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Captain’s Call

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 pm, February 9th, 2015 - 53 comments
Categories: accountability, australian politics, brand key, democracy under attack, john key, leadership, Parliament, spin - Tags:

Leaving Mike Sabin in charge of the Law and Order Select Committee was certainly a captain’s call by John Key. Just like Tony Abbott’s award of  a knighthood to the Duke (as if he needed more fruit salad), this was a judgment call. And it does call Key’s judgment into question. It’s not about when he knew what he knew, it’s about what he did when he knew.

Key’s justifications for leaving Sabin in charge of Parliamentary oversight of law and order have become bizarre. “Helen Clark had an investigation against her and she didn’t stand down as Prime Minister of New Zealand,” Key said. I don’t remember Helen being under investigation by the police for possible assault though – that investigation was about a signature on a charity painting, for heavens’ sake.

In contrast, straight-up Andrew Little has got it right. As he says it’s pretty straightforward – a clear and severe conflict of interest. Do what’s right.

I never thought I’d be able to say that John Key is looking like Tony Abbott – but he is.

 

53 comments on “Captain’s Call”

  1. Nick 1

    Haha, you’re seriously trying to now tie John Key to Tony Abbott to make him seem less popular?

    Points for effort I suppose

    • EssBee 1.1

      JK connected himself to TA by using the “Captain’s Call” phrase – TA used it to much derision last week.

    • Atiawa 1.2

      Mike Smith isn’t attempting to ‘make him less popular”. Key don’t need any help in that department, although hard to imagine two more worthy candidates for the most incompetent political leaders in 2015 – and the competition has been fierce.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.1

        ? Key is a very able and competent politician who to date has already bested no fewer than 4 Labour Leaders (Clark, Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe).

        • Weepus beard 1.2.1.1

          Didn’t know we voted for Prime Minister, but you learn something new every day.

        • Atiawa 1.2.1.2

          I can’t be responsible for others thinking, but if Key comes away from this with a few scratches and a graze, I’m taking up a new vocation as an illusionist.

    • miravox 1.3

      “Haha, you’re seriously trying to now tie John Key to Tony Abbott to make him seem less popular?”

      No need to tie Key to Abbott. Abbott did that ages ago…

      “I do welcome Prime Minister Key not just as a brother, but as a soul mate.

      “Not just as a friend, but as a mentor.”

      I laughed at the time, and noting the similarities in political operation, more so now. I’m just a little envious that the Australians are better at noticing the agenda, deception and arrogance of their dear leader.

    • Alpha z 1.4

      your nick smith? j key useing cabinet mins 4 help now?

  2. mickysavage 2

    It should be remembered what the Nats said about paintergate at the time. English accused Clark of “slippery deceit” and acting with “disgrace” and Prebble said Clark suffered from a “memory lapse of Wine Box proportions”.

    Of course paintergate was a storm in a teacup. In terms of proportionality I am confident that Sabin’s difficulties are far worse. Yet the suggestion by Key that the two incidents are comparable and of the same importance is bizarre.

    • Macro 2.1

      Yet the suggestion by Key that the two incidents are comparable and of the same importance is bizarre.

      Totally bizarre! They are chalk and cheese! The stench from this is going to be overpowering. For Key to have made the “Captains” call he did, just shows how morally moribund he is. There will be many long time Nat supporters who will be appalled when the truth is out.

      • tc 2.1.1

        I doubt many long term nat supporters will be swayed, they take the blue pill everytime and get supplied CT and DP styled themes via the MSM sockpuppets to sooth their minds and shape their thoughts to be relaxed.

        • Macro 2.1.1.1

          What you say is true tc, but I live and have worked among many who will be none the less appalled. Withholding a vote may be the manner expressing their disapproval of many constituents on the right.

          • tc 2.1.1.1.1

            Optomisitic Macro, the tories have always relied on a core vote for whoever they put forward that gets muppetts like JLR and Rimmer Seymour voted in again and again.

            • Macro 2.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s very true tc – but this isn’t muppet time, it’s much more than that. Key’s benign behaviour in this matter will be seen as despicable. It was a very bad call. Sabin should have been out the door the moment Key became aware of the matter (and i am sure as hell it was long before late November 2014!). There is an element in society, grey haired and blue rinsed in particular, who will be utterly appalled and quite rightly too.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.2

        It was clear there was no intent when Clark signed the picture, no complainant, and I think there is no picture any more.

        Andy Warhol used his aquantainces in his ‘factory’ to churn out minor artworks which he signed and sold off.

    • emergency mike 2.2

      “Yet the suggestion by Key that the two incidents are comparable and of the same importance is bizarre.”

      What’s bizarre is the implication that if Clark was able to get away with stuff then he should be able to too. What is this? Primary school?

