Key “doesn’t do anything” – Hide

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, November 5th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: act, corruption, john key - Tags:

It took a few cocktails to loosen Bill English’s tongue when he thought he was among friends. Rodney Hide just needed his coco pops.

At his highly dubious ministerial function/ACT fundraiser breakfast*, Hide told his table that John Key “doesn’t do anything”. The only ‘achievement’ by Key that Hide could identify was the cycleway, which, of course, still hasn’t started despite the recession being over.

Hide revealed how he has been able to push through his radical Supercity agenda with little oversight or criticism from his ministerial collegues in Cabinet because “you turn up with your papers” and “they are too busy with their own stuff they’re not bothered”.

I think Hide’s comments on Key can be interpreted in two valid and inter-related ways.

One is the guy really doesn’t do much in the way of being Prime Minister. He seems to think (and the forces behind National running the Right’s agenda, seem to think) that his role is to be Clown-in-Chief, having a laugh, smiling for the cameras, being popular in a Bush-esque fashion while the real work is done behind the scenes.

The second way of viewing it is that his government really hasn’t done much to confront the big issues of our day (unemployment, low wages, climate change) and Key has ruled out doing anything hard if it will cost him popularity.

Of course, all this is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along. This is a poorly run government with a guy in charge who cares more about being personally popular than governing well.

So, who wants to guess John Key’s response? Yup, you got it in one – he is “relaxed”. I suppose if I was being paid $1000 a day for not doing anything, in the assessment of your own ministers, except hamming it up in front of the cameras a couple of times a month I would be pretty relaxed about life too.

* contrary to Hide’s claim that the $45 cost of the event was only to cover the cost of breakfast, it did make a profit. Stung by the criticism generated by The Standard exposing ACT’s corrupt practice of using ministerial speeches as party fundrasiers, they donated $200 of their profit to St John. I calculate that leaves ACT with about $500 in profit.

44 comments on “Key “doesn’t do anything” – Hide”

  1. thoughts 1

    just a wee thing, key donates his salary to charity. so technically, he doesn’t get paid $1000 a day at all. and whatever his motives for the donation (popularity, not wanting to look stingy/money grubbing, altruism), there is no doubt that the charities he donates to will appreciate and use the funds.

    • Tigger 1.1

      Where is the evidence that Key donates his salary, or even part of it, to charity?

      • the sprout 1.1.1

        yes i’m sure those imaginary recipients of Key’s charity would be super-grateful for the odd $1000 he flicks them to help defray the massive costs his social and economic policies are creating

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Isnt all the donations deductible, ie against his other investment income.

          • Tigger

            Is it OIA-able? I mean, he promised to donate half (?) his salary to charity. Did he in the last tax year (which covers at least four months he was being paid as PM)?

    • He also supports a village of lepers in Africa, has never pulled wings off flies and carries out garbage for his landlady.

      Man this “John Key love in” stuff is really bizarre. Half of the popoulation definately took the blue pill.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.3

      Just a wee thing, even if he does donate all his salary that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get paid it. In fact, donating it presupposes that he is paid it, technically.

    • felix 1.4

      As P’sb said, of course he gets paid his salary.

      He can choose to do with it what he will. Even if he does choose to donate some of it (and I’ve never seen any evidence of this) that doesn’t mean he’s not spending it.

      If I give money to Amnesty International, I’m spending it on something I like (or against something I don’t). Equally, if I give money to SAFE I’m using my purchasing power.

      Also, Key has bought himself some valuable publicity just by suggesting that he “does a lot of work for chaaaarity”, whether he does or not.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Loved the bit when asked for more comment , he said it was ‘unethical’ for the journalist to publicise his comments ‘among friends’.
    But of course , it is ‘within the rules’.
    Hide has no ethics. His deceit has no limits

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Yeah. What a plonker. It’s off the record when you say it is and the journalist agrees. This idea that journalists need his permission to report on what he says is something the free speech coalition will be aghast at, taken aback even.

      • Lew 2.1.1

        Stop trying to ruin his breakfast-speech-giving business model! If anyone can just repeat what a Minister of the Crown says at a bought-and-paid-for public engagement, how are they supposed to raise a dime?

        It’s piracy, I tells you. Arr.


  3. Tigger 3

    National has set it up so that ACT and the Maori Party take the fall for anything unpopular (SuperCity, Foreshore and Seabed etc). Clearly Hide isn’t liking being so disliked…doesn’t bode well for a 9 year coalition…or even a 3 year…

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Just as well the Press didn’t send its Qantas Media award winning ‘Political Editor’ to the meeting, otherwise all we would have heard about was how bad the food was

  5. Sanctuary 5

    But he is “astoundingly brilliant” at doing nothing! Just ask Garth!

    • snoozer 5.1

      Garth’s four great loves: pies, jesus, john key, climate change denial.

      He regularly gets them mixed up.

      In fact, I heard that the Herald was going to get rid of Garth but he just kept on sending in the copy. They basically don’t need to pay him anything substantial and they get words to go in the spaces between their ads – it’s the dream situation for a corporate newspaper.

    • Armchair Critic 5.2

      Garth suggests we salute him. Normally I don’t agree with Garth, but in this case I think I will extend one finger, in salute to the PM.

