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Armstrong: Key’s Cynical Politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, November 26th, 2014 - 29 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: ,

John Armstrong has joined in the powerful pieces from the likes of Sean Plunket and Matthew Hooton and called out Key for his dirty, cynical politics – even while he oddly fails to call for Key’s resignation, despite calling on Cunliffe to do so for far less:

The Key administration has plumbed new depths of arrogance and contempt for the notion of politicians being accountable for their actions in its response to today’s hugely embarrassing report by the independent watchdog who maintains oversight over the Security Intelligence Service.

National instead simultaneously released the findings of the Government inquiry into allegations Judith Collins undermined the former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley.

And just to make sure Gwyn’s report did not hog the headlines, the Government also released the result of the review of the Corrections Department’s handling of the temporary release of Phillip John Smith and his absconding to Brazil.

Dumping all your potentially bad news at once is an old political trick designed to limit political damage to one day – rather than taking taking political hits as each report is released over a period of days or weeks.

The ruse should not be allowed to shift the focus from Gwyn’s report, however.
An apology is also owed by the Prime Minister to Nicky Hager. If there was any doubt about the veracity of Hager’s claims in his book Dirty Politics – which there was not – then Gwyn’s report vindicates him completely.

But all of it soundly calls Key out – now can the media keep up the pressure over this awful abuse of power?

Also – Andrea Vance:

Key might feel inoculated from Dirty Politics by both reports because they do not directly implicate him. He takes hands-off to a disturbing extreme.

It stretches credibility to suggest Key – and his chief of staff Wayne Eagleson – bear no responsibility for the conduct of de Joux and Ede.

Using a burner phone – like a character out of Breaking Bad – and deleting emails is not behaviour becoming of a senior adviser to the prime minister. Neither is drafting character attacks to be run on a notoriously vicious blog. Nor is leaking sensitive information from intelligence briefings for use in a pre-election smear campaign. The report reveals Ede recognised his behaviour overstepped the mark (even in his black ops role) remarking it may land him “in the s…”.

Still, Key continues to insist his staff acted professionally at all times. Perhaps that is because Ede and de Joux were doing exactly what they were paid for: the dirty work while keeping the boss’ hands clean.

How long until National starts looking at how to get rid of their dirty Prime Minister?

29 comments on “Armstrong: Key’s Cynical Politics”

  1. Paul 1

    Morning Report are certainly failing to apply pressure.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yip.

      I think Key is once again going to get out of this one, because the report says he had no involvement. If it said he did, or if it was unclear whether he had or not, things might be different.

      But Winston Peter’s point is also very valid: Gwyn never actually interviewed Key or asked him anything, which is frankly incompetent and means we can’t really trust what the report says.

      • karol 1.1.1

        Hager explains it – the Gwyn report was into the NZSIS. They were only interested in Key’s office in relation to that. It was not an investigation into the activities of Key or his office.

        And someone tried to stop the Gwyn inquiry from doing any investigation of the PM’s Office.

        • toad 1.1.1.1

          Exactly. The IGIS has no jurisdiction over the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister’s Office, so her inquiry could only be into the legality and propriety of the NZSIS’s actions.

          That is why we need a Royal Commission to inquire into the detail of what went on in Key’s office and how much Key knew about it. Of course there is no show of that ever happening.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            The next left-wing government could commission such an inquiry. I don’t think that there’s any statute of limitations on doing so.

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        …and because outlets like the herald are playing in full on their site his rehearsed version of events, including that Goff leaked the report. Not a single journo asked him for proof of that allegation, they let him stand there and play his rehearsed lines. If you can put yourself through the clip, as I did, you see them standing by with recorders, largely unconnected to what he is saying allowing him to frame it and perpetuate yet another deception on kiwis. It’s like they just were there to record and write up his words for publishing., Have some pride people.

        CF Ongiong press coverage of Painting for charity – speeding to All Black match (something this PM would be hailed for as a keen AB fan) – her peripheral knowledge of the Glernn/peters BS… targetting of Peter Davis (note no targetting of Mrs Key except maybe by Sutton)

        Fisher obliges the un demonising of carrick graham, and Odgers with the photo and their order at lunch yesterday. No comment that neither gave evidence cos they weren’t available. Mr Graham’s gutter ethics goes further than this one incident…

        And not a single journo prepared to state that Hager was correct in his allegation. If you go back to his book and read what HE alleges not what others say he alleges, he has been proven 100% correct.

        None of this behaviour is new to the Nats or John Key. Yesterday the herald or Stuff said that the relationship between ede and Slater was long rumoured before hager’s book but no one did a shred of investiagtive work…

        Post election a few are tut-tut-ing. Big deal.

