For God’s sake, be straight with us

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, March 7th, 2011 - 115 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee, john key, spin - Tags: ,

I can’t believe what I’m seeing from John Key and Gerry Brownlee. They’ve made extremely foolish comments attacking the coronal staff trying to identify the dead and about knocking down all the historic buildings. Now, they’re trying to re-invent their own statements. This crisis is too big for this kind of childish bullshit. John, you need to act like a real leader, not like a naughty schoolboy lying to cover his mistakes.

First, there’s Key on Breakfast:

Corin:  Do you have any concerns about your Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee, I mean there are some people in Christchurch who feel he’s being maybe a little heavy handed with some of his comments about bowling over old dunga buildings and things like that?

John:  I haven’t directly seen his comments but I suspect that again they’re taken a bit out of context.  I mean his main point is that the CBD, those buildings have suffered substantial damage and there’s no doubt that quite a number of those will need to come down.  Saying he doesn’t care or to imply that he doesn’t care about heritage buildings, that’s actually not true.  Gerry actually chaired the Riccarton House Heritage Committee.  He’s not arguing that there’s not a place for the Cathedral, the Basilica, or you know Provincial Chambers or the Riccarton House.  What he is saying is that in that central CBD there’s some old buildings of the vintage that was around you know PGC and CTV and the likes and there’s substantial damage they’re gonna have to come down.

So, wait. Key hasn’t seen Brownlee’s comments? Is that really credible? Do you honestly believe Key had not seen what his number 3 said last week that has generated huge controversy before going into an interview that would discuss the issue?

And, for someone who hasn’t seen the comments, Key sure has some strong opinions on them – opinions that directly contradict what everyone understood Brownlee was saying. PGC and CTV weren’t old buildings, they were less than 50 years old. No-one – not Brownlee, not anyone – was suggesting that buildings from the 60s and 70s need to be knocked down because they’re all earthquake hazards. Brownlee has been going on about getting rid of Christchurch’s “past history”, its historically-listed buildings.

This bullshit was only made worse when Brownlee contradicted Key an hour and a half later on Radio New Zealand, saying that he was only talking about the historically-listed buildings (which doesn’t include PGC and CTV) that had been severely damaged. Of course, this contradicted what Brownlee himself had really said last week about knocking down all the ‘old dungas’.

He also said that people leaving the eastern suburbs are deserters before realising how bad that sounds.

You see why I suggested Simon Power instead of Brownlee should be the Minister for Earthquake Recovery. He’s a pig-headed, insenstive bully. And his deep connections with Christchurch developers give him an agenda in the rebuild that isn’t in the broader public interest.

Then there’s Key lying about his own comments, again on Breakfast:

“[Clip – Interviewer: what’s your reaction then when you hear the Prime Minister John Key saying the length of time this is taking is farcical?

Sue Johnson – Christchurch Coroner:  The people that are actually working in the mortuary are going as fast as they can.

Does it hurt when they hear that?

Yes it does, they were pretty distressed when they heard that.

What did they say to you?

They’d like John Key to come and see for himself.  I deal with people who are dead every day, but on this scale now, it’s not normal.  Not usual, so of course it’s affected us all.”]

Corin:  Your response to that.

John:  Yeah so if that was the statement I’d said, if that was factually correct I’d be with Sue, I’d be offended actually cos those people are working really really hard.  That wasn’t the question that was put to me and honestly Sunday know that, cos they’ve seen the transcript.  So the question that was put to me was about the length of time it’s taken to release the names of the missing by the Police, and I said yeah the issue’s been raised with me several times, I’ve raised it with the Police Commissioner.  So a member of the media said to me at my press conference, what about the situation where a family member knows that the person has been a fatality, that there they’ve passed themselves their names of the loved one to the media and the media are releasing it but it’s not being released actually on the Missing Person List, and I said will that’s a bit farcical. “

Utter bollocks. Key was calling the pace of names being released farcical and suggesting privacy issues should be bypassed so the media could get their stories more quickly. It was pandering to the media and disrespectful to the professionals doing their best. Now he’s gutlessly trying to backtrack. It’s disgusting.

John, you’re the fucken Prime Minister during a national crisis, not some opposition MP trying to spin his way out of trouble. It’s time to grow up. Don’t pander to the media, speak honestly to us, and don’t try to hide your mistakes behind lies.

If Key will act like a leader, he won’t be criticised by me or many others. If he, instead, stays true to form and spends his time lying to cover his mistakes, he’ll be rightly hammered.

115 comments on “For God’s sake, be straight with us”

  1. Oscar 1

    Perhaps for the record, would be good to have a post that lists absolutely everything key lied about over the past 5 years – tranzrail, wine, cheese, beneficiaries – with dates of original statement and dates of backtrack statements, and have a nice easy list to print off and plaster all around the place.

  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox 2

    Hey, I like the style of this Corin Dann guy- couldn’t they get him a gig as a political reporter?

  3. tsmithfield 3

    If you read that article, it looks exactly as Key said.

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      Can you liink to the article, please TS? Or, even better, the transcript Key refers to when he was talking to Breakfast.

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        It was the article that Marty has linked to but obviously didn’t read when Marty said: “They’ve made extremely foolish comments attacking the coronal staff trying to identify the dead …”

        The article Marty linked to doesn’t make any mention of the coronal staff, but does say:

        Mr Key said yesterday that he did not want to criticise, but the situation was a bit farcical and he had raised it with police several times.

