Over this year, we’ve seen John Key caught out lying on a number of occasions – the excuses for his “we would love to see wages drop” quote, his shares, numerous instances in the debate and other interviews. He has said things like ‘I’ve aways believed in climate change‘ when he had previously claimed to be ‘somewhat suspicious‘ of it. We’ve seen a number of instances of Key being caught in a lie on camera and getting that rabbit-in-the-headlights look that Audrey Young calls his Tranzrail eyes. Now, here’s another three times Key has overstated the truth in an effort to impress us, which our reader ‘Shonkey’ has uncovered:
– the claim on his parliamentary biography that he was on the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Ferderal Reserve of New York from 1999 to 2001. The FEC’s annual reports show that he was appointed for a three year term from 2000 to 2003 but quit the FEC in March 2001, and so was on the committee for 15 months, not three years. He would have attended at most 11 meetings.
– the idea in his Herald profile that he was global head of forex for most of his five years at Merrill Lynch in London. In fact it appears from trade press reports that he only held that position for about 2 1/2 years (1998-mid 2000) one of a string of global heads at Merrill that never quite managed to get it right as Euromoney reports.
– and one I find the most distasteful of all, trading off the tragedies of two Merrill families for political aggrandisement. In a 2003 debate on the Border Security Bill, Key told Parliament that on September 11, 2001
my boss, Michael Packer, died. He was giving a speech on the 108th floor, at Windows on the World. He perished with another two employees from Merrill Lynch, both of whom worked for me and whom I had recruited from the private sector.
Packer probably was the now Australian-domiciled Key’s boss in e-commerce but he couldn’t have had anything to do with hiring the other two Merrill employees killed on 9/11, and probably had nothing to do with them at all. One was 26-year-old Robert McIlvaine, hired only in July 2001 for New York based communications jobs (Key’s already in Australia by then); the other was David Brady, a 16-year veteran at Merrill and a New York based private client advisor who looked after about 150 wealthy families. Key had barely made his first forex trade in 1985, he didn’t start with Merrill until 1995, and he’s claiming he hired this guy.
These are not isolated cases. This is a pattern of behaviour; an instinct to lie, exaggerate and obfuscate to mislead people, say what his audience wants to hear, and cover his arse.
[Update: insider points out that Key claims he was at the FEC from 1999 to 2001, yet the FEC says he didn’t start until 2000. Just another of those inconsistencies that raises questions about Key’s basic honesty]