The bankster memorandum

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, September 9th, 2013 - 158 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits, capitalism, class war, david cunliffe, democratic participation, economy, grant robertson, john key, labour, Shane Jones, slippery, telecommunications, workers' rights - Tags:

In his post today quoting Shane Jones, Tim Selwyn calls John Key the gorilla in the House: the one that the next Labour caucus leader needs to “take it to“.  John Key has always been the current National government’s greatest strength in using his wily bankster ways to sell their anti-democratic, economy damaging, international pro-corporate agenda: one that is damaging for the long term prospects for the country and the majority of New Zealanders, especially those struggling on low incomes.

John Key’s strength and weakness is in the way he treats the New Zealand government as a corporate entity and manages it in a top-down way, like a CEO.  Key likes to be top dog, is highly competitive, does not easily accept criticism, and will fight tough to maintain that status.  When challenged, as he was by Dotcom during the GCSB public submissions process, he can turn defense into attack.  Or he will use the downplay ploy: shrug, deny the criticism is of any consequence, and us and aw-shucks, shrug to convey that he’s not bovered. (As he did when talking, 2 minutes into the video, about the current Labour leadership contest).

Key is not to be underestimated.  He bided his time while John Campbell continually undermined Key’s agenda to extend the powers of the GCSB.  It’s highly likely Team key were working on his lines and strategies, so that when he did front up to Campbell, Key showed just what a formidable opponent he can be.

John Key honed his strategies and made his fortune and reputation in the world of speculative banking.  It’s a macho world of competition and macho bravado.

Joris Luyendijk, posted recently in the Guardian about this bankster world and its players, based on his conversations with a former trader.  The trader describes the competitive buzz of working in the financial trading market.  the trader explains:

“It’s really hard to convey what makes a trading floor such a mesmerising place. Guys jumping up and down, shouting ‘yours’ or ‘mine’ … bam bam bam. You ask if it’s about power? Well, the financial markets are an important part of the mechanisms that enforce capitalism.

[…]

“Trading is a quintessentially male environment. You have to be on your toes all the time. Say one clumsy thing and it will stick with you for years. Sometimes that’s okay because there is often a bit of humour attached to these things. Just as often people are humiliated.

“We play pranks. We once raided the bank’s stores of Blu-Tack, a substance used for sticking papers on a wall. Then we put Blu-Tack all over a guy’s desk. How it works, you taunt someone but at the same time it’s all fun and games. It’s a way to let off steam and also a way of signalling to him: I’m in your camp.

“Where I worked people seemed obsessed with power structures and keeping on top. For instance when someone was made redundant a remaining trader would do a deal between his book and that person’s, creating a profit in his book and a loss in that of the person leaving.

[…]

“Many of the people I worked with seemed fixated with money and status. Several guys who would tell anybody about the value of their car or their house through to the size of the tips they had given during their last holiday. I mean, how boring can that be?

“Many did extreme sports for charity, for example run a marathon. We’d be expected to contribute and you could see who of your colleagues gave what – substantial amounts. It’s another competition for them.

Part of the mythology that Key trades on is his state house to debating House journey, promoted as being a walking example of meritocracy.  Such a mythology also seems rife in the bankster world, while cronyism and nepotism is actually pretty strong.  The former trader told Luyendijk,

“There seems to be this general impression that most traders are upper middle-class types. I found that the traders were mostly barrow boys from Essex, really tough working class. Tough and churlish. What I found strange was that although several were obviously working class, they would constantly disparage ‘chavs’ and people with tattoos etc.

“One of my colleagues would talk to his wife, hang up the phone and then make fun of her in front of us. That was perceived as normal. Guys often refer to females as ‘wallets’, as in wallet-chasers. Perhaps that is actually the reality for some of these guys.

Nice finishing school that John Key went to!  No wonder his government has not been friendly to women, using them in supporting roles, while their bennie bashing hits single mothers hardest.  The callous disregard of bankster for the lives they damage, is played well by Bill Nighy in this video,

The title of this post loosely refers to the spy movie the Quiller Memorandum.  Let’s hope that, if Cunliffe does became Labour caucus leader (not yet a certainty), he really does have Key’s number, and he can use it successfully. (h/t micky savage).  During the Labour leadership roadshow at Dunedin, Cunliffe is reported as saying:

Labour has underestimated John Key. I won’t. I have his number and he knows it.

Cunliffe’s reference is to numbers in gambling, not phone numbers. But for Key it is all gambling, status and profit seeking.  For the left, the way forward is by genuine 2-way, and multiply-connected communications. It’s time to end Key’s stint as casino capitalist, and work towards a government that engages democratically with the NZ public: in person, through the media, and through the communications technologies available, and through democratic processes.

The left and it’s political representatives need to find a way to successfully work together to re-build a democratic, fair, inclusive and just NZ.

[Update]  The published version of Cunliffe’s  speech at Dunedin uses the word “measure” not “number”.

Labour has consistently under-estimated John Key. I won’t. But I’ve got his measure and he knows it.

