People have been asking for details from this morning’s eye-opening RNZ interview with John Key. First, here’s the staggering quote from Key:
The interview kicked off with comment from Phil Goff on National’s recently released foreign policy document:
HON PHIL GOFF: Oh I think that ah that imitation is the highest form of flattery and I suppose in that sense to have a party that’s been in opposition for eight years bitterly opposed to what the government has done in so many areas and proposing at one stage to scrap nuclear free and to bring back the air combat wing, to have them um totally turn around their position and say the government was right all the long ah I guess we should be flattered by that. But I think it’s also a worry, Geoff, that what we’ve got it might be an 18 page endorsement of policies pursued by the Labour-led government but regrettably it doesn’t really fulfill the proper role of an opposition. There’s no evidence in any of this of any in-depth analysis, fresh thinking or alternative options.
PRESENTER: Now wait a minute if they had you’d be criticising them for being radical and moving away from established policies and things that the electorate wants. So you can’t have it both ways. Either it’s good or bad.
GOFF: I, think you probably can. I think that you’ve got a government that actually has led from the front in foreign policy defence and trade. Trade, I put in a slightly separate category because I think it is a good thing to have bipartisanship in trade ah and, and not to radically alter that policy. But I find it very hard to accept, Geoff, that one moment scrapping the air combat wing is an act of leaving New Zealand defenceless and bludging off your mates and the next moment they say oh it’s quite okay we endorse that policy. Now were they exaggerating before or are they telling the truth now? You have to ask what are the principles, what’s the analysis that underlies National’s policy making and I think you come to the conclusion that there is none, that they felt that foreign policy in defence was a loser for National in opposing the sensible policies the Government had, therefore they’ve kicked for touch and said really more of the same – Labour lite.
But then came the unbelievable comment from John Key in response to the presenter’s observation that no mention of Iraq was made in the Nats’ foreign policy document:
PRESENTER: You say National will seek an early opportunity to move the US bilateral relationship forward on areas of common interest. Do I take it then you didn’t mention Iraq because that’s not an area where we’ve got common interest.
KEY: We certainly don’t have a common interest in Iraq and um I mean frankly ah, you know, the war in Iraq is, is over.