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The states of John Key – Conclusion

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, July 29th, 2010 - 28 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Final of a series by Guest poster Blue.

The boy who wanted to make a million dollars and be Prime Minister has got his wish. Now that he is top dog, how long will he want to retain that position? Several commentators have expressed the view that Key will step down within a few years. Key himself has strongly indicated that he wants more than one term as Prime Minister, but beyond that is uncertain. He is not a political lifer like many of his colleagues, and being PM is stressful even for someone as perpetually ‘relaxed’ as he is.

He is fairly typical of a certain breed of political leader power-hungry and slightly allergic to telling to the truth, but with a powerful ability to charm that wins over hearts and minds and glosses over any faults. Key undoubtedly has the common touch even as a multi-millionaire with a life far removed from that of most New Zealanders, he manages to come across as an ordinary, down-to-earth Kiwi bloke.

Key has sometimes been accused of being a ‘do nothing’ PM, lacking vision, and governing by opinion polls. However, perhaps his greatest political strength is that his opponents underestimate him. Key’s game is about boiling the frog slowly. He makes small, gradual changes here and there, nothing too big, nothing too alarming, flying under the radar. He’s subtle and cunning, and hides it all behind a dopey, cheery smile.

Key has set New Zealand on a path of significant right-wing economic reform without most people even being aware of it. If he wins the next election in 2011 his softly-softly approach will take the country further and further down that road.

The biggest danger for him is the possibility that the frog will notice it’s getting kind of hot and jump out of the pot in the same type of public backlash that finished off the last National Government back in 1999.

Key’s duplicity with the electorate in this way is not malicious. He seems to genuinely believe that the end will justify the means that the right-wing economic agenda will deliver a strong economy and a better standard of living for all New Zealanders, if only they give it a chance to work.

His reputation for playing high-risk stakes comes into play here the livelihoods of 4.3 million New Zealanders are on the line for his big gamble on New Zealand’s future.


Series posts

The states of John Key Quantum uncertainty
The states of John Key The drivers
The states of John Key The Salesman
The states of John Key – Flexible in telling the truth

The states of John Key – Avoidance

The states of John Key Nasty side
The states of John Key – Conclusion

28 comments on “The states of John Key – Conclusion ”

  1. Pat 1

    More model airplane paper.

  2. prism 2

    Saying that Key is conducting a gamble on NZs future elevates his intentions I think. He has become a rich guy and thinks that having made money makes him a prophetic and useful individual to the country. He is using a recipe with that in mind – that has been tried before for a cake that was ‘sure to rise’ – it didn’t. But just try and try again, that’s what the good schools teach, that one must not give up, ie don’t think and analyse worthwhileness and practicality, keep on and eventually you will win through – to what and where is not debated.

    Your comment that – Key has set New Zealand on a path of significant right-wing economic reform without most people even being aware of it. If he wins the next election in 2011 his softly-softly approach will take the country further and further down that road.
    seems to clearly summarise the near future ‘going forward’.

  3. jbanks 3

    “He seems to genuinely believe that the end will justify the means that the right-wing economic agenda will deliver a strong economy and a better standard of living for all New Zealanders, if only they give it a chance to work.”

    Thank god for Goff.

    It means National can make some unpopular but absolutely necessary decisions and still make it in within the next election to see the benefits of the results before Labour mess them up.

    Nine years consistency with Labour and what did we get out of it? Nothing.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Labour decreased child poverty, decreased the gap in wages between NZ and Aussie,returned a balanced industrial relations platform, and decreased our National Debt, re staffed our public Hospitals and Schools with Nurses, Doctors and Teachers so yup if thats nothing, then we got nothing!
      After looking at all the measures unless you are totally ignorant or a National Party stall wort you would have to acknowledge that these would be the kind of results a group of people should achieve on behalf of the people in any Nation. It just happened that the Group of people who achieved these outcomes was a group called Labour and they where lead by a very capable Prime minister called Helen Clark. It all sounds so aspirational now!

      • jbanks 3.1.1

        I can see why people feel Labour did OK considering we had “good” years during this time period but you guys need to understand, it was relative to the international strength at the time, not due to how Labour performed – by all indication, they performed weakly, they had very high government spending and a “perk” culture that we’ve seen through some of the credit card receipts that have recently been made available.

        Thinking that Labour didn’t f**k over the economy when eight of the nine years they were in power were the best economic golden period for the world in recent economic history is akin to saying “Well, at least he saved $10k out of the $1m he got in Lotto winnings” and saying that’s an achievement.

