacuous noise. You aren’t electioneering anymore John, you are supposed to be leading the country, but I guess you are quite ‘relaxed’ about how you do that, right?

And I don’t see the correlation between anything you are saying and what you are doing/have done – where’s the plan?

reading the above certainly doesn’t make me any more comfortable about the future. if anything, its a little discomforting. maybe if he spent his time actually doing stuff instead of talking about it… and a bit of guts ‘n backbone in our leader would be nice.

And the complaints about inaction just go on.

This failure will continue to be more and more of a PR problem for Key and his government because they face two basic choices. Either do nothing (or rather focus on hollow aspirational statements while quietly carving away at anything progressive) or show some real vision which would inevitably be an electorally unpalatable right-wing vision.

My gut feeling is the “war on P” stunt was an early (failed) attempt by Key’s handlers to short-circuit this meme by presenting him as a strong and in-touch leader but failed because it was rushed and the spin doctors didn’t realise just how “nanny-state” it would be perceived to be.

I’d also suggest that the real rot set in after Rodney laid the truth bare. At the time I said it would hurt Key more than Hide (despite the Hide-in-the-dogbox focus the gallery took) and it has because it legitimised a narrative that will just keep eating away at Key’s popularity.

Christmas will give the government some reprieve but this isn’t a problem that will go away unless Key is seen as doing something more than cashing in on trade deals that were set up years ago and making stupid jokes. Their real problem they have is that every time they do something, whether it’s the ETS or the ACC cuts, the public don’t like it.

17 comments on “970 words of hollow platitudes. How ambitious.”

  1. Bright Red 1

    The comment thread on that story is just amazing. No-one’s got a good word to say about Key. They’re absolutely scathing.

    Only two or three of the comments are pro-Key but they don’t praise him, they have a go at the other commenters for being ‘negative’

  2. randal 2

    whaddya mean.
    which puffpiece.
    there isa puff piece EVERYDAY in the dimpost about him.[john keys].
    the sooner he gets emphysema the better.

  3. Gee that was awful. My overriding impression is

    slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan, slogan.

    No mention of the environment or the arts. No clue as to how we are going to “transform” the economy or reduce debt.

    Come back Helen, please.

  4. Tigger 4

    Really glad IB highlighted the ‘I could go on listing’ remark – the entire piece is tinged with this ‘Claytons’ type of puffery – it’s the column you write about your achievements when you really don’t have many achievements to write about…

  5. John A 5

    They’ve taken the comments off the DomPost site

    • IrishBill 5.1

      They’re still there but they don’t seem to have approved any since 11:50 this morning. I wonder if KT made a special call to the stuff editor after reading this post.

  6. Camden Whelk 6

    Isn’t ‘listing’ what boats do when they aren’t on an even keel?

  7. JD 7

    “Either do nothing (or rather focus on hollow aspirational statements while quietly carving away at anything progressive”

    I’m confused. How exactly is are the Seabed and foreshore and the Electoral Finance Act ‘progresssive’?

    • snoozer 7.1

      jd. those aren’t the only things that Labour did and National hasn’t repealed the F&S Act or the important parts of the EFA.

  8. Roger Anderson 8

    Why do people keep saying John Key has no plan. This is not true. He always wanted to be Prime Minister, so he joined the National Party (the inept elite in National must have made it easier for him), took the leadership, and smiled his way to victory because the general public were stupid enough to vote for someone because he seemed like a nice guy. Now he is the Prime Minister-plan succeeded now he can relax. This is why he is so relaxed all the time.

  9. scotty 9

    I see they put a stop to comments at lunchtime,
    Too many negative responses
    Thanks for trying Jon, but your best, isn’t good enough

  10. JD 10

    “jd. those aren’t the only things that Labour did and National hasn’t repealed the F&S Act or the important parts of the EFA.”

    Which are currently being reviewed. Of course not to add this would be duplicitious and we wouldn’t want that would we? Lyingby omission is still lying.

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