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Key takes back seat on Labour’s big day

Written By: - Date published: 2:52 pm, April 1st, 2008 - 23 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Perhaps he’s still getting into the swing of things after his Aussie holiday or perhaps he just doesn’t want to take on Cullen – either way, it’s a little odd that John Key doesn’t have any oral questions in the House today.

On a day when Labour’s openly celebrating a number of policy rollouts it’s strange that Key isn’t a little more eager to front the debate.

Maybe he’s worried about being challenged on which of them he’d scrap.

23 comments on “Key takes back seat on Labour’s big day”

  1. Matthew Pilott 1

    Maybe he thinks you don’t have to swallow a dead rat if you never mention it.

  2. rjs131 2

    Maybe he realises that no one watches parliament. Or are you suggesting taht when people consider him as their preferred PM (or equal preferred PM depending on the polls) that they have consider whether he performs/is crap in parliament?

  3. BeShakey 3

    Maybe no one watches it, but the media pay attention and their articles are influenced by the goings on at question time. Also, the TV news, which is watched by a lot of people and is influential, frequently has images of questions and answers. Key would presumably want to have the news running stories featuring him laying into the opposition. So few people watch parliament, it does influence the preferred PM standings (and the party standings) quite a lot.

  4. mike 4

    As he generally gets the better of Cullen and gets under his skin(scumbag, scumbag rich prick, envy blah blah..) I doubt he’s scared.
    Probably more to do with letting his minions do the yards while the PM is absent as she does when JK is away.

  5. infused 5

    I think Mike is on to it. Although strange. I think I’m going blind, can’t read the captcha.

  6. ridiculous 6

    Well actually this was a tactic pioneered by Helen Clark in the late 1990s. She very very rarely would ask questions in QT if Shipley was not in the House.

    One of the stated reasons, according to commentators at the time, was that Clark wanted to seem Prime Ministerial so wouldn’t question anyone other than the Prime Minister.

  7. Dan 7

    Ridiculous, you are not suggesting Key is waiting for Clark to return so that he can go head to head with Clark? He will be mincemeat!

  8. Big Bruv 8

    Clark make mincemeat of Key?…when did that ever happen?

    Clark does not need to worry though, EVERY TIME she is on the ropes she gets thrown a lifeline by the worst and most biased speaker this country has ever seen.

  9. Dan 9

    Perhaps Key is waiting to explain how he can cut the bureaucracy severely yet expect $50 a crim to pay for victim consolation payments.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Anyone remember John Key’s very first question to Clark, after he became leader? It was on climate change. The sound of New National, keen and green.

    Funnily enough, he doesn’t ask questions about climate change policy any more. If you saw the hilarious performances on One News tonight, you’ll know why. His own MPs don’t even believe in it.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/410965/1676855

  11. Razorlight 11

    Why this fascination with John Key if you truly believe he is a light weight. Why do we get post after post attacking this man that apparently doesn’t have the skills.

    John Key is a threat and you only have to see how personal Dr Cullen gets to see this.

    You dont spend this much time and energy on someone who is a light weight.

  12. lprent 12

    Razorlight – I wouldn’t take it as a personal assessment of the man. But he is a candidate for the top political job in the country. That means he is up for public scrutiny.

    If you read the top left of the main page on this blog or the About page, it explains what The Standard is about. Examining the public policies, pronouncements, and image of the leader of the main right-wing opposition falls directly into why we formed this blog. If The Standard had started earlier, then we’d have examined Shipley, Brash, English et al in the same way.

    We do examine other right-wing politicians and parties, and have been known to do those on the left as well. But the site is dedicated to looking at the issues from the views of the wider labour movement, so that is where the focus goes. The National party has not been a friend of the labour movement in the past. At present the National party appear to be throwing all of their weight behind John Key as their primary focus, so we focus there a lot.

    If the mainstream media were doing their job and seriously looking at policy rather than soundbites and headlines, then we wouldn’t have to.

    Does that answer your question?

    Lynn

    Talking about Cullen. My favourite political post this week is here. Very funny.

  13. Razorlight 13

    Mine was my a rhetorical question Lynn. My point is John Key is not a light weight.

    You rightly criticise him for being leader of the party you oppose, but a large amount of the criticism aimed at him (admitedly not by the standard but its readers) is he is a joke and a light weight in politics.

    If this was true he wouldn’t be on equal footing with Clark in the preferred PM polls, he wouldn’t make Cullens Blood boil and he wouldn’t attract all these hate posts.

    Blaming the main stream media is a silly game as well. All politicians have to deal with this. Helen Clark had a dream ride with them for years and in some quaters still does.

  14. lprent 14

    I haven’t seen any hate posts (apart from one I considered to be over the top earlier this year) here.

    That would be more like the one IrishBill described in a post here earlier this week. That was a personal attack based on the private life of a young politician.

    Even the commentators here are subject to limits. Read the Policy. We do allow considerable bounds, but it applies to comments attacking people on both the left and right on a personal basis.

    Public statements, attitudes and policies are public. I’d expect a blogs readers to pick over them frequently and offer their opinions.

