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Jumping the shark

Written By: - Date published: 5:08 pm, August 16th, 2008 - 78 comments
Categories: john key, spin - Tags:

Remember the photos of McDonald’s wrappers strewn on a grass verge that John Key expected us to believe was evidence people had been rifling through his electorate office’s rubbish? Was there ever a more transparent attempt to deflect attention from a bad story with an obviously faked picture? No-one believed that Key’s rubbish really had been searched; it was a desperate attempt to shift the story from the content of the secret agenda tapes to the ‘dirty tricks’ meme.. and to a degree it succeeded in that objective, the media happily spent more time speculating on who made th recordings than what they said about the governing intentions of National.

Still, no-one believed Key. Think about that. We all know, therefore, that Key and his staff deliberately faked those photos and lied to the New Zealand public. Cyncially and with planning, Key lied to the New Zealand public and was caught out. In some ways, I think that is a bigger scandal than the secret agenda tapes.

Like when Fonzie jumped the shark, Key blew National’s remaining credibility on this stunt. Like the secret tapes, the made story of stolen rubbish tells Kiwis one thing loud and clear: the Nats will say and do whatever they need to to get into power, you can’t trust them an inch.

78 comments on “Jumping the shark”

  1. Lew 1

    Steve, some people do actually believe Labour or their fellow travellers searched Key’s rubbish. You can (as I do) discount their belief on the grounds that they’re mostly the sort who Want To Believe, but that’s not the same as saying they don’t believe it.

    That rather undermines your premise – that because nobody believes X, X is manifestly false – and the conclusion drawn from it, that National lied. For the argument to be valid, you have to make a case for why we should discount the opinions of those who do genuinely believe it happened. Go on. I’m sure you can.


  2. Steve – just because YOU don’t believe that Key’s rubbish was searched (and not for the first time) doesn’t mean that others don’t believe it, or in fact, consider it perfectly probable. Your arrogance reaches breathtaking heights sometimes. And I presume you have proof that the photo’s were faked. No? Didn’t think so.

  3. BTW – did you read Duncan Garner’s blog yesterday? Yeah, THAT Duncan Garner – the one who ran the story of the “sting” you base your assumptions on:


  4. Anita 4

    When I’ve heard people who aren’t politically committed/interested talking about the rubbish story there’ve been two streams of response

    1) “This election campaign is (going to be) dirty :(.” No particular finger pointing, or at least equal blame of both Labour and National.

    2) “Oh don’t be silly, if I was going to look through Key’s rubbish I would [insert more competent approach here].” No discussion of this as a political tactic by National, more a “all politicians are stupid/impractical/don’t-get-it” concept.

    The political geeks analyse it for spin and tactics (of both major parties). To the rest of NZ it’s just noise which has reinforced an existing view – either that politicians are playing dirty or that they’re lacking commonsense.

    I should say that on two occasions I heard it turn quickly into a grizzle about the neighbourhood dogs – ignoring the politics and making it relevant to real life.

    To borrow that dreadful US phrase, I think we’re all living inside the beltway. So the question becomes, what kind of story would work outside in the real world? 🙂

  5. lprent 5

    IV2: I cannot say with absolute certainty it wasn’t dirty tricks. However I can make a bloody good set of assumptions that it isn’t.

    1. Every electorate office I’ve been in has a paper shredder and a secure bin. That is where any sensitive info goes. I’d have to make the presumption that anyone competent would also know that. So why did they break open the ordinary household rubbish.

    2. Electorate offices seldom have anything very sensitive (at a political level) in them anyway. Mostly it is boring details of immigration queries, moans against government departments, moans against the council, etc.

    3. As far as I can see there is a McDonalds wrapper in that trash. I’m unsure exactly where the nearest McDonalds is – but I’d expect at Upper Harbour Drive – what 20km’s away? Where exactly did that rubbish come from.

    At the very least I think that the Helensville electorate office is probably being somewhat ridiculous. It is quite likely that it was kids, dogs, etc. In fact I’d say that the only thing it wasn’t likely to be was drom the dirty tricks brigade. Frankly they’d have to be pretty damn stupid to think that they could get anything from it.

    But the timing leads me (like Steve) to think it was a classic diversion tactic for those great thinkers in the press.

