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Is this a question buddy?

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, August 20th, 2013 - 25 comments
Categories: blogs, john key, same old national - Tags:

GCSB Key

Much has been written about John Campbell’s interview with Key on Campbell live last week.  Some have chosen to describe it in gladiatorial terms and have suggested that Key was the winner.  Because he looked more confident and more assertive in an alpha male sort of way he must have been the winner.  Campbell’s frustration and not being able to ask the questions that mattered was apparent, but you do have to admire the way that Key interrupted Campbell while giving the impression that he was the one being interrupted, as well as his ability to look confident and assured.

Yep, superficially Key bet Campbell hands down.

But Key’s subsequent issuing of a press release where he acknowledged that he said incorrectly that under the bill the GCSB would not be allowed to look at the content of communications when conducting their cyber-security functions undermined his performance.

In fact, there is nothing that prevents the GCSB from doing so.  Key then said that in exercising his power to impose any conditions he wants on a warrant he will use his discretion to set the default position not looking at content in the cyber-security function.  He wants unbridled power when he has acknowledged that he does not need it.

Key deserved an oscar for his performance on Campbell Live.  As the Prime Minister he does not deserve praise however because he was wrong on a significant point.  Being confidently wrong is still being wrong.

Yesterday there were two events which undid all the good that Key’s interview had achieved.

Firstly Alastair Thompson, chief at Scoop, nailed Key with a question (video is here).  Key responded with some ridicule (“is that a question buddy?”) and then walked out of the press conference.  Key appears to be very touchy lately and this incident reinforced his previous behaviour at the select committee hearings for the GCSB Bill and his appearances at Parliament when asked about the Bill.

My rough transcript is as follows:

AT – Most legal jurists have informed us publicly that they disagree with you whole heartedly about that, that you are taking broad powers which allow you to invade privacy at a wholesale level and you are saying that all those people are wrong.

JK – Correct

AT – On top of that we also have the situation where two investigations

JK – [Interrupting] Is this a question, can I just ask you is that a question buddy?

AT – That you were responsible for

JK – [Interrupting] OK I will tell you what

AT – This is a question

JK – OK I will give you an answer, here is the answer

AT – No you just cannot interrupt like you did to John Campbell, I want to ask a question

JK – [Key leaves] Thanks very much guys.

It appears that Key does not like being questioned rigorously.

And last night’s meeting in the Auckland Town Hall was a stunner.  Well done Bomber Bradbury and the GPJA.

The final reading of the GCSB Bill is planned for today.  Will Dunne or a brave National backbencher have the guts to oppose the bill?  Or will our rights of privacy be hopelessly compromised …

25 comments on “Is this a question buddy? ”

  1. karol 1

    Thanks, micky. Is there a link to the Alistair Thompson interview? Your link just goes to Scoop’s main page.

    On the law. Key is saying there are assurances in the Bill (3 News today.

    “If you go and have a look at section 8a of the bill and read that in conjunction – as you have to – with section 15a and 15c of the bill, actually it spells it out very clearly. What it basically says under section 8a, which is about cyber security, the function there is to protect information – not to access information, but to protect your information… It’s quite different to section 8c, which is all about looking at content.

    “So when I sign that warrant, assuming a company wants us to do that and the GCSB decides it’s worth doing that, and we do that with a commissioner of warrants, that warrant will specifically say that you can’t look at content of New Zealanders’ [communications], and that that warrant will be reviewable by the Intelligence and Security committee.

    “So it is in the law – that’s absolutely where it is – and that’s the way it’ll apply.”

    But this is all very confusing for those of us not trained in law – maybe what Key is counting on?

    He slips from talking about cybersecurity to terrorism. And he ignores the fact that the content looked at under 8B, C &D could include surveillance of content of communications for intelligence gathering and cooperation with other entities.

    [Cheers Karol. I have inserted a link to the video]

    • vto 1.1

      John Key, the Prime Ministerial C#@t.

      But check this out for exposure of the wholesale tie up between this government and business “So when I sign that warrant, assuming a company wants us to do that …”

      Is all of this being done for business?
      Like changing labour laws to suit Hollywood wankers?

      Is there a separation between government and business? We know in Canterbury that there is not (Ecan, Chch rebuild) but it seems it goes much further.

      What on earth is Key hiding? What is his agenda?

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        We will never know what he is hiding with all the big chooks in his pocket, those who couldn’t wait to interview their keyboards to declare Key the unchallenged King of the media world after he lied and bullied Campbell for nearly 15 minutes. Amazing how they rush to stick up for Key and make excuses for him, even when one of their own is on the receiving end of his wrath and bile. I guess they only need be reminded who pays them?

      • Blue 1.1.2

        I’m guessing our Govt was asked by Warner Bros directly to bust Dotcom. Everyone thought it was the American intelligence authorities, but these days you can cut out the middleman with countries as desperate as NZ. No Dotcom warrant = no Hobbit, you naughty antipodeans.

        What Key is slurring here is pretty scary if taken literally. He is saying that companies decide who to spy on, then the GCSB reviews that decision and then Key signs off on it.

