What a week in politics, it seems beyond belief that we now have a new Prime Minister, the John Key resignation caught everyone by surprise, so much so that it still doesn’t quite make sense for me.
While most political commentators have accepted John Key’s excuse that he was exhausted and wanted to spend more time with his family, I have my doubts. Key was invincible, when the critics said he would be “toast” because he was pulling a waitress’s hair, he confounded them when he stayed strong in the polls. In fact, “ponygate” added substance to the view that he was untouchable, and without doubt “Teflon John”.
This was the same after he failed to get a flag change - Key refused to back away from the view that was NZ had to have a flag that reflected NZ today - not Great Britain. It was a brave and risky stand from a National Party PM who represented a party that had a history of conservatism and loyalty to British culture. The majority of Kiwis said no to Key’s idea but he was not punished for his campaign in the polls - even though it cost taxpayers 26 million dollars.
No there was nothing that could stop Key’s popularity, not the flag, not pony gate, not even the Pike River mine disaster when he promised the families he would get their loved ones out.
Key was a phenomenon, and in fact, seemed to be getting stronger as we were heading into election year - then “Bang” out of nowhere came the resignation. So the question has to be surely, Why? How come Key suddenly wants to spend more time with his wife Bronagh? He talks about his family but his kids are now adults, Max is a local celebrity and looks a bit too busy these days to be seen hanging out with the old man, and daughter Stephie seems like she is doing her own thing in France, and being with Dad, well that looks like the last thing on her mind.
No - this family excuse doesn’t cut it for me, sorry John. It has to be something else. You see a politician of Keys standing was worth at least 5 percent to National the Key brand was that strong, in fact Rodney Hide says maybe 10 percent. Now, you take those percentages off the National Party and where do you think that leaves them? You got it, out of government.
It’s a whole new game now, and all because Key has resigned, so sorry I just can’t buy the family/exhaustion excuse. There has to be another reason - because as good a politician as new PM Bill English is, he ain’t “Teflon John”, and Labour will now be chomping at the bit as they look towards the election in 2017.
source: data archive