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Nat leadership speculation

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 15th, 2013 - 104 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins, leadership, national, Steven Joyce - Tags: , ,

I didn’t see Key’s Q+A interview on Sunday, but it seems to have been an interesting one. Speculation about the leadership of the Nats appears to be growing:

Mr Key said speculation that he would be replaced as the National Party leader before the next election was untrue. He said he was “actually enjoying” the job.

Team Joyce or Team Collins? Should be fascinating, in a morbid sort of way. From the same interview:

Mr Key told Q+A the fact that the State Services Commissioner had publicly supported his role in Mr Fletcher’s appointment had not been properly reported by some media.

Still blaming the knuckleheads – that’s going to help.

“My reputation matters to me because I am honest and I am upfront,” Mr Key said.

Sorry John – that ship has sailed. You’ve been caught in too many lies, evasions and “brain-fades”. If you have to be claiming in interviews that you are “honest and upfront” then it is because you know that people don’t believe it any more. Time to look to your “legacy”:

“As Prime Minister, what are they going to remember when they look back? The answer is going to be is the economy stronger, does the education system work better, does the health system work better, is New Zealand a stronger, more confident country,” Mr Key said.

“I’ve been Prime Minister for four-and-a-half years, my own personal view is that we are building that sort of New Zealand.

And it will remain your “personal view” too, because there is no data to support it. Just ask the record numbers of unemployed and Kiwis who are leaving to Australia.

104 comments on “Nat leadership speculation”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    “We are building that sort of New Zealand.” The one that’s “stronger better and more confident”.

    In the meantime it’ll be weaker, worse and cowed under National.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      “weaker, worse and cowed under National”

      – that is only just a start to describe John Key’s National Party liegacy.

      More details of John Key’s litany of liegacy at:

      Open mike 06/04/2013

      (Thanks, BLiP, for the list that is getting longer and growing quickly.)

  2. Plan B 2

    It sounded to me to be a lot like a ‘so long and good night’ kind of message.

  3. tc 3

    Hell no don’t go, the fun’s not over yet Shonky.

    It’d be just like the weasel to F off after the geneartors are flogged, SCF bond holders were bailed out including interest and gift duty was abolished so potentially billions of assets can be shifted/hidden without incurring tax. Job done as far as he’s concerned.

  4. karol 4

    “Honest and up front”: Yeah right.

    And the evasions around Fletcher’s appointment, Kim Dotcom, etc?

    Judith Collins is probably watching with interest. Joyce seems to be biding his time.

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      I understand that one of the tactics is for Joyce to use Collins as a stalking horse for the power play.

      If so, that is a far more polite turn of phrase than that used in more private circles.

  5. felix 5

    “Mr Key told Q+A the fact that the State Services Commissioner had publicly supported his role in Mr Fletcher’s appointment had not been properly reported by some media.”

    Lolz, that’d be the role he told parliament didn’t exist.

  6. ghostrider888 6

    gee, I wish I could html like the oak above

    “is the economy stronger?”-the casino floor is.
    “does the education sytem work better?”- teachers, parents and students marching.
    “does the health system work better”-what when ya effectively cut money out of it and suture up the Rich Food and Beverage Lobbies
    “is NZ a stronger, more confident country?”- perception of police integrity low, defence force moral low, with training and equipment weaknesses, Border Security leaking, increases in psycho-active medicines uptake, Drug and Sexual Offences up…core infrastructure being parceled off…

    “after 4 1/2 years my own “honest and upfront” view is that we are building that sort of NZ.”

    to mirror your own turn of phrase john, you are in “la la land” and nowhere as educational as a Tele-tubbie.

    • felix 6.1

      Hi ghostie, if you want to make links like OAK’s ones I wrote a quick guide here that seemed to help a couple of people.

      • Kevin Welsh 6.1.1

        I always though it would be easier if there was a table as part of the comments panel with a list of the common html formatting used. That way it would be easier to cut-and-paste into your comments.

