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Is National’s Luxon among the quick or the dead?

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, December 8th, 2021 - 136 comments
Categories: brand key, Christopher Luxon, john key, Media, politicans, Politics - Tags: ,

My observation, as a former journalist, is that one of the most important traits for a successful political leader career is quick-wittedness.

It can’t be taught or learned – you either have it, or you don’t as David Lange or John Key had. It’s the ability, when thrown a left-field question, or a crisis blows up, to know instinctively, without hesitation, the correct response. It was best illustrated by Jacinda Ardern at the onset of the Christchurch massacre.

In his first week in the role, new National Party leader Christopher Luxon displayed quick feet that Will Jordan would be proud of. There’s been the odd slip – at the presser on day one he was well off target with figures on the living wage and the unemployment rate, while later in a tv interview he complained about extra costs for employers imposed by the new “mataangi” (sic) holiday. Though not a lay-down misère, the former Air NZ Boss piloted the turbulence of the curliest media questions in a way that suggests he could be in that select group of fast thinkers.

He cleverly front-footed a big defensive hole – his commitment to an evangelical church that is so far from centre that it could be labelled a cult. Luxon kept re-iterating the messaging of last year’s maiden speech to parliament that his faith “is personal to me” and not in itself a political agenda.

Despite this supposed separation of faith and politics, Luxon’s politics are conservative on moral questions like abortion, euthanasia or the death penalty.

His views on matters such as abortion are troubling to many of us, but even more troubling is his lack of judgement in supporting a “church” such as Auckland’s Upper Room. That church’s pastor, Craig Heilmann, has expressed extremist, far-right views on “globalists’” (code for Jews), George Soros’ apparently coaching of Greta Thunberg, Trump’s electoral loss being a conspiracy by “the administrative state” and that climate change isn’t real.

Obviously, Luxon doesn’t necessarily agree with all that claptrap from the Upper Room pastor but plenty of people legitimately ask why the content of Pastor Heilmann’s ravings on twitter and the related Upper Room website content were permanently removed on the day Luxon’s candidacy for safe seat of Botany was announced.

When Luxon was asked by Q&A’s Jack Tame on Sunday why he had stopped going to church, the former AirNZ boss gave the strange reply that it was because he kept getting hit-on for free flights to the UK, adding that his “faith is really personal to me and I don’t need to go to church to work my faith.”

Tame delved into Luxon’s other big weakness – his wealth. The Dominon Post splashed a spread about Luxon’s $21 million investment in properties – a family home in Remuera, a Waiheke Island bach, an apartment in Wellington, his electoral office and three investment properties – that has delivered him $90,000 a week in the last year in capital gains alone.

Asked why, if improving Aotearoa’s productivity was so important, did he put so much into a speculative, unproductive investment, the 51-year-old, whose annual remuneration was over $4 million at Air NZ, hinted property may only be a small part of his portfolio. “My investment goes across a series of asset classes and some of that’s in property.”

He refused to say how many homes were too many, adding it was not immoral to own multiple houses. “You are going to need people who actually have unique, great landlords. There is (sic) always going to be people who are always renting houses. We are going to need people to invest in housing.”

When asked to comment on former Prime Minister Jim Bolger comments that it was time to reconsider capitalism, Luxon said that while “some compassion in capitalism, is very, very important”, it was preferable to socialism.

“I think the bottom line is that capitalism has been a very good model for the world. It’s lifted several billion people, 2 billion people, I’d say, out of poverty in the last 20 or 30 years.”

Tame failed to note that communist China, using some capitalist methods, has lifted far more out of poverty or that Luxon’s former company, Air NZ would unlikely have survived the turmoil of the current pandemic without state support.

Luxon said he is a disciple of Bill English’s social intervention theory whereby people with “very complex, challenged and messy lives” are identified and supported. It was preferable to spend the money up front on social services and education to help them “participate”.

His views on the government’s fiscal position were in line with right wing convention. Taxes, debt and spending are all too high and he would like to cut each, but not yet.

“At this point we are not increasing taxes but I also couldn’t come to you and say we are going to lower taxes either. We would love to do that but the question is, at the moment, we need to get spending under control.”

Luxon’s solution is to invest in infrastructure to improve productivity. That will produce higher incomes and allow people choice.

He agreed with Ardern’s assertion that climate change is “our generation’s nuclear-free moment”, but criticised her government for not following up the declaration. When asked whether he agreed the Climate Commission that Aotearoa had to reduce its dairy herd, Luxon said that would open the way for dirtier dairy farmers overseas.