  6. coge 6

    This is high praise from Rodney. Here is the Taoist concept of a man of “wu wei” Perfection can only be achieved through inaction.

    It’s much better than running around messing everything up.

    • Lew 6.1

      If Hide really was of the ‘governs best which governs least’ mould, I’d agree, but I think Eddie’s two assessments are spot on: better that Key do nothing and leave the real work to his ideological betters.


  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    “In fact, I heard that the Herald was going to get rid of Garth but he just kept on sending in the copy.”

    He doesn’t send them, it’s all automated script kiddie stuff. Turtles all the way down I’m afraid.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    Stuff have an online poll asking about the Prime Minister’s greatest achievement. Along with policy issues (education, free trade, etc) you can select “John Key’s Letterman appearance.”

    It currently ranks second.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    There’s a bigger story here, incidentally.

    Rodney Hide has been caught out in a lie. The whole “fundraiser” row was all about whether Hide was acting as a Minister (who cannot charge a fee) or a Party leader (who can).

    The comments clearly show he was acting – talking – as a Minister. Of course, everybody knew that, including the PM, but he pretended not to.

    Now we have the evidence that Hide knowingly broke the rules. So the Prime Minister must sack him.

    Oct 21:

    Prime Minister John Key said there was no problem with Hide charging as long as he spoke as ACT’s leader.

    “If it’s a genuine part of explaining your portfolio and communicating with audiences, obviously ministers don’t charge for that,” he said.

    (Stuff website)

  10. Tanya 10

    Surely Rodney should know if there is a journalist present or not. Shouldn’t make a difference, anyone can be a journalist these days, what with blogs, and how hard is it to sneak in a tape recorder? Bad week for Act, who actually do have ingegrity, and say what they mean.

  11. sean14 11

    “the guy really doesn’t do much in the way of being Prime Minister… Of course, all this is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along.”

    No Eddie, what you’ve been saying all along is that Key is a wolf in a cheesy smile’s clothing who is going to implement a hard right agenda to benefit his rich business mates. Oh. but hang on, actually he doesn’t really do much…

    Any chance of making up your mind and telling us which one it is?

    • Daveo 11.1

      The way I’ve always read it is that Key is not the ‘centrist’ his PR people tried to spin him as and that the media sold to the public before the last election. He’s an ex-merchant banker who holds the same neoliberal views he did when he was Don Brash’s finance spokesman in 2005.

      But unlike Brash he’s not driven by ideology, but by a desire to be popular. He has right-wing instincts but is happy to ditch them or moderate them when it suits. He’s young, presentable and seems like a nice guy.

      This makes him the perfect frontman for the same big business interests who bankrolled Brash. They’re off gutting the public sector, slashing workers’ rights and ripping open our national parks to dig up dirty coal, but the public’s busy logging onto youtube to watch the clown-in-chief on Letterman.

      • Tigger 11.1.1

        Nicely put Daveo and sean. Like Brash before him and also like Joyce, Key is an ACT politician in National drag. It’s still early in the night but as the show progresses the makeup will start to run and the sequins will start falling off the glittery gown…

  12. Sanctuary 12

    “…In fact, I heard that the Herald was going to get rid of Garth but he just kept on sending in the copy. They basically don’t need to pay him anything substantial and they get words to go in the spaces between their ads it’s the dream situation for a corporate newspaper…”

    Are you sure you are not getting him mixed up with Lindsay Mitchell?

  13. Sanctuary 13

    “…and carries out garbage for his landlady…”

    One of these politicians has a future, and one of them does not.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Hide has now issued a grovelling apology.

    “I have the greatest respect for the Prime Minister, who is not – repeat not – a gormless, grinning imbecile with half my brains and no fucking clue and it’s just not fair … er, hang on, don’t take that out of context … come back here, you … “

    • Perhaps you shouldn’t misquote Mr. Hide. Unless I’m mistaken he didn’t say that.

      • Armchair Critic 14.1.1

        Confused by someone using more than 140 characters, and all those vowels? It’s so 90’s.
        Unless I’m mistaken, gs is taking the proverbial

  15. SAL 15

    So Rodney has apologised to John for telling the truth!

    As someone who knew Rodney in the 90s, I can say that if you take away his politics, there lurks a quite likeable guy. Take away John Key’s public personna, and what Hide is actually saying is: there’s nothing!

  16. RedLogix 16

    Anyone else spot the other nauseous bit where Hide is crowing about Auckland super-city plan had been an example of his achievements, he said, and he talked about getting rid of 700 bureaucrats.

    I’d love to put Hide in front of a room full of these 700 people and see if he gloats quite the same.

    • gobsmacked 16.1

      Those can’t have been his achievements, because that was done by the Minister of Local Government.

      Rodney wasn’t there as a Minister. Otherwise he would have breached the Cabinet Manual by charging a fee, and Key would have sacked him.

      But this can’t have happened, or our political journalists would be asking the PM about it.

      (I know, sarcasm overload, but honestly – what can you do when the media are too slow or too stupid to work out what happened?)

  17. Homo Domesticus 17

    Friends, never trust a politician who kisses babies and wears a rug. Stand-up comedian John donKey is a fraud, a glove puppet for Brash, Whitehead and co. Rise friends, drive the fake-haired former international currency gambler from office now before he ruins us forever. We must act now.

    Homo d.

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