John does a Don

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, June 30th, 2008 - 73 comments
Categories: john key, same old national, slippery - Tags: ,

Remember Noelle McCarthy’s 95bFM interview with Brash in which she got him to admit to knowledge of the Brethren pamphlets? Student radio has done it again.

Hager’s weekend article in the Sunday Star Times detailed an ongoing advisory relationship between the National Party and political consultants Crosby Textor.

But RDU’s Kate Gorgeous asked John Key back in November 2007, “Have you got any advisors round now that are seen in The Hollow Men?”.

Here’s John Key’s reply:

And here’s the full audio from Scoop.

73 comments on “John does a Don”

  1. T-rex 1

    What I find interesting is how quick and decisive he is in his responses when he’s answering honestly.

    Pretty solid indicator of just how often he’s obfuscating (/lying)… I don’t think I’ve ever HEARD him give a direct and clear answer before.

  2. Mr English 2

    Liar, liar, pants on fire. Can the media ever trust JK to tell them the truth?

  3. Denying that Crosby/Textor is running your campaign is another classic part of a Crosby/Textor campaign

  4. outofbed 4

    Listening to an overly angry Hooten on RNZ this morning I would say that Mr Hager has struck a very raw nerve indeed.
    Methinks there is more to come

  5. higherstandard 5

    Denying that you eat babies is another classic part of being a baby eater – could this get any more silly.

  6. Lukas 6

    SP thats a ridiculous statement to make… I believe that Labour has also denied that C/T are running their campaign…along with ACT, NZ First and even of all people The Kiwi Party!

  7. T-rex 7

    Just thought about it some more… his direct answer to “Is Peter Keenan still working for you” is actually pretty incompetent. There’s a reason people use the “I can neither confirm nor deny” line John – because if you don’t then failure to answer provides an answer.

    Q: Is Peter Keenan still working for you?
    A: No. (followed by fairly complete denial of association)

    Q: Are any of the other advisors from the 2005 election still working for you?
    A: Ummm… mumblefnck mumblefnck qualify divert (read: Yes).

    He’s not even particularly good at being a deceitful prick unless coaching is immediately on hand.

    What on earth are you National supporters voting for? Can you not SEE the parallels between Nationals campaign thus far and GW Bush’s election platforms?

    Please don’t tell me you were rooting for the Republicans… I’ll lose what little faith I have left…

  8. mmmm, ahhhh, errrrr, basically….

  9. HS. Even I wasn’t going as far as equating using Crosby/Textor to eating babies but you’re right in the general point – you hide stuff that you think people don’t want to hear.

    Incidentally, HS or anyone. Can you give me three reasons why Key would make a good PM?

  10. when? 10

    where in that clip does he deny having crosby and textor? Can someone give me a reference of how many seconds through the clip he says that?

  11. Lukas 11

    1 He is not HC
    2 He is not HC
    3 He is not HC… that would some up the general mode of the nation going on the latest polls.

  12. T-rex 12

    Oooh oooh!

    1) He’s rich.
    2) He “seems like the kind of guy you could have a beer with”.
    3) He’s not Helen Clark.

    What do I win?

    edit: jinx Lucas, but I still think I deserve the prize

  13. higherstandard 13

    T-Rex

    Regarding the US – I’m on record here as saying I wouldn’t mind McCain or Obama as long as there’s an end to the Bushs and Clintons.

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    Lukas makes the point loud and clear. He’d be equally happy with Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Uncle Joe or Mao, Pinochet, or John Key as PM. Presumably so long as any one of them had some nice lines from C/T to feed him.

  15. all_your_base 15

    When? – 1:31 “any other advisors from the 2005 election?” (question presumably aimed at getting around his initial misdirection about ‘office staff’). Key: “ummmmmmmmmmmm… from the top of my head no”.

    Bloody hard to reconcile this denial with the (now known) facts, particularly given the prominence (then and now) of Crosby Texter’s involvement, both with the Party strategy and “brand Key” generally.

  16. T-rex 16

    HS: Interesting – Do you realise McCain is on record saying that that his views aligned with those of Bush on practically every significant issue of Bush’s presidency?

    He might be slightly smarter (it’s open to debate), but he wouldn’t have done anything differently as a result.

  17. Lukas. But what about you personally? Are those the three reasons why you personally think Key would make a better PM?

