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There’s such a thing as ‘too relaxed’

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 89 comments
Categories: brand key, Media - Tags: , , , ,

Tracy Watkins recently observed of Key’s reluctance to front the media post-budget that:

“Mr Key has refused all but three requests to be interviewed by National Radio’s Morning Report so far this year. That must be unheard of among modern-day prime ministers…”

She puts his avoidance of the tough questions down to a desire to protect his brand. And she’s not the only one who’s noticed his preference for soft media. Brian Edwards has posted a couple of times on our photo-op PM. Bill English has expressed the PM’s tendancies somewhat more ethereally.

Whatever the reason, right after the budget, isn’t it a reasonable expectation that the PM front the media?

89 comments on “There’s such a thing as ‘too relaxed’”

  1. Rex Widerstrom 1

    It’s odd, but those PMs who’ve most polarised people – like Muldoon and Clark – have been the ones that never shied away from media. And for the same reasons – their unshakeable, often arrogent, belief that what they were doing was right.

    And that won them the grudging respect even of their enemies. You might disagree with someone, but if they’re in the trenches, getting dirty, defending it then you must at least acknowledge their courage and commitment.

    Given that, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Key entered politics believing in little beyond his own destiny to be Prime Minister, and remains unshaken in that belief to this day.

    • Rodel 1.1

      Don’t compare Muldoon and Clark.
      Muldoon was a stupid little incompetent prick completely without ethics or morals.
      Clark was (is) a highly intelligent pleasant person with integrity. The UN recognised this.
      Key is a smiley wavey nothing with the personality of a hamster.
      Can you imagine Muldoon or Key or god forbid Bill? being invited to work for the UN? They couldn’t do a real job.
      The only people Clark polarized was selfish right wingers.
      The rest of your post I agree with.

      • IrishBill 1.1.1

        Muldoon wasn’t stupid. He wasn’t greatly educated and he was small-minded but he certainly wasn’t stupid and he had morals, they were just very old school and fed through an ends-justifies-the-means filter. He was also a personable bastard in the flesh.

        Clark on the other hand may be clever and have integrity but she also has significant blind-spots and can be very difficult to make small talk with unless she’s completely at ease (which wasn’t often in the last term).

        Her and piggy are distinctly different. The only real similarity I can see in them is their extremely powerful personalities and the way they finished their tenure under siege. Come to think of it those traits are probably linked.

        • lprent

          What is smalltalk (apart from a computer language)? I must say that I never have time for it and definitely didn’t with Helen.

      • big bruv 1.1.2

        “Clark was (is) a highly intelligent pleasant person with integrity.”

        Which ‘Clark’ are you talking about?

        Surely not the corrupt, vicious and nasty Clark who was once our PM?

        And please, the UN cannot and should not be cited as anything other than the most corrupt organisation on earth, actually, if you are talking about Helen Clark then the UN is the best place for her.

        • mickysavage

          Come on BB

          You wingnuts get very boring.

          Helen was in a speeding car once and signed a painting that was auctioned for charity and she is somehow corrupt.

          Key is conflicted to hell but never declares one, has shares in all sorts of companies and a supposed blind trust whose assets he knows and he lies about not knowing what assets it owns and he is still the best thing since sliced bread although to be fair wingnuts are turning against him and he is OK??

          The UN is the best chance that humanity has of sorting out its shit and Helen was never vicious or nasty.

          Capcha FACT!

  2. john 2

    He’s a corporate sit in front of the computer and have cosy suited meetings with colleagues while everything progresses on auto pilot settings type Merrill Lynch guy. That’s what NZ voted for that’s what its got.

  3. Why wouldnt you be relaxed if you just had a massive, massive tax cut?

  4. rainman 4

    However much this is dressed up as “protecting his brand”, what it really means is he’s just chicken. He does not handle the difficult questions well and I think he and his handlers know that.

    • zonk 4.1

      and dislikes working in an environment where he is accountable for whatever he feels like saying

  5. coolas 6

    I’ve never seen/heard/read a substantive interview with Key. All chit chit and sycophantic drooling. Audrey Young’s piece in the Herald is as deep as it gets. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10638856&pnum=0

    His image as smooth clever Johnny doesn’t fit with his voice or delivery. Unrehearsed he can get really tongue tied. Say stupid things. Look dumb. And other times speak incredibly fast in a campy broad Kiwi accent that’s nigh impossible to understand.