        “We’ve been having some discussions with them and we’re trying to seek a resolution to that as quickly as we can.

        “There are privacy issues but we need to try and cut through those if we possibly can.”

        Police were doing their best and there were other agencies involved in identifying the bodies, he said.

        “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

        Obviously, Key’s concern was that the names of the missing be released, not that the bodies be identified more quickly. He raised his concerns with the police, not the coroner. Precisely what he said on Breakfast this morning.

        Compare that to what Marty has quoted Key as saying. It seems fairly consistent to me.

        • Bright Red 3.1.1.1

          “Police were doing their best and there were other agencies involved in identifying the bodies”

          and key was calling this process “farcicial” because of the length of time it was taking.

          now, he’s saying ‘oh no, no I was just saying it was farcical that the missing person’s list wasn’t being updated fast enough’

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.2

          So who would those ‘other agencies’, besides the poor old police who were ‘doing their best’, be?

          And the article says it’s about the ‘names of those killed’, which means ‘identifying the bodies’. He wants to hurry up the coronial process doesn’t he? The official list that the coroners are responsible for.

        • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.3

          You’re right to say that the linked article does not refer to coronal staff, but marty was paraphrasing the other media reports that did say that, not quoting the article directly. If you put John Key + farcical in google you’ll find NZPA amongst others saying that Key criticised the slow pace of identification.

          And the final line from the article is this:

          “Police had indicated they had enough personnel. International help was available if needed.”

          So it appears the police also thought the critisism from Key was of the slow identification of the dead, because they wouldn’t need international help in ‘releasing names’, would they?

          Nah, smells like bullshit to me, Tim.

          • tsmithfield 3.1.1.3.1

            “So it appears the police also thought the critisism from Key was of the slow identification of the dead, because they wouldn’t need international help in ‘releasing names’, would they?”

            Not “the dead”. Rather “the missing”. There is a big difference.

            His last comment was:

            “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

            Clearly it is the missing he is concerned about being named, as he stated in the comment above.

            When I have heard Key speaking on this on other occasions, the concern has been that people have been finding out names of missing people through the media. The argument has been that, if that is the case, then the missing might as well be officially named. Notice, that the article hints at that when it says: “The confirmed death toll was 148 last night, eight of whom have been named officially by police. Media have named many more.”

            • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.3.1.1

              I’m referring to what Key said earlier, not his weasel words this morning. As I said, google Key and farcical. There doesn’t seem to be any doubt amongst the various media who reported his original comments that he was attacking the identification process.

              And again, why would the police need international assistance in ‘the missing’? The assistance would be in the forensic identification of the dead. So, in total, the media reckons he said it, MartyG reckons he said it, the NZ Police reckon he said it. And then, there’s you.

              Hmmmm, who to believe?

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.3.1.2

              Clearly it is the missing he is concerned about being named, as he stated in the comment above.

              So a member of the media said to me at my press conference, what about the situation where a family member knows that the person has been a fatality, that there they’ve passed themselves their names of the loved one to the media and the media are releasing it but it’s not being released actually on the Missing Person List, and I said will that’s a bit farcical.

              The names being released on the official MP list are of those confirmed dead by the coroner aren’t they?

              So Key is either saying that the way the coroner id doing it is farcical, or that the media shouldn’t be publishing names that the coroner hasn’t confirmed.

              His ‘cuting through the privacy issues’ talk suggests the former.

              As I understand it though, it isn’t privacy issues holding the coroners back, but rather the fact that they want solid identification.

              They’ve been pretty clear on this, saying that in other disasters there have been many false IDs based on family members IDing people in error. So it looks to me like Key is second guessing how the coroners should be doing their job.

              • tsmithfield

                “I’m referring to what Key said earlier, not his weasel words this morning.”

                Ha. You lose! That quote was from Key’s interview with “the Press” on the 1st March 2011. You have just demonstrated you can’t tell the difference, which goes to show that Key has been consistent in what he said.

                “So Key is either saying that the way the coroner id doing it is farcical, or that the media shouldn’t be publishing names that the coroner hasn’t confirmed.”

                No. Key has been arguing that the names of those registered as missing should be released. This is not the same as identifying the dead, so it is nothing to do with the corona.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  What the fuck are you on, Tim? That proves nothing. You said :

                  “His last comment was:

                  “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

                  And now you admit it wasn’t his ‘last comment’ at all, but something he said earlier in the month. I take it back, it does prove something. It proves you are a liar.

                  How about stumping up with the transcript Key refers to, eh? That’ll answer a few questions about whether he’s a liar too.

                  • tsmithfield

                    You need to look at the link that Marty has linked to. That is what I have been referring to all the time.

                    The link is on the word “calling” in the second sentence in the paragraph starting “Utter bollocks”. Have a look at that and compare with what he said on Breakfast this morning. Then tell me the difference.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      TS, your whole defence relies on Key being misquoted in the Press article. If Key has a transcript that proves that to be the case, why doesn’t he release it? Given how quickly he went on the front foot to defend his wife’s fashion integrity I would have thought he’d be even swifter to defend himself from charges of insensitivity toward the coroner’s office and the little matter of lying to cover it up. Or is the claim of a transcript a lie as well?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “So a member of the media said to me at my press conference, what about the situation where a family member knows that the person has been a fatality, that there they’ve passed themselves their names of the loved one to the media and the media are releasing it but it’s not being released actually on the Missing Person List, and I said will that’s a bit farcical.”

