This might put a quizzical expression on the face of that old commie Jim Anderton, (who once headed the Progressive Party). It also emphatically brings home the truth that more people need to realise. When Key was in opposition he scorned so much of what Helen Clark was doing, but with Govt spending and taxation the highest it has ever been, the reality is John Key in govt is not that different to the Helen Clark he was once so critical of.
Of course Key claims a plethora of reasons for his change of tune, such as the MMP environment etc. However I suggest that is all just a smokescreen. The reason Key has not done as we who once supported him expected him to do is because he is a man without conviction. I know there are many who think I judge Key too harshly but I reject that criticism. Here’s one irrefutable reason why, and it is supported by Key’s own words from his twitter feed.
When Key was in opposition he made one call that I found at the time quite inspirational. He said that Helen Clark’s Working For Families legislation was “Communism by stealth”. That was right. It is. When I heard it I thought, “Wow, if this guy makes PM we’ll see some fireworks”. So what happened when Key was elected? Nothing other than making the situation worse, as the above tweet shows.
Now here is the real rub. Why Key can’t be trusted. When Key was asked in parliament by David Cunliffe why he had been unhappy with WFF in opposition, yet had not closed it down once he achieved govt. Key replied-
“because under the old tax system and abatement rates under the previous Labour Government, it was actually possible for people to lose more in abatement than they actually got“.
He then went on to say that as National had tinkered with the legislation, that situation no longer applied and he was happy therefore to continue WFF.
So think about that. Key in opposition called it “Communism by stealth” and said nothing about taxation abatement. But today its a good idea that just needed some tinkering by the National Party to make it work better.
So I think that is pretty clear. We’re left with only two possible conclusions. 1) Key never really believed WFF was “Communism by stealth”, and he is quite happy to continue it for reasons that are spurious at best. Or 2), Key did think it was “Communism by stealth”, but has decided to become a communist anyway. Has to be one or the other.
My humble opinion is this implausible excuse for changing his position demonstrates that Key is capable of rank deceit, and ever ready to put convenience before principle. To me, such a complete change of stance carried out so shamelessly can only mean the guy is a charlatan. The exchange between Key and Cunliffe is here if you wish to read it for yourself. And here’s another tweet from Key where he states with pride how the once conservative National Party is now “progressive”.
Someone once said that as a politician, “once you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made”. To me, Key has never looked sincere, but if the current polls are accurate, its clearly a ploy that has so far worked very well with a hell of a lot of other people. Many NZers may believe in his honest John persona, but it is very difficult for any reasonable person to deny Key’s duplicity in the matter of WFF.