Decline & fall of the odd-spot PM

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, February 18th, 2011 - 55 comments
Categories: brand key - Tags:

Yesterday, the Government had something of a panic moment. Under fire for its failure to deliver jobs, for its plan to sell assets to pay for tax cuts for the rich, and the gross hypocrisy of the BMW debacle, it released five press releases less than two hours trying to spin its way out of trouble. It didn’t work and nor has the smile and wave routine.

The NBR calls this John Key’s ‘Wile E Coyote moment’ (not online). Everything has seemed to be going so well, to observers it has appeared certain he will catch the Roadrunner (a second-term and the deliver of hard-right policies that would result). But now he’s run off the cliff to momentarily, as NBR puts it: “hang there, legs spinning, before plunging into the abyss”.

We’re used to Key getting away with everything, fucking up but being forgiven with a smile and a wave. That’s Brand Key, or what Lyndon Hood memorably calls “A loveable clown, with all the gravitas of a helium balloon. A comic vacuum cleaner salesman”.

Now, suddenly, he’s gone from being Teflon John (someday someone in the media is going to have to work out where those new PMs are getting their Teflon) to being a guy who looks like he can’t be stuffed with the work of actually governing let alone convincing the public that it should go against its instincts and support privatisation – watch the frustration as Key gently pounds his desk 2.25 minutes in to Question Time on Wednesday as he, once again, reels off excuses for privatisation that he doesn’t himself believe – he just can’t be arsed.

The BMW debacle may be a small thing in terms of government spending but it is a microcosm of everything his government has done. In helping himself and his mates to more public money while threatening to take it away from others, and lying about it when caught, Key’s standard modus operandi has been captured in a single simple story that is resonating through the public and will affect how they interpret all his actions in the future. In particular, his wish to sell our public assets, which will be a central feature of the coming election.

It’s about now that the Crosby/Textor script calls for Key to do something quirky and win back our hearts. His antics have made him into the ‘Odd-spot’ PM, that’s the only column he appears in in the international news, and they have worked on the public – until now. The BMW story, the asset sales, the out of touch foodbank comments, every story and every lie has worn away the Teflon until, now, it’s gone. Key’s clowning around has gone from being the adorable actions of a harmless guy to being unconvincing attempts to shift attention from the unpopular, unwanted things his government is doing and wants to do. An asset is now a liability. The Trans-Tasman (not online) chimes in:

“it wasn’t just the mince down the catwalk, which was a walk a little too close to the wild side for some, not to say confusing. It came a week after he said Liz Hurley was “hot”. (Those who have suggested Key is a bit much “all things to all people” just got a bit more ammo). The Liz Hurley comment also got the PM into the UK and Aust tabloids – and the last time this happened was when he said he’d has a vasectomy … anyone see a certain theme emerging here?”

Yeah, I’m seeing one. If the media won’t reproduce Brand Key for him faithfully anymore but, instead, turn it against him, what then for National? Can they hold the numbers till November if their one asset, Key, is compromised? Can Key be bothered trying?

55 comments on “Decline & fall of the odd-spot PM”

  1. Janice 1

    A planned diversion for the MSM was lost with JK’s planned flight to Antarctica with the Erebus families, and so they are (unusually) focussing on what Key is saying/doing. When the Air New Zealand trip for the Erebus families was originally announced JK said that he thought he would go to help support them (and for the photo ops). At the time I thought how mean to deprive other family members from the trip just to accommodate him and his media contingent. Unfortunately for him the Australian PM popped in for a visit and he couldn’t go at the last minute. Suddenly Air New Zealand found they had another 24 places on the aircraft, was this coincidence or am I correct? I would have thought that the flight numbers would have been well sorted out beforehand. Anyone have any facts, or am I just a suspicious old woman?

    • ianmac 1.1

      One of the passengers interviewed said that it was a pleasant surprise to get a seat as it was after the ballot had been finalised. Yes. Probably could have been a save for Key as to have gone and taken up family places with multiple bodyguards in case he was challenged by penguins, and by the Tracey Watkins of the sympathetic media, could have become a disaster.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    He was an idiot for not picking a July election.

