Epsom: spit or swallow?

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, November 14th, 2011 - 66 comments
Categories: act, campaigning, election 2011, john banks, john key, leadership, national, national/act government - Tags: ,

Oh to be an Epsom voter – what an enviable menu of options you have. A National candidate who cares so much about the electorate that he goes to extraordinary lengths to discourage people from voting for him, or a racist former National politician soundly rejected by all of Auckland after a dismal ‘Supercity’ mayoralty who’s actively campaigning to undermine his own racist former National politician party leader. What a shonkey farce!

66 comments on “Epsom: spit or swallow?”

  1. Roy 1

    Is that black bag in the foreground the recording device? And we’re supposed to seriously believe that Jonkey didn’t notice it?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      More to the point, if you look just behind Key, that’s a doorway leading outside. The editor of the HoS was on Morning Report this morning and he talked about that doorway. He said that the reporters outside could hear about every 4th or 5th word that was being spoken anyway, it was only the recording that gives you all the words.

  2. dd 2

    At this stage I am going to do the unthinkable and vote National in the electorate.

    I can hardly bring myself to do it.

    Living in the area and being ‘connected’ one way or another to some of the die hard National voters I sense that the majority will be voting National. It appears there is little love for Brash and Banks here in Epsom.

    Of course closer to the election day if the polls close I imagine some will swing to ACT.

    • Make a sign of the cross as you do it and say a couple of Hail Marys afterwards.  Then consume strongish liquor and have another one when ACT are consigned to history that night.

      It will be worth it but I understand how it would feel to do this. 

    • Ianupnorth 2.2

      Sometimes you have to lance the boil to cure the ailment; releasing that pus will not be pleasant for you, but if it rids you (and us) of National it will be a very worthwhile act!

      • Tigger 2.2.1

        As a former resident of that electorate I salute your actions, dd. I’d do the same myself, even though I’ve never cast a vote for anyone other than Labour. But needs must. I hope other left voters are just as pragmatic as you. Having always felt that my candidate votes in that electorate were wasted it would be comforting to know that it might actually do some good for once…

      • Hami Shearlie 2.2.2

        Banks and Brash are about as pleasant as a boil – painful to have, awful to look at, full of muck, and oh what joy when they are removed!

    • Ed 2.3

      You can however console yourself with the thought that your electorate vote – and those of I hope many other Labour / Green / Mana / Maori supporters, will not change the number of National MPs. You can also say that there has been at least one time when John Key will be getting a lot of people voting the way John Key has indicated that he will vote for the electorate MP. The left can and will cooperate with him in the interests of New Zealand.

    • Jilly Bee 2.4

      I was talking to my sister-in-law yesterday who was bemoaning the fact that a colleague is voting National this year [she was horrified, of course] apparently for the first time. We then worked out that said colleague lives in the Epsom electorate. Problem solved!

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Epsom: spit or swallow?

    Depends … it is like how Nats regards the act [pun] of fellating … what is the difference for Nats between like and love?

    Answer: Swallow.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    I don’t know why the left is so precious about this arrangement.

    The same options are open for Labour under MMP. Why don’t they go and do a sweetheart deal with NZ first?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      “Why don’t they go and do a sweetheart deal with NZ first?”

      Because Labour has principals and has never engaged in this sort of scummy deal.

      Don’t even bother bringing up Wigram, it’s been covered multiple times over the last couple of weeks. There is no evidence that Labour had a deal with Jim Anderton (Labour’s spending in Wigram has been higher than other electorates and all electorate funding is raised locally) and more to the point Jim Anderton won the seat on merit due to his large personal following. He didn’t have to do scummy deals like Banks does because Jim wasn’t a washed up reject.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        “Because Labour has principals…”

        Yes I know that the Labour party has its share of ex-school teachers. Unsure if any of them have been principals though! This must surely be what you mean, because, you can’t honestly be referring to “principles”, now, can you?

        “…and has never engaged in this sort of scummy deal.”

        At least the way National is doing it they are signalling their coalition arrangements prior to people voting. In contrast, Labour got hitched to NZ First after the even last time and got tarred by a thoroughly dishonest politician. Looks like they haven’t ruled out doing the same this time, even though to do so would mean it would require them to hitch themselves the the same politician telling another massive lie, given that Peters has stated he will not be coalescing with any party, but will sit on the cross-benches.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          “At least the way National is doing it they are signalling their coalition arrangements prior to people voting. ”

          Yeah, because everyone knows that National would form a co-alition with Mana and we need Key to come out and say that he won’t! And everyone knows that ACT would go into coalition with Labour unless they come out and say otherwise!

          What tripe.

          The Maori Party has said they can work with either main party in the interests of Maori. Are you going to come out bag them for not being ‘clear’?

        • felix 4.1.1.2

          I wouldn’t say too much about NZ First if I were you tsmithfield.

