I think when justifying sending troops to Iraq the club John Key is really talking about is the group of right-wing political parties known as the International Democratic Union. Today Key is chairing its Executive in Sarajevo, his first meeting as President. He will no doubt have discussed political tactics on the way with the embattled David Cameron, and money and polls with the club’s billionaire Treasurer, Lord Ashcroft. At least Ashcroft won’t have to fly his jet to New Zealand to talk to him.
This move by Key is very interesting. Nobody should be fooled by all the dismissive talk that will undoubtedly emerge when the media catch up with him; as always with Key this move to the IDU is a calculated one. He sees himself and is seen as a leader of the world right-wing club, and this is the first step to his international political career post New Zealand politics.
He aims to become the Tony Blair of the right but without having to limit himself to the pariah states of the Middle East and Central Asia. That ‘s why he can’t stand apart from yet another doomed attempt at intervention, just like Blair.
But I don’t think this means he will not contest the 2017 election in New Zealand; I think he still calculates he will win that too.
So we’d better stop him.