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Armstrong still pulling his punches

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, November 29th, 2014 - 41 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, Media, spin - Tags: ,

For all his apparently fiery condemnation, John Armstrong is such a natural Nat that he is still pulling his punches on Key. Take today’s effort, superficially condemning, but all the while reminding us that we still love and support JK.

Outrageous behaviour leaves Key on the edge

This past week has surely been the most difficult and ultimately demeaning one in the otherwise stellar political career of one John Phillip Key.

“Stellar”? Like Key’s “final final” warnings to Collins, I’m losing track of the number of times Armstrong has had to condemn Key, somehow without ever crossing over that edge.

As yet, there is nothing tangible to suggest the Prime Minister’s reputation has suffered damage where it really matters – in Voterland – despite the disturbing contents of the report of the rapidly completed, but extremely thorough inquiry conducted by Cheryl Gwyn, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, which details the shocking abuse of power by Key’s office in the lead-up to the 2011 general election.

The message, as always, is that Key has been a very naughty chap, but everyone still loves him.

What began with a failure to recall whether he was for or against the 1981 Springbok Tour was followed by forgetfulness over how many Tranz Rail shares he owned.

Then there was the inability to remember how he voted on the drinking age, along with the sudden case of amnesia surrounding the identity of the passengers who flew to New Zealand aboard a mystery CIA jet.

Things started to get even more worrying when Key confessed to being unsure if and when he was briefed on Dotcom by the Government Communications Security Bureau.

They got even more dodgy when Key professed he could not remember whether he had phoned the brother of an old school pal urging him to apply to become the director of the GCSB.

This week’s lapse, which resulted in Key having to come down to the House to correct the record, was too much for Winston Peters to swallow.

He asked the salient question of how many more times could someone who was supposed to be the smartest guy that has ever run the country, but who had been caught fair and square telling a porkie, claim to have suffered a “brain-fade” and get away with it?

All well and good, but in the end still making excuses…

Key is not going to resign. Calling on him to do so only ends up sounding shrill.

John Armstrong, you called for Cunliffe’s resignation because he (caught in a dirty politics sting) failed to recall signing a form letter 11 years ago. After all his lies lies lies lies lies, what exactly does it take for you to call for Key’s resignation?

41 comments on “Armstrong still pulling his punches”

  1. Tracey 1

    That is some list, when you consider he had to have his own brain fade to think that is allnthe lies and brain fades.

    Perhaps he is saying our PM is ill, neurologically speaking…

    It reads like someone who wants to write more but feels he cant.

    Voters are becomg a bit like the wife married to a serialncheater

    • BassGuy 1.1

      That was what I wanted to say – that it’s clear Armstrong is standing up for someone with a neurological disability.

      Shame on us, for thinking that someone with a such a serious disability isn’t fit to run this country.

      Unless it’s not a disability.

  2. Dorothy Bulling 2

    Under orders from the board perhaps?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Not from the board, remember they are Australian owned (APN),but there would be ‘blue murder’ in the news room if they did.
      The long time tory subscribers would all be worked up, the major advertisers would be all hot and bothered.

      However, as Armstrong writes opinion pieces they could get away with it.

      Remember too the hit on Cunliffe seem to be orchestrated from national, and articles appeared online ‘very very quickly’, to suggest Armstrong had advance knowledge.
      Remember too the $100,000 Don Hua donation which was found to be fact free but the Herald loved so much

      • Tom Gould 2.1.1

        Heard of Tim Murphy? Or John Roughan? Armstrong knows precisely how close to the line he allowed.

  3. tc 3

    As expected Nat fanboy smell strong doesn’t want to sound shrill, would not harmonise with the shill he’s always been and upset his Tory chord sequences.

  4. Dont worry. Be happy 4

    We the many have many options. We don’t need imported unwieldy processes. We have our sense of humour and our sense of fairness.

