The Herald has a story on the speech. The part that struck me was this:
Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft was quick to back Mr Key’s comments saying that, while it was not the job of a judge to commentate on political party policies, Mr Key’s comments were “measured and thoughtful” and comparable to what was being introduced in the Western world.
John Armstrong has a thumbs up:
Advantage Key. Whatever the Prime Minister has kept up her sleeve for her landmark speech tomorrow, it is going to have to be something pretty darned special to better John Key’s effort today.
As a piece of politics, the state of the nation address delivered by National’s leader comes as close to hitting the bull’s eye as you can probably get.
Not only does the speech meet the requirement that National start talking policy. It is overflowing with policy ideas.
It cannot be attacked for lacking substance. The speech shows National is much more serious about policy than it was at the last election. It successfully conveys the impression of a Government-in-waiting.
The speech’s big strength is that it is constructive rather than merely critical. Key lets the policy ideas do the talking rather than relying on overblown rhetoric to carry the attack to Labour.
However, Labour’s failings are the undercurrent driving the speech.
Be it youth crime or the economy or whatever, Key’s overarching theme for election year is that New Zealand can do better than it has under Labour’s rule. Today’s speech is the first in a long line of policy releases with which National will seek to answer the obvious question of how.
Vernon Small at the Dom Post is more guarded but says:
The message is not as punitive as some might have expected from National, but this is KeyNat not BrashNat.
And the timing couldn’t be better after a rash of recent headlines about teenage crime, including a 16 year old who allegedly killed a 22 year old in a dairy on Friday and the recent series of brutal bashings by a teenage gang on the North Shore.
Meanwhile Key has managed to keep most of his policy powder dry for the campaign proper, especially on tax and the economy.
It will be interesting if what Clark talks about tomorrow will be a policy announcement which has been worked on and developed over time (as this one clearly was) or whether it will be a kneejerk announcement.No tag for this post.