Cognito: Milk, money and influence

9 May 2014

ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret*

John Key’s trusting, business-like approach to running his Cabinet has been sorely tested in recent days, with Ministers badly letting him down.

As Cognito observed in January, party unity, discipline and teamwork will be decisive factors in this year’s election and will count for more than policies and promises.

At the time, the observation was based on Labour’s woes. Now it’s National’s turn.

The link between politics and money is always vexed and recent events serve to highlight how very careful any political party needs to be.

While National is the current target of questions about fundraising propriety, the tables could be easily turned.

Those with a memory longer than a couple of news cycles will remember the issues surrounding Owen Glenn’s donations to Labour (and NZ First), as well as an earlier issue about an Immigration Minister charged with bribery.

Any government-in-waiting knows the shoe could be on the other foot soon and needs to be careful what it wishes for. When laying a petard to blow a hole in the wall, one needs to be careful not to get blown up in the process.

While Labour has been encouraged by the latest Roy Morgan survey, one poll does not a trend make. It will become troublesome for National, though, if this becomes a trend reflected in other polling (including National’s own).

The Budget announcement on 15 May provides National with an opportunity to change the conversation and reverse the mess of the past weeks. Cognito will be in the Budget lock-up next week to get an early look at the contents so we can report back to clients on matters of interest.

*Shoemakers should not judge above the sandal 


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