    Start the jokes about Key’s serial lying, his brain fades, his cringey way with famous people. Write the songs. Make “cut the crap, John” something people think whenever they see him.

    He was built with words. He can be taken down the same way.

    • Tracey 4.1

      too true

      • b waghorn 4.1.1

        I’m going to start dropping gently in to conversation s things like ‘its time for a change’ and ‘national have had there turn’ I heard it lots in 2008 and it worked on me. (I nearly voted for key but went with Winny as a protest to the lie’s being told about Winny)

    • Sans Cle 4.2

      Couldn’t agree more. Once the narrative begins to snowball, the National Party will unpick itself, as I believe that it is a (small) Machiavellian faction within National that has its concrete clutch on the others in the party, and that faction is in full control at present. I believe in the better side of human nature, and good things will prevail from within the National Party itself (natural process of change and cleansing). The only hard damn pill to swallow is that this process takes time…..and in the meantime NZ is ‘stuck’ with a less than savory PM.

    • ankerawshark 4.3

      Don’t worry be Happy 100+

      Great effort from Steve Braunias today.

  5. The Murphey 5

    Which role is Armstrong most likely playing?

    A. Agent
    B. Asset
    C. Sayanim

    • Stephen 5.1

      What the fuck is this antisemitic shit?

      https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Sayanim&t=canonical

      • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1

        Good call, Stephen. There’s plenty of other websites for that sort of stoopid.

      • The Murphey 5.1.2

        Q. What inside you is sufficiently maladjusted that the response you come back with, is that?

        D. Infidel
        E. Jihadist
        F. Partriot

        It is of no surprise that TRP chose to endorse your hysteria, Stephen.

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.3

        Why is it antisemitic? Mossad does have helpers among Jewish people, and others, in the diaspora. That’s a fact. I doubt whether Armstrong is one of them.

        Whether Key is one of them or not, I have no idea, but raising the idea is certainly not antisemitic. If the Israelis in Christchurch were Mossad agents, Key’s actions at the time, and the smearing of Goff, certainly fit that role. I would neither dismiss the idea out of hand, nor base a political strategy on it.

        • travellerev 5.1.3.1

          Cameron Slater and David Farrar both have pretty tight connections with the Likud party, go to Israel regularly and if you just give their blogs a quick glance (if you can without throwing up) you will find that they are publishing pro-Zionist anti-Muslim (pro war) shit like there is no tomorrow at the moment. You want to know who the Sayans are here in NZ those would be my guess.

          Also John Key visited with the NZ Zionist federation before his first election and Israeli news papers wrote about how happy they where with John Key’ s re-election after the last.

          Whatever you might think of John Armstrong to deny the pro-Zionist affiliations of Cameron Slater, David Farrar and John Key is just stupid. Let’s not forget on what subject they where trying to shut Phil Goff down after all.

          Stephen you should check out who the real Semites are here. Most people Identifying as Jewish in Israel are non-Semite import while the real Semites are the Arabs born into Semite language areas. AND many of the native Jews who where living with Arabs in Palestine and all over the Arab world before the Zionist state was build by terror against them.

  6. Observer (Tokoroa) 6

    @ Anthony Robins

    Another fine piece of writing from you!

    The so called modern world has freed itself from morals. Once proud Morality is now just for suckers. Neither Key nor Armstrong is interested in keeping the moral code of the past.

    Since the mid 1950’s, but beginning well before that time, most people have shunned the inconvenient concepts of Truth, Accountability and Fairness. They have replaced the past essentially with one goal only. Greed Greed Greed.

    Given that the current generation has been raised in the climate of nil morality, it also believes entirely and solely in Greed and not surprisingly, they are committed supporters of the stellar John Philip Key. He is their God.

    Thatcher and Reagan and Greenspan were models for the American citizen. The great Banks of the USA eventually implemented their greed in a stunning explosion of decadence. Greed is good, you see. They have evaded Accountability.