                  That’s pretty ambiguous as to what is being called farcical. It’s his job to not be ambiguous about this stuff. He should be explaining, clearly, why things are being done as they are. If they are not being done in the way he thinks best, he should explain how he is going to sort it.

                  Instead he just blathers about how farcical things are, lulz. And then complains when people don’t understand him. It’s lame.

                  • Armchair Critic

                    He seems to have trouble saying what he means, as well as trouble meaning what he says. It’s a bit of a lethal combination. And it’s not the first time.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “That’s pretty ambiguous as to what is being called farcical.”

                    Back-peddling fairly hard there, PB, Armchair.

                    • Armchair Critic

                      Back-peddling fairly hard there…
                      In the sense that I used to think that John Key had trouble saying what he means, and meaning what he says, and now (as a direct result of your enlightening comments)I think that John Key has trouble saying what he means, and meaning what he says.
                      I can see how, in a world where blue is red, or vice versa, that would be back-pedalling.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Back-peddling fairly hard there, PB, Armchair.

                      Not at all ts. I still read what he saying as it being farcical that the names are taking so long to be released. That is what the corners are doing. You interpret it differently, I am accepting that you do so.

                      There should not be such confusion, especially after he has tried to clarify it. Perhaps the media should get confirmation from the ninth floor before they publish anything that might be politically unfortunate, as you suggested in the other thread.

                      Or perhaps the PMs office should lift its fucking game. Yeah, I’ll go with that one thanks.

                    • tsmithfield

                      But, PB, if you read the press article from 1/3 that Marty linked to, it is clear and direct that he was talking about releasing the names of the missing. At not one moment does he talk about fast-tracking the coronial process. So, I don’t think it is at all ambiguous what he was talking about.

                      What he is saying in the paragraph you quote is that where a family member is sure the person has died, the name should be able to be released prior to the coronial finding. It may come down to this in the end anyway. Afterall, even the coroner has admitted that some bodies may never be recovered or identified.

                    • r0b

                      My goodness TS you certainly are tenacious in your devotion to duty.

                      Read this piece. It is quite clear that the coroners interpreted Keys remarks as an attack on their professionalism.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      What he is saying in the paragraph you quote is that where a family member is sure the person has died, the name should be able to be released prior to the coronial finding.

                      No, he just calls it farcical, and this is how he goes about clarifying his earlier comments.

                      It looks like he hasn’t thought it through, doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to explain why things are being done as they are. He’d rather just play the ‘helpful but frustrated by bureaucracy’ figure. The bureaucracy in this case being the coroners.

                      Anyway, if it is farcical, what is he doing about it? He’s had the best part of a week.

                    • tsmithfield

                      r0b: “Read this piece. It is quite clear that the coroners interpreted Keys remarks as an attack on their professionalism.”

                      Interpreted the reporting of Keys remarks as such, I suspect. As Key pointed out, the Sunday program clearly misrepresented what he had said. This can be verified simply by looking at what he actually said on the link that Marty points to.

                      “Anyway, if it is farcical, what is he doing about it? He’s had the best part of a week.”

                      Not sure he can do a lot about it. Not without interfering with the independence of the police, anyway.

                      Anyway, if any of what is being said here is true, I would expect to see a quote from Key where he criticises the coroner. Can anyone point to a clear, direct quote in this respect?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      So now all this:

                      r Key said yesterday that he did not want to criticise, but the situation was a bit farcical and he had raised it with police several times.

                      “We’ve been having some discussions with them and we’re trying to seek a resolution to that as quickly as we can.

                      “There are privacy issues but we need to try and cut through those if we possibly can.”

                      Police were doing their best and there were other agencies involved in identifying the bodies, he said.

                      “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

                      is interfering in operational matters?

                      How many ways to want to have this? Either he thinks it’s all good to say it’s farcical, in which case he should do something about it, or it’s an operational matter and he should stfu about his personal opinions and explain what the operational parameters are.

                      He’s not the Prime Pundit trolling for ratings. He’s the PM. It’s a different job.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “How many ways to want to have this? Either he thinks it’s all good to say it’s farcical, in which case he should do something about it, or it’s an operational matter and he should stfu about his personal opinions and explain what the operational parameters are.”

                      Well, he doesn’t emphatically say he will do anything, but will “try” and “if possible.” Also, the quote you gave clearly demonstrates that he is talking to, not telling what to do. It might well be that he is doing all he can within acceptable channels. From the quote you have given it seems he is talking to relevant people to see if it is possible to get the list released. This is quite different from directing it to be released. The latter would be crossing the line of police independence. In the end, he might think it is farcical, and do all that is reasonably within his power to sort it out. However, it might be that the police have ended up saying “sorry, can’t do”.

                      Common sense suggests it would be good to see the list of those who are presumed dead. Once the list was out, people might come forward and say “so and so took off to Australia straight after the quake”. This would be useful for both the police and the corona. So I agree with Key. The current situation is farcical.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      You’re perfectly entitled to think it’s farcical. Blokes down the pub can expound to their hearts content and how cocked up it all is. Little fishies in the sea can wank fantastic about how full of suck this fucking show is.

                      John Key isn’t’ bloke down’t pub’ though. He’s the PM.

                      He should be explaining this stuff;
                      that you are supposing to be true;
                      if it is in fact true.