    Although it will be quite enjoyable waterboarding the NATs for the full 9 months, before giving birth to a true Left/Progressive coalition Govt of the people, by the people, for the people.

    • Jum 2.1

      Colonial Viper

      JKeyll has been cunning, and particularly nasty in that by the time the 2011 election is over, New Zealand’s future will be over – the TPPA will have been signed in November and we will no longer have sovereignty over our own lives and our own country.

      Then he’ll wander off to America with his knighthood in one pocket and pats on the back from the business rotundtable. In the other pocket will be the portfolios of shares in New Zealand assets sold by him and Hide beforehand.

      This guy was trained by the very corporates that will gain from the TPP Agreement.

      • Drakula 2.1.1

        Jum: You must have read my mind I was just about to comment on TPPA this evening I just recieved a circular from Prof. Jane Kelsey exposing Key’s duplicitious behaviour over the CER chats with Gillard and TPPA.

        I wish I could get a link.

        Anyway the article is titled “Key Use of CER to Bypass Opposition to Forreign Investment Laws; a foretaste of a TPPA.”

        We need to do a little Egypt before these maniacs get out of control!!!!!!

        • noeleftie 2.1.1.1

          well if we had a labour party that was more connected to the core electorate and societal ‘actors’ and represented the views and ideals of the grassroot members of labour then we might have a chance both to realect labour and also to generate meaningful change.
          The Tories simply represent a unfettered free market economic system that while it will ‘float the boats’ of all members of scociety, it really co-ops and controls the majority to benefit a very small minority. Once in this country 100k household income in real adjusted terms signified you had reached a stratum where you could afford anything now only the millionaires have the ablity to be determined as ‘free’ from the constraint of a under-leveraged economy.

          So roll on november and roll on the ‘actors’ within society who can provide a simulius or voice to the masses.

        • Deadly_NZ 2.1.1.2

          http://tppwatch.org/2011/02/17/key%E2%80%99s-use-of-cer/
          Media Release: Professor Jane Kelsey. Friday 18 February, 2011

          This do???

  3. ak 3

    Lechin’ with Vietchy was a big mistakey. Overnight the golden wee lad-next-door morphs into greasy, perving masturbater. Only middle-aged, with a lovely wife and nippers.

    And that name, “Bling-bling”: yuppie accessory and shades of the ancient “handbag” – neanderthal genes oozing out of the slime. To meet synthetic ego; in repulsive, mincing bloom.

    The gels are confounded, and the chaps confused. Recipe for rejection.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Wonder at the origin of her Bling Bling name? A phone? Gold earrings? Blink blink? She is a really nice person I believe. Deserves a more gracious nick-name.

      • Deadly_NZ 3.1.1

        He actually calls her Bing Bing But somehow a mysterious L sneaked in there.

        • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1

          Maybe it was me?

          John Key’s Memoirs

          Mind you, I also thought I was the first to use Prime Mincer only to find David Slack came up with that epiphet two years ago. I long to hear MP’s using it during question time, too. Can you imagine the fun if Lockjaw Smirk has to ask opposition members to stop calling the PM the Prime Mincer?

      • Drakula 3.1.2

        I wouldn’t believe there is a big difference between nice and charming!!!!

  4. kultur 4

    Key is in my opinion, a soulless construct. he is like a zombie – animated only by the animalistic urges of a dying neo liberal cabal. The last corpse to be raised from the dead by the neo liberal shamans …. trying to enact the old voodoo of far right wing new economics on people – then blaming the global financial crisis (created largely by their philosophies and practices) … well Johnnie boy … we let the markets find their own “mojo” and guess what – the “markets” rounded on us and shoved a giant spiky pineapple up the collective public arse.

    So – i’m personally off to kill a chicken over running water and attempt to conjure the evilly motivated puppet that is John Key back into his grave. Knowing him though – his death-animated corpse will probably arrive in a new 7 series BMW and step out with a mincing gait – clutching an award from an obscure magazine for “man of the year” ….

