Brian Edwards Media

$5 on Key to step down before the middle of next year thanks.

One of the pleasures of our daily morning walk around Ponsonby/Herne Bay is stopping and chatting to other locals enjoying their long blacks and flat whites outside the numerous restaurants and cafes. Politics is the most popular topic with left and right more or less equally represented. There are few arguments and, remarkably, few disagreements. While we each have our loyalties and preferences, none of us is one-eyed. This also goes some way to explaining why Michelle Boag and I rarely disagree when we’re on Jim Mora’s Panel. Reasonably intelligent people… an example of false modesty, since I actually think I’m hugely intelligent and Michelle is quite smart … reasonably intelligent people are likely to agree on most things.

Until recently the talk has been around David Shearer’s leadership of the Labour Party and his chances of being our next Prime Minister. The left/right consensus has been that Shearer is the wrong man for the job, but if he survives beyond mid-2013, he’s likely to get it anyway. A Labour-led coalition will win by default.

But the really interesting development among the Ponsonby/Herne Bay political intelligentsia is the number of right-wingers who expect John Key to stand down in the middle of next year. While I’m not going to risk $5 on iPredict, I’m reasonably sure there’s a more than 50:50 chance that they’re right. 

Reason One is that I don’t think John Key sees himself as, or is a career politician. He’s already on record as saying that if National loses the next election he’ll move on.

Reason Two is that Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand because being Prime Minister was on his bucket list: make it big on Wall Street; make 50 million bucks, become Prime Minister of New Zealand; write a book, star in a movie with Madonna; buy Queensland… And the thing with bucket lists is, when you’ve ticked each one off, you move on.  So this is really just another version of Reason One.

Reason Three is that bucket-list people are only interested in doing things that bring them pleasure. Key isn’t having fun anymore.. He has that ‘can’t be bothered’ look of someone who thought it was going to be all wine and roses – and for four years it was – but now finds that the wine has gone sour and the roses are wilting.

Reason Four is that it can only get worse. Who needs it? Who needs having to make a grovelling apology  in the House? Who needs being badgered by Gower and Garner and Soper and all those other smart-arsed pricks in the Gallery and having to be polite and keep your temper when you’d really like to tell them to shove their microphones up their arses? Who needs being lampooned daily by the cartoonists and lectured by the editorial writers in the press? Who needs having to depend on idiots and liars to keep your majority? Who needs any of it when you’ve got 50 grand in the bank (plus megabucks of interest) and could be touring the world with your lovely wife and children on your super yacht?

Which brings me to Reason Five. Unlike most Members of Parliament, Key has options. He has options galore.

But, mostly, I think Key looks over it – tired, jaded, disillusioned. Good god, you can’t even make a bloody joke about some fat German with the ridiculous name of Dotcom without it coming back to haunt you.

Watching Key replying half a dozen times to the same question put to him half a dozen times by Paddy Gower a night or so back, I was reminded of how I feel when I have a diabetic hypo – lethargic, listless, your energy just drains out of the bottom of your legs. Not a good feeling. Not a good sign.

Maybe I’ll invest that $5 on iPredict after all.

Oh, and I forgot Reason Six: Key doesn’t like to lose.

, , , , ,

88 Comments:

  1. An interesting thing is who will replace him when he leaves, whether sooner or later. Mr Key has made practically every other cabinet minister the fall guy for unpalatable policies to the point where no one likes any of them very much. He may have actually poisoned National’s political future for the short to medium term.

    BE: Crusher Collins perhaps? New Zealanders enjoy a good smacking.

  2. Oh, David…… I hate to think. :s

  3. Depends first on how much Key enjoys power and second his ego. Would it bother him to be seen as the PM who deserted the sinking ship? Love him or loathe him he is National’s best hope for 2014. And assuming National can still poll in the mid 40s at the next election I would not rule out an accommodation with Winston; Key to resign in return for Winston supporting National.

    If I were to put money on this it would be for Key to tough it out and see if he can win the election and then go regardless of the result.

    BE: I’m not sure that Key is enjoying power all that much at the moment. He’s something of a show pony, which I don’t object to at all, and having so many people suddenly dislike you doesn’t go down well with show ponies. Leaving the stage might be better than being sacked.

  4. …middle of next week really Brian, yip succession is the KEY problem, – he could get away with all this if he had not been so arrogant and out right rude, complete lack of manners…

  5. Maybe.

    But reason six, “Key doesn’t like to lose”, rightly implies there is a lot of steel behind the seeming lightness and insouciance.

    There seems still much for him to see through – partial asset sales, reforms of the social welfare system, continuing implementation of the “aspirational society”.

    BE: Seems paradoxical, I agree. But a dignified departure, along the lines “It probably is best to give somoeone else a go” might just seem better than voter rejection. I’m not claiming to be right here, by the way, just speculating on what seems to be a possibility.

  6. You’re absolutely right about Key – he’s not in it for the country, only for his own ego. Who would replace him? It’s looking like Steven Joyce, perhaps with John Ansell bringing all the old Act Party voters with him via his toxic new racist party. All the big hitters in The Hollow Men.

  7. The reference to a ‘bucket list’ with a stint at Prime Minister one item to tick off deals with his motivations. It’s early, but if this speculation is true, his next goal will be his memoirs (the book is the next item listed. He has more chance of this than the movie).

