John Key and his state of the nation

National’s leader, John Key is finally beginning to reveal his policy. Today he delivered his ‘State of the Nation’ speech.

I was nearly impressed.

But I was also a little deflated that he was playing the ‘law and order’ card using that small subset of New Zealand society – youth.

It’s easy, especially looking over the occurrences of the last fortnight, to say that the country is going to hell at the hands of miscreant youth.

And it’s easy to conjure the names of every small child that has been beaten, murdered, or abused for the purposes of making a political point. This sort of sentiment will always appeal to the large group of voters who have no desire to look deeper than the pixels on their TV screens, or the ink on their newspapers – they’ll always believe everything they are told.

National intends to use the Defence Force to straighten these young people out.

They are also going to be handing over great wads of cash to educational institutions to keep 16 and 17 year olds engaged and off the streets. How does that really differ from keeping children at school longer? It’s transferring the problem from one institution to another.

This is a small policy and the news media shouldn’t be lauding John Key as the next leader of the country on the back of it.

Download the document here, and read the spin between the lines. It’s artful, and clever, but that’s all it is.