The clamour for ‘policy’ from National is actually a slight misnomer. What Kiwis want to know is the principles that National stands for as much as specific policies.
We know what the Greens stand for, we know what the Maori Party stands for, we know what Labour, NZF, UnitedFuture, and ACT stand for. But we haven’t known what principles National stands for.
And that’s because National keeps on changing what it tells us it stands for – from the extremism of the 1990s to Bill English’s supposed moderate stance (actually he campaigned on reversing all Labour’s first-term achievements), to Brash’s money first/people second agenda, and now what Key tells us is an ‘ambitious’ agenda (ambitious for what we don’t know). Kiwis have naturally suspected that National’s ‘trust me, I’m harmless’ face has been a marketing ploy (indeed, English himself has called Key a great marketer and Key calls his years in a state house a ‘great marketing tool’).
Now, we have the proof. Now, we know that National’s principles are what they always were and that they are prepared to deceive the public to get into power so they can put that secret agenda into place. That’s the real significance of the recordings – they show, incontrovertibly, that senior Nats are consciously hiding their true agenda, their unpopular, anti-social spending, pro-privatisation agenda, behind Key’s smile.