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A PM but not a leader

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, October 6th, 2011 - 123 comments
Categories: economy, john key, law - Tags: , ,

In October last year I wrote a post called A PM but not a leader, focusing on Key’s lack of character and leadership with respect to then current events (Paul Henry’s racism and Key’s kowtowing to China).  Fast forward to today and things are getting worse…

New Zealand’s double credit downgrade is an international vote of no confidence in the Nats’ economic management.  How does Key respond?

Govt refuses responsibility for credit downgrades

The National-led Government is refusing to take any responsibility for the decision by two major international agencies to downgrade New Zealand’s credit rating.

On Friday morning, Fitch lowered New Zealand’s credit rating by one notch to AA, citing the country’s rising debt and persistent and widening current account deficits. Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s rating one notch from AA+ to AA in the afternoon.

During a fiery debate in Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister John Key and Finance Minister Bill English blamed the former Labour-led Government and economic woes in Europe and the United States for the downgrade.

In 2009, Mr Key warned that a credit downgrade would be disastrous for the New Zealand economy.

Mr Key and his Government then took full credit when a downgrade was averted. But now the Prime Minister says the downgrade is not his fault.

Happy to take credit for the good books left to him by the previous government, refusing to take responsibility for the muddle his own government is making.  Not the mark of a leader.  Here’s another example:

Key unconcerned about Labour’s electoral commission complaint

Prime Minister John Key says he is “not concerned in the slightest” that he may have breached electoral rules after hosting a RadioLIVE show last Friday, despite Labour lodging complaints with the Electoral Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Authority. …

Mr Key says he didn’t seek advice on whether it was against electoral laws and he did not know if his office did.  When told that it would be his office and not the radio station that would be responsible for the breach of the rules, he replied, “that’s a matter for others, there’s a process and people should feel free to go through it”

Got that campers?  Key is “not concerned in the slightest” that he may have breached electoral law, and didn’t even seek advice on the issue.  If he did it’s up to others to catch him out, because he doesn’t give a damn.  Kind of makes a mockery of all the faux outrage bleating about breaches of electoral law doesn’t it.  Not the mark of a leader.

Finally of course yesterday, Key used the incident of an unstable man trying to throw himself over the balcony in the debating chamber to attack Labour, shouting words to the effect that “you should be ashamed of yourself, that’s down to you guys” and making a throat-slashing gesture to Labour as the man dangled. Inappropriate, nasty, ugly.  Not the mark of a leader.

Three strikes, you’re out.  John Key is a PM and a very popular media product, but he isn’t a leader’s backside and he never will be.

123 comments on “A PM but not a leader”

  1. Good comment r0b.  I posted this in open mike recently:

    They say that the best test of a person’s leadership capabilities is to put them in a crisis and see how they respond and yesterday in Parliament provided a good opportunity to see Goff’s and Key’s responses to a crisis.

    Goff was superb.   His speech given immediately after the incident was one of the best I have seen.  He showed passion, grit and determination and the ability to react and think on his feet even after being confronted by a potential tragedy.

    Key’s response showed the real Key.  He lashed out at Labour, accusing them of something they clearly were not responsible for, made a gesture some have been arrested for and then slunk in his seat when he realised what he had done.

    Over the past two years Goff has been hammered by the forces of the right, by the media and a meme has been constructed that he is not leadership material.  This attack has worked well, the population at large are indifferent to him and even amongst the ranks of the left he is treated with caution.

    But I believe yesterday should be a reason for all of us to reflect on this.  Goff is the real deal, compassionate, determined and capable.  Key is anything but.

    This country needs a left coalition to kick this rabble out.  Whatever your political flavor be it Green, Mana or Labour get out there and campaign for votes and get people enrolled.  Because this country needs Goff and not Key.  

    • JT 1.1

      As much as I have a deep distrust of all politicians, I agree with your comments on Goff’s behaviour yesterday. The difference between him and Key was like night and day.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Labour supporters have always joked about Key being a capitalist showman with little of moral substance behind him.

    Seems its actually true and the joke is on all of us, as a country.

  3. This might go towards explaining John Key’s stunning actions. Inappropriate, callous, less than emphatic, irresponsible , arrogant are words that come to mind. Turns out that in a scientific research about Psychopathy in Switzerland they had to come to a stunning conclusion: Stock guys, FX/commodities traders and derivative types are much worse then your stock in trade criminal psychopath lingering in jail.

    What do you reckon are your chances to rise up in that world to Federal Reserve of New York and head of bonds and derivatives level without being the worst of the worst?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      None, you have to be psychopathic just to work in that industry and, as the saying goes, birds of a feather… There’s no way that anyone in the top isn’t a psychopath and they’ll promote people like them.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      That is a very real observation travellerev. You run into suits like this in the corporate world all the time. The are the masters of “looking good”… of laying on the charm, using all the right ‘corporate speak’ jargon and dominating the conversation. They look good at first, but after a while you realise that underneath there is this emptiness. That the only person that really matters in their world is themselves.

      About 1% of the population are psychopaths; people without the capacity for empathy and have no conscience. Most of them are not vicious criminals; most learn to manage their disability by ‘faking normality’. They copy normal behaviour that enables them to function in society. Often the more intelligent ones, and Key is an intelligent man, learn to do this very well indeed… constructing personalities that are indeed very charming and attractive. In many ways it’s a remarkable adaptation.

      One of the diagnostics for psychopaths is that they often react in unusual ways to unexpecteded events. For instance many totally lack a ‘startle reflex’. Or in this case an unexpected threat resulted in odd or objectionable behaviour.

