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Key admits he’s using our troops as vote-bait

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, March 18th, 2015 - 30 comments
Categories: election 2017, iraq, john key - Tags: , ,

Yesterday in the House, John Key admitted that it’s “no” coincidence that our deployment to Iraq is scheduled to end at the perfect moment – right before the 2017 election.

Andrew Little : Why has he declared that the deployment to Iraq will end, whether or not its objectives are completed, about 6 months before the next election? Is that just a coincidence?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : No.

The whole video is worth watching but the supplementary in question begins at 2:23:

As jaded as his opponents might be at this stage about Key’s utter political cynicism, game-playing and complete lack of real regard for our armed forces, this is shocking. Our troops should not be sent in to a chaotic situation where their lives are at risk, put in the situation of upskilling war criminals, and then pulled home – those who aren’t killed or maimed in the process – so John Key can get some sweet Churchillian photo ops on the tarmac.

Rob Salmond also has some thoughts about Key’s uncharacteristically calm demeanour during Question Time over at Polity.

30 comments on “Key admits he’s using our troops as vote-bait ”

  1. Old Mickey 1

    Shock Horror ! John Key is the first PM or politician in the history of politics to make a decision which would help with political survival. This really is news !!!! I suppose a 3 year cycle does that.

    • tc 1.1

      Agreed nor should it shock folk that he’s willing to use kiwi lives to achieve that given his track record with the non 1%ers

    • mac1 1.2

      The problem with such cynicism from both Key and you, Old Mickey, is that people’s lives are at risk here.

      This scenario reminds me of the Faulkands where Thatcher, at risk of electoral defeat,ensured the war would commence by ordering the General Belgrano sunk despite that ship being outside and sailing away from an exclusion zone home to port.
      It seems that a peace initiative from another South America might have succeeded, thwarting Thatcher’s desire for an election winning war.

      If anyone doubts what that means to some people’s thinking and voting, an ex-pat mate of mine, normally a well-balanced and thoughtful man, told me with an unmistakeable gleam of patriotic anticipation, “The lads are going in!”

      • Wayne 1.2.1


        Was there really any chance of the Argentinians peacefully withdrawing and returning control to the British? That is what was at stake, and the sinking of the General Belgrano was not central to that issue.

        Restoration of the status quo ante was pretty much the only result that the British would have lived with. The British Taskforce had been dispatched and the British were determined to win the war.

        During war people make decisions about winning the war, not on an election that was not due for 2 more years.

        • tricledrown

          Argentina was a fascist dictatorship propped up by the CIA from Nixon era to Reagan Era.
          Argentina could have been isolated by sea and superior forces but Kiddy fiddler coverer upper Thatcher was more worried about elections just as Key is .
          Similarities are more striking than you would believe.

        • Tracey

          Wayne you advocate in support of confidentiality in TPP to preserve negotiating points and thereby advocate for the withholding of the information from the voting public before signing. Given we are spying on our friends and many are cool with that, in this government and Labour, there are not secret positions to preserve under TPP negotiations cos everyone is seeing everyone else’s communications, do you now (with this new knowledge that we are spying on our friends and foes alike, do you accept the public can now see the drafts before they are signed?

        • mac1

          Wayne, I believe that Thatcher did have ulterior motives in ordering the sinking of the General Belgrano. Paraphrasing our Prime Minister, I can offer other opinions than yours as to this act.

          All easily found from Google, the following opinions are a sample of what can be found.

          “The Peruvian “peace plan” had some wind in its sails, but was sunk conclusively by the British attack on the Argentine battleship, the Belgrano.” Obituary in Guardian for President Belaunde of Peru.

          “The decision to sink the Belgrano was taken for strictly military not political reasons: the claim that we were trying to undermine a promising peace initiative from Peru will not bear scrutiny.” Margaret Thatcher.

          “The sinking occurred 14 hours after President of Peru Fernando Belaúnde proposed a comprehensive peace plan….. although Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and diplomats in London did not see this document until after the sinking of General Belgrano. Diplomatic efforts to that point had failed completely. After the sinking, Argentina rejected the plan but the UK indicated its acceptance on 5 May.” Wikipedia on the sinking of the Belgrano.

          “Torpedoing it was, quite simply, a war crime, through the disproportionate and illegitimate use of force in violation of the rights of those who fought then.” 2005 An Argentinian Ombudsman

          “ Arguments of ‘military necessity’ for sinking have a logistical problem: had it been perceived as a threat to the Task Force, that would have happened on May 1st, while it was sailing East, towards the Task Force. That didn’t happen. Only after it had turned round and had been sailing East, for 11 hours, away from the fleet, was it sunk.” Belgrano Enquiry

          “Remember: two great institutions are involved in the Belgrano affair; the Royal Navy and the Conservative Party: they both lied to Parliament and to the British people.” Historian Ruben Moro

          The last point about politicians lying to the people applies very much to our Prime Minister as well.

        • Murray Rawshark

          There was no good reason to sink the Belgrano except to maybe provide a bit of sexual excitement for effete Tory cabinet ministers and cultivate war fever in football hooligans. That Thatcher is now alleged to have covered up a fair bit of kiddy fiddling as well is sweetly ironic. Maybe it’s required in fools who send our kids off to war?

          • mac1

            The thing is, Murray Rawshark, it cultivated war fever also in otherwise ordinarily stable people.

            Look at our history. The war fever around WW1, the white feathers for the ‘shirkers’, the hate propaganda, the cartoons, the rhetoric, the Churches giving blessings etc.

            Right through to this current situation where we have already seen the name calling, the rhetoric, the Churches, propaganda cartoons and editorials.

