John Key: These are my principles …

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 pm, July 24th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, national, nz first, slippery, winston peters - Tags:

… and if you don’t like them, I have others.

John Key, as reported by Bay of Plenty Times, Feb 2011:

After yesterday’s shock announcement of a November 26 election date, Mr Key said there was no place for Mr Peters or his party in any future government he might lead.


“I don’t see a place for a Winston Peters-led New Zealand First in a government that I lead,” he said.

“Historically, he has always been sacked by prime ministers. It’s a very different style to mine and it’s rearward-looking.

“I’m about tomorrow, I’m not about yesterday.”

John Key, as reported by TV 3 News, July 2013:

Prime Minister John Key has given his strongest hint yet he will swallow the equivalent of a political dead rat by the name of Winston Peters.

Mr Key says National supporters want him to do a U-turn on previous promises and work with Mr Peters, if it means stopping a Labour-Greens government, and a 3 News/Reid research poll backs this up.

Mr Key is talking like he never has before, because dealing with Mr Peters in order to take power used to be a “no” from Mr Key.

“I think partly it reflects that the country doesn’t want to see Labour and the Greens in office,” says Mr Key, “and so if it means having to deal with New Zealand First, a lot of our supporters would prefer to see that situation.”


“[Mr Key] once said that he would never work with Winston Peters because he couldn’t trust him,” says Labour Party leader David Shearer. “[He said] it was a matter of principle, and not political expediency. This man has no principles.”

“It clearly shows that principle can be washed away if the Prime Minister wants to get a third term in power,” says Green Party co-leader Russel Norman.

Tonight’s 3 News video has a clip from 2008, with John Key saying,

It’s not a matter of political convenience, it’s a matter of political principle.

It also has a 2011 clip of Key saying part of that reported above by the BOP Times.


The 3 News video also has a clip of Peters playing hard to get, and refusing to talk about the possibility of working with National. And meanwhile Gower does his usual straight-faced manipulative promo of 3 News own poll on the Peters-Key coalition possibility.

Gower gives a positive spin to Key’s slippery principles, by talking up how Key is just considering doing what the polls, and thus (allegedly) what most worried Nats Kiwis want.

42 comments on “John Key: These are my principles …”

  1. Follow-the-money 1

    Point 1: last time Peters went with the right, he seemed to suffer. IMHO, he seems to be better positioned as the moral right of a left wing government, rather than the moderating left of a right wing government.

    Point 2: Key has decided he can trust Peters, but has Peters decided he can trust Key? Key’s track record of making coalition partners look good isn’t great. That ought to weigh on Peter’s mind, some. The media might be saying Key’s prepared to swallow a dead rat called Peters, but I doubt if that’s how Peters sees it.

    Point 3: Despite Peters’ time in National, there are some large, grey elephants in the room (e.g. Asset Sales) that may ironically make Labour an easier choice. Might be wrong, but I think Peters made that choice before.

    Sum-up? IMHO, Peters would probably go with Key only if going with Labour & Greens wouldn’t make a credible government.

    • felix 1.1

      1. Last time Peters went with Labour he suffered a fair bit too as I recall.

      2. Peters isn’t bothered. He’s not a lightweight like all National’s other partners. If he partners up with Key and it turns to custard, he’ll do more damage to Key than the other way around and he knows it.

      3. There are equally large beasts on the other side.

      Sum-up: Deputy PM.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        1. Last time Peters went with Labour he suffered a fair bit too as I recall.

        IIRC, only due to National attacking him.

        • David H

          Really? I thought he was thought of as one of the Best Foreign ministers we have had..

      • Follow-the-money 1.1.2

        1. Suffered, but wasn’t dumped ignominiously.

        2. Noted – but what can he do to Key that Key isn’t alsready doing to himself? 😉

        3. Also noted – but Peters’ brand is his forthright-eousness, a lesson Dunne’s learning the hard way. If Peters went back on some of his stances ( eg asset sales) he would quickly join Dunne on the naughty step and he knows it. To me, Labour seems less rigid and more able to accommodate Peters. Not sure about Peters with Greens, though. Peters and Harawira would take a shipload of rats for both to swallow.

        Sum-up? I think you are right -at least while Shearer keeps the left from gaining traction. But who with is the question.

        Maybe Key’s not expecting to take the Nats into the next election, and so he could keep his word?

        • felix

          All fair points. He could easily go either way and that’s the real danger; his numbers simply can’t be counted on.

          Your last line makes a very interesting observation indeed.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    If we remind Key and the Nats of everything they said about Peters we might break the internet. But let’s have some fun – here’s a real cracker to be going on with …

    Any comment, Mr Key? Mr Farrar? Hello? Anybody there?

    • felix 2.1

      That was all in the past. Stay in the moment. Perception is reality. Explaining is losing. I always agree with the PM. I’ve hated unions since I was in the womb.

      IT’S TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Blue 3

    So Key’s a slimy, hypocritical git who’d say anything to get what he wants. No news there.

