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Where’s the beef John?

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 5 comments
Categories: budget 2008, john key, slippery - Tags:

Key kicks off this Close Up interview by trying to dampen down rising expectations of National’s tax package and make himself some wiggle room by emphasising that his comments from earlier in the week about tax cuts “north of $50” relate to voter expectations rather than what National may eventually be able to deliver.

Presumably this clarification is an instruction from English, a man who’ll be increasingly worried about his ability to pay for John’s continually growing list of election year promises.

Again,  Key is lightweight on the detail, preferring slogans and buzzwords to facts and figures. Sainsbury seems to lose patience with Key’s slipperness and the ‘guest budget family’, the Thorburns, didn’t seem convinced by Key’s style over substance approach either:

Sainsbury: Vote to Naitonal after that?

Thorburns: “Ahhhh, I can’t say I’m dead set on running off and giving my vote to National after that [performance by John Key]”…

Sainsbury: So you want to see detail from John Key and National?

Thorburns: Yes definitely…

People are starting to ask “where’s the beef John?”

It’s a famous advertising line from the American burger chain Wendy’s. The slogan was aimed at a competitor who offered consumers a big burger bun, but without much beef. From memory it’s a line Key has used before in the house, it seems that it might just come back to haunt him…


 

5 comments on “Where’s the beef John? ”

  1. Susan 1

    Heh heh – Where’s the beef.

  2. June 2

    What I’m saying is that if I were Mark Sainsbury I’d be saying to Key stop saying what you’re saying and say somthing.

  3. randal 3

    i would be asking him if he was going to count leighton smiths programme in nationals election expenses. it sounds like electioneering to me.

  4. toms 4

    National and right in general has had a confused and weak response to the budget. I hope its not just wishful thinking on my part, but I get the distinct feeling that “small target” policy of National of trying to sleepwalk to victory on the back of a “time for a change” mantra and a petulant and sulking politically powerful middle class might finally be unravelling.

    Until now, National has been able to get away with vague promises to outbid Labour with tax cuts for the middle class whilst the middle class dominated media has framed the entire political debate around tax cuts that would largely benefit themselves. A nicely circular and self-serving political dynamic that neatly illustrates the destruction of our egalitarian society since 1984 and it’s replacement by one with marked class stratification. Nothing could illustrate this point more clearly than the editorial in yesterdays Herald that opined that $70,000PA was a modest income. To the Herald and it’s middle class audience Auckland south and west of the Greenlane interchange might as well be invisible.

    But after this budget I came to the view that many of the top 14-20% of income earners who make up 80-90% of the vox populi on telly and in the papers came across as self absorbed and selfish, and as Michael Cullen observed the middle class is painting itself as disconnected from the realities of middle income New Zealand. To me, this is an important political weapon for labour. Why? Because the 2005 election was a watershed in NZ politics. In 2005 for the first time the middle class and the business elites lost control of the political process as MMP electoral equality. They have not liked it one little bit, and as a class have since then conducted a strident and at times hysterical – but none the less successful – series of third party campaigns to wedge pink and blue collar voters away from Labour with the aim of getting these people to vote against their class interests over “moral issues.” (It that context it is of some interest that David Farrar, a professed admirer of the extreme right of the U.S. Republican Party and frequent visitor to that country to observe the Rovian Republicans at close hand, has been instrumental in at least a couple of these campaigns, polling for Family First and in his role as one of the drivers of the so-called “Free speech coalition.”)

    Therefore to me the revelation in the starkest possible terms to these pink and blue collar workers that National’s tax cuts are aimed at primarily enriching the top 14% of the country people at the expense of critical (to low and middle income workers) elements of the health, welfare and education safety net is of the utmost importance for Labour.

  5. Dan 5

    14% will not win an election! English dropped to the low 20s last time. He will not allow the Nats to target that demographic. No wonder I get the feel that Key and English are not talking from the same script!

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