    John Key cannot be accused of doing anything wrong in a world that has no concept of right behaviour. It is meaningless to accuse him of deceit for instance, because he does not have any belief there is such a thing.

    Neither do his voters. They are carbon copies of the man when it comes to morality. The great Rousseau “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” is dead. Long Live the Key!

    However, Key cannot be accused of failing to distribute Wealth and Equity. He distributes it to the Wealthy. Over and Over. He would never distribute it to the suckers.

    That’s why he literally loves Slater and Farrar and no doubt Armstrong. He adores them. They are believers in dirt and double talk. They read the same texts as Key. Think the same thoughts. They are in the business of destroying our once reasonably equitable society. They do it all for their god – Key.

    So does Armstrong – the poor screwed up little man.

    But Greed, sooner or later cripples those who worship it. As Rousseau says: “A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.”

  7. aerobubble 7

    Key outsources database housing with Slater. Key deletes txt messages and admits he’ll have to ask Slater for them. So Key removes information from out of the way of OIA and Slater has immediate access to government copyrighted material.

    Wow. Key denies the report, that di not cover Slater’s expedited OIA requests and now it turns out Key is just handing over archiving them with Slater, denying everyone else access.

    Please tell me it aint true.

  8. Maisie 8

    As I’ve said before and say often – it’s rugby morality. All’s fair and moral as long as the ref doesn’t catch you at it (such a ‘character-forming’ game). Key broke the rules – he got caught; so he has to be red-carded (or whatever they do) and kicked out of the game.
    Unfortunately he’ll probably manage to get Mr Oil to change the rules …

    • MrSmith 8.1

      I like the Rugby analogys, played the game for years and now think what a waste of my time, not to mention the destruction of my body, but really it’s all about social control and ‘following’ and supporting your team, get the masses doing that early and they become easily lead.

      “A kid in sport stays out of court”, it should read. A kid in sport stays out of thought!

  9. North 9

    Armstrong is a coward masquerading as a journalist.

  10. It is hard is understand how having no recollection of an 11 year old pro forma letter makes resignation necessary but lying to parliament doesn’t – I would love Armstrong to explain the difference. Still, the right wing media puppet masters might be coming to regret what they did to Cunliffe – they weren’t expecting fire and brimstone to reign down on Key and the nasties curtesy of Andrew Little. GO ANDREW!!!!

  11. Saarbo 11

    John Armstrong is clearly biased towards Key as you prove.

    But this really annoys me:

    As yet, there is nothing tangible to suggest the Prime Minister’s reputation has suffered damage where it really matters – in Voterland

    The reason that “Voterland” isn’t affected is because Armstrong et al haven’t (until now, sort of) made John Key accountable for his lies, so he obviously thinks he can continue to get away with his continuous stream of bull shit.
    The other point to make is, if National voters don’t have a big problem with Key’s lies and dishonesty, then they shouldn’t only be looking at Key, they should also be taking a closer look at themselves.

    • Sabine 11.1

      replace Voterland with National Voter/Donor, and you now why there is nor reason for Dear Leader to resign.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 12

    Armstrong will call for Key’s resignation when and only when the National Party’s big shots inform him that they have a favoured replacement lined up and ready to fill the PM’s shoes.

  13. Tracey 13

    compare herald coverage of

    john key lying

    len brown sexual infidelity

  14. Corokia 14

    Have any poll results come in yet on what the mood is out there in ‘Voterland’ after Key’s performance this week? What evidence has Armstrong got to back his claim that ‘there is nothing tangible to suggest the prime minister’s reputation has suffered damage’? Surely it’s too soon to say and thats just wishful thinking on Armstrong’s part.

    • Paul 14.1

      Polls or not, this behaviour of Key’s will maker more traditional Tories uneasy.
      Slater would stick in their craw.