                      Instead he’s frowning, dodging, and waiving and saying ‘it’s farcical’ in response to serious questions from journo’s trying to get information out of him.

                      It’s shit mate.

                      You’ll also have noted that he says:

                      “There are privacy issues but we need to try and cut through those if we possibly can.”

                      which kind of ruins the act.

                      He had the chance to explain this this morning. But he didn’t. Instead he, again, just said that it was farcical that it was taking so long to release the names.

                    • tsmithfield

                      We don’t seem to be getting much further along this track, so might have to agree to disagree on this aspect.

                      However, I should point out to you we have got a long way off the topic here. The original criticism levelled at Key from Marty was that Key was directly criticising the coroner with his comments.

                      I still think my point stands. No-one has actually put forward any evidence to substantiate this. It has got to the point below where TVOR has resorted to claiming that Key has the evidence in his transcript but is not releasing it because it would embarrass him.

                    • Just caught up with this thread.

                      From the stuff article:

                      “The slow progress in making public the names of those killed in the earthquake is “farcical”, Prime Minister John Key says.

                      The confirmed death toll was 148 last night, eight of whom have been named officially by police. Media have named many more.”

                      TS, your point hinges on the appropriateness (even legality) of the police officially confirming the identity of a dead person without a coronial decision. Does anyone know the process of official confirmation of dead persons (e.g., after finding a body)? Usually police withhold the name. While this is partly to inform next of kin (a privacy issue) there still is the decision about identity. Is a coroner currently required (in law) for this process? (does anyone here know the answer?).

                      If the answer is ‘yes’, then Key is saying it is ‘farcical’ that the usual official process is being followed in this case. I would like to know why he thinks that given that the media often speculate on the identity of dead persons prior to police officially confirming who is dead.

                      If the answer is ‘no’ then presumably Key is also recommending that police identification of all dead persons should quite properly be done without coronial involvement. That could have interesting repercussions for any subsequent trials or inquests and inquiries.

                • bbfloyd

                  ts.. you argue your case with such conviction, it pains me to have to point out the fact that a lot of the bodies they have down there are so badly mangled that it will take months, in some cases to identify them.(are you old enough to remember mt erobus?). so there are sound reasons why this will take time..

                  what key didn’t mention was that the police were working entirely within the rules, and procedures laid down, so choice wasn’t theirs to make. why would john waste his time harassing the police if he knew they were already doing what they were supposed to do? …… so, is he lying when he says that he has raised it repeatedly with police?

                  do you think it is acceptable to simply use the”media will do it anyway” excuse to circumvent procedures laid down for reasons even you could argue with? ….

                  consider that the families, and freinds of most, if not all the missing people will KNOW they are missing…. and consider that a proportion of these will turn up in the morgue in christchurch… where does the necessity arise to publish these names? …. who does it benifit? apart from the tv networks?

                  the real story here is that, once again key is shown to be sparing with the truth.that on it’s own is irrelevant, as key has shown himself to be a serial offender there…. it’s that he’s getting caught telling lies over minor issues.

                  what’s to stop people listening to him and thinking”there’s the smoke, where’s the fire?”….

                  • tsmithfield

                    Puddlegum “TS, your point hinges on the appropriateness (even legality) of the police officially confirming the identity of a dead person without a coronial decision.”

                    I imagine it wouldn’t be a “confirmed dead” list. Rather a “presumed dead” list, or a missing persons list. I see no problem at all with the latter. Police name missing people all the time. As mentioned earlier, it might well be that some of those on the list as presumed dead may well have left the country immediately after the event. Someone may recognise this and be able to inform the authorities.

                    “what key didn’t mention was that the police were working entirely within the rules, and procedures laid down, so choice wasn’t theirs to make.”

                    Disagree. Keys complaint appears to be more with the rules than the authorities. It seems he has been focusing on finding out whether it is possible to find a way through the rules to allow the names to be released. Consider the following quote from the Press article:

                    “There are privacy issues but we need to try and cut through those if we possibly can.” Police were doing their best and there were other agencies involved in identifying the bodies, he said. “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      If it’s the rules then he can fix it. If it’s operational, he should butt out.

                      Either way he should be explaining it.

                      The fact that he didn’t explain it is telling.

                      He implied the Coroners office was at fault here:

                      Police were doing their best and there were other agencies involved in identifying the bodies, he said.

                      That other agency, would be the Coroner, who is indentifying the bodies.

                      One explanation that accounts for all the facts would be that in his discussions with the police he has learned that there are very good reasons for the process to be done the way it is being done. But he doesn’t want to say that because he already said it was ‘farcical’.

                      Hence the lack of any explanation from him.

        • mcflock 3.1.1.4

          If I said that “the government’s leadership has been farcical, although the cabinet and other people involved are doing their best. But we really need to try to get some effective leadership”, it’d be generally regarded as a negative.

  4. ianmac 4

    And remember the statement from Brownlie (?) that now the Government will take over from the Christchurch City Council. While Parker was talking about cooperation and consultation.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1

      So they’ll be funding development as well as being the regulator? What a recipe for disaster!

      • Jim MacDonald 4.1.1

        This Key Government is just all over the place and ending up nowhere.

        This Government would prefer to do nothing.
        But they feel they need to create the perception they want to do something.
        They make up decisions on the hop just so long as they can come up with anything!
        But they get messed up and end up being dragged into everything.
        Then they can’t make sense of it all and so end up doing nothing.

