Why the rugby won't help John Key

Last updated 08:45 25/10/2011

John Key and Phil Goff will be terrified by the outcome of the World Cup: everyone is now saying "Stephen Donald for PM."

Nah, I don't really believe the election outcome will be influenced by the rugby result. To think it does, you have to believe that tens of thousands of us watched Thierry Dusautoir pushing his formidable pack even further in that last 10 minutes, watched the black wall fighting back desperately, and then as the air finally rushed back into our blood and the relief and joy filled our eyes we said to ourselves: "That's it! That's why we need to sell our assets!"

The Government will get a feel-good credit because the event went off so well, despite the best efforts of Murray McCully to butcher the opening night.

John Key's image won't be hurt by the pictures of him enjoying the moment with the victorious ABs the way most of us would like to. And yet those pictures underline the emerging consensus about our prime minister - he might be a good neighbour to have a beer with at the football, but if your house is burning down you don't really need a mate necking a brewski on the lawn. 

The house isn't quite burning down just yet, but how many warnings do we need? If the All Blacks played the final the way the Government handled the Rena grounding they would turn up at Eden Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Early last week the Government was hammered over Rena and its response to the double downgrade of the economy - but then those stories lost momentum because Sunday night was more important. The main benefit of the Cup for the Government has been the suppression of other news.

There will be a hangover. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the Cup. The economic pulse from promotional events and stadium upgrades is over. Hope you enjoyed the salad days.

There was a lift in spending by overseas visitors, but even then, beware the numbers. While campervan rental companies and some hotels had a good spring, a lot of visits were brought forward and so we might expect a quieter than usual summer.

Meanwhile all those full stadiums represented spending on tickets instead of in local businesses. My family spent  $300 on tickets to a pool game, and my wife bought me a quarterfinal ticket for $400. That money won't be spent on cafe dinners, or new curtains. Multiply that around New Zealand and those full stadiums will suck some demand out of unrelated businesses.

It was worth it, but the Government won't count on an economic boom to get it re-elected. Yet that was one of the big factors, they told us in this year's budget, that was going to save us.

After World War II, UK voters said thanks to Winston Churchill - and then threw him out because, having climbed to the impossible mountaintop, they began to think about how to make the future better. If winning a war doesn't make an election a sure thing for a prime minister, the Rugby World Cup might not seal the deal either. 

Before Sunday's final so many commentators said the ABs just had to turn up to win. It was a foregone conclusion, just like this year's general election. 

Well, we did win. Just.

But we had a leader defined by his steel. Depth on the bench. A sense of direction. And a coaching team who learned a lot from defeat last time round.

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153 comments
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Mike2   #1   08:55 am Oct 25 2011

Another silly post by the left. I'm so proud of John Key - he is a great Prime Minister and will be getting our votes...

Goff must have desperately hoped for an All Black loss..

Tough result Pagani!

Beaver   #2   08:57 am Oct 25 2011

I can't believe you just tried to compare the Labour Party with the victorious All Blacks. Try England for your comparison...lost last time, terrible this time due to being leaderless (among other things) and god help us if they ever win again

pollywog   #3   08:57 am Oct 25 2011

...and what about that handshake moment ?

fred   #4   08:58 am Oct 25 2011

Duh???

LB   #5   09:04 am Oct 25 2011

@ Mike2 - I wouldn't call this a silly post, just because you don't mind a bumbling liar for a Prime Minister, doesn't mean we all have to agree with you, and it also doesn't mean anything you disagree with is silly.

John Key will be re elected, there is no one else, it is a shame, and I don't believe for a moment he should be, but as a National supporter and with little alternative, he too will get my vote, but not at all because I am proud of him, and most certainly not because I think he is great (he is far far from great) but quite simply, who else can one vote for this election?

It is comments like yours that make me feel even yukkier about being a National supporter too, may be it's time to locate the passport.

Rob   #6   09:08 am Oct 25 2011

I voted National last time, but what an insipid charismaticless PM Keys is, as soon as he announced asset sales he lost my vote. World cup wins or losses have no bearing on what we should all be looking at when it comes to the election, and only a fool would believe that Key has been effective over the last years (unless you count self promotion).

alex   #7   09:08 am Oct 25 2011

Mike2 - Nobody wanted the ABs to lose, they are the national team of the left too you know. Key is a terrible Prime Minister, more concerned with a photo op than with his citizens.

simon in japan   #8   09:09 am Oct 25 2011

What a misery guts you are Mr Pagani. Do you not think that New Zealanders and their country might not attract even more visitors due to the successful way we managed the world cup? Watch and see, however, your predicting that a potential drop in spending after the election will impact the election is beyond logical. I might have the timing wrong but doesn't the summer tourist spending season start after November 26? The reason National will retain control is that the Labour party is bereft of intelligent progressive policies. Just as in sports; sometimes the starting players get tired but if the reserves aren't capable of performing the coaches will stick with the starters. Certainly players like yourself would be told to get their heads in the game. Just turning up with your boots isn't enough. I look forward to another session with Phil Goff warming the bench.

KiwiKraut   #9   09:11 am Oct 25 2011

Perfect, you said in your last sentence:

Labour has no hope of winning because:

It has NO leader defined by his steel. It has NO depth on the bench. It has NO sense of direction. And it HAS a coaching team who learned NOTHING from defeat last time round.

Good analysis John. You can now apply to coach Labour Australia.

Digby   #10   09:12 am Oct 25 2011

Are the any straws left for Labour to grasp at? Comparing Labour to the All Blacks - tacky, cheap and comical. On this post alone, Labour deserves to lose their last few percentages points of support in NZ.


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