  6. Anita 6

    I’ll add another

    4. If someone did want to go through an electorate office’s rubbish bag then they’d take the bag away. It makes absolutely no sense to go through a rubbish bag on site, even less to spread the rubbish all over the place.

    I find it hard to believe that, even with the current elements of tribal hatred, the Nats think Labour is that stupid 🙂

  7. So Lynn, you’d agree then that Steve is beating it up when he makes statements like “Still, no-one believed Key.”, “We all know, therefore, that Key and his staff deliberately faked those photos and lied to the New Zealand public.” and “Cyncially and with planning, Key lied to the New Zealand public and was caught out.”? It’s hyperbole, it’s the tactic of using absolutes (no-one, all), and what’s more, unless Steve can produce proof that “Key lied to the New Zealand public and was caught out”, it’s defamation. All of which makes Steve’s constant critcism of Crosby/Textor rather, um…hollow, wouldn’t you agree?

    By all means hypothesise, but unless Steve has the proof to back up his claims, he paints himself into a corner from which he might have great difficulty extracting himself!

    BTW Lynn – never “assume” – remember the old line? It makes an ASS out of U but not ME.

  8. lprent 8

    IV2: I’ve commented about this on just about every thread here today.

    Poll timing is crucial. The tapes of National shadow ministers were released on the evenings of the 4th, 5th, and 6th respectively.

    So far we have had the following polls, where the polls were done on the specified dates.

    Morgan : 28th July – 10th August.
    Neilsen (Fairfax) : 4th August – 10th August.

    With anything like this it usually takes a week or two for the unwilling, undecided, and swinging voters to actually register their thinking in polls. ie there is always a lag effect while people get around to thinking about it.

    Guess what – there is unlikely to be any significant effects showing until we see the polls that are done next week. So your assessments are very likely to be INcorrect. To be precise what we are getting at present from just about everyone who came in to talk about the polls today is a certain amount of written flatulence.

    I have bugger all respect for polls (as anyone who reads here is probably aware by now). But the one that I do tend to watch is Morgan because of the long-term trends coincide with what I hear in direction. I hasten to add that their amplitude jumps and absolute percentages are a bit suspect. I get the impression that they do some more care about the sampling and questions. By contrast, I tend to look at the Nielsen one for Fairfax as being there to fuel headlines.

    Now one effect that did come in the last set of Morgan poll was a 3% rise in NZ Firsts vote. If that holds up over the next couple of polls, then I’d say that I was right. Winstons basic precept that almost any publicity is good.

    Looks like the loud calls alleging corruption may have just helped them over the 5% threshold – and unfortunate, but predictable result.

    Damn: My old Mac-mini doesn’t seem to like logitech keyboard plugged via a usb kvm… Had to do more than usual editing on that comment.

  9. Draco TB 9

    Still, no-one believed Key. Think about that. We all know, therefore, that Key and his staff deliberately faked those photos and lied to the New Zealand public.

    This line of logic is false. Belief is not fact or evidence and so drawing a conclusion from it is meaningless.

    What we do know is that there should have been no chance of there being any sensitive documents in the rubbish anyway as any electoral office would need to dispose of such documents adequately. We know that anybody searching for sensitive data would know this and so is unlikely to look through the rubbish bags. Although such evidence is circumstantial it does tend to show that JK and National lied to the public. As this alleged lying happened just as National got in the media due to some very damaging tape recordings that showed that National had been deceiving the public for the last couple of years it shows that it was done as a distraction from the real issue. It also tends to lead even more credibility to the accusation that they lied about the rubbish bag being ransacked.

  10. If you got nothing to hide, why give a hoot about some jerk off searching thru the crap to find mud too sling at some poor unsespecting cretin?

    Search my rubbish and you’ll pull the pin. Booom.
    This shark is far too smart !

  11. lprent 11

    If it is defamation rather than fair comment, then the Nats responsible for their press statements is welcome to make fools of themselves in court.

    I’m quite willing to stand up and say that in my personal opinion that I think that whoever released and approved the Nats press statement about the rubbish was bullshitting when they asserted that they thought there may have been dirty tricks with people playing with their rubbish.

    Tell me why you think that anyone who was aware of the how electorate offices operate could have asserted that there rubbish being strewn around was evidence of dirty tricks?

    Why do you think that there was any evidence of anything more than local hooligans?

