Something that’s been hitting the headlines recently is the backlash around what I like to call ‘SnapperGate’. Our glorious leader, in all of his infinite wisdom, thought that it would be a good idea to tell a horde of journalists that he thought New Zealanders cared more about the cuts to the Snapper fishing quota than the GCSB Bill amendment, which as we all know will give the Bureau more power to monitor us.
Firstly I’d like to congratulate Key on potentially the one good thing that’s come out of this – he’s given David Cunliffe something to do. Cunliffe’s being wasted on the Fisheries portfolio at the moment, and this at least gives him something to put his considerable talent towards.
This has to be the first time that Key’s MPs have dropped their rank and file adoration for the Prime Minister and come out against a policy. National Party heavyweights like Scott Simpson and Mark Mitchell have all but come out against the policy, and an embattled Nathan Guy is having to withdraw slightly from the bill. Maybe this will be another class sizes thing, and Guy will follow in the footsteps of Hekia Parata – rising star turned fall guy for a policy that totally fails to gauge public opinion.
But will Key actually takes a hit in the polls after this? He’s been riding high for the last, well, ever. I can’t remember who said it, but someone like Steven Joyce was saying that no PM has ever been this popular in their 5th year of office. I’m not totally happy with that, but you have to admit that it’s true.
What is it with this never-ending popularity of John Key? He and his party have messed up time and time again (Teapot Tape, class sizes, WINZ leak etc etc) and have taken virtually no damage. Obviously, Labour aren’t fielding anyone to take Key on mano-a-mano, but there’s something about SnapperGate that differs from the previous trip-ups. That is that Key can in now way distance himself from this because he said it, and it’s on camera, and everyone knows. John Key thinks that New Zealanders care more about fish than being spied on. I’ve not been fishing since about 2005, and I can probably find a lot of people that don’t fit the ‘like to fish’ claim that Key made. But I do care about the fact that a shady agency somewhere could be collecting information on me, and I’d have no idea. So unlike Nick Smith, Hekia Parata, John Banks, Peter Dunne and the unfortunate WINZ employee, John Key can’t back away from this one. It’s like ‘GayredshirtGate’. Key obviously said it, and it made him look like a prick.
You said it John, you should front for it. maybe David Shearer doesn’t even need to hit you with this. Maybe he can just sit back and watch as New Zealanders come around to the reality of their Prime Minister, with no scapegoat stopping the bullet.
Also United Future are back. Yay!