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Key’s second credibility downgrade

Written By: - Date published: 4:49 pm, November 15th, 2011 - 70 comments
Categories: brand key, john key, Media - Tags: , ,

Key made up nonsense about what S&P said about a Labour government, and was publicly humiliated when S&P fronted up and said that it wasn’t true.

Now history repeats.  3 News reports that a lawyer representing victims of the News of the World phone hacking scandal says that Key’s comparing the recorded conversation with Banks to the phone hacking scandal is a “cheap shot”.  Ouch.

News of the World victims’ lawyer calls for release of teapot tape

A lawyer representing victims of the News of the World phone hacking scandal has weighed into New Zealand’s ‘teapot tape’ debate, defending the secret recording as “good journalism”.

Mark Lewis represents the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler along with others who claim their phones were hacked by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

He says the recorded conversation between Prime Minister John Key and ACT candidate John Banks should be made public. “There is a difference between the News of the World hacking into someone’s phone to find out private information and seemingly – whether accidental or on purpose – effectively a journalist investigating some political statement,” he says.

“That’s something that is in the public interest and sounds like it should be reported without the unfavourable comparison to what was clearly a criminal act.” …

He says Mr Key’s comparison to News of the World tactics was a “cheap shot” with little relevance to the British scandal.

An accurate parallel, he says, was former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who was inadvertently picked up on the campaign trail by a Sky News microphone describing a woman as “bigoted”. “[He] carried on talking without realising he was still wired up to a microphone and saying something that might or might not have cost him the election.” Rather than filing a police complaint, Mr Brown apologised to the woman and her family.

Mr Lewis says under English law the release of the tea tape would be very unlikely to lead to a prosecution. In fact he says the police “wouldn’t bother to open a file”. …

That’s some pretty good journalism from 3 News to follow up that angle. And it’s another big hit to Key’s credibility. How’s he going to justify gagging the media now?

70 comments on “Key’s second credibility downgrade”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    The new angle from the Tory CT playlist is the character assassination of the poor schmuck freelancer. He’s some kind of accidental terrorist it seems? There is no bottom line with these Tories, is there?

  2. Uturn 2

    Key or should I say Key™ is getting amateurishly sloppy and it’s not even a new term. In the event they are re-elected, between the horrors they unleash on NZ, at least we’ll get to see one of the most spectacular political implosions in our history.

    • Agreed he is looking tired.  The last couple of weeks of a campaign are like a marathon and Key may struggle to keep it together.  Tiredness brings sloppiness and silly mistakes can be made.
      This is either a masterstroke to get privatisation off the front page or it is a bad miscalculation by Key.
      Time will tell.
      For me it does look like he is human and that teflon coating is looking rather chipped.

  3. John Dalley 3

    IS this Shonkey’s GE downfall?

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Key gets another credibility downgrade? How can that be?

    There are no credibility ratings below junk and Key was on that over a year ago.

  5. Janice 5

    He reminds me a little kid in the playground when things don’t go well for him, “I am going to tell the police on you.”

    • fender 5.1

      Yes like the way he left the chamber when he realised he stuffed up with the throat slitting gesture. Couldn’t handle the heat and had to flee in a childish manner. Scumbag indeed.

      • Ed 5.1.1

        That’s not fair to his minders, who got him out of there quickly – he was in no fit state to make decisions himself

    • seeker 5.2

      Exactly Janice, his behaviour is always childish and self-centred. Today and yesterday we have had his ‘aggrieved victim’ sulk.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    I was hoping someone from the UK would chime in on this and put Key in his place.

    • Blue 6.1

      Yeah, it is deeply offensive the way he compares this to what News of the World did.

      There is no comparison between hacking a dead girl’s voicemails and recording a highly publicised conversation between two politicians in a public space at a press free-for-all.

  7. tc 7

    ackshully its a dinimic siduation and I’ve got a lawyer who thunks I’m on sawlid grund.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Key defends complaint over ‘tea tape’

    He said he was concerned about the principle, giving as an example a scenario in which a high profile New Zealand couple are recorded discussing their suicidal son who then killed himself after the story was run in a Sunday newspaper.

    Yep, it’s now about youth suicide.

    • Carol 8.1

      This would have, of course, begun when the high profile couple invited the media to observe them have a family conference in an upmarket cafe, welcomed the media with a few words, then asked them to wait outside the cafe.

