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Newspeak

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, August 22nd, 2014 - 54 comments
Categories: brand key, democracy under attack, john key, making shit up - Tags:

John Key’s reaction to the revelations in “Dirty Politics” is straight out of Orwell’s classic 1984. Orwell however got one thing wrong – describing the principles of Newspeak he says “It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050.”  In Key’s National government, it’s here already.

So when Warren Tucker in 2011 wrote – “I notified the Prime Minister,” “I advised the Prime Minister.” “I informed the Prime Minister,” we are asked to believe he didn’t mean he actually spoke to the Prime Minister. When Beverley Wakem’s deputy signed her letter where she says Tucker had “discussions with the Prime Minister” she has now clarified that she didn’t actually mean that  Tucker discussed the release with the Prime Minister. And now we hear from the PM’s spokesperson that when the Prime Minister said that Tucker “discussed the release with me, as he had to under the no surprises rule” he didn’t actually mean that they spoke to each other!!!

Unbelievable – but scary.

Orwell’s prescient warning to the perils facing democracy is why the issues revealed in Hager’s book, and even more in these political and official reactions, are so important. If we cannot rely on the absolute impartiality of the final arbiter on what may be revealed as official information in the Chief Ombudsman, and the political neutrality of the keeper of the secrets in the Director of the SIS, then our democracy is indeed under threat.

Juvenal wrote “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” (Who will watch the watchmen?)” in his famous Satires. Eddie wrote about it here in 2011, ironically in relation to Key’s comments on another of Nicky Hager’s books, Other People’s War. Some quotes:

Mr Key did not deny the report existed. “I have no recollection of reading it,” he said….He was totally confident the departments were following Government policy. “I have no reason to believe otherwise.”….So, on what basis does Key dismiss Hager’s book. “He said his officials had read the book and advised him.”

Eddie finished:

Hmm. Anyone else see a pattern here?

We can but hope that Rebecca Kitteridge now heading the SIS, and Cheryl Gwyn now investigating the release of Tucker’s briefing notes to Cameron Slater but not to other media are cut from different cloth. We need some independent and  courageous watchers. And to hang on to Oldspeak.

 

 

54 comments on “Newspeak”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    I agree Mike Smith this is very serious stuff, I know you are a bit older than me but Im wondering if you have seen anything as big that rivals this since you have been alive in a political sense. I would exclude big Norms death I am more referring to the challenge to our democracy and political Governance when I say this is very serious stuff.Just asking?

  2. vto 2

    Meaning of “discuss” ….. talk about (something) with a person or people

    Pinnokeyo’s nose is growing at an alarming rate ha ha ha ha ha ha the man has become a joke.

  3. Tigger 3

    Nicely put, Mike. I’m concerned to see the politicisation of neutral posts. The speed of Bev’a reply in this case shocked me. I always regarded her with respect but this was a major misstep.

    Who watches the watchmen? Who watches the Ombudsman? If the office is now politicised then what use is it?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      She could have at least waited till “the end of the day”

    • mickysavage 3.2

      The other odd thing is that the person who wrote the original letter from the Ombudsman’s office was Leo Donnelly. I do not understand how Wakem could claim to know what Donnelly was referring to. Maybe he did intend to mean what his words clearly say.

  4. clashman 4

    ffs. you’d think english wasnt his first language. Maybe we need all his pronouncements translated.
    I think from now on every time he says “I” or anyone from the nats says the “prime minister” , the journos should interrupt and ask if they are referring to Jon Key or the prime ministers office.

    • ianmac 4.1

      He used to say My Government and My Ministers. Does he still?

    • Once Was Tim 4.2

      “Maybe we need all his pronouncements translated.”
      Funny (hahaha) you should say that. Back in 2008 I could hardly understand the prick – and I remember reading some of his former ‘banker’ colleagues remarking on his mumble slurring.
      I suspect he’s had some speech lessons over the past 6 or so years. When he’s bullshitting its really quit noticeable (which of course is a lot of the time)
      Lazy speech, lazy mind.
      What we’re seeing now though is what gets most egotistical malignant narcissists. They’ve told so much bullshit, they’ve forgotten which lies were which.

      If it wasn’t so serious it’d be funny as a fart

  5. ianmac 5

    In my numerous decades I know of nothing to equal this. It may have been possible in the past but this time it is the wonders of IT that have changed the risk of exposure. Spoken words just disappeared previously and now Google it, and the words that you spoke are there to haunt you.
    The irony is that Key said last week, “The words that I say are the words that I mean.” Newspeak? (His interview posted today by the Herald in his 4 person interview.)

