English kicks cycleway to touch

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 pm, April 5th, 2009 - 22 comments
Categories: bill english, john key - Tags: , ,

While John Key’s been bouncing from cloud to cloud, Bill English has been grinding away in the back room.

He’s finally done the the numbers on Key’s cycleway, announcing today that:

We won’t be spending $50 million on it this year or next year or the year after.

With one swift stroke, he’s effectively killed Key’s One Big Ideaâ„¢ for rescuing us from the recession.

If I were John Key, I’d be almightily pissed right now.

22 comments on “English kicks cycleway to touch”

  1. aj 1

    Lets get real. Saving jobs is not on National’s agenda.

  2. all_your_base 2

    I quite agree.

    Firing? Yes. Hiring? No.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Sadly a decently built cycleway was quite a good idea, and the mere fact that Key ran with it so publicly, while it was always so very much at odds with the fundamental ethos of his Party… tells us something interesting.

    Without trying to draw any deeper parallels between the two men, Muldoon was the other Nat PM who was very much on the outer of his own Party, but was tolerated so long as he kept winning them elections. Over time Muldoon managed this isolation by brutally bullying his own caucas, Parliament and the Press Gallery. Key’s situation is not the same, but it will be interesting to see how the relationship between him and his Party will evolve.

    For instance Helen Clark would have most definitely suspended Worth by now, as she did on a number of occasions with Ministers who erred far less seriously. Is Key’s inaction so far, indicative of some deeper dynamics within National that has yet to surface into the public eye?

    • ak 3.1

      Could be, Red, but somehow “deeper dynamic” and “National” just don’t seem to gel in the same sentence…….wee Bill’s piling on the “substance” and auditioning for Cullen 2, while Biketrack Boy’s still pollyanna-ing his way round the provinces like the energiser bunny – in New Plymouth last week he said “This is actually a very shallow recession now in the fourth quarter”. Smile and stroke, smile and stroke, it’s the never-ending love-me story – I just don’t think there’s a plot to thicken…..

  4. george.com 4

    The cycle track might have been a good idea at a certain time. During the onset of a severe downturn/depression as a way to create jobs and economic momentum? Roftl. Maybe in a time of surpluses put some millions aside each year to build regional cycle tracks that will have a useful (but not spectacular) impact on tourist spending. It would add to the mix of ways of parting tourists from their money and provide some jobs in rural and small town areas. Over time the network would grow and give tourism an added attraction. During a time of recession there are more pressing things than building a network of cycle ways. Heck, if we want to keep people in work, use that money to build state houses or insulate home. The immediate benefit of work AND tangible social benefits now. An absolute daft idea as a major solution to jobs in a depression. For picking it up and promoting it as a major policy plank, egg all over Keys face.

  5. r0b 5

    “Not with a bang, but a whimper.”

    It was and is a fine idea to have a cycle way, but it was never going to save the economy. So what does that leave as a result of the expensive talk-fest?

  6. John Dalley 6

    John Key, the bimbo in the short skirt and blonde hair, strutting his stuff trying to make out that he actually knows how to govern a country. Bill English beavering away in the background, one day intent to being PM again. Bill will soon get tired of fixing the blonde bimbo’s stuff ups.
    Let’s see how long John Key takes before the pressure of holding the party with no substance together starts to crack under pressure.
    the trouble John Key has, is the only reason he wanted to be PM was because it would look good on his resume. He is lacking passion or conviction to make a real difference. It’s all very well to be spouting text from the likes of Crosby Textor, it’s another to actually be able to articulate what he really believes. Everything so fare spouted by JK has been out of the text book not the heart and sole.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    What I took from English was that the cycle way would not be completed in a single year. As I recall it, he stated that the cycle way would still be proceeding, but that the full expenditure would not be incurred in a single year.

    So, I think your quote above is taken out of context.

    • lprent 7.1

      Perhaps Bill English should clarify exactly how many created jobs he is prepared to put toward the cycleway and when. Since the project was mooted in the context of a Jobs Summit, what you’re saying is that Bil is preparing to create less jobs with it this coming year than Key expects.

      Job creation is kind of time sensitive….

    • Kevin Welsh 7.2

      So TS, we can take from that statement that the cycleway is still on, its just that it is at least 3 years down the track?

      • BLiP 7.2.1

        Bits and pieces of the network installed in marginal electorates during election year maybe?

      • Pascal's bookie 7.2.2

        It looks like key’s response to the crisis has been delayed by his finance minister due to the current economic crisis.

        Simple really.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Kevin: “So TS, we can take from that statement that the cycleway is still on, its just that it is at least 3 years down the track?”

    The comment from English was that the cycleway project is indeed stil on.

    I think it is totally unrealistic to have a project of this scale finished within a calender year, and I don’t think even Key has suggest this. I imagine a project of this scale would be at least six years.

  9. Kevin Welsh 9

    From the Stuff article, Bill English says:

    “…we will be implementing a national cycle network, but it will start smaller and as confidence builds and the economy improves it can grow bigger.”

    Are there going to be any initiatives from this government to provide stimulus through this recession that do not involve some sort of “welfare” payment to help people out with redundancy, their mortgage or as payback for corporate donations?

    Kind of ironic really, when you look at how they criticised the previous government for so-called middle-class welfare thorugh WFF.

  10. Tigger 10

    That back room has been busy. Anyone else know of a secret Cabinet paper on regulation that English and Hide have been working on, unbeknownst to other Ministers?

  11. windy.city.struggler 11

    Perhaps there is a fiendishly clever good cop / bad cop strategy by Key and English which covers all the bases between facile optimism and an increasing realisation of the size of the evolving derivative/credit default swap/real estate disaster.

  12. tommy onions 12

    I like the suggestion made by someone in the Press that they should turn the existing SH1 into a cycle way and build a proper road.

  13. Hmmm …

    I thought the Jobs summit was going to make everything better. So far the grand total of 60 jobs have been saved by the 9 day working fortnight policy. The Tertiary Education Commission alone stands to lose more jobs than this through Government decision and it seems that every day there is a new announcement of redundancies.

    And now it seems that the cycleway will be no more.

    Is this Government actually going to do something about unemployment and the economic crisis? Or is it all spin and no compassion?

  14. George Darroch 14

    If they won’t be spending $50 million this or next year on this $300 million project, they’ll be spending considerably less.

    And how much is $10 million going to do? Some small fraction of the country. Bastards! I want my cycleway!

    Looks like the cycleway counter needs an update.

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