    • Tim 6.2

      ….. and, as someone else has already pointed out, after 4 1/2 years in the pursuit of additional FTA’s and agreements – as the okkers would say: “Where the bloody hell are they?”
      WHAT exactly have we delivered, as against WHAT we promised – populist bene-bashing aside and all that kaka – and in terms of what a trad Nat might expect. Christ! there are even farmers considering handing over the keys (Key-s) to the farm to their bank managers.
      In some ways, it’s actually quite good we have a vacuous, unintelligent, egotistical, self-promoting philistine holding the reins and riding the crest of a wave that’s close and closer to breaking against a granite cliff face. Not even a Blinglish is going to prevent that one.
      PLEASE! let a Collins come to the rescue (and btw, if and when that happens, watch a Bent try and change her leopard spots – which is ekshly what she’s spent her entire time in parliament trying to do)

  7. veutoviper 7

    I didn’t see Key’s Q & A interview as I could not face seeing him in person, but here is the transcript of the interview, thanks to Scoop.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1304/S00148/qa-corin-dann-interviews-prime-minister-john-key.htm

    The fact that Dann actually raised whether Key would still be Nat leader by 2014 is interesting, but I would not be surprised if this was being discussed behind the scenes within National.

    But Key’s statement that he is honest and upfront really takes the cake – he may believe it but IMO more and more people are finally seeing him for what he is -fFor example, the increasing number of comments to this effect on opinion pieces in the Herald online over recent weeks.

  8. fabregas4 8

    ‘does the education system work better?’

    Not according to just about every Principal and teacher in the country. And almost every education and assessment expert would also offer a resounding NO!

    It makes me wonder though – what part of the education system does Key actually think is working better. Night Schools? Ever stretched universities? The School’s in Christchurch? The school’s pay system? those bullied into a National Standards system that is failing over the world? Any part that Parata is involved in?

    If he really believes this statement, and particulary if he thinks it is one of the things that his party has done really well and will be a positive legacy, then it is truely time to go. If he is just saying it then he is a liar again

  9. ianmac 9

    Mr Key is under threat.
    Notice that his puppet backbenchers seldom laugh enthusiastically at his very “funny” remarks in the House.
    Judith Collins is putting on weight for her bid.
    Government backbenchers are increasingly aware, given their knife edge hold on power, that they would lose their seats should Mr Key’s popularity slide further.
    Rumbling around the House suggest a change at the top.
    Note: MSM Knuckleheads. Please carry out your usual rumour mongering.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    “My reputation matters to me because I am honest and I am upfront,” Mr Key said.

    This is like someone saying that they are a lady (or a gentlemen).

    If they have to assert it out loud, they almost certainly are not.

    • freedom 10.1

      from the transcript
      “My reputation matters to me because, you know, I am honest and I am up front. ” that “you know” is a big tell

      also from the transcript
      “I do two or three stand-ups a day, and I’m asked questions about a huge number of issues. ”
      and that’s just the bathroom, the mirror in the bedroom gets really tough

    • felix 10.2

      People perceiving me as honest and upfront is important to me because I have my reputation to consider.

  11. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    That’s right, it’s the Nats who have a leadership problem. Jay-sus!

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    I think you all know that there isn’t any speculation about National’s leadership except for some fantasy on the left. But if there was a vote, Joyce wouldn’t be a player. He is seen as entirely a creature of Key with no independent power base. Imagine, as a rough parallel, that Heather Simpson had got into parliament and Helen Clark had made her a senior minister. She would have been incredibly capable and powerful but her power would not have outlived Clark’s resignation.

    • Kevin Welsh 12.1

      The mere fact that are here dismissing it, Matthew, just adds fuel to the fire.

    • Gosman 12.2

      You do realise that you have now solidified the view of many hard core lefties that there is indeed a leadership issue within National simply by you denying it don’t you?

      • Matthew Hooton 12.2.1

        Yes, that was my intention. It should be interesting watching them try to get to the bottom of the conspiracy over the next few days

        • felix 12.2.1.1

          What a pity no-one gives a damn what you think.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.2.1.1.1

            ..except Kevin and Gosman, apparently.