    • Shona 4.1

      Between you and ak I ‘ve just hadmy most entertaining read of the week as I sip my afternoon cuppa. Thanks. So gratifying to see things getting wobbly can’t wait till the wheels fly off all together.
      captcha : excellent .
      How does it know????

    • noeleftie 4.2

      Kultar who know what JK is about really – anyway with an ounce of luck and some connectiveness amongst the proles we might just never find out who the real john key is since he will be outa office come november.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    I am soooo looking forward to the next Roy-Morgan. Will we see another 6% drop in NACTs support?

  6. kultur 6

    Here is footage of the Botany electorate debate … Michael Wood is a clear winner – so much for the media coverage and reporting and certain bloggers views as well. The National Candidate came off looking as though they were on the backfoot.

    judge for yourselves

    • ianmac 6.1

      Tried to watch it with an open mind. Michael Woods connected and personable and very electable. The National candidate was repetitive and really the opposite in personality and content. In a marginal electorate he would not be electable (or delectable!) Couldn’t National find a more attractive rep?

    • Deadly_NZ 6.2

      While watching that i sort of carried on and watched this

      A question is asked 2.09 in about Key profiting from our indebtedness. You should listen very carefully to his answer as it starts “sadly no i am not” and starts to fade out, answer is about 2.21 in. And also I must say he looked like he was doing a Muldoon but instead of Red wine it was Vodka in the glass. So he is sad he does not profit from NZ’s indebtedness

      • Kevin Welsh 6.2.1

        “sadly, no I am not”

        Says it all really. He never gave a fuck about the New Zealand economy when he played at the forex casino and now he is disappointed he is not profiting at our indebtedness.

        • marty mars 6.2.1.1

          Thanks deadly, that video shows the key to key – he is two faced and he let slip his mask – revealling the emptyness – more people should see this.

          And good luck to Penny Bright – awesome.

      • ianmac 6.2.2

        Deadly. An expert in body talk would say that John Key was embarrassed. So much so that he sweated and needed a glass of water.
        He might see a headline, “Prime Minister Profits From New Zealand’s Indebtedness to the Bank of America.”
        or “John Key Profits from the Misery of New Zealanders!”

        • Deadly_NZ 6.2.2.1

          But now it can be
          John Key is sad that he does not profit from New Zealands indebtedness.
          Embarrassed?? NO. More like a Thomas Beckett line “Will no one rid me of this turbulent woman” The look on his face said it all.

      • Mac1 6.2.3

        Interesting to notice the amount of applause the questioner got, as well.

        • ianmac 6.2.3.1

          That strangely dressed woman appeared in the Election Forum Botony Bay as a candidate in video supplied above by kultur http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxysy74K5f8

          • Jum 6.2.3.1.1

            Penny Bright is That Woman, Ianmac, and she has done more to try to bring this government to account than most New Zealanders.

            She has called the government to account on their privatisation of water; she is a corruption watchdog and she pulls no punches about calling JKeyll to order in any meetings with the public. He looked very uncomfortable last time she asked him a question. Her biggest beef is with councils that do not give transparency in their use of rates. She wanted ratepayers in Auckland to pay their rates into an official fund which meant they had paid and could not be prosecuted but the council could not use their money until they promised transparency.

            Sadly it did not come off.

            • ianmac 6.2.3.1.1.1

              Does Penny Bright represent a Party?

              • Jum

                She represents all of us, m’dear. She is running for Mayor of Botany and also will use this platform to highlight government misuse of powers. She hates privatisation of any kind by any party. She has also been thrown out of John Banks’ council meetings when attempting to defend vulnerable people’s rights.

                I have a huge amount of respect for what she stands for (strange clothing or otherwise). Wonderful way to be noticed, though, eh Ianmac?

              • Lanthanide

                She’s actually posted on here a couple of times in the comments, once specifically raising the bank of America shares issue, probably about the same time that she filed the OIA request.