    • Armchair Critic 2.3

      Honest John can clear it up for us. Next time he discusses the matter, he can confirm that Mr Sabin’s “personal issue” is that he signed a painting for a charity auction.

  3. freedom 3

    Things just got weirder
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/65956673/pm-felt-no-need-to-remove-sabin

    Little said it was a “severe conflict of interest.”

    Key responded: “I’d reject that…Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand and she was investigated in relation to fraud. Y’know, in the end she didn’t stand as PM.”

  4. Pete George 4

    Transcripts of Little with Duncan Garner on Key/Sabin: Sabin chaired Law & Order committee after Key knew.

    And the rest: Little on Key and Sabin

    We should be told when the briefing took place. The Minister of Police should also be asked if he passed it on to the Prime Minister directly, and if so when. Or if and when he advised the Prime Minister’s office.

    It looks like Michael Woodhouse has played for time by refusing to comment to date but he should have to be up front in Parliament when questioned.

    I think Little has got about the right balance on this and is targeting the right questions at this stage of the issue. He is wisely not committing to how serious a position he thinks this places the Prime Minister in. Too little is currently known at this stage.

    And there is also the secret elephant in the room – how serious the offences were. If they were as some claim and if Sabin has been or will be proven guilty then the seriousness escalates somewhat.

    Even if just under investigation for that sort of charge Sabin should have been stood down immediately.

    If Key didn’t know what others claim to have known by 1 December then serious questions need to be asked about Key’s or his office’s management.

    • Atiawa 4.1

      Why should the people be made to wait for the new parliamentary session to have these questions answered. Does the National government intend to further discredit our legislative chamber and the public’s already lowly opinion of it’s inhabitants by turning the matter into a sideshow when the whips begin cracking on Wednesday?
      I wouldn’t put it pass the arrogant fowkers.

    • rawshark-yeshe 4.2

      so pete .. can we be confident you are arranging for peter dunne to ask such questions ??

  5. whateva next? 5

    Yep, asking a fox to guard the chicken coop is a “no brainer” to use National speak. The only ones playing “gotcha” politics is National, simply by wheeling out that ridiculous phrase, EVERY time they are held to account.You akshully have one job Mr.Key, to keep the integrity of NZ Government, whichever side you are on.

  6. Te Reo Putake 6

    27 July 2007
    NEWS: Sad day for democracy

    “It is a sad day for democracy when the Prime Minister is reduced to poring over media transcripts to determine if one of her Ministers is telling the truth,” says National Party Leader John Key.

    “David Benson-Pope had no choice but to resign over his evasive answers on his involvement in the sacking of Madeleine Setchell from the Environment Ministry.

    “It is regrettable that it took so long for this issue to reach this point.”

    Mr Key says according to media reports today, Helen Clark has known about Mr Benson-Pope’s crucial ‘free and frank’ comments since Wednesday.

    “So the question needs to be canvassed as to whether the Prime Minister would have acted at all if questions had not been posed by the media and the Opposition.”

    26 January 2007

    “Prime Ministers have to lead. They can’t just sit there and do and say nothing. Helen Clark at one time campaigned on accountability for her ministers and MPs.

    “Her silence on Mr Field’s stonewalling also sends a terrible message to the public and sets a shocking precedent to those who have little or no respect for the police.

    “If an MP won’t co-operate with the police, why should anybody else?

    “MPs create the laws of the land and they should not be seen to be ignoring them. In 1999 Helen Clark wanted to restore public confidence in the political integrity of Parliament – yet this fiasco does nothing to achieve that goal.

    “The only answer to her lack of action is that Helen Clark’s Government has a one-seat majority and is not confident of maintaining it. That means that politics is getting in the way of the maintenance of the law.

    “Helen Clark has a responsibility to the whole of Parliament to clear this mess up – for the sake of all MPs. She is failing in her responsibilities.”

    • McFlock 6.1

      That guy really stands by his principles. He should run for PM.

      • Murray Rawshark 6.1.1

        …of Ukraine.

      • Te Reo Putake 6.1.2

        But wait, there’s more!

        Focusing on Law and Order

        A violent crime occurs in New Zealand every 10 minutes. There’s a sexual attack every four hours. And someone is robbed every three-and-a-half hours.

        The level of crime in our society is unacceptable. Kiwis and their families have a right to feel safer in their homes, their streets, and their neighbourhoods. That’s why more effective law and order policies will be a major focus of a National Government.

        27 May 2007:

        I want to make one thing clear. I don’t make excuses for criminal behaviour because I believe every individual is responsible for their actions and must be held accountable for them.

        • adam 6.1.2.1

          No offence Te Reo Putake, but you and I know Tory scum will do and say as they please.