    This will be catostrophic not least because the World will judge NZ on the integrity of our Government, should the inevitable become proven.

    And remember that Kim Dotcom has something lined up 5 days before the election.

  6. philj 6

    xox
    NZ 100 per ceng PURE!
    Not a good look for NZ Inc. , or our media.

    • Once Was Tim 6.1

      It’s Johnky we’re talking beart goan forwid. What ja mean 100% pure.
      Its hunrid piss end poor your.
      Well you ken prar aid yoose stistuks (Steven Sucka), bit oi ken pra aid yoose jizz ez men eek ken show othwoise.

      Btw Moik – with all this Newspeak, zzzzztheir arse etta fnetuks ta go withut?
      Shoodin bee rock soince ta put sumthing eart. Edge Kay Shun crik you lum could beyunda rivyou. Hoe pflea oik get Heck Yea on toot

  7. Dialey 7

    “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: ‘you liberate a city by destroying it’. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”
    Gore Vidal

  8. Tracey 8

    Does this mean when the pm speaks to obama, its just someonefrom his office and when he plays golf with obama its not really him?

  9. emergency mike 9

    Who would have thunk that the PM’s office was such a powerful entity in it’s own right, separate from the PM. Does anyone know who these people are that are making such decisions about which OIA requests regarding the SIS they will or won’t share with the PM?

    There was me thinking that the PM’s office was just, you know, the PM’s office.

    • Macro 9.1

      At the end of the day — what we will find is that Warren Tucker went to the PM’s office. There was no one there — in other words he was vacant — so Tucker discussed the matter with the office (i.e. the PM) and that was that! Simple really.

  10. RedLogix 10

    Nothing new here. This is how people like Key speak all the time. Forms of words that can be unpacked in several different ways so as they always have route to weasel out.

    Now all politicians do this to an extent – it’s in the nature of the game to give yourself some options to cover the unknowns. Things go wrong and it’s unwise to paint yourself into too tight a corner.,

    But Key has crossed the line between political maneuvering and outright lying to cover up his involvement in a criminal act.

    This is not a one off. Long time readers here at The Standard know that Key lied on his CV about exactly what he was doing in the 80’s in the early days of his banking career. We know that he lied about his exact role at Merrill Lynch, we know that from BLip’s infamous list that the government Key leads is routinely deceptive and economical with the truth.

    We know that Key has been remarkably ‘lucky’ politically – to the extent that many of us suspected he was misusing his role as Prime Minister to source information about his political opponents to his advantage. Yet it is in the nature of these things that ‘smoking gun’ evidence is a rare thing – until today.

    Now we have plain evidence that John Key, and the office whose actions he is accountable for, has been involved in misusing his powers as Prime Minister. And has now lied in an attempt to cover this up. We have the smoking gun evidence on this specific matter – that this is how Key is prepared to act. That on this matter he had no scruples.

    If he has been caught out in this matter then the next question is – what else has been going on? Because at this point there is no reason to give Key the benefit of the doubt. The matters uncovered in Dirty Politics are not uncharacteristic of Key. On the contrary they are entirely consistent with everything else we know about him – smooth, plausible and charming on the surface – and cunning, ruthless and amoral behind the curtain.

    The curtain now has a rip Key can no longer obscure. We have now a plain glimpse of a small portion of what is behind it – and that glimpse alone confirms what many of us could only surmise up until now.

    The question now is – how many New Zealanders are prepared to look?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I was going to tweet a link out to your comment above. Would that be OK by you, RL?

    • Macro 10.2

      The question now is – how many New Zealanders are prepared to look?

      That is the question – and I regret to say not many on the Right are prepared to look. Perhaps the scene is just too awful. Never the less there is a chink in the armour. The constant drip of information backing up the Hager book from the Whaledump is whittling away at the perceived strength of the Right. I do sense a left govt – but it will be tight.

  11. An English word that is abused on a regular basis is ‘steal’, which properly describes unlawfully depriving somebody of possession of something, but is incorrectly used to describe the copying of information.

    • North 11.1

      Oh Ugly Truth…….that is a howler !

      And your PlanetKey name is akshilly ‘Pretty Lies’ is it ? According to Trip Advisor – “Planet Key where EVERY word does NOT have the meaning we’ve relied on forever.”

