Prime Minister Resigns

John Key that is. He was actually in power, whereas Matteo Renzi was merely in office.

There is a slight difference in the coverage between New Zealand and the United Kingdom press.

In the UK, the BBC goes with “Mr Key, a popular leader, said it was a personal decision, and later denied media reports his wife of 32 years, Bronagh, had given him an ultimatum.” Never too highbrow to resist a bit of mindless and baseless tittle-tattle when its there for the taking! But it goes on that Mr Key “was formerly at Merrill Lynch as a foreign exchange dealer” and was “known by the local media as “Teflon John” because very little controversy has stuck to him during his time in office.”

Maybe the UK press is getting used to the idea that rule by bankers and other establishment figures has a limited life expectancy, and are suspicious that he is going now before things get tricky.

There is some scepticism in New Zealand; Jennifer Lees-Marshment, an associate professor in politics and international relations at Auckland University, said in The Guardian: “The Key brand has become disconnected and he has increasingly appeared to be someone who doesn’t understand what it is like to be an ordinary New Zealander any more.” This is not a view your hear in New Zealand today.

Liam Hehir, a conservative commentator in New Zealand writing for Stuff, states that; “I believed then (as I do now) that in this doggedly centrist country, Key is about as good a prime minister as any conservative New Zealander can reasonably hope for.”

Even the leader of the Opposition Andrew Little paid tribute to outgoing Prime Minister John Key, saying he has “served New Zealand well”.

The New Zealand press and politicians seem minded to cut John Key the sort of slack that UK politicians can only dream of. Maybe he really was that good?