Key disappoints

Written By: - Date published: 4:42 pm, February 12th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

I’ve just listened to Key’s reply to the PM’s speech. I’m underwhelmed.

Instead of using it to promote any sort of policy platform it was a rehash of tired old phrases from the National Party linebook.

You’d think that having had the PM’s copy for over four hours that they’d be able to produce something a little more polished. Yet what we were treated to reminded me of the kind of thing you get when you put a bunch of people in a room and ask them to write something. Everyone puts in their little bit and you end up with crap.

It was a whole series of disjointed, unfunny jokes and metaphors with some management speak thrown in for good measure – something like: “We’ll be flexible in the implementation of our integrated health clinics” and something about a gramophone. Key was big on promises and (as usual) short on detail.

In terms of replies, Peters stole the show. He laid into Key, taunted the media, took a swipe at immigrants and mocked Burka Bob.

Key sat there chewing on his pen looking decidedly uncomfortable with only Bill English and Nathan Guy for company.

Perhaps it’s time for a new speechalist John?

42 comments on “Key disappoints”

  1. Simeon 1

    Wasn’t Peter’s supposed to respond to the PM’s speech?? Not get “laid into Key, taunted the media, took a swipe at immigrants and mocked Burka Bob.”

  2. East Wellington Superhero 2

    “Key was big on promises and (as usual) short on detail.”

    Since the P.M. is obviously so transparent in her dealings I presume then she’ll be revealing Labour’s tax cut policy details any day now.

  3. Simeon 3

    “Labour will be campaigning as it always has, on substance”

    Yeah, so where is their detail on tax cuts??

    the link is [lprent: don’t web-whore unless it is in context]

  4. lprent 4


    It is called a budget – thats where tax cuts are usually laid out by a government.

    Governments deal in reality. Oppositions deal in wishful thinking.

    I’m not impressed by such blatant trolling either

  5. Colin Espiner made some good points though about Key’s reply to Clark. He points out that Clark’s speech was pretty hard to rebut – ‘because while there was no “big idea’ or startlingly new programmes, it was an extremely difficult speech to rip to shreds’.

    Espiner also correctly identifies that Labour and National are so extremely similar these days (ie so extremely centrist and bland) that these hardly much for the two leaders to disagree about! For example:

    ‘In fact much of what Clark said could have come from Key’s mouth. He would hardly disagree with moves to make housing more affordable. Using more state funding for the private sector NGOs was actually National’s idea in the first place. Tax cuts? National’s idea was well. Further education and training for youth? Key agrees. Crack down on youth crime? Ditto.’

    I guess Clark is trying to be the “me-too” leader like Rudd in Australia was.


    [lprent: excuse me intruding for a sec Bryce.
    Simeon – please note how that Bryce does it. This is acceptable – a contribution with a link.
    Your ones were just bloody ad’s. A canned tickler line + link. I kill commercials regularly.]

  6. AncientGeek 6

    BE: Looking at your blog, it is pretty clear you know this, but…

    It is the reality of politics in NZ, and probably stable democracy as well. The centre is where the bulk of the votes are, so a lot of the political battle between major parties happens there. All you can hope for under MMP from the major parties is a trend away from the centre. Thats why labour is generally described as centre-left, and the nats as centre-right.

    This was not the case with FPP, or even STV. Unlike MMP you did not have to carry the bulk of the country (ie the centre) with you. Depending on the degree of gerrymander in the electorate boundaries, the election could be carried by influencing tiny to small numbers of voters in swing electorates.

    On the whole I think it is a good trend, especially as we run with a number (unlike germany) of smaller parties who can come up with the ‘big’ ideas and float them. If they get a reasonable level of acceptance, the large parties will either pinch, adapt, or go into coalition with the ideas. The latter is so they can blame the policy on the smaller party (devil)

  7. Monty 7

    asking the authors to ever approve of anything our next Prime Minister does is like expecting Cullen to give tax cuts – in theory possible – but most unlikely.