158 comments on “The bankster memorandum”

  1. Tracey 1

    Nice work karol…

    the smiling assassin is obviously a compliment in trading circles (as well as a warning) but I am sure he was proud to have a nickname…

    as I have posted before I am surrounded by family and friends who lean to the right, and vote accordingly. It has been interesting of late to notice the increasing comments of disapproval they have of key, his demeanor and attitude. Unsolicited comments. I dont discuss politics with family and friends.

    • fender 1.1

      ” I don’t discuss politics with family and friends.”

      I do. Any opportunity I get to point out to anybody just what we have as PM I take it. It’s quite startling how many people around don’t really dig deeper than the msm for their information, and I take great pleasure in debunking their mis-informed beliefs. It’s amazing too just how easily it can be to turn opinions around when you inform people with facts based on the truth. I’ve ditched some friends over my own concern to avoid their drug culture bringing me down, and I would equally ditch them if they were a BM type sycophant blinded by love or infatuation. Life’s too short to put up with being surrounded by fools and tools.

      • Rogue Trooper 1.1.1

        “I don’t like the drugs, but the drugs like me…”

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        good for you. I have found it’s like talking to a brick wall and gets very heated very quickly. Not my definition of a relaxing time.

    • ianmac 1.2

      The term “The Smiling Assassin” I believe was the term that Mr Key used when referring to himself. He quoted it with apparent pride after firing a hundred or so of staff in London. I wonder why you would be proud for such actions?

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        You don’t normally give yourself a nickname but you might be right. Where is your evidence for this claim?

        • Tracey 1.2.1.1

          you seem to be right, it was given to him. There are numerous references.

          Including here

          http://chemtrailsnorthnz.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/in-search-of-john-key-original-article.pdf

          • Gosman 1.2.1.1.1

            Oh I’m pretty sure he did get that nick name. It was just interesting that ianmac had to try and denigrate Key by implying he gave it to himself.

            • Puddleglum 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Hi Gosman,

              He was apparently not very shy in relating the fact of his nickname:

              During Key’s brief spell for Merrill Lynch in Sydney in 2001, he helped fire 500 staff as part of savage worldwide retrenchment by the bank. In the past, Key has appeared proud of his ability to sack without feelings. He told Metro magazine: “They always called me the smiling assassin.”

              Another quote from the same link:

              The high stakes and tribal nature of investment banking mean the head of a successful team, such as Key, is often hated by others in rival teams. And those with sufficient character to rise to the top are often aggressive, forceful individuals with polarising personalities.

              But Key managed to make himself appear relatively inoffensive to the widest possible number of people. Perhaps this makes him bland, indeed, one former trader describes him as “a bit of a clone”.

              He is likely, too, to have gained an extra layer of blankness from his training as a trader. Traders must learn the art of the poker face, to show no emotion even in extreme situations, and to guard their inner self.

              The only tangible sense in which Key asserted a persona of his own was in his accent. “We sometimes felt he would lay on his Kiwi accent so thick in meetings that none of us could understand what he was saying it was kind of deliberate,” says Kelly. “

              The ‘aw shucks’ strategy and inoffensive persona has served Key well for a long time – probably back to his early school days, given his unusual upbringing for a Kiwi boy.

              • amirite

                Anyone who feels proud that they have sacked 500 people without batting an eyelid is a psycho. Also, it’s not his ‘thick Kiwi accent’ but his slurring and mincing words that most of us find hard to decipher, and I’ve noticed that he uses it whenever he’s asked uncomfortable questions.

                • Gosman

                  You obviously have had no experience in investment banks given thst comment. One of the flip sides of people getting highly paid is a lack of job security. If you want to get in to that industry you should be well aware of this.

                  • If you want to get in to that industry you should be well aware of this.

                    I think that’s the point, Gosman. It’s not a good fit for people prone to empathetic and sympathetic reactions. It would be too emotionally turbulent an experience.

                    • Gosman

                      It would be rather arrogant to presume a certain personality type is better than others. I’d suggest outcomes are better at making this assessment and this usually has little to do with the personality of the guy at tge top of Government.

                    • It would be rather arrogant to presume a certain personality type is better than others.

                      Very postmodern of you, Gosman.

                      The ‘fit’ I was referring to shows that I wasn’t making a comment about ‘better’ or ‘worse’ in absolute terms.

                      ‘Outcomes’ – your preferred measure – depend on the ‘fit’ between one’s character (not ‘personality’) and the task at hand. If success at the task at hand demands a character that discounts responsibility for repercussions of one’s actions on others then such a character is likely to produce the ‘best’ outcomes and, in that sense, be the ‘better’ character for the task.

                      BTW, I say ‘not’ personality above because personality traits do not directly relate to the ‘virtues’ like honesty, compassion, loyalty, etc. (though there may be some weak correlations, especially at the extremes). Grumpy introverts can be just as honest, compassionate or loyal as ‘hail fellow, well met’ extroverts.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    One of the flip sides of people getting highly paid is a lack of job security.

