The Hive gives their perspective on John Key, and Clark’s attacks on him:
We have met every National leader since Holyoake. We have huge admiration for Bolger who has become a friend since leaving politics but we rate him behind Key. Bolger is also well ahead of Shipley, McLay, Marshall and Holyoake. Holyoake was a man for his times, and he was very fortunate living in those times. He would not have hacked it today. We despised Muldoon and his political tactics and we are worried that PM Clark is becoming increasingly Muldoonist in her tactics. In the end the electorate rebelled against Muldoon and it is preparing to do the same to Clark. She still has time to change tack, but had better move fast.
We also rate Bill English highly. He gets better all the time. He became Leader too early. We see him as John Howard. Don’t write him off as a future Leader and PM. But Key and English together are going to make a formidable team at the top of Government, should National win this year.
We also disagree over scripting. We have seen Key read set piece speeches many times and heard him ad lib several times. There is no doubt that he is best without the script.
He is far from shallow and is far more knowledgeable on general political and economic policy than the PM is suggesting. What makes money markets move Helen???? Political and economic developments. Key was one of the best in the world at reading these trends and making money from them.
You have been a very strong PM Helen, but what did you do before entering politics. Were you one of the best in the world in your field? Were you even one of the best in New Zealand in your field? Don’t underrate this guy.
I actually think it is funny when people do under-rate him. People are very wrong when they think it is all due to third termitis with Labour. John Key is the most popular Opposition Leader NZ has had in the last few decades. As a comparison, Bolger in 1990 never polled anywhere near as highly as Key did, despite having a Government teating itself apart with infighting.
The Hiev advises Helen:
Stop the personal attacks and denigration. Start focusing on policies that are going to add hope to those out their who are becoming increasingly worried about every economic statistic they see. Key knows this is what people want to hear. His speeches don’t denigrate you. Instead they paint an optimistic vision for New Zealand explain the general policies needed to get there.
Indeed Keye doesn’t spend a huge amount of time bagging the Government. He does speak optimistically of the country’s future – but with a more determined focus on increasing economic growth and closing the gap with Australia.
And the more time Helen spends on attacking Key rather than talking about issues of concern to NZers – well the more they will lose by.