    Because ‘he has options’, perhaps he has something in common then with Sonny-Bill Williams, who was castigated for leaving the All Blacks this year to play rugby in Japan, after which he’s likely to turn out for a Sydney Rugby league club, continue to pursue a boxing career, and potentially return for the 2015 World Cup. There are elements of a bucket-list mentality in this, and much of the criticism deals with how he could have developed.

    While there is a difference between the two and how the public and media view them, the comparison is what agenda each figure has brought to their respective positions.

    Re: reason 1 – if Mr Key sees himself as a career politician, he will hang around, and the negative stuff would be accepted as ‘coming with the territory’ wouldn’t it?

  8. You are lucky in having had a holiday, the whole country is sick to death of Dotcom and the medias obsession with it. What is it with them, Helen signing a painting which was for charity, Banks and the tape recording and anything to do with Dotcom….the whole fourth estate latch onto something and do it to death.
    Most people have other things to worry about and would actually like to have the news reported for a change. It hugely excited the 5% tribal labour fans and outrages the 5% of Nats the other 90% of the population think the media are children. Key probably reflects the majority of NZ being over the whole thing.

  9. Bucket list.

    I suspect that is Keys real motivation in becoming PM, he certainly new he could buy the ticket. The fallout for National could be crippling though.

    I predict the ‘polls’ over the next 12 months will decide it for Key. Its pretty much 50/50 at the moment, Key the gambler will know when to raise or fold.

  10. Wishful thinking always makes for a good giggle and enjoyable read. The thing about men who have achieved conventional measures of societal success (money made) is few, if any, have enough control of their ego to move before they get shoved.

    Middle of next year? I doubt it.

    What I will hazard a guess at is… there will be an early election and that it will come on a holiday weekend which has a history of shitty weather. And yes unlike so many other ex MP’s or PM’s our current Prime Minister has considerable options beyond politics and regardless of your political persuasion, all power to him for creating them.

    Whether you like him or not, he is a self made man with a phenomenal and pragmatic understanding of power politics. Anybody who underestimates or forgets that, does so at their own peril.

  11. Couldn’t agree more
    Joyce will take over with a fight with Collins

  12. The honeymoons been over for a while and the chickens are coming back to roost.The clip of him on Campbell Live re The Pike River families promise said it all.Im putting my money on Paula Bennet,the amount of *#!!! shes been shoveling, she must have been promised something substantial.

  13. 13

    $5? Youre not quite chancing your arm there, brian, perhaps a yakuza sized fingertip. I think key looks sick of it too, but i suspect he dislikes quitting as well as losing. I’ll take your wager.

    BE: You’re on, Patrick.

  14. Could well be that “Get a Knighthood” is next on his bucket list.
    To get away with awarding himself one, he really needs to “serve” the full term.

  15. Add knighthood to the bucket list

  16. Good grief! I think I agree with you. (a slight worry).

    The bucket list analogy is apt.

    Key wants to go back home to to the USA sometime soon.

    Key is acclimatised to Wall Street.

    Key is acclimatised to Hollywood.

    Key is acclimatised to Hawaii.

    Key is not acclimatised to New Zealand.

  17. I think you underestimate David Shearer, Brian. The next government will be a coalition of the left and needs someone to meld all the strong personalities and staunch policy positions together. Someone with a history of peacemaking in conflict situations, who is without a big ego, and who is happy to let many MPs shine, seems ideally suited to the job.

  18. 18

    I’ve been predicting an early departure since before the last election, although I could never say exactly when. My $5 would bet that the next item on Key’s bucket list is to chair the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Everyone thought James T Hackett of Anadarko was here about oil. However, Anadarko was already set up in NZ. He was here to ask Key how soon he’d be avaialable for Hackett’s old job. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors appoints 3 people to every Fed Board – and one of them is always the Chair. Key has already worked for the Federal Reserve of New York.

  19. “Add knighthood to the bucket list”.

    I would venture to say — that the majority of those who voted for Key, are hugely disappointed in him. He’s devolved into a Man o’ Straw, constructing a house of cards against a backdrop of smoke-and-mirrors.

    The only reason John Key reinstated the Honours system, was to ensure he got himself knighted when he vacates. This dilettante needs to find another pastime to amuse himself.

  20. i agree with patrick smellie…i’m sure Key is sick of trying to do his best but i don’t think quitting is in his lexicon…to do so would relegate him to history as a loser and he hasn’t come this far and put up with so much ungrateful crap
    to be remembered that way….but steven joyce will be the next Nat. leader…it’s just when?

  21. @ Gypsum

    “I would venture to say — that the majority of those who voted for Key, are hugely disappointed in him. He’s devolved into a Man o’ Straw, constructing a house of cards against a backdrop of smoke-and-mirrors….this dilettante needs to find another pastime to amuse himself”.

    I voted agin him in 2008, but for him in 2011, and I have no regrets about the latter decision. One thing I do regret though was having the cliché alarm on my computer set to automatic. Your post produced a heart-attack inducing alarm – “Woop, woop! Pull up! Incoming mangled metaphor alert!”

    Sorry, I know I’m in the minority around here in supporting Mr Smile and Wave, and you are all entitled to your viewpoint, and a forum to express it.