“What we do know there is no obvious pathway or technology today to get to the outcome we all want to get to in terms of reducing the emissions but we are the best [dairy farmers] and we should actually lead that development.”

Luxon passed Tame’s test on the articles of Ti Tiriti, saying he is open-minded on Maori solutions for Maori but then went down the rabbit hole of separatism.

“What we have been talking about and, I think in recent times, has been the notion that co-governance means 50:50 – you know separatism.” He said the proposed Maori Health Authority is a “separatist” concept.

“To me, I want to see us working as one country, equal, but actually to be able to deal with a lot of Maori inequities.”

Luxon admitted to Tame that he speaks to former prime minister John Key “several times” a week. Though at pains to tell media he is no John Key 2.0, that degree of contact suggests Key is pulling some, if not many, strings.

I have little doubt Luxon, backed up by his politically-savvy deputy, Nicola Willis, will be a far more formidable challenge for Ardern than Judith Collins was. It will be interesting, however, to see whether the electorate will again suppress its egalitarian instincts and vote for a smooth-talking rich man.

(Simon Louisson reported for The Wall Street Journal, AP Dow Jones Newswires, New Zealand Press Association and Reuters and briefly was a political and media adviser to the Green Party.)

136 comments on “Is National’s Luxon among the quick or the dead? ”

  1. Luxon didn't display 'quick-footedness' at Question Time yesterday. He asked about the number of ICU beds. Jacinda cut the ground from under him by replying the government had worked hard to ensure the ICU beds were not needed.

    So he asked about the number of ICU beds again.

    After an interruption by Seymour and a question of the traffic light system . . . he asked about the number of ICU beds again!

    SSDD

    He’s not the great white hope so many on the right think he is!

    • Chris 1.1

      Luxon asked stupid questions which gave Ardern the floor to show how on top of the detail she was.

      • Gezza 1.1.1

        Yes, agreed. The Government Ministers never even raised a sweat. The Opposition had nothing that couldn’t be easily batted to the boundary.

  2. Blazer 2

    Good,fair analysis on Luxon so far.

    He will need to lift his game though.

    Does he have that x factor/charisma?-if he does ,he's doing a wonderful job of…concealing..it.

    • Gezza 2.1

      I think he’s been advised to try several personas & the back room analysts will see which ones seem to resonate with voters polled and/or focus groups.

      They’ll be looking for opportunities to show:

      1. Mr compassionate
      2. Mr competent
      3. Mr smart/clever
      4. Mr strong (Collins will have to beware of this one – he needs to show he won’t put up with an unruly caucus, or MP bad behaviour, & won’t tolerate caucus disloyalty)
      5. Mr responsible
      6. Mr reasonable – offering to cooperate with the govt on something
        etc.

      Personally I think Sir John is behind most of what Luxon is doing.

      • Blazer 2.1.1

        That many personas should be a sure fire recipe for….failure.

        Key cultivated 'smile and wave'…all that is required…no substance,perception trumps..reality.

        • Gezza 2.1.1.1

          No, Key displayed several personas.

          Tuff guy “Get some guts”, ordinary bloke who eats hot dogs, smooth charmer of female journos (Tracy Watkins even took her glasses off & batted her eyelids at him in a coffee café interview once), wit, the diplomat, disciplinarian (with Collins, & Paula Bennet, for example) etc

          Think about it. These all worked for him for “9 looong years”. 😉

          He left when he wanted to go – & before the Nats began to crumple in on themselves because, once Winston Peters won the election for Labour, HE was apparently all National really had.

          • Blazer 2.1.1.1.1

            'get some guts'=tough guy image!laugh

            'nearly choked on his hotdog'

            Tracey Watkins is his ..age.

            lasted 8 years before his 'tank was empty'.

        • woodart 2.1.1.2

          once you can fake sincerity, everything is easy.

          • peter sim 2.1.1.2.1

            U R so (right), sorry, I meant correct.

            Ex Wall street traders are not admirable.

        • GreenBus 2.1.1.3

          He needs to show off his BBQ talents, if any, to the punters.

          This is what's missing. Oh, and play down his wealth.

          • Blazer 2.1.1.3.1

            If you've seen the frontman for Hellers Sausages,Leigh Hart…you will realise his doppelganger is Christopher7.

            • Patricia Bremner 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Blazer lol so BBQs are out then? devil They will need to find another method of saying who is in and who is out.