      Is JK getting increasingly hysterical about this issue?

    • Anne 8.2

      I expect Captain Panic Pants thought that one up.

    • Uturn 8.3

      So is he saying that he would commit suicide if the tapes were released or is it that the information would have that effect on his career? What kind of weird false victim game is he playing now?

    • mike 8.4

      Jesus this is desperate. A couple, high profile or not, talking about suicidal son is private. Politicians discussing their plans to subvert the democratic process is in the public interest, and that can and should superceed privacy concerns.

    • I just heard this fictional scenario on Checkpoint.

      I have tried to keep my feelings about John Key under check but this has really hit a nerve with me, so apologies for what follows. 

      He’s a disgrace.

      To use the suffering of those parents who deal with suicidal children simply to protect his political hide is a thoroughly despicable and morally bereft act. To politicise their anguish for his political gain; to scratch their raw nerves in this way just to climb out of a hole he has dug for himself through some self-serving PR stunt is so far beneath contempt I’m running out of words to express my complete disdain for him.

      He is now revealing the reflexes that underpin his character and they are highly unpleasant. His every egotistical impulse is to use others, their emotions and their experiences for his own advantage.

      • Blue 8.5.1

        We are talking about the same guy whose first response to a guy trying to jump off the balcony in Parliament was to turn to Labour and yell at them that it was their fault, make a throat-slashing gesture, and try to turn the whole incident into being all about him and his personal security.

      • mike 8.5.2

        “He is now revealing the reflexes that underpin his character and they are highly unpleasant. His every egotistical impulse is to use others, their emotions and their experiences for his own advantage.”

        Hate to keep banging on about it (not really), but that’s pretty close to the definition of a sociopath. Too many people don’t understand what a sociopath is, and that is the very reason they can be successful.

    • McFlock 8.6

      “don’t release the tape or the kid gets it”, more like

  9. I’m not for anyone getting special treatment. Had the cuppa gate occurred when Banks and Key knew that they could not be eavesdropped on, I would say that they are entitled to have a private conversation, but they knew that the media was close by. Frankly Key and Banks are ignorant to expect what they discussed not to be repeated or for the media not to question them on what they discussed.

    The media were invited, the medias job is to report on the event, the public have an interest in the meeting, (Epsom voters in particular).

    • Reality Bytes 9.1

      Yup it’s primarily for this reason I am concerned about Mr Key getting reelected.

      I can appreciate politicians undoubtedly talk shit with each other behind closed doors, un-pc stuff that would see them becoming unelectable if it ever saw the light of day, and in all fairness maybe a bit of it is tongue in cheek, and a bit of it is probing / mind games with other fellow polis to see where they stand. So some behind closed doors banter is ok with me.

      But the thing that strikes me here is that Mr Key is being very naive to have what looks like “that sort of chat”, in front of a metric shit ton of media… And at an event which he’s basically been all “come ye round media and listen…”. And then the guy get’s all defensive when what’s happened happened. wtf?!

      It’s this very amateur and naive behavior that concerns me the most. Who knows what sort of diplomatic stuff up or other major fubar could happen under his watch.

  10. KJT 10

    You forget the, minimum, 2.6 billion hole in Nationals accounts!

  11. Hilary 11

    Close up claims that have a person who can lipread to find out what Key said.

    • Anne 11.1

      She did her best but it wasn’t too illuminating. She picked up on the word ‘Brash’ and there was something about NZ First supporters “dying off”. Key mentioned something about percentages. She thought it was 50% and 42%. Perhaps he was saying he expects National to get between 42 and 50% of the vote – just a guess.

      • The Voice of Reason 11.1.1

        I think that last bit was ” … it was gonna be 50% before this cuppa, Banksie, but I might have to settle for 42 now. Bloody Winston …”

  12. Dr Terry 12

    “The Key Show” got off to a good start again (evening news). What more can one say about this deviant? Running like a spoilt brat to his ever alert police! If Winston is right, he put down us old folk in addition to heaven knows what else. Probably his popularity will now rise, as it does after every terrible thing he says or does. We must be ashamed of this country’s child poverty, but ashamed too of the elderly who have to bear a poverty of soul. Over the next three years the underclasses are going to pass through a reign of terror.