    Just so long as it doesn’t descend too far into a cesspool then we really don’t care. I do strongly prefer that people actually manage to make them readable, and don’t repeat the exactly the same thing ad nauseum. I have to scan them.

    It is advisable on this site for commentators (and posters) to be prepared to back their opinions with some evidence. Otherwise you get into the problems that Jameson is having on one of the threads.

    Lynn

    footnote: On main stream media – I wasn’t referring to who had dream rides. I was referring to the msm’s predominant habit of looking at everything in a trivial shallow manner. One of the things I like about the contributors here, both posters and commentators from all directions, is that they manage to look at a lot of issues more deeply than I see in the msm. Some of the debates have thrown up some very interesting linkages.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Razorlight: “Helen Clark had a dream ride with them for years”.

    Not as leader of the opposition. Quite the contrary. From 93-96 the media stars were Peters and Anderton. No honeymoon for Helen.

    And that, in a nutshell, is the difference. Clark struggled against negative perceptions for many years, learned from losing an election and eventually, through sheer hard work, gained widespread respect for her demonstrable competence. (And political differences apart, the same could be said of Jim Bolger).

    Whereas Key is just hoping to catch the electoral tide. If he wants the top job, he should show that he’s up to it. So far, he hasn’t.

  16. Razorlight 16

    Agreed Lynn.

    However the opening line of this thread infers John Key is incompetent, scared of Cullen and even lazy. It is written in a sarcastic, smarmy way that will hardly lead onto decent debate

    In my opinion is an attack post and really is an illusion of the person who wrote it.

  17. lprent 17

    The editors (as they are known in the database) are meant to have an opinion. The intent here is not to report the news, but for editors to comment on the news or whatever else they find interesting.

    This place operates as a collective. There is no inherent editorial policy apart from what I’m willing to tolerate as the ‘public’ name on the site. Net rules require one real person if we use our own domain name. So long as editors have a point as well as an opinion, it is clear what the point is, and they have some support for their opinion, I really don’t care. If the editors disagree enough with those limits then they could decide to run the site themselves at any time and I’d transfer the domain and server (and get more coding done). Hasn’t happened yet – but hope springs eternal.

    In this case all_your_base offered an opinion, made comment on why he had that opinion, and offered supporting evidence both as a link and verifiable facts. Fits my criteria. I wouldn’t describe it as an attack post like (for instance) Whale routinely does. It initiated a discussion with some reasonably coherent comments and side issues like this one.

    Attack posts will usually initiate flamewars with all comments attacking other commentators, or get virtually no comments at all. In the last 20 odd years around the nets I’ve seen it all before, and there is a distinct behavioural difference between attack and opinion pieces. One causes often furious and usually barely coherent responses from opponents and proponents, and the other causes irritated and usually informative responses.

    You’re welcome to express your opinion (within civilised limits), to challenge the post (but attacking the author or the site detracts from your argument and may get you banned), and in turn to get your opinion debated as well. The site is there for dialogue and a vigorous discussion is encouraged (but not flamewars).

    If people want to do the things in the brackets in the last paragraph, then they should probably find somewhere else to do them. They don’t achieve anything and annoy the people who do want debate and discussion – including me.

    The negative feedback from other posters (reflects on their posts) and the comments will tend to be self-correcting towards a better post and comment quality. I certainly prefer not to get involved unless something detracts from the site, or I see a flamewar starting, or someone comments on the the site as a whole. That is a sysop’s role.

    That is why I commented here tonight. You made a comment about the site as a whole.

    BTW: Each editor has their own distinct style. all_your_base seldom debates unlike other editors, probably because he prefers to start discussions. As an editor all_your_base tends to write short pieces that are direct to the opinion he expouses. Personally I think he admires the post style of the 100word blog, and he is getting there 🙂 But that is just my opinion.

    Lynn

    Ummm I must retain a link to this. Faster to link to it rather than repeating it once a month.

  18. Razorlight 18

    Fair enough. You can say what you like and run your blog anyway you see fit.

    But don’t expect churlish posts about John Key, someone who quite clearly is popular, to slip through without someone pointing out the stupidity of them.

    Thanks for explaining your policy on this though.

  19. Ari 19

    John Key doesn’t really have much depth to his popularity, Razorlight. It’d be much fairer to say he has stirred up some significant dissatisfaction with Clark and Cullen, and is not losing grip of it too fast.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    Critics of John Key often say that he doesn’t stand for anything. Unfair?

    Well, not according to John Key. He told TV One’s Breakfast this morning that he doesn’t actually have any personal views, but is just a “mouthpiece” for the party. You said it, John!

  21. Razorlight 21

    Ari, please provide me with a source for or some evidence to back up your assertion his support, doesn’t have much depth

  22. Phil 22

    Gobsmacked, that’s a total misrepresentation of his comments, and you know it.

    What he said was that when he makes a comment about his personal views, in the public mind it becomes “National” policy. Which, quite reasonably, shouldn’t be the case.

  23. lprent 23

    Razorlight:
    “But don’t expect churlish posts about John Key, someone who quite clearly is popular, to slip through without someone pointing out the stupidity of them. ”

    I don’t expect them to and would wish debate to happen anyway. Just don’t ascribe a single mind to this site. It doesn’t have one.

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