    Perhaps Key is incapable of articulating his politics in an open interview setting. He hasn’t much experience in being honest. Money Traders can’t afford that luxury. And it is obvious National are playing to a long term agenda being pursued with stealth.

    Maybe Key can’t be trusted to front interviews. Cosby Textor will assume there’s a risk of big damage. The Transrail Share um/yes/no/um showed Johnny’s potential to fuck up. So a dose of ego stoking Mr Prime Minister, then a sharp question, and Johnny could well let slip or rip.

    It will happen. Can’t wait to see the real John Key on TV show how shallow he is, and how mean and nasty. Then perhaps the mesmerised masses will flick out of their trances and send this odious little man a packin.’

  6. Jim Nald 7

    It’s like going all soft when having to do it openly and upfront, but then he has a raging hard-on shafting ordinary Kiwi folks and the vulnerable in the back when not in the direct glare of msm.

    Some of my friends who voted for this Govt are rueing of the fact at the mo.

    captcha: openings

  7. Lazy Susan 8

    He came to power presenting himself as a moderate and all round nice guy. I still have very little idea what he believes in but he is leading a Government that is pursuing an unpleasant and damaging right-wing agenda. In addition, they’re not being honest about this as they know it is not what the majority of New Zealanders want.

    Key’s background is in assessing risk and I figure he and his minders have assessed that the risk of appearing in front of anything other than friendly media is too high. The cosy chats on the Breakfast Time sofa, both before and after the election, with the fawning Paul Henry are a disgrace to public broadcasting.

    Continueing this action will increasingly anger all but the “chosen” members of the press gallery. Key now has to assess whether the risk of letting that happen is greater than fronting to the tougher media and possibly exposing where he’s really coming from.

  8. bobo 9

    On TV3 news Key looked very sheepish about his so called “blind trust” interest in a winery , what a con that he has no idea what happens to his investments… Maybe JK wines could be his paintergate 🙂

  9. Rosy 10

    His bragging on TV3 news about his ‘JK’ wine from a vineyard he says he doesn’t know his blind trust has shares in could be a reason why handlers keep him away from the hard interviews. He says way too much when he should say nothing. It would all be too easy for a skilled interviewer to tie him up in knots.

    • bobo 10.1

      I remember watching that clip of Key before Christmas and cringing, the bit where he starts palming off free JK wine to the radio DJs and bragging about going to Hawaii for his holidays, in the other clip Key looks half cut while bragging about owning a winery that he seems to have forgotten now… Since Gower has taken over from Ducan Garner on 3 he seems less chummy with Key. Look at Keys expression when he walks off , classic 🙂 someone should put a link up soon.

  10. gobsmacked 11

    John Key said on that TV3 report that he gave out bottles of wine to “people who helped me.” That’s true. They were Xmas presents to the press gallery. (Amazingly, the journalists were happy to accept, no questions asked).

    Five months later, a reporter has got around to … well, investigating, It’s what used to be called “journalism”.

  11. gobsmacked 12

    Question time in the House, today:

    Hon PETE HODGSON (Labour—Dunedin North) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement to the New Zealand Herald last year that he has put certain assets into a blind trust that is “so blind I haven’t a clue what’s in it’?

    Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : Yes.

    Hon Pete Hodgson: Can he confirm that that means he cannot have a conflict of interest regarding those assets because he does not know, and cannot know, whether he still owns those assets?

    Hon JOHN KEY: That would be my interpretation of it, yes.

  12. gingercrush 13

    And I’ll say it again. The left will once again make a mistake by focusing their attacks on John Key;. Sure it might get you lot to circle jerk all over it. But it just distracts from actual issues such as the Budget etc.

    But then the left sure are content on their way to destruction in 2011.

    • gingercrush 13.1

      Mind you. You lot might well wish for there to be no focus on the budget. Considering how successful it was and how Labour were so stupid in what they focused on and what they’re still focusing on.

      • Marty G 13.1.1

        have you seen the polls in the provincial newspaper sites? Sure, the budget is popular with rich aucklanders, but not in the provincial cities.

        I might try to do a post for you.

        • I dreamed a dream

          Please do, Marty G! I look forward to your post.