    • Treetop 12.1

      “The Key show”

      I reckon Wednesday night on TV 1 at 7 pm the multi party debate, that Winston is going to stir the pot a good one with Brash. Winston is at his best when it comes to others being on the back foot and he has the proof.

  13. Tombstone 13

    Key is now surrounded in controversy and the cracks are really starting to open up now. I think Key could come unstuck very very quickly and National might be in trouble. The media are like sharks and Key is bleeding right now which might not end well for him if the media get the whiff of a good headline or two. You almost get a sense that they’re starting to pick up on the scent now so I’ll watching closely over the next few days to see where this all leads. Interesting times ahead.

  14. mike 14

    Winston is saying Key spoke about elderly voters with contempt. How on earth Winston heard the tape, if he really did, is curious. But check this out –

    Garner: “Do you think you may have offended elderly people or NZ First supporters in any way in what you spoke about with John Banks?”

    Key: “Well I’ve never listened to the tape, and so I can’t recall everything that’s on there. No one’s ever given me a copy of that.”

    Garner: “Would you like to see a transcript?”

    Key: “Nah I’m not bothered about it.”

    You know a politician has a problem when he won’t deny that he might have offended elderly people.

    Then he complains that no one has given him a copy, i.e. how could he reasonably be expected to remember whether or not he offended the elderly? But when he’s offered a copy he’s suddenly “not bothered”.

    Like the ad says “I’m lovin’ it”.



  15. Craig Glen Eden 15

    Key has such a poor memory for what he has said only last week, then he does not want to look at the transcript to refresh his failing memory he’s “not bothered “. So why waist the Police time then with a complaint?

    • freedom 15.1

      as he said on TV3, it is all about the principle,
      then signs off with the ‘personal responsibility’ tag-line.

      where was his personal responsibility for censoring his comments in a public space ?
      or ensuring the invited media were aware the conversation was private and separate from the media event.


      also, what are the principles of a person who abuses the memory of a suicide victim

    • Carol 15.2

      “I dunno… wasn’t there…. dunno what was said..”

      United States of Johnny:

      “That was Johnny Teapot. Dunno what he said. As Johnny Prime Mincer I jus wanna make a shtand for all the other high profile celebrities who might be secretly taped in the future under stressful shircumshtances.”

  16. vto 16

    It’s all going to get lost in the wash. Consistency of message is the key (no pun. bugger him for cornering the word).

    Others in opposition also need consistency of message. Don’t side-track. Though I’m sure someone else can side-track. Like Winston. And talking of Winston – why is that people sometimes play on their age?

  17. gruntie 17

    If Monkey ain’t gunna release the tape then it’s about time someone published a paraphrase for him – as a start off how about –
    “Well Banksie – you admit ACT is rooted without this tea party charade mate?….”

  18. gruntie 18

    If Monkey ain’t gunna release the tape then it’s about time someone published a paraphrase for him – as a start off how about –
    “Well Banksie – you admit ACT is rooted without this tea party charade mate?….”

  19. Doug 19

    Herald on Sunday & TV3 doing deals with a dodgy Cameraman, is the recording dodgy also?

  20. Quick, somebody send Key an email – apparently he wasn’t at the meeting on Friday!

    Who wants a PM who has such a bad memory and needs to be told what he said.
    What is? Ronald Reagan?

  21. anne 23

    The throat slitting gesture was the real ‘key’ especially when he showed no concern for the person that was about to commit suicide,someone should make a list and publish it before the
    election to show those ‘key’ worshipers that he really is a rat.
    It’s just as well this has happened before the election and not after,there should be a lift in the polls surely,how can an intelligent voter put key,banks,brash in the controlling chairs for all of
    nz’ers,surely not.

    • rosy 23.1

      “there should be a lift in the polls”
      The beneficiary bashing that was released today will counteract any drop in National support. There’s a real mean streak going on in NZ at the moment.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1

        People get defensive and irrational when their livelihood is disappearing around them.

        • M

          Yet many of the deluded souls will still vote National not realising a caning from redundancy awaits them maybe a few weeks or months after the election. Let them see how comfortably they live on welfare and being recipients of outright hatred – like watching a disaster about to unfold in a film.

      • Tombstone 23.1.2

        Rosy – Sadly I think you’re right – there’s something really wrong with the psyche of people in this country at the moment and it really concerns me to be quite honest.

        • rosy

          Yeah. I reckon Draco has got it right as far as the working class goes. No such excuse for those that are doing well though.

