Ralston on the outer

Bill Ralston writes that he seems to have offended she who rules:

The Prime Minister has gone off me. I keep hearing from colleagues that she has been complaining loudly about these columns and my work on Radio Live’s drive show in the afternoons, when I often interview politicians. Apparently she believes I have “gone Tory”.

We’ve known each other since university days and I’ve always been moderately liberal in outlook, so she is puzzled by my criticism of the Government.

I have not had a road to Damascus experience and decided National is the way, the truth and the light.

It is simply that this Government has been in power for nine years and after that length of time it is inevitable it will have done things that provoke criticism.

Bill, Bill, Bill. If you criticise the Government, then of course you are a golf playing Tory. Either that or a chinless scarf wearer. You can’t be a friendly critic – friendly criticism is seen in the same light as friendly fire – a target to be fired back at.

Ralston then goes on to state all the current economic problems, and then observes:

Some of these factors are outside the control of the Government but it would be nice to see it concentrating on the issues that concern us.

Instead, Labour whinges about John Key. The National Party leader had a point last week when he accused the Government of fiddling while the economy burned. He asked what was the cost of the Government using countless bureaucrats to endlessly scour records in an attempt to discover inconsistencies in any utterance he made.

Helen Clark’s response was to yell “Diddums”, and Michael Cullen told Key to “get used to the fact he is playing with the big boys now”.

Displaying a sad and pathetic chip on his shoulder, Cullen went on to sneer that Key was the “MP for King’s College”. As a child, Cullen attended Christ’s College on a scholarship, an experience that obviously scarred him and left him with some kind of weird class hatred of those he terms “rich pricks”.

Hence his envy tax in 1999 to take an extra 6% off those earning more than $60,000. There was and is no fiscal need for it.

Can I suggest to Dr Cullen that the rest of us “poor pricks” would prefer he concentrated on delivering a budget that took the pressure off our diminishing disposable incomes rather than making infantile personal attacks?

Labour has become obsessed by John Key. The Government launched a campaign of ridicule to try to dent his credibility and at every opportunity it seeks to portray him as some kind of evil mastermind plotting to sell the family silver and deliver us into some kind of globalised bondage.

For many of us these attacks don’t ring true. Key is a quietly spoken, thoughtful sort of guy, obviously bright but somewhat colourless.

He is not Hannibal Lecter and all attempts to convince us that he is are doomed to fail.

That’s a visual association I could do without!

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