        • gingercrush

          Provincial New Zealand and almost all provincial cities in this country vote National and will vote National in 2011. The exceptions would be New Plymouth, Invercargill, Palmerston North and Nelson where the vote will be evenly spread. (There may be some smaller cities/large towns i.e. Oamaru, Hokitika, Greymouth where the vote will be evenly spread or mildly in favour for Labour). On the whole though provincial New Zealand is National’s territory.

          Therefore, I don’t think it matters what those polls tells us. But please do a post on it because to be honest I’m not even sure what polls you’re talking about and I suck at searching for such things.

          Or at the least point me to these polls.

    • gobsmacked 13.2

      This is a legitimate issue. There’s a clear pattern – we can’t rely on JK’s word, on matters large or small. GST or Kiwibank or whatever.

      When he says “Trust me”, more and more people don’t. And not just on the left.

      • gingercrush 13.2.1

        Oh yes so successful. Remind me what happened Election 2008? Labour has to fight National and John Key on policy. Not on a failed strategy that didn’t work in 2008 and won’t work in 2011.

        The less focus on leadership the better for Labour. When 2011 comes, there is no way Goff is going to look good against John Key. Sorry but he isn’t.

        • gobsmacked

          Come on. Ginger, you’re smarter than this.

          Key 2008 was a blank canvas. Labour failed because people wanted to believe in Key, the new contrasting with the old.

          By 2011 they’ll believe in him a lot less. Yes, Labour must do much better. They need to focus on policy issues … like selling state assets. Which then overlaps with the issues of Key and trust.

          Anyway, Key’s put out a statement in record time, so he’s obviously not going to play “relaxed” on this one:


          He’s probably just given the story legs.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          What gobsmacked says. Plus the reality was – no matter how hard the dedicated followers of Helen on here try to claim otherwise – that people trusted Clark alright… trusted her to go on acting with the arrogance and hubris she’d displayed during the latter part of her term, and of which they’d grown heartily sick.

          As gobsmacked says, Key was then a blank slate. Now he’s showing every sign of being as disconnected as Clark, but for slightly different reasons (she was too welded to her ideology; he has none).

          Goff… if he plays his cards right… could campaign on Key’s attempts to sell snake oil – the latest being the idea that “mom and pop” investors could be the new owners of Kiwibank. Even those who vehemently support its privatisation are saying “WTF?!” to that one, and they know it’s not due to any naivete on Key’s part as to how the market works.

          You’re right inasmuch as “trust” won’t play as the sole or even the main theme of the coming election. But it’s a powerful sub-theme, and Key has only himself to blame that it’s become so, so early in his life as PM.

          • felix

            Rex I agree with everything you’ve written, but please don’t say “mom and pop”. And if you absolutely have to, at least spell “mum” properly. 🙂

            Our language and cultural identity. You iz killing them.

            • Rex Widerstrom

              But felix, that was a deliberate nod to the fantastical notion of the “mom and pop” investor… an American idiom designed to convince us that those wild eyed lunatics we see shrieking and waving scrip about every time there’s a shot of the Wall St trading floor are there bidding on behalf of their dear old mum and dad and not some fat oligarch 😀

              Obviously I iz too obtuse 😛

        • Craig Glen Eden

          A lot of people are focussing on the budget now GC and what is becoming clear is they are getting nothing, in fact they will now be worse off.
          Lets face it Key got the easiest ride he will ever get in the last election and no amount of wining and dining on Keys behalf is going to see that repeated. If you think the next election is going to be like the last you really are naive.

          Goff may not win the next election but Key can loose it, thats the Nature of politics!

          Bring on an election based on policy I say, I cant wait it would certainly make a change from the last election.

          • gingercrush

            Exactly. Labour can out-do National and John Key on policy, they can’t do that on leadership. Hence why its a mistake that Labour and many here continue to see the fight and focus on leadership.

            And no that is your view on the budget and the view on Labour. You’re utterly wrong and baseless. That seems to be the problem with many here. You have the same stupid fantasy that you all had during the 2008 election. Its this sense of complacency that continually gets the site and Labour in the shit.

            • Brett

              This is the one glaring weakness of the intellectual/academic, the ability to admit they are wrong and change direction.

              • Clarke

                Changing direction is clearly not a problem for the poll-driven hidden agenda Nats, though. Only, come to think about it, what direction?

      • Jim Nald 13.2.2

        Trust him like we trust his blind trust!