    Why in the hell were there McDonalds wrappers in the rubbish?

    Why should I treat the Nat’s story with anything apart from contempt. It has to be the most stupid story I think I’ve seen so far this election campaign.

    What does the dog have to do with it? (opops that was satire)..

  12. Yap,rip, goes the pit ball into the rubbish bag.

    Go the rowers and stuff the rubbish, dogs and sharks, burp, oops……..

  13. Anita 13


    I tend to agree some of SP’s post is hyperbole, but underneath all that there’s a serious point.

    I find it really hard to believe that Key actually believed that Labour spies had strewn his electorate office rubbish all over the lawn.

    Do you think he believed it?

  14. lprent 14

    Actually ignore my comment. Even if I fixed my grammatical errors, I still prefer Anita’s question.

    It is far more concise and covers all of my main points.

    And if it wasn’t JK, then whoever wrote and/or authorized the press release.

    captcha: both bagging
    That thing is either uncanny or it has a hidden agenda.. More coffee required. Bug-hunting makes me as paranoid as….. umm Hi Dad!

  15. Iprent; I don’t have a hidden agenda, but, I have been bugged, just ask my friends who don’t ring me anymore. SIS bug variety, oh the waste of tax payer dollars.

  16. rave 16

    Can’t quite believe you guys are getting bogged down in Key’s rubbish and Helen’s healthy habits. Hanging on every poll is pretty infantile too.
    What about some real heartening news? TV3 has a item on Scoop on how McGegan Place has proven Key wrong. It is not a ‘dead end street’ after all (was Key referring to the suicides in the street?) but a very much alive St thanks to the kids who don’t take shit from Key and the parents who are rallying with their kids.
    Why doesnt the Standard do some grass roots polling in the Labour heartlands (Mt Albert not Tekapo) and think positive instead of gumshoeing every tiny move Key makes? It makes you look pathetic and an object of derision by the righties. What about a review of the production being put on by kids from the ‘Street’ currently on in Auckland?

  17. Macro 17

    You know what? The nearest McD’s to J K’s electorate office is Henderson! about 20 mins away – if your lucky! Now why would the staff be eating McD’s when there are heaps of take aways within 5 mins walk?

    Of course they MAY be addicted?

  18. Anita 18


    And if it wasn?t JK, then whoever wrote and/or authorized the press release.

    I actually checked that before posting 🙂 The media attribute the accusations to Key. See, for example, here, here, and here.

    To defend my obsessiveness I will only say this is being written between rowing finals 🙂

  19. lprent 19

    rave: It has been a slow news day. Looking at the number of visits on the site, I get the distinct impression that people are watching the olympics or otherwise blobbing out rather than then blogging.

    I wouldn’t describe the Standards job as polling. But…

    Putting on a different hat, that is what I’m doing right now. Setting up the canvassing targeting for our door knock and phone teams for next week in Mt Albert.

    The working life for an activist is NEVER finished.

    BTW: could you give me the link? I’ll see if we’ve been in that area yet.

  20. vto 20

    SP made the assertion so he should back it up. Or is it just like the ‘secwet agenda’ in that it does not exist. proof please or you will be bored to tears with a battery of mindless continuation a-la SP’s assertions.

  21. r0b 21

    SP made the assertion so he should back it up. Or is it just like the ‘secwet agenda’ in that it does not exist.

    Ahh vto, today over lunch I got to welcome 4 more swinging voters back to the fold. They’re returning to Labour because of the secret agenda that you claim doesn’t exist.

  22. Yeah right r0b – like hell that “4 more swinging voters” will bridge the gap in the polls.

    Sharks are feeding on a sick Labour carcass.

  23. r0b 23

    Sharks are feeding on a sick Labour carcass.

    The Great Shark Hunt? Say, now I have a new theory about d4j’s secret identity…

  24. And the latest polls say the public dont give a crap about this photo, they say national is going to govern alone.

    Ps: Does Karl Rove now work for the labour party of New Zealand????

    You guys have all the markings of his work.

  25. Kevyn 25

    Iprent, Does the nearest McDonald’s have a drive through? Are electorate office staff in the habit of throwing rubbish out of the car window?

    Your failure to think through your own argument undermines everything that flows from that argument. Worse, points 1 & 2 were good arguments and point 3 diverts attention onto a nonsense.