        • bbfloyd 4.1.1.3

          the national party have no principles other than pursuing power, and then holding on to it however they have to…everything else is irrelevant…. this is the reason national can openly undermine our political system without a qualm…. national supporters show by supporting this and defending it(to the point of encouraging others to follow suit) that they havn’t the first clue, and don’t have any intentions of learning, what a democratic society has to aspire to to have any chance of rising above the filth of despotic aristocratic rule that has plagued the true evolution of civilised humanity…

          ts.. unless you are one of the few profiting from the exploitation of humanities environment, then you are one of the clones cheering for your own abasement and destitution by the hand of your hero’s.. that makes you rather more stupid than the average moron… it makes you a tory..

        • mik e 4.1.1.4

          National full of unsuccessful business people

    • felix 4.2

      The issue is that ACT consistently attract the support of ~1-2% but National bumps that up to 5 MPs for them by giving them a seat they can’t win on their merits.

      It’s not precious to think that parties should be represented in proportion to their actual level of support. That’s exactly why the majority of kiwis support proportional representation.

      MMP definitely needs to be tweaked for accuracy in this regard, i.e. the nonsensical threshold and “bring-your-mates” rules that lead to disproportional results around the margins.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.2.1

        It’s not precious to think that parties should be represented in proportion to their actual level of support.

        But that is precisely what ACT gets if it wins Epsom.

    • hoom 4.3

      I don’t know why the left is so precious about this arrangement.

      In general I agree, its how MMP works & I find it quite ironic that the otherwise stone-age Nats have picked up on & taken advantage of this while Labour is still in FPP mode.
      I don’t blame Labour for not doing a deal with NZF though, if a deal is to be done it should be with a party to the left of Labour guaranteed to be supportive of a Labour coalition not a Nact coalition: Mana or Greens. Not that the Greens need a deal.
      NZF has gone with Nact coalition in the past & could do so again.
       
      The whole Brash/Banks coup thing is horribly stinky but this is legitimate MMP.
      All that needs to be done to remove the problem of ACT having 3.65% & 5 MPs vs NZF with 4.07% but no MPs is to reduce the party vote threshold to 1% or 3%.
       
      My main fear though is that Goldsmith gets withdrawn outright. I guess there is reasonable chance that a bunch of Nats would vote Parker in protest? But would it be enough?

      • Uturn 4.3.1

        MMP is not designed to work this way, it’s just one of it’s loopholes that is commonly abused by politicans. There is a big difference between what can be done, what is legal, what is legitimate and what is right. Mix any of those up and you start the slide into redefining right by who is the least wrong.

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1

          Drop the threshold to 4% and take out the electorate seat loophole altogether.

          • mik e 4.3.1.1.1

            CV just take the threshold out al together then no seat deal require
            Bill of rights strengthened to stop racists and bigoted parties

            • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1.1

              I might be convinced on 3%. Let that work well for a while and then think about lowering it further…

              Must be my conservative side coming out haha

      • jaymam 4.3.2

        “My main fear though is that Goldsmith gets withdrawn outright.”
        But PM Key has said that he will vote for Goldsmith, so they can’t withdraw him now.

        I vote for a 3% threshold. That will reduce the need for the tactical voting that I’ve had to do for years in Epsom.

      • Lanthanide 4.3.3

        “NZF has gone with Nact coalition in the past & could do so again.”

        I don’t believe they can do it after this election. Key has categorically ruled Winston out, saying National would go into opposition rather than work with him. Winston has also ruled National out. Winston is one of the staunchest opponents to Asset Sales – the Greens are against Asset Sales too, but when push comes to shove I think National would do a coalition deal with the Greens before they did one with Winston.

        Of course this is a very dinemic environment so it could all be different by now.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Latest stuff story on this today gives a much better picture of what was said: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5960522/Tea-tape-embarrassing-for-PM

    Senior editorial staff had expected the conversation to be boring but for Key and Banks to “traverse into the areas they did with the media pack less than one metre away is unfathomable”.

    However, the tape was not Watergate “by any stretch of the imagination”.

    “It’s just some silly ‘this is how we are going to rule the world stuff’.

    “It’s nothing that is going to bring down the Government but it’s certainly embarrassing.”

    Johns said there was one “injudicious” comment that could change the way some people vote.

    We know that they were talking about ACT, National and NZFirst’s electoral prospects. This last part makes me wonder if it was something racist that Banks said about Winston Peters.

  6. randal 6

    hey felix they know that if the public knew the truth thens they would be out on their asses immediately.
    they have perfected the art of lying to the people.

  7. ak 7

    Unbelieveable. He admits he has a comment that “could change the way some people vote” and that there is no legal impediment – yet still refuses to publish.

    Does any poor naif out there still cling to the delusion that we have an independent fourth estate?

