John Armstrong

Voter fatigue may erode National's conference bravado

Voter fatigue may erode National's conference bravado

If this weekend's National Party conference runs true to recent form - and there is no obvious reason why this year's gathering of the clan will depart from that script - it will be so stage-managed that any vitality or vibrancy will have been sucked out of the affair before it has even begun.

National done like a dog's dinner by Labour foray

National done like a dog's dinner by Labour foray

The National Party might have fooled itself into thinking otherwise, but it was done like a dog's dinner by Labour this week.

State house sell-off planholds many a bombshell

State house sell-off  planholds many a bombshell

Bill English sure dropped an almighty bombshell in confirming the possibility that hundreds of the country's state houses could end up in Australian hands.

Big question now is whether Colin Craig's brand still cuts it

Big question now is whether Colin Craig's brand still cuts it

In the public's mind, Colin Craig's confession that aspects of his relationship with his former press secretary, Rachel MacGregor, were ''inappropriate'' begs only one question: just how inappropriate?

Social service delivery vehicle experiments more radical

Social service delivery vehicle experiments more radical

Bill English's latest experiment in the delivery of social services to those at the bottom of the socio-economic heap is the most radical yet to emerge from his Beehive laboratory.

Saudi sheep saga has somehow sidestepped scandal status

Saudi sheep saga has somehow sidestepped scandal status

It was a bribe. It was an under-the-table pay-off. It might have had the title of a ''facilitation payment''. But that was just a poncy name for a bribe.

Greens have to avoid following Alliance down gurgler

Greens have to avoid following Alliance down gurgler

What the Greens have to do is reach out from their inner-city metropolitan strongholds and start making connections in the suburbs, provincial cities and rural towns.

Budget bereft of vision but shrewd in outflanking Labour

Budget bereft of vision but shrewd in outflanking Labour

National needed a good Budget. It got one. The Budget was a rock of certainty and continuity in a sea of almost surreal politics played out most visibly and vividly by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Labour opens the bar to schmooze with business

Labour opens the bar to schmooze with business

It would never have been allowed to happen during Helen Clark's long reign as Labour's leader. Nor during David Cunliffe's much shorter tenure in the job.

Key may have real trouble shrugging off this fiasco

Key may have real trouble shrugging off this fiasco

The day is surely not far away when John Key's gift of the gab will be unable to talk him out of a political quagmire into which he has so needlessly dug himself.