  13. Patrick Gowers blog on the story:


    This looks decidedly dodgy for Key. The press release in rebuttal appears to be an outright lie, given that we have seen the video. Of course, if the trust was set up after the video, he’ll eventually claim that he only owned the vineyard for sure up to when the trust was set up. After that he had no clue, (so to speak).

    • gobsmacked 14.1

      VOR, Key is already doing exactly that, via an immediate phone call to Mr Kiwiblog..

      For a “non-story/beat-up”, the spin team sure are moving fast to put out the fire!

      • Nothing to see here, move along people! Yep, if Farrar is forced to respond this quickly, Key is clearly worried. What are we gonna call it? Pinot gate? The Wine Bottle Enquiry?

        • just saying

          I like it!

        • I dreamed a dream

          Yep, I have never seen Farrar move so fast on a NACT story. Got a feeling this story ain’t gonna die!

          How about calling it “PM’s Pinot”? But then, it might have been trademarked already.

    • IrishBill 14.2

      I heard the release was written and sent before the story aired. Key had no idea the video evidence existed before he lied.

      • I dreamed a dream 14.2.1

        More fuel to the fire!

      • Could be, Irish. I don’t think Key got where Gower was heading in the corridor interview. He looked as confused as hell at the questions and seemed to be wondering why Gower didn’t know what a blind trust was. I guess he’s connected the dots now and the correction to the press release will be out pdq.

  14. big bruv 15


    Attacking Key is the wrong thing to do, like it or not he is the most popular PM this nation has ever had.
    The public will see any personal attack on Key as nothing more than the actions of a bitter and twisted Labour party who have not yet accepted that they lost the last election.

    You guys may be desperate for this to be the “big story” or “big scandal” (similar to when you sent Mike Williams overseas to dig up dirt that dig not exist prior to the last election) but it plainly is not what you hope it would be.

    The voice is indeed right, there is nothing to see here.

    Far better for Labour to have a crack at the Nat’s in other area’s, that is where they may be weak, you sure as hell are not going to get anywhere by attacking their biggest asset and strongest performer.

    • IrishBill 15.1

      You sound desperate.

      • felix 15.1.1

        Can you smell the fear?

        • big bruv

          The only thing I can smell are the rotting corpses on the Labour party front bench.

          Clean then out, pension them off, give us (the people of NZ) a strong opposition and start taking back the middle ground.

      • I dreamed a dream 15.1.2

        IrishBill, as much as I don’t agree with all that Big Bruv says, I think he’s genuine in his belief that attacking Key is not the winning strategy for Labour. Big Bruv has been very consistent in that regard. And Big Bruv is not a fan of Key either.

        In the big scheme of things, I too think attacking slippery Key may not be the best strategy because nothing seems to stick to his teflon-coating.

        But, then again, if there’s a king-hit, it can work. Maybe this can be a king-hit, depending on how the story and lies pan out.

        • IrishBill

          There are no silver bullets. It works like Anita explains below.

        • felix

          Bruv is just an angry little bald middle aged divorced small business owner. It really doesn’t matter what he says he thinks of Key.

          When push comes to shove, he’s right behind his man with the rest of them.

          The reason? The righties know that Key is all they’ve got.

          • big bruv

            Felix and people like him are the reason you are looking at nine to twelve years of a National government.

            Key would not know what the right looks like, he is centre left at best, indeed, he has to look a long way back over his shoulder to see where the centre line even is.

            He may well be a nice guy but he sure as hell is not ‘my man’

            • Anita

              What makes you think that Key is on the left?

              • IrishBill

                Good point. He has presided over one of the most right-wing budgets in the history of NZ.

              • big bruv

                The actions of the last eighteen months Anita.

                He has done nothing about tackling the welfare rort, nothing about dealing with the debt problem , nothing about cutting back government spending and broken his promise about REAL tax cuts.

                Meanwhile, he has refused to support the return of youth rates when the abolition of youth rates is the main reason we have seen the huge increase in unemployed youth.

                He sure as hell “ain’t” no right winger.

              • felix

                He’s all you’ve got Bruv and you know it.

                Imagine the Nacts trying to get elected without Key. Aint that a hilarious thought? (Not for you, Bruv, but you know what I mean).

