Reading Fran O’Sullivan is always interesting because she provides an insight into the thinking of the business elite who fund National, and who expect it to govern for them.
A lot of her article today is devoted to calling for radical reforms that obviously aren’t politically viable for Key to do, but one paragraph in particular stood out:
Will he be cocksure enough to entreat with vested interests, like the five Maori iwi with whom he made a sweetheart deal to get National’s signature emissions trading scheme through Parliament, but wilfully blind to the fact that this scheme will not make many inroads into reducing New Zealand’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and just throw the bill to subsequent generations?
Even the far-right think this deal stinks. Both the Left and the principled Right can agree that the cost of pollution ought to lie with the polluter – it’s good economics and it’s good for the environment – but Key would rather load the cost on to the taxpayer.
Later in the article O’Sullivan makes veiled threats that reveal National’s backers are as dissatisfied with this do nothing government as the Left is (of course, what we want it to do are very different things):
When Brash took the stage on Thursday [at a speech Bill English had been due to give but was unable to] he quipped, “I think this is the second time I’ve taken Bill English’s place.”
The sly reference to the 2003 coup he mounted to oust English from the National Party’s leadership wasn’t lost on his audience.
If Key and English do not rise to the challenges the taskforce will pose on Monday, it will not be long before a groundswell gets under way to get another straight-shooter back into Parliament to chart the way.
O’Sullivan isn’t referencing the Brash coup for nothing. That was entirely a product of the wealthy contributors to National demanding brash replace English, whom they saw as timid, even ‘do-nothing’. ‘No Brash, No Cash’ was the message then and business got what they wanted. Now, the same message is being given, loud and clear, to Key – PM is no place for a guy who “doesn’t do anything”, sharpen up or they’ll roll you.