      Does this make Key a bad person? Possibly not. While many psychopaths can be destructive and malicious, high-functioning ones like Key can be a real enigma. While Key pulls off a likeable persona, and has plotted a very pragmatic path through policy… the Achilles heel is how he reacts under pressure. And to my mind this is a fatal weakness in a PM.

      • travellerev 3.2.1

        Hi RL, And stress is what he is under. Not for being a PM here but out there. The banking world in which he has millions of $ of interest is collapsing in a spectacular way and the bank of America in which he holds most of his assets (I.e. bonds and shares) are going to tumble if they loose it. He is beginning to lash out and become unstable and that will only get worse.

        BofA has a stake of $ 53 trillion in the European house of carts and is the fourth biggest bank in the world to be so exposed. Their shares are down to $ 5.70 from $ 99 two years ago!

        There is not a silver coin to be had at the NZ mint for the last week or so.

        When guys like John Key get thwarted that is when they get dangerous and so far it has been pretty easy for him but when he starts to loose big time?

  4. vto 4

    Completely agree with the post. Key is proving his shallow nature more and more with each passing week.

    I would suggest it is because he has spent his working life working in and with nothing but money money money. Not production of anything useful, no engagement with other people doing real tasks needed for the full functioning of a healthy society, not entrepreunerial in anyway, no pride in the contribution made, not performing a service that is needed in the world, nothing nothing, nothing. Just money money money – it is a shallow world and I have seen it before in people working in the world of money. The broader outlook withers and shrinks to a very narrow viewpoint – which is that everything becomes about money and nothing else.

    His manner points to exactly this syndrome. He is a shallow man.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      …which is that everything becomes about money and nothing else.

      IMO, that’s what’s happened to the economics profession as well. It’s difficult to measure all the different resources that we use and so they generalise/simplify it down to the movement of money and call the result an economic theory which it obviously isn’t as can be shown by the fact that we’re now running out of those resources. Unfortunately, they’ve managed to get the politicians to agree with them.

  5. KJT 5

    What a real leader would say.

    “My apologies to you all that this happened in my watch. I take responsibility for the problem, and, for making sure we do our best to fix it!”.

    A real leader would then follow up the words with positive action to sort it out.

    Not. Doing more of the same in the hope it will have a different outcome.

    As one American president had on his desk. “The buck stops here”.

    This leader and his puppet masters will be secretely happy as there is now even more of an excuse for TINA.

    • Carol 5.1

      It’s telling that Key has made no statement so far, either about the incident, or the scariness for those directly involved, or the allegations about how he reacted. We just get a statement from his office saying he was commenting about the role of his DPS – this is a bit of a stretch, and still makes it an inappropriate reaction at the time, especially given that it was firstly members of the public and security officers who restrained the man, with a security officer being injured.

  6. I think Key is overbuzzed by media, and I hope he fronts up and deals with what happened yesterday reasonably now the furore and friction has had a chance to calm down. Some sensible Labour words wouldn’t hurt either.

    I agree that Goff was quite different speaking his own words and feelings rather than potted campaign slogans, maybe he can carry on speaking for himself.

    I’ve always thought National need to be viewed with caution.

    I think you are over-optimistic thinking Labour is ready to hop back into the top slot, they have to learn to listen to their own and earn the right to get the countries confidence, they are a long way from that at the moment.

    • hawk 6.1

      I have to agree, it was nice to see the real Phil Goff. It is a pity that he didnt display this action and side for 3 years.

      On Key, foolish reaction from him as it gave Labour a chance to attack on a issue rather than inventing problems and trying to downcry him over non-issues.
      Interesting that it takes a situation like this for Goff to display the only leadership in public that I have seen from him. Perhaps if he was allowed to make his own choices in matters (like he did here) instead of having to follow his spin merchants advice or orders then Labours situation at the polls may have been different.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        You obviously need watch more closely – Goff has displayed leadership like this since he became leader. I don’t think he’s getting his vision for NZ across which is his biggest problem not that he’s incapable.

        • hawk

          Draco fair comment however I was suggesting that the people that guide Goff are incapable not the man himself.
          As he provide by his handling of an uncomfortable situation without the influence of the backroom politcal advisors.

      • Campbell Larsen 6.1.2

        Hawk – quick analysis of your comment:

        Comments critical of Goff:
        It is a pity that he [Goff] didnt display this action and side for 3 years.
        the only leadership in public that I have seen from him
        if he was allowed to make his own choices in matters instead of having to follow his spin merchants advice or orders

        Comment critical of Labour:
        inventing problems and trying to downcry him over non-issues

        Comment mildly in favor of Goff:
        it was nice to see the real Phil Goff.

        Mild criticism of Key
        foolish reaction from him

        So essentially the last two cancel out and we get to see the real you: someone who doesnt ‘like’ Goff at all, doesnt like the Labour Party and whose real purpose in posting a comment was to slag them off.

        You may want to consider going back to Spin School because you are rather transperant.

        • hawk

          Mr Larsen yes maybe rather transparent but I was not try to spin anything. Stating things how I see them is transparent but as I was not trying to spin have no issue with my words.

          I commented that Key made a mistake and he did, then I stated that Goff did a good job in a tough situation.

          Interesting that you then state you know the “real me” maybe you should have said ” I think I know the real you.

          To Goff- I don’t dislike him as I have never met him and can not make that judgement.

          To the Labour party- yes I do dislike them and support National (amazing of you to discover that from my words- stunning intellect from you).

          Maybe I will be even more transparent as my so called “spin” was discovered by you (round of drinks are owed to you by others as they would never seen this in my words).

