A pretty fair summary from John Armstrong:
There can be no quibbling. The Prime Minister has delivered. No question. Today’s speech announcing that every teenager will have to stay in school or some other form of education or training until they are 18 will prove to be a quantum leap in terms of upskilling the workforce.
Helen Clark had to come up with something big as a riposte to John Key’s rival state of the nation address yesterday. She has shown Labour is still capable of coming up with the “big ideas” that she sees as an essential component in the party’s re-election campaign.
Clark will be happy with that, and it is indeed fair to say it is a new big idea (well now for this Govt). Armstrong then compares the two speeches:
Whether the Prime Minister has trumped Key is another matter entirely.
Clark clearly envisaged the content of her first major speech of the year would prove to be a victory for substance over style when placed alongside the populist line Key was expected to pursue in his.
So there must have been a sharp intake of breath in the Beehive when Labour read Key’s speech and discovered he was canvassing the very same subject matter and floating a similar-sounding policy.
Key seemed to have gazumped Clark, neutralising the major thrust of her speech before focussing on youth crime as the major strand of his.
As I said, it is a good thing both parties are laying out different policy visions.