  5. vto 5

    To be quite honest Key simply lacks the credibility and mana required of a leader at a time like this.

    He has spent his time acting as a clown and being all smiley and mincing down catwalks and telling us his Hurley wank fantasies.

    So that is what he is.

    He is good for the circus but not New Zealand’s biggest disaster, the problems of which will only grow as the days and weeks go by. It has only just started.

    I suspect Key will be flung from Parliament in November. He will fail at the pinnacle. The top 5% takes 95% of the effort and he has spent his time as a clown. Aint put in the effort. Or the passion. Doesn’t have it.

    • Jim MacDonald 5.1

      I heard a passing remark on radio about how some foreign currency traders are looking at making a tidy sum out of speculating on the falling NZ dollar and also the flow-on effects of a possible drop in the OCR. There are some folks out there looking to leverage off tragedy. Free market at work. Business as usual.

    • Bright Red 5.2

      mana. yeah, that’s the word.

      we’re looking for a leader whose word we can trust. who has the gravitas and who doesn’t always give the impression he is trying to slink out of things.

      speaking of the odds of Key being thrown out – did you see this in the SST?

      “Earthquakes threaten the career of democratic politicians. Anti-government protests rocket after a major earthquake, Smith and Quiroz Flores found. And in the past 30 years or so, “whereas 40% of democratic nations replace their leader in any two-year period…91% of them did so after a major earthquake”. This casts doubt on the notion that after catastrophes, voters bond with their leaders. They might just as easily turn against them. Key should take note. ”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/opinion/4736356/The-facade-of-tyranny

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        Makes sense though, right?

        Those in power try to respond to the disaster, but have obvious holes in their approach. Those who are in opposition can learn from the mistakes, capitalise on it and get into power and fix them. Ultimately if it results in the cleanup from the disaster being improved, then it’s the best thing for the country to do.

    • Armchair Critic 5.3

      Good to hear you made it through, vto.
      I suspect Key will be flung from Parliament in November.
      I’d not go that far. But I am sure that there is a long time to go until the election, and that National have the ability, inclination even, to destroy their chances. Fingers crossed. I suspect that Labour would have trouble being worse than National.

      • todd 5.3.1

        Even the main stream media is reporting on people saying Shonkey does not have the chutzpah to be PM. I can see it now; Shonkey in his Bobo the clown outfit unceremoniously thrown out of parliament. He he!

  6. Jim MacDonald 6

    What’s the phrase that comes to mind – ‘explaining is losing’?
    Watching that clip makes one wonder about a new phrase – ‘explaining is lying’?

    Lots can be said about that Breakfast clip but got to call an end to this lunch break.

    So this Corin guy is on now? I might switch back on my TV in the morning.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      I think Corin’s done a great job. Imagine smirky Paul Henry trying to fill that role.

      Probably neither he nor Petra expected to be thrown into the deep end quite so soon after joining the show, but it seems like they’ve come through the baptism of fire quite well, particularly Corin.

    • higherstandard 6.2

      Corin Dann doesn’t do it for me – I find him very bland and a bit of a try hard in relation to morning TV.

      I know Paul Henry is considered the antichrist by most commenting at this site but he gave me more laugh out loud moments on NZ made TV than anyone since Billy T James and McPhail and Gadsby.

  7. Two words, train wreck.

    I cannot believe how badly Key is handling things now. For so long he was Mr Teflon man but now it seems every one is realising that he is substanceless and the media are starting to turn.

    About time.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The Teflon’s Gone. You heard it here first.

    • Marty G 7.2

      The thing is, he actually had a historic opportunity to rise above being a politician and become a statesman.

      He didn’t have to get everything right but he had to throw off the ‘all things to all men’ Brand Key stuff. He had to genuinely lead rather than seek to cover his own arse all the time. Not only would that have been what the country is longing for, it would gave stymied his critics.

      I guess he was just incapable of it.

      • Jim MacDonald 7.2.1

        Brand Key is about entertainment, not government.
        After the entertaining cycleway et al wore off, so did my interest.

  8. kriswgtn 8

    I for one look forward to Tv3’s new morning news show

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10710421

    I will make sure I record this.Should be alot of fun -NOT!
    Firstline
    Rachel Smalley
    Starts Tuesday 8th March

    I wonder who out of the Political Parties will refuse to go on

  9. tc 9

    Marty nails it…..sideshow is as sideshow does, rip off the facade and you’ll see the nat PR machine out of ideas cranking the wheel but nothing’s coming out as there’s no smiley wavey times here.

    It’s roll the sleeves up and lead like you’re paid to……which he can’t as he’s never done any of that leadership stuff before.

    Like all process monkeys once there’s no script or slogans to sling about he’s all at sea…the corporate world is full of them…Gattung being a classic example.

    Next step for process monkeys is blame someone else…..probably Gerry.

  10. JohnDee 10

    John Key is a product of Crosby Textor and is now having to think and speak on they fly. This is creating a major problem for smile & wave as all the little lies turn in to big lies and come home to roost. I suggested months ago on this blog that this would start to happen and finally it has.

    • Richard 10.1

      Even when Key gets the Crosby Textor lines, they are just terrible, generic, and banal. The “sincere heartfelt message” he delivers is especially terrible — much like he was at Pike River.