    I like Anita’s point 4. I presume the bag was left outside.

  26. r0b 26

    Ps: Does Karl Rove now work for the labour party of New Zealand???? You guys have all the markings of his work.

    Hah, that’s rich, given that Australasia’s answer to Rove, namely Crosby Textor, works for the National Party. Which, incidentally, has all the markings of their work.

    Eventually of course Rove overstepped himself and became a liability. I think the same thing is happening to Crosby Textor. Pardon me if I don’t shed any tears.

  27. Savage 27

    What is the point of this thread? I have read through it and have learned nothing new. You can’t say that someone from Labour hasn’t been through Key’s rubbish because you really don’t know.

    I have my suspicions that it was Gerry Brownlee checking he didn’t accidentally throw away that last Toffeepop.

    Can we please try and leave the emotive, brainwashing politics to the neocons?

  28. kg 28

    What’s with all the fuss about how far the nearest MacD’s is from the office? Have you never bought a burger on the way to work?
    And dumped the wrapper in the bin at work?
    Or picked up rubbish littering the space outside which has been blown there or dropped–and put that litter into your own rubbish bag?
    And to jump from “nobody believed Key” to “we know therefore that Key and his staff deliberately faked those photos” is just absurd.
    A lack of belief is not and cannot ever be proof of anything.

  29. Tim Ellis 29

    Given that at the last election, people were seen rifling through John Key’s rubbish, it isn’t inconceivable that he would leap to the conclusion that when rubbish is strewn across his office lawn, that it had happened again.

    The McDonald’s issue has been debunked here. When you buy takeaways, you tend to take it away. You don’t eat takeaways on the spot and deposit the rubbish within close proximity to where you’ve purchased it. I tend to eat mine in the car as I’m driving. I won’t put them in the bin until the next stop. Sometimes that can be a couple of hundred kilometres away if I’m driving long-distance. I don’t stop specifically to dump the rubbish. I often won’t do it until I next stop for petrol, because the rubbish bin there is right next to the pump.

    As for why the would-be burglar didn’t take the rubbish bag away, we’re assuming it was a rubbish bag. It may well have been a wheelie bin. Much harder to take away with you, in that case.

    If it was a wheelie bin, which I expect it was, unless there’s evidence to the contrary, I personally think it is likely that a couple of kids thought it would be amusing to knock it over. I don’t make the leap from there to thinking that John Key knowingly faked the photos and lied to the New Zealand public about it. That really is jumping the shark SP, and again you’re undermining your credibility by stooping to such petty sensationalism.

    We’re going into an election. There will be some pranksters and vandals who go about destroying election hoardings. It is likely that some of that vandalism will be politically motivated; most of it probably won’t be. The candidates whose signs are targeted will probably believe that they are more politically, rather than randomly, motivated. That will no doubt be an honest belief.

    Put it this way, LP: If you had been burgled before, and you came home to your house to see a broken window, would your first assumption be: “I’ve been burgled again”? or would it be: “Oh, that’s probably some object, perhaps a bird, that has accidentally flown into my window.”

  30. Anita 30

    Tim Ellis,

    Given that at the last election, people were seen rifling through John Key’s rubbish, it isn’t inconceivable that he would leap to the conclusion that when rubbish is strewn across his office lawn, that it had happened again.

    Seen by whom? Told to the media by whom and under what circumstances?

    I think you might find no more substance than this time around.

  31. Rocket Boy 31

    This is the ‘jumping the shark’ moment?

    Sorry Steve, but National have increased their lead in the latest round of polls, so you really are running on wishful thinking here rather than reality.

    Time you boys (and girls?) ran a piece on congratulating our olympians on their latest medal success and if you want to mix a bit of politics into it, look at how some of them are funded and how they might do better with a bit more (government?) funding.

  32. Bill 32

    The bin angle is well, rubbish as you say. A distraction that may have had some effect or may not.

    ie, not worth talking about or giving legs to.

    Yet it’s posted here and elicits 30+ comments.

    What a strange irony.

  33. Key has had his rubbish searched by Labour for years now.

    You wouldn’t believe that a Party who would bug its opposition wouldn’t go through its rubbish bins as well?

    It defies belief and all logic.

    Polls out this weekend reflect the fact that most kiwis have been put off by Labour’s secret taping and they are voting accordingly.