  18. when? He says he can’t name any of Brash’s outside advisors that he is using – yet a week into his time as Leader he personally hired Crisby/Textor, who had created National’s 2005 campaign. He had been meeting with them personally each month.

  19. Lukas 19

    MP- Wow… you could get a job in the Labour PR department with a statement like that!

    SP- no not at all. I am still in the undecided camp to be perfectly honest, though I think my chances of voting Labour are small at best due to some of the policy they have put through thus far. Also I believe that they are getting more and more dishonest… though it started in the first few months with the getting rid of the then Police Commissioner.

  20. That’s interesting. So is anyone a firm National voter (or ACT voter, that’s a vote for Key for PM too)? And can they tell us why they think Key would be a good PM?

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    What about with your mates over the ditch, Lukas? Reckon I’ve got a shot? I mean, there was nothing untrue in it, most readers probably got the point and you weren’t able to launch a decent criticism. That’s what they’re after, right?

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Steve, you’ve been asking that question of teh right for some time now – I don’t thnik you’ve had a nibble. I’ll have a go instead.

    Kiwisaver (wait, they’ll probably weaken it as much as possible)

    Nuclear free (wait, they’re just saying it, and would change the policy in a second, if they could. Kinda makes it worse, pretending to support it)

    WfF (wait, they’re opposed to it, but won’t remove it because, well, they have no better ideas)

    No sale of state assets (hmm. I’m sure they’d try to find a way around this, no thanks, I just don’t believe it. Not to mention the ‘first term’ caveat)

    Anti-PC (wait, “PC” is just a bullshit code to denigrate ideas that are anti-racist, and promote tolerance, not to mention decent ethics and so-on. Why would they be against that?)

    I got nothing. I’d honestly struggle to give a single reason. I suppose I’ll stand to do pretty well if his tax cuts do what National’s tax cuts generally do, but I’m not in it for me, so to speak.

  23. higherstandard 23

    OK SP I’ll play your game

    I think Key may make an interesting and successful Prime Minister for the following reasons.

    1. He has come from a modest background and succeeded in a cut throat business environment.

    2. He comes to parliament without any ideological baggage.

    3. He appears to have broad public appeal across the electorate.

  24. T-rex 24

    HS

    1) So has pretty much everyone else who’s succeeded in a cut-throat business environment I think you’ll find.

    2) Yeah, right. Because 15 years in currency trading earning a nickname reflecting complete lack of empathy doesn’t point to any ideological leanings at all.

    3) Uhhh…. have you even been reading this thread?

  25. Scribe 25

    HS said: He appears to have broad public appeal across the electorate.

    T-rex replied: Uhhh . have you even been reading this thread?

    T-rex,

    You are in la-la land if you think this blog in any way reflects the electorate. I would be equally sceptical of anything said on Kiwiblog when it’s argued that it’s representative of the electorate at large.

    Poll The Standard’s readers on their political views. Then graph them with the last 20 political polls. See how closely they correlate.

  26. mike 26

    Here’s my reasons for voting for him:

    1.Unlike Clark he has proven himself away from the public tit. He is succesfully self made.

    2. He is a family man. IMO having children qualifies him more to speak on family issues than someone who does not

    3.He is smart and engages people well. (some work to do on communication via media though)

  27. Pablo 27

    HS, perhaps you can fill in some gaps for me:

    I think Key may make an interesting and successful Prime Minister for the following reasons.

    1. He believes in _________, which is something I respect.

    2. He says he will pass legislation to _______ and I believe him.

    3. I couldn’t think up a number three.

  28. Can we take it then that this is the “neutron bomb” that you guys on the left have been promising, and if so, is an early election imminent? Even if this issue has any substance, or any capacity to damage Key, isn’t it a bit too soon, unless you guys know something about the timing of an election that we don’t?

  29. all_your_base 29

    How about one reason *not* to vote for him? As evidenced by the audio clip he seems to struggle to tell the truth. Does anyone really give a shit whether he’s a “family man” or whatever if he can’t even be straight with the voting public? Seems to me the righties are burying their heads in the sand over this one…

  30. Stephen 30

    Higherstandard’s number 3 – I think he’s good because he’s popular (eh?!)

  31. Tane 31

    Um, IV2, there is no neutron bomb. Never was as far as I know. Where was this rumour actually sourced from? The first I heard of it was Matthew “Hollow Man” Hooton.

