The two significant things from the Herald interview:
#1 The signalling by John Key of his willingness to step down.
#2 The view of John Key that “essentially there is no money”.
“There won’t be money for us and there won’t be money for Labour,” John Key.
The significant thing about the first statement is, by putting it out there that he may step down if he loses, he puts in the public mind the possibility that he may step down regardless. This would have the effect of nullifying all the personal promises that he gave to the electorate over not privatising state assets or raising the retirement age etc.
For John Key, as a multi-millionaire, living a life of privilege, if it came to the crunch, over breaking his promises and enforcing austerity. Key would probably chose to step down from the morally indefensible position of actioning policies which would leave him and other rich people like him untouched, but which in their implementation would hurt the majority of those less well off than him.
The sort of austerity measures we are likely to see from the next National led government, – slashing of public spending on health and education, – attacks on the public sector unions and the low paid who will and resist these attacks. Alongside this onslaught on the public sector and state provision, a propaganda campaign justifying the spending cuts by deliberately demonising beneficiaries.
All this and more, will be demanded by the rich backers of a market led recovery.
Better for John Key to bow out gracefully, and let his bully boys mates impose the “necessary” austerity measures.
The significant thing about the second statement, is that in Key’s opinion, it is the also the view of Phil Goff, “that essentially there is no money”.
And until Phil Goff states otherwise, we must presume that this is the case.
No wonder Phil is so reluctant to lead the next government, and who can blame him. Phil Goff (according to John Key’s interview) probably wouldn’t be too keen to be the leader of an austerity government in charge of delivering attacks on the less well off, either.
Of course it is all a crock, there is heaps of money. (In fact human society has never been wealthier.) It is just all in too few hands.
It will take a determined effort by those who can see past neo-liberal economics to tilt the “Spirit Level” back.
Tax Justice policies would do the trick. But for most mainstream politicians used to decades of stable growth, this is probably a bridge to far. Rather than take any measures that may be seen to threaten ‘The Market’, far better to try and occupy the safe middle ground, and wait till the “End of the Recession”.