You know, when it came out that Key was good mates with his new GCSB spy boss, Ian Fletcher, (a man who was appointed despite lack of experience in spying or the NZ public service), I kind of thought ‘so what’? People know each other. But then I gave Robertson enough credit not to be raising this if he didn’t have a killer punch waiting. Today, he landed it.
Key not only knew Fletcher, he personally called Fletcher and asked him to apply for the job after the existing shortlist was mysteriously rejected. Fletcher was the only person interviewed to run the department for which he mate is minister.
Key’s tried to say Fletcher and he hardly knew each other as adults but, in fact, they had become reacquainted and started dining together about the time that Key became PM. This wasn’t Key calling up someone he vaguely knew to inform him there was a job that suited him going, this was Key calling up a mate with no spy experience to give him the fast track to the most powerful spy job in the country.
All this raises another question – did Fletcher really not mention the GCSB’s illegal spying on Kim Dotcom to his mate and minister for all those months? The GCSB internal review says ‘not really’ (if you ignore the fact Dotcom was pictured in a slide in a presentation to Key) but when Fletcher conducted that review in a job that his mate and minister had handpicked him for, how can we really know?