Key broke law on radio show

Written By: - Date published: 8:13 pm, October 3rd, 2011 - 74 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, election 2011, john key, law and "order" - Tags:

Prime Minister Moonbeam clearly broke the law on Friday on the radio show that he chose to run instead of dealing with the downgrade crisis. The law is clear: Key wasn’t allowed to make political statements. He did. He made a promise on broadcasting policy and gave the Nats’ first cut spin-line on the downgrade.

The law bans any radio programme that:

(a) encourages or persuades or appears to encourage or persuade voters to vote for a political party or the election of any person at an election; or

(b) encourages or persuades or appears to encourage or persuade voters not to vote for a political party or the election of any person at an election;..

First, Key promised to “talk to someone important” about Coronation Street moving time (man, this guy will jump on any bandwagon going. He doesn’t know a thing about rugby, league, or Coronation Street but he’ll pretend he cares). That was, of course, a political promise to act in his capacity as Prime Minister. And it was clearly intended to encourage people to vote for him and his party.

Second, Key said of the credit downgrade “hey, it’s private sector debt”. Again, it’s clearly an attempt to persuade people to vote for his party by not blaming them for the credit downgrade.

Labour has laid a complaint with the Electoral Commission. If the Commission finds a breach, they can refer it to the Police. The Police have investigated similar instances in the past. We can expect no less from them this time.

PS. Watch for Farrar and Whaleoil, once they get their lines, to label this as Labour having no sense of fun and being jealous. That’s why National does things like Electoral Commission complaints via it’s proxies … like Farrar and Whaleoil.

74 comments on “Key broke law on radio show”

  1. randal 1

    he getting airbrushed wif da teflon again. he’ll dodge this one too. he too jerkey.

  2. SHG 2

    Such is Key’s personal popularity that for him to appear in public is a political advertisement.

    • Zetetic 2.1

      I don’t think you understand the concept of an electoral ad. It’s an attempt to get votes. It doesn’t have to be successful.

      DJ Moonbeam looked like an idiot. “it’s the PM’s hour and we’re having fun” while the S&P downgrade was being announced on the same show. But it’s still an ad.

      • Blue 2.1.1

        I disagree, surely its only an advertisement if the National Party paid for the time. If not then he was obviously invited. Unless Key said “vote for National” then its not a breach, unless he said Labour will do this and we will do this then, again, its not a breach. Would Phil Goff have declined an invitation? Probably not. It would be madness to decline such an opportunity. Would he have declined on principle? Absolutely not. The irony of this is that Labour have continuously and deliberately flouted electoral laws this year, and stole $800,000 of public money in the last campaign. Then (more irony) retrospectively changed the law.

        • Ben Clark 2.1.1.1

          I can assure you that whether you actually pay for time or are gifted it, it counts. It’s something we have to account for in our expenses. And an hour of radio could be quite an expense to add.

          And you don’t have to say “Vote for…” for it to be an advertisement – as clearly ruled by the Electoral Commission quite recently. A ruling that National (or at least its proxies) requested – if you’re looking for irony.

          • Blue 2.1.1.1.1

            No Ben, irony is claiming the moral high ground whilst standing on a pile of your own dung. $800,000 stolen, retrospective legislation makes it ok. Irony.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey mate, Labour returned that money as a gesture of good faith even though it was not required to. When is Double Dipton going to return his?

  3. Anthony 3

    What a complete imbarrisment. How spastic does this get.

    • mik e 3.1

      KeyVery touchy feely .Time to celebrate salivate over a bottle of stolen wine.When its key or mates breaking the law it doesn’t matter.

    • Dangerous Den 3.2

      Hey Anthony… you are the spastic. Why don’t you learn to spell. “imbarassing” duh!

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Personally I find this a bit of a stretch and don’t think its going to go anywhere.

    • infused 4.1

      Like wise.