          • Matthew Hooton 12.2.1.1.2

            Surely Felix, you’ll be asking the writer for a link to or other evidence of the “growing speculation” about key’s leadership?

            • Gosman 12.2.1.1.2.1

              Felix only bothers with pointless comments if it is in the cause of battling the ‘evil’ right wingers who occasionally post here. It seems to makes him/her feel all superior for some reason. I suspect felix needs this feeling of superiority as it may well be missing in the real world.

              • felix

                Seeing as Matthew finds it so confusing that I think people should take responsibility for their statements – which admittedly must seem a bit odd to a professional bullshit artist – let’s see you provide a link to where I’ve ever talked about “the evil right wingers”.

                • Gosman

                  Ummmm… felix did you note the use of the word ‘seems’? Any normal person, (which admittedly poses an immediate issue in your regard), would take this to mean the statement was an opinion not a statement of fact necessarily. But by all means continue to pontificate about irrelevancies. I do so enjoy your rather childish method of discussion.

                  • felix

                    “felix did you note the use of the word ‘seems’?”

                    Nope, that was in the bit where you speculate on my motivation. The bit I asked you about is this and I quote: (see how easy it is?)

                    Felix only bothers with pointless comments if it is in the cause of battling the ‘evil’ right wingers who occasionally post here.

                    This isn’t the first time you’ve accused me of describing things as evil, and it’s not the first time I’ve asked you to back it up, which so far you have never been able to.

                    I’ll be impressed if this turns out any differently.

                    • Gosman

                      I use the term ‘evil’ right wingers to express the way I perceive how some irrational left wingers react to anybody who comes from a more right wing perspective than they do. I include people like you in that irrational camp. Whether you have ever used the exact term or not is irrelevant to the point I am making.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Nice, felix! I think Gosman’s only possible semantic defence is that he, not you, thinks tht some right wingers are evil. But that would be a step too far for Gossie, even to save himself some more embarrassment.

                    • Gosman

                      This is the sort of attitude that I regard as leftists regarding the right (or major aspects of it) as ‘evil’

                      Standing up for freedom for the sexually adventurous Right

                    • felix

                      Righto Gos. So you acknowledge that I don’t actually describe things as evil., but you like to imagine that I think they are.

                      Is that getting closer to it?

                    • felix

                      If that’s what you mean, Gosman, then why don’t you write “felix always goes on about the ‘money-grubbing’ right-wingers”?

                      Why do you repeatedly accuse me of describing things as evil when you admit that it’s not based on anything I’ve ever said?

                    • Gosman

                      Ahhh… no I don’t.

                      I equate your irrational and simplistic breaking right wingers into either bigots or ‘fuckjobs’ (which I presume you acknowledge you do don’t you?) as putting them in the ‘evil’ category.

                      You are free to argue bigots and ‘fuckjobs’ are not ‘evil’. Would you care to do that?

                    • felix

                      “your irrational and simplistic breaking right wingers into either bigots or ‘fuckjobs’ (which I presume you acknowledge you do don’t you?) “

                      No, I don’t acknowledge that at all. You are mistaken.

                      “You are free to argue bigots and ‘fuckjobs’ are not ‘evil’. Would you care to do that?”

                      I don’t see why it’s incumbent on me to argue for or against that as I’ve never said anything of the sort. You already acknowledged that above when you searched for a quote and couldn’t find one, and admitted that your accusations of me describing things as evil are nothing but a perception on your part.

                      But for the record, I don’t consider the presence of evil to be a necessary condition for the existence of either old-fashioned bigots or neo-liberal fuckjobs.

                    • Gosman

                      And I don’t care if you do or not use the term directly . I use the term ‘evil’ as a catch all for the irrational simplistic view of right wingers which I have illustrated hard core leftists such as yourself display. It is plain to me that you think merely having a right wing view makes you a bad person . I would never be stupid enough to make the same generalization about left wing people. You however do look to be that stupid and small minded.

