It’s your fault I keep saying contradictory things

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, March 25th, 2008 - 9 comments
Categories: election 2008, flip-flop, john key, tax - Tags: , , ,

Regular readers will remember that one of John Key’s excuses for he ‘we would love to see wages drop‘ quote was that the reporter had misquoted him. Now, Key has once again shown a disturbing trait of attributing his own mistakes to others.

When asked about the possibility of moving National’s tax cut programme forward from its 2010 start date in response to the likelihood Labour will have tax cuts in effect by October,

‘Key appeared confused about what he had already announced on the timing of tax cuts. He disputed he had said 2010 was the earliest tax cuts could take effect. Instead, he told the Star-Times last week: ‘We said that was the last date, so we obviously have got some flexibility.’ When reminded an August 2007 report in the Dominion Post quoted Key as saying 2010 was the earliest date for tax cuts, he said: She ‘must have the wrong date”.

It’s bad enough that the Leader of the Opposition can’t remember his positions on major issues (remember his bumbling on the Maori seats a few weeks back as well). It’s worse that he can’t face the fact when he gets it wrong and blames others instead because that suggests a deep-seated inability acknowledge his flaws and mistakes, and an unwillingness to take responsibility. These traits are relatively harmless for the country while he is in opposition but would be potentially disastrous if he were Prime Minister.

[hat-tip: Chris Hipkins]

9 comments on “It’s your fault I keep saying contradictory things”

  1. TomS 1

    The alarming thing is this confusion and backtracking appears to be at least partially due to not being on top of the issues and not knowing his own parties policy and/or position on any given issue. Key seems OK when repeating pre-set talking points in set piece encounters, but flounders when placed “on the spot”.

    Contrasted with Helen Clark’s formidable work ethic and absolute command of the facts around any issue he appears lazy, or badly briefed, or simply not up to the job.

  2. IrishBill 2

    I have to say when I read the article it struck me as an unusual thing to throw in at the end. The fact it was done so so pointedly is a sign that the gloss is coming off Mr Key. In fact I’ve had a series of discussions with journos lately where they have been far more critical of Key than previously. He did himself no favours amongst journalists with his handling of the “wages drop” comment and now the honeymoon is over.

  3. Draco TB 3

    Contrasted with Helen Clark’s formidable work ethic and absolute command of the facts around any issue he appears lazy, or badly briefed, or simply not up to the job.

    He’s not up to the job simply because he’s lazy and badly briefed. If he becomes PM he won’t be leading the same way GWB2 isn’t leading the US – others in the background will be.

  4. ghostwhowalks 4

    How did he ever manage to have a top flight job on Wall St ( and effectively working in London at the same time).
    Or do Currency traders never have to say sorry.

    I see Bill English hovers in the background now in his walk ups. Cant say hes going to ever be ready for a full all questions press conference of the kind that helen does EVERY week.

    Could it be that ‘changing your mind’ will become in the kiwi vernacular a ‘John key thing’ instead of currently a ‘womans thing’ and even primary school kids will get it

  5. andy 5


    ” do Currency traders never have to say sorry.”

    Only if they lose money! The thing is for Key is he has not got his head around the constant attention he will receive. Helen can be very vague and evasive(if she is caught short on facts) while sounding on topic! Key on the other hand is not used to everyday scrutiny, and it shows.

    I assume like in most corporates if you make money, meet budgets and targets, don’t hire willy nilly you are left alone.

    As I have said before the pack can smell blood….

  6. the sprout 6

    yes the gloss have surely come off and the media, and Key’s caucus, can smell blood.

    i think John is having second thoughts about whether he’d actually want the top job. although talentless at politics, he’s not stupid.

    he’ll be aware as anyone that he’s not cutting it, and if he’s elected he’ll be shredded without mercy, over several years, for all the country to see, and forever recorded in history

  7. When I talked to Davey about this issue face to face, he attributed this supposed “mass exodus” to the centralization of capital resulting from economies of scale (melbourne, sydney) and free movement of capital (globalisation). Essentially his theory was that the labour was just following the capital, and it had little to do with the tax regimes, or the respective policies of the NZ and Aus governments (corporate tax in NZ compares fairly well to Aus).

    New Zealanders don’t fare too badly when it comes to personal income tax either.

    [lprent: I’m pretty sure this comment got dropped into the wrong post?]

  8. Phil 8

    I suspect the biggest problem lies in trying to be “all things to all people”. It’s a policy tightrope the HC has, to her credit, managed to look like she’s doing for most of her tenure as PM.

    In the case of Key, he simply has to put some lines in the sand, now. Regardless of whether or not voters like the policy, it’s going to go down much better that continuing the evasion.

  9. randal 9

    he obviously thinks he can buy an election like he has bought everything else…so what is his price?

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