    • queenstfarmer 4.2

      In the last investigation (involving Shane Jones and Winston Peters), the Electoral Commission actually suggested a fairly robust threshold for a breach. Their comments were as explicit as “give us your party vote” before being referred. This is a far cry from what John Key did.

      It is obvious that all involved are aware of the rules, so Key was perhaps to some extent skating on thinnish ice, as is every MP who pulls a publicity stunt like this. So if he gets an adverse finding (which is actually against the station as broadcaster, not John Key, but anyway…) he only has himself to blame.

      However I struggle to find any “encouragement” or “persuasion” in those 2 vague comments that Eddie has determined (or hopes) are slam-dunks. If I had to hazard a bet (just going on Eddie’s report), I’d say it does not get referred. And if it does, I doubt it is prosecuted.

      And even so, this is a typical beltway-style issue that no-one in voterland will care about anyway, especially as it will be the station’s issue. All in all, it is a small but useful PR win for John Key (which is, of course, the real reason Labour activists are spewing).

      • Zetetic 4.2.1

        just doing the show was an attempt to win votes. Or do you think that Key did it because he had nothing else to do?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        …especially as it will be the station’s issue.

        An hour of radio advertising in the regulated period – just how much is that worth? and how much is Nationals limit?

        • Lanthanide 4.2.2.1

          This morning on morning report they had statements suggesting that Labour’s issue is that he appeared on the radio at all.

          That, I agree with. That is a problem.

          What I don’t agree with is the 2 minor points raised by Eddie.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.1.1

            Yeah, I’d agree with that. If they had all the party leaders doing an hour of air time each I wouldn’t be so concerned but it’s just the one and that makes it a political advertisement for National.

            • MarkM 4.2.2.1.1.1

              The other party leaders arent the PM.
              To suggest that party leaders whos support is in the margins of error , deserve equal time on the radio is laughable.
              Its probably financial suicide to as a radio station needs listeners.

    • Ari 4.3

      And even if it did go anywhere, it would be stupid. Politicians (or anyone else) should be able to talk about policy or political action even on non-political shows, and what Key did is clearly policy-related on both counts- granted, it’s vote-grubbing policy, but trying to argue that is like trying to argue that people you don’t like shouldn’t have free speech.

      • McFlock 4.3.1

        An hour-long political ad on radio, funded by radiolive?
         
        Not that I know the nuances of the act, and they might give the same opportunity to Lab/MP/ACT/Green leadership (Tui moment).

        • queenstfarmer 4.3.1.1

          I think they should definitely give Phil Goff an hour as well. It is their right to have whoever they want on (provided they don’t breach any rules, which is kind of the issue) but to me it would be eminently fair, and probably good business, to have Phil on too. Given the “controversy”, they would probably get a small ratings boost – good for them and Phil.

          BUT I wonder if there is a bit of poor strategy here by Labour filing a complaint. Because of their complaint, I doubt Phil could now accept a DJ hour. I wonder if they would have been best to protest loudly (but not made a complaint) until they got their own 1 hour slot (which I’m sure they would get), and then do a very by-the-book “no politics” session by Phil, who I think would come across quite well in that environment.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1

            Because of their complaint, I doubt Phil could now accept a DJ hour.

            Don’t be silly, Goff could of course do a DJ hour as long as he didn’t break the law like Key did politicking. He could just focus on being a DJ and chatting to ordinary people.

            • queenstfarmer 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes, which would be a good thing. I think a big part of Phil’s problem is that whenever most people see him on TV, he usually comes across as “on the attack” and angry. Now I’m sure Phil would say that’s because he’s angry at the Govt’s incompetence, etc. but either way it doesn’t seem to go down that well with the public.

              I think he would benefit from getting some exposure on non-political things, getting his personality across.

              But now that Labour has attacked John Key for daring to “promote his personality” (see Clare Curran’s comments), it would be somewhat hypocritical for Labour to demand the chance to do let Phil do the same thing. I think they acted in haste here.