    However, if you are going to take a shot at Key, I’d at value my it if my prejudices were at challenged by some thoughtful analysis, like the original post that inspired this thread…

  22. “Reasonably intelligent people… an example of false modesty, since I actually think I’m hugely intelligent and Michelle is quite smart … reasonably intelligent people are likely to agree on most things.”

    Sounds like urban liberal sclerosis to me.

  23. and what’s more he’s made a shit job and some one who is so confident of his abilities won’t like that either. Christchurch Earthquake…what’s that? you can almost hear coming out of his mouth as he swans about looking sympathetic in Japan’s worst hit areas. He’s a disgrace.

  24. Brian, I’ll see your $5 and raise you $5.

    I reckon he won’t quite before the next election.
    He will have too much pressure on him from Nat strategists to stay, he’s the only option they have.

    He will most likely lose the election but not by a humiliating margin – enough to keep some honor – then a knighthood and off to the US to run a small banking empire.

    Bonus question – Assuming the Nats lose the election what will Bill English do – will he do a Cullen?

  25. @ Kimbo

    “However, if you are going to take a shot at Key, I’d at value my it if my prejudices were at challenged by some thoughtful analysis, like the original post that inspired this thread…”

    Said he wouldn’t raise GST; did.
    Said he’d tackle the rising rate of unemployment to stem the exodus to Australia; hasn’t.
    Said he’d repeal the anti-smacking legislation; didn’t.
    Said that NZers right to the foreshore and seabed wouldn’t be compromised; is.
    Said that ongoing and outrageous Treaty claims wouldn’t be entertained; are.
    Said that no expense would be spared in recovery of the deceased at Pike River; recanted.
    Said he wouldn’t shmooze up to the Maori Party when he invited them to be a coalition partner; has.(Climbs into bed with them, and gets the pricker when they want their turn to be “on top”).

    “Thoughful” enough, for you?

    John Key is ‘all things to all people’; your typical fairweather friend, where the whole is less the sum of its parts. Mr. Smile and Wave, indeed.

    Your computer alarm, whooping?

    Where you are befuddled and hopelessly lost in whiteout, I can make out the terrain.

  26. I agree with the assessment – tired, jaded, disillusioned. It is interesting to have a PM who does flip from bouncing from cloud to cloud to snippy and weary. My memory of Helen Clark was of a confident, positive but not exactly exuberant persona (the real Helen may be different).

    To add to your reasons I think genuinely he believed the mantra about cutting taxes to “make the boat go faster”. There really was no Plan B.

  27. Word of wagering seems to have gone to the top:

    Jessica Mutch TVNZ ‏@MutchJessica
    John Key says he’ll put money on the fact he’ll still be here at the next election.

  28. @ Gypsum

    “Where you are befuddled and hopelessly lost in whiteout, I can make out the terrain.”

    He he he. Good and amusing response – and thanks for taking the time for a thoughtful response.

    My knee-jerk response is to dismiss or rationalise some of those, but rather than bog down in a tedious rebuttal (which isn’t really the purpose of this thread) I’ll give your reasons some more intelligent (assuming here I can aspire to the Edwards/Boag level!) consideration.

  29. @ Gypsum
    “Where you are befuddled and hopelessly lost in whiteout, I can make out the terrain.”
    As you see it, from your perspective.

  30. If a knighthood’s on his bucket list that’s another reason for him to resign mid term. Seems very unlikely a Labour-led government would recommend him for one.

  31. Hey, Brian — word around the traps, is that Tui’s creative director is about to be DCM’d.

    With renderings, such as this:

    “I’m hugely intelligent and Michelle is quite smart”, you need to get your application in.

  32. Could someone who has been PM for one and a half terms get a knighthood? Certainly Key expects to be known as The Right Honorable Prime Minister Sir John Key and I expect that he will expect that his son and daughter address him so even when asking to pass the butter.
    That will be his compelling reason for him to hang on as a show pony, even with his tail feathers dragging in the mud.

  33. “I’m not sure that Key is enjoying power all that much at the moment.”

    I tend to agree but I also think he is likely to see out the 3 year term.Yes, Key has said that if National loses the next election he’ll move on. But resigning early is different from an election loss. Why would he resign next year? Things would have to get considerably worse for him and/or National before he’d contemplate stepping down before his time is up.

  34. “John Key says he’ll put money on the fact he’ll still be here at the next election.”

    Yeah but if he does step down next year he’ll have forgotten that he ever made that comment.

  35. ““John Key says he’ll put money on the fact he’ll still be here at the next election.”

    Yeah but if he does step down next year he’ll have forgotten that he ever made that comment”.

    Yes, but do you actually have it on tape – or was it wiped?

  36. How about a long term wager?

    1. John Key stays on, wins 2014 (marginally).

    2. Shearer is dumped after 2014.

    3. Grant Robertson takes over (after a battle with Cunliffe, who then resigns).

    4. Labour win 2017 and Grant Robertson becomes next Labour Prime Minister.

    5. Joyce takes over National.

    6. Labour win 2020.

    7. 2021 Joyce is dumped and Simon Bridges becomes leader of National.

    8. 2023 Simon Bridges becomes next National Prime Minister.

    Bottle of Lagavulin to me if I’m right. Bottle of your choice to you if I’m wrong. What say you?