      • big bruv 15.1.3


        Desperate for you lot to get your act together, desperate for a credible and effective opposition, desperate to have a strong Labour party that would force Key to go back to the right….so yes, I guess I am.

        Am I desperate about this beat up or non story?…hell no, it is nothing and frankly the way that so many here are baying for blood is laughable given the way they defended Clark time after time with her numerous scandals.

        The reality is Irish that only political wonks like us are interested in this, and we both know that nothing will come of it, the average bloke and bloke’ess likes Key, even my Mrs who hates politics with a passion said to me the other morning while watching Key on breakfast TV “I really like that guy”.

        What you lot have not yet accepted is that you are not dealing with an ordinary politician, the usual tactics will not work against Key, the public see him in a totally different way to any PM we have had since the days of Lange, they trust him, they believe in him, attacking Key is not the right way to go about defeating the Nat’s.

        • IrishBill

          Nope. Desperate. Or stupid. I’ve seen them come and I’ve seen them go and they’ve all gone the same way. One little chip at a time. Key will be no different.

          • big bruv

            Then you need to make sure you do not let the door hit you on the arse when you leave.

            That sort of attitude is why Labour and Goff have NO hope of winning the next two elections.
            The arrogance oozes from you, like so many inside Labour you still think the public got it wrong at the last election and that they will come running back to Labour in 2011.

            All that is going to do is hand the next two elections to Neville Key on a plate.

            The sooner you realise that you have to devise an entirely new attack plan for the Nat’s the better, bloody hell, it is a target rich environment yet you idiots keep trying to take down the biggest and strongest target of the lot.

            Arrogance and ignorance, those are the Labour parties biggest problems.

            • IrishBill

              Like I said. I’ve seen them come and I’ve seen them go. I’ll see this wee fella out too.

              • big bruv

                Not unless you make some radical changes Irish.

                The front bench you have now is your biggest liability, well second biggest, the huge chip on your shoulder and extreme arrogance born of a nine year reign needs to be disposed of first.

                A good dose of humility and a savage clean out, then, start taking back the middle and all those people you pissed off.

                Unless you guys are going to change then you are looking at a PM who will have the job for as long as he wants it, I am not kidding, he is that popular and will remain so until the day he decides he has had enough.

                You need to forget about him and attack in other area’s.

              • BLiP

                Big Bruv giving the left suggestions on how to proceed – what’s wrong with this picture?

              • felix

                What’s wrong with it BLiP is that he’s been doing this concern-troll routine for over a year now and he still thinks someone might take him seriously one day.

            • Irascible

              I would have thought that arrogance and ignorance were NACT’s biggest problems. From Key to English to Hide the pattern is there.

    • Anita 15.2

      You’re right, Labour shouldn’t run this attack, the MSM should oh that’s right, they already are!

      This won’t take Key down, but it is a little chip in the facade, and it reinforces the nice formula the MSM use about Key from time to time. The next story will be similar, the one after that similar, and so on. Eventually all the little chips to the image Key has had constructed will add up, and the public will turn.

      This, as we saw with Clark, is the way Prime Ministers are taken down.

      • gingercrush 15.2.1

        Yeah but I don’t think the left want to wait five years or so for that to happen so by that time National gets three terms. As happened with National in regards to Labour and Helen Clarks.

      • big bruv 15.2.2

        The MSM did not take down Clark.

        Arrogance and the stench of corruption is what did for her, Field, Peters etc…

        She stopped listening, she stopped caring and she lost touch with Kiwis, plus she began to act like a dictator, that is never going to go down well with Kiwis.

        • Irascible

          So what are we seeing with this NACT government – the Persil advertisement “Dirt is good”?

    • toad 15.3

      Good political strategy bruv.

      Attack your opposition on their strongest points (in the Nats’ case, Key’s popularity and credibility).

      FFS, nothing politically to be gained from attacking Tolley (unless you can make it rub off on Key) because even the staunchest Nats already know she is hopeless.

    • Clarke 15.4

      Oddly enough, BB, I agree with your assessment if not your reasoning. I don’t think there is any mileage in attacking Key – by far the best thing to do is hand him the microphone and allow him to speak his mind. That will do far more damage than anything Labour can dream up.

      To win in 2011, Labour needs to have a charismatic leader who will provide the direction and integrity Key is so sadly lacking, as that will allow NZ to see Key as the venal little dork he so clearly is. Unfortunately, I don’t think Phil Goff is that man, despite his other qualities, so I suspect National may sleaze back in at the next election.

