John Key is doubling down.
You have to wonder that the game plan is here. National has its big Covid policy announcement this week and Key going early will not only invite comparisons to see if there are differences between his musings and the party’s policies but also make you question if he is trying to play four dimensional internal political chess.
He went onto Morning Report this morning. How he must miss being in the limelight.
His analysis was horrendously simplistic. All he thinks the Government has done is lock us down. And we have to be able to travel. The experience of Europe, the United Kingdom, the USA and pretty well all Western nations suggest otherwise.
He said this:
The government has had 18 months to come up with a coherent plan. What they have managed to do is make people fearful.
Every country in the world is fearful of Covid John.
Within seconds he pirouetted from criticism of fear to proposing the use of fear on the young by stopping them from visiting concerts, night clubs and bars. It seems his only focus is on the inability to engage in international travel.
He is obsessed with the Government announcing a date. I do not know why. I would prefer the Government decides to open the country up after it is safe and at this stage there is still a lot of doubt about if and when this stage will be reached.
He thought that the country should have spent more on obtaining vaccines. Money is always the solution.
You have to wonder about the game plan behind this. Why now and why Key? Is the conservative think thank that desperate that they want to side step the Parliamentary National Party because they are frustrated with the way things are going?
This unfortunate private message from the Herald’s Fran O’Sullivan to Key, broadcast via tweet, would suggest that the basic concern is that scientists and not businessmen are calling the shots. Hendy’s analysis has driven very good decision making. Overseas in countries where economic voices have dominated scientific voices they are still soaking up the damage.
— Shaun Hendy (@hendysh) September 26, 2021
I suspect this is going to smolder on for a while. And Key’s intervention into the debate is not going to have the benefit for National that he may have intended.
Update: O’Sullivan has claimed on twitter that the message was meant for Rodney Jones who had said that Hendy’s analysis was overcooked and rushed.