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‘That politician got amnesia again’

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 26th, 2013 - 21 comments
Categories: accountability, brand key, capitalism, democracy under attack, john key, Minister for Photo-ops, national, news, slippery, spin, Spying, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Today’s Dominion Post anonymous editorial is an interesting one: it constructs some false equivalences; it glosses over the role of the MSM in providing an extended honeymoon halo for John Key; it glosses over the significance of Key’s GCSB cover ups; however, it does point to the fact that the tide has turned and our PM is losing the trust of the country.

Obfuscation over the PM’s role in intervening in the appointment of the GCSB boss, and over his role in supporting illegal spying on NZ residents, are of much greater consequence than a PM signing a painting for a charity auction. The editorial sets up the PM’s fall from grace, this way:

The revelation that Miss Clark had signed paintings and doodles produced by others that were then auctioned off for charity was not terminal. Miss Clark won two more elections after the practice became public in 2002.

But, before Paintergate, Miss Clark was the Teflon Lady. Nothing her opponents threw at her stuck. After it she was just another politician with a flexible sense of right and wrong.

John Key’s forgetfulness about his part in the recruitment of an old school mate’s brother to a key government post shapes as a similar watershed moment.

Like Miss Clark in the first years of her prime ministership, Mr Key has been viewed as a politician apart. His memory lapses put him back in the herd.

This glosses over the fact that Clark had to put in the hard yard of political service to gain the support of the media and a significant proportion of the electorate.  In contrast, from the moment Key was ear-marked as a future National caucus leader and PM, the MSM gave him a dream ride.  I guess many in our non-Fourth Estate saw him as being like them, and/or the kind of person they’d like to be.  And they continue to disavow their own power;  The editorial says:

Whether he has genuinely forgotten the part he played in the recruitment of Ian Fletcher to head the Government Communications Security Bureau or whether he simply decided it was better to pretend he had forgotten than admit to playing an important role is beside the point.

People now know they cannot rely on what the prime minister says.

If the public choose to view him as just another untrustworthy politician it will not be the fault of the “knucklehead” journalists who dared to question his actions, but the prime minister himself.

In keeping with the way they have colluded in the presidentialisation of the image of our PM, the editorial focuses Key’s personal attributes.  This diverts attention from the substantive issues of the dismantling of democracy: it diverts from the shift in the PM’s role to becoming like the CEO of NZ Inc; it diverts from the re-focusing of the GCSB from ensuring the country’s physical security from external threats, to a focus on “economic security” for the corporate world; it diverts from the specific shift to supporting the US in the re-focusing on intellectual property and commercial interests.

There is a certain rationale in the editorial’s focus on Key’s personal qualities and trust in him. Key’s government and the National Party have always depended on the spin focused on his personal qualities to gain the votes that enable them to govern.  Key has governed by photo op, and that focus will also be the undoing of him and his government.

 

john key backbencher puppet

The editorial goes on:

Mr Key possesses many admirable qualities. He is affable, optimistic, economically literate, decisive and, despite his wealth and success, without airs and graces.

But, at times, he gives the impression he finds elements of his job a bit of a chore.

It is as if he thinks the public should be grateful he has chosen to put off retirement for a few years and should not expect him to trouble himself with matters he considers inconsequential.

If that is the case, Mr Key is wrong. New Zealanders did not elect him so he could fulfil his boyhood dream, get photos of himself alongside world leaders or kid around on air with popular radio hosts.

Ouch! John Key’s self-serving ambition unmasked!

Accountability and transparency are critical safeguards in a democracy.

Indeed, but there’s far more happening on that topic that needs critical examination by our MSM. There is more going on here behind the scenes, and to put it down to the PM’s laziness is lazy journalism.

As we lack a truly critical fourth estate, such editorials lead to some kremlinology.  At what point did Key start to lose the trust and support of the MSM and why?

21 comments on “‘That politician got amnesia again’”

  1. paul andersen 1

    that cup of tea with banks was the beginning of the end for key. when he bit the hand that had stroked him(main stream media). some of the journos(like armstrong from the herald) finally woke up. its all down hill from here, and as many a poli has found , the hill gets steeper and steeper, until its a cliff.

  2. veutoviper 2

    Another excellent post, Karol. It’s good to see that the questioning of Key’s honesty etc continues.It is just a shame that the MSM gave him such a long honeymoon.

    I note that Andrea Vance is continuing to dig and put up another article on Stuff yesterday on Key and Fletcher which also covers Maarten Weevers’s contact with Fletcher over recent years prior to Fletcher’s application and interview for the GCSB job.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8596303/PM-defends-spy-boss-breakfast-meeting

    The last line is typical of Key’s approach

    Asked why he had not been upfront earlier about the date of the breakfast meeting, Key said: “I wasn’t asked about it; I was asked about what meetings I had.”