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Keeping it under his … hat.

  3. observer 3

    He's been struggling in media interviews this morning. Confused about red/orange in Auckland (TV1 Breakfast), waffling on the Reserve Bank (Morning Report).

    That doesn't matter much right now, he'll get the poll boost anyway for being new, and politics will be soon on holiday for a few weeks.

    The serious long-term issue is "what does this looseness signify?". He seems to think that bluster is a substitute for doing the homework. In reality: he's a beginner, Jacinda's an old pro. If he (privately) understands that, then he can learn over time. But it feels like he already thinks he's "got this".

    I wonder who is in his inner circle. Leaders really need advisers who can tell them what they don't want to hear. Not courtiers. (Anyone who told him he was great in Parliament yesterday should be sacked).

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    It will be “interesting” will it Mr Louisson?, more likely disastrous if there were ever to be a Govt. led by Baldrick, his phone pal, and the parasite class of elite capitalists and finance capital whom they represent.

    The bottom 50% of NZers have just 1.7% of the total wealth. We have a nearly 40 year neo liberal state administered by this majority Labour Govt. that has undoubtedly made many decent reforms–while presiding over unacceptable poverty and homelessness and renter exploitation.

    So an NZ National Govt. is only going to make things worse for the working class–even Treasury figures over many years illustrate this. Time for journalists to expose Mr Luxon, rather than giving him figurative handys under the table.

    • Peteou 4.1

      I'll see your "The bottom 50% of NZers have just 1.7% of the total wealth" and raise you a He Puapua."

      That is the way the betting is done.

    • Tiger Mountain I do so like the cut of your jib.Keep it up,boyo.The only thing neoliberalism has given the poor is cheap TVs ,I can not recall how many manufacturing jobs ,the likes of which I am only fit for ,have been lost.Would 200000 be close to the mark.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.2.1

        You sort of need to piece it together really, from various academics writings.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogernomics
        If there is an overall repository of how many were sacked/displaced under Roger’n’Ruth I would like to see it.

        I worked in the NZ car assembly industry mid 70s to early 90s, and 16,000 jobs were lost there. It was called import substitution–where imported car parts had to have locally produced tyres, batteries, upholstery, wiring looms and glass added to imported CKD metal and mechanical parts. The main product of car assembly was actually jobs on good union wages, that kept South Auckland and Porirua and Thames, Nelson and other communities going well.

        Of course Douglas swung a wrecking ball through the provinces as well and people that had secure work in local authorities, infrastructure maintenance, forestry, freezing works, post, rail, telecommunications etc. were on the scrapheap with no serious mass retraining as say the Scandinavians do.

        Textiles, clothing, footwear all largely departed offshore to cheaper labour markets.
        So yes several hundred thousands sounds a reasonable estimate.

  5. Byd0nz 5

    Well if he dose'nt appear to cut the mustard, it wont be through lack of media spin in his favour as shown by a very unbalanced performance view on morning report.

  6. Chris 6

    A proponent of "Bill English’s social intervention theory whereby people with “very complex, challenged and messy lives” are identified and supported."

    Luxon misses the point that this group has expanded off the charts precisely because of the kind of capitalism he espouses. This Christian gives his cup of water to the bloodied corpses at the bottom of the cliff.

    • Gezza 6.1

      Gruesome image, but very clever metaphorical analogy because that makes it easily memorable.

      • mac1 6.1.1

        The analogy reminds me of Question time yesterday we listened to, Gezza.

        Luxon was complaining there weren't enough ambulances at the bottom of the cliff like they have in Australia.

        Ardern replied that the fence at the top kept down the casualty rate while they trained paramedics to attend the ambulance stretchers. The Australian example called for far too many hearses.

        Meanwhile, the business interests running the hotels, tours, and coffee carts at the top of the cliff want the fences removed so visitors can enjoy the view while sipping a $7 latte and hopefully scoffing a sausage roll!

    • Lettuce 6.2

      Bill English certainly had "very complex, challenged and messy" accommodation arrangement when he was in government. It was "supported" to tune of $30,000/annum by the New Zealand taxpayer, and he was very upset when it was "identified" and questioned in media.

  7. Alan 7

    "smooth talking rich man"

    I think you are missing the point here.

    Both Key and Luxon were not born rich.

    They worked hard and became successful in their chosen careers. Success resulted in wealth.

    Most New Zealanders respect talent, hard work and resultant success.

