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What’s Eating Slippery John?

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 pm, April 4th, 2008 - 22 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: ,


Slippery John and his mates seemed pretty down in the dumps in the House this week. I know that no one, but a few political junkies, watch the House but a political party’s performance there is a good indicator for their mood.

And, frankly, the Nats and their leader were not in a good one.

Despite being in the House for question time for most of the week, a glum looking John Key sat silently in his seat while his bench mate Bill English took centre stage. Bill asked question after question, while a lifeless Key could be seen in the seat next door with his head hung low. Hardly a peep came from him, although he did turn up on TV and radio a couple of times to follow up on things English had led on in the House.

It is more than a little strange that the Leader was not leading. Word is that many National backbenchers can’t figure out what the inner circle is up to either. Key may have a strategy, but he certainly isn’t sharing.

If they weren’t 10 points ahead in the polls, one might wonder if a coup was afoot in National’s ranks.

22 comments on “What’s Eating Slippery John?”

  1. Razorlight 1

    I take it back, you guys over here are quite funny.

    Fancy suggesting the word coup when the leader is the most popular opposition leader in history.

    and using cullens school boy taunt ‘slippery’.

    Pure comedic genius

  2. higherstandard 2

    It’s staggering how someone who the Standard paints as slippery, inept and incompetent can rate as highly with the public as our current Prime Minister who as I have said previously on this blog is one of the most (if not the most) hard working and formidable politicians of NZ’s recent history………. now why is that ?

  3. Dan 3

    Key is popular, he is a nice guy, he wants to do well, but his lack of political nous and experience is really starting to show. If he has lost the confidence of those he aspires to lead, then a change of leadership will be seen as essential by the hollow men behind the scenes.
    Bill English was not happy with the Brash leadership, but so far is the only one to show up as an alternative. The Nats without Key might appease the strategists, but the Nats without Key will appear to be a lurch to the right to counter Roger Douglas.
    Instead of sleepwalking to victory, the Nats have more major crediblity issues surfacing.
    Razor and HS, sometimes those closest to the ones we care for do not see the obvious. A bit like proof-reading I guess: we tend to see what we want to see.

  4. higherstandard 4


    I think you and Jasper will only see a change of leadership after the election and which party or parties that will occur in remains to be seen.

  5. Dean 5

    “It is more than a little strange that the Leader was not leading. Word is that many National backbenchers can’t figure out what the inner circle is up to either. Key may have a strategy, but he certainly isn’t sharing.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Key is distinctly lacking in the leadership stakes.

    How this translates into polling figures remains to be seen.

  6. Razorlight 6

    “Word is that many National backbenchers can’t figure out what the inner circle is up to either.”

    Word from who? Do you have a source or is this just a lie?

  7. AncientGeek 7

    I’m with Dean. I don’t think a lot of Key’s leadership abilities. He also looks pretty much like an amateur when it comes to politics. He probably just got told something he didn’t like, probably about orderly policy and the implications of issuing policy. The embarrassing $50 per crim ‘policy’ comes to mind. I really don’t think that 6 years in active politics is enough to season a politician.

    But the Nats are going to have to season him on the job. It would be political suicide to change leaders even if someone wanted to. The voting public doesn’t like dissent in the political parties they vote for. That has been shown a number of times.

    Of course this is all good for Labour. They are pretty well locked into Key as their front now, something I’ve been hoping for for the last 18 months. Charisma is good for the polls before elections when politics can be treated as a protest. But voters tend to get a lot more interested in bread and butter, and forward policy coming up to the election.

    Frankly if I were supporting the right, I’d want Bill English rather than John Key. But I’m a total sucker for competence. Style is just flash.

  8. AncientGeek 8

    Should read:-
    Of course this is all good for Labour. The Nats are pretty well locked into Key as their front now…

    I must keep telling myself to proof read before hitting send…

  9. higherstandard 9

    Not to worry AG …… besides I think John Key is on record as saying he’ll be leading the Labour Party.

  10. Key is doing exactly what Clark did as Opoostion Leader – she would not engage when Bolger/Shipley was not in the House. Sorry lads, but in Helen’s own words:

    “Nothing to see here, move on”

  11. AncientGeek 11

    HS: Thats right. I’d forgotten that. I had to carefully put down the coffee before laughing. I did not want to do a burt and ruin a perfectly good keyboard.

    I2: Could be correct. I don’t watch TV at parliament, but I haven’t heard of him doing much when Helen is in the house either. No doubt someone will now compile stats.

    captcha: long-suffering roles

  12. big bruv 12

    Slippery John….Corrupt Helen

    I am starting to like these nick names.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Key’s leadership (lack of) has been noted elsewhere.

    And unlike the Standard, the New Zealand Herald can hardly be dismissed as a biased leftie blog …


    Remove the mask – Jasper *is* John Armstrong!

  14. Draco TB 14

    JK is unlikely to have any leadership ability. He’s been in a position where he needs to be able to think on his feet and to be able to act but he hasn’t been in a position where he needs to inspire people who aren’t immediately under his command. As party leader he needs to have a firm grasp of many different subjects, be able to state his parties policy on any of them at any given time and be able to do so confidently. He just can’t do that as it’s not within his experience.

  15. Steve Pierson 15

    razorlight. Just like any political commentators worth their salt, we have sources who don’t always want it to be public knowledge that they’re the one’s speaking but want to leak information.

  16. mike 16

    “Word is that many National backbenchers can’t figure out what the inner circle is up to either”
    What a stupid statment. How many backbenchers know what H1 & H2 are planning. As mentioned before JK lets the minions do the work while Helly baby is on a junket.

  17. gobsmacked 17

    Ah, if only JK was on that “junket”.

    Unfortunately we’re stuck with Helen Clark addressing NATO, meeting world leaders at the Progressive Governance conference, speaking at Ed Hillary’s funeral, and then going on to Beijing. And gaining respect for our country around the world (if you bother reading the international media).

    Maybe next year the BBC will be interviewing John-Um-Frankly-Key instead, and then “clarifying” his cock-ups later, God help us. Make the most of Helen while you can. Key can’t cope with our media minnows, never mind the world’s sharks.


  18. Razorlight 18

    Steve Pierson, the difference between The Standard (which I enjoy reading daily) and “any political commentators worth their salt” is this an anonymous blog that is quite clearly blindly partisan. Even Farrar congratulates the Government when they do something well, where as this blog seems to exist to bring down the National Party.

    That is fair enough, but when there is this quite obvious bias, rumours of coups or even caucus unrest does’t really hold to much credibility if the sourse isn’t identified.

  19. r0b 19

    Even Farrar congratulates the Government when they do something well

    Yes he does, once in a blue moon. Of course he can, because governments do lots of stuff, so there is opportunity. Whereas National in opposition doesn’t get to do anything, so there is nothing much to congratulate them on. I would certainly hope that if we happen to get a National led government some time, The Standard will be congratulating them when they deserve it.

  20. Ari 20

    Razorlight, if National actually got policy through as often as say, the Greens, there might actually be some chance of them passing the odd thing that the Standard could admit was useful. But if you’re not passing bills, and all you’re doing is attacking the Government’s policy, it’s hard to like you even if you have legitimate criticisms.

  21. Imagine john key ringing up BBC asking for is comments to be retracted! i bet that woudl go down well!

  22. randal 22

    shonkey johnkey is hard at work digging a hole to hide in after the election

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