The Sunday Star-Times had an article titled ‘Who Is John Key?’. It’s remarkable that we’re still asking this question a year after Key became National’s leader. Even more remarkable is this long article on his history provides no answers. Who is John Key as a politician, what does he stand for, what is his vision of a better society? It seems no-one, including Key himself, knows. He comes across as ambitious for himself, but with no idea of what he would actually do in the top job.
What would a Key Prime Ministership look like? So far he’s made small policy announcements worth a few million dollars and swallowed a few dead rats, but the Government is a $60 billion a year organisation and he doesn’t know how he would steer it. Would he build up health, education, and infrastructure or let them rot like National did in the 1990s? Would he plan for and invest in the future with programmes like Kiwisaver, the Cullen Fund and cap and trade, or would he be a populist man of the moment? Would this currency trader with little knowledge of foreign affairs keep New Zealand’s proudly independent stance or just follow wherever America leads? With little knowledge and no experience with how governing works how would Key react to emergencies like natural disasters, international crises, public service scandals?
From what we’ve seen so far Key would be embarrassingly out of his depth. He’s good at attacking the Government’s weaknesses, but would Key be a competent replacement? No.