Key’s accumulating negatives

John Key’s problems continue to stack up – when will they start to count against him polls and popular support?

Anthony Robins details a number of hits against Key in the past couple of weeks.

That’s not new, Peters has been hailed as king maker off and on for yonks.

And to cap it all off Robins quoted  Duncan Garner (the difference between popularity and significance):

The flagging fortunes of a leader chasing a legacy

For all the talk of nanny state and voters eventually turning toxic on Helen Clark she can look back on her time in power with pride. She set a clear path and used every inch of her formidable personality to make things happen.

John Key may still be swamped with selfie requests in shopping malls, but that’s not the definition of a great leader. Key has enjoyed a tonne of political capital and the disappointing thing is that he hasn’t used it for any meaningful, lasting project. Surely that’s not good enough for a man driven by a deep ambition.

So with accumulating negatives and no major positive gains how long can Key’s popularity  stay alive in the polls and in the electorate?

At some stage the fear of the alternative may not seem as bad as the missteps of the incumbent.

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69 Comments

  1. Mefrostate

     /  28th March 2016

    I think the really crucial question is “Does a successful legacy in New Zealand politics require a meaningful, lasting project?”

    One could quite easily look at the quality of life and opportunity enjoyed in this country and argue that the answer to the above question is “No – New Zealand already has adequate public systems, and maintenance of the status quo is sufficient.”

    One could also argue that true leadership entails tackling difficult issues. But to do so can also often be unpopular at the polls, so you are asking a politician to do something which is the exact opposite of their nature.

    Reply
  2. Iceberg

     /  28th March 2016

    Well, The Standard keeping score (who knew?) has been good for Key so far.

    I suppose it takes the spotlight off what a total fucken disaster Little is.

    Reply
    • David

       /  28th March 2016

      It does rather smack of the fact that Labours entire electoral strategy is based on waiting until Key departs.

      Reply
    • Mefrostate

       /  28th March 2016

      Oh good, a topic about Key. Let’s use it to bash Little.

      P.S. Labour should quit playing negative politics.

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  28th March 2016

        “Labour should quit playing negative politics”

        If that’s not bashing Little, I’m not sure what is.

        Reply
        • @ Iceberg – You’ve either misunderstood “bashing” or misunderstood “sure” …

          Reply
          • Iceberg

             /  28th March 2016

            “Bashing” – fierce criticism or opposition
            “sure” – completely confident that one is right

            No misunderstanding here.

            Reply
            • @ Iceberg – Let’s analyse this? Mefrostates quote is, “Labour should quit playing negative politics”, correct?

              Fierce? NO. Bashing Little? Clearly NOT. Little isn’t even mentioned. :-/

              You are therefore “completely confident of being right” about something that is evidently NOT what you think it is. 😎

              I call this misunderstanding. Misconstrue. Misinterpret … Doesn’t matter because you’re doing it purposely … so it doesn’t matter … 😀

              I wonder if the pollies would pay someone ‘by the comment’ to do this?
              I might email Andrew and see? 🙂

            • Mefrostate

               /  28th March 2016

              You’re both over-thinking it. I was just attempting to satirise the trope that Labour are the only party who engage in negative politics. Indeed, it abounds all over the spectrum.

              For example: “I suppose it takes the spotlight off what a total fucken disaster Little is.”

  3. J Bloggs

     /  28th March 2016

    One wonders what Duncan Garners idea of a “Meaningful, lasting project” might be? One also wonders if the reason John Key enjoys so much political capital is precisely because he’s not frightened the electorate by engaging on any “meaningful and lasting projects”

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  28th March 2016

    1. Nicky Hager is about as well-regarded by the general public as chicken pox.
    2. Jihadi brides from New Zealand still left for the Middle East, just from Australia
    3. Key has backed down from the payout, so no big deal, and most of the public probably think wotsisface deliberately recorded the conversation anyway
    4. The media on the whole tend to favour Key so his attacking freelancers does him no harm
    5. The prospect of a Labour / Green government actually working or even being elected is still not really a serious possibily, largely due to Labour intransigence. Peters would go with National IMO if it ever came to that.
    6. The flag referendum probably won’t do any more harm to National than it did to Labour.

    Key still looks pretty safe to me.

    Reply
    • Kevin

       /  28th March 2016

      Yep, once again Robins proves that he is the most retarded author on The Standard.