  37. Hang on – switch over 4 and 5.

  38. Oh Nick. God save New Zealand.

  39. Mr Key is aging rapidly, as the going gets rough and tough,
    and he realises the job is a lot more lonely than he thought. It has also dawned on him he is surrounded by incompetent and mendacious dolts within parliament and government agencies. He’ll go when it suits, and he has lined up a knighthood and future chances of being Govenor-General. Or he may take a leaf out of Helen Clark’s book and get a UN job. Then he could hob knob with the famous, as he loves to do. Then again, he might want to be Pope. Can we expect a quick conversion to Catholicism and promotion to Glory? Pope John, from lowly NZ origins. It would have a fine ring to a man with a colossal ego.

  40. “I voted agin him in 2008, but for him in 2011, and I have no regrets about the latter decision.”

    Thats alright Kimbo, no ones asking you to say sorry.

  41. Whenever he leaves us to go home will be to NZs benefit
    God help us however if Joyce is left behind
    Ps can be also take Jerry as most of ChCh. Need some relief.

  42. 42

    Make some Noise For The Desi Boyz

    With all the going-ons with National, lurching from fumbling to bumbling, and Labour can’t make headway. Just unable to coalesce into an effective Opposition. Sun’s been out for ages, and they can’t make hay.

  43. Ianmac

    I am still trying to get my head around

    “a show pony… dragging his tail feathers in the mud”

    Presumably female show ponies do not possess tail feathers?

  44. Maybe his bucket list includes procuring our other state assets for his mates and his blind trust. you know, the “not while I’m prime minister” ones.

  45. Joyce – sheesh, shurely not a real choice. After all, what has he really done apart from making a pile in commercial radio (perhaps not all that hard if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, and hardly an enhancement of the nation’s well being) and destroy the civil service with the deranged superministry concept (definitely to the country’s detriment).

    As for your cosy relationship with the Boagthing Brian, perhaps you need to get out more? Why not drive out to Otara and see if you can get a decent coffee in the chopping centre? Perhaps lunch in Manurewa? Afternoon tea in Clendon Town? There is life beyond swapping greets with all the other phoneys in Herne Bay and Poncey. And of course notes on hols in Greece or wherever it was. What next; hobnobbing in Howick with Cameron Slater?

  46. “Thats alright Kimbo, no ones asking you to say sorry”.

    Doesn’t do any harm to put your biases up front and centre, so that everyone can see where you are coming from.

    Also is a good starting point for questioning and examining one’s own biases, in the hope of maybe transcending one’s own subjectivity.

    Try it some time, Kat. You may be surprised by the results.

    Or gnomic, who seems to be in danger of spontaneously self-combusting as a result of the raging incandescence of his internalised self-righteous take on class-warfare…

  47. Dearest Kimbo

    Exalted felicitations and bountiful happiness and glorious fulfillment throughout today, and every day of your life.

    I think, that you are being a little harsh towards ‘gnomic’, who is making the observation — and accurate at that — that the ‘venerable doctor’ is seeing the political landscape through his rose tinted specs, by only conversing with folk from an entrenched socio-economic group with the attendant age demographic, to boot — that is, affluent middle-aged pakehas.

    It’s a very safe bet, that there were no Islanders, Indians, Asians, Inuits and/or unemployed and unemployable, welfare beneficiaries etc in his street banter “How do you do” survey, whilst he and his lovely wife strolled around their leafy domain.

  48. The sad thing about John Key is his Cabinet and party MPs seem to be entirely dependent on his performance to ensure they stay in government. (perhaps similar to the Helen Clark era when Labour’s popularity waxed and then waned on the back of her leadership poll ratings).

    What does that say about voters’ desire for so-called ‘strong’ leadership determining how they’ll vote?

  49. Hello Victor,

    I’ll confess, as I’ve posted before that I once took the good doctor for a…what is the technical term?…”chardonnay socialist”. You may also notice I occasionally express disagreement with his views. Sometimes strongly so.

    However, as he has mentioned in passing on a number of occasions (and in a modest way to illustrate the point he was making at the time, and not to blow his trumpet), he does spend time doing good deeds at the educational coal face of South Auckland and the City Mission. Real time, Victor, not photo op stuff. Also, I took the time to take up his invitation to read his biography.

    So due to your lack of “research”, and your failure to pay attention in class, I do not find you are “accurate”, nor do you have much idea of what is a “safe bet”. Instead you are presumptuous. I believe the technical term is “prat”.

    I now pause for a minute, and ponder, gnomic and Victor. I ask (but do not presume), that maybe, just maybe, due to the striving earnest nature of your posts, which spilled over into intemperance of both concept and phrase (although I compliment you for the attempted elegance of your prose, Victor) that your actual practical involvement with “the poor” extends to little more than a cursory acquaintance? However, as a collective platonic concept they are a useful and emotionally self-satisfying ideological punchline. The technical term to describe you both is “try-hards”.

    I tentatively draw this conclusion because your statements about the cardboard cut-outs that supposedly constitute the residents of Ponsonby/Herne Bay, are actually inverse snobbery posing as “working class cred”, which mask an essential misanthropy. That tentative conclusion is supported by your fixation on one detail of the doctors post, and yet that detail (the residents of Ponsonby/Herne Bay) was not germane to his primary point. Let’s hope the good doctor and his wife can still sleep safe at night, despite the knowledge that evidence is being collected of inappropriate associations with the bourgeoisie, leading to suspected counter-revolutionary ideological contamination.