        The thing is, opposition or not, National have done exceedingly well in the time they’ve been in power. Free trade agreement signed with China, economic reforms that put money back into business and the economy, Free trade closer than ever with America, distancing ourselves from England and America on the war front to create better social relationships with countries worldwide and despite a very tricky period to govern, they’ve done better than Labour did in the golden periods.

        • Roger

          Free trade agreement with China was signed by a Labour government. Economic reforms that put money back into business and the economy occurred under labour with the increases and improvements to worker’s conditions and wages that were then spent creating higher business turnover. The closer free trade was a result of Barack Obama being elected in the US rather than anything happening here. I love how you lot say that the golden years were merely a coincidence of Labour taking power when their decisions and actions have clear correlations to the positive growth we experienced.

          • jbanks

            Someone has to take into account the lost opportunities that Labour squandered during their time in power. Eight of the nine years they were in power, they saw a worldwide economic golden period where all countries managed to prosper but while other countries took the money they were receiving in surplus and reinvested in their local economies either by investment in the infrastructure, investment within their local share-market or investment in the people in the way of tax cuts/incentives – Labour invested in American companies and watched their surplus disappear overnight without any of the gains they could have had through local investment.

            • Craig Glen Eden

              You have no credibility jbanks when you say

              “The thing is, opposition or not, National have done exceedingly well in the time they’ve been in power. Free trade agreement signed with China”

              Everyone knows ( except you it appears) that this deal was done under Labour. seriously are you stupid or just ignorant don’t try and claim credit for National for the China deal!

              Labour invested heavily in infrastructure, after nine years of National Neoliberal neglect.The longer National is in power the bigger the gap we will have with Ozzy.

              What American companies are you alleging Labour invested in by the way?

              • jbanks

                You not keep up with current events? I was talking of this months new trade agreements with China. So it seems YOU are the stupid one.

                The wag gap increased because we went into recession and Australia did not. In a recession you have little wage growth. Stop with you ignorant correlations that make you look like just another hippy with a conspiracy theory.

                Kids, stay of drugs.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I was talking of this months new trade agreements with China. So it seems YOU are the stupid one.

                  ‘nother fool who doesn’t realise that in a written conversation anyone can just scroll up and see to he actually said.

                  Free trade agreement signed with China

                  But if that’s not what you meant, it’s pretty rich to blame others for thinking you meant what you actually said.

            • BLiP

              Labour invested in American companies and watched their surplus disappear overnight without any of the gains they could have had through local investment.

              Jeeeze!! Yet another RWNJ points out that Blinglish has been telling lies since he returned to government.

    • Sam 3.2

      Worst troll ever.

  4. Anne 4

    “Key’s duplicity with the electorate in this way is not malicious. He seems to genuinely believe that the end will justify the means that the right-wing economic agenda will deliver a strong economy and a better standard of living for all New Zealanders, if only they give it a chance to work”.

    Can’t fully agree with the above. I don’t think John Key “genuinely” believes anything. John Key is for John Key (and what is his) and nobody else. He is the typical political sociopathic leader who is in it for personal gain and power… and nothing else. The end he envisages may include a “strong economy” but not to bring about a better standard of living for New Zealanders, but to further enrich the egotistical corporate world to which he now belongs. His background (a state house upbringing), and a strident kiwi accent helps to create an impression that he is ‘one of us’ and serves to keep the masses deluded into thinking he cares for them. He has even managed to delude some of his more moderate political colleagues.

    We have just seen a good example of Key’s modus operandi in his betrayel of the CPU. When the memorandum of understanding was negotiated between Key and the CPU early in 2009, I remember thinking… well, that’s going to end in tears. Eighteen months down the track and it has happened!

    Thanks Guest Post for an excellent series. I hope it will be ‘saved’ for future reference as we watch the sad story slowly unfold. 🙂

  5. brooklyn08 5

    Oh my God jbanks, please get your facts straight on who did what when attempting to give kudos. It was Labour who signed the free trade deal with China in April 2008 following a sustained diplomatic effort, led by none other then PM Clark. In fact, Labour did a sterling job on the free trade agenda throughout their time in office, which has all but been recognised by the current Government. On this score National is merely picking up where Labour left off, and those in the know would actually give HC far more kudos for diplomacy than JK has ever achieved in his short time, including with respect to detente with the US. In this light, your comment that National has done “exceedingly well” on this front is nothing short of sycophantic rubbish. Credit where credit is due, please.

    • jbanks 5.1

      Obviously I was talking of this months new trade agreements with China you fool.