    • Blazer 7.1

      Yes Keys father owned a restaurant in St Heliers and Luxons father was an executive at Johnson&Johnson….real…battlers.

      • alwyn 7.1.1

        What was the restaurant Blazer?

        When did he own it?

        Where did this story come from?

        Speak up and prove something for a change.

        I'm waiting…..

        • Blazer 7.1.1.1

          Alwyn ,I say Alwyn….its all in his biography by John Roughan.

          I don't have a copy 4 you….but you need to understand the way politicians are marketed!

          Next ,you'll be telling me Key donated his P.M salary…to charity!no

          • Sacha 7.1.1.1.1

            Key's mother also came from a wealthy family of leather merchants in Europe. Plenty of social capital in that state house.

          • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1.2

            We never were quite able to settle that matter, were we…
            (Charitable view)

            • Blazer 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes it was settled after the b/s was embedded in urban myth…

              He gave a 'portion' of his P.M salary…coulda been $5…he never would be drawn.

          • alwyn 7.1.1.1.3

            So. You think it was in a book you once read but you can't actually tell me where in the book. Is that right?

            Sorry but I really don't have the time or inclination to try and track down the details of your claims.

            As for your statement that "Next ,you'll be telling me Key donated his P.M salary…to charity".

            Why on earth would I say such a thing. If you really think it happened why won't you say it? Come on, be bold. If you think something happened you surely aren't too frightened to say so yourself? I certainly wouldn't make the claim though. If Key never said it, and no one else has demonstrated that he did it I really don't see why I should believe what seems to be a figment of your imagination.

            • Blazer 7.1.1.1.3.1

              Alwyn,I say AlwynI don't 'think' it was in a book I read.I 'know 100% it was in a book I read.

              I don't doubt you do not want to discover the truth and blow that carefully crafted persona of Key that you swallowed ,hook,line and…sinker.

              John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister by John Roughan (goodreads.com)

              • alwyn

                "I don't doubt you do not want to discover the truth and blow that carefully crafted persona of Key that you swallowed ,hook,line and…sinker."

                Now just relax and have a nice cuppa. Then try and explain to us why you believe that Key gave all his Parliamentary salary to charity? That really sounds delusional to me.

                I very seldom read pot-boiler biographies of current politicians. I did read Brian Edward's hagiography of Helen Clark but that was an exception and a very disappointing one.

                Read Roughan's attempt. Nah. I'll leave it to you.

                • Blazer

                  Alwyn,I say Alwyn….I don't think there is any proof Key donated ANY of his salary…to charity!wink

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  We dont believe it . But as yuou were fond of finding out about what Cullen said 'excatly'

                  Key is on record "John Key has vowed to donate "a good part'' of his government pay to charity should he be New Zealand's next Prime Minister."

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/573560/Key-pledges-PMs-salary-to-charity

                  An interesting aside is that Mps salary includes an amount to 'cover the donations they are expected to make as Mps', rather than them putting down as an expense.

                  Wasnt a party donation called a charity at some stage , something to do with a round of Golf.

                  • alwyn

                    Isn't it interesting how the papers blow up a story to get a more spectacular headline. Then they blame the subject of the story if the headline turns out to be false.

                    In this story the front page of the paper was pretty much covered by, in capitals and in very large print "KEY:I'LL PAY PM'S SALARY TO CHARITY".

                    When you read the real story you find it comes back to "National Party leader John Key has vowed to donate "a good part'' of his government pay to charity"

                    Then you get what he really said "I already donate a good part of the pay I receive as Leader of the Opposition to charities and other good causes. I will continue that practice should I become Prime Minister,'' Key, above, told Sunday News.

                    Laudable of course but it really doesn't match what their headline claimed does it? Now of course we get those who dislike him pretending that that headline quoted him properly.

                    The expenses they get is meant to cover the koha they have to put in, or the raffle tickets they have to buy and so on. That isn't the sort of thing Key said he did.

                    Instead of making that last statement as a question why don't you state it as fact. Then justify it. If you can't don't say it.

                    I'm sure you wouldn't feel badly done by if I asked something like "Didn't ghostwhowalksnz get a term for drug ….?" Well that is roughly what you are doing here unless you can justify the claim. Either justify it or don't do it.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      You seemed to claim that he never said anything like it.