    I also note that both you and gnomic, albeit with differing ways of administering your vitriol whilst supposedly rallying to the cause of the marginalised/dispossessed are focusing on the good doctor’s lack of ideological orthodoxy – rather than the deeds that he does. Reminds me why I forsook the left wing politics of my youth a number of years ago. Too many blowhards (that also is a technical term) talking a big game, but doing very little in practice.

    But as you and gnomic seem determined to run your own version of the ‘People’s Front of Judaea’ scene from “The Life of Brian”, and as we’ve already had the accusation of “splitters”, can you kindly wait a minute…I need to get some popcorn before settling in, as this promises to be entertaining…

  50. Kimbo

    “‘There seems still much for [Key] to see through – partial asset sales, reforms of the social welfare system, continuing implementation of the “aspirational society”.”

    and lest we forget ‘catching up with Australia’

    ” Despite a deficit lagging $8 billion behind Australia’s surplus, Prime Minister John Key insists New Zealand is catching up with its trans-Tasman neighbour.

    Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan last night unveiled a A$1.5b (NZ$1.9b) surplus.

    New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English will unveil his Budget in a fortnight, with no net new spending and facing revenue streams that have fallen $1.5b behind forecast.

    Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March released yesterday showed a deficit at $6.1b, ahead of the $5.3b forecast.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6885068/Key-We-can-catch-up-to-Australia

  51. “Thats alright Kimbo, no ones asking you to say sorry.”

    “I predict the ‘polls’ over the next 12 months will decide it for Key. Its pretty much 50/50 at the moment, Key the gambler will know when to raise or fold.”

    Kat; babe you are on FIRE!

  52. Kimbo dear what elegant ad hominem attacks you’re treating us with today.

    Would it be to much to ask for you to detail what beneficent activities through which you selflessly help “the poor”?

    Or is such slumming beneath you and best left to the “prat[s]”, “try-hards” and “blowhards”?

    p.s Money where mouth is: I do IT and have a policy of offering superseded hardware and my skillz to community groups and less than well off families. I also volunteer for two conservation groups.

  53. Stop being daft, Kimbo. The fact that DBE is or is not a chardonnay socialist (I don’t think so myself) has nothing to do with the real existence of groupthink among the urban liberal elite (of which he is most surely a member) of all major political persuasions.

    Talking with such folk about politics is, in my experience, much like talking to a congregation about the veracity of religion.

  54. The killer blow fell on election night last year and has screamed from every pampered pore ever since. Power retained by the merest ugly fingernail of Epsom electoral corruption and the childlike fantasy of Kirk- or Savage-like immortal veneration gone in a flash.

    Going listlessy through the noisome motions; surrounded by fools, the greasy hulk of Joyce breathing whiskey and ambition down his neck.

  55. “So due to your lack of “research”, and your failure to pay attention in class,..”

    Now, you just tai ho for a mo’, Kimbo.
    Who’s being presumptuous here? FYI, I already know’d that the good doctor’s ventured deep into the Darklands of South Auckland, to do some educational stuff with the disadvantaged. And, I also know’d, he done volunteered on Christmas Day, to serve lunch to the needy (as well as the not-so-needy). So there!

    Without seeming to diminish — or to demean — BE’s philanthropic bent, if I were to forgo some of my parking change to a down ‘n’ outer decamped on the footpath outside the City Mission, does that make me eligible for a Mother Theresa Award?

    With regard to BE’s sampling group — where he gleaned his musings — I’ll maintain my line, that: Everyone he spoke to on his many walks, had the skin pigmentation to that of an albino’s.

  56. “and lest we forget ‘catching up with Australia’”

    Gypsum did already allude to that when s/he said, “Said he’d tackle the rising rate of unemployment to stem the exodus to Australia; hasn’t”.

    However, thanks for the clarification, Luke.

    Personally I’d put statistical and social targets in small export-dependent country in a different category to failure to implement promised policy. Which is why I’m prepared to cut the PM who made the following some slack: -

    One of the government’s top priorities of recent years has been to return New Zealand incomes, defined as GDP per capita, to the top half of the OECD rankings (see, for example, Clark, 2001, and Cullen, 2002). In response to this laudable goal, the Treasury showed that “to reach the median OECD income per capita would require an unprecedented increase in the average annual rate of economic growth” and considered that New Zealand’s ranking was likely to slip further (Mawson and Scobie, 2001). New Zealand’s ranking indeed fell from 20th highest income per capita in the OECD in 1999 to 21st by 2004 and 22nd by 2006 (OECD, 2008).

    nzier.live.egressive.com/sites/nzier.live.egressive.com/files/WP2008-03%20Catching%20up%20with%20Australia.pdf

    Which is why a more prudent judge may want to consider the unavoidable weather that strikes, irrespective of the personality and skills of the captain at the helm.

    GFC.

    Christchurch earthquake.

    I realise that is unlikely to convince you, Luke, or the usual critics of Key who like to congregate in this meeting place (do we also constitute a groupthink among the urban liberal elite of all major political persuasions, Lee Churchman?). Fair enough.

