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Can he look himself in the mirror?

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, September 23rd, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: corruption, election 2008, john key - Tags:

John Key on August 30 “The appointment of a minister to Cabinet has to be done on the basis that as Prime Minister I can look that person in the eye and have confidence that I can rely on their word.”

Also, I know it’s small change to Key but to those of us who aren’t multi-millionaires it seems quite strange to invest $200,000 in rail company and spend a lot of energy trying to find out information on that company’s prospects, then condemn rail as ’19th century technology’ and the company he put so much money in as ‘a train set’. I guess they were just catchy lines and a way to attack Labour. Pity his words couldn’t live up to his actions.

A final point that ought to be obvious. Just because Key lost money all up does not mean he wasn’t corrupt in his use of information he gained as an MP to improve his position. First, he made money when he bought shares in his own name, then met with Rail America, publicly talked up the shares, and sold them. Moreover, if Key had not asked parliamentary questions on Tranzrail (the answers to which are nominally public but, in reality, are only read by the MP asking the question), if he had not been present at select committee meetings, if he not met with Rail America, he may have held on to them longer and lost more money. Just because you’re a loser doesn’t mean your actions aren’t corrupt.

28 comments on “Can he look himself in the mirror?”

  1. Pat 1

    Steve Pierson wrote this morning:

    “Can we get on to discussing how to raise wages, whether we should break up ACC, and how to protect our environment now? … I suspect Kiwis will welcome coverage of issues that affect their lives instead of the latest gossip…”

    Contradictory posts. I think we should discuss John Key. I also think we should discuss Winston Peters and the Labour party protection of him. Neither should be brushed under the carpet.

  2. Haha – who is the Fat Controller btw?

  3. Pat. I anticipated your defence.. have a look in the thread of the previous post. And you will note I did discuss Peters I justdon’t intend to be obsessed over it, just as I will comment on Key’s lies without being obsessed by it – I’ve got too much other stuff to write for starters.

    Policy P. He’s the guy who came up when I typed Fat Controller into google images – that thing’s a gold mine.

  4. Pat 4

    Steve – well I’m afraid it looks like you are obsessed about it. Even right wing blogs have written congratulatory posts about Goff’s free trade deal. Nothing on The Standard yet. So far the line seems to be “Let’s discuss Key, let’s not discuss Winston”.

    [Pat. what was the first post this morning? Was it on Peters? don’t make yourself look like a fool. Don’t worry, I’ll be writing on the USFTA. SP]

    [lprent: Pat – that is a fast route to being banned (SP is nicer than I am). Read the last section of the About – “No – you must”. Here the posters post on what they want when they want. They write opinion pieces and this is not a newswire. As the section says you are welcome to start your own blog and rant there. However you are not allowed to pester the posters here trying to tell them what to do.

  5. vto 5

    SP, according to you on the “not with a bang but a whimper” post this sort of behaviour is acceptable if it is necessary to keep governing.

    Sort your standards out. One minute they’re over here, next over there, next again somewhere else.

    malleable morality.

  6. Pat 6

    Steve – hold back the personal attacks. Yes your first post this morning was on Peters – basically advising us that it is a non-story not worth discussing. Lift carpet, brush here.

    The Standard doesn’t have to be a sychophantic supporter. It is OK to criticize Clark and Cullen for their woeful handling of the Peters affair. Just like it is OK for National party supporters to criticize Key about his handling of the Tranzrail shares.

  7. Pat,

    John Key is a gambler. He is a very good gambler (hell, he made 50 million gambling/Investment Banking) but a gambler never the less.
    Bankers use everything they can to make money it’s in their system. And John Key used his position as a publics spokes person to glean information about a private investment. That is corrupt and I consider to be akin to insider trading. He may have prevented more loss based on his attack on Cullen and on the information he got out of Cullen that made sense to him alone causing him to sell his shares.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that John Key had sold all his NZ shares to prevent a conflict of interest. damned if I can find it back.

  8. RedLogix 8


    Read the report rather than just regurgitating headlines and talking points.

  9. Pat 9

    I recall reading that somewhere too. John Key would be advised to just turnover his books to the media to prove he has nothing to hide, and therefore kill the story.

    But Ralston and Trotter reckon there are more stories to come.

  10. RedLogix 10

    How about National turning over ALL their books and opening up ALL their Trusts … and apply exactly the same standard as has been applied to NZ1?

  11. Pat 11

    Good idea – but why only National?

    [only National has used them apart from NZF and maybe ACT. SP]

  12. pete 12

    So despite these shady dealings, that nice man Mr Key still lost money?

    Doesn’t that make him corrupt AND incompetent?

  13. vto 13

    what standard is that mr logix?

  14. RedLogix 14


    You know perfectly well that when a Party hides it’s real donors behind a Trust (a practise that this PC report roundly condemns as ‘no longer acceptable’) the effect is to hide it’s real donors and the exact monies involved. This is exactly the same offense you are all crucifying Peter’s for.

  15. randal 15

    well I must say that Winnie and Condoleeza Rice have done a lot of good work on the free trade agreement. He seems to be a natural for the job?