      Key constantly sounds like somebody’s uncle awkwardly delivering a eulogy at a family funeral for a neice he hasn’t seen in seventeen years. Which is fine for an uncle at a family funeral — but it’s hardly what we should expect from the leader of our nation.

  11. ianmac 11

    I am intrigued that the usual Key loyalists have not appeared today to condemn Marty’s post. Wonder why not?
    And tsmithfield usually has an interesting opposing point of view that provides balance.

  12. gobsmacked 13

    As I’ve mentioned on here before, Key’s linguistic incoherence is part of his popularity. If asked “Vegemite or Marmite?”, he would say something like:

    “Yeah, look, take a step back, gotta say Vegemite is popular, yeah I grew up with it, then Marmite, which is, you know, really good, that’s something I had in London, and, I haven’t had any advice on this, but, you know, Vegemite – Marmite, sorry – is, well, yes, probably, and it’s my expectation that it would be, along with Mar – er, Vegemite, so, yeah, my wife won’t agree though ha ha ha!”

    So, the Vegemite voters and Marmite voters don’t get a clear answer, but – crucially – they don’t hear anything bad. If they want to like this “nice guy”, they can keep on liking him.

    In politics as usual, this can work well. Empathy beats accuracy. Style over content.

    But this is not politics as usual. It’s the greatest challenge for a government in decades. It would be challenging for ANY government, any Prime Minister. What people are looking for is clear direction, clear communication. Unfortunately, that requires a skill set that John Key doesn’t have.

    (the correct answer is Marmite, by the way)

    • Vicky32 13.1

      Er, by me, the correct answer is peanut butter! (Always take the 3rd option.) 😀
      Deb

    • ianmac 13.2

      Well scripted gobsmacked. Like his standard “Yeah, look, take a step back….” which is very frequent for him to cover the lack of an answer.
      And by the way my new jar of Marmite must be a different recipe. The texture is like thick oil and the taste is ummmm…… different.

    • Deadly_NZ 13.3

      No the correct answer is they both taste like shit!

      But Key could not lie straight in bed if his life depended on it..

      I watched Key reading a speech today, thats all it was, read to the end of the line – pause – breathe – oopps comma – breathe – talk – hope i don’t sound wooden. Breathe Oops full stop, Fuck this sounds crap, damn i wish i had learnt to read books rather than comics… The mental ??? process of ol’ Shonky…

  13. BLiP 14

    So, wait. Key hasn’t seen Brownlee’s comments? Is that really credible? Do you honestly believe Key had not seen what his number 3 said last week that has generated huge controversy before going into an interview that would discuss the issue?

    John Key doesn’t even read material sent from his own ministry officials – remember he only found out about his new BMWs from a crown driver – so, yes: I believe that John Key has so little interest in the goings on of state that he’s no longer paying the slightest attention to anything relevant.

  14. The Voice of Reason 15

    TS, @ 5.54:

    “Anyway, if any of what is being said here is true, I would expect to see a quote from Key where he criticises the coroner. Can anyone point to a clear, direct quote in this respect?”

    Can you? Key claims to have a transcript, yet, amazingly, it hasn’t appeared. The 3 full sentences quoted in the Press article (the ones with ” … “) do not use the word farcical. So the word came from somewhere else. Either a sentence from Key which was not quoted in full or the journo just made that shit up.

    Note the use of the word in the first sentence: ‘The slow progress in making public the names of those killed in the earthquake is “farcical”, Prime Minister John Key says.’ That’s a direct quote.

    Obviously, it’s not the journo, TS. Key is telling porkies. If he wasn’t, he’d be showing us the transcript.

    • Carol 15.1

      You mean this from 1st March?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/4715006/PM-urges-police-to-name-Christchurch-earthquake-victims

      The slow progress in making public the names of those killed in the earthquake is “farcical”, Prime Minister John Key says.

      The confirmed death toll was 148 last night, eight of whom have been named officially by police. Media have named many more.

      Mr Key said yesterday that he did not want to criticise, but the situation was a bit farcical and he had raised it with police several times.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/canterbury-earthquake/69641/talks-on-making-names-of-the-missing-public

      • The Voice of Reason 15.1.1

        That’s the article, Carol. There are 4 direct quotes.

        “farcical”

        “There are privacy issues but we need to try and cut through those if we possibly can.”

        “We’ve been having some discussions with them and we’re trying to seek a resolution to that as quickly as we can.

        “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

        The word farcical doesn’t occur in the sentences as quoted, but is in the first sentence, which is a summary of the position. The Press writes:

        ‘The slow progress in making public the names of those killed in the earthquake is “farcical”, Prime Minister John Key says.’

        So the Press are saying, in brief, that he told them the process of naming of the dead was “farcical” and put that word in quotation marks to verify its accuracy and yet Key claims to have an interview transcript that proves otherwise. Why isn’t he suing them or at least getting an apology, unless, of course, he’s lying?

        • Carol 15.1.1.1

          Yes, a quick google search showed that the word “farcical” was very widely quoted, including on RNZ & in UK newspapers. So, either they all just repeated what they read in the first source, or several journos heard JK say it.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.2

        It is very clear from a number of sources that he was talking about those presumed dead. Not declared dead. There is no evidence that he was criticising the coroner in any of this. There is obviously a list of those presumed dead that the police have. Key was simply arguing that the list should be in the public domain.

        As I pointed out above, this is probably a very good idea because it may lead to people coming forward who are able to provide information about people on the list who may have left the country etc, and therefore, should no longer be presumed dead.