      Reply
  5. artcroft

     /  28th March 2016

    The Jihadi brides issue is not a hit against Key. So the girls left from Aussie instead of NZ. It still comes to the same thing. The Standardistas are delusional and it doesn’t matter whether its due to taking too much or to little of their prescribed medication – they are still delusional.

    Reply
    • They probably are delusional.

      But are they delusional in considering that the stuff around the Jihadi brides was deliberate obfuscation? Or in considering that someone who professed to be about being “open” has been less that that? (and maybe quite considerably?)

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  28th March 2016

        The one who came out badly from this is Kitteridge. She should’ve corrected him. Flunky.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th March 2016

          No, what Kitteridge and Key said was accurate. It was the Stuff journalist who made assumptions so if she was going to correct anyone it would have been her. But IMHO the intelligence agencies should not spell out exactly what is known with any more precision than necessary to keep the public generally informed but not allowing the enemy knowledge of the scope and limits of their knowledge.

          So in my view the criticism is just more Left b.s. and wishful thinking.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  28th March 2016

            No Alan I remember the original tv interview. She was visibly uncomfortable when John Key said “Jihadi Brides” implying they were leaving from here, but she meekly said yes.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th March 2016

              Can you find the words? I researched this and all the reports I could find did not quote either Key or Kitteridge saying they left from here, merely that they were New Zealanders. Only Stuff reported it otherwise and then not as a quote.

            • Gezza

               /  28th March 2016

              I was thinking of this clip. What she says is “presumably” in reply to JK’s question whether NZ women travelling to Iraq & Syria were Jihadi Brides. However, I see that it Kitteridge who brought the matter up and the pair of them conveyed the impression they meant several women were leaving from NZ – not two & from Australia. All a bit of a beat up, true, but by her & JK IMO.

            • Gezza

               /  28th March 2016

              Sorry, forgot to paste the article with video clip:
              http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/74881123/Kiwi-Jihadi-brides-on-the-rise

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th March 2016

              As I’ve continually stated neither Key nor Kitteridge used the words “from New Zealand”. That was purely an invention of the Stuff reporter and those words were not used by either the Herald or RadioNZ in their reports. This was entirely a media beat up of a non-event. And Lefties lying to claim Key lied when he did not.

            • Gezza

               /  28th March 2016

              Oh bullshit Alan. I never even saw the stuff.co article until I went hunting for the video clip todahy, thinking it might be on YouTube. I just watched the item on tv at the time. The need for and degree of spying on NZers was still topical at the time. That video’s what was shown on One News, and they both gave the clear impression they were talking about women from New Zealand leaving from here to marry Jihadi fighters. Neither of them mentioned Australia.

            • Gezza

               /  28th March 2016

              It’s nothing to do with politics. it’s a simple act of their both glibly massaging the truth.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th March 2016

              B.s. yourself, Gezza. They never said “from New Zealand”. If you assumed it, blame yourself. Just as well you are not a reporter or you would probably get sued for reporting your assumptions as facts.

            • Gezza

               /  28th March 2016

              All I would need to do is report what they said and the impression they gave was clear. Anybody can view that video. Most would get the impression they were talking about several women from NZ having been observed to have travelled to Iraq & Syria either to fight or marry Jihadis. That’s why it got so much attention at the time and has garnered more attention now. Context is everything. And of course nobody bothered to point out they may just have been travelling to visit family.

            • Gezza

               /  28th March 2016

              Anyway, whatever, can’t be bothered debating it further with you. I doubt it will do any harm to Key: he’s always given more license for BS than other pollies.

          • Gezza

             /  28th March 2016

            But, that said, the SIS Director serves at the PM’s pleasure I expect.

            Reply
    • John Schmidt

       /  28th March 2016

      The point Kittredge was making, if you all recall, and seems to be completly overlooked in the rush to build a mole hill, was that NZ jihadI brides had occurred and it was something that was new to the intelligence agencies. That was the whole point and she also said they did not know what this will mean going forward. That was about the extent of what she said. The colour around those words have come from else where.

      Reply
  6. Oliver

     /  28th March 2016

    You can add

    Dairy crisis
    Increased poverty
    Increased inequality
    Housing crisis
    Increased debt

    To the long list of reason that John Keys days are numbered.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  28th March 2016

      These are all things that should be hurting him, yes, but they’re not – well not yet anyway. I think the problem still is Oliver that Little doesn’t inspire confidence and no one’s contemplating a Green government. (Would they have a co-PM?)

      Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  28th March 2016

      They certainly are. Let’s count today as no. 1 of 1825

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th March 2016

      What increased inequality? Should Key have preferred unemployment and letting Chch remain unlivable to increasing Govt debt? Is he responsible for the dairy market? Or the housing crisis that Labour created and that all the other parties bar ACT refuse to let him address?

      Brain-dead Lefty slogans are no substitute for rational judgement for anyone but brain-dead Lefties.

      Reply
      • Oliver

         /  28th March 2016

        Name one thing good that key did that benefited the majority. I bet you can’t.

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  28th March 2016

          1. He’s kept the left off the treasury benches.

          Reply
        • Kevin

           /  28th March 2016

          Kept “I’m sorry for being a man” Cunliffe from being PM.

          Reply
        • Oliver

           /  28th March 2016

          So no one’s got anything? What a laugh, but you’ll vote for him again anyway – just because.

          Reply
          • @ Oliver – See dave1924’s comment way below. ‘Social Investment strategy’. Does that qualify? No, it hasn’t been implemented yet and isn’t directly targeted at “the majority”. :-/ It’s debatable whether anything is nowadays? Perhaps to please the majority rather than necessarily benefit them?

            I think sound economic management (under the circumstances) probably makes the grade though, don’t you?

            The Titanic is being professionally steered towards North America across the North Atlantic Ocean … 😎

            Reply
            • Oliver

               /  28th March 2016

              Sound economic management? Please explain.

            • @ Oliver – Okay, you’ve got me!!! 😀 Nah, look, they were elected on a policy of status quo, conservative economic management and they’ve pretty much stuck to that through GFC and Chch earthquake. 🙂 It’s steady-as-she-goes neoliberal-mixed welfare economy, right? Half-steam ahead … :-/

              And there’s a junior cabin boy up in the crow’s nest watching or icebergs, while Warner Bros dance on the bow deck … 😦 [Hmmm, I can run with this analogy] … and foreigners occupy all the best cabins while ‘steerage’ is full of trapped Kiwis and migrant labour … :-/ [I can’t help saying stuff like that even if I don’t believe it, sorry]

              National weren’t elected, for instance, to manage Auckland house prices, were they? Or to intervene in dairy payouts? Or to radically adjust incomes for more equality? Or even to deal with poverty, although they’ve very kindly offered to do this in an extremely limited way … 😎

            • damn … watching “for” icebergs …

            • Iceberg

               /  28th March 2016

              That’s an astute summary, even if all those emoji’s make me want to poke pins in my eyes.

        • John Schmidt

           /  28th March 2016

          They managed NZ through the financial crisis without have to resort to austerity measures. They figured out a way to pay for all the expenditure that the previous Labour government had setup that was starting to bite the economy on the change of government. They are figuring out how to adjust income so that national super remains unaffected, they have managed the Chch rebuild and added that cost to the economy which they figured out a way to pay for and eventually return the books to surplus. They have reduced unemployment, they have assisted thousands of previously unemplyable people into employment, they have reduced the crime rate, they are making schools accountable for education failures, sorry I apologise you only asked for one.

          Reply
  7. kiwi dave

     /  28th March 2016

    just stating the obvious – it’s a LONG time to 2017 election!

    Reply
    • John Schmidt

       /  28th March 2016

      A week is a long time in politics, just ask Andrew how it’s been going recently.

      Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  28th March 2016

    It seems that there is a portion (about 40% ?) who will love Key regardless of what he does.. (like Trump said ‘could shoot someone & still be popular’ (paraphrased))
    BUT there is still the old saying.. ‘Give him enough rope…’ & I think that day is drawing ever closer.. hopefully very soon ! 🙂

    Methinks the ‘Cult of Key’ days are numbered 😀

    Reply
  9. Yawwwnnnnnnnnn

    Andrew Little is the answer? Yeah, nah.

    Nicky Hager vindicated….. this one always makes me laugh… he won the elction for National in 2014…but i suppose it served the Greens purposes of sitting in opposition being holier than Thou all the time without ever having to make any hard choices and decisions…

    Jihadi bribes… yip. Not a great look… should have said kiwi citizens left from Aussie to serve as sex toys and baby factories for blood thirsty lunatics….

