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Humourless Key pours scorn on Civilian

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, June 10th, 2014 - 44 comments
Categories: act, conservative party, john key, national - Tags: ,

John Key has been making a joke of the electoral system in recent days with his support of criminal MPs and his veiled attempts to foist the crazy Conservatives on various electorates.  But he was quick to pour scorn on a very popular micro-party who were less likely to become a pliant tool of the National party.

Prime Minister John Key says the joke is on the New Zealand public after the Electoral Commission gave the satirical Civilian Party $33,000 to contest this year’s election.

Key has heaped scorn on the party, run by satirical writer Ben Uffindell, which is campaigning on free ice cream for all and a llama for each child living in poverty.

In a fairly typical fit of pique, John Key also noted

“But in reality, the Civilian Party will be thinking the biggest joke’s on us, the taxpayer.”

Clearly he hasn’t realised who and what Civilian Party founder Ben Uffindell is satirising  and why so many taxpayers support them.

Uffindell said the Civilian Party was “not a joke” and had every right to the funding as it met all the legal criteria for a legitimate political party.

“We would not be allowed to accept the money if our party weren’t real,” he said.

“There are other joke parties getting funding, like the Conservatives and ACT.”

These two joke political parties are currently polling close at or close to zero, but also met the criteria for a political party.

Act will be receiving $76,930, and the Conservatives $60,207. At the same funding as The Civilian party are the moribund Alliance party which was so strong in the late 1990s.

A similarly humourless response was given by the “Taxpayers Union”, a rather meaningless Act front organisation dedicated to giving press statements of Act policy to credulous journalists.

Update: Oh how I wish I had written this.. Occasionally erudite cuts to the crux of the matter.

Here’s the thing though – no money is being spent that would not have otherwise been spent on broadcasting. The Electoral Commission has a total pot of $3,283,250, which it divides up amongst all eligible parties who apply for a share. That’s the same amount as was allocated in 2011, and prior to that, in 2008 and 2005. The full $3,283,250 will be divvied up, whether the Civilian Party gets its share or not. Presumably, if just National and Labour applied, they’d split the whole pot between them.

Let’s be clear - if the Civilian Party were to renounce its claim to its allocation of $33,365, the taxpayer would not save a dime. That money would simply be allocated to the other political parties who have their hands out.

Really, when it comes down to it, John Key’s issue is that the more funds other parties receive from the total pot, the less National gets. Where Jordan Williams’ objection comes from is less clear, although the options appear to be a) ignorance of the broadcasting allocation rules, and/or b) an under-developed sense of humour.

In essence the joyless idiot at the “Taxpayers Union” Jordan Williams is revealed as being a complete fool, and John Key as money grubber complaining that other parties get a bite at the money set aside for a democratic contest by taxpayers.

44 comments on “Humourless Key pours scorn on Civilian”

  1. dimebag russell 1

    Lets face it.
    Key is a manque whose only claim to fame is that he made a lot of money clipping other peoples coupons in the 80′s.
    He doesn’t know what humour is and all he is concerned about is the cost of anything and now he has acquire a taste for it of having his bum kissed.

  2. infused 2

    The biggest joke is a convicted crim, starting a political party, going to abuse the system to get himself off being extradited.

    That is a fucking joke.

    • I’m laughing at the one for sure – laughing all the way to the ballot box.

    • framu 2.2

      explain how he will achieve that – go on we all need a good laugh

    • Hamish 2.3

      “The biggest joke is a convicted crim, starting a political party,”

      Has Banksie started another party already???

      • Jenny 2.3.1

        I wonder if John Banks, or any of the Actoids, will be invited to Paul Goldsmith’s victory party to commiserate with him over his victory?

        No doubt it will be a rather dreary affair.

        • Hamish 2.3.1.1

          Except Goldsmth wont be able to make it to the victory party, he’ll be to busy trying to gain party votes.

      • Lanthanide 2.3.2

        He hasn’t been “convicted” yet…

      • Martin 2.3.3

        that’s what I wondered.

    • appleboy 2.4

      No, the bigger joke is a lying currency trader who has conned thick kiwis for years – who last Friday fully supported John Banks and by Monday had changed his mind – a mind fueled by advisors and internal polling and who stands for greed and shallowness.

  3. Classic key – he only finds it funny when the joke is at the expense of the poor or disadvantaged. It is barely believable that act get 77k – that is a joke at the expense of this country, although if they qualify they can get it, thems the rules.

    • blue leopard 3.1

      lol – I think maybe it is more of a case that Key only thinks it is funny when he is the one doing the joking. The clown is worried he will be passed by for another, perhaps? lol

  4. Hamish 4

    Ben will be loving this

    satire doesnt get any better than the prime minister having a go at satirist

  5. Mary 5

    Key’s views on this is a serious issue. That a political party like the Civilian Party can participate in an election and receive funding according to the rules is a test of our democracy. It’s the same as someone many might see as a nutter having the right within the rules to challenge government decisions in the courts. Blanket Man in Wellington used to appeal convictions in the courts quite regularly with arguments like that he wasn’t smoking cannabis he was smoking “peace”, and that he wasn’t driving an unregistered vehicle he was in his “waka”, and while he was invariably unsuccessful the courts would give carefully written judgments with reasons why the appeals were dismissed. He might’ve even been successful with one or two – I don’t know – but the point is he was treated as a citizen living in (what we like to call) a free and democratic country.

    Key’s views on the Electoral Act and parties like the Civilian Party are hugely dangerous views but, more importantly, they are completely consistent with everything else Key does and what he stands for. Speaking his mind on the Civilian Party I’m guessing would be seen by his minders as a weak moment in which he let his guard down because he’s shown his utter disdain for democracy but in so doing has exposed what is for Key and those of his ilk an essential component of their raison d’etre.