    Nevertheless that is why Key still retains his popularity amongst those who voted for him in 2008 and 2011.

    I don’t make the rules, I just report them.

  57. @ Victor

    “Now, you just tai ho for a mo’, Kimbo.
    Who’s being presumptuous here?…I already know’d that the good doctor’s ventured deep into the Darklands of South Auckland, to do some educational stuff with the disadvantaged…With regard to BE’s sampling group — where he gleaned his musings — I’ll maintain my line, that: Everyone he spoke to on his many walks, had the skin pigmentation to that of an albino’s”.

    You may well be right on the latter, Victor. However, as you jumped into a debate (“I think that you are being a little harsh towards ‘gnomic’”) which gnomic had already framed incorrectly: -

    “perhaps you need to get out more? Why not drive out to Otara…Manurewa…Clendon Town? There is life beyond swapping greets with all the other phoneys in Herne Bay and Poncey”

    …then I’d suggest your failure to connect the good doctor’s peripatetic wanderings throughout the dispossessed suburbs in question reflects poorly on your ability to think the issue through logically.

    As does also your question, “does that make me eligible for a Mother Theresa Award?”. It is not moot to the discussion, indeed you are arguing about a side-issue to a side-issue.

    The doctor thinks John Key will likely resign as PM before the next election. As an antidote to his biases, he is wise enough to test his hypothesis on those he runs into in his ordinary course of events who have differing political perspectives to his own. The only purpose was the establishment of a bit of credibility for his unscientific poll. It gives a measure of assurance to those of us with differing political perspectives from the doctor that he not just flying a kite, but there are others, presumably Key supporters, who think likewise.

    The issue, Victor, is not whether Key is doing a good job, is delivering good government, or is assisting the marginalised sufficiently, or whether you are for or agin him. Whether you are rich, poor, high, middle, or low income is irrelevant to the issue: Do you think John Key will step down before the middle of next year?

    For his trouble the doctor was branded a class traitor, and when a third party seeks to expose the foolishness of that accusation, you injected yourself on gnomic’s behalf. That is your choice, but for the reasons I have explained, it should be clear why I hold gnomic view in contempt, as I also do your attempt to run interference and obfuscation on his/her behalf.

    Tell you what. I’ll pass on your sarcastic rhetorical face-saving attempt of a question re Mother Theresa, and assist you by re-asking another, to assist in your obvious difficulty keeping your eye on the ball:

    Do you think Key will step down before the middle of next year?

  58. You know Brian you would probably ‘slap my hand,’ but I was reading a UK Astrologers prediction made some years ago about John Key .. and she said he would leave mid term as well.

  59. @ Luke

    “Would it be to much to ask for you to detail what beneficent activities through which you selflessly help “the poor”?”.

    No it wouldn’t. Yes I do. My main hobby is voluntary work for an incorportated society that assists Polynesian at-risk youth in particular, to make the transition from school to fully-functioning adulthood.

    However, I enjoy it so much, I don’t really consider it work. Which is why I’d usually refrain from mentioning it. However, as you called me out…

    But a genuine, “good on you” re your action and activities.

    I’m intrigued, though, why you singled out my post as “ad hominem”, when gnomic and Victor Marseuss fired the first shots at BE’s conversation partners?

  60. Interesting, but I agree with Kat, shocking as that may seem. I doubt a lot of the other characterizations in these comments are accurate and suspect they say more about their authors than Key.

    If he has a dominant characteristic, I suspect it is a desire to surprise. So if the chattering class expect him to quit then my guess is he won’t.

  61. Interesting….. I’ve been thinking along these lines for about 6 months. So your perambulations and conversations are beginning to resonate with my own. My totally biased view is that I hope he jumps sooner rather than getting the Wellingtonian boot come the G.E. ( giant experiment ).For the greater good, of course, but alas I fear not.

  62. John Key’s departure date will be decided by the Labour caucus.

    As long as Shearer stays, Key stays. If your adversary is aiming at his own foot, why walk away from the gunfight?

  63. Key is a creature of Wall Street.

    He will cut a deal that suits him best.

    At the moment he is considering what is on the table and what might yet arrive.

    Does care about New Zealanders? No.

  64. @ Kimbo

    “Do you think Key will step down before the middle of next year?”

    No. Not as long as Shearer conveys all the certainty-and-confidence of a crippled fly hovering over the lip of an ointment jar.

  65. @ AK
    “Going listlessy through the noisome motions; surrounded by fools, the greasy hulk of Joyce breathing whiskey and ambition down his neck.”

    Great imagery AK

    WB Yeats would love it …
    “The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

  66. @ Simon
    “John Key’s departure date will be decided by the Labour caucus.”

    Don’t think so Simon. It won’t be labor winning the next election it will be a triumvirate of Labour, Green, NZ First. They are already lining the three leaders up in the media , some deal has gone down here.

    So if it will be a true coalition style what style of leadership would we need to see from Labour . I reckon a mediator/facilitator rather than a gun slinger .

    Its a brave new world coming on through, maybe just maybe it will be about collaboration rather than dominance this time round.