          Labour have failed Goff by trying to invent him into a person he his not, I think he is a good honest politician who if he was allowed to be himself would have been regarded in a much better light with the public. As yesterday it was unscripted Goff which was 100 times better than the “Goff” Labour tried to create.

          • Campbell Larsen

            Hawk – after your blatently scripted threat of violence against me and equally scripted ‘retraction’ I am surprised that you think that ‘Hawk’ still has some legs on this forum – why dont you just get a new name?

          • Kevin Welsh

            I would suggest Hawk, that you watch the video feeds of parliament more often and you will see the real Phil Goff.

            I have lost count of the number of times he has ripped Key a new one during debates. Key always comes across as a buffoon constantly looking to the members on his own side for encouragement and laughter at his inane attempts at humour.

            Goff frequently speaks from the heart and comes across as more of a ‘kiwi bloke’ than Key’s manufactured persona ever will.

      • mik e 6.1.3

        MSM hawke are owned by Keys backers

    • mik e 6.2

      PG that makes dunne a kronic enabler

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Look while theirs no doubt in my mind Goff is a better man than Key in every way, lets not pretend Phil is having to behave a certain way or say things because he is controlled by spin Doctors quite frankly thats just bullshit. Phil is the Parliamentary leader of he Labour Party has been up against a massive media wave and at times he has made some errors and then some times some in his team have made errors. Phil is getting better and better with the media and he has continued to do better on the chamber floor, he did a great job yesterday. Labour has a better leader a better team and better policy now they just have to get the message out to the voters and just quietly I think it can be done.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Deadly_NZ first raised this in the Opportunist thread early this morning (12:12am, # I’ll re-hash it here so it gets some more airing as I think it’s an interesting perspective.

    Key may have had some wine to drink at lunch time, resulting in the performance we saw. If you watch the footage, he sits in his seat for quite a while, before suddenly springing up like a meercat. It’s almost as if he’s thinking “actually this is serious, I should get up”. Once he sits back down, he looks, really, quite odd. Sort of trying to sink down into his chair and become invisible. It would also go towards his ill-judged outburst and throat-slitting gesture.

    It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen signs of Key possibly being under the influence. What do other people think?

    • insider 8.1

      Is this the new Standard meme is it – that Key is a drunk? How well did slippery go for the last election?

      • felix 8.1.1

        Don’t know if it’s a meme, but it’s an observation people have made of his behaviour in the house.

        When he’s not too busy watching sports and DJing to actually turn up, he does exhibit some telling traits.

        Also, re- slipperyness: are you saying that he’s not “as slippery as a snake in wet grass” as one tv reporter described him? Or are you saying that he is, but we shouldn’t mention it? Genuinely interested in your answer.

        • insider

          He’s always had poor enunciation – eg says schdudents or similar – so it sounds like slurred speech. It’s not new. It may not be a meme but it appears more and more standardistas are using it, and that appears to be you picking up the concept from each other rather than from Key’s behaviour.

          No problem with you calling out Key for his decisions etc. Confront him, call him dishonest if he says one thing and does the other. My theory is people don’t mind the robust frontal debate, but they don’t like the generalised smear. Last election the left tried to overpersonalise it with the snide insinuation of slippery and IMO went really badly wrong, and the electorate is continuing to roundly reject it judging by the polls. I thought the lesson had been learnt but it appears not. One person on here even called him a sociopath for taunting Goff (this guy has obviously never been to a major sports stadium). That’s the kind of overpersonalised silliness that is a complete turn off. (note the right were similarly unsuccessful with personal smears on Clark – she remains popular today).

          • McFlock

            “One person on here even called him a sociopath for taunting Goff (this guy has obviously never been to a major sports stadium). ”
            Context is all – calling Key a sociopath for taunting Goff by blaming labour for the fact that someone tried to nosedive off the public gallery right in front of them is a reasonable call to make.

            How can we expect him to give a damn about the 200,000 kids living in poverty and hardship, or pensioners, corpses only being found a year after they died, when he doesn’t even give a shit that someone almost died right in front of him?

            • felix

              Well said McFlock.

              insider, if you don’t have much experience with addicts so you might not be able to pick up the signs. I’m just saying what I see, and that is he behaves like many, many addicts I’ve known. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he has a drink in his hand almost every time he’s pictured in public.

              I’m still interested to know whether you think Key is actually slippery or not btw.

              • insider

                So you are now saying that Key is an alcoholic? A habitual drunk. No I have no experience of dealing with addicts but I think you are pushing the envelope there. But keep it coming. You must have gone to the same charm school as Darien Fenton.

                I don’t see key as any more slippery than most other politicians or senior party apparatchiks – I think they all make some compromises along the way to get to the top. The one time I’ve met him he was a new MP but he was switched on and interested. I’ve seen him in other fora and he comes across as very relaxed. And in public he appears a very natural person in the way he talks and behaves, more than say Clark who appeared always in control, and the public seem to like that lack of calculation and so are not going to parse every word or gesture.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I’ve seen him in other fora and he comes across as very relaxed. And in public he appears a very natural person in the way he talks and behaves…

                  Go read up on psychopaths and you’ll find that they’re very good at mimicking normal behaviour and that it’s only under extreme stress or when they think that they’re untouchable that they express their true selves as John Key did yesterday in parliament.

                  • insider

                    Ok so today we now have John Key successfully analysed as a psychopath, a sociopath and an alcoholic. Wow that has got to be a record. Can we go for cat hater or whale hunter?

                  • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

                    When he rolled his eyes at Annette King’s screamin “scumbag!” after the jumper was removed?!?!?