      • Murray Rawshark 14.1.1

        The only difference is that the more traditional Tories are more discrete. Look what Holyoake did with Kinloch, for example. They hid stuff rather than do it in full view and say “So what?” Something has changed in the Kiwi psyche. Maybe all our outrage went on solo mums, dole bludgers, and gang members, so we have none left when it really matters.

  15. Inky 15

    I agree that a couple of Armstrong lines weren’t easy to swallow and he could have been tougher on Key but overall I enjoyed seeing this particular writer flicking ink from his pen in the PM’s face for a change. It would have been even nicer had it happened during the election campaign but it was a vast improvement on most of his offerings in the past six months or so and hopefully there’ll be more. A fair shake for the left is all I ask.

  16. Akldnut 16

    It’s so soon into the new election cycle, I’m guessing the Nats won’t be too concerned as long as it doesn’t get too much extended airtime.

    They know Kiwis memories are as long as it takes for a jug to boil and as long as they’ve had a few pieces of cake in the next few months all will be forgotten in the euphoria of the sugar rush as long as boat doesn’t overturn during the excitement.

  17. NZJester 17

    It was only a “extremely thorough inquiry conducted by Cheryl Gwyn” in so far as set out by the scope of the inquiry. I’m surprised she was able to get so much in without going outside of the restrictive margins.

    As for what it will take for John Armstrong to call for keys resignation, he will only do that if a powerful group inside of National decides it wants to roll Key.

  18. tc 18

    Askshully the article should be titled Armstrong at the end of his reach.

    To say he pulls his punches suggests he would do some real journalism on this Tory house of corruption……not going to happen.

  19. Pat O'Dea 19

    Armstrong is just one of a number, of a high profile right wing crusading journos.

    Greed is good is their mantra, trickle down is their religion, John Key is their Idol.

    Right wing journos like Armstrong see it as their job to keep applauding John Key.
    When John Key and his government attackwork rights to increase employer profits. This is reported as sound and responsible policy.
    When John Key and his government keeps privatising State Housing and propping up high rents with government subsidies, this is reported as “supporting the housing market”.

    All the misery visited on the low paid and homeless is swept under the carpet.

    When the government use the SIS against their political rivals and then lies about it this is reported as “regrettable” and even “ill advised” it is certainly not grounds to stand down and is reported as being necessary, “though unfortunate” cost of part of the war against terror.

    So how should the Left deal with these high profile Right Wing media stars?

    One way would be to Left to snub the most egregious examples.

    Starting with Armstrong.

  20. Adrian 20

    You’re not going to ” move ” the 31% that voted National, they always have and it has rarely been more than 34-35% of the population, it is the turned off 10-15% that have to be energised to actually vote that is nessecary for change. Unfortunatly they are disgusted with the whole process thanks to the sort of shit that has been happening.

    • tc 20.1

      Which is exactly what DP is designed to do, disengage voters with the old ‘labour too’ ‘they are all the same’ memes with KDC being an absolute gift for them last election.

      That’s why Slater, farrar, odgers and the new graham vehicle get the work and are having this nuanced spin about them recently in the MSM, get used to them they aren’t going anywhere.

  21. Sable 21

    Anyone expecting anything of consequence from the NZ MSM in terms of scathing criticism of Keys will ALWAYS be sorely disappointed.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Launch of the National Emergency Management Agency
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare today announced the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency from 1 December 2019.  The National Emergency Management Agency will replace the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. It will be an autonomous departmental agency, hosted by the Department of the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NASA 2020 Internship applications open
    New Zealand tertiary students with top grades and a passion for space will once again be offered the opportunity to work with the world’s best and brightest at NASA, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Recipients of the New Zealand Space Scholarship are nominated by the Ministry of Business, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to send more medical staff and essential supplies to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further support to Samoa in the wake of an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. Additional medical supplies and personnel, including a third rotation of New Zealand’s emergency medical assistance team (NZMAT), further nurse vaccinators, intensive care (ICU) specialists and Samoan-speaking medical professionals, will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago