A scathing attack on the National Party policy development and release process from the Herald Editor:
An Opposition seeking to style itself a Government in waiting needs to do better than run ideas up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes them…
The suspicion suggests itself that National is costing the tax cuts that it will promise next year and realising that it will have to get private enterprise to take over some state duties so it will have enough cash in the kitty. Such pragmatism will not do.
The editorial also points to the odd disconnect between Key and his education spokesperson Katherine Rich. We saw the same phenomenon on privatisation between Key and English. The disconnect was also plainly evident between Key and Ryall at the Nats’ health policy release.
I suppose you have to start wondering at some stage what’s going on inside National. Does Key really have any grasp of policy at all or is he there just to do the fundraising and smiling – leaving the heavy lifting to those who are better equipped? English himself has suggested that it might be the latter:
English: “I’m a stayer, he’s a sprinter. I grind away, John just bounces from one cloud to another.” (North and South, August 2007)
English: “John articulates a confident and aspirational view about the future, I focus on putting together the numbers and the programme”. (NZ Herald, 19 Jun 2007)
English: “The other reason [the Key English team]. works is that we complement each other. John Key is a terrific marketer., and I’ve got the experience of government and policy.” (Investigate, February 2007)
If that analysis is correct I can’t imagine that Key’s much looking forward to facing Clark come the campaign. We’ve seen the fear in his eyes before (remember him in the House under Goff’s barrage?). I suspect we’ll be seeing it again.