            • insider

              Politicians taunt each other all the time, and make the most ridiculous of connections between issues. Just like on here and Kiwiblog. You are setting an awfully low bar for sociopathy

              • McFlock

                Insider – let me repeat: someone tried to nosedive off the public gallery right in front of them.

                It’s like trying to politicise a grisly car accident. Dodgy at best, but when you’re doing it at the scene with bodyparts still lying around, that would be way off. Get what I mean? The fact that inappropriate behaviour becomes even more inappropriate when it is in closer proximity to the event? If someone makes a joke about a bad event and the audience doesn’t like it, have you heard the criticism “too soon”? 
                God, you’re almost as bad as Key.

                • insider

                  You can repeat yourself all you want but your description will still be at odds with the descriptions and pictures in the NZHerald that show him trying to climb over a barrier feet first – quite a way from hurling yourself head first. It’s not the first time a ranting crank has tried to enter the debating chamber from the gallery, so let’s not get all hyperbolic about comparing it to a grisly accident with strewn limbs. If you get overenthusiastic in your description then perhaps that has stretched to your assessment of the inappropriateness.

                  • McFlock

                    Go jump 4 or 5 metres into a room full of chairs and tables. Assume whatever position you like. Get back to us with the results

                  • McFlock

                    By the way – most of the people present seemed pretty concerned by his behaviour, so arguing semantics about morbidity/mortality probabilities is beside the point. Everyone else in the room expressed concern for other human beings, be it the attempted jumper, the people who restrained him, or the people under him. Key wanted to score cheap points, and had no idea it might have been a slightly inappropriate time to do so.

              • mike

                “One person on here even called him a sociopath for taunting Goff (this guy has obviously never been to a major sports stadium).”

                I think you’re refering to me here Insider so let me say this:

                1. Last Saturday night I went to the sold out Otago stadium and watched the Ireland v Italy rugby test. So obvously, your reasoning regarding things you think are obvious is faulty.

                2. At said rugby test there was a guy sitting a few seats away from me who would regularly stand up and scream, and I exaggerate not, scream at the top of his voice things like, “Catch the f*cking ball you stupid c*nt!”, “Score some tries you bunch of f*ucking retards!”, “Hurry up and put your faggy jersey on you f*ucking c*unt!” Exactly like that. This guy was not speaking from his passion for the game, he obviously, and I do mean obviously, thought himself the height of good wit. I looked around and noticed that within a 10m radius of this guy there were dozens of families with young children.

                Now, I don’t know whether or not this guy was a psychopath, it takes a long period of observation and information about someone to determine something like that. Sometimes an asshole is just an asshole. But given that 1% of the population is estimated to be a psychopath, (I’ve seen estimates as high as 4% btw), one could reasonably assume there was more or less 300 psychopaths present at the 30,000 capacity stadium. I’d rate him as a candidate. So the presence of people like this at sports events does nothing to persuade me that John Key’s behaviour was not evidence of a sociopathic personality.

                3. You imply I have no other reason to suspect our dear leader than his taunting of Goff yesterday. I only said, in the ‘Opportunist’ thread, that Key’s behaviour was a classic sociopath’s tactic. True, taunts and baiting happens everyday in the house, but the context in which this taunt happened, the throat-slitting gesture? A man, no doubt a NZ citizen who our PM supposedly represents, (remember his “We care, you don’t!” taunt to Labour re child abuse), who may or may not have a mental health problem, might or might not have tried to kill or injure himself, or perhaps even intended to somehow harm an MP. What does John Key do? He thinks he sees an opportunity to score a cheap bait on Goff and tries to blame him for the incident, then makes the throat-slashing gesture. If you can’t see how that’s disgusting and indicative of a shocking lack of character from someone smart enough to know better, then perhaps you need to take a look in the mirror.

                4. Why would someone who is smart enough to know better make such a slip? People can come to their own conclusions and rationalize it however they like. But as others here have mentioned, when something sudden, surprising, ‘off-script’ happens, that’s when the sociopath can get a little confused about how it is appropriate to behave. They only know how to behave from studying what other people do in a given situation, so when a novel situation comes along, that’s when the mask can slip and they often do or say something that dumbfounds others with its inappropriateness.

                5. Which occupations can you think of that reward ruthlessness, being a good liar, being skilled at manipulating others, charm and charisma, and being able to present yourself in a way that others want to see you? Politics and big business of course. Researchers are indeed pointing to these professions as being over-represented with psychopaths. Their ‘skills’ (above) and lack of a conscience give them a very real advantage, and are more likely to rise in rank.

                Did you bother to click on the link that Travellerev provided above in item no. 3? If you did you would have noticed a scientific study which found that a group of stock traders scored higher on a test for psychopathy than a group of psychopaths. Yup, a scientific study, you know, one of those things where people who know what they are doing try to figure things out objectively, found that stock traders are generally more psychopathic than officially diagnosed psychopaths. Not just a wee bit more psychopathic than normal people, more psychopathic than psychopaths.

                What did John Key used to do before we voted him in to fix our problems… Oh yeah, he was a trader. (Did I mention that is the hook a psychopath uses if they select you as a victim? “I am the only one that undersands you and can help you.”)

              • mike

                Insider again I refer you to to Travellerev’s link in item no. 3 on this thread. You may need to reconsider your understanding of sociopaths and psychopaths (some argue there is no meaningful difference btw).

                Don’t worry though, most people don’t get it. And it’s only quite recently that psychologists have realized how prevalent in society they are.

          • Draco T Bastard

            One person on here even called him a sociopath for taunting Goff (this guy has obviously never been to a major sports stadium).

