Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, August 10th, 2008 - 17 comments
Categories: national - Tags: , ,

The SST reports that English says that he will “never” challenge Key for the leadership.

Yet I’m told that over the past couple of years, even to some in the press gallery, English hasn’t made a secret of his future leadership ambitions around Parliament.

Makes you wonder what else his faction has on Key.

17 comments on “Semantics”

  1. John 1

    It is English’s use of Bolger’s famous “No ifs, no buts, no maybes”, that shows English doesn’t mean a word in that article. That phase has come to symbolise that the National Party’s word means nothing.

    I forget the exact circumstances of when Bolger used it, 1990 election maybe, but I think it was about never changing superannuation or something like that. The Nats went away and did exactly what they said they wouldn’t do and were taunted with that phrase for years after.

    English was here for that and had to know what he was saying when he said it to the SST. Key having been overseas for a long time, probably doesn’t get the significance of English’s words.

    If I were John, I’d be locking my doors and windows and buying tickets to Hawaii, because Bill IS coming for him.

  2. coge 2

    Principle abandonment example four,

    Sowing seeds of dissent.

  3. Monty 3

    John you fool – English knows that he wil never be Prime Minister. He will now be the finance Minister and Deputy PM to the long reign of John Key who will be PM for the next 9 -12 years.

    Perhaps if Labour (Clark and Cullen) had not lied to the public of NZ in 1990, Jim Bolger would not have needed to take the drastic actions he did. I now wonder what Lies and hidden secrets Labour is leaving for National this election.

  4. Anita 4


    What were the lies that Labour told in 1990?

  5. randal 5

    English is right…National will never be the government and so he will never be prime minister.

  6. ghostwhowalks 6

    he says he wont ‘challenge’ for the leadership ( as in the aussie style public bust up) but he would certainly take the job if it was ‘thrust upon him’ after the usual national style secret undermining.

    Dont spend too much time at that Hawaii holiday home John.

    McCully gets bored after say 5 min as Minister of Customs

  7. Anita 7

    I was looking back through old media to find an equally unequivocal statement by Key and got distracted by this:

    NATIONAL’S finance spokesman, John Key, has fuelled speculation of a leadership coup by admitting that his confidence in Don Brash was affected by allegations about his personal life.

    But having said “yes”, Mr Key then asked whether the poll of National Party MPs by The Press newspaper was anonymous. Told it was not, he reversed his position, saying: “Well, actually, no.”

    Dominion Post, 23 September 2006

    It’s impressive how much coverage from way back then mentions this kind of change of mind or that his colleagues didn’t know what he actually stood for. You’d’ve hoped that nearly two years later the media would have a strategy to deal with Key’s changes of heart.

  8. Scribe 8


    What were the lies that Labour told in 1990?

    They related to the state of the government’s books. National — based on what it was being told by Labour — thought the country was in a much better financial position than it really was.

  9. r0b 9

    Very similar to the lies told in 1984. Labour — based on what it was being told by National — thought the country was in a much better financial position than it really was.

  10. Anita 10


    Really?! That was true in 1984 but I wasn’t aware it was the same way in 1990. I thought that situation was prevented by the Public Finance Act, which was passed in 1989.

  11. Lots of allegations of historical lies on this thread and I do wonder if a lie detector would be able to function in the Beehive without causing a major earthquake?
    Great to see a country built on political skullduggery and underhand tactics of deceit. Oh to be a bent pollie in a privileged ( well paid) position contributing nothing beneficial to welfare of their constituents.

  12. r0b 12

    Hi Anita – are you the author of the guest post on NRT?

  13. Anita 13


    Yep 🙂 Why?

    I’m emailable from that post if you like.

  14. r0b 14

    Yep Why?

    I was just going to congratulate you on your entry into blogging! Also, the content of the post surprised me. I had the wrong impression about our laws also.

    You probably wouldn’t flog the link here, but I will!

  15. Anita 15


    Thanks!! 🙂 Not my first guest post, but I don’t post a lot 🙂

    Yeah, I was disturbed to realise the legal situation, and really worried to see that vote from last year. Pretty clear evidence that a National government will reduce women’s access to abortion.

    I think we’ve become complacent over the last nine years because it has felt like the current status of abortion is secure.

    I guess we need to start organising 🙁

  16. r0b 16

    I guess we need to start organising

    Before the election rather than after? Prevention might be easier than cure. And you’ve made a very convincing case.

  17. Anita 17

    Before the election rather than after? Prevention might be easier than cure.

    It’s hard to get momentum now, everyone’s energy is tied up in party politics and the election. Trying to get social issues into the agenda now is hard. Everyone wants to chatter about tax cuts and Kiwisaver and so many of the social issues feel secure.

    The reality, however, is that a change to a National government will be a huge shift toward social conservatism. So the issues mobilisation needs to be pretty damned ready to go.

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