                    Fuck off you asshole

                    You trying to explain that investment banker job security is worse than that of someone stacking supermarket shelves at 95% less pay?

                    Fuck you

                    Only you are sycophantic enough to protect people who earn the annual minimum wage in a week, trying to portray their employment as precarious.

                    What a dickwad.

                • irascible

                  As someone remarked recently: Key is such an egotist that the lovebites he boasts of receiving from the adoring public were self inflicted. And so it is with the mythology created around him…nothing about him rings true from the self adopted nick name of the “smiling assasin” through to his “aw- shucks, am I bovvered?” persona. Hold him up to critical scrutiny and you see the shallow, arrogance for what it is…selfishness and greed.

                  • Gosman

                    Seems like enough people like that at the moment but we will see at the next election if it is durable or not.

  2. BM 2

    Key is not to be underestimated

    Christ, how big are the egos on the left, 2 elections, 2 hidings.
    Wake up, the man is 10x the politician than any one on the left, I can’t believe there are still people out there who under estimate the man.

    And in case you don’t know, the reason why all the big brained intellectuals fail at trading is because their egos get in the way so they can’t admit they’re wrong.
    They ride all their losing trades to the bottom and end up losing their shirts.

    People from sightly more modest backgrounds such as Key don’t have a problem with making mistakes,no one can be 100% right.

    In the trading world some traders can be successful being right less than 50% of the time, the key is to know when you’re wrong and get out quickly, the flip side is knowing when you’re absolutely on the money and riding it for all it’s worth.

    It really is one of his skills and the reason he was so successful as a trader and the reason he’s so successful as a PM.

    He realizes quickly when it’s turning to shit gets in,makes changes and gets it sorted.

    • Tracey 2.1

      Wow BM, am really impressed. I didn’t realise how much nitty gritty you knew about the world of trading and traders.

      • BM 2.1.1

        Even though I’m picking up a rather sarcastic vibe.

        I actually did a bit forex trading a while ago and I’m not ashamed to say I wasn’t successful.
        It is not easy, you need cojones the size of watermelons, very deep pockets and be able to make snap decisions involving lots and lots of data which can have a drastic effect on lots and lots of money.

        Very few people have what it takes to be a successful forex trader

        • Tracey 2.1.1.1

          it wasnt sarcastic. I was going to put (genuine) in brackets.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.2

          and that is why Key’s complete inability to make decisions on the hoof is not about kahunas but about who he needs to placate before taking a stand…

          i am sure you will agree the trading floor and upper echelons are not representative of the “real” world. It’s quite rarified air and those who succeed or dwell there are in a somewhat artificial world.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.2.1

            And yet he seems to have been making a pretty good fist of it in the ‘real’ world (if being a politician can be called real).

            • Tracey 2.1.1.2.1.1

              my point is the right usually accuse academics and pollies of not living in the real world BUT “real world” is a vacuous term that is used liberally to substitute for argument. Key’s life is no more or less real world than an academic or politician. Everyone’s world is pretty insular.

              • Gosman

                Have you ever seen market places in most places in the world? I’m not meaning the sedate, safe, middle class suburban shopping malls of the developed world either but the bustle of the bazar or town square on market day. John Key is more connected with that ‘real’ world than any pointy headed academic would be.

                • McFlock

                  that would be why he’s keen on turning us into a third-world country.

                  • Gosman

                    If your vision for a developed world economy is full of shopping malls then more power to you. I actually like the hustle and variety in a market place myself.

                    • McFlock

                      He’s happy for our waterways to be open sewers for the dairy industry, too.

                    • Gosman

                      Our water ways have always been open sewers for the dairy or any live stock industry. It was the same under Labour. Nothing has changed. Not to state I disagree that things should change though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Dude, that’s bullshit (literally), stocking levels have gone up enormously in the last ten years. And I’d hate to count the number of dairy conversions which have occurred over that same time period.

                    • miravox

                      “If your vision for a developed world economy is full of shopping malls then more power to you. I actually like the hustle and variety in a market place myself.”

                      So what do you reckon the chances of markets (or even small, traditional shops) winning out in the new fast track planning laws and resource management changes? … Or their chances in pretty much any developed world economy that follows the similar economic policies to NZ?

                  • framu

                    well gossman is totes the tintin type

                    hes all searching out red rakhams lost hedge and shit

                    Of course he would know what the world is like – Him and his little white dog ‘ayn” are always out and about in morocco and other “real” places. None of you stupid communists have even set foot outside your state mandated cuboid so what would you know!

                    [/sarc]

                • Tracey

                  you think Key is more like to shop at a “market” than a mall? What planet are you on?

                  John Key shopping in Otara’s market or Dubai’s mall?

        • Puddleglum 2.1.1.3

          Hi BM,

          From your experience trading, would you also say that the successful ones also need to be ‘amoral’? That is, justify the trading on the basis that, despite the damage caused by a great deal of it, it is not their problem? That is, that that’s the job, and they have no moral responsibility for the consequences?