  32. Matthew Pilott 32

    mike, do you think your number 2 was the reason he got involved with the S59 debate and ensured it would pass?

    Do you see the contradiction between 1 & 2? If he’s good because he has kids, doesn’t that also mean he’ll only be good at representing the interests of multi-millionaires? You’re not going to get all trickle-down on us are you?

  33. Really those are the reaons you would give someone the most powerful job in the country – he grew up in a state house, he’s rich, and he’s nice?

    Would any of you hire someone for you workplace on the same grounds?

  34. insider 34

    if you want truth or obfuscation, HC has hardly got an unblemished reputation over the years. So let’s not be too precious here.

  35. higherstandard 35

    Are you chaps arguing that the following wouldn’t be good things to have in a Prime Minister ?

    1. Broad appeal across the electorate.

    2. Very significant success and experience in the financial markets.

    3. Personal experience of the benefits of social welfare as a youngster.

    4. Not being linked to the to left or right ideologies.

    If you are I would be interested in your rationale.

  36. lprent 36

    hs: Were you describing Muldoon or Key?

  37. coge 37

    Well I’m waiting (with popcorn) to hear the PM in parliament,
    “John Key & Crosby Textor! Ha ha ha! He he he, HO HO HO!!
    What a riot. That’s bound to effect the gap of public opinion.

  38. Dancer 38

    One thing I find curious – despite having an editorial today saying “A Prime Minister should not depend on the public’s ability to presume what he meant or did not mean and finish his sentences for him….Verbal precision is not only vital in the job to which he aspires, it is a useful mental discipline too. Loose talk bespeaks muddled thought.”
    (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10519028) the NZ Herald does not seem to be covering this story. Seems strange given it is one of the hotest political issues running…

  39. higherstandard 39

    Lynn

    Comparing Muldoon and Key is about as valid as comparing Michael Cullen and Rodger Douglas.

    Apart from the parties having the same name Key would be closer to Clark on economic issues than he is to Muldoon.

  40. mike 40

    “If he’s good because he has kids, doesn’t that also mean he’ll only be good at representing the interests of multi-millionaires?”

    No – that’s a silly parallel. It’s like saying saying Cullen would only represent Uni lecturers.

  41. Lew 41

    HS: I think the point is that any one of thousands of New Zealanders could fulfil any except 1. which is simply a matter of exposure.

    Would you support anyone who met those criteria?

    L

  42. higherstandard 42

    Lew

    No, I wouldn’t necessarily support anyone who only met those criteria.

  43. T-rex 43

    Scribe: You are in la-la land if you think this blog in any way reflects the electorate. I would be equally sceptical of anything said on Kiwiblog when it’s argued that it’s representative of the electorate at large.

    Yes, I realise that. My point was that of COURSE he’s got broad appeal across the electorate – as this thread describes said appeal has been carefully manufactured for him by experts in the field. You’ve got no way of knowing if he’s a nice guy with broad appeal or not. All you’ve got is the persona he’s been dressed in by a group who specialise in giving people what they think they want.

    How does it feel to know you’re falling hook-line-&-sinker for the image being fed to you by a bunch of proven deceit artists? You’re not even SLIGHTLY suspicious?

  44. Lew 44

    HS: So what are the other criteria which make John Key supportable, then? I think that was the nub of the question.

    L

  45. HS.

    I would dispute the line (and it’s a classic Crosby/Textor line, they tried it with Brash too) that Key is not ideological, not from Left or Right. We’ve shown time and again that his core beliefs are of the Right, and that’s where he turns when he goes off script.

    But, moreover, I’m not sure why you think a lack of political principles (that’s all ideology is) should be a good thing.

  46. HS. I guess I’m just looking for more from a PM than he grew up in a state house and got rich and people like him (take a away the first one and you have George W, btw).

    I want a PM to believe in creating a better NZ, sustainable and just, where people have real freedom – freedom from unemployment, freedom from crappy wages that mean you have to work 60 hours a week, freedom from big businesses being allowed to pollute our water, our land, our air, freedom from the fear that getting sick will mean you need to borrow to pay for treatment, freedom from the social pressures that see the fate of those at the bottom of the heap repeated by their children. And I want a PM with real policies to move us towards that never-quite-reachable utopia. Clark has that, Key doesn’t.

