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Two term John?

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, May 8th, 2011 - 77 comments
Categories: election 2011 - Tags:

Over at scoop, Selwyn Manning, has revealed that sources inside National are admitting John Key is considering not sticking it out through a full second term. Even if National win the election.

John Key is tiring of being prime minister, he feels restricted by the Diplomatic Protection Squad (DPS) security presence surrounding him and the pressures of office; that he has considered an exit strategy, an option being to resign from politics two thirds of the way through the 2011-2014 term irrespective of whether he remains prime minister after the general election.

I’m not sure I believe the DPS comment. If he really is sick of them why would he take them on holiday unnecessarily? But I do believe he’s considering a second term exit strategy. After all he’s a celebrity PM who thrives on being liked and it’s hard to maintain a legacy of popularity past a second term of government, just ask Helen, Jenny or Rob (well, Helen or Jenny – Rob might be a bit hard to get comment from).

If John does go it will be interesting to see who replaces him. It could be Joyce or it could be English (if he’s stupid enough to drink from the same poison chalice again). Whoever it is will be getting a hospital pass – it’s unlikely the Nats would be very popular in a second term as they’re likely to go for broke on a hard right agenda.

It’s possible Simon Power could come back too.

I’ll be interested to see if anyone asks Key if he’s thought about quitting and to see what his response is. Key’s the reason a lot of Kiwis vote National – if he’s planning to leave then they need to know that’s what they are voting for. Otherwise it’ll look like a political bait and switch scam.

77 comments on “Two term John?”

  1. todd 1

    I hear National have been waiving their necromancy wands around and resurrecting those that should forever remain in the crypt to take over parties they’re not even members of. Perhaps we will see Piggy Muldoon raised from the dead and pissing in the halls of power once again. He’s probably the best choice for the next National leader. Has anybody else noticed that Shonkey looks a bit like Piggy? National might just privatize the position and put it up for grabs internationally. I hear Sarah Palin will be looking for a job pretty soon.

  2. Jono 2

    I enjoy reading scoop (& Manning/Campbell), but didn’t he also say that David Parker was definitely going to roll Goff a month or so ago? That didn’t really end up happening..


    “that he has considered an exit strategy, an option being to resign from politics two thirds of the way through the 2011-2014 term irrespective of whether he remains prime minister after the general election. ”

    Key’s said he’ll quit parliament if he doesn’t win the next election, so I don’t know why he put the “whether or not he remains pm” line in there..

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Key’s photo album is almost full.

    • burt 3.1

      Then look out for unusually large donations from NZ to [ whereever ] Key next wants to turn up for the sake of his ego. Of course the lovers of the colour blue will defend it as nothing unusual just like the lovers of red did when we suddenly donated a massive amount of money to the UN development fund… late 2007 I seem to recall !

      • law 3.1.1

        Nearly correct burt, for forgot 04 and 01 when the donations also managed to spike….

  4. Fred 4

    Yup, he has been looking at the camera in a very tired way in unguarded moments of late. Hard to miss.

    He seems to be missing that sparkle, that bounce, the ‘joie de vivre’ of earlier times. That amiable clown, campily mincing up and down the catwalk in some fashion show is long gone.

    Is anyone surprised about his exit strategy ?

    But another term ? Agony.

  5. ianmac 5

    In the Herald today
    “Prime Minister John Key has up to three bodyguards with him when he buys milk and butter at his local dairy, says the bloke behind the counter.

    When he goes for fish’n’chips at Catch a Fish, he’ll usually have a couple of security personnel and if he’s having a coffee at his local, Rosehip in Parnell, up to five minders could be with him.”
    Key is now stalking the high ground saying that he “feels restricted”. Novelty worn off John?

    • Anne 5.1

      Yep ianmac. My first thought too. The novelty has worn off. It felt really good a couple of years ago. It made him feel so important but he’s getting sick of it now. Can’t even have a f–t without them being in earshot..

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Or downwind. Exotic foods do that!

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        Hmmmm I wouldn’t be buying the story that he has no choice in the level of protection he has day to day.

        If there are 5 visible guards with him at the cafe, that’s the level of protection the DPS agreed with him.

        But anything more than a 2 guys present and another in a car is ridiculous, outside of a special occasion.

