Chris Trotter has a theory on why John Key has retained his popularity even when the government is doing unpopular things:
. . . John Key’s extraordinary success as a political leader owes a great deal to how closely his own career conforms to the heroic monomyth.
I believe in a government that looks after its citizens and provides them with opportunities to flourish, but recognises that people are responsible for their own lives and the well-being of their families. The way to a better future is ultimately in your own hands.
I believe in a government that gives people security in times of misfortune and hardship but doesn’t trap them in a life of limited income and limited choices. I’ve often said that you can measure a society by how it looks after its most vulnerable. Yet you can also measure a society by how many vulnerable people it creates – people who are able to work, yet end up depending for long periods on the State.
I believe in a government that supports people’s hard work and enterprise, and encourages them to set high aspirations.
I have had a successful career in international finance.
But I have learned that the most valuable assets in life are those closest to home. As a husband, and as a father of two wonderful children, I can say that families are in my view the most important institution in our society.
So I believe in a government that supports families.