                      A 'good part' suggest a considerable amount and the headlines are a valid claim

                    • Blazer

                      Alwyn,I say Alwyn…that headline was absorbed by a lot of people…even heard a caller to ZB a few weeks ago…stating the b/s that Key donated his salary to charity…

                      fake news works,especially when you have a dedicated black ops team.

                      So did he ever donate a dollar to charity….we must trust him,because he said he did!

                      Wheres blips list of his lies…got to over 400 from memory…'trust John Key….sure ..can't'!

                    • alwyn

                      "blip's lies"?

                      The claims he made were wrong. He claimed that Key had said things that he hadn't. I had a careful look at a sample of the things blip claimed Key had said but when you tracked down the original comment you discovered that blip had got it wrong.

                      This business about donating all his salary is just like the things blip complained about. He hadn't actually said it, even though people thought he had. I can't be bothered tracking it down but an example IIRC was the claim that he had promised to recover the Pike River bodies. He hadn't. He had said they would take all possible actions that they could do safely, or something like that, but not that they would do it. Little of course has done exactly the same thing.

                      I'm afraid, for all you true believers, that blip got it wrong. He simply hadn't read what Key really said carefully, and suspiciously enough, and he allowed himself to be fooled because he wanted to be fooled.

                    • Blazer

                      Alwyn,I say Alwyn…you ask others for evidence but can't supply any yourself!

                      You're like the psychic that got hit by a car and said…'I didn't see it…coming'!laugh

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      Then there was this 'charity'

                      '

                      The golfing photo of Oravida owner Stone Shi and Prime Minister John Key was the result of an up to $56,600 donation to the National Party.

                      We have of course always known about the golf game – John Key has previously said it came from Shi getting the winning bid at a "charity" auction.

                      It turns out the "charity" was the National Party.

                      https://www.newshub.co.nz/opinion/patrick-gower/opinion-oravidas-56600-golf-photo-with-john-key-2014032009

    • Jimmy 7.2

      Not many commenters on this web site "respect talent, hard work and resultant success."

      In fact I would go as far to say they despise it and want to cut down the tall poppy.

      • observer 7.2.1

        No, I definitely respect her talent, hard work and resultant success.

        • Jimmy 7.2.1.1

          Yes Jacinda has done well if that is who you are referring to. But would you still feel the same if she owned 7 properties?

          • mac1 7.2.1.1.1

            The Prime Minister wouldn't be the same person.

            I hear the liars on social media are putting it about she has more wealth than Luxon’s $21 million housing portfolio.

            • Jimmy 7.2.1.1.1.1

              No I think that is some scam website that reckons Jacinda is worth $24m? Don't think too many people believe that.

              A bloke like Graeme Hart hasn't done too bad for himself as an example. I think he left school at 16.

              • Robert Guyton

                Jacinda's worth more than that.

                I'm not interested in the framing that monetises her worth: her "value" is on another plane altogether 🙂

              • Blazer

                Yes Hart can give thanks to Douglas/Caygill for going behind Langes back and virtually gifting him a state asset….the Govt Printing Office…with multi million dollar contracts.

              • mac1

                And there's the thing, Jimmy. You respect him for making money. I look at what you just wrote and ask why he neglected his education.

                You look at Luxon and say he's done well for himself. I look at our Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, and don't even think about money.

                Different values, different importances. As Robert says below.

      • woodart 7.2.2

        working at a fish&chip shop after school ring any bells.?

        • GreenBus 7.2.2.1

          Just coming from Morrinsville is a very down to earth upbringing.

          Tough town that one.

          • Enough is Enough 7.2.2.1.1

            Tough town?

            Its the town in the middle of the most productive dairy country in the world. I would call it affluent as opposed to tough

      • Blazer 7.2.3

        "respect talent, hard work and resultant success."

        'silver spoon,old boy networks,property investment and forex gambling'.

    • Robert Guyton 7.3

      No one's born rich – we're all born…naked.

    • AB 7.4

      Success resulted in wealth.

      There are may types of success. Most don't result in wealth – a very narrow selection of them do. Some people are very focused on that narrow range – their success consists of trying to get rich and doing so. Their wealth is not an accidental side effect of their success. Your statement could be rephrased as a tautology – "becoming wealthy results in becoming wealthy".

    • peter sim 7.5

      So what? Being born poor does not give one the right to tell every one else how to behave. Smooth talking bs gets you along way on wall street and air nz.

  8. Maurice 8

    He has to appeal to 33% of the Voters – Seymour's 17.5% puts them on to the Treasury benches.

