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Rumblings in Nats’ base

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, March 18th, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: honeymoon, john key, national/act government, spin - Tags:

There’s a danger in being a government that does nothing except pay off its rich mates, and that’s losing faith with the conservative base. They aren’t rich enough to win from the pay-offs and they expect fairness and decent public services. Garth George is the slightly mad, always irritable voice of this demographic, so it’s worth watching as his initial love for John Key wears off to be replaced by despair (and rising anger) at Key’s failure to deliver the brighter future he promised.

At the time the coalition was formed I was warm in my praise of it, but now I’m beginning to wonder whether Mr Key and National, in apparently trying to please as many people as possible, are pleasing nobody.

I’m beginning to wonder, too, at the direction – if any – the Government is taking New Zealand.

Garth, and many others who supported Key, are realising what the rest of us knew all along, that Key has no plan for the country, just a plan to keep himself in power.

it is perhaps disconcerting to watch the stop-start, one step forward, two steps back activities of Mr Key and his ministers.

For instance, one minute we are told by Gerry Brownlee, the Minister for Economic Development and Minister of Energy and Resources, that national parks are to be opened up for development, the next minute Mr Key takes a couple of steps back and hints the proposal could be watered down.

This is a PR game. Come out with a scary proposal and then water it down, the result seeming more moderate than if it had been presented at first without the softening up phase. The problem is, this is a purely PR strategy. It doesn’t actually do anything for the country.

Then there’s the kerfuffle over a review of the SuperGold card after the suggestion by Transport Minister Stephen Joyce that it’s free travel entitlement is costing too much….

However, this week Mr Key felt it necessary to say the free travel was not under threat, although he qualified that by saying that it would “be my expectation” the free travel provision would survive next year’s election.

Pussyfooting again. It has always been difficult to get a straight answer from a politician, but the utterances of Mr Key and some of his offsiders give political dissembling a whole new meaning.

Key has made an art form of saying he expects that black will be white, finally offering grey, and in the end delivering a blank canvass.

Then there’s the suggestion of an increase in GST, apparently to be offset by lower income taxes and, thank God, an increase in pensions.

This, it is said, is to be “revenue neutral”, which makes me wonder why the Government would bother with it considering the widespread opposition to it.

How taking our money out of one pocket and putting it in the other advances fairness in the tax system is far beyond me, and is simply further evidence of a government that seems to be stumbling and fumbling about, trying to find answers when it doesn’t even seem to know the questions.

It’s true that the tax money go round will have no effect on growth and won’t create more jobs. But it does have a purpose – a massive transfer of wealth from poor and middle New Zealand to the rich.

Maybe National feel it’s OK to piss off the Garth Georges because they have nowhere else to go. But I wouldn’t be so sure. Fail them enough and in 2011 they’ll look at Goff, a man with a history of delivering on his promises, and consider voting Labour, or they’ll go to a fringe conservative party or they’ll do what so many disenchanted members of Labour’s base did in 2008 – stay home.

20 comments on “Rumblings in Nats’ base ”

  1. tc 1

    A fool and his money….or in this case his vote…..how’s that brighter future feeling now.

    Not only did the turnout hurt Labour but alot of new kiwis I speak to (here since the Y2K) were totally duped as they had no history to remind them of Shipley/Bolger/Piggy and fell for it…..only now are they realising their error as they mostly came here to raise families….doh !

  2. bobo 2

    What did Garth George expect its not like National campaigned on any long term vision or plan.. “There’s no fool like an old fool”

  3. SPC 3

    Must be a version of the non PC commentator on the left, on the right.

    This one is distinct from other right wing critics of the government in that he is under the delusion that this government willl focus on delivering for the well-being of the many. Whereas the others want policies enacted for the benefit of the few ASAP.

    Government action in favour of the few will, when it occurs, disappoint him as much as government lack of action.

    Despite this he will support others re-electing this government – on the grounds of its overall moderation because of its lack of action (fear of being too unpopular to be re-elected) – for he is in the end a conservative who opposes change.

  4. felix 4

    Did Garth George just call John Key a pussy?

