This 2007 quote from John Key is doing the rounds among angry “No” voters:
Labour shows contempt for New Zealanders
The Labour Government has shown utter contempt for New Zealanders and the democratic process with its plan to railroad the anti-smacking bill through Parliament, says National Party Leader John Key. “The Labour-led Government knows the measure is deeply unpopular, so it plans to act against the wishes of the majority of Kiwis and ram the bill through under urgency. “This is a deeply cynical abuse of power as Labour tries to clear the decks of this controversial issue. “Helen Clark has refused to let her MPs vote the way they really think on this bill. To ram it through under the cover of urgency shows just how out of touch her government has become. “Now, not content with riding over the top of the wishes of some of her MPs, she wants to ride over the top of the wishes of the majority of New Zealanders while she’s out of the country.
“The Prime Minister also knows that she has been caught out saying one thing about the smacking ban before the election, and giving a different answer afterwards. “This is arrogant and cynical government at its very worst. This is not about good law, this is about Labour’s political damage control.
Well well. Multiple layers of irony, as JK brushed off the majority referendum result (while in Australia no less). But what does it mean? “No” voters are touting this as evidence that Key has changed – become “just like Clark” (he should be so lucky!), is “controlled by the UN” and so on. I have a different take. I don’t think that has changed his real views at all. He’s always known that it’s a “good law” or he wouldn’t have cooperated with Labour to get it passed. So why did be spout that nonsense back in 2007? It was all about mobilising outrage to win an election. It was nothing but a populist rant. I doubt that he believed a word of what he was saying.
So John won the election, but that outrage is still out there. Karma rolls around. How is John going to explain to the angry “No” vote lobby that when he said all that in 2007 he didn’t really mean it? What else did he say and not mean?