              • Colonial Viper

                But now that Labour has attacked John Key for daring to “promote his personality” (see Clare Curran’s comments), it would be somewhat hypocritical for Labour to demand the chance to do let Phil do the same thing.

                Who cares about being hypocritical?

                It seems to win John Key and National plenty of votes.

                BTW you seem mixed up so let me explain: its not against the law to promote ones personality on air, its against the law to conduct an election broadcasting programme.

                • queenstfarmer

                  BTW you seem mixed up so let me explain: its not against the law to promote ones personality on air, its against the law to conduct an election broadcasting programme.

                  Yes I know that, but as I said the problem is that Labour has attacked “personality promotion”. Perhaps pass that info on to Clare Curran.

            • prism 4.3.1.1.1.2

              CV I don’t understand you and what others here have been saying. A politician getting his image and public style, speaking about anything, before the public for an hour – that’s PR, that’s self promotion and the self carries his party with him, that’s politicking. Surely that must come under the media appearance paid or unpaid controls? The person and politics can’t be divorced when we are coming so close to an election.

  5. Richard 5

    Weren’t you guys originally complaining that he went on the show and didn’t talk about “politics”?* This is why the left is this country is failing: intellectual dishonesty. Disgusting.

    *http://thestandard.org.nz/says-it-all/

    IrishBill: You’re warned for trolling.

    • Zetetic 5.1

      No. No-one was complaining that he didn’t talk about politics on the show.

      He should have been talking about politics. Off the show.

      He should have cancelled and done his job on a day of crisis. Rather than playing DJ and breaking the law.

      • infused 5.1.1

        Like all the labour adverts lately eh? Labour still doesn’t understand the law they passed.

        IrishBill: Warned for lack of imagination. If I catch you being this dull again you’ll get a ban

        • Zetetic 5.1.1.1

          Labour’s law has been replaced.

          The recent issues have been over a new interpretation of when materials distributed for parliamentary purposes are also electoral ads, and confusion over the start dates for hoardings in different local council areas according to their bylaws. Some candidates put theirs up on the weekend before the two month mark, which was two days early according to some bylaws.

          • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.1.1

            The funniest episode of all was this one. The Tory candidate broke the electoral bylaws of the council he currently leads as mayor!
             
            It’s not a good look for a brand new National Party candidate to be referred to as a stupid and a moron by David Farrar and Cameron Slater, is it?

        • Nick C 5.1.1.2

          Jesus Christ, you’re moderating for ‘lack of imagination’ now??

          Watch out mickeysavage..

        • infused 5.1.1.3

          Being this dull? Stating the facts buddy. Labour has been reported to the police what, two times this year?

      • Lanthanide 5.1.2

        I don’t really think 2 credit downgrades make it a “day of crisis”.

        An earthquake, a natural disaster, something that actually needs immediate response, that’s a crisis.

  6. burt 6

    Eddie

    During the last Labour govt public debt all but disappeared but private debt skyrocketed. No surprise given we had 9 years of creeping nominal tax rates as static tax thresholds dragged against inflation adjusted wages. People crossing the $38K and $60K thresholds due to inflation were money in the bank for Labour.

    Did you know that Cullen’s ‘top tax’ was classifying 75% of high school teachers as rich before it was finally adjusted in 2008. Do you remember the 1999 promise ‘only the top 5% of earners will pay this top rate’. Teachers – top 5%… I don’t think so Dr! Sorry I digressed.

    My point is Eddie; what possible good can come from politicising a stance that high personal debt levels are a significant problem in our economy ?

    • Zetetic 6.1

      so. burt agrees that Key violated the law.

      It seems to me that Labour is arguing that Key’s $37 billion in new debt is the problem.

      • burt 6.1.1

        Zetetic

        So far the campaign machine seems to lack the horsepower to push the ‘Labour would have borrowed less than National’ line.