  34. burt 34

    Any chance of an election date being set some time soon? Waiting for the polls to improve, gee that’s a good way to run the country isn’t it!

  35. lprent 35

    Darren: You bring a new meaning to the words “wishful thinker” aka Fool.

    1. Why would anyone bother to search rubbish? Secure docs are disposed of securely. Can you substantiate the claims that Key has it searched? Links please. Otherwise I’ll have to consider that you are a valueless windbag.

    2. The taper says that they aren’t labour. The reporter says they aren’t labour. The party says they have no idea who it is. That leaves conspiracy theorists like yourself. Tell me – who should we believe?

    Polls out this weekend reflect the fact that most kiwis have been put off by Labour’s secret taping and they are voting accordingly.

    Read Steves post about the timing of these polls or my comments this weekend. The current polls will show little of no effect from last week’s news. Maybe then you’ll be able to join in discussion with something more than your rather lurid fantasies. At present you’re just wasting bandwidth.

    It defies belief and all logic.

    Exactly. I cannot believe that anyone could have such a pathetic grasp on logic as you displayed in your comment.

  36. burt 36


    I’d like to read a post from Steve about the polls, the actual polls.

    Steve P. was quick to preempt the bad news but seems a little slow to post the details. Perhaps the pretty pie charts look a little light on red for his liking, an aesthetic objection to the outcome perhaps?

    [lprent: Read You must….

    It is the weekend and it looks like most people have other things to do this weekend (I know I have). Tane is usually the only person that does stuff on polls (I think they are pretty useless as indicators for elections). But I haven’t seen Tane around here this weekend. ]

  37. rave 37

    McGehan Close Kids prove that it not a “dead end”

    [lprent: Thanks. ]

  38. burt 38


    Look at the difference John Key has made. You have got to agree he motivated them, something denying there is an underclass would never have achieved.

    Look at the difference that the community has made, that wasn’t welfare that lifted them up.

  39. coge 39

    Iprent – “The taper says they aren’t labour” Well that may or may not be. Considering they actively misrepresented themselves to intrude on the Nats conference, I would be very wary of anything they would claim. Hell, we don’t even know their identity, so how can this statement of not being “labour” be possibly verified in any case?

    Like it or not, Labour did seek to benefit from the secret
    recordings. Unfortunately they spent much energy trying to defend themselves, as we saw on this blog the last fortnight. This rigorous defence just drew attention to the possibility that they may have had some involvement.

  40. It’s not rocket science to see it was YET ANOTHER dirty trick from the endless handbag of Heather’s. She knows no better. Move along, get that dirty laundry girls.

    At least Fonzie didn’t hide behind the scenes.
    Shark bite – good about bloody time !!

  41. Phil 41

    Anita asked, waay back up the thread “does John Key really think Labour are THAT stupid?”

    I’ll answer on his behalf; Yes

    Both major parties (and the minor ones too) have more that their fair share of people like d4j and randal, so I’d say it’s entirely possible.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of those with too much time on their hands.

  42. Oh great, bloody hell, blame me again phil and take another pill you drop kick.

    Don’t EVER put me in the same sentence as randal !!

  43. sweetd 43

    Just hurry up and call the election, lets put this labour party out of its pain and torment.

  44. The sooner the election – the sooner we can repair the damage.

  45. burt 45

    What sweetd said.

    edit: and what D4J said @ 2:02

  46. the sprout 46

    well… that seems to have struck a nerve with the RWNJs.

  47. r0b 47

    well that seems to have struck a nerve with the RWNJs.

    They certainly are out in force today! In a bit of a hurry to call an election too. Heh. No hurry thanks Helen.

  48. Rex Widerstrom 48

    Incredible. This thread will be archived for time immemorial, thus providing an answer when our grandchildren ask “So, what were the important issues facing the nation in your day, grandpa?” (or grandma. Or the officially approved non-sexist non-ageist terminology of the times 😀 )

  49. Felix 49


    “Now why would the staff be eating McD’s when there are heaps of take aways within 5 mins walk?”

    Because they like minimum wage employers who send profits overseas?

  50. “No hurry thanks Helen.”

    Yes r0b, politics in New Zealand is a bit like a bad soap opera.

  51. r0b 51

    Yes r0b, politics in New Zealand is a bit like a bad soap opera.