        • mike

          Sorry to keep apologising for banging on about it (not really), but when a sociopathic leader takes power the victims, those who vote for the douchebag, rationalize, defend and even admire the sociopathic behaviour of the leader. Those who are irrelevant to the fucktard, those who vote against him, can say what they want, he knows the victims won’t listen.

          Robert Hare in his book Snakes In Suits, which is about how psychopaths infiltrate the corporate world, notes that the psychopath polarizes the workplace. Half think he’s awesome, charming, a guy you want as your mate, to have a beer with, a leader, a winner. The other half think he’s two-faced, a liar, a manipulator, a bully. It turns out that the people in the first half are those that are useful to the psychopath, those in the second half are not.

          • Roy

            Having worked for a psychopath, I can confirm that this is absolutely correct. They can be incredibly charming, but when you become a threat to them, or simply cease to be useful, they are vile.

  22. Irascible 24

    By trying to hide their lack of policy and their candidates behind a smile & wave puppet the NACTional party have put themselves into a PR vacuum which will be filled with any puff of scandal. The tea party tape and the Green’s clever billboard heckle have been handled badly by NACTional and, unfortunately, by the Greens.
    The Tea Party tape should have been greeted with a confident “publish & be damned” we said nothing of consequence while we conspired over the English Breakfast and anyway it whatever we said will not affect the election result!!
    The billboard heckle should have been dealt with with a huge laugh and a congratulations to the perpetrator for engaging in political heckling and then a confident demonstration that the heckles were incorrect or of little consequence in the light of what passes as current political discourse in N.Z.
    This would have displayed a confident honest john(s) and a mature and intellectually robust NACTional party. Instead we now see a scuttling & running, petty minded, shallow and unprincipled political party and its leader/s which is hardly becoming or confidence raising for the electorate.
    The Greens should have greeted the billboard heckling response with a demand for Key to prove the heckles to be incorrect and only when Key and NACTional could prove the heckles to be unsubstantiated apologise. Unfortunately Norman and his co-leader lacked the intellectual robustness and grunt to take the attack straight back to NACTional which must lead the public to lack confidence in their leadership.
    Where are the leaders with intellect, with political confidence and principles in New Zealand? I don’t see them in any of the parties involved with these two events.

  23. chris73 25

    Arn’t the MSM supoosed to be in the back pocket of the tories?

    Key and co have the dropped the ball big time on this, they’re acting as incompetent as labour which is a bit of a worry.

    Although if the rumours are true and they were talking about winstonfirsts supporters dying off then its not like they’re saying anything most people don’t already realise (probably not polite to say in public though)

    A silver lining (such as it is) is that at least John Key doesn’t have to talk about selling a partial interest in assets

    and thank goodness for the Greens stepping up to take some flak as well 😉

    • Galeandra 25.1

      Hell, I was worried for a while. All the trolls have departed, must be on an urgent confidence course or something, but no, there’s still one little shiner from the shoal hanging about.

      • chris73 25.1.1

        I’ve worked out that the best way to tell when you’ve made a good point on here is by how quickly someone calls you a troll

  24. tsmithfield 26

    I think the Greens are in a much more serious spot, as it high-lights the radical under-belly they have been trying to hide to appear more central. Also, it cuts across the “fair-play” image they have been promoting.

    So far as Key goes, I think this is a non event and an unnecessary distraction for opposition parties. I agree with Chris73 that it is deflecting from meatier issues that the opposition would like to hook into.

    So far as the recording itself goes, what is coming out suggests it is fairly bland. Possibly Key and Banks discussing the likelihood of a very unpopular Act leader departing after the election. Few would shed tears about this. And perhaps Key telling the truth about the fact that NZ First’s demographic support base tends to die off.

    While the tape is causing a bit of embarrassment for National. But countering effect of deflection from the meatier issues probably means a net gain.

    • Galeandra 26.1

      Yay, and another shining wit. Admirable to see his loyalty as Key & Co set about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. “the tape is causing a bit of embarrassment for National. But countering effect of deflection from the meatier issues probably means a net gain.” arf arf arf.

    • Colonial Viper 26.2

      I think the Greens are in a much more serious spot, as it high-lights the radical under-belly they have been trying to hide to appear more central.

      A removable sticker prank reveals a “radical under-belly”? Are you serious?

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