          My only insight into that world was a friend who ended up in one of the banks’ trading offices in Wellington back in the early 90s.

          That person had to work their way sideways in the bank – out of trading – because of the moral disruption to their Catholic upbringing. Basically, after they had gained the trust and friendship of a set of clients their boss said “Now you can really be useful” and told them that they were now to do deals that were more beneficial to the bank than to the client.

          My sense from that conversation was that it would be practically impossible for a moral and ethical person to succeed in that work, to any great extent.

          • Mike S 2.1.1.3.1

            Numerous studies have shown that people with psychopathic or sociopathic traits make more successful traders. So much so that the big investment banks now actively seek recruits with those personality traits. Apparently as many as one in 100 of us are psychopathic.(doesn’t mean 1 in 100 are serial killers!)

            I would guess that one of the big attractions is that these people have no empathy and don’t essentially have a conscience, which means they can make decisions which will negatively affect many peoples lives without hesitation because of the lack of empathy. This would explain the smiling assassin nickname perfectly.

    • Ron 2.2

      BM Seeing that you are so supportive of JK and his former occupation I wonder if you would like to enlighten us all as to exactly what benefit financial trading brings to a society. I am sure we would all benefit from your input on ths subject. You might also like to mention if you support PPP and HFT both ideas that are in the news these days.

      • BM 2.2.1

        There is definitely a need for currency trading.

        I haven’t being involved in any aspect of trading for at least 10 years so I’m not really up with the play on the latest ideas.

        HFT which I assume is High frequency trading.

        That was just starting to come in while I was doing it, one of the weaknesses of forex trading was the human side.
        By automating the process and basing your entry and exit points on trading algorithms you removed the hesitancy and doubt from trading which was supposed to lead to more successful trading.

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          A need based on what?

          • Gosman 2.2.1.1.1

            A need to facilitate the process of commercial transactions and to mitigate risk. If you didn’t have Forex trading you wouldn’t have mass international trade. Of course many lefties don’t believe in the benefit of mass international trade so perhaps you think that would be a good outcome. Luckily most rational and sane people do support it.

            • Tracey 2.2.1.1.1.1

              most rational and sane people dont understand it Gosman.

              yes, the left abhors international trade which is why they negotiated the FTA with China and one of them headed the world bank.

            • Kevin Welsh 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Interesting Gosman.

              “Luckily most rational and sane people do support it.”

              Righto. These rational and same people support a business that is 80% based on speculation. Doesn’t really sound like something a rational and sane person would entertain for a moment.

              I find it hard to believe that the world managed to get by quite nicely without this for thousands of years, but now it is a necessity for international trade to take place.

              http://www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/06/sevenfxfaqs.asp

              • Gosman

                Why do you think the world got on nicely for thisand oc years before this? Do you know that the vast majority of people live short and miserable lives in extreme poverty prior to international trade kicking off?

            • Mike S 2.2.1.1.1.3

              Absolute bullshit. The forex trading we’re talking about has no productive value to the economy whatsoever. Yes you need foreign exchange markets to help facilitate international trade but The speculative type of forex trading where traders seek only to make money from trading is detrimental to the economy. This is because it is part of the false, financial economy and sucks money out of the real economy of goods and services. That money rarely returns.

          • BM 2.2.1.1.2

            Cut and paste

            The primary reason the FX market exists is to facilitate the exchange of one currency into another for multinational corporations that need to trade currencies continually (for example, for payroll, payment for costs of goods and services from foreign vendors, and merger and acquisition activity). However, these day-to-day corporate needs comprise only about 20% of the market volume. Fully 80% of trades in the currency market are speculative in nature, put on by large financial institutions, multibillion dollar hedge funds and even individuals who want to express their opinions on the economic and geopolitical events of the day.

            • Tracey 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Thanks BM. To clarify is that saying that 80% of trading is kind of gambling to make money(lol @ express opinions) to become wealthier rather than for another purpose, like facilitation of trade?

              • BM

                I did like the expressing an opinion bit

                All depends, it can get very complex especially when hedging.

                People can be “investing” in gold or oil futures but could be long US dollars to offset their oil and gold investment.

            • Ron 2.2.1.1.2.2

              BM I would be interested in your source that most people support International Trade. Your supposition might have some weight if the trade was of equal value to both partners. Sadly this is rarely the case. I would encourage everyone to view the documentary Inside Job, it may help to understand just what damage the Financial Industry can do.
              The doco won an Acamadey Award as best documentary in 2010 amd also won a prize at Cannes Festival

        • Tracey 2.2.1.2

          “Key was ordered to cut his 300-strong team by 50 or 60, Bellotti recalls.

          “It was a very difficult environment,” Key says. “But for the survival of the business, we did what was necessary.”

          Bellotti, now managing director for global markets at Australia New Zealand Banking Group in Sydney, says Key succeeded as a currency trader without taking big risks.