        It’s not entirely surprising, how would you sell such a notion while also blazing away about how National have slashed public spending?

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    PM’s DJ stint subject of complaint

    “In light of that multi-million dollar loan it is even more important for Mediaworks to ensure they are balanced in their election coverage. Unfortunately installing the Prime Minister as the sole host of a 60 minute live broadcast less than two months out from election day shows a blatant disregard for fairness and balance,” Clare Curran said.

    “John Key was effectively handed editorial control. His comments regarding the fact it was supposedly an ‘election free zone’ explicitly linked the programme to the election.

    “He was gifted an uninterrupted hour to promote his – and National’s – brand and his personality. He spent much of it emphasising his personal connection to his various ‘celebrity’ guests.

    “Put simply, the John Key Hour was not an ordinary, everyday radio show, it was an election gimmick.

    Well, that seems to sum up Labours reasoning.

    • SHG 7.1

      Anything that puts John Key’s personality on display makes Labour look bad by comparison. The only fair course is for John Key to be locked in a room from now until after the election. Can’t have people making Labour look bad now can we?

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        where is the like button on this bloody thing. You hit the nail on the head there SHG. Though by the same reasoning, most of the labour caucus should just go into hermit mode until 27/11

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Fuck you’re an idiot but, then, you are a RWNJ.

        http://thestandard.org.nz/key-broke-law-on-radio-show/#comment-381045

        • TightyRighty 7.1.2.1

          did you just reference your own unreferenced and un-peer reviewed BS? why don’t you give yourself a reach around while you are at it? the mental contortions the left performs to justify any anti-right wing behavior constantly astounds me.

          how can this be an idiotic statement

          Anything that puts John Key’s personality on display makes Labour look bad by comparison. The only fair course is for John Key to be locked in a room from now until after the election.

          when it’s so true?

  8. hellonearthis 8

    If it goes to court, wont Moonbeam just call urgency and have the law changed retroactively so that it turns out that he did nothing wrong.

    • Blue 8.1

      Like the $800,000 that Labour stole, lied about and then had “the law changed retroactively so that it turns out that (they) did nothing wrong.” ? Probably yes.

  9. As I have said before on this blog, Key is a Bonapartist figure who appears to be above the law because he can change it almost at will. He just passes some urgent retrospective empowering legislation and sends a minister to ride shotgun. Some say its a feature of ‘presidential’ rule that spawns mini Tsars. Chris Trotter says Key passes himself off as above the nation because he IS the nation. Of course this explains why Key is so popular and can get away with doing what he likes, laugh it off, smile and wave, and move on. So far.

    This is a well known phenomenon to Marxists who refer to it as ‘Bonapartism’ after the French Bonapartes who ruled as ‘strong men’ in the 1800s apparently above classes, and therefore identifying with the nation as a whole. It is a feature of a period of social crisis when the open Tory parties are too much identified with the greedy, arrogant ruling class, so a populist figure, apparently straddling the classes, can for a relatively short period maintain a class balance and semblance of order and stability. Bonapartism provides a cover for creeping autocracy as the regime has to implement rapid reforms to make the working masses pay for its crises and restore its profits.

    Yet Bonapartist figures cannot put the lid on class struggle in a serious prolonged crisis and the working class begins to resist the attacks on it. A very clever Bonapartist like Key can delay the shift to the right by simply smothering working class resistance. He won the 08 election as ‘Labour Lite’ keeping his Tory agenda under wraps. He has removed the wraps as his popularity and ability to maintain the class balance holds. He is well managed. The RWC and his photo op with the Mad Butcher continues his stand above classes. He drinks in the corporate boxes with the rugby bosses and sits in the stands with the heartland of working class NZ, the league fans, fraternising with another self made working class multi-millionaire. To make it easier the Labour Party under Goff is incapable of standing up for the most oppressed workers. And Mana is only just born and as yet unable to act as a catalyst for a working class fightback.