    • tsmithfield 15.2

      Surely if Key has a transcript then the journos who did the interview would have one as well. Why don’t they put their transcript into the public domain?

      This is just pathetic TVOR. You’re getting so far into the realm of speculation now that you’re starting to create your own reality. Be careful. You’ll be living there next.

      • The Voice of Reason 15.2.1

        Well, I’ve clearly fucked you over, Tim. You usually don’t resort to insults so easily, so I’ll take it that you just can’t be arsed arguing the indefensible any more. Key’s rudeness to the coroner has become an international story and yet Key doesn’t ask the Press to correct their ‘mistake’. He’s got a ‘transcript’ but it’s invisible, akcherly.

        I assume the Press does have a transcript, otherwise they would already have printed the correction. That’s how it works. If a newspaper accidentally or unintentionally defames somebody, they print the retraction PDQ, because that’s what their lawyers tell ’em to do. It minimises the damages later on. But, as you know, they don’t have to put a correction out nor put the transcript in the public domain because yer man Key lied, and they know it and he knows it. The moment he is stupid enough to ask them to apologise, they will show him to be a liar. So he doesn’t say boo and hopes the fuss dies down. And you’re pissed off because you pride yourself on being able to spin anything, but this one’s got you beat.

        • tsmithfield 15.2.1.1

          You’ve been watching too many spy movies. Like I said, pure speculation.

          • Armchair Critic 15.2.1.1.1

            So, according to Mr Key, what or who is farcical, ts?
            If it is not the Police, and not the coroner, who is it that Mr Key is attacking?
            This very much reminds me of the trouble Mr Key had when he couldn’t communicate whether his government support or oppose whaling.

            • tsmithfield 15.2.1.1.1.1

              I’ve already said in a number of places it is the rules he considers farcical. Again, consider the following quote:

              There are privacy issues but we need to try and cut through those if we possibly can.” Police were doing their best and there were other agencies involved in identifying the bodies, he said. “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

              Note, he has no complaint with the statutory authorities. Just with the rules that prevent them from doing the sensible thing.

              • r0b

                Well before this issue blew up in his face, Armstrong noted (on 26 Feb) that “[Key] has already had to bang bureaucratic heads together to try and bring common sense to the release of victims’ names.”

                Those “bureaucratic heads” sit on the shoulders of workers. Key has been trying to bully workers doing a horrible job as best they can. You can believe that he was attacking “the rules” if you like, but those workers knew that they were bring bullied. That’s why they spoke out. But keep spinning TS…

                • tsmithfield

                  r0b, you’re just going around in circles. That article has the coroner referring to the Sunday program for her source of what Key had said. We already know that Key has stated he wasn’t directing his criticism at the coroner, but that Sunday had taken him out of context. The various links provided support Keys position on this. The only person spinning is you, by going around and around and around…. like a slow propeller.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    so who are the public to believe?

                    Key, a well liked, easy going and popular pollie, or the coroner – a total professional who’s job it is to be 100% accurate and 100% trusted with the most personal and intimate of life and death matters.

                    Tough one there eh.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Can’t blame the coroner for getting the wrong end of the stick if Sunday have fed her the wrong information in the first place.

                      Garbage in. Garbage out.

                    • r0b []

                      As early as 25 Feb the coroner was under direct personal pressure to speed things up, and resisted:

                      “We have been in discussion with the chief coroner and have assessed the risks around releasing the names of the missing. As a result the coroner is firm that we must continue with our process to ensure absolute certainty around identity.”

                      That’s why the coroner later spoke out, not because of your imagined “misrepresentation” by Sunday.

                      Honestly TS – who do you think is better placed to judge what went on – you, or the coroner? Before answering, try to recall that the coroner was there, and you were not.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “As early as 25 Feb the coroner was under direct personal pressure to speed things up, and resisted:”

                      Gosh, you’re really scratching there, r0b. There is absolutely nothing in that to suggest she was under more pressure than what the contingencies of the situation demanded, and certainly nothing to suggest that Key was exerting pressure.

                      “That’s why the coroner later spoke out, not because of your imagined “misrepresentation” by Sunday.”

                      Pure speculation based on nothing again.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Who cares what the coroner thinks. My question was what is the public going to go with – the trusted Coroner or Key the pollie? 🙂

              • Armchair Critic

                He’s not having a go at rules. Ultimately there is a person, or people, responsible for those rules. You may remember a meme about personal responsibility. This is jst another application of it.
                By criticising the rules he is criticising people. If it’s not the coroner or the police, who is it that Mr Key is criticising? Or do you just not know, tsmithfield? I’d understand it if you don’t, after all Mr Key is not the best at saying what he means. Or meaning what he says, but that’s a different matter.

  15. QoT 16

    Wow, Smile&Wave must really be good mates with Gerry – since without having heard Brownlee’s comments at all he totally just remembers off the top of his head that he chaired the Riccarton House Heritage Committee.

    • Jim MacDonald 16.1

      Come on, who would buy that bullshit? Difficult to swallow anything other than it was scripted.

    • ianmac 16.2

      Yes QoT. Noticed that. Sooner or later the pretended ignorance will cause a crash when the reality appears.

  16. Oh Ok, Tsmithfield…so Key is just saying the police efforts are farcical. not the coroner. That’s alright then.

    • tsmithfield 17.1

      Not the efforts. But the rules they obviously feel bound by.