            Hooliganism seems a reasonable description of sociopathic behaviour.

      • Kaplan 8.1.2

        What’s the point in being uber rich if you can’t partake in the finer things in life at your whim?

        I’ve got no doubt Key has a few glasses of fine wine to go with his fine lunch. Hell with a bit of cash to flash he can probably also afford all manner of other things such as a fine walk, a fine book to read and perhaps even companionship of a fine style in the afternoon should he so desire.

        And why not enjoy the fruits of ones labour.

      • bbfloyd 8.1.3

        meme?…. you only have to watch key slur and droop on most of the news clips i’ve seen to know that you are looking at a person who has an issue with alcohol abuse….

        that has been widely known for a long time(amongst those who deal with him)…. the only reason it isn’t common knowledge is because of the layer of protection the news agencies have wrapped around him….

        i watched both my father, and step mother drink themselves to death… an uncle losing his business through his inability to control his drinking….

        johnny sparkles(old pink eyes) is showing all the classic physical symptoms of at least second stage alcoholism…. another three years as pm will result in shortening his life, as he has shown a worrying lack of spine when it comes to doing the hard things that a true leader would take in their stride…..therefore he drinks to avoid the reality that he knows will catch up with him sooner or later… quite a normal sequence in the development of final stage alcoholism….

        he may well be very close to a complete inability to think, and speak rationally(in his mind) without a skinful…. that will be rapidly followed by the breakdown of his cognitive abilities to the point of incoherence, with, or without the crutch that alcohol provides….

        so do your leader a huge favor…. accept that he may well be killing himself with his drinking, and push for him to get help…. rather than denying reality and help push him over the edge of the cliff..

        when all said and done, he still has a family that need him in one piece…

      • Deadly_NZ 8.1.4

        NO I did not say that Key was a Drunk What I said was :-

        “Also Key was the last to even get to his feet and his demeanour in the house makes one wonder at a bottle of the grape with lunch.”

        No where did I say that Key is a drunk, or that he looked Drunk. All I did was ask if had had some grape with lunch, The fact that you have now jumped all over me, for saying something that I did not say, leaves me to conclude that Yes he did imbibe. Thank you for confirming that.

    • just saying 8.2

      ‘He’s pissed’ was the first thing I thought when I saw the footage. However, Key often appears to be inebriated to some degree, to me, as I’ve said before. I doubt he’s the only one. Most politicians don’t appear in the media regularly. Boozing on the job seems to be something we are very tolerant of in politicans of all stripes.

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        I don’t necessarily think he’s drunk – I think it’s quite reasonable for someone in his position to have a wine (or maybe two) at lunch, particularly as the parliament is winding down with tidyup work left to do, and most of the focus being on the RWC at the moment. Sort of like the last week of school before the Christmas holidays. Also note that parliament sits at 2pm and I believe this incident happened around 3pm, so even if he’d had 2 glasses of wine a lot of the effect may have worn off by then.

        • just saying

          I think after two glasses of wine, Key would appear sober

        • felix

          Sorry WTF Lanth?

          You think it’s ok to get on the piss at work because the RWC is on?

          • Lanthanide

            “get on the piss at work” != a wine or two with lunch, which is all I’m suspecting.

            Lots of people have wine at lunch and then go back to work. I don’t see it as some big scandal.

            • felix

              It was the bit after I was really referring to – “particularly as the parliament is winding down with tidyup work left to do, and most of the focus being on the RWC at the moment.

              You seem to be saying there’s not much work for him to do. Would you like a to do list?

              • Lanthanide

                What exactly does he do while in the chamber anyway? If he’s not actually giving a speech or answering questions, he’d just be sitting there on his ass listening to others.

                Like I said, tidyup work left this week and nothing that he would’ve had to speak on.

                • felix

                  I’d like him fucking working, thanks. You do realise he’s the PM until November, right? He doesn’t stop getting paid when Parliament goes into recess.

                  But if you insist that he can only do “tidy-up work” while the RWC is on, the how about he starts by tidying up Christchurch?

                  Then he can tidy-up the mess he’s made of the economy.

                  And then he can get to work on tidying the cowshit and chemicals out of our rivers.

                  Will that keep him going for a bit? There’s plenty more tidying to do.

                  • Lanthanide

                    The thing is, on Wednesday afternoon in the debating chamber, he won’t be doing any of those things.

                    He should be, but won’t be.

                    Given that, is it really a crime that he drink some wine at lunch?

                    • felix


                      Given that he’s a lazy useless fuck, what does it matter if he spends all day at the park singing to pigeons?

                      RWC’s on anyway, right?

            • Viv

              No one who actually “works” in the afternoon can get away with drinking at lunchtime!
              The minute you start drinking- you’re not really working.
              Imagine the outcry if nurses, teachers or police had a couple of wines on their lunch breaks?.
              Why should it “be ok for someone in his position” to drink at lunchtime? Or is it OK to get pissed and paid if you wear a suit?

              • Colonial Viper

                You’ve forgotten that different rules and standards apply to our betters and our superiors.

              • Deadly_NZ

                And unlike us it’s probably a 3 course affair with different wine for different courses.

              • Lanthanide

                You think when Key goes to parliament he’s actually listening to anything anyone’s saying?

  9. Craig Glen Eden 9

    Well if he was, it wasnt the first time he has been in the house.

  10. Here is a still from the video I downloaded of John Key after Phil Goff calls him out with dignity and leadership after his outrageous behavior yesterday. Is it just me or is he getting creepier?

