Tuesday 5 April 2011

At least he seems nice

Let me put it this way. Key is perhaps the only politician on the planet from a right-of-centre party who can make British Prime Minister David Cameron look like a small government, low-spending man of action.
James Allan in The Spectator (Australia); the online edition should be out on Friday. I hope the Spectator doesn't mind that I've put up a scan in the meantime; I will put the link up when it's out.

The Kiwis need a David Cameron

I'm a bit less pessimistic than James. We've heard encouraging noises on a few policy fronts.

Key is far better for having failed to embrace various stupidities that might have otherwise tempted Labour than for having done much to reverse prior policies. Labour is going into the 2011 election about as weak as it will ever be. If Key sees this as a chance to increase his majority rather than as an opportunity to campaign on a really meaty platform, I'd start buying shares on the emergence of a new right wing party. But I'm currently short.


  1. Incredibly accurate summation from afar. I think Keys advisors underestimate the appetite for change. I work in construction and the vast majority voted National last time and the consensus is the only achievements Key has made have been maori ones (not particularly popular).Your average dumb builder knows interest free student loans were an unaffordable election bribe,WFF should be wound back and that a bit of mining makes a lot of sense, also English should be fired.

  2. @David That suggests then that the appetite shouldn't be for change. If your average dumb builder really does want those things they would be much more likely to get them under National, aside from English not being in office of course. Labour isn't likely to wind back WFF, do away with interest free student loans, or expand mining on the conservation estate. I would expect Labour to repeal the tax cuts for higher income earners before they would tinker with any of those things.

    I suspect that in fact there isn't much appetite for change. Eric's work on the unsophistication of voters in this country might well surprise you, your average voter is dreadfully uninformed, and makes choices at election time for reasons which generally have very little to do with policy platforms.

  3. @David, Lats: If we're lucky, Key agrees that bigger change is needed and wanted to build a strong reputation for keeping to promises during the first term; he'll then promise and enact substantive reforms for second term. Budget will be interesting.

  4. Great article up until the last 5 paragraphs of electoral system nonsense.

    James Allan also appears to have missed the fact that National + ACT have a comfortable majority at the moment, National simply chose to bring the Maori party into coalition with them, thereby destroying ACT's chances of pushing National very far in the right direction (pun intended).

    I'd tend to agree that their is little appetite for change (although my opinion of the average voter is woefully low), but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be change anyway.

  5. Just from general chatter at smoko. It is dumb to leave billions of dollars of minerals in the earth because a second rate actress thinks we should. It is an outrage that Smith passed the ETS with indecent haste and we are all still being welded by ACC. When we take our books into our accountants who charge like wounded bulls we are paying the interest on their student loans.
    I think there is a big appetite to have someone with a spine to lead the country. JK certainly has the goodwill to take NZ out for a spin and see what it can achieve.

  6. @David If it were simply because of Robyn Malcolm's outspoken opinion then I would agree with you. However the land in the conservation estate was put there because it was deemed to have significant environmental value. The difficulty comes when we try to weigh that value against that of mineral wealth underneath it. Yes, mining would create jobs, and a small percentage of the total mineral wealth would go to govt as royalties. I've seen 2% quoted as the possible figure. If the value of minerals under schedule 4 land is roughly the $56bn estimated* then the govt would stand to make in the order of $1.1bn from the royalties. Given that the govt is currently borrowing about $300m per week, that is a bit under 1 months worth of borrowing we could offset. I'm not convinced that the income gained would be worth the potential damage to land in national parks, etc. but thats because I'm a bit of a greenie at heart.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2809338/Crown-eyes-lucrative-mineral-potential-of-conservation-estate Note that of the potential $140bn roughly 40% is estimated to be under schedule 4 land, therefore $56bn.