              • lprent

                More of an institution in her own bright (queue groaning). She is pretty well known around Auckland and ranges between the extremely sensible and extremely weird – but always interesting….

                A unique individual, and somehow I suspect that no party could constrain her.

    • Weizguy 6.3

      Was that really the ACT candidate? Are they really that hard up for talent?

      captcha: represent

      • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1

        The prime requisite for being an Act candidate is to have no critical thinking capability. If they did then they’d realise that their ideology just doesn’t work.

        • Salsy 6.3.1.1

          Not wanting to judge people on face value, but she totally terrified me, she’s like a tall dwarf – Hide-ish but taller and way more angry…

  7. randal 7

    key is already starting to look careworn.
    in his heart he knows three more years will finish him off.
    he wasnt built for this.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Yeah randal. After all 3 years is a long time to keep it shiny. Change your car, change the figurehead.

  8. M 8

    The Wile E motif is brilliant for King Schlemiel but it’s wearing thin fast.

    Can’t wait to see the end of this panty sucker.

    • mcflock 8.1

      “panty sucker”?

      I’d probably respect conservatives a bit more if I could imagine them doing anything at all interesting.

      Practically speaking, a politician with a good honest peccadillo – better than hair dye and toupee, but not so far as Berlusconi – would at least be able to create spin and distraction that doesn’t come from the Yes Minister Playbook (Kindergarten Edition)(tm).

  9. Leo 9

    The PM looks extraordinarily stressed and anxious. As if he isn’t sleeping well. Altogether the opposite of his usual carefully-controlled persona.

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    I think he is nervous because he is has started to be held to account on issues. He is no longer getting away with sorry I have to go, the journos are following him and calling him on his scripted lines,when he is confronted about actual policy he is very poor.

    Key cant think on his feet he struggles to give a speech with out reading it word for word lets face it other than his media smile and wave persona he has nothing.

    Goff needs to let Cunliffe of the leash on the economy this will bring English into the frame and once the public see Mr what was it 23% and Key (Mr Panic pants) its game over.
    King needs to crank it up on Bennett because she will crumble actually.
    The Nat’s have nothing but Keys image and once that image is gone its burger time for National.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Goff needs to let Cunliffe of the leash on the economy…

      Sometimes I don’t think it’s so much as letting him off the leash as telling him to get out there and bite.

      PS, this applies to all opposition MPs.

  11. Drakula 11

    We need to step up the pressure and keep our foot firmly on his throat!!!!!! and as Craig suggests let Cunliffe off the leash to deal with English. Catherine Delahunty and Sue Bradford can deal with Bennett and then there is big boy from Fendalton; Any suggestions?

    • Deadly_NZ 11.1

      Well I did e-mail that video of JK saying he’s sad he not making money of kiwis, to him lets see if he knows about it or uses it, or even watches it. but it’s a start, if we have to reload the odd question gun for them then lets hope they read the E-mails.

  12. Jum 12

    Any suggestions Drakula?

    A banana, sideways? Smiling of course.

  13. Neoleftie 13

    From my close labour sources from the mainland everything is falling into place. The four year prediction or re-election plan hinges on three elements
    1) woeful economic indicators and no bailout money since lab locked it all up and Bill English wasted the rest on tax cuts to the elite.
    2) The three way national faction’s splinters as JK loses control to the right and the public rapture with JK is diluted by reality that another electoral mandate would bring, once again, radical change.to the NZ system.
    3) Goff and the team ( and the greens ) sit quiet and united and does nothing odd to upset the critical swing voter.

    The base economic indicators would suggest that time is ripe for a neo keysian approach along with a few new style marco-economic levers to be implemented by the returning centre left block parties. The massive daily influx and turn around of ‘hotmoney’ cause too many monetary fluctuation impacting on the money supply for one. Guess the billion’s in ‘casino’ money that impact upon our ever fluctating currency on a daily basis?

    This is the final hour for a centre left / left leaning party block to seize and bring some correction into our marco economic system. The ‘catch all party’ of labour now has some factional balance and just might stablise the economy if the are bold enough.
    Look to the new bright 2008 intake to provide some resolve.

  14. In a recent documentary, “The love of Money” Allan Greenspan says the credit crises
    was caused by a complete lack of morals by the money makers.
    These people can be as moral as they like in their private lives but they leave their morals at home as they go to work, that is the secret to becoming a millionaire money trader.

    John Key is obviously used to saying whatever he wants to get whatever he wants.

  15. Possibly part of the reason why shonky John Key was so uncomfortable when I asked whether he was profiting from NZ’s growing indebtedness – was because he knew full well that I had taken a private prosecution against him before the 2008 election over Tranz Rail.

    I had first made a complaint to the Police and the Serious Fraud Office over John Key’s attempt to flush out commercially sensitive information about Tranz Rail while it was an ‘item of business’ before the House, at a time he had an undisclosed shareholding.

    When they did nothing – I took a private prosecution against John Key under s 228 of the Crimes Act – attempt to use a document for pecuniary gain.

    Although I was effectively accusing John Key of a ‘corrupt practice’ – (misusing public office for private gain?) – and kept the media informed at all stages – there was not ONE sentence in the NZ Herald about my complaints to the Police, SFO or my private prosecution.

    Meanwhile – there were continuous ‘MAN ON THE MOON’ headlines against Winston Peters and NZ First in a concerted corporate media campaign to prevent them reaching the 5% party vote threshold.

    That’s why I want to get elected in the Botany by-election.

    To act as an INDEPENDENT ‘Public Watchdog from INSIDE the House, and to continue to ask the hard questions no one else is, and to find out where EXACTLY our public monies are being spent and who is benefiting.

    Auckland Council Howick Ward representative ‘Independent ‘ Sharon Stewart, beat Jami-Lee Ross
    by over 4000 votes – so those who think that an Independent candidate has no chance in the Botany by-election should perhaps reconsider?

    By-elections are unpredictable creatures.

    Last one I stood in, as a Water Pressure Group candidate – the Auckland City Council Avondale Mt Roskill by-election in 2000 – I got nearly 6,500 votes. (Only 700 votes behind Noelene Raffills) -on a ‘single issue’ – opposition to water privatisation and calling for a campaign of civil disobediance – boycotting (then) Metrowater’s wastewater ‘user-charges’.

    I was also an Auckland Mayoral candidate: http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz – totally opposed to the Auckland $upercity corporate takeover, which has set up a bigger public trough for bigger private snouts.

    For more information – check out http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”
    Independent candidate Botany by-election

  16. Neoleftie 16

    Nice addition margaret.
    The growth or production in speculative money creation is so complex that even the players them selves let alone the federal regulutors havent a clue what actual is involved. Once again the poor schmuck who holds a morgage in the USA face forclosure due to the collapse of some upstream speculative money creating scheme and the courts uphold the bank’s foreclosing not due to replayment issue but cause the original loan was relent out and basically that original money is nolonger there.

  17. Craig Glen Eden 17

    Heck just watched John Campbell’s interview of John Key in 2008 “slippery as a snake” on you tube watching that interview, Key has failed and lied a number of times. Key finishes with NZers should trust National and that they will manage the economy better and get growth, history has shown otherwise. It will certainly be a different election campaign this year, cant pull the you can trust me Im honest John shit this time.

  18. kriswgtn 18

    They (Nacts) lied to get in and kiwis believed them.

    Dont quite think that is the case now from what I am hearing on the street.

    Labour and the Greens and other potential MMP partners really have to get off their butts and start laying into this Govt.

    Produce good policy because what I am also hearing , is that alot of people cantr be bothered voting again
    I know alot who dont

    These are the voters who above said parties need to re connect with

    Being silent just isnt cutting it

  19. Jim Nald 19

    Re video clip – why is Key talking so fast?
    Where is he going?



    I need to view the clip again to follow him. Is Key good at distracting us from Key?

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