    The polls still show a poor set of scenarios for Labour and the Greens. Maybe Winnie gets to be king maker, maybe he even ends up PM for a year before being given a cushie job entertaining at some embassy somewhere… and then NZ First dies

    2017 still looks like a National lead government as a Labour/Greens coalition is relatively easy to attack and paint as anarchy waiting to happen…

    Reply
    • kiwi dave

       /  28th March 2016

      2 females with NZ passports fly out of australia – hardly what I would call jihadi brides! What a pathetic beatup by the msm

      Reply
      • John Schmidt

         /  28th March 2016

        The whole pont that Kitteridge was making is that this was something new and that they did not yet know what it means in terms of future impact, commentary seems to have overlooked this important part of what she said preferring instead to turning the whole thing into something that it wasn’t.

        Reply
  10. Corky

     /  28th March 2016

    “So with accumulating negatives and no major positive gains how long can Key’s popularity stay alive in the polls and in the electorate?”

    Maybe Key could try:

    1- A good budget in May. Cut deep into Labour territory again.

    2- Spin the supposed Obama visit for all its worth. Have the Prez doing the haka and joining Pickled Possum on the marae up North to make Rewena bread. That’s incumbent on the Secret Service not panicking with so many native people around. We wouldn’t want them to take the marae out.

    3)- Talk of a successor to his leadership. A flawed plan, but better than nothing.

    4- Mentor the new All Blacks with plenty of publicity shots.

    3-If things start sliding significantly, go to the polls early. Nothing like catching Andy in his jocks. Or the Left ruminating on the glorious win awaiting them eight months down the track.

    Reply
    • I predict what popularity John Key may lose on Flag Consideration and Jihadi Brides he will make up for in sympathy vote from his ardent supporters. His popularity, as always, will remain more-or-less the same regardless of what he does; his true legacy IMO. That’s what I’ll say about him in years to come after I’ve forgotten all policy and projects.

      I wonder if this has ever been the case before with a politician?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th March 2016

        If the Left want to know where Key gets his Teflon from they need only look at themselves and the gulf between him and their politicians.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th March 2016

          At least four downtickers don’t want to look at themselves. Can’t say I blame them. It’s not a pretty sight.

          Reply
        • @ Alan – It might have something to do with the very strong implication in yours that a Teflon Politician is a good and desirable thing?

          I wasn’t one of the downtickers by the way. You have a negative following here. Oliver, by contrast, has a considerable positive following, hence 6 upticks for his “Key is responsible for the GFC” comment above … (I exaggerate) … dairy downturn, inequality, housing crisis etc. KDS and KRAS are both actual syndromes.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  28th March 2016

            Of course I know I have a negative following – I enjoy it. Key is Teflon because the alternatives are not in the same class, so whether this is good depends on whether the option considered is someone much worse or much better alternatives.

            Reply
  11. Major Project: The Social Investment strategy.

    If that works as Key and English envisage then that will make a huge impact in human and monetary terms…. targeting children and people trapped in bad situations, then spending in a targeted holistic manner to lift them out of those situations. Not just throwing money at people but wrapping a service delivery model around them and lift them up – I like the concept and I hope it works…

    The reason people like Garner won’t raise this MAJOR policy is quite simple. Its a slow burn, long term strategy which doesn’t have associated horrible pictures of people suffering or missing out on something. So no good for their ratings, no good for outrage talk back radio….

    A major issue in NZ political life is the reef fish behaviour of our journalists and their obsession with outrage, cause dejour reporting

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th March 2016

      Well said and exactly right, Dave.

      Reply
      • @ Dave – Social Investment strategy? Yes, possibly, with reservations. However, I’d find it difficult to employ the word “exactly”. Your comments about journos and professional commentators are right on target IMO.

        “‘Re-Imagining Social Work’, a volunteer collective … has cited the Government’s review of Child, Youth and Family as another example of the “continuing roll out of the National Government’s ‘investment approach’ to marketise and privatise health and social services.”

        “NZCCSS [Christian Social Services] commissioned a report in order to better understand how community-based and community-focussed organisations make a difference and how they add value to their communities above and beyond the funded outcome. NZCCSS strongly urges the development of funding strategies that recognise and reward this added value.”

        https://nzfvc.org.nz/news/ministry-social-development-announces-new-funding-strategy-first-social-bond-introduced

        “Let’s hope the Productivity Commission can produce a system that understands and values the existing relationships of organisations, the expertise and connectedness that exits within the community sector and how strong and capable community organisations contribute to strong and resilient communities. Communities which support and foster whānau and family wellbeing and provide networks of positive interdependence. In a time of such sweeping change it is important that any purchasing system recognizes the totality of an organisation’s contribution to wellbeing, not just a thin slice of its work focusing on how it may achieve a specified outcome.”

