Letting his prejudices off the leash for a spot of fresh air, John Armstrong writes:
Within the deep recesses of the Labour Party and elsewhere on the left, there is a lingering arrogance saturated with an intellectual snobbery which blinds and deludes its sufferers.
Pot kettle black John? To each their own I guess.
The second anniversary of John Key becoming Prime Minister has been and gone. But the self-satisfied superiority and smugness exhibited by his critics continues unabated.
You’d be hard pressed to find a leftie that doesn’t acknowledge that Key is still very popular with the electorate, and that Labour faces an enormous uphill battle in 2011. If Armstrong calls that superior smugness then it tells us more about Armstrong than anything else.
The left dismisses the most popular Prime Minister in New Zealand’s recent political history as Smile and Wave John Key, Do Nothing John Key and Lucky John Key.
I’m interested in this claim that Key is the most popular recent PM. As far as I know Key peaked at 58% approval, and Clark at 59%. Can anyone set me straight on this?
The left’s fatal error has been to constantly underrate Key in terms of ability and the fact that though he is of centre-right disposition, he is firmly at the moderate end of that broad spectrum
Once again Armstrong is simply wrong on the second point. All the lefties that I know acknowledge that Key himself (not his party) is moderate right. He won the election on a Labour-lite platform after all.
So the first thing that Armstrong actually gets correct is that most lefties regard Key as pretty useless in practice. He’s popular yes, but so was disco. Is he a competent and effective PM? No. The economy is stagnating (no “aggressive recovery”). Unemployment is high. He has failed to broker a lasting deal on the foreshore. He is presiding over some of the worst abuses of democracy in recent memory (Armstrong himself has twice recently described the Nats as disgraceful). His party is riddled with greed and sleaze. His main personal contribution has been a cycleway which is a national joke.
Yup, I’ll stand by the claim that Key is a useless PM, and doesn’t deserve the title of “Politician of the Year” with which Armstrong lauds him. I look forward to all the Key fans out there telling me just how wrong I am. But please – be specific. Key is popular, yes, agreed. But what has he actually done? What has he accomplished that has benefited NZ? How is he a leader? By all means make your case!…
(Bonus question – who is your politician of the year, and why?)