          “He was not the king of volatility,” Bellotti says. “He was not the superstar outstanding athlete. He was consistent sometimes to the point of being boring. He was also a great team builder.””

          Business news agency Bloomberg takes an outsider’s look at where it thinks New Zealand and John Key are heading.

          When he was Merrill Lynch’s global head of foreign exchange in London in 1998, the ever-cheerful John Key was nicknamed “the smiling assassin” after he fired some 50 members of his team.”

    • Tim 2.3

      “And in case you don’t know, the reason why all the big brained intellectuals fail at trading is because their egos get in the way so they can’t admit they’re wrong.”

      I’ve no doubt you’re correct about that BM. I don’t underestimate the guy, but I do differentiate between intellect which involves a capacity for logic and reasoning, and animal instinct and cunning – parrot fashion learning.
      It explains why he’s so committed to an ideology that keeps on failing – or at least doesn’t give him the results he’s been expecting as far as the economy goes. All those jobs he promised, and higher wages.
      Even the mangled language is learned (why they even have ‘learnings’ these days – instead of lessons).

      The guy is ekshly a bit of a coward too – others have to do his dirty work in order for him to maintain his ‘regular guy’ persona.

      You’re right about the egos though – at least as far as Robertson and Jones go.

    • Froyd 2.4

      Which is why I suspect that if things start going against him badly, as they did for Rudd across the Tasman, he will bail rather than fail – his sort of ego can’t handle public failure so he’ll leave and let someone else carry the can so’s to maintain his ‘spotless’ reputation as he calls in all the favours he’s now owed for directorships and sinecures.

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    Mobster
    (see if you can spot my neighbour , he got some new moko applied on the front lawn yesterday at his ‘chur ch’)

    • Ennui 3.1

      I reckon if the Shonkstar had ever done a true days labour in his life, like at the freezer he would have a tat or two, or if not some scars to prove it. As it is he did the bypass and went straight to the casino.

      • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1

        i used to pick orders at a Mainland Distribution Center; always enjoy physical work in the cooler temperatures, had hand pellet trolleys and jiffys. We used to have challenges building the pellet as high as possible through selecting the order of stacking; that’s also when the weeding gets done. Time to put some spuds in again.

      • Rogue Trooper 3.1.2

        test

  4. Sable 4

    The question is not what Keys is, that’s clearly established by now. The question is what does Labour stand for? I’m, not convinced they have moved that far from the capitalist mentality that has seen them gradually loose ground and favour with grass roots voters. Labour need to start acting like a Labour party and not a vague “everyman”party if they want to tap into core support from elements of the middle and working classes.

    • Crunchtime 4.1

      Strange – have you been listening or reading anything Cunliffe says recently? Because that’s exactly what he’s been doing – talking up workers rights, the minimum wage, the living wage, taking a line against beneficiary bashing and poor bashing (that the other two are not actually matching).

      If Cunliffe does get elected Labour leader, then I believe you’ll get the Labour you’re asking for.

  5. Wayne 5

    Karol,

    If you think John Key is all about being a “casino capitalist”, you are seriously deluded.

    I know it is fun to make cardboard caricatures about ones opponents, but this constant meme about John Key as the casino capitalist as a means of describing his role as PM are way off the mark. It also shows a woeful level of ignorance about the motivations of the National Party.

    One of the reasons why National succeeded in 2008 was because we had a realistic understanding of the Helen Clark government, not a fanciful one that only appealed to party activists. We worked out what people liked about the Clark government, how it fitted into New Zealand’s political history, and of course what NZer’s did not like about it.

    Its no accident that Sir Michael Cullen has been appointed by the Nats to various boards. We grew to respect him.

    I guess we will find out soon enough if David Cunliffe really has the measure of John Key.

    • Rogue Trooper 5.1

      It will be a close race, different strengths, who will be the stayer (intrinsically motivated).

    • Tracey 5.2

      Wayne

      Did you read Hollow Men?

    • karol 5.3

      Wayne, my post is about Key and not National Party motivations. I mainly go on what is available in the public arena, media, policies, watching parliament TV, etc.

      The way I’ve summarised the anti-democratic, bennie bashing etc agenda, is base on the design and impact of their policies and strategies. “Motivations” is an unverifiable thing going on in an individual’s mind.

      I’ve come to my own conclusions about key’s strategies and style, also based on such public evidence, including how he comes across via videos, TV etc. His behaviour, way of speaking (as in the videos I’ve linked to) and presenting ideas present him as someone who perfectly fits the kind of traders described in the Guardian post.

      I agree the Labour Party strategists need to base their approach on a wide range of research. But I am not a strategist for any political party, let alone Labour (I am not a Labour party member, and not likely to give them my party vote until they truly show they have returned to a solid left position.

      My post is written from the position of being part of the broader left, and one of my points is that we can’t rely on MPs to do everything for us.

      • Gosman 5.3.1

        What you seem to fail to understand is that attacking Key hasn’t worked for the left till now so why should it be any different going forward.