    • Tiger Mountain 10.1

      Don’t know about creepier ev, but certainly creepy as ever, just not many of the public get to see him in such an unstaged mode. Which is how his handlers like it.

      It will be interesting to see ShonKey and Phil on the TV debates. Bad move chopping the other parties, but the spinoff is there will be fewer distractions from Phil’s grasp of detail vs Johnnies spin. No escape apart from whoever the ref is and when the commercial breaks come. If Phil keeps his sentences short and drops in the odd taunt-I can ride a motorcycle can you? I work on a farm Mr floppy have you ever worked? Put the slipper in like the tories used to do to Helen-“no kids eh…”

  11. randal 11

    oh well new zealand is turning into a combo of lilliput and the land of oz with demented idiots in charge.
    Traveller ev, the answer to your question is yes.

  12. Wow.  Have a read of John Armstrong in the Herald.  And have a read of the comments below.  Has Key jumped the shark?

    • just saying 12.1

      Anyone who believes Key’s explanation for his outrageous behaviour is living in fairy, and really not fit to report news. The words (and gesture) don’t even match the excuse. Armstong is beyond guillable if he actually believes this.

    • felix 12.2

      A lot of people who hadn’t previously taken much notice saw the real John Key yesterday. I think we might look back on this event as a turning point in his career.

      • Herodotus 12.2.1

        All leaders slip be it Helen Clark, Peter Dunn Win Peteres or john Key. The thing in common is that look that they all get caught out displaying.
        So Felix take that eye patch off. Look in the leaders debate in 05 when Helen gave “that” look to Don was the same and there was no backlash then.

        • McFlock

          Had someone just tried to fly in front of them? If not, a slight difference in magnitude to pull the “labour did it too” card.

        • Draco T Bastard

          People make mistakes but only psychopaths blame others for things that are beyond their control in an attempt at political gain.

          • Herodotus

            Felix is great at challanging others, yet appears unwilling when he is !!!!
            It seems with all the energy that is consumed in keeping up appearances, that when this breaks down there is an extremely familiar look that results. Superimpose HC, JK , Dunn or Peters ontop of one another and there is that same facial expression. A basic primitive look.

            • McFlock

              Maybe your comment was so stupid that Felix didn’t realise it was supposed to be a challenge?

              • Herodotus

                Felix points the finger at Key yet does not see the same deficiencies in others.
                I also did not realise he has a cheer leading team that is sent out to do his dirty work.
                The debating chamber is a disgrace most times. The relevance to everyday people is nil, the coverage as it stands tells us nothing – you have to look hard to see any gesture from Key and how people read that is based on the pretext of the footage and their predisposition towards Key. “Converting the coverted”

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But that just it – it’s not the same. HC under attack from the RWNJs replied diddums. JK, not under attack at all, blamed all that happened on Labour and then threw a threatening gesture at them.

                  Quite a bit of difference but you refuse to see it.

                  • Herodotus

                    I was not referring to that response. The leaders debate in 05 when we got “that” look. cannot find the link. Anyway it did not damage Clark so why would this damage Key?
                    We now have “real” headlines – Jobs, Palin, Woods, and the only headline that directly affects NZ RWC . This did not even make it to being Fish and Chips wrapping paper 😉

                • McFlock

                  Felix doesn’t have a cheerleading team. RWNJs have a booing team.

                  • Herodotus

                    You are so deep Left: Right – Us : Them Black:White simple team dynamics. Our team is right they are wrong. Well in the real world it is not like that. Unfortunately with Nat or Lab it is voting for the one who is less wrong is the answer.

                    • McFlock

                      Maybe. But Key’s behaviour was pretty fucking wrong, where as Goff’s behaviour was “less wrong”. Maybe it was even “right”.

                    • Herodotus

                      Mcf I didnt say that, nice try in putting words into my mouth. Lab has no more of an answer to NZ woes than Nat. The only difference is the pace that we regress.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s not putting words into your mouth, it’s bringing the thread back on topic.
                      Although I would suggest that if you want someone to answer NZ woes, asking a person who shows little if any understanding of other people’s woes is a bit stupid. Maybe the country should look to the leader who actually realised the situation and acted with measured decorum and consideration, rather than our current PM.

                    • Herodotus

                      And who prey tell who has the answers and capable leadership? Because from what I have seen Nat or Lab donot have it. Just shifting deck chairs. taking a little tax from here to give a little there-really solving our problems.
                      So Phil handled himself well – Pity it was missed on all the news. But what got me was the speech he was delivering. Phil is concerned re morgages going up 1.5% well buddy they were 10.4% when Lab left office and there was no concern then.
                      So we have a AA rating, a bit of debt, current account issues, we borrow to keep living, one day we will be unable to borrow then what? NZ will be another PIGS, but we do not have a Germany to save us.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, interest rate increases are less affordable when your income is falling in real terms. 
                      But let’s go back to what you just said – a man tried to leap from a high balcony, the PM blamed labour for it and did a slit throat gesture, lab front benchers called him a scumbag, but what “got” you was that Goff doesn’t like mortgage rates rising faster than people’s incomes?

                    • Herodotus

                      McF I have looked at many versions of the footage. I can see Key gesture throat/chest I have no issue with the inappropiate action this was But more so with it being the PM. There are other actions that preceed this that also concern me. And Key was not worried about his safety you can see that but his actions.
                      But yes as there are many families struggling out there and the lack of sincerity of any pollys comments regarding morgage rates. The morgage, employment ,cost of living are everyday issues. These are the ones that capture votes. Labour displayed that they did not care what morgage rates were doing and Nat does not care either (as we will see with the down grade as will be seen by interest rates rises) and cost of living as the increase in costs of imports especially fuel.