    Clark’s speech was boring – only a rehash of old ideas and old policy announced before – she has demonstrated she is stuck in a time warp and has run out of ideas and she has no vision.

    John Key gave a good speech and showed Clark up for exactly what she is – no votes won for Labour.

  8. lprent, let’s just be thankful that Simeon’s blog isn’t being hosted at the expense of the taxpayer. (ahem)

    [lprent: What relevance does your statement have to do with telling an(other) young idiot not to drop advertisements here?
    Try reading the About page.]

  9. Hey Andy, I hear your new blog is being funded by the national front/ Is this true?

  10. Ha! just checked out your little blog, andy – I see you have to register to post comments. Y’know that sounds familiar… why was it you took your old one down, again?

  11. Simeon 11

    “I see you have to register to post comments.”

    Well at this blog, the contributors just go around crazily altering people’s comments.

    [lprent: read the Policy page]

  12. Hi Iprent – what’s up with you scrapping my last comment? – what was wrong with it?

    Robinsod, what do you mean you have to register. Mate, I’m new to WordPress…

    And, I agree Iprent, dropping links all over the place does get a bit annoying.

    I didn’t kill any comment. You may have found that annoying feature of captcha. Sometimes, if you don’t get the text correct (or something), the comment looks like it has been added via javascript, but doesn’t get saved. It is a pain having it there, but it is the only way to keep out the automatic commercial advertising trolls apart from having a registration policy.

    We don’t mind linking, but I’m afraid that the comments that drop in a single canned phrase + link, purely to kick up their ratings, are just ads as far as I’m concerned. Thats what I was warning Simeon on.

    The comments area in here is for making comments, preferably intelligent (the ‘sod checks the border regularly), but at least of some relevance. There is a awful lot of commentary (including between the editors) that disagrees with posts or other commentors. That is debate. Trolling is just graffiti. To ensure that the debate doesn’t get drowned out by people shouting, we do a bit of work reminding people that this is an area for debate, albeit sometimes pretty robust debate.


  13. Well Andy, when you post here you just fill in the fields and post. With you blog you have to register details to the blog to comment. It seems a bit ironic that a so called “free speech” crusader like yourself makes it harder to have one’s say than the good folk at the standard who you are criticising.

  14. Robinsod, have changed the settings – let me know if it’s ok now.

    Your comment (above) makes no sense however. I simply made reference to the Standard/Labour scandal – and this has nothing whatsoever to do with the Standard’s comments policy. Quite apart from the fact that I have already told you – I’m new to WordPress.

    [lprent: we regard that as “asked and answered”, both here and on KB. It now comes under personal attacks, specifically at me since I run the site operations.]

  15. Oh the “scandle”. Kinda like the scandal about you being backed by the national front?

    [lprent: boundary ‘sod. Unless you have something to back it up?]

  16. yeah, but the only difference is, that one is in your head my man.

  17. Um, that’s not what I heard. Is it also true you’re an ACT part activist? Is Act funding you at all?

  18. Simeon 18

    Iprent can you please make your comments like everyone else does. Not by altering everyone else’s comments.

    [lprent: No – sysop’s detirmine operations, not guests.]

  19. Simeon – your linkwhoring is pretty much spam. You’re lucky you don’t just get your comments deleted. I prefer Dad – at least he’s funny sometimes…

  20. the ‘sod checks the border regularly

    Um, do you mean I post dumb comments? ‘Cos if you do I kinda take offense bro, I like to think I’m more an a abuse problem than a dumb one…

    [lprent: you do go fishing with comments that you don’t substantiate on occassions.]

  21. gobsmacked 21

    Not many undecided voters read blogs, and fewer still read or hear the speeches in a Parliamentary debate.

    But a great many watch the 6 pm news bulletins on TV, and Winston Peters was the winner there. He got the infamous Key-Iti photo broadcast on both channels, along with cutaway shots of Key looking uncomfortable.

  22. AncientGeek 22

    I believe it is fairly easy to drag Chris Trotter out on stage anytime. He likes to sing. Provide a song and preferably a beer, then stand back unless you want to see a good view of some tonsils….