    NZ is nothing special in this respect Dad. I think lots of countries would claim to have the worst or daftest politicians in the world.

    My suspicion is that it isn’t that the wrong people become politicians, but rather that the whole confrontational nature of the party based democratic process (and the profit driven media) inevitably brings out the worst.

    Does it have to be this way? As a society, could we organise our collective decision making process better?

  52. Anita 52


    I asked whether Inventory2 believes that John Key actually believed that Labour spies had strewn his electorate office rubbish all over the lawn.

    Do you?

    Does anyone here genuinely believe that?

  53. sweetd 53

    Is there a Doctor in the house? Need someone to call time of death on the Labour Party.

  54. Adolf Fiinkensein 54

    Colmar Brunton, those paragons of political virtue, just sunk all you scabby coalition partners, chaps.

    [lprent: I see that you are your usual unintelligent self. I could remove you from the moderation – but based on your comment you may as well just stay there. I’d just have to ban you again eventually. This will save me adding you back into moderation later.]

  55. lprent 55

    Rex: It is amusing. It is a weekend when most people appear to be watching the Olympics or busy.

    I’m just in my usual irritated self that I get into whilst programming webapps. Then I see a really daft comment – well the results speak for themselves.

  56. Draco TB 56

    # sweetd
    August 17, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Just hurry up and call the election, lets put this labour party out of its pain and torment.
    # 44 dad4justice
    August 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    The sooner the election – the sooner we can repair the damage.

    We’re still repairing the damage from the last time National and, before them, Labour were in government. Not a good idea to go around changing the government when that process is in progress – especially to the a National led government that would quickly redo all the damage. Of course, there’s only a slight chance that National will form the next government so we may not have a change in direction and we can continue repairing said damage.

  57. rave 57

    Wow, fancy that, all we need to do to get rid of the underclass is send in some rich benefactors in flash cars and with million dollar baches and the kids will all want to become millionaires and Prime Minister.

    I think the attitude of those kids was more like screw you, Key we are not a dead end, but more than that we don’t value your solution to the underclass if it means trampling over lots of people. We are a working class community and we value that.

    The underclass doesnt exist. Its a label attached to the poor to blame them for failing. What we have is a low wage country the result of economic and social policies of the last 25 years. If we had decent jobs and living wages you would see the numbers on benefits virtually disappear.

    But the righties won’t acknowledge that because they only see individuals. So they mentor those who want to be little Keys and leave the rest to rot or slam them in jail.

    If you want to look at NZ under a Key administration just look to the US under Bush. There youll see lots of homeless poor people going through rubbish back looking for half eaten McDonalds.

  58. lprent 58


    Considering they actively misrepresented themselves to intrude on the Nats conference

    Actually it’d be interesting to find out if they misrepresented themselves. My understanding was that it was a fund raiser cocktail evening. You pay your money (~$100 odd) and you get in.

    Was it in fact part of the conference? Or just an associated event?

    I suspect that there was a presentably person who simply paid cash. It’d usually be easy enough to get into most Labour events like that if you knew they were on. That latter bit is the hard bit – which is why I still suspect someone inside or recently inside the Nats.

    The difference would usually be that Labour MP’s usually don’t express opinions that indicate a quite such a division about policy in quite as much detail.

  59. coge 59

    Iprent, you’re right. Facts are still missing. Maybe it’s in the interests of both major parties to smoke this guy out, just to clear things up. Meanwhile, the media has moved on.

  60. burt 60


    I think the attitude of those kids was more like screw you,

    Absolutely. What made them say ‘screw you’ is exactly what Labour wouldn’t do. Confront the issue and bring it to the attention of NZ.

    You also missed the bit about the difference being community spirit and not more welfare. It’s amazing what people can do when they say ‘we need to work together’ rather than just we need more welfare. It’s a sense of community that is the first victim of generous welfare.

  61. Anita said “Phil,

    I asked whether Inventory2 believes that John Key actually believed that Labour spies had strewn his electorate office rubbish all over the lawn.

    Do you?

    Does anyone here genuinely believe that?”

    Sorry for the late reply Anita, but last night was a late one for this old fella! Here’s what the Herald said on 7 August:

    “National last night also released photos of rubbish at leader John Key’s Helensville electorate office it says was interfered with on Tuesday night – food was left behind but the bag it was in and papers were taken away.”

