Island Life by David Slack


Citizen Key

I was watching the TV news tonight as they took a camera to the streets and asked the good people of New Zealand what they thought of the putative 11th leader of the National Party.

One citizen was disarmingly candid: "I hardly know a thing about him, but I like the look of him."

Talk about your blind date. Talk about a heartbeat away from the Prime Minister's desk.

Look, he may well be a splendid chap and just the leader we're looking for, and no, I'm not being sarcastic.

I've written before that someone who once worked with Key described him as possessing superb antennae but no compass. So what drives him? Perhaps we should find out.

By way of an opening initiative, I've made a little quiz, because they seem to be quite a nice way to shine a little light on the subject.

It will let us test how well acquainted we feel with some of John Key's policy positions. Quoting now from the quiz: Conscience votes can give an interesting insight into the personal philosophy of an MP, so the quiz reviews his voting in that area. We then move into questions of tax policy, to help compare his perspective in that area with that of Don Brash.

It's just an opener, I'll freely concede, and there's scope for much more. Contributions and suggestions happily received.

Meanwhile click on over to the quiz and make your acquaintance.


This morning's Stuff carries the expression "Christchurch state house boy made good" in a story about Key.

They're not the only ones running this line, and I can't say I care for what it seems to imply; namely that those who grow up in such homes might be expected to be of diminished worth and capability, and also that those who lead a successful life after such a beginning are some sort of aberration.

I'm well aware of the dismal stories about multiple generations of state dependancy,but that's not the whole picture. I'm not often given to quoting George W Bush with approval, but this does smack of the "soft bigotry of low expectations."

Just off the top of my head I can think of a few of our readers who grew up in a Christchurch state house and who are leading lives of impressive accomplishment. Anyone who fits this description would be very welcome to offer their thoughts by hitting the Discuss button.

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