        What different strategies are the left going to try in their attacks. Is it going to try what you are attempting here by highlighting his Forex trading background? I thought Mike Williams tried that before the 2008 election to little success.

        What the left should do is chip away at his power base by trying to remove supporters in caucus. Go after a few Cabinet ministers and weaken him. If you weaken him enough you don’t even need to attack him directly to defeat him.

        • karol 5.3.1.1

          What different strategies are the left going to try in their attacks.

          um see the other TS posts on Cunliffe’s vision, the speeches by the Labour leadership contenders, plus Green Party policies, etc.

          • Tracey 5.3.1.1.1

            gosman is being left behind karol. He is still peddling his communist crazies meme, he hasn’t worked out that people posting about disliking key is not the same as a political strategy at campaign time to personally attack him.

            he has selective memory so bear with him.

      • Paaparakauta 5.3.2

        That’s a great moko on him, Karol, except for the unnecessary ‘Merrill Lynch’ ..

        It gives him a gravitas and maturity he lacks in real life.

      • Chooky 5.3.3

        +100 Karol…..thanks!….very interesting post

    • fender 5.4

      “Its no accident that Sir Michael Cullen has been appointed by the Nats to various boards. We grew to respect him.”

      Doesn’t stop the likes of Key, English, Joyce et al spreading lies and misinformation about his competence as Finance Minister though does it. Wayne, your National cronies are foul and corrupt.

      • Tracey 5.4.1

        “We worked out what people liked about the Clark government, how it fitted into New Zealand’s political history, and of course what NZer’s did not like about it. ”

        The first and second were what they focused on. Then they packaged themselves as appealing to these voters, and this is the key, so they could then do what they wanted without having to spell it out too clearly how detrimental it would be to most who voted for them.

        • BM 5.4.1.1

          This is the key to being successful in business or politics, it’s got nothing to do with being visionary and new.
          It’s about what’s in the market currently and improving on it.

          When I hear people on the left talk about being bold and visionary,I think “these guys don’t have a clue”.
          You don’t need to be new and bold you just have to provide a better product or service than what the other guy/girl is offering.

          • Tracey 5.4.1.1.1

            ” improving on it.”

            I disagree, it’s less about improving the product than changing how the product looks so they buy it from me instead of you. I dont know if you read Hollow Men BM, but it’s not really about a deep ideological heartfelt belief to pull poor kiwis up, and raise wages and so on…

            it’s about looking like you want to do those things.

          • Colonial Viper 5.4.1.1.2

            It’s about what’s in the market currently and improving on it.

            That’s only one strategy, a conservative one, and one which neglects that paradigm changes in service and product concepts can create whole new markets which never existed before.

            • BM 5.4.1.1.2.1

              True, but it’s incredibly risky, the upside is, if it comes off you control the market.

              The downside is people are naturally conservative and stick with what they know, which makes the chances of success so much harder.
              Change has to be a gradually process, get people used to it, which is why once again Key is so successful.

              For example, when he won the election in 2008 unlike what many on the right wanted he didn’t suddenly announce “The previous nine years of labour rule is now over everything is out the door and this is how everything will be done from now on”

              Key knew it would be a fucking disaster and people would revolt, so instead he’s doing it the correct way and gradually making changes.

              • So, BM, you would have advised Douglas and Lange against making the rapid, truly revolutionary changes they introduced?

                • BM

                  Absolutely, it was very poorly handled.

                  Changes definitely needed to be made but the haste and the ruthlessness that Douglas and Lange went about it was pretty terrible.

                  Destroyed a lot of lives and communities unnecessarily.

                  • Thanks for a consistent, reasonable – and reasoned – response.

                    • framu

                      agreed

                      BM – its not often we would see eye to eye (except maybe for architecture it seems), but comment threads like this one totally change my opinion of you

                      Keep it up (though i dont think you need anyones approval or anything)

                      Cheers

              • Tracey

                you will admit they moved incredibly quickly to change the labour laws to disadvantage unskilled workers, or advantage employers (depending on viewpoint), happened VERY fast indeed. There were some things they reversed VERY quickly.

    • framu 5.5

      “One of the reasons why National succeeded in 2008 was because we had a realistic understanding of the Helen Clark government, not a fanciful one that only appealed to party activists.”

      so near five years of screaming “shes a lesbian!” “oh my god shes wearing pants” “look! her teeth are ugly” and who could forget “LIGHTBULBS, ARRRRGGHH DEMOCRACY HAS ENDED!”had nothing to do with it wayne? Or was that just part of the plan?

      • Tracey 5.5.1

        lol

        hence my comment about hollow men…

        the key is that Key didnt yell that, they used people like Hooten to plant the meme… and the blogosphere of course.

        national was playing dirty but they made sure their MP’s hands were clean.

      • Wayne 5.5.2

        Well as MP’s we did go on about Light bulbs (an easy and cheap shot), and of course the Electoral Finance Act. Although we could never really understand why Helen developed such a tin ear about the excesses of her Bill, maybe it was third termitis.