        • Treetop

          I do not think that that even the British royal family have more than a couple of body guards accompany them to the dairy, if that. The British royal family bring millions of dollars into Britain from tourism. I acknowledge that they are not cheap to keep either, but not everything has to be about profit.

          Were Key the British PM he would try and get rid of the royal family and sell off their assests!

  6. higherstandard 6

    I’d be quite pleased if no-one was able to be PM for more than two terms.

  7. felix 7

    Boo fucking hoo John.

    If you don’t like having close protection then don’t spend your every waking moment prancing around like a celebrity tit.

    You wouldn’t need all that security if you went to your office and did some actual fucking work for a change.

    • Gus 7.1

      I think the problem John Key is finding Felix is that the downside to being so extremely popular with the population that it pulls out the moaners, haters and LWNJ’s out from their caves. In turn this creates a higher risk assessment by the impartial DPS who require greater levels protection to be placed around him and forces him to weigh up the risk of those threats to himself and his family.

      We would be much better off with a PM who has only average rates for preferred PM measurement and no dependents so real significant other that way they maintain a low to average threat assesment and can comfortably wave them off when ever they like with out having to consider the risks to anybody else.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Oh great now we have Gus presenting us with his own threat assessment 🙄

        • Treetop

          CV I am wondering how many body guards are employed by Merrill Lynch? May be Gus may know? He may also know if Key used them? Money traders are not the most liked individuals either.

          • Colonial Viper

            The CEO and a handful of their very top execs may have close personal protection. More likely nowadays I suspect as a lot of people recently lost their money (and their houses) to these guys so they are well hated by many. Also they and their families are potential kidnap for ransom targets.

            However the average manager or trader at these big firms will have nothing in the way of body guards, even if they are on hundreds of thousands of USD p.a. income.

            The more impoverished the poor are, the more fear the upper echelons will feel, and the more they will want body guards.

        • Gus

          CV as I’m sure you know all you have to do is spend a little time on the sites inhabited by LWNJ’s and listen to the hate filled crap that gets spewed from their mouths about the PM to get a basic feel for the type of crap that most threats would make up.

          However while I am sure that most of it are just empty threats the DPS have to treat each threat as if they are a valid until they enough evidence that allows them to evaluate them as something more concerning. Which of course takes time during which time an appropriate protection team needs to be in place.

          Perhaps if the cost of DPS is going to be an ongoing issue for PM’s, politicians should instead of looking to the tax payer to protect them they should look to their supporters to reach into their pockets to pay for their protection. You can bet it would be one way to make sure a Leader paid close attention to their membership base.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hate filled crap from the Left?

            Oh, that’s a very special kind of venom reserved for the Right Wing neo-libs selling out the next generations of NZ’ers, impoverishing our land while enriching their own mates.

            No wonder Key needs more and more bodyguards eh?

          • McFlock

            got an URL? Damned if I can find these sites…

    • Jum 7.2

      Felix, I thought you might enjoy this joke about a ‘tit’.

      ‘felix 7
      8 May 2011 at 1:04 pm Boo fucking hoo John.
      If you don’t like having close protection then don’t spend your every waking moment prancing around like a celebrity tit.’


      After three weeks in the Garden of Eden, God came to visit Eve. ‘So, how is everything going?’ inquired God.

      ‘It is all so beautiful, God,’ she replied. ‘The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking, the smells, the sights, everything is wonderful, but I have just one problem.

      It’s these breasts you have given me. The middle one pushes the other two out and I am constantly knocking them with my arms, catching them on branches and snagging them on bushes. They’re a real pain

      And Eve went on to tell God that since many other parts of her body came in pairs, such as her limbs, eyes, ears, etc. She felt that having only two breasts might leave her body more ‘symmetrically balanced’.

      ‘That’s a fair point,’ replied God, ‘But it was my first shot at this, you know. I gave the animals six breasts, so I figured that you needed only half of those, but I see that you are right. I will fix it up right away.’
      And God reached down, removed the middle breast and tossed it into the bushes

      Three weeks passed and God once again visited Eve in the Garden of Eden.

      ‘Well, Eve, how is my favourite creation?’