      Worship does not require you make a fuck of yourself every time you open your mouth you know.

      Cuppa tea and a lie down mate…….that’s what I suggest. Remember – “die from embarrassment” is just a figure of speech.

      • UglyTruth 11.1.1

        Oh Ugly Truth…….that is a howler !

        So many idiots, so little time.

        What is LARCENY?

        In criminal law. The wrongful and fraudulent taking and carrying away by one person of the mere personal goods of another from any place, with a felonious intent to convert them to his (the taker’s) use, and make them his property, without the consent of the owner.

        (Black’s Law Dictionary)

        Conversion: Any unauthorized act that deprives an owner of personal property without his or her consent.
        http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/conversion

      • Gareth 11.1.2

        https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

        Regardless of your opinion of UglyTruth and their beliefs, and despite the ad hominem attacks, I completely agree with UglyTruth on that one point.

        “Stealing” and “Theft” are terms that are abused and misused to describe copyright infringement.

        They are used to make copyright infringement sound more serious and damaging than it is, as well as being an intellectually lazy way to describe it to people unfamiliar with the concepts. Copyright infringement is a crime, but it is not the same as depriving someone else of their property.

        In a discussion about the twisting of language it does appear to have a tangential relevance.

        You seem to be going off a bit half-cocked there.

        • Gareth 11.1.2.1

          Anyone wanting to play a fun game, have a look at the website I used in my previous post and try to count how many of the logical fallacies have been used by John Key in the last week and a half.

          I counted 13.

          https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com

        • UglyTruth 11.1.2.2

          Copyright infringement does not include fair use of copyrighted material. The problem is that the US doctrine of fair use describes a more restrictive meaning than the natural meaning of fair use. Since the US doctrine is not part of NZ law, the local meaning of copyright infringement is not the same as the meaning in the US, where ordinary copying of copyrighted material is deemed to be a crime called theft.

          • Gareth 11.1.2.2.1

            I don’t agree that there is such a thing as a “natural” meaning of fair use. Not as it relates to copyright law anyway.

            Copyright is an artificial monopoly granted by the state. Exceptions to the monopoly are likewise granted by the state.

            There are certainly different interpretations of fair use in different country’s laws. For example, format shifting is counted as fair use in NZ. In the UK, it is not.

            Legally, even in the US, the crime is not called theft. Only media reporting and press releases by major copyright holders call it that. The courts call it copyright infringement. All courts, including the US Supreme Court, have made the distinction between the two. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement#.22Theft.22

            • UglyTruth 11.1.2.2.1.1

              The natural meaning of fair use is use that is consistent with the principles of equity, since what is fair falls within the realm of equity. IMO the reason the state has a problem with descriptions of fair use is because matters of equity relate to conscience, and the state doesn’t have a functional conscience.

              P.S. Thanks for clearing up the distinction between the media’s description and the court’s description in the US

        • ianmac 11.1.2.3

          Apparently data theft is not illegal because data off a computer is not property in law. Funny that but the finer points were discussed by the legal experts including I think Andrew Geddis or some experts.

          • UglyTruth 11.1.2.3.1

            An essential quality of property is exclusive possession. As soon as data is copied from the original source to another party it is no longer property.

  12. ianmac 12

    Here we are. Panic over.
    “Prime Minister John Key says nothing has changed after a video emerged from 2011 appearing to contradict his claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.
    Speaking to media outside Mt Roskill Grammar school this afternoon, Mr Key denied the video was a contradiction.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11312794

  13. rob 13

    There is a book called Doublespeak :Why nobody means what they say any more by William Lutz. I am beginning to think they must have this as their cabinet manual, and thrown the real one out.

  14. McFlock 14

    I have heard that when some leaders start to lose touch with reality they begin to refer to themselves in the third person. “Caesar did this”, “the Prime Minister will do that”, and so on.

    But I have never heard a politician refer to his office in the first person before.

    The only thing close is one or two mentions of feudal lords referring to each other by realm, rather than personal name, back in the middle ages. “York vexes me”, “France has sent an emissary”, that sort of shizzle.

    It seems that dunnokeyo has gone beyond dictatorial, and into medieval – which probably explains his contempt for the due process that has its roots in the Magna Carta.

