If you think that John Key gets a lot of soft coverage, John Armstrong explained why yesterday:
Key’s soaring popularity has made him virtually untouchable
Now, you and I might see a certain circularity to that logic – after all, anyone given constantly positive coverage is going to be popular. Thankfully, some journalists choose to to take Key to task. Anthony Hubbard’s report of his interview hilariously exposes our do-nothing PM, and all he has to do is quote him:
“Our vision,” says the politician, a smile on his face and a bowl of tulips at his elbow, “is to close the gap with Australia by 2025 … We need to grow at roughly double the per capita growth rate that Australia will grow at,” he says cheerfully.
Key obviously knows it’s not going to happen, it’s a joke. As Gareth Morgan says: “If they had a plan … you would have seen it by now.”
Is Key “visionary or manager?” writes Hubbard: ‘”You’ve got to do a bit of both, actually,” says Key.’ Of course, we are seeing neither vision, nor management. What we’re seeing is a guy who likes being PM and pushes off any hard decision to stay popular:
What we get out of Hubbard’s report is that Key knows he’s full of crap too but doesn’t give a damn – he’s not actually PM to do stuff, he’s there to have a good time, while National’s old guard get up to their old tricks. Hubbard exposes that brilliantly.
And lest you think that Hubbard has been selective in his quotes, here’s Key on Q+A this morning:
GUYON (on mining in national parks). You guys are obviously eyeing this pretty seriously aren’t you?
JOHN Well I think it’s worth taking a stocktake.
GUYON But you don’t do a stocktake and then do nothing do you?
JOHN Yeah well let’s just have a look
GUYON Generally you’re looking at trying to lower personal and company tax, and fund that potentially by raising consumption taxes like GST, or possibly some sort of property or investment tax.
JOHN Well the mix to the tax regime is possible, I wouldn’t rule it out, but nor do I necessarily rule it in
GUYON It sounds like there may be some change coming for property investors, what about GST, will you raise GST
JOHN That’s an argument that the Tax Working Group’s put up.
GUYON Cos you’ve previously ruled that out.
JOHN No, what we’ve said is we’d need to be convinced of a good case.
GUYON But you have to fund these personal tax cuts don’t you, somehow?
JOHN Yeah, well again it’s about a potential change in the mix, that’s a possibility, but I wouldn’t put it any higher than that
GUYON Are you going to bring that top rate down?
JOHN Well we’ve said we have an ambition to do that, and to get that down to a 33% rate to align that with the company rate.
GUYON Do you think that’ll happen next year?
JOHN Let’s wait and see.
GUYON Just last question. Seabed and Foreshore, you had an August deadline, November deadline, what’s happened to it?
JOHN Well progress is being made, I think it’s likely that the law will be repealed but I think before we repeal it let’s replace it with something that there’s agreement on.
GUYON What about just going back to the courts is that an option?
JOHN Could do