A weak leader

Written By: - Date published: 2:32 pm, November 3rd, 2009 - 16 comments
Categories: corruption, john key - Tags:

John Key is a weak leader. Currently popular (he’s such a “nice guy” you know) – but weak. Like a school teacher who has lost the respect of their pupils, Key has lost control over his MPs. And like naughty kids, Key’s MPs are starting to run wild.

The problem is a lack of accountability. Before the election we were promised many things (tax cuts anyone?).  Among the promises, higher standards of accountability for government, a tough “one strike and you’re out” rule for ministers. It is to laugh. Post election there don’t seem to be standards at all, especially compared to Helen Clark’s tight ship. National Minister Bill English has been receiving an accommodation allowance to which he isn’t entitled. John Key is comfortable with this (in fact he scolded critics for “persecuting” Bill and helped him out with his coverup lies). National Minister Paula Bennett illegally leaked private information to the press. John Key is comfortable with this. Minister Rodney Hide has broken half a dozen Cabinet Manual regulations by selling access to his Ministerial position to fundraise for ACT. John Key is comfortable with this. National Minister Richard Worth was using Ministerial position to seek personal gain. John Key was comfortable with that. And so on, and so on…

It’s not that John’s bark is worse than his bite, he doesn’t even bother to bark. Government MPs have clearly got the message.  Anything goes.  They won’t be held to account.  They can even openly defy Key and nothing will happen.  So when Key tells them

PM to ministers: Pay for spouses’ trips yourself

Globe-trotting ministers should leave their spouses behind or pay for the trip themselves as part of efforts to trim the Government’s travel bill, Prime Minister John Key said yesterday.

… his ministers just ignore him

Ministers Rodney Hide, John Carter and Peter Dunne have all circumvented his edict by keeping their partner’s travel off the ministerial tab, and billing them to their separate parliamentary perk instead

… forcing an embarrassing back down from Key. So the rot is well and truly set in. At no level is Key holding his Ministers and MPs to account. They are now openly defying his will. John Key is a weak leader.

16 comments on “A weak leader”

  1. another weak leader, George W Bush started off with great poll ratings of around 80%.

    doing very little (besides keeping your mates sweet) works for a while, until people get a bit sick of waiting for a demonstration of spine, vision and competence – you know, those things associated with, like, actual leadership – then things start to go rapidly, and irreversibly south.

  2. $50 mill in the tank probably encourages a fairly ‘comfortable’ view of the world.

  3. Barry Sanders 3

    I applaud you on the impartial nature of this post.

    [lprent: New real name huh? Well your time in exile must be about up? Nope…. ]

  4. tHEa 4

    “Government MPs have clearly got the message. Anything goes. They won’t be held to account.”

    Obviously no-one told ‘Dickie’ Worth

  5. randal 5

    The national government is the problem.
    It is not the solution.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    Summed up perfectly by David Slack (with apologies to the original author, unknown):

    I am their leader. I must find out where they are going, so I can lead them there.

  7. SHG 7

    I’m confused. Is Key a cut-throat Machiavellian capitalist, or a weak Mr Nice Guy? The Standard seems to attack him for being one or the other on different days.

    • snoozer 7.1

      he’s a weakling who wants to be popular and plays the nice guy, his party serves the interests of big business.

      He’s the smiling, likeable face for an agenda the population has never and would never vote for.

      You didn’t think he was running things did you? He shows no sign of running the ministers or the government’s agenda. That’s primarily English’s job.

    • These are hardly incompatible charges bro.

      You can be a cut-throat machiavellian and still be weak – indeed the approach is probably necessitated by a certain weakness.

      And you can be machiavellian and weak and still put on a Mr Nice Guy face.

  8. fizzleplug 8

    Even if he is weak, at least he defends his errant Ministers and MPs himself, instead of trundling out a ginga to do it for him.

    • felix 8.1

      He’s not supposed to defend his errant ministers and mps you berk – he’s supposed to discipline them.

      He’s supposed to be be holding them to a higher standard of behaviour. That’s what he promised, remember?

  9. Fizzle indeed. Any MP defending the indefensible is a worry, but moreso in ShonKeys case.

  10. tc 10

    Forget gov’t and think large business with a CEO chosen by the board to execute their chosen strategy and that’s what we have here.
    It’s not that they disobey him but he makes statements at odds with their behavior….a communication and coordination issue.
    It’s not like he doesn’t know what’s going on, he doesn’t have to as it’s not his job and never will be…..aka culpable deniability.
    His role is out front, grinning, mashing the english language (awww how cute) and winning over the voters who fall for that style over substance approach……and scary though it is it’s working.
    They’ve tamed the media (the reworked TVNZ finances to exert ministerial influence over news funding is pure genius), those that weren’t already in their corner that is and JK amongst others has a cosy corporate number waiting after he’s finished delivering the NACT inc strategy.
    It’s leadership but not of a style we’ve become used to and as for breaking promises that’s just a flexible adaptable strategy at work…..forget serving the people and think serving your big business backers and you’re onto it.

  11. Skylark 11

    It’s the rolling maul – ya know.

    But wait, no one’s got their head up!

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