    Oh, the days when his faux-moral outrage so delighted the punters.

    “I want to lead an aspirational Government, I don’t believe a Winston Peters Government does that.”

    “I’m about tomorrow – not yesterday.”

    “If Peters holds the balance of power then it will be a Phil Goff led Government.”

    “It’s not a matter of political convenience, it’s a matter of political principle – we just do not find NZ First acceptable.”

  4. Sable 4

    Keys means the right wing media don’t want Labour or the Greens in office given the extent to which they have lied for him to build up his false image as a capable leader.

  5. emergency mike 5

    Wait, you mean I can’t trust anything that comes out of John Key’s mouth? Holy shit since when?

  6. Chooky 6

    I think Peters would be more comfortable going with Labour. He worked successfully with Helen Clark and was a very good Minister of Foreign Affairs.( He earlier destroyed the Nat Govt when they tried to sell State assets and pulled the plug on them)

    For a long time I blamed Peters for letting Labour and Helen Clark down and going with Jim Bolger and National (after the first MMP election), when Peters seemed more to the Left than Labour in his rhetoric and campaigning. Peters got my vote and I felt duped …

    However after watching the first of the Helen Clark series on TV3 tonight , it would seem Peters only made that decision to go with National , after Jim Anderton refused to go with Labour and Peters saw that a Labour Govt was impossible. I never knew this before.

    If only Peters and the Greens could bury the hatchet…I think the score is one all

    ( Peters prevented the Greens from getting into cabinet …..and the Greens shat on Peters from a great height 3 days before a general election over telling fibs “read my lips” about receiving money from Owen Glen….probably causing Peters to go out of parliament by a ‘whisker’ and loosing Helen Clark and Labour that election and giving it to Key…what disaster that was in so many ways)

    I would like to see Peters and the Greens work in with Labour under Cunliffe….then we might begin to set this country back on course.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1


    • Alanz 6.2

      Last sentence – very interesting observation and a paradigm-changing idea.

    • King Kong 6.3

      Forget all the shenanigans around Peters lying about his cash for policy stuff. You chaps are underestimating how much his support base despised him cuddling up to the homo loving, lightbulb stealing pinkos. Thus they turned their backs on him. Throw into the mix Labour trying to introduce laws giving his constituents families the right to murder them when they get sick and you have really backed him into a National supporting corner.

    • Follow-the-money 6.4

      Last point -moi aussi

    • karol 6.5

      It was Rodney Hide who made it a mission to put pressure on Peters over the Owen Glenn money issue. Day after day in the House, with Hide getting kicked out of the House when he kept up the pressure and flouting the standing orders.

    • yeshe 6.6

      +100% Chooky, thank you.

  7. King Kong 7

    I can’t work out if you are asking if the Scotch is good however it’s quite a meaty cask strength Laphroaig and it is tucking me up nicely.

  8. I rise to speak in favour of John Key.

    At least he is not boring.

  9. Winston Smith 9

    Clutching at straws once again…

    • Pasupial 9.1

      @ WS

      Who is clutching at what straws?

      Karol seems to be once again posting a well researched article. This time regarding Key’s evaporating principles regarding Peters (with bonus Marx quote).

      I, for one, hope NZF is the straw that breaks that shonkey camel’s back.

  10. Tracey 10

    “Mr Key says National supporters want him to do a U-turn on previous promises and work with Mr Peters”

    I wonder what this is based on? A new poll? Does he change his view based on all National supporters views? I suspect your average Nat supporter wouldn’t mind super age being raised 2 years?

    Why doesn’t he share KK’s view that a third term is a fait accompli?

  11. Brian 11

    John Key – Principles? – nah, can’t see it myself.

  12. GD 12

    “I can always flip-flop. That’s my number one principle.” – John Key

  13. Treetop 13

    Key’s coalition partners have been tarred and feathered by their leader.

  14. Tracey 14

    Treetop, but according to the polls National and Key are just fine so why does he need anyone?

  15. emergency mike 15

    Interesting isn’t it. Usually when politicians are asked if they would consider a coalition with x, and x is a controversial politician who they’ve been slagging off for months, they will give some kind of vague non-committal response. Reason being they know that at some point in the future, perhaps not now but someday, they might just need x. If and when that day comes, they don’t want to look like a hypocritical bullshit artist when they change their tune.

    But not John Key. He’s happy to roll out this talk about ‘principles’ and ‘I’ll never work with Winston because he can’t be trusted’. How come? Because he is a hypocritical bullshit artist. Doesn’t he care about how that looks? Nope. How did Gower report on this principles update? He took a poll asking people if they thought a cuppa with Winnie was cool. Not quite the same thing is it folks?

    People like John Key, and not just in politics, are happy to spread around the meme that people often change their mind about their stated principles and things they’ve promised. He’s not bovvered about it. He’s comfortable with it. Ackshully, the reality is [insert desired reality here].

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