  15. Wht NEXT 15

    Roll Up the greatest bull session since Keys lot became the govt
    The first act The Hair Splitting -what will we say
    The second act No one can touch the Teflon PM
    admissions to the show there will be none just like what will come of any inquiry relating to Dirty Politics
    Vote for the good of Democracy

  16. Wht NEXT 16

    Roll Up the greatest bull session since Keys lot became the govt
    The first act The Hair Splitting -what will we say
    The second act No one can touch the Teflon PM
    admissions to the show there will be none just like what will come of any inquiry relating to Dirty Politics
    Vote for the good of Democracy

  17. lurgee 17

    I suppose one positive is that it means it is impossible to claim Phil Goff knew anything, since if Mr Tucker says he briefed the Leader of the Opposition, it could mean whatever anyone wants it to mean.

  18. North 18

    National Party Conference update – John Key speaking to delegates:

    ” [MyOffice] welcome you to the eighth annual conference of the New Zealand National Party which [MyOffice] have addressed as your leader – the sixth since [MyOffice] was elected prime minister.

    You and [MyOffice] have heard all the tedious lies from the Left about [I] and [MyOffice] The Left says it looks like [MyOffice] told Dr Tucker to release Oil to the Whale and when the job was done [MyOffice] was briefed by Dr Tucker confirming mission completed. You and [MyOffice] know the truth. It was not [MyOffice] who was briefed by Dr Tucker. No ! [MyOffice] was in Hawaii at the time. Dr Tucker briefed [I] and [MyOffice] knew nothing about it. Good People of the New Zealand National Party……..
    [MyOffice] swear !

    Well……..[MyOffice]’ll be fucked ! How petty can they get ? Everyone makes mistakes sometimes – even [MyOffice].”

    Delegates respond with l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w clap.

  19. Once Was Tim 19

    You can be sure that one of them is (i.e cut from a different cloth). She has my sympathy even having to get involved with these arseholes’ antics. I hope she has people looking out for her but I’m pretty sure she won’t take shit and will deserve every penny of her salary.

    There are some real fucking cowards running this junta IMO

  20. FunnyCunny 20

    If John Key died, would that mean that his whole office died and he was actually alive? I’d hate to be in charge of writing the autopsy.

  21. Penny Bright 21

    FYI – this was published on the NBR.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/national-key-take-knock-post-hager-digipoll-ck-161236#comments

    For the public to have confidence in Government at the highest levels, we must have genuine transparency, accountability and the ‘highest ethical standards’.

    The FACTS that have been revealed through Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’ prove that New Zealand’s ‘perceived’ status as the ‘least corrupt country in the world’, is meaningless garbage.

    In my considered opinion, the party political, unregulated Office of the Prime Minister, is completely out of control.

    In my considered opinion, and clear understanding, it’s the supposedly apolitical, impartial DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET (DPMC) that should be handling OIA requests/ replies and dealing with the SIS – NOT the Office of the Prime Minister.

    Why is no one else focusing on this pivotal issue?

    Where is the ‘Rule of Law’ / regulations / protocols and procedures that are supposed to guide how things are to be done in a proper way at the highest levels of Government in New Zealand?

    How are Ministers to be held accountable to the ‘highest ethical standards’, by the Prime Minister (as set out in the Cabinet Manual), when the moral compass of John Key is apparently stuck on Wall Street?

    ie: No laws / rules / regulations/ ethics / morals – just unbridled free-market casino capitalism at its most debauched?

    How does Prime Minister John Key who has come directly from that Wall Street banker environment, detoxify, and transmogrify into a decent, honorable Statesman, committed to serving the public and the public interest?

    It appears that he doesn’t / hasn’t – and now our New Zealand has been contaminated at the highest levels with these ‘Wall Street’ ways.

    Time for a HUGE clean out?

    I think so.

    Penny Bright

    • FunnyCunny 21.1

      Penny, your the best! Wish you were Prime Minister!

    • UglyTruth 21.2

      Why is no one else focusing on this pivotal issue?

      IMO it is because they don’t like the implications of institutional corruption, particularly that which originates from conservative tradition.

      Where is the ‘Rule of Law’ / regulations / protocols and procedures that are supposed to guide how things are to be done in a proper way at the highest levels of Government in New Zealand?

      The rule of law is not a set of regulations, protocols, or procedures, but is rather the principle that the relationships between free will, ethics, and consequences conform to discovered principles of nature and are not defined by social convention. These relationships are typically expressed as maxims which are known as the maxims of the common law.

      The rule of law is what sets true democracy apart from the UN doctrine that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government”.