    Perhaps if the National or Act provided better music….

    Thought I’d get into the swing of things in this post.

  23. AncientGeek 23

    Wrong tab…

  24. djp 24

    anyone get the feeling that lprent moderations are kinda obnoxious?

    [lprent: I don’t moderate – not a sysop job. I do look at obnoxious behaviour. In this case someone who was dropping short comments in with a link to increase his blog rating – it was advertising which I do not tolerate on this site.
    Otherwise I will answer comments made to me or the site – which is what most of them have been.
    Now I look at it I did moderate one. Robinsod – must have caught my eye.
    If you don’t want added comments, don’t attract my attention in those ways.]

  25. Craig Ranapia 25

    In terms of replies, Peters stole the show. He laid into Key, taunted the media, took a swipe at immigrants and mocked Burka Bob.

    Gee, nice to know that alleged progressives are happy to squee their pants at immigrant-baiting bullshit, as long as it’s surrounded by enough abuse of your political enemies.

    I look forward to the day when Winston Raymond Peters is in the dustbin of history where he belongs, and the politicians and media folks who swallowed his bigotry are viewed with the contempt they deserve.

  26. The Prophet 26

    I went to a Gulag in Russia once.

    I sure they had sysop’s there.

    Ah no, my bad… psych-ops.


    How bout that John Key huh?

    Kicked arse and took names. I thought he did a great job. From the look on Helens face through most of his speech, she thought he did a good job too.

    Prime Minister in waiting, I say.

  27. AncientGeek 27

    Craig: I couldn’t give a rats arse about Winston, and fully endorse your last paragraph.

    However in the first paragraph, you are making a general comment on a 400 word post post based on a 20 line description on the behavior of an MP. The poster didn’t state an opinion on if he/she approved of his behavior, they merely described it (well apart from the common name for Bob around here).

    In the first paragraph you ranted. on slim or no evidence, in a way that would make Winston proud. Why should I listen to you any more than I do to Winston?

  28. AncientGeek 28

    TP: Infinite waiting perhaps?

    That was an interesting poll today. I don’t take much of an interest in them for reasons I’ve explained in comments elsewhere. But that was quite a shift in velocity.

    Seems like john has some quite soft support (as well as policies). No wonder he is scratching around trying to figure out who he can get into a coalition with. Probably explains the sudden reappearance of the more rabid element on this site today. Getting worried maybe?

  29. Thanks for explaining that Iprent (Feb 12th, 2008 at 8:49 pm) I will repost here…

    Helen’s speech really was pretty boring and non-motivating. Key did an excellent job of tearing her speech to pieces. I do agree with Peters though, when he said that John made a big number of promises – I reckon he would have been better off going with just a few key policies and promises. I waited and listened – when was Key going to make statements on the two biggest issues of 2007 – the Repeal of Section 59 and the Electoral Finance Bill? To my dissapointment, Key kept silent on these hugely important issues.

    However, despite that, John came out on top with the opening speeches today. Helen driveled about what a bad state NZ is in, and her dredged up policies that she is going to implement to fix them. John ripped into Helen. Peters ripped into National and spoke well on immigration. Fitzsimmons ripped into National. Sharples rambled on about Tangata Whenua, and why they are special. Dunne waved his arms around a lot and, as usual, had nothing of any value to say. Rodney got pretty fired up about the Electoral Finance bill, referencing my website – and then spoke on the Anti-Smacking law, and the upcoming referendum on that issue.

    I rate their speeches
    #1 John Key
    #2 Rodney Hide
    #3 Winston Peters
    #4 Helen Clark
    #5 Jeanette Fitzsimmons
    #6 Peter Dunne
    #7 Pita Sharples

  30. Robinsod, you are so wound up attacking the messenger.

    Which school do you go to?

  31. Kimble 31

    “I’ve just listened to Key’s reply to the PM’s speech. I’m underwhelmed.”

    Do you really think that ANYONE believes that your would be anything other than negative about Keys speech?