  8. randal 8

    the fourth estate is a joke. they are shoulder tapped at jschool. their jobs are never advertised and they are expected to toe the line if they are not already of “that” persuasion.
    new zealanders have perfected the art of being sincere while telling the worst sort of lies.
    Or as Freud called it they are suffering from juvenile omnipotence. Like kids they think that if they something then it is true.
    In the meantime the real workers of this country are screwed down harder and harder to make their lives more comfortable.

    • felix 8.1

      From what I can gather randal there are very few in the media who even have a concept of “Fouth Estate”.

      Media people increasingly follow careers based not on journalism but on broadcasting, and consider it a type of performance like, say, singing or acting. In short, simply “being on the telly” is the important bit as opposed to why you’re on the telly or what you do on the telly.

      The powerful in society are treated as celebrities and reported on in those terms, with the focus on the minutiae of their personal lives rather than the effect their decisions have on the society. In this paradigm the media people see their own role as a kind of demi-celebrity one where rather than holding the powerful to account, they are junior members of the power clique itself.

      We’re all in the same club. We’re all on the telly together. It’s all an act.

      We’re all performers.

      We’re all stars.

      • Puddleglum 8.1.1

        Very well put, felix.

        That’s just the kind of ‘dynamic’ we have in our modern environment. 

      • mike 8.1.2

        Well said felix. Since when does a news organisation have material which is “explosive” and a “game-changer” and clearly in the public interest and there’s no legal problem yet they don’t publish? Something is fucked up here.

        I was thinking that this was likely just a publicity stunt until I see John Key today pulling out a “we don’t want news of the world journalism tactics in NZ” line. So he’s associating it with the illegal phone-hacking scandal to try to make it go away. That makes me lean back to thinking that there is something interesting on that tape.

        For fucks sake do your job media: publish and let the public decide. Before you become just another branch of the NAct PR team.

      • the sprout 8.1.3

        yes very well put f, nail on the head

  9. NickS 9

    Latest bit of stupidity:
    “Key not ruling out legal action”

    It’s a meeting in a very public place, so how exactly then his legal team is going to make a case out of this is somewhat beyond me and then there’s the chilling effect on the media of this legal action threat.

    • Blue 9.1

      “Key said: “He said he approached our people to get it back. He never did that. When I took the batteries out of it all of a sudden the sound went off. He then said in the paper ‘aw yeah he’d only got it and realised he had it in record when he went back to HQ. Not quite right.””

      Is Key saying here that he actually took the batteries out of the device himself? Or is this just Keyspeak and not intended to be interpreted as it is said?

      • Lanthanide 9.1.1

        Apparently the tea meeting ended when John Key noticed the black bag sitting at his elbow, opened it up and saw it was a recording device.

        So I don’t know whether he actually took the batteries out or not, but he did see what it was and it caused a (premature?) end of the meeting.

    • mike 9.2

      John Key: “We’re fair game, I don’t mind all that stuff. But it’s against the law to tape people without their permission and knowledge. It’s actually within the law for me to tape you and you not know that but it’s against the law to do what they did in my opinion.”

      Interesting isn’t it? Now Key is openly admitting that he sees himself as operating under a different set of laws to the rest of us.

      Remember when he threatened legal action against Bomber for ‘defamation’? How’s that case progressing BTW?

      • Lanthanide 9.2.1

        “Now Key is openly admitting that he operates under a different set of laws to the rest of us.”

        Um, no. Key hasn’t conveyed what he’s actually meaning very clearly, but what he meant to say is:
        It’s illegal for a 3rd party to record a conversation between two other people without their knowledge, but it is ok if one person in a conversation records the other person without their knowledge.

        • mike 9.2.1.1

          Yes fair point Lanth.

        • felix 9.2.1.2

          “Key hasn’t conveyed what he’s actually meaning very clearly…”

          There’s one for the books!

        • NickS 9.2.1.3

          It’s illegal for a 3rd party to record a conversation between two other people without their knowledge, but it is ok if one person in a conversation records the other person without their knowledge.

          Except in public places, such as cafes, otherwise there’d be a number of divorce cases thrown out when PI’s record stuff inside such places. Though we really need a legal geek’s take on this…

          • Lanthanide 9.2.1.3.1

            Good point.

            My post at 9.2.1 is just trying to de-garble what Key was actually saying. I have no particular insight into whether what he was saying is correct, or not.

          • mike 9.2.1.3.2

            A law professor on National radio this morning said that it could be illegal if the recording was intentional. It probably was imo, but the reporter says it was accidental, so how you could prove they are lying in court I don’t know. John Key said it was deliberate, and when asked why he thought so he said he wasn’t “going to go into all the details”, but that the recorder was running inside a black bag. That is a bit suss, but I’m not sure it’s proof.