    Covid exhaustion will be on his side …. How much longer can a Covid Queen rule?

    • Chris 8.1

      Precisely. Ardern was formidable in the House yesterday – she's certainly got what it takes. But she needs to take a little bit of whatever that is, and use it when she's talking to New Zealanders. She destroyed Luxon's stupid questions yesterday with clear detailed facts. She needs to do the same when outside of the House, and get rid of that horrible perception – together with fake Helen Clark-style smile – that she's talking down to people. If she can do that then moving from Covid Queen to whatever's next Queen will be far, far easier.

    • Hanswurst 8.2

      Only of there's no crossover between the 33% and the 17.5%.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.3

      Maurice for shame. "Covid Queen" Get a life. What do you call Boris then? You make it sound like she enjoys covid!! When she said with sincerity " it is keeping me awake at night."

      • Maurice 8.3.1

        Doris?

        • Maurice 8.3.1.1

          For some reason this just keeps humming through my mind (tiny as it is!)

          She keeps her Moet et Chandon
          In her pretty cabinet
          "Let them eat cake", she says
          Just like Marie Antoinette
          A built-in remedy
          For Khrushchev and Kennedy
          At anytime an invitation
          You can't decline

          Caviar and cigarettes
          Well versed in etiquette
          Extraordinarily nice

  9. ianmac 9

    A look at "Upper Room" website https://upperroom.org.nz/ shows what looks like a church. There would be 70+ church goers there. They all appear to be white people so perhaps the church does not appeal to the diverse population of Newmarket, or maybe diverse faces do not appeal to the church, even in Auckland.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      They dont use the term 'church' in their branding or even in their signs outside the building in Newmarket.

      probably the way Luxon was slyly able to say he 'hadnt been to church in 5 year's, they refer to themselves as a 'fellowship' and do seem to have fellowship meetings in private homes as well as the ones at the 'Upper Room ' itself.

      But your comments about the 'diversity' seem spot on .

      Its really a version of Tamaki's Destiny church but for upper middle class white people.

  10. observer 10

    Chapeau to the algorithms (or whatever it's called) that summon up the old articles underneath the OP. Recommended reading. The comments are a mixture of prescient and … amusingly wrong.

    (Bridges was leader less than 2 years ago? Seems like several lifetimes).

    MickySavage doesn't always get his predictions right but he did well on Luxon.

    • observer 10.1

      PS Also includes Luxon's first recorded lie as a politician, more than a year before becoming an MP:

      "Christopher Luxon says he is not an option for National in the Botany seat".

      (NZ Herald, 28 May 2019)

  11. Blade 11

    ''It will be interesting to see whether the electorate will again suppress its egalitarian instincts.''

    What egalitarian instincts?

    That went out with union bosses dressed like Soviet government officials. Unlike Muldoon, I was a great admirer of Comrade Anderson… until he instigated a school holiday strike.

    Luxon's first day up against the PM was very average. However, I'm not that worried because no matter how bad Luxon is, another year of Labour and it may come down to a stark choice for voters – do you want more of this lot, or do you want to try a pot luck with Luxon?

    National really need to get around the table with Winston and work a deal. Winston isn't out of the picture yet. He could mop up voters who can't stand any of the party choices at the moment. All Winston needs do is list the things he stopped Labour doing when he was in coalition.

    • garibaldi 11.1

      If Winston is the answer then we really are stuffed. He is a toad and he always has been. In fact he always has been a has been . I remember his Tory flashiness and obnoxiousness from Albert Park in the late sixties/early seventies. He's never changed.

      • Blade 11.1.1

        True. But hard times may mean making hard decisions. National may have no choice if Jacinda remains popular. Winston knows if he gets back into parliament, it will be his swansong. Offer him something perky and preferably in the background. He would only be needed for special occasions.

        It's a very big ask for him to get back into power, and a bigger ask for him to work with National. But as someone on this site said: ''never burn your bridges.''

        ps- I hope he wouldn't bring Jonesy back into parliament. I find that pontificator worse than Winston. Every time I clean my shower head he pops into my mind.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    Luxon, and the issue of Luxon, is boring now.

    • Gezza 12.1

      So, this will be your last comment on the guy, then?

      Is that correct?

      • Robert Guyton 12.1.1

        Too bored to respond, Gezza.

        • Blade 12.1.2.1

          Contradiction:

          1- A situation in which inconsistent elements are present.

          • Robert Guyton 12.1.2.1.1

            You've misunderstood, Blade.