      ‘Just fantastic,’ she replied, ‘But for one oversight. You see, all the animals are paired off. The ewe has a ram and the cow has her bull. All the animals have a mate except me. I feel so alone.’

      God thought for a moment and said, ‘You know, Eve, you are right. How could I have overlooked this? You do need a mate and I will immediately create a man from a part of you.

      Let’s see….where did I put that useless Tit?’

      Now doesn’t THAT make more sense than all that crap about the rib?

      Send to men with a sense of humour & women who figure this makes sense.”

  8. Eddie 8

    of course, we’ve been predicting this for ages:

    Par for the course for women

    Is Joyce too big to fail?

    Two term Key?

    – lolz. IB, did you realise you wrote a post on the same topic with nearly the same title last year?

    Of course, now we’re getting the Nats admitting what we had surmised. They’re even lining up the excuse too.

    Of course, it is vital that voters go to the election know whether Key intends to stay the whole term or not. If they knew Parata or Joyce would be replacing him, it would matter a lot.

    • IrishBill 8.1

      I guess that means I’m consistent. 😉

    • Jum 8.2

      Eddie, I’m more gobsmacked over Colin James mentioning Hide might like to try out for the Auckland Mayoralty in 2013; are Aucklanders that mentally incompetent? Or will there be enough CBD’ers that were grateful to Hide for stealing outlying assets from other districts to pay for their Auckland debts?

  9. If you’ re not effective in raising the standard of living for low income people why bother sticking around? This is why I could never be bothered voting for those cut from the cloth of weathly first, struggling last.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      If you’ re not effective in raising the standard of living for low income people why bother sticking around?

      Although he has been very effective in raising the standard of living for his core constituency.

      • Treetop 9.1.1

        Wealthy first; hungry, unemployed, unhoused, sick, traumatised last. I gather struggling people do not have a lot of energy left to challenge being last in the queue.

  10. Maui 10

    One of the things people may have missed about John Key is that at Merrill Lynch he served under CEO and Chairman Earnest Stanley O’Neal – the first African American to hold such a high position on Wall Street, earning $48 million in 2006 and $46 million in 2007.


    It does not make Key a social liberal, but might explain some of his relationships with the ‘Maori’ Party.

    • felix 10.1

      What do the inverted commas signify, Maui?

      • Maui 10.1.1

        Work it out for yourself, Felix. We take something from every culture we encounter, short of apartheid.

        Hone might have a better answer for you.

        • Colonial Viper

          That ‘Maori’ Party doesn’t represent the broader interests of Maori any more.

          • Maui

            Thanks, Colonial Viper.

            It strikes me that those earning figures may give a ball-park idea of what Key was on – from trader, to managing a trading floor, to setting up a trading operation in Ireland, to rationalising Merrill operations in Sydney involving sacking most staff and earning the nickname of ‘smiling assassin’.

            He would have been on a few tens of mill US$ p.a., with bonuses, near the end – suggesting that current net worth of NZ$50m. may be an underestimate ..

    • Fred 10.2

      Was he involved in Turia leaving the Labour Party ?

  11. marsman 11

    Perhaps the plan is to have Brash step into Key’s shoes, after all they have the same financial masters.

    • ianmac 11.1

      Exactly. Brash has already sidestepped democracy and is determined to sell down NZ as is Key. Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Key.

  12. Tanz 12

    I’ve thought for some time that Key is bored with the job, maybe that’s why he enjoys all the photo shots. Being a successful money trader is very different to sorting out all the myriad and chaotic problems that NZ is facing. After all, he is only human, even he has his faults and the problems the country is facing do seem insurmountable.

    He also comes across as someome who gets bored quickly, and maybe the job is not what he imagined; usually reality and dreams are very different when it comes to real life. A snap election? With the way this year has been so far, anything is possible. Bill English may get another crack at the top job, yet.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      He is, as you say, only human and has his faults. His faults aren’t actually the problem but merely symptoms of the problem – he just doesn’t have the ability to be PM.

  13. Phaedrus 13

    As I commented yesterday, have a camera on his eyes when he’s asked. The lie(s) will be obvious by his involuntary eye movements.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Not many interviewers/journalist are willing and able to ask the questions. Certainly not with 3-4 secret service men hovering behind dark glasses.