  2. Al 2

    National will never ditch Key because they know they are gonna’s without him.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Here we go again. The headlines scream ‘Collins cleared’. What it boiled down to was that Collins and Slater backed each other’s version, and their was no actual hard evidence, like a signed affidavit for example, to the contrary. That’s all it takes on Planet Key. So long as the conspirators stick together and keep their stories straight, they are all in the clear. Regardless. This is what passes for Executive government in New Zealand in 2014. And the indolent, craven media move on to the next distraction. No real harm done. Nothing to see here. They’re all making money so what’s the problem?

    • karol 3.1

      Although Max Nippert of the NZ Herald, 4 questions not answered by the Collins report:

      Who didn’t the Inquiry hear from?

      What information wasn’t considered?

      Who was Slater working for?

      What happened to the police complaints?

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        So much for this government’s mantra of “nothing to fear? Nothing to hide” cos Ms Collins held back alot of information from the inquiry. They shouldn’t need to ask for it, the innocent lady with nothing to fear would just hand it all over, right? NAH!

    • RedLogix 3.2

      They’re all making money so what’s the problem?

      Truth is of zero worth to a money trader – the only thing is having the balls to ride the bet. Winning is the only truth.

      This is his background and training. What you are watching is a master trader taking a massive gamble right in front of our eyes. No secret, smokey whispers – this is John Key at the peak of his powers telling Parliament that black is white and daring anyone to trump him.

      I think it’s probable he will sweep the table, right under our noses. And within a few weeks Armstrong will be back to telling us what an extraordinary politician Key is and how he’s our greatest Prime Minister. And in that sense he’d be right.

      • Tom Gould 3.2.1

        Too true, sadly. Is Key the new benchmark, having rewritten the rules of politics? Is the only way to defeat him to play him at his own game, only better?

      • Tracey 3.2.2

        PLUS 1

        Nailed it RedL

      • irascible 3.2.3

        Quite agree. Research recently reported in either The Guardian or NewStatesman revealed that the most unethical behaviours and unscrupulous dealings came from those involved in money speculation and banking. Key obviously still believes that he can engage in the behaviours the trading pit taught him regardless of the greater consequences than his own self aggrandisement.

        • Tracey 3.2.3.1

          and those around him. he is not doing this alone. His attempts at humour, imo, are the “tell” that he wasnt prepared for the question and was caught off guard and relies on his own “skills| to reply. yesterday was largely rehearsed. Who trains him up..

          Joyce
          CT
          others

          And they all share the same lack of ethics.

    • Macro 3.3

      We haven’t a news media worthy of the name in this country. There are a few who every now and then get a glimpse of what they should be on about – but these instances are few and far between.

      Meanwhile this slogan from WW2 (with appropriate amendment) is recalled to mind:

      “Sleep on New Zealand – We are watching”

      and soon for 48 hours in every bedroom courtesy of JK.

  4. halfcrown 4

    Don’t get too excited over any ramblings by Armstrong. He hasn’t asked for Keys resignation and I would not be at all surprised if there would be further ramblings by Armstrong blaming it on the holiday David Cunliffe had, or the apology for being a man, or……….
    sarc/

  5. Tracey 5

    You don’t have to trust me, or believe me, you just have to have enough delusion to think I can put more money in your pocket… and be prepared to sacrifice everything to keep that hope.

  6. Sable 6

    Ah the MSM. Come election time in three years hence Keys will be transformed with the application of a little literary magic (in other words bullshit) from a metaphorical frog (or possibly a cane toad) into a prince and all past transgressions forgotten.

  7. Tracey 7

    “The ruse should not be allowed to shift the focus from Gwyn’s report, however.” Armstrong

    It’s like he sees himself powerless to keep the focus where it should be…

  8. Henry Filth 8

    What’s a burner phone?

    • felix 8.1

      A cheap prepay phone that you can throw away to cover your tracks, as in use it and then burn it.

      Only of use to criminals of course.

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        and it’s not registered to any user or is registered under a false name. So any calls/texts are from that number and not able to be linked to an individual (we-ell it’s a lot more difficult, especially if discipline is maintained)

        just making that bit explicit 🙂

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2

        Only of use to those who need or want to avoid official scrutiny of course. FIFY

        In this case Ede used a burner for corrupt and probably illegal purposes, acting for the National Party, in a perfect expression of everything the National Party represents.

        There are legitimate purposes: avoiding the attention of John Key’s smear machine might even be one of them: who knows what depths they’ll plumb?

  9. NZSage 9

    I cant help but think this is all part of the right’s master plan.

    Key must be close to his use by date so he’ll take the fall allowing the next right wing knight in shining armour to save National at the next election,

    The left need to integrate and collaborate to beat these right wing sociopaths,

  10. A Voter 10

    If we remember that Key is a product of the international corporate culture of vultures and creative money money making then you know honesty working for the good of others is not in his nature
    He is an arrogant egocentric self made believer of his own divinity when it comes to politics and firmly wants politics to be that which gratifies his image in the minds of all he touches or inflicts himself on
    We could do with a change, hes so bad he makes Muldoon look good and we all know how tough it was when he got it wrong
    Pity we cant call for another election or could we a REAL NZ SPRING

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