            I don’t know about sexual excitement for the effete. 🙂

            • Murray Rawshark

              True. I should have said wars can be used to get ordinary people to act like football hooligans. I don’t know much about that sexual excitement thing either. I just love how right wing politicians love jumping on every piece of military equipment going, and having their photo taken.

              • mac1

                It’s possibly the same feeling that people have who own large or fighting dogs- that they are as tough as their image.

                I don’t own a dog, or a gun, but I do have a ute!

                I have a quote that I’ve been dying to use. From “Wayfaring Stranger”, a 2014 novel by James Lee Burke, the American author.

                “There’s a group of men in Texas you have probably never met. I hope you never do…………… Their symbols of power are their trucks and their firearms. They shoot deer at salt licks and on game farms and take enormous pride in the trophies they hang on their walls, all of which assure them they are the givers of death and will never be its recipient.”

                I believe that some people also get some frisson of excitement from having the power to unleash force on others, like some politicians, military, police or like those above in the James Lee Burke quote.

    • That’s a deliberate, unfair spin on the post, Old Mickey. Please try commenting on the actual topic.

    • Pascals bookie 1.4

      And there we have the typical Nat depth of thought about our military.

  2. Ancient Ruin 2

    It appears as if Key didn’t listen to the question and went for reflexive denial. Much like his ‘we do not condone’ gaffe a few years back.

  3. Murray Simmonds 3

    Yep, I totally agree with the term “reflexive contempt of Parliament” posted by “One Anonymous bloke.”

    However its my belief, totally unfounded, and without a shred of evidence, that there may well be another National MP resignation pending. Key and the Party Hierarchy know about it, and that is why they are so obviously panicking over the Northland by-election.

    Hence all the threats, bribes, scaremongering, lying through statistics, etc. etc.

    They wouldn’t be all that seriously (and riskily) bothered by it otherwise. The whole by- election strategy advanced by the Gnats seems to me to have a ‘Kamikaze feel’ about it.

    Well that’s my guess, anyway.

  4. Murray Simmonds 4

    . . . Which i should add, is offered in the true spirit of scaremongering.

    • Anne 4.1

      So, who could it be??? I do like gossip and sweepstakes. How about we do both in the true nature of stirring an unidentified pot. 🙂

  5. Rosie 5

    Sigh. Key never ceases to amaze and appal.

    I had to listen very carefully to him affirming that it’s no coincidence that the timing of the troops return home, regardless of outcomes, is just prior to the next election.
    I had doubted whether he heard the question correctly or had a momentary lapse in concentration and mixed it up with a previous question, a legitimate and possible scenario, if you gave him the benefit of the doubt, but no, he meant it.

    Only someone with an absolute absence of morality would say such a thing.

  6. sabine 6

    ahhh well, the smiling assasin is finally dropping the mask of the nice kiwi bloke from next door.

    if anyone thought that dear Leader is sending the troops to the killing fields of Iraq for anything else but his own advancement and survival i have a bridge or ten to sell to ya.

  7. coaster 7

    he cant have been listening, hes not stupid, it had to be a mistake like the 2 cents gst on 1.29.

    hes either exausted and not thinking properly, not well, drunk or the conpiracy theorys are all true and ill have to get a tinfoil hat.

    • Please try to comment constructively instead of regurgitating the latest troll crap. Key was quite in control of his faculties during Question Time.

      If he misspoke, he has made no effort to correct his statement, and there’s no conspiracy theory in quoting the man’s own words.

  8. coaster 8

    im sorry but i try to see people in a good light, with keys comments the alternative to hes sick, drunk or loosing the plot is that he is prepared to use a troop deployment and risk soldiers lives to help stay in power.

    its not a huge step from that to becoming a fully fledged dictator.

    • I honestly don’t even understand what point you’re making. Either you sincerely mean Key is “not a huge step” away from being a dictator – which is a fairly extreme statement – or you’re criticising me for not “trying to see people in a good light” which is ridiculous flame-bait. Try to be clearer in future.

    • felix 8.2

      “im sorry but i try to see people in a good light,”

      That’s admirable. Do go on…

      ” with keys comments the alternative to hes sick, drunk or loosing the plot is that he is prepared to use a troop deployment and risk soldiers lives to help stay in power.”

      Yes, I agree. I too try to see the best in others, but in the case of Key he is indeed either sick, drunk, losing the plot, or is prepared to use a troop deployment and risk soldiers lives to help stay in power.

      Very well said.

  9. saveNZ 9

    John Key has absolutely no morals and he is getting worse.

    Speculating with our country and people for money and power and brownie points with the US.

    • Rosie 9.1

      Speculating. That’s a good word. Gambling is another. He’s playing his games again and taking a risk. He’s taking a punt on how it will all go down in Iraq and placing a bet on it going swimmingly, the troops “doing the right thing”, ISIS somehow being defeated by the mighty alliance, and them all returning in tact, tired but alive and victorious, as if real life is just like a Commando graphic novel.

      All going well it win the Nats another election. Bravo!

  10. Just Me 10

    What a legacy John Key will leave once he is out of politics.NZers will be both cannon-fodder and vote-bait.
    Is this guy hell-bent on the complete elimination of NZers from NZ? For example he said at pre-election 2011 to John Banks that the older population are dying off so less votes for Winston.
    Just recently, as recently as November 2014, he knew about the possible 1080 tainting of infant formula and failed to let the parents of young NZers know.
    And now he wants NZers, perhaps in their 20s, to go fight a war to keep his golfing mate Obama happy.
    What a shallow person he truly is.He cares more for looking good at photo shoots than anyone else in NZ.
    Maybe Key is happy he has disposable NZers to do with as he likes.

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