Speaking yesterday on National's plans for Kiwisaver, National's Kate Wilkinson told her audience, "The National Party is not a party of compulsion."
No wonder journalists described her words as "a gaffe." No wonder John Key leapt to point out that Ms Wilkinson is not involved in writing National Party policy (she knows the party's principles, you see, and is prepared to make them public). No wonder he wanted to immediately clarify National's position, on Kiwisaver and much else: Compulsion is the name of National's game, he confirmed to a grateful media. "There will be compulsory employer contributions," Flip Flop Boy told applauding reporters.
SOLO's Mark Hubbard points out that John Boy's commitment violates "in one fell swoop" four of the nine central principles ostensibly promoted by his Party.
The National Party purportedly promotes the following principles:
*Individual freedom and choice
*Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement
Mr Key's commitment ... to compulsory KiwiSaver Employer contributions is directly in breach of all these principles. There cannot be 'individual freedom and choice' when he is prepared to perpetrate compulsion. There cannot be 'personal responsibility' when he is prepared to replace responsibility with compulsion. We cannot have 'competitive enterprise' when employers are weighed down by compulsory levies, charges, and taxes such as this. There cannot be 'limited government' when the taxpayer is forced to finance the huge bureaucracies that are needed to administer policies such as this.
National Party supporters questioned on this violation of their party's principles said, "Who cares," "What principles?" and "Anything for power."
And Ms Wilkinson? She's gone into hiding. Apparently the National Party isn't the party she thought it was.