            However the law professor also said that if the content of the tape is of sufficient public interest or contains information that the public need to know about in a functioning democracy, then making it public could be defended. She said that in her opinion the argument for sufficent public interest in this case “would be quite strong”.

  10. Uturn 10

    What I find most disturbing is that in the photo accompanying this article, Key’s face seems to be morphing into something else. His lower jaw is distorting and expanding out the the left hand side and overall his head seems to be too big.

    Reptilian Shape-shifter… all the proof you need right there. I’m surprised the media missed it.

    • the sprout 10.1

      that was my thought exactly, a genuine shit eating grin if ever there was one

      • joe90 10.1.1

        You’re on the money Sprout, my coprophagic old shepherd bitch had the same look about her.

    • Hami Shearlie 10.2

      Maybe his hawaiian trips aren’t for holidays – maybe he has a small role in the sci-fi drama “V”!

  11. anne 11

    A search on the internet and it said that if the so called conversation was recorded secretly and that recording was in the ‘public interest’ then that outweighs the ‘private interest’ so legally it will
    have to be released and another thing of being in the’public interest’ it was a political meeting of
    which affects the public of nz,so the ‘public interest’ should be observed. John you loose this one boy.Remember watergate,all those other ‘gate’ recordings they were in the public interest.

    • Carol 11.1

      Maybe the police complaint is a ploy by the Nats to run down the clock.

      • mike 11.1.1

        So now they have actually made a police complaint… This could still all just be a stunt to distract from discussion of real issues. Do we know the freelance journo’s name?

        However Key’s comparing it to the phone hacking scandal is encouraging me to think otherwise.

        The Herald is claiming they won’t publish for ethical reasons, not legal ones. But clearly there is sufficient public interest here. In fact, if the contents really are “game-changing”, isn’t it unethical to not publish? Surely common sense will win out here.

        Unfortunately we are talking about The Herald…

  12. rod 12

    I think the tape will have been permanently mislaid or tossed in the tide by now

  13. Deadly_NZ 13

    But it’s the storm that has blown up around this teapot tape. I mean nearly 700 comments on Stuff and more on The Herald. So it could well be the storm that has blown up is not going to go away for a while or until it’s released. Oh it could be a fun weekend..

  14. Uturn 14

    THE SNEAKY POO – a short play based on true events.

    Act 1

    [An upmarket cafe, two attention whores have invited their friends to a get together. Journalists look on.]

    Journo: As I left the café I smelt a fart. Was it you John?

    John: I like to fart as much as the next man, but this is a public place and you can’t make accusations like that.

    John’s friend: I smelt something like a fart but I’m not sure it was one, It could have been, but who cares. I once shit myself. Nobody cared.

    Café Patrons: God that stinks, is that a poo stain, John?

    Journo: It looks like it. I wasn’t really looking closely, but it could be.

    John: Look, everyone poops. If it is a poo, we are all guilty.

    Café Patrons: Tell us straight, John, was it you who let one loose?

    John: It’s something that could have happened, as opposed to something that couldn’t.

    Café patrons: Tell us… yes or no?

    John: If my undies were brown, it’s not fair to ask to see them.

    Café Patrons: Yes or no, John!?

    John’s friends: My undies are permanently brown. Anyone want to see them?

    Journo: You know, I’m not sure it was a fart. I often get sinus issues this time of year.

    Café Patrons: Our view of you is changing, John. You must say whether it was you.

    John: Why don’t you trust me? I love each and every one of you.

    Phil: Hey guys, I have something important to tell you…

    Everyone: Not now, Phil, we’re busy!

    Journo: I’m pretty sure it was a fart, maybe even a poo.

    John: You take that back!

    Journo: What am I saying? It definitely wasn’t a poo.

    Phil: guys?

    Everyone: Shut it, Phil!

    Journo: If it was a poo, it’d be unethical to ask.

    John: I’m calling the cops.

    John’s Friend: Watch out for the brown man crawling in your window!

    Act 2:

    [It is now a week later. The patrons are trying to see into John’s undies, but not trying very hard.]

    Phil: Guys… it’s really quite important …hello?

    Café Patrons: Show us the poo!

    Café owner: Sorry people I have to close the café, it’s past time.

    CURTAIN FALL.

  15. Hami Shearlie 15

    Where oh where was their “cone of silence”? Even Maxwell Smart had one of those. I had thought John Banks could take on the role of Max but he’s even more idiotic. I think Banksie would be a good “Hymie” instead! JK’s campaign is now out of “Control” and “Kaos” is winning! Such fun boys and girls, such fun!!

  16. Whanau 16

    LOL isn’t this the same govt that changed law retrospectively so the illegal tapping of Tuhoe is now legal. And John is somehow offended he was not told he was being recorded… Watch out journo’s, retrospective law change coming your way…

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    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    3 weeks ago