  16. vto 16

    no it is not the same ‘offense’ at all mr logix. I crucify Peters for his deceit and lies. He has the Spencer Trust – all well and good and permitted under the laws of the time. But he lied to an effective court (according to many) which is perjury.

    This is a completely different issue from usiong trusts for accepting donations. And you know that perfectly well.

    fyi i think bring on open book donations. it is curious why labour didnt do exactly that in the efa – why not i wonder

  17. RedLogix 17

    The only purpose of the Trusts was to hide the real donors and real monies involved.

    Anyone with the slightest sense of ethics understands that they were always wrong and were NEVER ‘well and good’. The law at the time required political parties to declare all donations and politicians to declare all pecuniary interests. The law did NOT permit them; the Trusts were merely an immoral, deceitful loophole to defeat the purpose and intent of the law.

    By using them National has been lying to us all for years.

  18. vto 18

    And labour Mr Logix.

    Anyway what I find most interesting is the left’s standard on whether people are suitable for governing, most neatly epxressed by Mr Pierson this morning where he said:

    “But politics is the art of the possible, if letting him (Winston) keep his warrent bt removing his portfolios lets important legislation like meal breaks/breast feeding, waste minimisation, and the ETS pass then it’s an unfortunate price to pay.”

    So why the beat-up on Key and his share dealings (if they are naughty) if this is the accepted standard?

  19. RedLogix 19


    Although National declared it’s Trust donations, we all know that they were merely a device to hide the real donors, whom various National Party office holders have conspicuously failed to “make an honest attempt’ to discover and declare. Merely declaring a sum from a Trust is an empty gesture amounting to a lie by ommission.

    National’s failure to declare its real donors is exactly the same thing everyone is crucifying Peters for.

    If you want to condemn Peters and Labour… you have to equally repudiate National for it’s use of Trusts to hide it’s real donors involving hugely greater sums, and Key in particular for his spectacular and venal failure to observe some absolutely basic standards regarding conflict of interest.

    You simply cannot have it both ways.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    John Key yesterday:

    “Well no one’s ever asked me the number I owned. I’ve always declared I owned the shares. I have owned them and I sold them on the date I said”.

    John Key today:

    “I never personally owned shares in Tranzrail. My family trust did”.

    Sounds like Key owned the shares the same way Peters received a donation. Lawyers and pedants say they didn’t, everyone else says they did.

    (and I categorically deny saying what I just said, because actually I typed it, so there … what a fun game this is!).

  21. vto 21

    Hey RedLogix, I don’t want it both ways.

    Re the use of trusts – all parties have been doing it and while it may defeat the intent of the electoral law at the time it was still not illegal. So while I agree the ethics are questionable it still complies with the law. So change the law – you fullas are the govt after all.

    This is very very different from Peters and Labour’s use of such a perjurer.

    Re Key’s share dealings – there aint no decent info out in the public arena to answer completely yet. But if he has been deceitful then the same standards should apply…

    … Labour’s standards, as expressed by Pierson this morning “But politics is the art of the possible, if letting him (Winston) keep his warrent bt removing his portfolios lets important legislation like meal breaks/breast feeding, waste minimisation, and the ETS pass then it’s an unfortunate price to pay.’

    So quite frankly I consider your assessment to have come up short. Mixing issues and standards.

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    GS – got links for those quotes (esp 1st one?)

  23. NeillR 23

    Redlogix, as i understand it the “honest attempt” relates to the donation itself, not the source. NZ First has failed to declare any donations.
    Had they done so they would have simply been guilty of hypocrisy and we could have all moved on. Now Winston has been shown to have been involved in a deceit, which is entirely different – certainly much different from the trusts that both National AND Labour use.

    [NeilR. show me what trusts Labour used. There’s nothing in the declarations, unlike National’s declarations, which show millions coming from secret trusts. SP]

  24. gobsmacked 24


    The first is TVNZ yesterday, the seond is Scoop this morning.

    (the Standard’s moderation won’t let me do links, which is a pain)

    [lprent: The spam trap doesn’t like raw links copied and pasted from the address bar. It is a lot happier with real links eg you write :-
    <a href=’url’>title</a>
    Where url is the address bar address, and title is some human readable text.

    If you could see what the spam trap deals with, you’d understand completely why it deals with raw links. I just killed one in the spam trap that had 50+ raw links in it. It kills hundreds a day]

  25. lprent 25

    certainly much different from the trusts that both National AND Labour use.

    The word there should have been used not use. The particularly obnoxious use of consolidating anonymous donations in a trust is now illegal under the EFA.

    Since 1993 when they were made legal by the then National government they have mainly been used by National and Act. Labour is 3rd on the list and not even in the same order.

    I’ll be glad when we finally get rid of any anonymous donations in politics.

  26. r0b 26

    I’ll be glad when we finally get rid of any anonymous donations in politics.

    Ditto. And I’ll be glad when all parties make their audited accounts publicly available, as the Labour Party does currently (the only party to do so).

  27. Pat 27

    You can view the Share trade transactions and a letter from John Keys sharebroker on the National Party website.

    That’s the sort of prompt disclosure we need from our politicians. Well done.

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    Prompt? If it were July, perhaps… or maybe 2003, when he was buying and selling them at a profit.

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