  22. Chooky 22

    +100 Penny…and Selwyn Manning has this to say:

    ‘Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS Release To Whaleoil’

    By Selwyn Manning / August 21, 2014

    “SSC-GuidelinesINFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of sensitive intelligence information.

    The official guidelines further cast doubt over the Prime Minister John Key’s version of events that the Prime Minister was not made aware that intelligence documents were being declassified and prepared for fast-track release to Cameron Slater.

    Those guidelines show that it is virtually beyond belief that John Key, as the Minister in charge of the SIS, did not know highly sensitive information was being prepared for release, and to whom it was being released to.

    As such, the Prime Minister’s insistence that he did not know, now looks difficult to believe…The Government’s Consultation Requirement:
    The Government’s State Services Commission (SSC) is the authority that ensures a minister is informed of a pending or potential release.

    The SSC guidelines titled: Release Of Official Information: Guidelines for Co-ordination (ref.) state clearly:

    The Official Information Act has not removed the duty on a public servant to keep the relevant Minister fully informed. It is important to consult with Ministers where release is likely to lead to public comment on a political issue. Consultation over an Official Information Act request gives a Minister an opportunity to comment on any political issues or matters relating to government management.

    It would be appropriate for departments to consult their Minister when:

    requests are received from the Opposition, the Opposition Research Unit, recognised interest groups or the news media especially where the information is particularly sensitive;

    the subject matter is controversial and likely to lead to questions of Ministers;

    facts, opinions or recommendations in the information are especially quotable or unexpected;
    the information reveals important differences of opinion among Ministers or agencies.
    (ref.)

    Beyond this, the Government’s guidelines are promulgated, or formally declared, by the Prime Minister’s office itself.

    The State Services requirement stipulates:

    “Attention is drawn to the guidelines promulgated by the Prime Minister’s office on consultation between Ministers’ offices. Essentially these provide for the Private Secretaries and Press Secretary in each office to be responsible for the managed release of Official Information Act requests by Ministers’ offices.”

    The Government guidelines do not allow a lackadaisical approach to the consultation process, but rather create a REQUIREMENT for all public servants of ministries, departments and intelligence agencies to be bound by.

    While it is customary for politicians to refer to this consultation as a no-surprises “convention” as the Prime Minister recently said, this is a far too relaxed an interpretation of the reality.

    The reality is that the director of the Security Intelligence Service was REQUIRED to consult and inform the Minister, who is John Key, on the release of the intelligence information. No surprises politeness, friendly observance to a convention, does not come into it.

    The communication channels between officials and minister vary from ministry to ministry, department to department. But every public servant dealing with Official Information is provided with their own “procedures for such consultation” as developed by the ministry, department or agency.

    It is known that some ministries, departments, agencies have tight protocols expanding to around 74 pages long.

    There are consequences if a public servant does not follow those guidelines, and ministers are not left in the dark.

    Obviously, departments take this incredibly seriously.

    As the SSC guidelines state: “NOTE: Communication is the key factor which will assist in consultation.”

    Consultation Between SIS and PM’s Office:

    Consultation between the SIS and the Prime Minister’s office follows a strict protocol. It informs the chief of staff Wayne Eagleson, the chief press secretary, the press and political advisor (at the time Jason Ede), and the Minister himself, John Key.

    For John Key to not be informed of this controversial sensitive intelligence information is beyond belief.

    In checking out the practise of public servants observing the SSC guidelines the consensus is:

    This is what public servants do. They build in consulting and no surprises in accordance with SSC guidelines. All departments develop and apply their own procedures for such consultation.

    Minister’s offices frequently push back on information releases, but the department gets itself into trouble with the Ombudsman if it doesn’t apply the OIA correctly and fairly.

    It is usual for those requesting information to become impatient, and for the proceed to take up to 20 working days minimum. And it is usual for the consultation period between the public service and a minister will take at least five days.

    During this period, especially when information is sensitive, it is clear a robust exchange is in evidence between department, ministry, agency and minister.

    Public servants say this period elevates the biggest risk in a delay.
    It is therefore preposterous that a minister would not be informed about sensitive releases.

    Damage Control:

    Furthermore, the consultation period empowers a minister or department to try and get on top of any damage that the release of information may cause.

    Departments often proactively release the information and then referring requestors to the official website.

    With regard to this specific release of intelligence information, it would be fair to conclude that a reasonably minded New Zealander would believe it likely that Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater was used as a part of the Prime Minister’s office damage control strategy, designed to create a hit on the then leader of the opposition, Phil Goff.