        Of course we do know she could get a bee in her bonnet about certain things. Her reaction to the Forshore and SeaBed Hikoi being an example. Not really that smart to say she would sooner meet a sheep – and in many respects her fall in popularity can be pinned to that time. Such a comment might get a laugh, but it does cause people to wonder.

        As for the personal insults, well, yes there were plenty of party members who went overboard on that, just as there in Labour today. The number of times I read here about John Key being a psychopath, including from primary authors.

        We did actually try to discourage them, since it was not pleasant, and usually counterproductive.

        And I know that John Key holds Helen Clark in high regard.

        • karol 5.5.2.1

          Helen Clark on the Foreshore & Seabed was not her finest moment.

          I’ve never called Key a psychopath.

          I’ve always struggled to understand why Key dropped his finance job and came into politics, after never having been involved in politics.

          My comments aren’t persona and say nothing about his personal life. They relate to Key’s career, mthology and media persona, carefully nurtured by Key and his handlers. It’s the main marketing strategy of the National government, therefore it is legitimate to analyse it.

          • Gosman 5.5.2.1.1

            People burn out in finance all the time. He had the good sense to get out while he was ahead. I believe he came back to NZ to raise his young family. Isn’t that the sort of thing that the left would support?

            • karol 5.5.2.1.1.1

              I believe he came back to NZ to raise his young family.

              Oh, right, and then he thought, PM job coming up soon, I’ll go for it?

              • Gosman

                No, he thought that he might like to get into politics and approached a senior National party member about the possibility of becoming an MP. Do you find something morally objectionable about a New Zealander from overseas coming home and getting involved in politics?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Raising a young family while being Prime Minister: Karol was pointing out how ridiculous your comment is.

                  • Gosman

                    I don’t believe he decided to become PM straight away. He was just a standard MP initially. Unless you think MP’s shouldn’t have young children.

                    • vto

                      You’ve got your blinkers on crooked gosman, he aimed for PM since he was 9 years old. But then, that is just what he said, so I guess it means fuck-all actually.

                • framu

                  “approached a senior National party member about the possibility of becoming an MP.”

                  does santa still visit your house to?

                • beGone Craven Spy Bill leopard

                  Lol Gosman,

                  Didn’t you miss a bit out there?

                  Corrected version:

                  “He came back to NZ to raise his young family and destroy any remaining democratic practices getting in the way of his ‘bosses’ profits. Isn’t that the sort of thing that the left would support?”

                  Makes the answer to your question a little more obvious: No, I think that there must be a few Right wingers who wouldn’t support the damage Key has conducted on the democratic practices of this country.

                  • Gosman

                    “…I think that there must be a few Right wingers who wouldn’t support the damage Key has conducted on the democratic practices of this country.”

                    Such as who?

                    • vto

                      exactly

                    • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard

                      Just assuming that there must be people of right wing persuasion that don’t like the lack of principles Key and co have shown.

                      Would have thought that even some Nat MPs/back benchers might feel ashamed what they are doing to this country and their ‘governing’ (snigger) techniques. Kinda more closely resembling a farce…must be some who see the level of incompetence in evidence.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Lots of old school Tories have come to hate Key.

                    • Gosman

                      Such as who exactly C.V.?

                    • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard

                      @Gosman,

                      I am aware of people who usually vote National who voted NZ First last election. Bet there will be heaps more who do that in the next election.

                      Start looking around for other parties folks, this Nat party is incompetent

          • Wayne 5.5.2.1.2

            Koral,

            I agree you have never called John Key a psychopath, though you do seem to think his role as a banker explains all his current actions.

            For what it is worth, I think he always thought politics would appeal, but wanted to do other things first. And his chosen profession would pretty much have required his total focus, especially once he went overseas.

            In this regard I think the Nats tend to be a bit different to Labour.

            Far fewer of them are party activists since teen years. However, some are (Simon Bridges, Nikki Kaye, Murray McCully, Bill English, Tony Ryall, Nick Smith, Jamie Lee Ross, Chris Finlayson to name a few).

            But a significant number come in during their mid 30’s to mid 40’s having had very little engagement with the Party. They may have had a desire to be engaged in the past, but for a variety of reasons did not do so. But they know what they believe in and where they fit in the political spectrum.

            I suspect for the PM, the age of his children, along with achieving financial independence, would have been a factor in his decision to return to NZ. And it meant he had the opportunity to do what was always in the back of his mind.

            And remember, all politicians (irrespective of party) think they have what it takes to make a difference for their community ahead of other people.

            • Tautoko Viper 5.5.2.1.2.1

              “And remember, all politicians (irrespective of party) think they have what it takes to make a difference for their community ahead of other people.”

              So you think that John Key went into politics to make a difference for his community (the financially well-off) ahead of other people (the 95% of kiwis).

            • geoff 5.5.2.1.2.2

              Hollow words from a hollow man.

        • framu 5.5.2.2

          you totally avoided answering the question wayne

          your setting up this fantasy that national succeded because of knowledge of the electorate and sound policy that people wanted

          im saying thats a load of stinking bullshit

          Through your proxies you engaged in a multi year hate fest.