    Many of the 32 comments to date at the bottom of the article are also worth reading in terms of aligning with the sentiments in the Dom Post editorial.

  3. Paul 4

    “At what point did Key start to lose the trust and support of the MSM and why?”
    When the owners of the corporate media could see their puppet Key was not going to deliver the results they wanted.

    • tc 4.1

      +1 they just want a new front person as this one is risking the loss of power.

      They’ve been nowhere near scathing or searching enough on the many Shonky lies and deceptions they’re just annoyed his ham fisted ego centric approach is now too obvious and widespread to gloss over.

    • ghostrider888 4.2

      yes Paul, that is part of the image, yet there is more behind those ‘ies of Keys than just personality politics.

  4. Morrissey 5

    New nickname for John Key: Cui dono?

    Should appeal to Latin scholars who don’t particularly like the Prime Minister…

  5. aspasia 6

    John Key’s blatant use of cronyism and patronage have now become so normalised that the young journalist who compiles the Herald Diary page seems to assume that Key personally funds projects through NZ on Air. Criticising Gaylene Preston’s daughter for her much publicised “I’m with stupid” photo taken with Key, the journalist implies that Gaylene’s NZ on Air Funding of nearly $5m for a series on the Christchurch earthquake is in Key’s personal gift and that Gaylene is the “stupid” to be mocking him. entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10879774
    Now either this young journalist knows nothing about how about how independent government agencies award funding or she knows rather too much!

    (This is my first attempt at creating a link so look at this morning’s Herald Diary page if this doesn’t work)

    [karol: added link. You missed the first part of the url, which is the NZ Herald one – saw that article this morning – interesting exchanges on Malcolm and Lenin]

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Take it from me, that “young journalist” you mention actually knows nothing about anything.

      • North 6.1.1

        Joyous Morrissey !

        Doing an edit after seeing the hilarious response from, literally, “dumrs” a few comments below.

        Again, Joyous Morrissey.

        Hang on, am I responding to Karol, no it WAS M, hang on, it might have been CV.

        “Oh fuck, I can’t recall (schoolboy smirk) !

        “I forgot”.

        “I don’t have a clue” (laughing really manically now).

        ???????????????????????

    • Murray Olsen 6.2

      They will never forgive Mrs West, but I bet Rachel Glucina is angling for a list seat.

  6. fambo 7

    One thing that no one seems to mention is the impact of the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet lying about a good number of New Zealand’s elite, from the military to coporate heads. Not only do these people know the truth, they have lots of associates who know them personally who will have found this very distasteful. John Key may still have a lot of friends but he, and his other cabinet ministers, must have made quite a few powerful and influential enemies by now as well.

  7. dumrse 8

    A politician with amnesia …… and you talk of John Key. Show us the money Shearer, what do you mean you have forgotten.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Yeah, whatever happened to that story?

      Oh that’s right, no-one gave a shit.

      Funny old game politcs. That perception thing eh. Shearer fronted, problem went away. Key wriggles and squirms and lies; story snowballs.

  8. North 9

    Great post Karol !

    I was spitting as I read the bullshit throwaway “equivalencies” you mention.

    This editorial however is the guts. By design, who knows ? Check out the penultimate paragraph:

    “People now know they cannot rely on what the prime minister says.”

    What a thrashing ! From the Dom !

    Yes, politicians bullshit, every one knows that……..

    But the editorial speaks differently of this politician.

    “You can’t trust John Key’s word.”

    Fair analysis of the overall thrust of the editorial ?

    No, I don’t wanna hear from you DumbArse.

  9. georgecom 10

    Thinking back to the previous Nat leader, Brash, he lost his electability when he acknowledged that he had been telling mistruths about the Nats involvement with the EBs. Until that point Brash was seemingly heading to the Treasury benches. Thank heavens Brash was not devious enough to spin and conceal his way into power.

    Nothing suggests to me that the Key-Fletcher issue is in any way as large as the EB deceit that the Nats perpetrated. The day Brash actually came clean on the issue, rather than continuing with his deceit, was the day he lost the election, such was the magnitude of his coming clean. Keys demise may be a delayed reaction, things take time to catch up with him.

    That said, I don’t think the constantly changing Key-Fletcher story is the start of the Key-Nat slide. It might be the matter which has consolidated in peoples minds doubt or such like, but not the start. That goes back to the cup of tea, then ACC and Smith, Parata and her multitude of education blunders, Dotcom-Banks-Key and has continued on since. The entire second term for the Nats has had them on the back foot for one reason or another. Maybe people are simply getting tired of the excuses and lack of accountability, and have decided to make Key responsible even as he tries to avoid responsibility for everything bad.

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