        • Murray Olsen 1.1.2.1

          I don’t see how it can be taken any way except literally. Key would think this is the way things should be, because there is only NZ Inc., a subsidiary of US Corp. Society does not exist for these guys, nor does national sovereignty. In reality, he’s just catching up to Washington. Obama has been a constitutional figurehead, signing off legislation for the corporates, since he was elected. Those before him were no different, and Key’s roots are far more American than Kiwi. We can even see this with his contemptuous use of the term “buddy.” This is not Kiwi terminology.

  2. Mary 2

    Key’s acknowledged he was wrong which means he will have unbridled power, and has then said that he will use his speech at the third reading to provide guidance for the courts on when he’ll use that unbridled power.

    I cannot believe not just his arrogance but how wrong he is that his third reading speech can influence the courts in the way he claims. Courts may look to Hansard when the words of a statute are unclear or to ascertain some sort of overall purpose – again when clarity around purpose may be needed, but Key is deluding himself when he says Hansard can be used to show how a discretion explicitly provided for in the statute has been exercised unlawfully. This is especially so when it comes to matters of national security. I’d like to see Chris Findlayson try to deal with questions challenging what Key’s been saying about this. It’s such a basic principle that not even Findlayson would be able to say Key is correct.

    • vto 2.1

      Agreed completely. Ffs even the most basic law student knows that stuff.

      What it does is reflect Key’s attitude to most anything – fake it til you make it.

    • Greywarbler 2.2

      Key is talking like a benign despot as if his subjects can plead with him and he will decide what is right, out of the inestimable power of his wisdom. Hah. We want our democracy back – we never had one that was perfect I’m sure but it was better than this one. And the knowledge that a bunch of virtual yobbos are watching – listening to us all, at their will, or through their slave machines is mind-boggling.

  3. Mary 3

    “Will Dunne or a brave National backbencher have the guts to oppose the bill?”

    No, Dunne won’t be brave enough. But going by the level of outrage against the bill Dunne will not be back in Parliament after the next election. He really does underestimate his electorate.

  4. fender 4

    What a rude, immature little prick this Key is. He hates democracy and he hates NZers.

    Please be gone John, you’ve stayed here much too long “buddy”.

    • Mary 4.1

      Key’s just said on RNZ news that National won’t be supporting Labour’s proposed amendment because “we don’t need it”. Well, John, if you’ve got nothing to fear… .

      In any case, Labour should be saying things like “we will be restoring all democratic and constitutional cornerstones that John Key and his government are hell bent on destroying. John Key is creating an unfree and undemocratic New Zealand and an unpleasant place to live in. This is not a society that we want to create and we will guarantee to restore democracy, constitutional safeguards and the rule of law that form the basis of all democratic political systems around the world.”

      This is the level of engagement with the public the opposition need to get into, instead of merely pussyfooting around with the detail of legislation most people don’t examine with a microscope. The opposition needs to get the real message out if its going to successfully counter Key’s rubbish spin.

      It’s the public who needs to be convinced.

      • fender 4.1.1

        Yes Mary +1, all Labour are saying is put in writing the verbal assurances Key has “given”. Key rejects this idea….goes to show he has no intention of keeping his “word”.

  5. Matthew 5

    I’M NOT YOUR BUDDY, GUY

    [lprent: Less SHOUTING. You might not like the size reduction or attention it brings. ]

  6. freedom 6

    this is a question

    Mr Key, can you explain exactly what companies you were referring to when you said companies will ask for spy warrants against NZ citizens?

  7. tc 7

    Shows the value of being focused and not letting the slippery one get away with dictating the terms.

    Also helps when it’s a press conference rather than a one on one.

    ‘Campbell’s frustration and not being able to ask the questions that mattered was…’ his own fault entirely

  8. Fred Lard 8

    Sick of freedom and privacy

    Bored with in-depth journalism or alternative points of view

    Tired of worn out sarcastic humor that appeals to the lowest common denominator

    YES, well we’ve got something new for you, it’s better than smarmite, its better than mum and dad investors, its better than an fx exchange floor of flatulent traders

    It’s time for super Johns Bigger Badder Baby Snapper Batter (TM)

    Yes thats right folks, Johns Bigger Badder Baby Snapper Batter (TM) is made from only the best ingredients, fresh each day.

    One customer said, while puffing a dung hill, I love it, I just cant get enough. I really need to get my act together and procure a whole case. In fact Johns Bigger Bader Baby Snapper Batter is bloody brilliant, I’m blown away, I think I could fly a B52 over Bagdad and bomb the bastards bovine faces off.

  9. Tracey 9

    “Key’s just said on RNZ news that National won’t be supporting Labour’s proposed amendment because “we don’t need it”. Well, John, if you’ve got nothing to fear… .”

    Plus 1000

  10. Sable 10

    Keys needs to go, he’s a disgrace….

  11. North 11

    Spray and walk away ! That performance was spectacularly, risibly, gutless.

  12. Rodel 12

    We seem to have a new, emerging breed of journalist..people who have researched their topic, ask questions of significance, won’t be satisfied with evasive answers and aren’t intimidated by bullies.
    Sort of ‘fair, balanced and unafraid’ but bona fide, unlike faux news.
    The reaction of politicians to this kind of questioning speaks more than their verbal answers.
    More power to the new breed!

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