                    • felix

                      “I use the term ‘evil’ as a catch all for the irrational simplistic view of right wingers”

                      Good. Then you own it. But you know what Gos? I’m getting a bit sick of you calling people ‘fags’ all the time.

                      “which I have illustrated hard core leftists such as yourself display.”

                      lolz where was that? Hey Gos I read story the other day called “The Three Little Pigs”. It’s a disgrace, the author clearly thinks all the animals in the world are either pigs or wolves. Such a simplistic view of animals. Better illustrated than yours though.

                      “It is plain to me that you think merely having a right wing view makes you a bad person”

                      Again, all in your imagination unless you care to quote me. Basic set theory applies, Gosman. I may well think you’re a fuckwit AND I may also think you’re a right winger.

                      “I would never be stupid enough yo snake the same generalization about left wing people.

                      Of course not. Now give that strawman one more right jab and you’ll just about take him down. But try to keep yo snake to yoself, eh?

                    • framu

                      is it just me or is this particular exchange from gosman getting very pete georgeian?

                    • felix

                      They always are, framu. They always are.

            • r0b 12.2.1.1.2.2

              The link is in the post Matthew, and the source is John Key. “Mr Key said speculation that he would be replaced as the National Party leader”….

              He is now at the point of denying this speculation in TV interviews. Did he need to do that a year ago? No. Why does he need to do it now?

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                “..appears to be growing”. From no-one to one person. Put that in a percentage and it’s shocking.

                • r0b

                  You seem a bit sensitive on the issue GF – not like you. Why not take it up with Q+A? They raised the subject, I’m just spreading the love.

              • Matthew Hooton

                r0b, in answer to your question:
                Because the Labour Party was successful last night (Sunday night) in planting the idea of “Key under threat” in the minds of a handful of MSM journalists. Which was why I was called last night by some MSM media outlets and asked to give commentary on the alleged risk to Key’s leadership.
                This may suggest improved skills by the Labour spin machine in media manipulation. Although, the theory is so outlandish it hasn’t really caught on. Which suggests it wasn’t very good Labour media manipulation after all.

            • ianmac 12.2.1.1.2.3

              But Matthew. As you well know there is often little to prove a leadership challenge. But Political journalists and Commentators indulge often. Just a whiff is enough to set Paddy off. And my guess is that there is at least unease amongst some in National.
              Look to your swords chaps. And watch your backs. And sound out just who would best suit your interests just if, maybe …..

          • muzza 12.2.1.1.3

            Hoots is a classic, he must actually believe he has inside track about the heading NZ in on, and will somehow be insulated against fallout!

          • infused 12.2.1.1.4

            I do.

      • KJT 12.2.2

        Well. You can pretty much rely on any statement by Hooten being RWNJ bullshit.

        Ever read him in NBR. Talk about a parallel universe. Or is it the same as “planet Key”.

    • Possion 12.3

      “Joyce wouldn’t be a player. He is seen as entirely a creature of Key with no independent power base.”

      Agreed he is not very clever, having being selectively culled from Vet school,and as being a sheep he would be dog tucker.

    • fender 12.4

      Haven’t you got a restaurant to promote? There’s some free food in it for you.

      Have you tried the tobacco companies? They may sponsor you.

    • tc 12.5

      here here matty, I’m looking forward to Key’s continued presence on the overseas second tiers leaders tour.

    • Tim 12.6

      Mathew, I heard you on “from the right…. and from the right” this morning. It’s become inbuilt with you huh? Never miss an opportunity to out the boot in to something you’re philosophically opposed to. There were references to “helen” et al, (today no reinventing history though – I grant you), but I’m just left wondering why the fcuk it is you seem to see the need to comment here when most have your number.
      Are you really just a masochist? …. a victim? – What the fcuk gives?
      It seems you are/have become ENTIRELY media driven: “I think you all know that there isn’t any speculation about National’s leadership…” et-frikken-cetera….
      Does that mean (seriously – given my obvious ‘prejudice’), that the likes of Jude and others aren’t a-wishin and a-hopin …. etc).