    • BLiP 4.1

      Hey – if it looks like one, talks like one and dances like one . . .

    • The Voice of Reason 4.2

      Pussies? Roger Douglas seems to think so:

      ‘ACT Party MP Sir Roger Douglas says he’s disappointed the National Party is refusing to support his attempt to reinstate youth pay rates for 16 and 17-year-olds.

      Sir Roger says National is playing politics and putting its own popularity ahead of the thousands of young people without jobs, and he would have expected the party to have shown more guts on this issue.’

      I don’t know if the audio is available on NatRad, but he sounded even more pissed off than the written quote suggests.

      • SPC 4.2.1

        There are so few 16 and 17 year olds in jobs the “help to business” was not worth the legislative effort.

  5. billy 5

    God Eddie, if you get any more hissy and tabloid with the Herald you may as well join the SST staff.

  6. Heaton 6

    I just did a search about Flip Flops and came across this. His Electorate Office
    http://nigelj.com/gallery/v/Politics/DSC00225.JPG.html

    Maybe he wanted to remind the public he is always doing Flip Flops.
    Surely he must be one of the most Flip Flop PM the country as ever had.?

  7. vto 7

    Well Key’s performance since post-election is surprising me.

    He seemed to have plenty political nous etc. But Garth Georgie Porgie does have a point. I mean, he appears to be dithering and have no plan.

    However as you lot are also aware this nat lot are heave-ho-ing on the levers of power pretty heavily. Witness Super-duper-city, Environment Canterbury, tax rate adjustements, Water and irrigation and mining etc. All these things will take some time to bear fruit. But, in a purely economic sense, bear fruit they will. The economy may well come surging back (provided the world does not spiral down the vortex which is spinning perilously close) quite soon.

    I think it is too simplistic to say that Key has no plan and is just do-daaing along. Big business is getting pump primed ready for ignition. When it does the NZ economy will probably charge ahead (shame about the rivers though).

    Trick is, as always, to get the benefit of that boost for the nats at some election rather than do all the hard work only to have the labour lot come in just as the engine fires into life and have labour glide on and really show how to do nothing. Just like from ’99 on.

    So, just watch out fullas and fullesses. It would be a fool who counted on Count Key having no plan …

  8. tc 8

    vto has those blinkers on again,…..Cullen and co had billions of debt paid off, Kiwisaver, Kiwibank, Kiwirail, massive infrastructure boosts (that the nat’s like to take credit for now they’re re-prioritising to get pet roads with low cost-beneit ratios done like TG), heaps of dosh poured into education/health and frontline proactive programmes on crime/disability etc etc.

    Key’s political nous comes from the crosby/textor senior nat strategists/business roundtable hand up his back……he dithers when he hasn’t been given direction yet like any obediant CEO does awaiting board direction.

    Sideshow John’s a frontman, a pretty effective one chosen as no others were palatable after Brash/Joyce/English and co threw away 2005, there’s a plan but it aint his matey.

  9. reddy 9

    This, it is said, is to be “revenue neutral’, which makes me wonder why the Government would bother with it considering the widespread opposition to it.

    George you’re hysterical! *slap* Calm down man.

    Would he be happy to know that it is a substantial tax cut for the rich?

  10. Name 10

    I don’t think Key is concerned with keeping himself in power. “Being Prime Minister” for no other reason than he thinks he can (like climbing mountains “because they’re there”) is what it’s all about. He never really thought about what to do if he actually was Prime Minister. It was just on the list, like being Head Boy, making a million, joining the Masons, etc. and now it can be crossed off. He can now write “ex-prime-minister” on his cv and look forward to all the lucrative directorships, chairmanships, maybe an Ambassadorial post, etc. where his wit and charisma will be really useful and appreciated.

    • Ianmac 10.1

      No go until his Sir John VC is in the bag! (No 4 on his list.)

      • Clarke 10.1.1

        And scoring a century in his opening innings for the Black Caps. And captaining the All Blacks in their winning World Cup match. And shooting down six Jerries in a single day in his Spitfire …

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