  67. “Or gnomic, who seems to be in danger of spontaneously self-combusting as a result of the raging incandescence of his internalised self-righteous take on class-warfare…”

    Flattery won’t work, nice sentence though. You seem to be saying I should leap from the heights in flames as per Bill Ralston’s rant. Is he part of the informal panel? Speaking of the Radio National panel in the late afternoons, is that a waste of electricity or what? Best mutual congratulation society ever improvised? Could we have someone from outside the glitterati once in a while, or would that be beyond the parameters? What about a discussion on whether Jim really has a radio voice, or should he just stick to shilling for garden companies on TV? Nice to have you on indeed.

    “Politics is the most popular topic with left and right more or less equally represented. There are few arguments and, remarkably, few disagreements. While we each have our loyalties and preferences, none of us is one-eyed. This also goes some way to explaining why Michelle Boag and I rarely disagree when we’re on Jim Mora’s Panel.”

    What can one say apart from pass the sick bag?

    However it seems the real issue here is a bet on whether the smirking/scowling weasel is going to resign as leader of the National-lead government before the next election?

    Who the hell knows? My guess is the weasel will hang in unless he is forcibly deposed despite his evident fatigue. But who else have the forces of evil got once the man who is nobody if not all things to all men, but a jolly nice bloke, one of us, and so rich you know has gone? Not English presumably since his epic defeat. Domehead Joyce? Surely not despite his pretensions to grandeur?. Er, that’s about it from the current mob, or have I missed a new dynamic leader in the National caucus? If so, please let me know. Or give us the inside running on what Crosby-Textor and Lord Ashcroft have to say. Go on, do say.

  68. My only critisism of Jim’s Panel was the removal of Bomber.His rants had me rolling around in laughter.The occasional chuckle is all I’ve been left with.It has never been as ugly as the Matthew Hooten vs The Left on Nine to Noon but I guess that at 4pm-5pm people like to wind down a little.

  69. If that picture of Key is anything to go by re his state of mind, I’d say he might not go another term.
    But then again it could be a contrived adjunct to underscore the post.

  70. @ gnomic

    So much unhappiness and rage against people for their choice of friends, conversation topics, holiday destinations, suburbs of residence, the smile on their face, or the shape of their cranium/lack of hirsute adornment. It must be fatiguing to keep up that level of class hatred, if not dis-satisfaction with life, gnomic.

    Also, as your latest post suggests spontaneous internal combustion is drawing ever closer, and I do not possess an asbestos suit, I fear it is not safe to dialogue with you lest I too suffer immolation in the impending holocaust. Nevertheless, as others have long discerned that my OCD manifests itself in an inability to stop gnawing at the bone, I whisper the name….Judith Collins.

    She may not be your choice, nor that of many who pass this way. There may also be a disconnect between the public perception and her actual abilities and achievements. Nevertheless, she realises instinctively that Kiwis are not a naturally politically or ideologically passionate people (which is a good characteristic. As Bob Jones once noted, countries that are have lots of killing).

    No doubt you hold that ability to appeal to the middle class in contempt, but then I wouldn’t consider you a good representative judge of the Kiwi psyche.

    Now, I’ve answered your question. I note you passed on mine. Let me remind you:

    “I ask…maybe…your actual practical involvement with “the poor” extends to little more than a cursory acquaintance? However, as a collective platonic concept they are a useful and emotionally self-satisfying ideological punchline”

  71. Judith Collins you say. I don’t know enough about the factions in the National caucus to know how likely that is. Some in the commentariat dismiss her as not being a face made for TV or smiley enough I seem to recall reading. I suppose she could be a contender.

    As to the poor, I did speak with an unemployed chap recently who said after paying his rent, he lived on flour and water in the main.

  72. Simon Bridges will take over from Key

  73. I am sorry Kimbo but not everyone who visits this site can claim to have been to a university or received a higher education.

    “So much unhappiness and rage against people for their choice of friends, conversation topics, holiday destinations, suburbs of residence, the smile on their face, or the shape of their cranium/lack of hirsute adornment.”

    “I fear it is not safe to dialogue with you lest I too suffer immolation in the impending holocaust.

    Nevertheless, as others have long discerned that my OCD manifests itself in an inability to stop gnawing at the bone

    And this, the jewel in the crown:
    “However, as a collective platonic concept they are a useful and emotionally self-satisfying ideological punchline”

    We are not all Rhodes Scholars.

  74. … the faster the better…..

  75. It doesnt really seem to matter who gets in they seem to just follow their orders from the World Bankers or world powers that want to rule over everything and stuff everything up and create unnecessary wars.

  76. You forgot to add the knighthood to the bucket list.

    The man’s an empty vessel. And a shallow one at that. He had a mandate. He could have made a difference. Instead we’ll have spent yet another 6 years drifting further into mediocrity.

    It’s very sad.

  77. Hello
    Re Mikes comment about the world powers…I think theyre actually Insurance companies, Banks, and the Accountants who run things…and they always have.

    Key wouldve already been aware of this before he logged on as Primeminister…and will know exactly how the game is played…however, perhaps he doesnt like NOT getting his way all the time, ahead of these other World Leading Numpties, that he is a part of?

    The sooner he is gone the better. In my opinion, yesterday was too late. He is a disgrace to Kiwiism.

    Child poverty on the increase, and soon we will be able to get overseas aid organisations coming into assist with the problem…are they already here..maybe. This could be to be added to our list of imports – Overseas Aid.