  14. Gotham 14

    I expect, after attending a royal wedding, there isn’t much else on our PM’s wish list.

    Problem for the Nats though – with brand Key leading them they looks secure for another term. But if it is widely believed he is going to leave soon – where does that leave the moderate voter? They vote for Key, not for National. And with the Nats looking like cranking up the crazy with Brash after the election, those swing voters will be looking elsewhere maybe.

    Who do we speculate would take over leading the Nats after Key???

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      It’s going to be so funny with PM English and Minister Brash in the same room.

      • Gotham 14.1.1

        Prime Minister English

        Deputy Brash

        Minister of Local Government Banks

        • Colonial Viper

          English will have to give the DPM job to a National MP I suspect, in order to shore up support for himself within his own caucus.

  15. Bill 15

    Used to be the caveats placed around answers were ‘not in the first term’. But just the other day I noticed that in reference to Brash as finance minister the caveat was ‘not while I’m Prime Minister’….

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The same caveat for the sale of KiwiBank.

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      Yes, the “not while I’m prime minister” phrase has clearly signalled, since the first time he mentioned it, that he was intending on quitting during the 2nd term. A third term for any government is a hard ask.

    • MrSmith 15.3

      Yes Bill, guessing it will go something like this.

      If Key wins he will step down due to whatever, Joyce will pick up the reins saying John may have promised this and that, but I’m not John sorry suckers, or words to that effect.

  16. I suspect it’ll be Joyce. The liberal Nats can’t stand English’s social conservatism and aren’t willing to give him a second chance after his 2002 fiasco. Added to which, The Donald wants him gone too, so if ACT’s still there and the Nats have to rely on them as a coalition partner after the dust clears in November…

  17. Added to which, here’s a bright spot in the clouds. It tends to be an unwritten rule of New Zealand politics since the seventies that any incumbent government ends up restricted to three terms of office unless it’s very unlucky. The first term is incumbent victorious, the next term sees policy mistakes coming home to roost and the next is decline and fall. Mind you, with the global economic crisis and National’s ghastly economic record since Key took office, we might get very lucky indeed.

  18. Jenny 18

    This is something I predicted many moons ago, when Key promised that “he” would not form a Coalition government if it meant he had to deal with Winston Peters.

    I pointed out then, that Key’s personal promise not to lead a National – New Zealand First Coalition, left the door open for Bill English to cut a deal with Peters.

    If I remember correctly Carol said that someone should ask Bill English if he would exclude Winston Peters from a Coalition Government led by him.

    As always Winston Peters has been playing coy…..

    Despite all left rhetoric of Winston’s latest speeches, he has not as yet promised any left policy to match the rhetoric, this evasiveness leaves the field open for a National – New Zealand First Coalition.

    Peters needs to be put on the spot by his supporters, or again they may find their vote goes to prop up a National government.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Despite all left rhetoric of Winston’s latest speeches, he has not as yet promised any left policy to match the rhetoric, this evasiveness leaves the field open for a National – New Zealand First Coalition.

      Peters has been categorically against asset sales every time he has spoken. No, that’s not the same as confirmed party policy, and it doesn’t necessarily preclude NZ First going with National, but it’s a good start.

    • Jum 18.2

      Yes I’ve always had a problem with Peters for that reason. He betrayed Labour in 1996. In 1999, I’m sure I heard him saying when he sided with Labour ‘this one’s for you Helen’, meaning he was making up for what he did in 1996.

      English is even worse than Bolger and is closer to a Shipley type of arrogant character. Surely, Winston could not stomach English. English has no ethics and no honesty.

      But I can’t trust NZ First any more. I do believe though that NAct did a beatup on Peters re Owen Glenn who was used by NAct to set up Labour through the working relationship with NZFirst, especially reprehensible since we still don’t know about National’s secret Waitemata Trust.

  19. Jenny 19

    Conservative Labour supporters have been trying to talk up a NZF revival, in the hope that NZF will join a Labour led coalition to counter the influence of both the Greens or any other party to the left of Labour. I would say to these Labour conservatives be careful what you wish for.

  20. Carol 20

    Jenny @ 4.32pm:
    If I remember correctly Carol said that someone should ask Bill English if he would exclude Winston Peters from a Coalition Government led by him.