      • big bruv 15.4.1


        My reasoning is sound, despite your obvious hatred for the man the public do not see him as sleazy, lacking in integrity or direction, despite what you think (or what I think for that matter, for all his faults he is not sleazy, lacking in integrity or direction) you simply will not get any traction with that sort of mindset.

        The way to beat Key in 2014 (2011 is already lost) is to ignore the man, let him become the government, let him become the whole thing, work away at his support structure, as I said, it is a target rich environment yet you guys are still blinded by hatred because he happened to beat you at the last election.

        It requires change, real change, it requires the Labour party to stop acting like spoilt brats in the house, you actually need to take a leaf out of Key’s book, start acting with integrity, stop foaming at the mouth, admit it when he gets something right (you would be amazed at how the public would warm to you) and stop making politics so personal.

        You are NEVER going to win a popularity battle with this guy, what you have to do is make Labour a better option as a team than Key is as the man who IS the National party, however, to do this you have to start now and you have to start with a new deck.

    • Roger 15.5

      Gosh darn it you’re right. Nobody can smile and wave like John Key can! National’s weakness is substance. Sadly this is also the same weakness demonstrated by mainstream media and a decent number of the public at large.

  15. big bruv 16


    You are as ideologically blinded as the rest of them here.

    While Tolley is not a strong performer in the house she is doing what parents want, the opposition to National Standards is coming from the bloody unions and people like you who think that our kids should never be tested.

    Attacking National standards is the second dumbest thing I have seen Labour do so far, I wish they would stop, however, please encourage the Greens to keep on having a crack at the Nat’s over Standards, every vote you lose is good for NZ.
    If you really want to make a big splash then put Mad Delahunty onto the case, she can embarrass herself again in the house (as she did today) anytime she likes, that silly wimin is a guaranteed vote loser.

    • lprent 16.1

      You’d be better asking about who the support for national standards is coming from? Apart from the government and other wingnuts, I can’t see anyone supporting them. In fact it is difficult to see the rationale for the years to which it is being applied.

      • big bruv 16.1.1

        The support is coming from the parents Iprent.

        Despite the unions highly unethical propaganda programme the parents have seen through it, these same parents are sick of their kids failing under the Labour government and its education system, they want change and the want results.

        But hey, we know that kids are not the real concern of the Labour party, they are more worried about the teachers and their union.

        • BLiP

          Meanwhile, you seem pretty worried about your man Key. Not so relaxed now, are ya?

          • felix

            Never seen him so excited. Funny, seein as how he doesn’t even like Key and all that eh?

          • big bruv

            Blip you are an idiot.

            Let’s have a wager about this shall we?

            $100 to the charity of the winners choice (mine will be the RSPCA just so you can start writing out the cheque) if this story even dents his popularity.

            Or…you could stop frothing at the mouth and start getting real.

            • BLiP

              You’re on – I think its a bit of a fuss sending them a cheque but have a look at the donations section on Wikileaks, I think they will accommodate your predilection for last century technology (rather like your political beliefs) – let the next preferred Prime Minster poll be the arbiter.

        • Irascible

          International research and the prime architect of national standards in the US all demonstrate that the policy was and remains an educational crock…. a failure from beginning to end where-ever they were implemented.

  16. gingercrush 17

    I agree entirely with Big Bruv. How utterly strange yet he’s completely correct (except when it comes to John Key being in his eyes centre-left). Sure Labour and Phil Goff can with the help of the MSM knock John Key down slowly. National did the same with Helen Clark. Most of what the right thought and said in regards to Helen Clark appeared in the MSM before the 2002 election. Not exactly successful was it. Because it took a further six years or so to take her down.

    That will happen to Labour and Phil Goff if they’re intent with the MSM focusing on John Key as leader of the National Party. (though I’m not prepared to say National has three terms in the bag but two terms certainly). Its a recipe for disaster. Labour needs to focus on where they can beat John Key and National. That isn’t by taking what appear to be often cheap-shots. It does Labour no favour. No amount of the lefties here talking about “smile and wave” John Key or little liar John Key or “do-nothing” John Key does any good. Or the “OMG John Key sounds so incoherent etc etc etc. It hasn’t worked. Instead you completely underestimate the guy who 1. Defeated Helen Clark. 2. Delivered a budget where everyone knew the direction it was going and where he was being criticised by the MSM and by the opposition and still managed to hit a home run. Budget well received. Goff and Labour look stupid because they underestimated what the budget would deliver etc etc etc. 3. And you still underestimate him.

