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‘No ifs, no buts, no maybes’ – yeah right

10 August 2008 Media Statement

‘No ifs, no buts, no maybes’ – yeah right

Bill English has deployed an interesting choice of words for his embarrassing declaration that he will never challenge John Key for the leadership of the National Party, Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said today.

After a week from hell for National – including revelations that they would ‘eventually’ sell Kiwibank and a series of increasingly paranoid media interviews from Mr Key – Mr English has moved to dampen widespread reports that he does not rate his leader’s grasp on the policy process and thinks of him only as ‘that nice man Mr Key.’

In declaring his undying loyalty to Mr Key this morning, however, Mr English rolled out the line ‘no ifs, no buts, no maybes’ – the same words used by the National Party when promising to eliminate the superannuation surcharge. Once in office, National did the opposite and increased the surcharge.

“There is a lot that can be said about Bill English, but everyone knows he is a clever man,” Dr Cullen said. “He would not reference the most famous broken promise in National Party history unintentionally.

“We know that Bill English has been privately telling reporters for some time that Mr Key is not on top of policy detail. And we know that Mr Key has told reporters he fully expects Mr English to try to roll him and that he will be happy just to have the experience of being Prime Minister.

“Mr Key’s performance this week, culminating in his attempt to blame Helen Clark for spreading his McDonald’s rubbish across his front lawn, would have created a great deal of apprehension in National Party ranks.

“For a Party that was supposed to be sleepwalking to victory, these are certainly interesting times.”


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