                    • McFlock

                      Labour were not as concerned about interest rate rises because paypackets were also rising, inflation was not too bad and people still had jobs. 
                      1/4 is still one wrong, but it’s not as bad as 4/4. Are labour perfect? Hell, no. Is Goff perfect? Hell no! Are Labour an order of magnitude better for the country than national? Hell yes. And they’re not led by a nasty little slimeball.

                    • mik e

                      Heredoing on your bullshit again Mortgages were 10.4% but house values were much higher. Labour got 28% growth in our economy in 9 years so far double dipping downgrade has grown our economy at less than 1% in five long years as finance minister, He’s running up $ 76 billion of debt to buy votes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Mik e, unfortunately Labour “grew” the economy through those years by allowing a massive increase in money supply via private foreign debt.

                      Those in power had properties, property values were climbing, everyone was on a feel good, but it was all false. The only winners: the banksters.

                    • Herodotus

                      Mik e how am I B’ing ?
                      Much if not all of our growth was based on debt.
                      Also did not know that English had been finance minister for 5 years or that our debt was $76b. You must know something I don’t. For instance I thought Cullan was finance minister for 9 years – Unbeknown to me and I imagine many others it was about 7 and bill was labours finance minister for the other 2 😎
                      “far double dipping downgrade has grown our economy at less than 1% in five long years as finance minister”
                      And this may tell you whatpaid for our growth

                    • McFlock

                      So on the one hand  you don’t like people borrowing shitloads of money: “And this may tell you whatpaid for our growth
                      And on the other hand you don’t like high interest rates on borrowing: “Phil is concerned re morgages going up 1.5% well buddy they were 10.4% when Lab left office and there was no concern then.”
                      Isn’t there a bit of a disconnect there?

                  • mik e

                    CV looking at sats nz figures the amount borrowed overseas hasn’t changed much over the last over the last 35 years it increased under the Clark Cullen govt by the same amount exactly as the previous National govt and like wise this govt has replaced private debt with govt debt. The difference is that the Cullen fund and Kiwisaver were started which put our books in a better state to the tune of 20 billion dollars. But Labour got 28% growth over 9 years by spreading the wealth around national only got 8.7% growth over 9 years by tax cuts for the rich and user pays for the poor.Blinglish has borrowed what the market couldn’t and given tax cuts to the rich and user pays even more ie GST and has got negative growth in 3 years.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The answer to my mind is to start putting up firewalls between us and the global financing system; we can print out own money interest free and debt free, we do not need to borrow from foreign bankers at interest to supply our society with needed cash.

            • felix

              Actually felix didn’t know you’d replied, Hero. And now that he does, he wonders why you bothered. Helen Clark made a face once, so Key can do whatever? Is that it?

              Getting a bit bored with fuckwits like you who think anyone not blowing Key is a Labour supporter.


              • Herodotus

                You are so full of it !!
                If you view Lab and Goff with skepitism then you must be a RWNJ or think that the sun shines out of Sir John. Well news for you boy. There are some out there who question Lab, Nat or anyone else, view policies then make a decision.
                “I think we might look back on this event as a turning point in his career.” – Instead of just throwing out empty headlines how about displaying some depth and tell us why and what did you see?

                • felix

                  I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else. I’m very sceptical of Labour and Goff.

                  I also think it’s probably time you stopped telling me what I think and do some thinking of your own.

                  • Herodotus

                    Thats funny
                    “I also think it’s probably time you stopped telling me what I think and do some thinking of your own.” I thought that this was pretty evident by my question
                    “and tell us why and what did you see?” I did ask what you thought. Pity you cannot tell !!!
                    As perhaps I did not see what you did. So just asked the question?

                    • felix

                      Terribly sorry, didn’t realise you were in charge of setting the rules for this discussion.

                      How does it work? You label me as something or other from your own imagination and then I’m expected to argue from that position?

                      Err, no thanks, I think I’ll choose the second option where you go fuck your incoherent self and I carry on living my life.

                    • Herodotus

                      Interesting, you are happy to call out many others and challange them. yet when someone asks you for some depth into a comment of your. You are unwilling and revert to cheep trash talk, and use diversion tactics.
                      So in your comment 12.2 what did you see ?
                      Perhaps bully boy next time you challange someone, be willing to also stand up as well. I seen crap like you in the school yard before.

                    • felix

                      What the fuck are you talking about? My comment at 12.2 has nothing to do with anything I saw.

                      What’s your problem anyway? Have I insulted one of your other pseudonyms lately?

                      I seriously think you’ve got me confused with someone else and I’d appreciate you dropping your nasty little smears until you figure out who it is, cockhole.

      • just saying 12.2.2

        How would they know? Few people are like us – political junkies. Most get all their political info from the media.

  13. Lanthanide 13

    I’d say with Steve Jobs carking it and Palin choosing not to run, this story will be buried in the media now.

  14. Irascible 14

    Key displaying, yet again, the arrogance that his ignorance brings. How the media can be fascinated and supportive of such arrogance is beyond belief.

  15. randal 15

    The media has become besotted with ninnies. The huge tanker run aground at Tauranga could only make page 7 of the dimpost this morning. Big Red Hooton and the rest of the nats think tank have declared to their cronies there wil be no bad news unless it concerns Labour. We are living under a conspiracy of idiots.

  16. Grant Roberston has a reasonable say on it: Reflecting on yesterday.

    It’s worth noting: 3 News believes Mr Key may have said, “I said we needed them for situations like this”.

    • joe90 16.1

      A+ for this comment on Robertson’s post:

      Ernest Hemingway once said that “Courage is grace under pressure”.