    It’s not implausible. In fact I would go as far to say that it is more believeable than:

    “Remember the photos of McDonald’s wrappers strewn on a grass verge that John Key expected us to believe was evidence people had been rifling through his electorate office’s rubbish? Was there ever a more transparent attempt to deflect attention from a bad story with an obviously faked picture? No-one believed that Key’s rubbish really had been searched; it was a desperate attempt to shift the story from the content of the secret agenda tapes to the ‘dirty tricks’ meme.. and to a degree it succeeded in that objective, the media happily spent more time speculating on who made th recordings than what they said about the governing intentions of National.

    Still, no-one believed Key. Think about that. We all know, therefore, that Key and his staff deliberately faked those photos and lied to the New Zealand public. Cyncially and with planning, Key lied to the New Zealand public and was caught out. In some ways, I think that is a bigger scandal than the secret agenda tapes.”

    And in the absence of Steve or anyone else being able to provide evidence that Key’s staff “deliberately faked those photos and lied to the New Zealand public”, I think Steve’s attempt at a dog-whistle is self-evident. And judging by the Colmar-Brunton result tonight, frankly Steve’s claim that “Still, no-one believed Key.” is complete and utter bullshit. Had Steve said Still, no-one who writes posts for The Standard believed Key.” he might have had validity. But he didn’t, so he hasn’t!

    There – took a while, but you got my answer in the end!!

  62. Anita 62


    Apologies for the repetition, slow brain tonight 🙂

    Are you saying both that

    1) You believe that John Key genuinely believes that the rubbish was strewn around by Labour party people searching through it.

    2) You personally believe that the rubbish was strewn around by Labour Party people searching through it?

    Or just one of those two?

  63. I’m saying that neither situation is implausible. Just as peaople from one political party going to a function hosted by a rival party, posing as members of the the rival party and making illicit recordings is not implausible.

    But that’s not the issue. The issue is that Steve has made bold claims that “no-one believes Key” and that Key “deliberately lied to the people of New Zealand” which he cannot substantiate. Which makes his claims bullshit; and what’s worse, he knows they’re bullshit, but he repeats them anyway.

  64. Anita 64


    Ok, so both scenarios have at least a façade of plausibility no disagreement here. SP overstated his argument no disagreement here.


    Which scenario do you believe?

    Do you believe Key was being honest when he made the accusation?

    I, personally, do not believe that Key believed it. While it might be “not implausible” it’s thoroughly unlikely, and I don’t believe Key is stupid.

  65. You’re quite right Anita – Key isn’t stupid. So I don’t believe that he would concoct a story which could so easily be debunked.

    And it would seem that at this point, the public agrees. And good on you for agreeing that Steve has overplayed his hand here.

  66. Anita 66


    Ok, so you don’t believe he arranged for the rubbish to be thrown around and the photo to be taken. As it happens I’m not convinced either.

    Do you believe he believes it was thrown around by Labour Party spies?

    (I don’t)

  67. Hopefully the many Labour spies go undercover in a tank fill of great white sharks!

  68. rave 68

    I didnt miss the bit about more welfare. I said, more or less, that the reason that welfare was necessary was the economic policies that gutted the country cut wages and destroyed lives. Calling the effect of this a ‘dead end’ rather than the cause, more market reforms, is inviting more of the ‘dead end’ cause. That’s why its the ‘overclass’ that’s the problem not the ‘underclass’.
    ‘Community spirit’ can’t survive in the sphere of the spirit, but in the sphere of real jobs and living wages.

  69. Savage 69

    If you were going to be looking through someones rubbish wouldn’t you just pick it up and rummage through it somewhere private?

    Why put rubbish all over the place especially after what happened with the tapes?

    Seems very convenient.

  70. deemac 70

    D4J has been banished from most other blogs but is still wasting space here – why?

  71. Felix 71

    Do you really want him out roaming the streets?

  72. lprent 72

    deemac: Apart from the interesting comment from Felix.

    I’ve previously VERY thoroughly banned d4j. This involved considerable effort because of the number of his ISP’s and tenacity. Eventually I relented after talking to him via e-mail (it was a lot of effort to completely exclude him) on the general basis that he would be reasonably ‘good’ with respect to my rules about starting and maintaining flamewars. I have the role of curbing those.

