Matt McCarten is at his gloating best (or worst, depending on your perspective!) in his Herald on Sunday column this morning; he opines:
John Key made his millions by being a good gambler. After his Cabinet meeting on Monday he threw in his hand.Most of us go along with the notion that as a successful money man he must know what he's doing when it comes to making deals and managing crises.We did wonder a bit when he offered SkyCity casino more pokie machines if they built him a convention centre; and we still haven't got the hundreds of jobs he promised from his national bicycle track idea.But we gave him the benefit of doubt because at least he was thinking of job creation.However, Prime Minister Key's reputation as a sharp operator collapsed on Monday. His admission of defeat by postponing any asset sales until next year is a disaster.Key's handling of the asset sales programme has been incompetent for months. This was a long way from where he was at last year's election, when he had shrewdly pitched to sell only a minority share in our public utilities to "mum and dad" investors.
But he does make one critical admission:
As Labour had run on an anti-privatisation platform, Key could legitimately claim, after his poll victory, that he had a mandate to sell.
At least McCarten is prepared to concede that National has a mandate to implement the Mixed Ownership Model for selected SOE's. If nothing else, he understands that whilst democracy may not be perfect, it sure as eggs beats the alternatives!
And speaking of eggs, McCarten over-eggs his story with claims that Monday's postponement represents a "disaster" for John Key and the Government. For sure it is a distraction that they could do without, but nothing more. But National is still less than a year into its second term, and time is on its side.