        “The demands which will be placed on community based social services are both broad … and deep (requiring changes in organisational thinking and operations). Where there is no more funding and certainly no ‘fat’ in community organisations’ operations how can this additional, complex restructuring be achieved? Government recognises and funds the cost of change within its own organisations. Let us hope that they will also fund the cost of change for the community based organisations which are critical to delivering essential social services.”

        http://community.scoop.co.nz/2015/04/sweeping-changes-for-social-services-3/

        This is aside from perhaps the most obvious question: As social services become increasingly private investment funded, will there be a commensurate reduction in taxation?

        Reply
        • PNZ – as this wasn’t addressed to me I didn’t see.

          I don’t care whether public, ngo or private for profit organisations lift children out of dire situations and set them on a path to self reliance outside of a bleak, probably criminal future.

          English has said he will spend money when a provider demonstrates an ability to achieve outcomes…. doesn’t mean privatising is the only model. The Sallies aren’t in it for the money for instance.

          Current methods are failing – you know that. New options need trying. Cycles of welfare dependency, gang families, troubled youth and life as a non productive citizen need breaking…

          More power to Bill English and his compassionate rational approach… less power to the wowsers who have feed on the mouldy corpse of ruined futures while peddling the same failed approaches for the last 30 odd years

          Reply
  12. Pythagoras

     /  28th March 2016

    “So with accumulating negatives and no major positive gains how long can Key’s popularity stay alive in the polls and in the electorate?”

    The answer is: until the opposition can come up with a viable alternative. Key and co should have lost the last election – there is so much dislike for Key, National and their way of doing business – but the opposition parties could not get their act together.

    It’s a popularity contest based on personality and charisma, and Key wins hands down. He is the only reason National is in power. Look at what happened when Bill English was in charge – competent and well meaning he may be, but charisma not an ounce. Steven Joyce or Gerry Brownlee? No way will National be re-elected with either of those two stooges in charge. And that is the problem Labour has at the moment – no leader with any personal charm. Labour just needs one person who can take on Key. No one comes close to matching Key at the moment, so a fourth term is Key’s for the taking, if he wants it.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  28th March 2016

      Pretty much sums the situation up possibly extended to who has the more capable ministers which is National by a long shot – Grant Robertson for Finance Minister anybody?

      Reply
  13. Zedd

     /  28th March 2016

    Its interesting that Key was once a quite a ‘big wig’ at Merrill Lynch…

    He often likes to blame the financial woes of NZ & the world on the GFC.. which, with a little research show that USAs big banks & Fin. institutions were ‘responsible for creating’.. guess which company is one, of the list of these companies ?! :/ 😦
    * maybe a little knowledge IS power ???

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th March 2016

      Do a little more research and you will find it was politicians and bureaucrats that were principally responsible for the GFC. Yes some private institutions and individuals behaved badly and concealed the crap and sold it to others but the politicians and bureaucrats created the crap.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  28th March 2016

        @AW

        I’m not trying to place blame.. BUT my last line says it all. (IMHO)

        I remember hearing a saying (could be ‘The cynics mantra’):
        ‘Believe half of what you see & NOTHING of what you hear” esp. in msm ! :/

        I watched a doco. mainly about ‘Goldman-Sachs’ (but also the other Wall street ‘Robber Barons’) who effectively created the GFC (for their own ‘purposes’) & many of the top people walked away with massive ‘bonuses’ (it said many now, apparently have property in.. wait for it… Hawaii).. whilst the rest of the world are still feeling the ripples from it… & suffering the damage :/ enough said 😦

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  28th March 2016

          Might’ve been that Al Jazeera doco – the Bank that Rules the World. GS & other financial industry executives were appointed the US Federal Reserve & the Treasury Department by the Bush administration & through their private sector banking-$$-blinkers and refusal to reign in a dangerously overcooked & speculative finanical sector created the conditions for the GFC, then organised the federal bailouts of their own failed banks.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  28th March 2016

            The crap were the bad loans that the politicians forced Freddie and Fannie to make which went belly up as soon as the Fed inevitably raised interest rates. That caused the failure of all the bizarre instruments that had been created to conceal them. The consequential collapse of property markets around the world caused the collapse of the finance companies which were funding uncompleted property developments.

            Reply

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