      In the end, Phil Goff kept calm under pressure. John Key looked like a very scared boy

    • mike 16.2

      I saw that article and noted that while they provide sources for people saying he said different to that (“This is down to you guys” or “You should be ashamed of yourselves”) the article gives no source for that quote at all.

      It also says the throat-slitting might have been him trying to tell Labour to quiet-down. The video clearly shows there was already silence and the speaker was speaking clearly and uninterupted when he did the dirty deed.

      Pathetic TV3.

      • ianmac 16.2.1

        Was quiet enough for Key’s words to be heard so calling for quiet is a silly excuse.

  17. TV3 have put out a video with subtitles showing who said what when.  It is very interesting.

    • mik e 17.1

      bomber bradbury took Shonkey to the cleaners on moras show this afternoon yeah about time . and he gave MSM a hurry up as well.

      • Anne 17.1.1

        Over did it in his presentation though mik e. Gave the Nat apologist, John Bishop(?) a chance to put him down. Pity, because what he was saying was bang on of course.

        • Morrissey

          Gave the Nat apologist, John Bishop a chance to put him down.

          You’re dead wrong, Anne. Bishop did not “put him down” in any way whatsoever. All he did at the end of Bomber’s speech was sniff disdainfully and intone the following: “I thought it was a nice rant and I wondered how much practice he had before doing it.”

          Bishop did not even put up the slightest semblance of an argument against Bomber’s thoughtful and well-crafted speech.

          I’m interested to know on what basis you claim Bomber “overdid his presentation”. Perhaps you could explain for the rest of us.

      • ianmac 17.1.2

        Ah I see mike e. Thanks. Only heard the last 10 minutes of the Panel and wondered why Jim sounded a bit miffed. Will go and download it now.

    • Thanks for that link. Zooms right into the slash movement too!

    • Deadly_NZ 17.3

      But Bloody Garner was his usual suck up to Key self.

  18. randal 18

    Well back on topic Key was headhunted by bogie and wodger cur to look down his nose at the peasants and when he gets bored he will shoot through. meanwhile fay and co are back in town to line their own pockets with a quich 2 or 3 billion. and we wil get shafted once again.

  19. Watched TV3 news and the video on the website (why not, I’ve lent mediaworks $43 mil) and I think the prime minister is wrong. He doesn’t need the DPS.
    You can hardly see Key for Gerry Brownlee. I would dare an assassin being able to get to Key around Brownlee. You would have to go out wide.
    After all we know Gerry is not opposed to a bit of bifo, throwing people down stairs.

  20. HC 20

    This is all total bullshit! NZers are in general and mostly themselves people that know nothing better than “muddling through”! That is what I and many migrants have experienced and do experience ALL the time. This country suffers badly from a mediocre, low level, get by with as little as need be approach all the time. If things do not work out, it is the fault of migrants, business leaders (in some cases justified) and politicians. Yet, who votes for the politicians running this place? It happens to be “the people”. Add to that the tall poppy syndrome, class warfare from right against left, left against right and more primitive influences, and you get what we have. It is a dysfunctional, impotent, hypocritical and nonsensical society that fails itself by putting it’s own foot into the way to stumble. This country better needs to f***ing better wake up soon, or you can all go and turn off the light and move to Australia. It is a totally backward dumbstop idiot society, this, and those that have ideas are instantly rubbished and hated, from either side of the political spectrum. I do not want to be leftist or rightist, I want myself and others to be enlightened, informed, educated and “right” in the successful approach. This forum is full of one sided idiotic bickering, same as the rubbish shit from the right side of politics. You people beetter wake up and get some real sense of what this fucking country needs. Only some of you do get it! Good luck. I had enough of The Standard!

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      🙂 I actually agree with a lot of what you say

    • HC 20.2

      Addendum: What I meant to say in my angry and disillusioned comment was that there is an over-emphasis on John Key. He is constantly being attacked, even for trivial matters. Of course he is a jerk and BS artist, but he is also “Mr Teflon”. By excessive attacks on that one person he may actually only get more sympathy from many people, because they may even feel sorry for the guy. The least that can be said is, this over emphasis on Key is NOT working! Rethink you criticism and way of arguments and attacks. Instead of playing the man, it is more important to concentrate on factual matters of substance. Policies, actual policy failings in economics, welfare, education, health and more need to be raised and addressed – rather than go on and on about that jerk at the top. By giving him all this attention you are actually placing too much value on the PM. He loves it. Ignore the prick, then he may start getting worried. Criticise policies, raise statistics, bring the numbers, prove the facts that this government does nothing and is failing this country, that is the better way from my point of view. That is where the STANDARD may need to improve it’s image. Too many topics are emotive, focussing on issues by not delivering enough relevant information and facts, background info and so forth. An improved journalistic approach cannot harm and only enhance debate in this blog. Have a nice weekend! HC

  21. ianmac 21

    Our local National MP has an item in our paper explaining that the shock of the events is why people say those things. Mind you he says that he couldn’t see or hear Mr Key. I have written an ironic letter to our paper praising Mr King for his loyalty in spite of his being out of range of events. I did point out that Mr Goff must have been “in shock” too, yet was immediately able to commend the actions of the Security Staff and be a bit disappointed in the PM’s actions. Loyalty is so important don’t you think?

  22. As well as the diouble credit-downgrade, there is also the matter of the Retail Deposit Scheme which Key and English stuffed up. Actually, more than stuffed up – they’ve been caught out telling fibs; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/have-treasury-and-the-p-m-been-caught-out-lying/

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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