          You engendered an atmosphere that ended up with people thinking a proposal (not even a draft bill or policy) on shower heads was equivalent to the burning of the reichstag.

          You spread lies, slander and deliberate mis-information

          and then had an election campaign that was essentially – “its our turn” and no actual policy, just slogans

          Yeah, national one – but dont for a second have the nerve to try and claim it was anything other than a long term, planned campaign of negativity and deliberate manipulation that got national over the line

          Yes you had an understanding of the electorate – but it a manipulative, dishonest and cynically hollow implementation of that understanding that was put in effect.

          And that was just the 2008 election. lets not bring up the brethren just yet

        • lprent 5.5.2.3

          Although we could never really understand why Helen developed such a tin ear about the excesses of her Bill, maybe it was third termitis.

          Doubtful. After all the act essentially remained the same after National got in, renamed it, and did minor changes in quantity to limits. About the only substantive change was the period of the electoral period that parties had to account for back down the the ridiculously short few months before the election. Good for National’s campaigners to hide their electioneering. But that still needs to be changed in the first term on the next Labour government.

          Interesting that National had the tin ear when it came to them running retrospective legislation for legitimizing the clearly illegal actions of the police/GCSB and ignoring all public submissions from anyone (including the law commission :twisted:).

          And the TICS bill is even worse.

          I guess they just have a death wish / second-terminalitis…

        • Tracey 5.5.2.4

          You didnt say whether you read Hollow Men Wayne. That puts a different light on the “strategy” of National from the one you attempted higher up. The proven lying to the public…

          How do you consider the EFA was significantly more an attack on democracy than, say, the GCSB legislation?

          Are you prepared to state here and now that you believe that every MP who voted for that Act, ad who has nothing to hide, has nothing to fear from posting all the emails they sent or received yesterday, online for the public to view?

        • yeshe 5.5.2.5

          “And I know that John Key holds Helen Clark in high regard.”

          jeez wayne .. I’m sure that’s really important to her. hope she reads it here. Yeah ? Nah.

  6. wyndham 6

    Brilliant karol – – – – as with all your posts !

  7. johnm 7

    Key at the time thought the Celtic Tiger was a great show.
    As far as I’m concerned he’s one of those self-serving w$nking bankers. One of the Merryll Lynch mob

  8. Pasupial 8

    Karol

    Just starting to read your post, but read the TDB one earlier this morn: It was by Tim Selwyn, not Selwyn Manning.
    [Feel free to delete this comment if/ when you update your post’s link.]

  9. Crunchtime 9

    I think it’s clear, despite the ABC crowd and much of the media running scared, that Cunliffe is the best person for top job.

    But I’m hoping to see all 3 candidates on the front bench. All 3 are capable and talented ministers who have Key’s measure.

  10. BREAKING NEWS!

    http://www.investigatemagazine.co.nz/Investigate/4153/top-organised-crime-agency-ofcanz-in-sky-city-casino-shocker/

    NZ Prime Minister John Key – helping to set up a MONEY-LAUNDERING FACTORY at Sky City?

    Penny Bright

    • Bob 10.1

      Sort of like ‘Notes In Coins Out’ is a way of money laundering Penny?
      Remember, those are ‘clean coins’ coming out of the machine, they don’t even have serial numbers!!!! Helen Clark should have been strung up for allowing this terrible money laundering scheme into the country!

      Also, the new TITO system requires people to leave their personal details when they withdraw more than $500, a system that has to been seen as an improvement (not perfect but an improvement) on the existing system for controlling money laundering.

      Out of interest Penny, if you were to become Mayor, what is your stance on the Casino? Would you be declining their building consents for the new conference centre?

    • Tim 10.2

      Pick your battles Penny. If its true, or has any merit to it – it’ll keep!

  11. Rob 11

    Oh my god, the horror, a blu-tac stunt gets actioned in an office.

    Really……

  12. chris73 12

    “Labour has consistently under-estimated John Key.”

    – No shit, some of us have been saying that for years but theres still posters on here that continue to write him off

    “I won’t.”

    – Smart

    “But I’ve got his measure and he knows it.”

    – What does Cunliffe have that Cullen, Clark, Goff, Campbell and Shearer didn’t? These are bold words so it’ll be interesting to see if he can back them up

    • Tim 12.1

      Probably having seen him ‘operate’ and ply his bullshit at a very human and grass roots level C73. Pulling his con jobs when there is ekshly no need for him to have done so. Rotary type stuff.
      Seeing through, and actually witnessing the spin.
      Still – if he’s got nothing to hide, he’ll have nothing to fear ….. aye!

  13. tricledrown 13

    Merril Lynch are facing 2 prosecutions by US authorities at the moment looking back through ML s history they are the most corrupt bank ever John Key was involved at very high level saying it didn’t happen when I was their is jusy another lie.
    Which is what we have come to expect from Key and ML.

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