    However, now or in one or two years time depending how the global crisis develops, this Bonapartist dulux nation will no longer work to keep workers down. The Bonapartist regime will then move right to redefine the nation as excluding the ‘outsiders’, or ‘Auslanders’ as Trotter calls them. But its not the Labour Party that are Auslanders; rather the 100s of thousands of workers who have been disenfranchised by Labour’s open pro-capitalist trajectory in the last 30 years.

    The real ‘outsiders’ are those sections of the working class mainly Maori, Pacifica, youth and women who are over-represented in the so-called ‘underclass’ as unemployed, lowpaid, unpaid, precarious, casualised workers. The Bonapartist regime attacks these groups in order to divide and smash their unity as workers. The NACTs are currently using Brash to drive some wedges in this direction hoping to incite proto-fascist sentiment and the formation of fascist currents. This opens the way for a fascist movement to demonise and physically attack the most militant sections of the working class and destroy its challenge to capitalist rule.

    A serious working class opposition to capitalist class rule has therefore to unite all of these class elements as one single fighting force. This is what is under way with the wave of occupations that is spreading across the world. These occupations are all pointing towards growing support for general strikes as is the case today in Egypt, UK and Bolivia. To be continued…

  10. Bazar 10

    Hah i love this website at times

    First posts bitching about how john key said nothing of value, and now this bitching about how he said too much.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was someone ridiculing his attire as this site had done repeatedly in the past.

    But if were talking about illegal political advertising, how about labour and their billboards. I’m not the only one who noticed they got put up 2 (or more) days before they were legally allowed in my electorate…

    I guess i’ve gone offtopic with that statement, but seriously. This is a rubbish article that should never have been posted. I wish this site lived up to its name more.

    IrishBill: and this is a rubbish comment. Make another one this shit and you’ll be banned.

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 11

    The implicit narrative underlying much of these comments goes like this: “When Labour breaks the law, it’s because they’re corrupt. When National breaks the law, Labour are petty for pointing it out.”

    But this is hardly surprising. Support for National party policy requires a great deal of self-deception. Evidence abounds http://www.slideshare.net/equalitytrust/the-spirit-level-slides-from-the-equality-trust that their policies make everything worse, so in order to continue voting for them people must be either ignorant (a condition we all share to one degree or another) or delusional.

    So this mendacious wretch, the Prime Minister, cannot engage on the facts or the policy so he must do his little PR dance and simper and mince instead. “What do I say to people who accuse me of blatant electioneering? Vote for me!”

  12. I do not like the fact that Mr Muddle had an hour of direct contact with the voters to continue his charm offensive but I can’t see that he did anything wrong by the letter of the law.
    He knows it.
    His handlers know it.
    It was a shrewd move and I think he will get away with.
    What I don’t understand is why RadioLive allowed it. This was not a normal thing for them to do. Was this the price to be paid for a soft loan from the government (i.e. with our money)? Was it a commercial deal? Is it an editorial policy to be pro-National? Did someone at RL get a hardon at the thought of having his holiness in their studios.
     
    If none of these things are true then surely any other leader from a political party could approach RL and get the same access.

    • Joe Bloggs 12.1

      Nup, there’s not another political party in NewZild with a leader half as charismatic as John Key. 😀

      Labour officials had contacted Radio Live to request other political parties be included, but were turned down.

      See? No charisma. And no charisma equals no show on the radio. It’s really simple when you wade through the smoke and mirrors… 😀

  13. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13

    Given Labour’s manifold, flagrant and recent breaches of electoral law, I am now sure how well placed they are to make capital out of a throw away line on a live radio show.

  14. numeric 14

    I enjoy the variety of analyses on this site .. and the courtesy of trolls leaving their IP adresses on the record.

    Even IrishBill sometimes has a sense of humour.

    [lprent: He might. I however don’t have one that isn’t sarcastic and a wee bit cruel as is appropriate for a grumpy sysop. Especially to a luser who seems intent on wasting our time.