          It does us no favours to remind Key or the media of this, because tomorrow the Tory scum, will come up with a new distraction.

          We really should just be setting our own agenda.

          I’d like to see the return to harsher punishments for people who know the law, understand the law, then wilfully break it. If you come from privilege, you should know better.

          This is where I’d like this debate to go. If Sabine is guilty – if. Then he should feel the full force of the law. Not only because he knows better – but, as he once up held and made the laws – he should be punished fulsomely, for his wilful disregard, and disdain for the laws he swore to up hold, not once – but twice.

          • Te Reo Putake 6.1.2.1.1

            Good points, adam. The distraction is here all ready, Key is accusing Little of fostering ‘separatism’. White collar crime, in all its forms, is devalued in our courts, particularly in the sentencing phase. Rather than punish suits, we tend to downplay the damage they do because they usually rob without violence. But it’s still robbery.

            “As through this life you travel, you meet some funny men
            Some rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen
            As through this life you ramble, as through this life you roam
            You’ll never see an outlaw take a family from their home”

  7. “Key’s justifications for leaving Sabin in charge of Parliamentary oversight of law and order have become bizarre.”

    What’s bizarre is that we have an arrogant prick riding roughshod over any norms of propriety and probity in the conventional sense, and people are not outraged.

    Another example of the new order.

    • Atiawa 7.1

      Proudly sponsored & supported by a MSM who have lead news items about the theft of a rugby players jersey’s.

      • tc 7.1.1

        Murdoch tries to do similar for tony but they have actual journalists and independant media who smelt blood and focused on facts in Oz unlike here.

        Imagine if the nats were actually held to account, hard to do after 7 years of sycophantic celebrity styled coverage.

  8. seeker 8

    “John Key is looking like Tony Abbott”.

    At the end of last week after key’s handling of the Sabin case and the bizarre things he said at Waitangi, not least of all that Isis were “kids” I decided that he was on Abbott Juice…….

    “So the very people who tell me their whole DNA is laced with Human Rights and standing up for people who can’t protect themselves tell me to look the other way when people are being beheaded by kids, burnt by kids and thrown off buildings. Well, sorry. Give me a break.”
    Clare Trevett “NZ is not going to look the other way.” NZH Feb. 5 2015

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      ‘Kids’ was a reference to a video that shows the child of an ISIS soldier beheading a captive. There doesn’t seem to be any end to their brutality. Well, unless we do something about it.

  9. Skinny 9

    Say if one of your MP’s has the fuzz looking into them and you cut them some slack. Then before you appoint them to the chair position, you would promise them that you have promised yourself that if anything serious like I can not trust your word that no more surprise’s relating to the law will happen. Then I will fire you not allowing you to resign.

    Very weak leadership if this was the case.

  10. Sacha 10

    Nat housepoodle Audrey Young does her best to attach the ‘captain’s call’ phrase to Andrew Little instead. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11398844

  11. esoteric pineapples 11

    I like the theory that Sabin was going to be the tool for changing the law to remove the right to remain silent. That would explain why Key was so keen to have him there.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      A far more likely explanation is that Sabin has a network of enablers in the National Party, and they watch one anothers’ backs.

      That would mean Key could only act when he had no choice – you don’t cross people like that lightly.

  12. shorts 12

    we’re going to be cursed with this captains call nonsense this year aren’t we? The new term de jour

    I can only assume the PM’s office and Abbot’s referred to the bastion of linguistic definition, Urban Dictionary, for the meaning of the term before employing it:

    “Captain’s Call
    A decision made unilaterally by a team leader without consulting colleagues, often a massive clusterf_ck.”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=captain's+call&defid=8072839

    its going to be a very long year isn’t it

  13. Observer (Tokoroa) 13

    @ National Supporters

    Look, we all know on here that no matter how bizarre the Prime Minister behaves. you adore him and brown nose him repeatedly.

    You love his dirty despicable politics and his deceits as well as his folios of lies.

    You also love the fact that Key and English have run up debt to the tune of $100 Billion Dollars. (It was a debt of $10 billion when National took over)

    Do you realise you are being laughed at on this Forum. ? You are being despised because you share the same incompetency and deceits as Key. You bizarre lot. Birds of a foul feather.

  14. rawshark-yeshe 14

    wow. Speaker David Carter has just disclosed that Sabin is the subject of the suppressed court case by shutting down all reference to an MP who resigned.

    Covering Key’s backside, that’s for sure.

    Sorry lprent .. don’t have a link as yet but will post asap so you are in not in any breach … spoken by David Carter interrupting and preventing Andrew Little’s speech at about 2.30 pm this afternoon.

  15. Key might be looking like Abbott. Who or what is Michael Woodhouse looking like? His performance in not being able to answer a timeline question about the Sabin business was appalling.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago