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Does John Key believe a word he says?

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, September 3rd, 2009 - 22 comments
Categories: child discipline, john key, spin - Tags:

This 2007 quote from John Key is doing the rounds among angry “No” voters:

Labour shows contempt for New Zealanders

The Labour Government has shown utter contempt for New Zealanders and the democratic process with its plan to railroad the anti-smacking bill through Parliament, says National Party Leader John Key. “The Labour-led Government knows the measure is deeply unpopular, so it plans to act against the wishes of the majority of Kiwis and ram the bill through under urgency. “This is a deeply cynical abuse of power as Labour tries to clear the decks of this controversial issue. “Helen Clark has refused to let her MPs vote the way they really think on this bill. To ram it through under the cover of urgency shows just how out of touch her government has become. “Now, not content with riding over the top of the wishes of some of her MPs, she wants to ride over the top of the wishes of the majority of New Zealanders while she’s out of the country.

“The Prime Minister also knows that she has been caught out saying one thing about the smacking ban before the election, and giving a different answer afterwards. “This is arrogant and cynical government at its very worst. This is not about good law, this is about Labour’s political damage control.

Well well. Multiple layers of irony, as JK brushed off the majority referendum result (while in Australia no less). But what does it mean? “No” voters are touting this as evidence that Key has changed – become “just like Clark” (he should be so lucky!), is “controlled by the UN” and so on. I have a different take. I don’t think that has changed his real views at all. He’s always known that it’s a “good law” or he wouldn’t have cooperated with Labour to get it passed. So why did be spout that nonsense back in 2007? It was all about mobilising outrage to win an election. It was nothing but a populist rant. I doubt that he believed a word of what he was saying.

So John won the election, but that outrage is still out there. Karma rolls around. How is John going to explain to the angry “No” vote lobby that when he said all that in 2007 he didn’t really mean it? What else did he say and not mean?
— r0b

22 comments on “Does John Key believe a word he says?”

  1. the sprout 1

    great title r0b, kind of says it all about the man.

    • r0b 1.1

      It’s an interesting quote isn’t it. Either he meant what he said or he didn’t.

      As per the post I think he didn’t mean it. In which case I think it is shown (again) that he doesn’t mean or believe a lot of what he says.

      On the other hand if he did mean it then he sure has some explaining to do. Because by his own words he has become everything that he hated in 2007.

      So which is it?

      • the sprout 1.1.1

        reminds me of the saying:

        “It’s one thing to hide the truth, it’s another thing altogether to forget where you put it”

  2. Red Rosa 2

    Well said. And why isn’t the legislation called the Bradford/Key Act?

  3. aj 3

    There needs to be much closer examination of political statements during election campaigns. Once upon a time the Media used to do it’

    • r0b 3.1

      Once upon a time the Media used to do it

      Depressing isn’t it.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Once upon a time some of the media were well paid by us to keep us informed. Then some idiot thought it should operate for profit.

      • BLiP 3.2.1

        Not quite. The media has always been about generating profit. What’s happened, alas, is that ownership of the media has been corporatised into the hands of a tiny elite who’s interests are not gaining an audience for the dissemination of information and ideas but, rather, an audience of consumers for products that none of us really need. The Fourth Estate is now in the hands of the blogosphere – but Rupert has plans for that. Watch as he sends in his troops in an attempt to deal to the BBC.

        • Rex Widerstrom 3.2.1.1

          Precisely. To which I’d add “…and to have opinion masquerade as news as part of a strategy to drive public debate in the direction they desire”.

          And I include in that everything from the publicly funded ABC (whose quality I admire, whose content I love, and whose clumsy bias occasionally drives me insane) to all-for-profit Fox News. And of course our own Radio (for the) Dead and others.

          The fact that we’re all debating elsewhere something said by a political (and apparently academic) failure, a nonentity much given to dishonesty and the wearing of mascara, shows just how easy it is to fall into the trap.

          I know from my days of trying to use radio as a medium for intelligent discussion. Call a debate on policy and you’ll be lucky to get six people. Mention what some self-aggrandising “celebrity” thinks about policy — from Lhaws to Castle-Hughes — and the phones will melt down.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2

          The media has always been about generating profit.

          Not quite. TVNZ used to run at a huge loss but at least the news was actual news and you could become informed by watching it. Then it was decided that TVNZ should return a dividend to the government and we ended up with infotainment instead.

          • BLiP 3.2.1.2.1

            Its a matter if historical perspective, I guess. It was a while before governments realised the value of controlling the media by funding it themselves. But, yeah, you’re quite right in relation to TVNZ – the corporates saw to it that public broadcasting in New Zealand be required to adopt their same venality and we all know the result.

            I’m actually beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t be quite so harsh on the individual journalists I comment on. Do you reckon they are just like us in so much as they too are house-slaves with family trying to do their best inside “the machine”? I have a few journalist mates and that’s what they tell me, anyway.

  4. outofbed 4

    Didn’t also say completely the opposite about climate change to what his position is now ?

  5. outofbed 5

    And the comment about WFF, communism by stealth or something

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    While Key is an absolute Hypocrite the interesting thing is the mass media have not run this story. Hats off to Rob for doing so but why have the media become so terrible, particularly the political reporters.
    Its gone way beyond bias now, its bloody ridiculous! Key constantly contradicts himself makes a liar of himself and nothing is said.

    • r0b 6.1

      In one way I’m happy for the media to leave this specific issue alone. I don’t want to see any more pressure on Key on this, because I think he’s made the right decision. It’s a right decision that is damned by his 2007 ranting of course, but it is the right decision none the less.

      But in the general approach of JK and this government I certainly think that it’s time for the media and some of the more sycophantic commentators to wake up and smell the hypocrisy.

      • Ianmac 6.1.1

        Yes Rob. It is a sort of strange conflict to have. On one hand we would hope that Key trips up for purely political reasons. But on the other hand some decisions are good for the country. What would John do if it was the other way round? Think of his answer to questions in the House which endlessly quote Phil Goff’s words from the 80s. Mmmm?

  7. Ianmac 7

    I remarked that when John Key was dishing it to Winston (in particular the “high standard that Key would expect” of his troops), that that would come to haunt him. Worth anyone? And so it is with the excellent post above from Guest.

  8. But later, they did actually vote for the bill. Is this perhaps an earlier comment, before it was modified to be palatable to both parties?

    • Izzy 8.1

      Yes Sam, if my quick googling is correct Key’s quote was from 22 March 2007, and the compromise that brought the nats on board was announced on May 2nd.

  9. George.com 9

    Anti smacking law, climate change legislation, foreshore & sea bed etc etc etc. National made its populist bed. Lying in it? Now, thats a different matter.

  10. randal 10

    the answer is no. the national party have developed to a fine art the preesenting of endless meaningless waffle and it is done in such a way that by the time one has wasted time working out that it has no content. or is totally irrelevant then its all over.
    very depressing. just listen to ‘red’ hooton on monday mornings and you can hear the modus operandi in full flight.

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