      • brooklyn08 5.1.1

        Oh you mean a Food Safety Agreement and a Film Coproduction Agreement? Not quite sure how “signing a Free Trade Agreement with China” is so obviously alluding to the two rather pro forma agreements mentioned in that article, which, incidentally, are being signed largely as an extension of the actual Free Trade Agreement signed with China by PM Clark. While I won’t directly insult you, as you have attempted to do with me (“you fool”), I would suggest that you’re comments are somewhat obtuse. Unfortunately, I dont’ have the capacity or interest in accessing the recesses of your brain to work out exactly what you mean rather than what the words that you write actually do mean. You’re drawing a very long bow if you’re attempting to paint JK as a statesman.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    He seems to genuinely believe that the end will justify the means that the right-wing economic agenda will deliver a strong economy and a better standard of living for all New Zealanders, if only they give it a chance to work.

    As I’ve said – the right are delusional. We’ve given it a chance and it didn’t work. Time to try something else. Of course, Labour and the rest of the left aren’t really looking for anything different either as they expect to follow the same path as we’ve been following for the last few centuries.

    • QoT 6.1

      I will admit one of the reasons I could just not finish The Shock Doctrine was how angry I got at the right’s inability to acknowledge that we have tried their ideas and they have categorically failed. But no no no, it’s just that the last vestiges of a social safety net or keeping a single vital industry under state control meant We Didn’t Go Far Enough. *headdesk*

      To be scathing and half-tipsy on a Friday evening, I really can only assume that there’s some subconscious survival instinct at work. Because if I were John Key and I actually had to acknowledge the damage I had done in the quest for a gigantic mansiongasm in Parnell I would f$%^ing top myself.

  7. brooklyn08 7

    Actually jbanks, the more I read your most recent post, the more I come to the conclusion that you’re very ill-informed when it comes to issues of foreign policy and trade. I’ve scratched my head trying to think of how JK has managed to “distance” ourselves from England and America on the war front (btw, it’s the UK and the US in international parlance, last time I checked, although your allusion to England is quaint). What rubbish! It’s JK that redispatched the SAS to Kabul and was all starry-eyed when he met Gen. McChrystal; whereas HC was adamant in her opposition to the war in Iraq (while still managing to forge closer relations with the US under Bush!). In fact, not to put too fine a point on it, but your assertions about foreign and trade policy are more aptly aligned with Labour’s time in office than National’s. Your world must be one helluva topsy turvy one where up is down and left is right.

  8. r0b 8

    I’ve enjoyed this series from guest poster Blue very much. Thanks Blue – please call again!

    • lprent 8.1

      It was originally one big post that came in from “Contribute Post” – which was just too damn long.

      I (unusually) asked Blue if I could split it into the sections that were in the post. Blue agreed, so it came out as 7 posts with the section names as being the second part of the title. The sections were well enough written that each post stood on its own pretty well..

      I don’t think that there is anything new in the posts that hadn’t been discussed previously. But they summarized everything pretty well.

      I’ve been using them to plug slow posting periods (and I particularly want to thank Blue for that). My contribution was the images….

  9. Irascible 9

    What has John Key achieved on the international front?
    1) A comedy turn on the Letterman show.
    2) A reputation as a “scuttle & run” leader in the Middle East.
    3) Closer ties with the USA in the war on abstract nouns.
    4) Closer ties with the UK by abnegating the NZ Honours system and reintroducing the “bow & scrape Dame and Knighthoods”.
    5) Closer ties to the Republican Party anti-social concerns lobby in a form of palinisation of NZ Labour laws.
    Yep, we have a real leader in “smile & wave” Key.

  10. brooklyn08 10

    Thanks Irascible, you’ve taught me a new word: “abnegating” – I love it.

    You know, attacking Labour on foreign and trade policy makes for a very flimsy platform. Even JK has sought HC’s advice on foreign policy issues (APEC 08 for example). And as for McCully – not sure what part of his CV even vaguely qualifies him for the role of FM (aside from his selection of some very fine NZ wines when entertaining foreign guests – on that score I’m impressed!).

  11. Sonny Blount 11

    It is posts like these that make The Standard the joke site of the political blogs.

    Get out your tinfoil hats!

    • lprent 11.1

      Only amongst the wingnut blogs. But they have a wee issue with the success of any left-leaning site because it makes them look like absolute nutters. So they’d get wound up about anything.

  12. john 12

    For ordinary kiwis there’s a great danger in having “Rich Men” running the country.Why!?. Because for them providing social security and social justice and guaranteeing a non-exploitative society is a massive pain in the buttThat’s one reason they do everything they can to dismantle these protections,like decent labour laws. They live in their rich enclaves and can’t understand why everyone isn’t like them!
    I believe politics is basically class based: who gets what? The New Right always try to say this isn’t so. There have always been barons and peasants. The latter only got concessions when they revolted!

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