    The moderators protect IP’s by keeping them private as is explained in our privacy policy. But we do use them to track people and especially people who keep jumping pseudonyms

    You made a very similar remark yesterday using a different identity. I see that you have had a range of identities who have said very little of any note (something on the vacuous order of this one). Apart from causing us to waste time releasing you from first time moderation, to me that suggests a astroturfer profile of storing up identities for troll attacks.

    I’d strongly suggest that you pick one identity and stick with it. Because if I see you using another, I will exercise my sense of humour and ban you from making any comments at all. ]

  15. Rodel 15

    Just watched TV1’s account of John Key’s one hour session given to him by for a private media station which was previously granted $millions deferment by ..guess who?

    This blatant corruption was handled with servility by TV1 and with the usual obsequious reporting by Guyon Espiner who had a chance to do some real journalism for a change.. Can’t upset John Key this close to an election…mightn’t get invited out for cosy drinks and insider information.

    Are there any real reporters in this country?

    • Joe Bloggs 15.1

      .
      Yeah, great interview that one. Key handled Espiner with his usual aplomb, dealt neatly with Guyon’s futile smear tactics.

      Goff came across sounding like an aging shrew – a snappy and liverish minor party pollie desperately trying to maintain some sense of relevance in the face of a disaster at the polls. Perhaps if he just rose above all of the liberal-left reflexive negativity the electorate might warm to him just a little.

      • So… What you’re saying is that “Goff came across sounding like an aging shrew – a snappy and liverish minor party pollie” because of his “liberal-left “ policies?

        Whew. That’s a relief. It’s just his politics you don’t like – hence deriding him as an “aging shrew – a snappy and liverish minor party pollie”. If he espoused rightwing policies, he wouldn’t be a “aging shrew – a snappy and liverish minor party pollie”.

  16. Im sure if Goff was leader he would of done the same thing.

    • Joe Bloggs 16.1

      just not as convincingly…

    • burt 16.2

      There was an article in the DomPost today (I can’t find it online) where Cunliffe expressed similar sentiments to Key but in significantly more detail. I look forward to DPF having his turn on the same issue… partisans… hacks…. everyone of them.

      • lprent 16.2.1

        Yep. Not all of us are as sane as the members and MP’s of Act…. With their steadfast fortitude in staying in parliament pushing the National party….. Hey that can’t be right. The top of their list are all National MP’s.

        Ummm.. Are there any members still in Act who haven’t left ? Who are you supporting these days?

        • burt 16.2.1.1

          lprent

          Here is a link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/5727365/Why-our-credit-downgrade-matters

          Who are I supporting these days ? Good question. When Goff, Mallard, King & Parker are gone I might vote Labour. I would like Brash in parliament but certainly not Banks. I’m pissed Roy left ACT and I’m not impressed with National.

          My vote may go Maori or Green this year but probably National if Labour pick up in the polls.

          • lprent 16.2.1.1.1

            Thanks. I missed it with the hours I have been doing for the last few months.

            I did have you picked as a swinging voter. I’d agree about Banks. Was useless when he was last in the house and has been a do-nothing significant mayor. Aside from his politics, Brash just seems disaster magnet.

            Try the Greens (please). I can just see you as a green voter…… 😈

          • fmacskasy 16.2.1.1.2

            At least under MMP you have a choice, Burt. Spoiled for choice, I might say.

            Under FPP, unless you lived in a marginal seat, it was often irrelevant if you voted or not. (And SM is hardly better.)

  17. randal 17

    It is apparent that the rule of law is in the process of becoming whatever the National Party says the law is. If you have just been givin $40,000,000 and then you pay that off with a free hour of politicking that you then say is not polticiking then there is a disjunction that is bordering on criminal insanity.

    • Bored 17.1

      We cant expect Key to respect the law…he could not respect the principle of being tried under the laws at the time of the offense (the retroactive legislation issue).

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