I read Rod Oram’s Sunday Star-Times column last night, and, more in sadness than anything, found I have to agree  with his assessment:

Rod Oram on John Key

There’s a theory that John Key, Steven Joyce and Bill English have been cunningly carrying out a programme of ‘incremental radicalism’ — privatisations that aren’t portrayed as privatisations so as not to frighten the horses; determined efforts to progress a slow, steady dismantling of the welfare state.

For example, look at ‘state housing’ re-labelled as ‘social housing’ and run into the ground to create a justification for quitting them. National, the party of landlords, has never liked state housing.
So that’s the theory. But I’m not so sure. I tend to agree with the point Oram makes so eloquently — it’s worse than that:

The Key government is drifting, and the country with it.

It seems to me he’s right, too, about John Key’s salesman’s sensibility, and the colossal waste of his terrific communication skills and talent.

Of course, Barbecue John’s supporters will see that differently.* And, let’s face it, if you are convinced that the worst thing that could happen to the country is that your political opponents were to win an election, well, maybe it’s not such a waste.

Read Rod Oram’s Sunday Star-Times column ‘Key thinks he can sell cowshit to cockies‘. (Archived here.)

– P

* Rather predictably, Steven Joyce read Oram’s assessment as ‘showing’ his ‘colours’.  (Spoken like a true National Party campaign manager, eh?) Shallow debating tactics from Mr Joyce, but at least he got it off his chest. A few idiots will be fooled by his remarks.