      BTW – I was interested to hear the remark from you about your ‘SIS’ acquaintances giving you the dose of “the reality is” kaka.

      Keep pushing the barrow aye. You’re fast running out of other options unless you reinvent yourself.
      Josie P might be able to give you a few pointers.

      • North 12.6.1

        Sum him up Hooton’s a vain, somewhat prissy, too old Young Nat with, for radio, a catty verbal sneer. Ryan and particularly Williams (given his billing) indulge the oftentimes shrieky wee dork far too much actually. To the point where 11-11.30 on RNZ Mondays is becoming a bit missable.

        Guess he’s hopeful of convincing everyone that he’s connected like no one else. “Go-To-Man”. Maybe fancies it’s a good look for business beyond “Yes Minister”.

        Gotta say the claim of a free pass to Spookland was a clanger. There’s the proof of the vanity. A very callow and stupid “look-at-me” thing to say especially in these times of leak sensitivity.

        • Anne 12.6.1.1

          Gotta say the claim of a free pass to Spookland was a clanger.

          My reaction too. Attention seeking I’m so important even the spooks want to know me immature pratt.

      • felix 12.6.2

        “I’m just left wondering why the fcuk it is you seem to see the need to comment here when most have your number.”

        He usually likes to try out a few lines here and see how easily they’re shot down. Then he modifies them accordingly for broadcast.

        Other times he just lifts comments and opinions straight off the blogs and repeats them as his own. Last week he did that with Eddie’s post, today I heard comments I’d read on WhaleOil.

        His media gigs are a bit of a laugh really. He’s found a bunch of people to work for who are just far enough behind the times that they think he’s Johnny on the spot.

    • TruthSeeker 12.7

      That’s funny, Matthew. Some of your staff I have spoken to seem convinced of it.

    • millsy 12.8

      Joyce is more an enforcer than a leader.

  13. But Rob you have not mentioned the leadership prospects of Aaron Gilmour. Any minute now I expect him to burst into contention as his abilities are recognized.

    Interestingly the Nat MP website does not list him as an MP. Obviously this is the work of a competitor keen to minimise the influence that he has by preventing the country as a whole from being exposed to his brilliance and talent …

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13.1

      Nanaia Mahuta stood for the Labour leadership so talent is clearly no pre-requisite. If further evidence of this is required, look at the leader Labour have now.

    • Matthew Hooton 13.2

      Stop putting Aaron down. It is just as likely he will lead National into the next election as Collins, Joyce, English or anyone else other than Key. But of course I would say that given my leading role in the [DELETED] coup attempt.

      • ghostrider888 13.2.1

        national candidates; all class, NOT. (have you ever, objectively, looked at their backgrounds and motivations, and then, objectively, watched their presentations; at least candidates on the left of the spectrum attempt decency; having met a wide range of felines over the duration, these national pollies, as a generalization, could not lie straight in bed; essentially it is the outrage at their “senses” of entitlement and authority that are horrifying even the sleepy out of the forest).Time and time again, unsolicited, people tell me what a joke they think John Key and national are; politics for privilage, that is what they represent. They make us feel, and actually be, sick. And if your discourse is all that is required to “succeed” in PR and marketing punditry, we lament for the majority. now lets look into that shiny corporate rubbish of yours and see what comes out in the wash… (maybe, God willing, you’ll grow up into a man with natural backbone one day!)

        • KJT 13.2.1.1

          The really scary thing about many in National is they believe their own bullshit.

          One of the things that helps a successful salesperson is that self belief.

          Makes the lies much more convincing if those parroting the lies actually believe them.