    Nobody who comes to the Standard expects fair and balanced political analysis. Everyone knows it is a National bash site and nothing more.

    You would think that Labour and the Greens etc, as the ruling coalition, would garner more interest from a balanced political site because they are, you know, the ruling coalition.

    But damn near every single post is about John Key or National or Kiwiblog or DPF himself. Your category system doesnt do this fact justice. I bet the beat up about NZ subsidising mine safety in China would be filed under ‘workers rights’ when all it was was another bash the nash story.

    I just checked. Yup it is under there.

    You are underwhelmed by a Key speech? File that one under Shit We Could Have Guessed For Ourselves.

  32. Oliver 32

    Apart from the concerning reference to PPPs I noted over at my blog ( ), Helen Clark kicked John Key’s arse.

    But of course, as usual, Winston Peters was the finest orator in Parliament!

  33. Hey Andy, I’m only repeating what I heard – kinda the same threshold of proof you seem to use…

  34. This could have been written a decade ago:

    I’ve just listened to Helen Clark’s reply to the PM’s speech. I’m underwhelmed.

    It took Helen at least one term as PM to gain anything like the formidible profile she now has. It is possible to be a good leader without having to be full of lick and spittle from day one. Key will get the underdog sympathy in situations like this and be in laughing.

  35. Tane 35

    Craig brother, I don’t think you’ll find much support for Winston’s racism around these parts. Try this post from just two days ago:

    Peters ought to stop playing the race card

  36. Ex Labour Voter 36

    I was expecting the Standard to positively embrace Key’s speech. I was expecting you all to be absolutely wowed by it.

    I am underwhelmed by the Standard’s response to it.

  37. Craig Ranapia 37

    However in the first paragraph, you are making a general comment on a 400 word post post based on a 20 line description on the behavior of an MP. The poster didn’t state an opinion on if he/she approved of his behavior, they merely described it (well apart from the common name for Bob around here).

    Oh, so I’m being utterly unreasonable in assuming the word after “Winston stole the show” indicated some approval? If that wasn’t all your base’s intention, then perhaps he should have left Winnie’s immigrant bashing out of the roll call?

    Or perhaps I can just dismiss your rather disingenuous spin — something Winnie’s rather good at too — and take the Freudian slip at face value. Wouldn’t be the first time people who should know better have squinted past the more rabid side of Winston’s rhetoric when he’s an otherwise useful attack dog.

  38. insider 38

    The funniest bit yesterday was when Cunliffe accused the opposition of being “preppy” and I think the other phrase was pompous or arrogant or similar.

    I’m sure it was completely unintentional and lacking in irony

  39. Tane 39

    Craig, stop being precious. You’re grasping at straws.
    We’ve made our thoughts on Winston’s racism clear:

  40. Craig Ranapia – dude, you really are becoming more like the rest of the kiwiblog right every day. Are you still claiming MP’s deserve to get sprayed with piss?

    Christ, you’ll be calling people “Liarbour lickspittles” next…

  41. The Double Standard 41

    Anyone know what the ratings are for parliament TV on Sky. Must be pretty low. The apparent fact is that it is not actually performance in parliament that matters, but the reporting of performance in parliament.

    From todays Herald

    In his reply to the Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament, Mr Key compared Labour to a gramophone – “confined to history, a relic left gathering dust at the back of the cupboard wondering why the music has stopped”.

    He described Helen Clark’s speech as “vacuous” and “boring” and joked about Shane Jones mounting a leadership bid in a third of the time it has taken for Labour to offer tax cuts.

    He claimed the Resource Management Act would mean: “I have more chance of being Britney Spears’ therapist in 2015 than of driving through the Waterview tunnel … “

    Then they go on to Winston laying into National, just like a good poodle.

    How many people voted for NZ first at the last election? Reading this story, how many really care what Winnie says in the house?

  42. Tane 42

    I take it you missed the TV news last night TDS.

    See the ‘related video’ on the side bar – the second one is gold.

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