    I’m not saying those attributes of Key’s you list aren’t nice. They’re just insufficent.

    captcha: ‘improve voter’, no ‘improve candidates, please’

  47. Scribe 47

    T-rex,

    How does it feel to know you’re falling hook-line-&-sinker for the image being fed to you by a bunch of proven deceit artists? You’re not even SLIGHTLY suspicious?

    I’m suspicious of every politician for one reason or another. And each side has its own bunch of proven deceit artists, so I’m suspicious of both sides equally on that score as well.

    I’m fortunate to have met John Key in a small-group meeting, so my opinions of him are based on that meeting (with no advisers/spin doctors with him), rather than any caricature that the Left or Right draw of him as Satan or Saviour respectively.

    captcha: Shady association’s (the apostrophe has me confused)

  48. higherstandard 48

    SP

    typo it should read

    …not to the too left or right ideologies.

    Lew I think that will come down to the policies of the National party, the question I was originally responding to was …..

    ‘Can you give me three reasons why Key would make a good PM.’

    This is a very different question from who is supportable (who will you vote for) as I’ve stated elsewhere I’ll vote for whichever party I think will be the best for the country over the next couple of terms only making my mind up closer to the election once the usual debates etc have been concluded – at present I only know who I am very unlikely to vote for.

  49. higherstandard 49

    Clinton

    I think the vast majority of those voting on election day will want those same things you describe they will only differ via their vote on the methodology and personnel to deliver them.

  50. lprent 50

    hs: I was being a bit facetious. But your description list sounded a lot like my favorite politician and how he was presented in 1975.

    You’ve got to say that the resemblance in your description was a bit uncanny. But then that was a manufactured vision as well, including the demonisation of Muldoon’s opposition.

    Perhaps the results will be better this time? History – what a wonderful teacher.

  51. Draco TB 51

    1.Unlike Clark he has proven himself away from the public tit. He is succesfully self made.

    From massive public subsidy (State housing and free education up to uni level). In fact I would say that is is no more successful than HC. You are suggesting, with no evidence whatsoever, that being successful in the private sector is harder than being successful in the public service.

    2. He is a family man. IMO having children qualifies him more to speak on family issues than someone who does not

    As PM, having children no more qualifies him to talk about family issues than HC simply because it comes down to their advisors from the relevant ministries. Believing otherwise is deluding yourself.

    3.He is smart and engages people well. (some work to do on communication via media though)

    This I would agree with.

  52. randal 52

    John Key never made anything. he made his money taking a commission on ‘turns’ with other peoples money

  53. Felix 53

    Yep randal, give him a turn.

    mike, the first word of the sentence you quoted is “If”.

    Did you not read it or do you not know what it means?

  54. johndoe 54

    My god. Y’all really don’t believe that it is more difficult to succeed in the private sector than in the public? And success – what’s it measured by in each? Getting a solid $100k + JOB? This is pathetic. Do any of you actually work by your own wits for a living?

  55. lprent 55

    Yes – been in the top few percent of earners forever. It simply isn’t that hard – really it is more a question of it you want to be bothered.

  56. Lew 56

    Lynn, you sound like an ACT member!

    L

  57. Sadly, I have to report that kiwiblogblog is dead. The rest of us on the left will just have to work just that little bit harder to make up for the loss of another independent, and slightly off-beat, team.

    And we shall!

    http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/see-ya-round/#comment-9870

  58. Anita 58

    mike said:

    2. He is a family man. IMO having children qualifies him more to speak on family issues than someone who does not

    I don’t have children. I am very much part of a family. What is your opinion of my qualification to speak on family matters?

  59. I know I would rather have a benevolent Nanny State, rather than an Authoritian Daddy State.

    I also expect any person who wishes to be Prime Minister to at least be able to speak properly without lapsing into um or ah or well you know what I mean. No John we do not, You have to tell us what you mean or shutup and go away. I am already sick of his bulldog minder, jumps up and barks for John as soon as anyone says anything John does not like.

  60. ak 60

    Despite the inane obfuscation and general misdirection from the usual suspects, only one point is pertinent here:

    According to Hager, Key signed up Crosby Textor one week after becoming leader and has had regular meetings ever since.

    If this is true (and tellingly it hasn’t been denied) then Key has just told a blatant lie in this interview.