          Still havn’t worked out if Key is a crook or an unthinking mouthpiece. Tend towards the latter at the moment. I’ve met so many middle/sales managers like him. Who have never read anything except get rich quick books.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.1

            Rich Dad Poor Dad

          • ianmac 13.2.1.1.2

            KJT: I think Mr Key might be a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing. Every so often you see the steel behind the boyish grin. He uses the pragmatic response to the little things that don’t really matter while very quietly using incremental progressions to further the Right agenda. The boiling frog approach over Economy, Education, Social Welfare, Law and Order. Look not at just the obvious things but watch the tiny creeping shifting agenda. Had Ruth Richardson been as subtle, the Mother of All Budgets would have passed as just another boring old budget. And then she could have slipped through those nasty actions, to quietly demolish the Welfare system.
            And to maintain that grip on his party John Key must have something pretty strong steel behind the boyish grin.We rubbish him but he just keeps grinning even if the grin does not meet his eyes.
            Perhaps we should assume that Key is a very strong, clever politician?

      • tc 13.2.2

        fair enough, if he does it says alot about your confidence if it’s not a current senior figure like Collins/Joyce etc.

        Blinglish, come on Matty try amd be serious, even the Nat’s can’t afford the decimation that would bring about after his last attempt.

  14. Anne 14

    I think Matthew knows if there is speculation about National’s leadership it isn’t confined to the left. It is more likely a fantasy coming out of the Beltway of which Hooton is an integral part. Is he defining himself as a leftie now?

    Like his observation on Radio NZ this morning – when explaining the failure of Key to tell the truth over the GCSB debacle – he correctly pointed out that Key should do what Helen Clark and Jim Bolger always did and that was to refuse to comment. He went on to talk about how Helen Clark used to say:

    “I’m not going to say anything about that blah blah”

    as if she was guilty of hiding something, when my recollection is she simply made the same response every time and never deviated from it:

    “No comment”.

    A misleading technique MH is fond of using.

    • Matthew Hooton 14.1

      Anne, you are so right.
      During a live radio I interview I deliberately said that Clark used to say “I’m not going to say anything about that” rather than “no comment” because I calculated that N2N listeners would be aware of the subtle difference and henceforth would be much less likely to vote Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      I think Matthew knows if there is speculation about National’s leadership

      If Key found that he had to make comment on this issue, then yes, you can be reasonably certain that some National Party powerbrokers (i.e. not just rank and file membership) have been having conversations.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Key isn’t going anywhere before the election.

    He has been under pressure lately … from Labour’s deputy leader, from Winston and the Greens. But that’s not who he’ll be facing in the election campaign, so why would he walk away from a free ride?

  16. infused 16

    You lot could only hope. It will be after the election.

  17. TheContrarian 17

    I’d have serious doubts there’ll be any sort of leadership challenge. The only reason the Nats are enjoying popularity is because it is John Key who is popular. He is their best asset

    • Jim Nald 17.1

      and liability.

    • felix 17.2

      True. He’d have to really, really fuck up to be in the same league as Joyce or English or Collins.

      To borrow an expression from Chris Rock, if Key woke up tomorrow with Collins’ popularity he’d kill himself.

  18. Agora 18

    I have been pleasantly surprised to see this government function effectively without Key’s daily histrionics.

    I think he has lost his novelty value.

  19. Blue 19

    John Key leaving would have the same effect as replacing Shearer with Cunliffe. A Labour victory. National is too smart to do that, Labour – well, make your own minds up on that.

  20. TruthSeeker 20

    Despite what Hooton says, senior Nats have been speculating about the possibility that Key might go before the election. Nobody is doing the numbers but nobody is taking Key for granted anymore. I reckon the chances are 50/50. It depends whether or not Dotcom can deliver a killer blow.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      The “killer blow” being Dotcom’s testimony sinking Key’s popularity by a mere five percentage points.

      That’s how close this game is. But Key is a gambler, he’s going to play this until the end.

      • TruthSeeker 20.1.1

        Yeah, I agree with you. But he’s knackered and his health is starting to pack in. Maybe he’ll tough it out, but I wouldn’t put money on it at this stage. We’ll see how things are looking in a few months.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1

          I have no doubt that warm Honolulu sun is sure going to be attractive in a couple of months.

  21. Whatever next 21

    Do I remember reading Mr.Key facilitated a bill ensuring PM’s who serve 5 yrs get an even bigger pension?? Not long to go……..

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