Despite his very carefully presented image, Key has long been a ‘politician’. His snarky performances in the House long ago showed his partisanism, with his writing off any idea that came from the ‘wrong’ side of the floor.
In 2002 he could claim naivety of the sausage factory, but he has always been willing to scheme and deal-make – as his involvement as one of The Hollowmen showed. His facade as the reasonable anti-politician has only ever been skin deep.
But the scheming ‘smiling assassin’ is ever more starting to show. First his man-date to get a mandate with Banksie showed what deals he was willing to make even in front of the cameras (if intended off the mike). And now with a new ‘anti-politician’ leading the opposition, the contrast is clear.
Rather than praising his involvement in helping the starving in aid camps, he makes sneering comments about Labour needing someone with experience of war-torn Somalia to lead them.
Rather than justifying his government’s actions in reply to Shearer’s opening parliamentary address, he plays the man not the ball by casting smears – saying that he could hear “the quiet sound of David Cunliffe plotting,” and (intended as an insult) that the speech was one Phil Goff would be proud of (they are in the same party John, so Phil’s probably happy with any good speech by a Labour MP…).
And rather than welcoming Shearer’s call to move beyond politics into co-operation – particularly on poverty by making the Ministerial Committee into a Parliamentary one – he dismisses it.
Indeed where Shearer says that he’ll welcome any good idea, no matter where it comes from, Key claims that (despite majority opposition) asset sales and charter schools are good ideas, so it’s some sort of hypocrisy “that David Shearer will not come out and support them”. The country doesn’t agree with you John.
His comments about Epsom game-playing won’t help either: list MP Goldsmith was “the man who did such a wonderful job of coming second. Sometimes losing is winning.”
When all you care about is power John, sometimes it is…