            Luxon is certainly boring and that's something to be talked about, in a resigned, bored kind of way.

            Judith was fascinating (with ya, Pucky!) in the same way that watching children play with matches is fascinating, but Luxon is…

            … boring!

            Nothing wrong with that, many also-rans are boring, it's just, I'd hoped for someone…

            … interesting…

            • Blade 12.1.2.1.1.1

              So, has Gezza misunderstood?

              • Robert Guyton

                Repeatedly.

              • Robert Guyton

                As well, I'm disturbed to read that Luxon has lied already!

                • Gezza

                  Where & how has he lied?

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Observer @ 9:48 am.

                    • Gezza

                      observer

                      8 December 2021 at 9:48 am

                      PS Also includes Luxon's first recorded lie as a politician, more than a year before becoming an MP:

                      "Christopher Luxon says he is not an option for National in the Botany seat".

                      (NZ Herald, 28 May 2019)

                      He may not have been a candidate at the time he said the above. May have been persuaded to stand after that. Hardly proof of a lie.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      At least it's not boring.

                    • Gezza

                      Luxon, and the issue of Luxon, is boring now.

                      Your words, at 12. You tend to burble nonsense rather a lot, imo.

                    • lprent

                      Of course that timeline would have been before Jamie-Lee Ross started went out in public with his interesting political attitudes or afterwards?

                      Before there was a viable National MP and no room for a new National candidate. Or after when the standing MP had no political clothes or political party and National needed an emergency candidate (now the emergency party leader).

                      Context is always important in a political discussion…

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Luxon's certainly boring, but suggestions that he's started off with a lie is quite interesting, imo.

                    • Gezza

                      What's interesting is that there's no indication that what he said when he said it was a lie.

                      But two people posting here want to allege, with no proof, that it was a lie.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      2?

                      Probably 20 (or more).

                      Hard to be certain…

                    • alwyn

                      Do you really think there are 20 different contributors, who are so emphatically Luxon-haters, on any given day to this blog? That seems a bit high to me Robert. There are certainly a few of you but 20 seems to be stretching it.

                    • Gezza

                      “2?
                      Probably 20 (or more).
                      Hard to be certain…”
                      … … … …

                      Oh? That many? So you'll be able to identify & list their post numbers? Please do. I'll be interested to see how many others are making unfounded allegations.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Now I'm thinking, 30? 40?

                      Who can say.

                      Many visitors to TS quietly watch and don't say, keen to avoid attracting blatherers and malcontents.

                      I understand their reluctance.

                    • alwyn

                      Gezza @ 2.59pm.

                      Did you really mean to provide the Morse for O O O O and then add the word Oh. Or is it just an accident?

                    • Gezza

                      @ Guyton

                      Me: "But two people posting here want to allege, with no proof, that it was a lie."

                      You: "Now I'm thinking, 30? 40? Who can say. Many visitors to TS quietly watch and don't say, keen to avoid attracting blatherers and malcontents. I understand their reluctance."

                      … … …

                      You seem to have comprehension problems. You are saying 30 or 40 people have posted here (or want to) with no proof that Luxon lied when he said what he said above?

                      If they're reading your posts on this thread alone they can't sure can't avoid blatherers.

                      Clearly no one else is bothering to make such an unfounded allegation because they know they have no proof of a lie. Your pathetic attempts at diversion from being challenged on unfounded gossip and blithering are so transparent I'm embarrassed for you.

                  • Blazer

                    Luxon said he turned around Air NZ ,only he believes that!

                    'Christopher Luxon had big shoes to fill when he became chief executive at Air New Zealand in 2013.

                    Out the door went "rock star CEO" Rob Fyfe, credited with turning Air New Zealand around after a taxpayer bail-out in 2001, and snaffling numerous awards for best airline in the world. It was praised for improving its financial performance while all about it other airlines were losing theirs.

                    In came Luxon, who'd spent 18 years at Unilever — a consumer giant with a presence in houses across the globe with its brands like Dove, Rexona, Lipton and Sunsilk'-Stuff.

            • Puckish Rogue 12.1.2.1.1.2

              She certainly is

        • mac1 12.1.2.2

          I was amazed to see when looking at the National party list in 2020 that Luxon was number 61 on their list. A year ago. Great to have good mates, eh?

          https://www.national.org.nz/2020-party-list

  13. calltoaccount 13

    My take on Key’s popularity was the guys wanted to be like him and the ladies wanted to date him. Given the current controversy over housing wealth and his lack of looks, I think he’ll prove to be low on that magic X factor the population needs so much of from politicians these days.