    The personal selfishness of Government is mindboggling. Shame on them all. Their mothers need to give them all a good slap, and tell them to buck their ideas up!

    He has done one exceptional thing though, hasnt he…He has highlighted many corruptions that are initiated through the greed of parliamentarians.

    Oh, and theres another; Hes put paid to freedom of the press entirely.
    Oh for a real newspaper Editor.

    I wonder how they manage to persuade an Editor NOT to publish this or that…and to shut them up…coz surely an Editor would be being an Editor, because they love letting people know the truth.

    What a load of crock it all is.

    Laugh out loud that Treasury now holds the purse strings for ACC (NZs new Superbank)…will this make our National Debt better off?

    Yes Collins – until the next election, coz she seems to like being the FallGuy…and now she has backup from Rebstock. Seriously, youve got to laugh at that.

    Tried to read your posts above Kimbo, but seriously, if you want your words to get across, then you must make them readable – that means easy to read…
    I tried to…but couldnt get through to the end of any of your posts above. Hmmm.

    Anyway Y’all. This blog has been an entertaining read.

    May God bless you all.

  78. If he does leave to run a bank, SELL everything quickly. I don’t think any of the businesses he has ever been associated with still exist. And he is half way there with us as well.

  79. To “David” (http://brianedwardsmedia.co.nz/2012/10/5-on-key-to-step-down-before-the-middle-of-next-year-thanks/#comment-21862) and others writing off the Dotcom affair as a sideshow: it’s anything but. The Dotcom affair is but one battlefront in the emerging Copyright Wars.

    In America itself, there’s been much horn-locking between Hollywood and Silicon Valley over the SOPA & PIPA bills, which the IP provisions of the proposed TPPA are strongly connected to. I, among many others, would be horribly pissed off if the Internet in NZ gets Mubaraked.

  80. And that’s why the beltway here in Wellington which thrives on poilitical insider gossip, knows it too.
    Besides while dear Helen my now be stting on/near the top floor the UN her political instincts and knowlege of what is happening in Kiwiland, remain as sharp as ever.

    Her proffered comment to a close friend directly convveyed to this writer, is that when a successor is clear and satisfactory to Key, he will if possible toss it in, at least nine months beofre the next election.

    He’s showing body language and demeanour, tiredness, impatience and frustration and when this is added to subsequent recent events that have the Govt in meltdown, getting back to decent time withn Bronwyn and the kids will seem like heaven.

    He’ll go, but he needs a viable, and visible successor.One that is not yet apparent.

  81. “And that’s why the beltway here in Wellington which thrives on poilitical insider gossip, knows it too.”

    I seem to remember there was similar gossip from within the beltway re Clark parachuting out to the UN, because her heart was really always in New York, rather than continually testing her mandate at the polls. The first part may have been right, but the second wasn’t.

    Seems to me if gossip originates from within the beltway, the likely intent is not just to report impending events, but also to initiate, shape, and/or influence them.

  82. “He’ll go, but he needs a viable, and visible successor.One that is not yet apparent”.

    It would appear apparent that based on Nationals own internal performance standards, Appalling Benefit would seem the most likely contender.

  83. Labour is under the arms of the Union Leaders/aspirants [EPMU etc] and the Gay/Lesbians whose priority is their own stable jobs in the Union offices and their personal relationships; nothing more and this is the problem for Labour now. The hugely increasing Ethnic/migrant communities who are generally family focussed just hate these same sex guys and they will make significant influence in next election. Moreover, not even a few see Shearer who still have serious communication problems and mannerisms, as a Prime Minister. simply doesn’t fit, no question.
    Key has already become a gone case. no use now. NZ is very badly lacking Leaders with Charisma. There are very good guys in the electorate levels of the Labour, but the gay/lesbian/union lobby put them down.

  84. Well, I think Kevin Hague would make a good-looking Primeminister, and its about time we had one of those..A goodlooking puppet.

    He can form his own NEW Political party, and call it the HappyNZ Party…Rather than Shearer getting hold of the No1 spot and calling it the Gay Party.
    It cannot be allowed to happen, that NZ has a gay primeminister. Not a good look huh.

    Key can don a little round hat, and ask Goldman Sachs if he can be their mail delivery boy.

  85. “But the really interesting development among the Ponsonby/Herne Bay political intelligentsia”
    Wow! Sounds like its riveting brain storming happening there.

    BE: wow! Another Kiwi with no sense of irony!

  86. Wow BE, Thanks I must of since then learnt a sense of irony; as im sensing the great irony of someone writing a coloumn about something which they were apparently initially being ironic/sarcastic about!

    I think Key is up against it as in a democracy i dont think its sustainable for an Ombudsman to extraordinarily say how atrocious the Govt is being at not disclosing information.

    BE: If I could understand any of that, Mikey, I’d reply.

  87. For those requiring tautology here is an article on it from September. The Chief Ombudsman is quoted saying “I think it’s the beginning of something that’s highly dangerous,”.
    Im sure withholding information to do a cover-up happens under all Governments but id like to think when its happening at such a record level that that cant be sustained without something giving out.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-government/news/article.cfm?c_id=144&objectid=10836994

  88. I suppose people saw Edwards looking like a goof and weak sad representative of the old dead journalism with Cameron Slater on Nation, full of Helen Clarke still how sad