    I doubt that it was me. Not something I’ve contemplated as far as I recall. I’m also tend to read what others say on campaign strategies & predictions rather than participate – not something I know a lot about.

    ianmac @ 12.36pm:

    When he goes for fish’n’chips at Catch a Fish, he’ll usually have a couple of security personnel and if he’s having a coffee at his local, Rosehip in Parnell, up to five minders could be with him.”
    Key is now stalking the high ground saying that he “feels restricted”. Novelty worn off John?

    Ummmm….. isn’t BigNote John meant to be MP for Helensville? Doesn’t he ever take the big guys with guns there for coffee sometimes? How does he get away with living somewhere else?

  21. Jum 21

    Trying to be popular; it’s all about the knighthood, noddy, she said to no one in particular.

  22. Tanz 22

    All terrified of the Don? He’s exactly what we need right now, even Key probably thinks so.

  23. Tanz 23

    I wish. If I was, I’d be living it up in Paris or New York! Not even close. Just another scraping Kiwi. But I still like Don Brash, he is principled.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Grod…just what we need, another voter willing to vote for someone who is going to work hard and long against their interests.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.2

      Evidence is that Don Brash wouldn’t know a principle if he tripped over it.

      • Colonial Viper 23.2.1

        I should add that having NZ$1M and living in New York means that you are dirt poor and would have to live somewhere well outside Manhattan.

    • lprent 23.3

      I hadn’t noticed that he had that many principles that he couldn’t break for political expediency. I read The Hollow Men and some of the news coverage in 2006.

      I’m sure that there were some principles that he hadn’t broken. I’m less sure that was because they were unbreakable, or more likely because he hadn’t had the opportunity to do so. In my experience people who proclaim their principles are also those that I’d least turn my back on lest I find a pointed instrument sliding between my ribs to drain my lifeblood.

      • ianmac 23.3.1

        Like people who say, “To be quite honest…….” or “Frankly I think…………….” often about to at least mislead.

  24. Santi 24

    Is Labour admitting defeat already? How lame.

    [lprent: Irishbill is not the Labour party. You don’t know if he is even a member or supporter. However you know the rules about implying that this blog is run by Labour directly or indirectly.

    I also don’t think that you’ve added anything useful to the debate here over the year. You usually just pointlessly troll. Banned until after the election. ]

  25. NeoConservative_Provocateur 25

    Ah, Santi .. you put your hobbit foot in it.

    You should compare notes with Mathew Hooton and the Exclusive Brethren (remember them ? They have a strange sense of humor) on operational procedure.

    Regards to the Dark Lord.

  26. randal 26

    national will not get a second term. they are admitting defeat already and will not be able to properly campaign with the malaise and anomie issuing forth from their party.

  27. Chance would be a fine thing. I will certainly be voting left this election, but unfortunately, history suggests that there’s a very remote possibility that the Key administration will be defeated after a single term of office. No New Zealand government has served only a single term since the days of the Kirk/Rowling administration (1972-1975). In Oz, the last time was the incompetent Borbridge
    Queensland state government, at the state or federal level (1995-1998).

    There would need to be a cataclysmic meltdown or ACT would need to become severely toxic to mainstream voters due to Brash’s extremism. Or Brethrengate could happen all over again. Mind you, Dr Brash seems to have learnt nothing from the mid-noughties, so…

  28. Toby Keith 28

    I cannot believe some people think national wont get a second term?????

    Yeppers you must be the same people who thought The Greens would get over 10% in the party vote in the last election.

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      I can’t believe that some still think that National will hesitate to sell our childrens’ future down the river in order to enrich themselves personally, and their big foreign investor mates.

      Must be the same people who reckon that John Key got to become a senior manager at Merill Lunch because of his nice blokey smile and wave.

  29. Craig 29

    Er, Toby, bear in mind that the Australian Greens got over twelve percent at their general election last year (due to what Rudd and Gillard have done to the ALP, and its dysfunctional factions) and that the German Greens are now polling at twenty percent. All the NZ Greens need to do is find a suitable issue to campaign on, and Jon Stephenson’s Metro article on Afghanistan may have provided exactly the ammunition needed. Especially if Key, Mapp et al do nothing to defuse it…

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