    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      "ladies wanted to date him"

      They did?

      Mmmmmmmm…

    • Robert Guyton 13.2

      There's a tradition that says stroking a hunch-back's hunch brings good luck…

      • Patricia Bremner 13.2.1

        There is the one about being shat on by a bird will bring luck.. stupid nonsense.

        • Robert Guyton 13.2.1.1

          Taking a hit for the team, Patricia!

          I wouldn't mind it, and if my dear mother-in-law escaped the "blessing", I'd be smiling; she'd be ever so grateful; therefore, lucky me! 🙂

          • alwyn 13.2.1.1.1

            That someone as ancient as you appear to be still has a living mother-in-law seems to be a miracle Robert.

            Did you do a Charlie Chaplain and, at the age of 54 marry an 18 year old?

            • Robert Guyton 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Flora's a gem, alwyn, and sharper than you (it seems) – kinder too.

              I shook hands with a man who shook hands with Charlie – you?

              • alwyn

                That I cannot claim Robert.

                I did shake hands with David Lange on occasion. Then I counted my fingers.

                • vto

                  a friend of mine knows someone (wont say) who has eaten human… in nz no less …

                • Blazer

                  Did you still have…6?

                • RedLogix

                  I had lunch with Lange once – just a handful of people present. I was very apolitical at the time, yet my overwhelming impression was of a man who was finished with not being his own man, not being able to say what he really wanted to.

                  I remember asking a few probably very dumb questions and Lange would look regretful, as if he wanted to engage like a normal person but realised he couldn't.

                  Six weeks later he had resigned. It came as no surprise.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I had breakfast with (at the same occasion as) Don Brash once – he ate crappy, processed cereals (that's all that was on offer – I felt for him – he probably yearned for muesli, with blueberries and probiotic yoghurt – who knows? Bill English was there – he had saussies and eggs 🙂

                  • alwyn

                    I am not at all surprised at you feeling that way about him. I met all the PMs between Nash and Bolger with the exception of Norman Kirk. Lange seemed to me to be the only one who didn't really relish the idea that they were PM and they wanted to stay there. I didn't see Palmer during the time he was PM but I wouldn't be that surprised if he had felt the same way while he had the role..

                    It always seemed to me to be a bloody impossible position to manage. If someone had told me I had to do it I would have come out with the Sherman response. “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”.

                    Mind you. There was never the slightest chance that anyone would ever want me in the job

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I reckon you've got the same chance as becoming PM as Luxon, Alwyn!

                      Never give up!

                    • Blazer

                      Alwyn,I say Alwyn that was nice of you to give them all an audience!

                      Palmer must have been very disappointed.wink

                    • RedLogix

                      Nash! Now that is going back a year or two. What you say about the job is so true; it really does take a rare person willing to do it.

                      We all have our preferences, but part of me holds back from judging most political people because I know damn well how poorly I'd probably do at it.

  14. McFlock 14

    He doesn't seem to have wowed anyone with his adlibs, but he can stick to a prepared line about obvious talking points – his particular religious beliefs amongst them.

    Maybe he can just be reliable and agreeable, and that might be all National need as a caucus leader at the moment.

    Whether reliable sparks joy in the populace is another matter – the last few years have just been cascades of shit around the world, maybe they think National will handle it better. We'll see.

    Hopefully there will be a respite in the bile put forth by the nats, in favour of competent opposition. That might be nice.

    • garibaldi 14.1

      "A respite in the bile put forth by the nats". BBBB Baby , you just ain't seen nothing yet,oh no, you ain't seen nothing yet……. you ain't been around ,as the song by Bachman Turner Overdrive goes.

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        lol if he can outdo juco for bile, that would also be impressive.

        But if he puts in a solid effort without looking too happy when covid numbers rise, or blatantly leveraging the discomfort and pain of others to knife colleagues in the back, well if he manages all that, National might soar in popularity, reaching the high twenties in no time.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1.1.1

          The reason for the change at this time …well more Collins surgical strike against Bridges… was the polling season is over by early december.

          That would allow a summer for people to forget about politics or even forget about Luxon

  15. pat 15

    A sensible appraisal….it is far too early to judge his effectiveness, especially in light of an unknown future….he may crash and burn, or equally he may be a beneficiary of 'events'.

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