    And despite the screaming Hooten downplay attempts, sorry, but making up the Tampa story and asking the question “Would knowing that candidate X favours abortion at the ninth month of pregnancy change your opinion of her?” really, really, really is evil – and not remotely the same as any tactics employed by other PR firms.

    In light of the surreal current polls, it begs the question: given CT’s proven willingness to sink this low, how much of this sort of disgusting message-pushing has already occurred?

  61. Dean 61

    “I also expect any person who wishes to be Prime Minister to at least be able to speak properly without lapsing into um or ah or well you know what I mean.”

    I’d expect any person who wishes to be the PM to not be such a barefaced liar, as HC was regarding the child smacking law, but then you self confessed lefties want to forget about that one don’t you?

  62. Dean 62

    “How does it feel to know you’re falling hook-line-&-sinker for the image being fed to you by a bunch of proven deceit artists? You’re not even SLIGHTLY suspicious?”

    That’s fair enough.

    But what about that glorious photoshop of HC on all the billboards at the last election? Doesn’t it bother you?

    I’d guess not, since you’re willing to overlook the same thing from people you agree with.

  63. Lew 63

    Dean: “I’d expect any person who wishes to be the PM to not be such a barefaced liar”

    So you won’t be voting for National (or ACT, since they’ll be forming a coalition with National), then? Given the audio clip at the head of this thread, I mean.

    Ruling out liars in politics means ruling out voting. I take the view that knowing one’s politicians allows one to vote for them in spite of their many and various failings. Key doesn’t give me that opportunity, by hiding his political self behind a facade created from whole cloth to do nothing but appeal to me.

    L

  64. Stephen 64

    You’ve got to be kidding Dean – what are we falling for when we see a photoshopped picture of Helen Clark? Presumably we’re meant to think “well she looks um, okay”, and then we move on. As this thread is asserting, the issue with Key is something else *entirely*.

  65. “Sadly, I have to report that kiwiblogblog is dead.”

    Hahaha good one jaffapety

  66. T-rex 66

    Dean – Generally I think “wow, advertising really is a crock of sh*t, that looks almost nothing like her”.

    Bright side for me is the fact that good looks aren’t a major pre-requisite for a prime minister I respect.

    Good point Lew. No one with an ounce of sense would judge Key based on the image presented since involvement with National. All that’s left is his history prior to National.

    At least with Clark we have a clear idea of her motivations and values (through 9 years of observation).

    I wouldn’t mind with Key so much if it was just lack of opportunity to display his true colours – it’s the fact that he’s actively concealing them that pisses me off.

  67. Illuminating. The Nats are now all about winning at all costs…..just like the US Republicans. Bugger genuine democracy and informed debate and voters knowing why they are supporting whomever they choose to support.

    It takes a principle-free party hack to argue that a “swift boat” slur campaign free of any real policy is right, proper and good practice.

  68. Andrew Bannister 68

    He is a family man. IMO having children qualifies him more to speak on family issues than someone who does not

    Mike, that is very simplistic – by that logic, you would go to Chris Kahui for parenting advice over a paediatrician who doesn’t have kids.

    By the way, Helen Clark also comes from a family, so she does have first-hand experience of family issues.

  69. lprent 69

    Lew:

    Lynn, you sound like an ACT member!

    Nope – I sound like I should be a ACT member.

    But I have a slightly longer viewpoint and an abiding interest in history. I also have a keen awareness about factors outside of family that helped my progress. Doing night shift in factories, working as a farm labourer, and being an underage barman help as well. Then of course the army makes you very aware of the consequences of political failure.

    Having a big family mean that you see all of the places people wind up and why.

    In the end you get a keen awareness of society running as a whole, with less of the self-satisfaction of the self-made person. Stops you being an ACT member.

  70. Lew 70

    The jokes, they write themselves!

    Key on Midday Report just now: “I do condone [push-polling]. Oh, no, no, I do not condone it!” (or words to this effect).

    Poor bastard.

    L

  71. Mark 71

    I just think Key is a hell of a lot more likable than Clark and clearly a large number of the public thinks this as well. Clark can really grate on you with her sour personality and arrogance. Shallow but true (un)fortunately …

  72. T-rex 72

    Mark – from public image I’m inclined to agree with you, at least as far as “associate” level likeability.

    However, I’ve already got friends. I’m looking for someone I can trust to honestly represent my country. No brainer.

  73. Lew 73

    Mark: At least you’re honest about it.

    L

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