    The SIS Director’s Revelations:

    OIA-SIS-Felix Marwick-9-Nov-2011On the back of this, the New Zealand Herald this morning released an official letter from the then SIS director Dr Warren Tucker to Newstalk ZB journalist Felix Marwick, where Dr Tucker states: “I notified the Prime Minister… that I was going to release redacted documents in response to the request from Mr Slater.”
    Dr Tucker goes on to state: “I informed the Prime Minister that I had informed Mr Goff of my decision to release the information.”

    Release By SIS Director To Selwyn Manning:

    In a report by Nick Grant in the National Business Review this week (ref.)
    I confirmed that I had received the same information as Cam Slater albeit a few days after he received it.
    I had telephoned the SIS’s open phone line as a prelude to making an Official Information Act (OIA) request for both John Key’s and Phil Goff’s briefings.
    As I told the NBR: “My interest was, if I got the PM’s briefing and I got the one presented to the leader of the opposition, I’d be able to compare the two and get a pretty good idea of whether they were the same or different – even if they were heavily redacted.”
    “What I wanted was pretty specific … From that conversation I understood they were preparing information and that the request would probably be successful.”
    I submitted my OIA request on 29 July 2011 and received a heavily redacted copy of Mr Goff’s briefing on 8 August 2011.
    I remember at the time that was highly unusual. I had had dealings with the SIS previously and written extensively about the SIS and my experience suggested it would be customary, if lucky, to receive a response around 20 working days.
    I received the response only one week later. I was Intrigued by a phrase in the covering letter from Dr Tucker that suggested I was well aware of Mr Slater’s parallel OIA request.
    I later contacted Cameron about the issue. I put it to Cam: did he get a tip-off and if so who from. He denied having been tipped off.
    What added to the mystery was that other journalists representing mainstream media were refused the information.
    As I said to the NBR: “As I understand it, the Dominion Post put in one that was very closely worded [to mine] but didn’t get a response.”
    I am left to consider whether my OIA request was in some way used to legitimise the security information drop to the Whaleoil site.

    In Conclusion:

    If there is a public interest element intensifying to this current state of affairs, it would suggest the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security give considered urgency to her inquiry into this matter and deliver her findings well ahead of the September 20 General Election.

  23. Alistair Connor 23

    Funniest thing I’ve read today : This little throwaway line
    Key denies video was a contradiction – Election 2014 – NZ Herald News

    Mr Key said he was “100 per cent confident” a member of his office hadn’t leaked the information to Slater, and he said he was prepared to go under oath on the issue.

    Key is prepared to go under oath to say… let’s see… “I don’t actually know what was going on in my office during that period because I was in Hawaii and nobody tells me anything, honestly, it’s hard to get good help these days, but I solemnly swear that none of them spoke to Slater”

  24. disturbed 24

    How can the Prime Minister be trusted by all NZ now if he lies, or can’t control his own highest ministerial office in the land, The office of the Prime Minister?

    The bungling of IOA procedure , and the leaking of information and collusion came from there or him, so he can’t have it both ways, so he is between a rock and a hard place.

    Penny & chooky both of your blogs are great information blogs. Hang em high.

    Price of freedom & democracy is constant vigilance Mr Key missed that point here.

  25. twistarilli 25

    This article was ++good. Thanks for that.

  26. soon as I heard this new interpretation from our prime mincer ….. it totally reminded me of when
    Bill Clinton, while being questioned about Monica Lewinsky, brilliantly sends the questioning in a new direction. To determine the meaning of the word “is”.

    Here’s what Bill Clinton said to the grand jury about why he wasn’t lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, “there’s nothing going on between us.” How can this be? Here’s what Clinton told the grand jury (according to footnote 1,128 in Starr’s report):

    “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

  27. venezia 27

    So Mr Key keeps talking past the interviewers and repeating the same old spin. His Orwellian explanations on the Slater/SIS OIA issue are truly extraordinary.

  28. aerobubble 28

    One aspect of Newspeak was the shrinking dictionary.

    This is what I found in my old dictionary for propaganda…
    …organized dissessemtion of information…
    …sound exactly what the Office of the Prime Minister was doing,
    organizing the OIA request quickly to Slater to produce favorable
    propaganda.

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    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    4 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    4 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    5 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    7 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    7 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    7 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    3 weeks ago

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