I attended a political presentation by the PM John Keys tonight in Wanganui. Was curious to hear him speak publicly. He is quite the charmer. The fact however is that he is unchallenged by competent opposition. The opposition really is bad; and the media does not help by making it a contest about National and Labour.
Some of the worrying aspects of his speech:
1. His lip service to reducing the size of government or 'limited government', and yet everything he speels out entails him being the centre of economic activity.
2. Misleading statements - He professed to creating 45,000 jobs; and yet he did not create them at all; the private sector created them. He made a favourable comparison with Australia which was not accurate. Suggestion in a 'select' period that NZ was growing when Australia was not. This is because Australia has been so hot, and then they experienced a 'non-farm' correction in commodity prices, and a flood in Qld, affecting farm commodity sales. Hardly a fair comparison.
3. Superficial policy. The concern is that his policy is very superficially based. i.e. Its a very pragmatic, results driven agenda, which will not achieve its target in many area precisely because it is so configured. He can have his targets, but he won't be around when they are realised. The problem therefore is - who does his policies benefit. i.e. Did John Key anticipate the US & European financial crisis? Did he take any steps to protect NZ'ers. No. Any yet there were thousands of bloggers on the internet advancing arguments about the risk of financial meltdown.
4. Climate change - John Key supports the argument that there is anthropogenic cause of climate change. This is indeed a pity. It probably won't matter because Australia will not adopt the scheme. (or it will be reversed)...so NZ won't as well.
This was of course a political campaign presentation.