      From the Press article:

      “There are privacy issues but we need to try and cut through those if we possibly can.”
      Police were doing their best and there were other agencies involved in identifying the bodies, he said. “The question is whether there is a wider public interest in the names of the missing and I think the answer is … we need to try and get that list in the public domain.”

      Seems like the privacy issues are the problem. Privacy act again. It results in all sorts of absurd situations. Such as not being able to access your own power account information if your spouse has forgotten to add your name as an account holder.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Such as not being able to access your own power account information if your spouse has forgotten to add your name as an account holder.

        Should a spouse be able to transact financials on any account where they are not a named account holder?

        You see, I also think that the Privacy Act can cause certain stupid problems, but often more resulting from an overcautious or occasionally deliberately narrow interpretation of the Act than anything else.

        And if this was a real problem, a phone call to Gerry Brownlee, CERRA Lord, would sort it out. Key in comparison is an unneeded ingredient and should leave his off the cuff comments at home.

        • Rosy 17.1.1.1

          The electricity company cannot mind read to know the reason why the spouse hasn’t been added – to see, for example, if it is a recently ex-spouse who might want to turn the electricity of for instance. Now that would be a headline if something went amiss by adding the spouse without checking and something went wrong….

  17. dad4justice 18

    I thought the word “farcical” was reserved for recent Prime Ministers. I mean to say, the bent Klark trained JohnBoyNoBalls well. Both couldn’t be straight with a lie detector!

    • Jum 18.1

      Oh dear Dad4Justice,

      Didn’t you get a reply from your letter to your hero John Key a couple of years back? Don’t you like him now. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
      If I remember it was all about revenge on women via your men’s group…what a sad, sad woman-hating person you are.

  18. Fisiani 19

    You asked for the straight truth.

    The most honest PM ever. That is undeniable. No fudging. No weasel words . No Klarkisms

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Hey didn’t Key say that he wouldn’t raise GST, then went ahead and did it?

      • Fisiani 19.1.1

        No he did not. You cannot rewrite history.
        His exact words were “we will not raise GST to fund a deficit” and he never did .

        • r0b 19.1.1.1

          John Key said: “National is not going to be raising GST. National wants to cut taxes not raise taxes.”

          You can see it for yourself on video right here Fisiani.

          • Fisiani 19.1.1.1.1

            In the context of funding a deficit . You can see it for yourself in the bit just before your clip.
            You guys will never win this argument….all you ever do is show edited clips

    • ianmac 19.2

      Yes Fisiana. The PM did a workmanlike job which is what he is expected and what he is paid to do. The topic was on safe ground and he answered simple questions but hardly inspiring or charismatic. There is a far better delivery from Mr Parker in terms of ” No fudging. No weasel words . No Klarkisms.”

  19. Jum 20

    So how many NAct spinners work in Key’s office now? It was 46 pre 2008 election. I hear it’s now 146.
    How many have been seconded to The Standard to attack any comments about their paymaster Key? They are so obvious on here.
    How many NAct spinners are in a room retyping history for the masses and drinking soma to forget the damage this government has wrought on New Zealand?

    • ianmac 20.1

      And Jum, to think the drive has been to reduce bureaucracy and get rid of the backroom twiddlers. On those figures it has been about 300% increase.

    • Gosman 20.2

      So do you include Martyn Bradbury of Tumeke in that list of NAct (sic) spinners?

      His comments about this thread aren’t very complementary

      http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2011/03/who-gave-gerry-brownlee-hulk-hands-for.html

      • The Voice of Reason 20.2.1

        He doesn’t make comments about this thread, Gosman, though he does link to it. It’s the Press that made the statement, not the Standard and if Bomber’s seen the mystery transcript that supposedly clears Key, then he should publish it. And if the Press have maligned Key, he should insist on a correction. But, strangely, he hasn’t so far. Wonder why?

  20. Lyn 21

    John Key didn’t say what has been reported. The word ‘farcical’ was used in answer to a different question. I wish he had used it to describe the DVI’s long winded process. I really think that the process does not help the community because it takes too long. Being able, due to science, to be 150% right about every cell recovered, is taking science past decency.

    • neoleftie 21.1

      Lyn did you see the coroner being interviewed – Key should be given a tour and then he should appologise, people in pieces – not a very good job and not a quick process either.

      • Lyn 21.1.1

        I have read everything I can find on the subject and I’ve come to that conclusion. I might be a lone voice, I accept that. I’m also not a keen fan of John Key. He’s ok, he’s aged a lot in the job, so it can’t be easy, especially when he’s miss-quoted.

        A deceit in this mornings news ‘Painstaking toil to name victims’, sentence beginning ‘Those working in the’. It’s true that the DVI process requires samples from family, but, there is a requirement of the DVI process which separates the team from the family of the victims i.e., someone else acts as intermediary such as the police. This separation is so that ‘nothing interferes with the process’. In other words ‘nothing’ equals relatives or anything else for that matter. Please note, I am not criticising the workers, just the process. There should be more flexibility/discrimination allowed in the process.

  21. Lyn 22

    Though few people would be interested, it does seem as though three quarters of the names of the dead/missing in the Christchurch earthquake are already in the public domain, and the coroner can do nothing about that. John Key is only saying that this list should be completed to the 200 or so they know of.

  22. randal 23

    how canyou be straight when you have spent your entire working life selling dud bonds to the stiffs and the good ones to your mates.

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