    Meaning Election 2011 will come and this site and many of the people will get all excited. For what? NZ First not reaching 5%. Low turnout where Maori and South Auckland still failed to get out and vote. Greens again underdelivering on what the poll numbers said and Labour not getting enough party support to be in a position to govern. I see it now. Its the same crap most of you did last time round.

    How many times have the MSM reported on John Key and how many times has this site all wrapped themselves around the campfire with glee and then found themselves disappointed for it wasn’t that successful. Oh lots. And yet you all continue to do the same mistake again and again and again.

    Look at where Labour and the MSM have been successful in attacking this government. Its policy. Hence, why Auckland Super City is rather messy and could well back-fire on the right. Where the people of New Zealand are more and more saying no to mining. That is where the left have been successful. That is where Labour can be successful. Its on policy not useless attacks about trust and leadership that may populate the headlines for a day or two but will not be successful until its too late and the National Government is increasingly tired but had two terms and possible a third.

    But I welcome the continued mistakes of the left. Because it will ensure this government is a long-term government. And I know for at least most of the people here. You were well to put it mildly arrogant about John Key from the minute this blog began, arrogant throughout the 2008 election and even more arrogant now.

  17. Dunno eh….shit happens alot faster now than it did in Helen’s day and i dont think given the access to focussed alternative media that the people are as ill informed/ignorant on issues or that they are so dumb as to not see Key is not the man they thought they were voting for or believed could make a positive difference to one and all.

    I reckon depending on which way the Maori party swing will depend on who becomes gov’t next time round and it sounds like the nats can’t take their support as a given.

    Everytime Key makes one of those faces like he made to Gower in dismissing him, people see beyond the facade. Key can’t lie to save himself, its why he’s scared of the media.

    The time to fight him on issues/policy is at election time. Between now and then, its about exposing the lie of who he is and what he stands for.

  18. just saying 19

    This could really backfire on Labour.

    I think the government is losing ground by their own doings. People are very slowly waking up, but if this is misplayed or overplayed by Labour I can see an own goal and renewed support for Key.

    Like all serious abusers, Key can come across as a more believable victim than real vicitms can. I just read kiwiblog and so far it IS looking plausible that this is all just a misunderstanding. I don’t believe that either, but it’s what the bewitched public believes that matters.

    • felix 19.1

      I haven’t seen Labour commenting on this issue at all. Have you?

      I agree btw, they shouldn’t be parading this stuff in public. That’s the media’s job.

  19. richgraham 20

    Ms Watkins said “Mr Key has refused all but three requests to be interviewed by National Radio’s Morning Report so far this year. That must be unheard of among modern-day prime ministers ‘
    I wonder why Mr Key doesn’t want to talk to the 2 blokes who front that program?
    Here’s the answer chaps – they’re silly lefties, they’re prejudiced against the government.
    If Ms Watkins can’t see tht, then alas, she is dumb.
    I do wish National Radio would bring some balance back into that program – if they did, I bet Mr Key would turn up.
    Come on Labour wake up !

    • Lazy Susan 20.1

      richgraham – “They’re silly lefties, thery’re prejudiced against the Government”‘

      What a load of bull. Sean Plunket is increasingly sounding like a National party apologist.

      That aside what you appear to suggest is that Key should only do interviews with people who agree with him.

      Now with that stroke of brilliance I ask who’s really asleep?

      • Jim Nald 20.1.1

        Yes, I too wish National Radio would bring some balance back – balance to pull it back from the right. I tend to switch to another channel or turn off the Radio when Sean Plunket gets into his right apologist mode or try a pretend left. What is needed is real objective, balanced interviews.

        The level and quality of public political debate is dropping fast and that in large part is because we’ve got a Prime Minister and a bunch of cabinet ministers who are not truly debating the issues and taking leadership in making the arguments that really count in the House and msm.

        The Govt’s responses during question time is more like a Gilbert & Sullivan show and actually even worse – quite unwatchable and intellectually incoherent. Really insulting to the public and exasperating for taxpayers.

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