    ‘Good’ is a relative and loose term specifically related to flamewars. I don’t get too upset if he reacts to excessive provocation but generally I’d handle those anyway with my usual subtle approach.

    I had to convince my very skeptical fellow moderators to allow me to let him on again…. That was the hard bit.

    On the whole this has worked adequately apart from when off-site spats carried over here (and yes I am thinking of illuminatedtiger here). IMHO here he isn’t tame, but he is tolerable – which is acceptable.

    After a comment from Felix (I think) and encouragement from others, d4j appears to be developing rather interesting and unique style here. That of a surrealistic commentator with troll attributes but with non-repetitive comments.

    Anyway, the nett effect is that he doesn’t fit my definition of a flame starter, a boring troll (I certainly cannot code his comments with a phrase book), a attacker and trasher of the site, or a mindless graffiti artist.

    I’m afraid I’ve even started to keep an eye out for the unusual associations he draws between topics 🙂

  73. Jasper 73

    I have a confession to make..

    dad4justice… makes me…

    laugh. hahaha.

    with thanks to the sound of music.

    My rubbish was strewn all over my lawn last week. Can I blame National activists for it seeing as I defected from them?

    Nationals policies ensure New Zealanders have to live on Rice Risotto, Pasta and Mince like we did in the 90’s again.

    Billboard idea:

    Blue Background

    In the pantry:

    Rice Risotto
    Tinned tomatos
    Tomato Sauce

    Red Background:

    In the pantry:

    Fresh Bread
    Olive Oil
    Bran Flakes
    Durum Wheat

    Tagline: Labour: Keeping you healthy.

  74. vto 74

    All been quiet on here last few days… what’s happenned? Court of public opinion stated its verdict on the non-existent ‘secret agenda’ too loudly? Realisation that time virutally up for labour? No box of magic tricks for Cullen to pull a rabbit from at the last minute?

    What on earth is labour’s plan to wrest the election from the nats? Lordy help them if it is a Key attack that is the hope…

    The poker game is past the mid-point. chop chop labour.

    [vto, if you want posts to read on the weekend, set up your own blog. I’ve been at an anniversary, I understand Tane’s had a family thing on, Irish is off somewhere, don’t know about the others but guess they had better things do do with thier time. Anyway, I wrote you a post on the polls last night and I see it’s up now. SP]

  75. vto 75

    [it’s touche. SP}

  76. r0b 76

    Don’t get too excited by your enormous poll vto!

    The secret agenda is doing very nicely thank you, according to both parties internal polling (and our own local canvassing experience):

    In a result that may surprise both major parties, whose internal polling had indicated loose lips caught on tape at National’s annual conference in Wellington this month had hurt the Opposition, National has slightly increased its lead over Labour to 19 points

    The commercial polls aren’t yet picking it up fully for reasons described in other threads, but I’m content that the orchestrated litany of truth will be one of the factors leading to a continued narrowing of the polls as the election approaches. Labour’s support remains close to what it was in the last 3 elections…

  77. ben 77

    No-one believed that Key’s rubbish really had been searched

    I did.

    Like when Fonzie jumped the shark, Key blew National’s remaining credibility on this stunt.

    That makes no sense whatsoever. Fonzie jumps the shark refers to a tv show that ran out of ideas. That analogy is more apt for any political party lining up for their fourth term, not its incoming opponents.

    Like the secret tapes, the made story of stolen rubbish tells Kiwis one thing loud and clear: the Nats will say and do whatever they need to to get into power, you can’t trust them an inch.

    And this from a defender of the party that gave New Zealand the EFA.

  78. lprent 78

    ben: Why did you believe a story like that? That would be more interesting to read. An exercise of understanding the credulous.

    If you ever bother to notice (doesn’t seem likely from your rather stupid comment), there isn’t a lot of defence of the NZLP around here (apart from myself and a some of the commentators). Almost all of the major posters have criticised the NZLP at some stage over various policies and attitudes.

    There is far more criticism of the right’s policies however. At this election, that means a major focus on national – because they’ve swallowed all of the otehr right votes.

    But what do you expect from a leftish, greenish, unionist, ‘labour movement’ and generally youngish set of writers. Not everyone is as credulous as yourself.

    BTW: You can perilously close to repeating Whales bullshit about that site. I’d suggest reading the About and Policy if you wish to comment here.

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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