There is something well and truly stinky wafting from the 9th floor of the beehive.
I think the rot set in with Key’s TranzRail lies, and was well and truly established after Bill English’s housing rort. When the Nats were allowed to get away with these scott free, Key knew he could ride out anything. So he does. But now the warnings are coming thick and fast. From John Armstrong:
The farce grows with every day
If ridicule is the price of preserving the Government’s thin majority, however, John Key will continue to wear it – even if less than willingly.
Key is fairly confident of the direction in which the Banks donations scandal is heading: nowhere. He is gambling on his fig-leaf defence of his refusal to boot Banks from his ministry outlasting the capacity of Opposition parties to keep the story alive.
…Planet Key would be a place where prime ministers would not have to defend the indefensible.
And more directly from Tapu Misa:
Politicians think it’s fine to lie
… Are we headed in the same direction [as America], where lying to the public is no longer as politically damaging as it once was? The Prime Minister seems to be banking on it.
… Banks lied to reporters; he misrepresented the truth and misled the public on more than one occasion. All while a minister of the Key Government. One would have thought this would constitute a fatal failure to “behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards”, as the Cabinet Manual requires. But, no, says John Key. Whether or not Banks lied to the public is a matter of opinion, rather than of verifiable evidence. …
Key’s Banksian contortion is cynical and insulting – perhaps we’ll be too apathetic and stupid to notice.
… and Bryan Gould:
Banks affair should ring alarm bells
… There are two aspects of the case that worry me but which have attracted little attention so far. First, we are told, in Kim Dotcom’s sworn evidence, that he was asked by John Banks for anonymous donations because that would allow him to “help” Dotcom more effectively. This seems perilously close to an overt proposition that the mayoral candidate was willing to use his power, if elected, to offer differential “help” to a particular interest, and that this exercise would be aided if the financial help being solicited could be kept secret.
I am surprised that so few seem to have grasped the unacceptable nature of this proposed arrangement. The sale of favours by politicians should be anathema to any system of fair and open democracy.
The second issue is a mystery at the heart of the Prime Minister’s continued defence of his ministerial colleague. Whatever one may think of John Banks, there will be surprise that the Prime Minister has maintained such indifference to the compelling evidence that his minister was less than truthful in his treatment of supposedly “anonymous” donations.
Key’s arrogant disdain for ethical standards is clear.
Now we have the latest example, the GCSB spying scandal, a story which is breaking so fast, in so many directions, that I can’t even begin to keep up with it. Key is the Minister in charge, but (as usual) is denying all knowledge and all responsibility for the illegal spying – despite the fact that Bill English signed off on an agreement for the NZ taxpayer to pick up the bill if Dotcom sues.
Key says that the spying – illegal because Dotcom is legally a resident – was a “mistake”:
“If the people were New Zealand residents or citizens and met the test of requiring a warrant I would have to sign that warrant,” he said”. “But it was not believed any of those individuals met that category.”
Prime Minister John Key is defending granting Kim Dotcom New Zealand residency after a split in his Cabinet…
For New Year’s Eve 2010, Dotcom shouted Auckland $500,000 worth of fireworks. There was plenty to celebrate – he’d just been granted New Zealand residency.
Key is in trouble. John Armstrong again:
PM needs to come clean on bugging
A genuine mistake? Or a deliberate flouting of the law?
The fact that a true Nat fan like Armstrong has to ask that question shows how low Key has fallen.
John Key was at pains yesterday to stress that the unlawful eavesdropping by the GCSB on Kim Dotcom was in the category of error rather than conspiracy. And a very isolated error at that.
Well, the Prime Minister would try to downplay this rather large embarrassment, wouldn’t he? Especially given he is the responsible minister. Or is supposed to be.
Yesterday he was taking no responsibility for the illegal bugging on the basis that he was not informed of the operation until a week ago.
However – contrary to Key’s assurances – this is not the first time the GCSB’s exercising of its powers has recently come under question.
Key is the Minister responsible and this fiasco is on his watch. Bomber Bradbury sets out some questions that need answers. A fish rots from the head down. There is something well and truly stinky wafting from the 9th floor of the beehive.