Colin Espiner’s just posted an entry headed “National’s position on smacking confusing”.
It is – but only if you’re expecting philosophical consistency. Key’s approach isn’t at all confusing if all you’re trying to do is to win an election by accentuating and exploiting negative perceptions of your opponent.
For the time being, this is National’s strategy: consistently brand Labour as wasteful, arrogant, out of touch and so on. To hell with the reality or the detail. Key’s support for the referendum has little, if anything, to do with the issue itself. It’s simply about branding Labour and (particularly) Clark:
…quite frankly the behaviour of the prime minister smacks of arrogance and waste…
Strikes me that the arrogance is actually found in a party who are so disdainful of the electorate that they a) sincerely believe they deserve to run the country without providing a comprehensive policy platform and b) consistently patronise voters with empty slogans and catchphrases.