Changing the subject

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, October 7th, 2008 - 15 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, national, slippery, tax - Tags:

Former National advisor Richard Long has let the cat out of the bag. The day before National’s much-hyped, cure-all tax cut package is to be announced, he is desperately trying to change the subject. National has nothing but tax cuts to offer, it has been their one consistent answer for every problem but, now, tax cuts are a liability. National’s tax package will disappoint on all fronts – it will certainly need more borrowing, it will be too small to affect the economy, and most people will be offered very little, certainly much less than the $50 people have been led to expect. A disaster of unmet expectations looms. So, National is suddenly, for the first time in nine years, keen to talk about something other than tax cuts.

The debates have become absolutely crucial. Long reveals this by making only cursory mention of tax cuts before devoting most of his column to the debates. National is now putting big resources into getting Key ready. Exceeding expectations in the debates will be all important. The Key we see will not be the bumbler – he will appear well-informed and give the impression he has solutions (which will be kept suitably vague). And he will be aggressive. Since he has no answers, he will have to be to shift the focus from whether or not he has anything better to offer to creating dissatisfaction with the incumbent. That is already evident in the wider campaign. Key has stopped even bothering to tell us he is ‘positive and upbeat’. Now, he doesn’t even pretend he is not being uniformly negative as he seeks to blame everything, including the largest meltdown in the international finance system since the 1930s on Labour. The debate will be the same.

The gambler’s great punt on tax cuts will come up a dud tomorrow, so Key will have to put all his remaining chips on outshining, even rattling, Clark during the debates. If he can’t, all bets on a National victory will be off.

15 comments on “Changing the subject”

  1. randal 1

    did anybody see the late show last night? the skit on Sarah Palin Twain? looks like shonkey is becoming the the John Keys Twain!

  2. the sprout 2

    John Key: “I intend to make mine a positive campaign”.

    Hmm, Key vs Clark in a televised political debate? I’m not much of a gambling vegetable but I know who my money’s on for that contest and it doesn’t involve flip-flops.

    I’d love to see Clark offer another point of difference, and one that’d really snooker Key: tax RESTORATION. Repeal the 1 Oct tax cuts, show an indifference to populist braying when it means following the most prudent path in perilous times, show a willingness to do what is right and what is needed and not just what might win an ounce or two of short-term soft support. If National wins subsequent economic fallout will be attributable to their reckless tax-cutting, and knock the tax cut debate off the political agenda for another decade.

    Now that’d be something to see.

  3. Ben R 3

    When are the debates?

  4. ghostwhowalks 4

    Like Palin he wont even attempt to answer questions, just his memorised spin, with the sprinkling of ‘power’ adjectives.

    Lets hope they have follow questions based on his answers( or lack of).

  5. Dom 5

    So Key should accuse Clark of palling with terrorists?

  6. Quoth the Raven 6

    Just like in the debate between Biden and Palin they won’t have follow up questions. So even though Biden should have trounced Palin it couldn’t happen and even though Clark should trounce Key it won’t happen.

  7. ghostwhowalks 7

    The sprout is thinking along tax increases, how about financial transactions tax, since they escape GST ( and company tax) how about these economy wreckers had a tax on every transaction or a new type of stamp duty valued on the takeover deals.

  8. Janet 8

    I wonder how Crosby Textor are managing to coach Sarah Palin and John K at the same time. She is obviously had the same tutoring in attacking and distracting rather than answering the questions. But the US public seems to be seeing through it.

  9. insider 9

    Yes it’s a good thing the Standard’s writers can’t be accused of diversion or changing the subject when there’s bad news around.

    capcha is writhes

  10. bill brown 10

    Whatcha mean I’ve got to put up with the Nats for three years and I don’t get my $50 / week compenstation for it!

    Talk about lose – lose

  11. Ianmac 11

    I think that talking up the Tax cuts North of $50 is an important strategy. I do it whenever I can. Letters to the paper, posts, relatives etc. It would be a bit disappointing if all we get is another “block of cheese”

  12. randal 12

    Janet..it is obvious that there is a media conspiracy to bring down this government. Apart from the fact that most media in New ZEaland is overseas owned and bound to the right wing ideology of the owners the other salient fact is that the media here is full of knowall manques who want to exercise some authority. Basically they are pathetic. Any body who watches the The Late Show with David Letterman will see an alternative voice in the USA but there is no alternative voice here in New Zealand. There is only an unending tirade from the wankers on solid brass, radio spud and the press which has slowly become the news slut of the western world,
    We are at the mercy of rich fools and intellectual idiots. Hopefully the voters will take a considered view before the election and the smart asses get their bums well and truly kicked.

  13. Its kind of sad how in America Palin gets more credit for not failing as badly as expected compared to Biden for actually winning.

  14. Janet 14

    Just as Key gets more media glory for the idea of tax cuts rather than actually having to commit to them. How the media spins.

  15. mike 15

    Who would have thought Key could snooker Cullen by cutting back the tax cuts for ‘the rich’and still offering around $50 for the average wage earner (45k)

    As Espiner said “very smart politics”.

    I like many other Nat supporters would be prepared to wait a bit longer for cuts as long as it means Labour are history. Smart move

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