    • Roy 5.1

      Well said, or rather, written!

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Your comments re: Blanket Man are sobering and thoughtful.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3

      Yes. The Fairfax poll on Uffindelgate has the largest majority (currently 38%) supporting the position that: “The system needs to change. Anyone can start a party and get the funding.”

    • Phil 5.4

      Blanket Man in Wellington used to appeal convictions in the courts quite regularly with arguments like that he wasn’t smoking cannabis he was smoking “peace”, and that he wasn’t driving an unregistered vehicle he was in his “waka”, and while he was invariably unsuccessful the courts would give carefully written judgments with reasons why the appeals were dismissed. He might’ve even been successful with one or two – I don’t know – but the point is he was treated as a citizen living in (what we like to call) a free and democratic country.

      Spurious and vexatious appeals which tie up our legal system unnecessarily… hardly the poster child of freedom and democracy.

      To be honest, I kind of agree with Key. We’ve already got a bunch of parties that have a genuine interest representing their policies and views in parliament, and want to campaing on them. They should be the ones receiving funding. The Civilian, on the other hand, is a great laugh (he’s hilarious) but has no real interest in advocating views outside of the spurious and vexatious.

      It’s a bit like being forced to invite everyone in your class to your birthday party, including the kid who sneezes and coughs all over the icecream cakes to deliberately ruin it for all the other kids.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4.1

        The boundaries of your commitment to freedom of expression are showing.

        How does the entry of a satirical party make the electoral cake spoilt and inedible?

        Key doesn’t like it because he knows his behaviour makes good material, and yes, you’re right, satire is neither approved nor agreeable; that is what makes it essential.

      • Colonial Viper 5.4.2

        The Civilian, on the other hand, is a great laugh (he’s hilarious) but has no real interest in advocating views outside of the spurious and vexatious.

        But this differs from Key’s positive statements about Colin Craig and John Banks throughout the year how?

      • McFlock 5.4.3

        Well, that’s a bit precious. $33k is preferable to having someone decide that 500 people joining a party aren’t a ‘real’ party and should be denied funding and broadcast rights.

        Same with the “Blanket Man”. A bit much to eliminate the right of appeal for someone just because we think they’re a bit weird. All appeals should be considered fairly.

        Don’t get me wrong – I have a definite impulse that the world would be a better place if I could kick selected people in the nuts. But I remind myself that it wouldn’t – I’d just become the guy who deserves a kick in the nuts.

      • Mary 5.4.4

        Would you rather spend $33,000 to show we’re still living a free and democratic society, or have a government determining who and who can’t run against them? The former I think is a small price to pay, and the latter is the start of a slippery slope.

      • Tracey 5.4.5

        that you think his satire is not serving a purpose, including a political one reflects on you, not his right to funding.

        The three highest spending parties in the last election i believe werein no particular order

        ACT
        National
        Conservatives

        The last thing we need is little, poor parties having no chance…

        Mr ” nothing to hide nothing to fear” Banks just wasted shitloads of crown and taxpayer money trying to stop the process, exhausted every avenue to stop it going to trial…including appeals. Can you point to which of his appeals were declared spurious or vexacious by the courts?

    • Tracey 5.5

      bravo mary

    • Martin 5.6

      Well put and in its essence disturbing. In short that
      Key is antidemocratic.

  6. Jenny 6

    Very good. Just like last time, the Left could have a lot of fun with this.

    As the Epsom electorate spirals down into a three ring circus, due mainly to the actions of the far Right in league with the National Party and John Key’s refusal to heed the Electoral Commission recommendation to get rid of coat tailing.

    I hope that this time, the Left, Labour, the Greens and Mana can get their act together enough to oust the hemaroid that is ACT, from our house of representatives.

    I hope that The Civilian will stand in Epsom. He can mercilessly mock Paul Goldsmith by challenging him into a competition to see who can get the less votes. Let’s hope that Paul Goldsmith loses and gets a majority….

    The look on Goldsmith’s face when he receives the results and finds that he has won, will be priceless.

  7. The Civilian Party is an actual threat (albeit tiny) to National.
    More than any other party they rely on wilful ignorance and a pleasant friendly facade.

    Comedy, satire in particular, engages people and creates an accessible avenue for people who would not normally think about politics to engage – by laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

    Having had a bit of a laugh, the original cause of the satire remains in the mind of the reader, who may actually then think about the event, the politician, the policy etc.
    It’s the reason why satirists are normally first on the chopping block after a coup.

    National are really good at politics, see the recent and consistent releases of science funding to create the impression of increased spending in that area (despite actual cuts to science funding), their year long campaign to woo the pacific vote.
    Anyone or anything that might cause them to lose even half a dozen votes is to be attacked and marginalised.

  8. ianmac 8

    Do hope that Mr Key continues to give exposure to the Civilian Party. Be interesting if the Civilians won enough votes to get one MP. Oh dear dear dear me!
    If the disaffected voters don’t want to vote for any of the other parties why not vote for The Civilians!

    • emergency mike 8.1

      I’m also curious why Key would give the Civilian party any daylight at all. Maybe he figures that they might split the left vote some small fraction more. Or maybe he just doing his usual unthinking dog-whistle reflex.

    • alwyn 8.2

      Which electorate do you think they can win?
      That is, of course, the only way you can get “one MP”.

  9. Tracey 9

    this couldnt be funnier if ben had written it himself.

  10. feijoa 10

    This is all distraction
    Anything to keep Labour and David Cunliffe out of the media
    “Look what’s over here, move along, move along………….”
    This guy (JK) has the media fawning at his every utterance

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