In a few short replies, the Nats said so much this week about their out of touch, entitled worldview. The stories have been rolling out almost too fast, in fact. Each needs following up, each minister needs to be hounded, but there are so many targets.
Hon Annette King: If he is satisfied that his Government has done all that it can to help low-income families, will he accept the challenge from Melissa Voice in Timaru to walk a week in her shoes in order to experience how the rising cost of living is affecting people, because despite her being debt-free and budgeting carefully, the cost of basic items continues to rise and she has found that she is worse off than she used to be; if not, why not?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No.
Hon Trevor Mallard: Will he rule out appointing Don Brash as Minister of Finance at any time in the future?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I can absolutely rule him out for this term.
Hon PETE HODGSON (Labour—Dunedin North) to the Prime Minister: At what precise time and date were the “security related” meetings of 11 December 2009, that he referred to yesterday, diaried?
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Deputy Prime Minister) on behalf of the Prime Minister: To the best of the Prime Minister’s recollection, the meeting was arranged during the afternoon of 11 December 2009
Hon Trevor Mallard: Would the Prime Minister have arrived on time to the security meeting he outlined yesterday if he had taken a car?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: I believe that it is not in the public interest to provide those details.
Patrick Gower: You spend about five times as much as the other ministers. Why is your petrol bill so high?
Judith Collins: Ah, well, Paddy, it’s… All my spending is within the rules
David Shearer: Will he now undertake to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs why he did not use commercial airline services, which would have cost about $4,000 and not at least $75,000?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, because I accept the logic that was put forward by the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time.
Key on his taxpayer-funded DPS entourage: I can’t explain that because it’s not accountable to me.
The wave of stories has built to a tsunami. The only danger is that when they recede, there will be John Key in his scuba gear, which he’ll just strip off and go back to eating corgis and blushing at the sight of Elton John like before.
Stories need to be woven in to a narrative. The Greens and Labour need to hold on to each of the examples of excess and arrogance we’ve seen over the past few weeks and raise them again and again and again as the counterpoint to their own narrative of that they will be a government that works for the many, not the few.