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Key plays the “don’t read, don’t care” card again

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, September 25th, 2012 - 19 comments
Categories: john key, Spying - Tags:

A couple of days before it was surely all going to come out – very messily and very publicly – in the Dotcom court case, Key has revealed that his spies illegally spied on Kim Dotcom. But, beyond that, Key won’t tell us anything apart from that he signed no warrant for spying on Dotcom (such a warrant would have been illegal anyway). Watching the press conference, Key said ‘dunno’ in answer to 25 questions. It wasn’t that he knew and refused to say for security reasons, it was that he had chosen not to find out the answers so that he wouldn’t have to provide them.

This is too much like Key’s behaviour in the ongoing Banks.com affair. The Prime Minister is choosing ignorance to give him what Metiria Turei calls his “don’t read, don’t care” defence.

The problem with this pattern of Prime Ministerial behaviour is that it might get him out of PR trouble but PR isn’t the be all and end all of being Prime Minister. (I know, John, you don’t believe that – but it’s true). So, while it might be politically useful to be ignorant, how the hell can he actually govern like this?

As Key himself said: “Ignorance takes us nowhere”

19 comments on “Key plays the “don’t read, don’t care” card again ”

  1. Te Reo Putake 2

    Good post, James. Key seems to have moved on from just being bored with the work aspects of his job to relying on his slackarsery to protect him when all else fails. We’ve seen it regularly in the house (I have no knowledge of that …). We saw it with Banks (Report? What report?). Now we have Bill English falling on his sword to allow Key plausible deniability.
    As Karol and Anne have noted elsewhere, the urgent baseball trip now looks like cover so he didn’t have to sign paperwork that might be politically damaging. But not signing it doesn’t mean he didn’t know about it. The funny thing is that its now apparent that the coppers, the spooks, the FBI, the local media and a senior Nat and would be mayor of Auckland all knew about Kim Dotcom. Weird how the local MP was out of the loop, eh?

  2. Tiger Mountain 3

    The fact that we have taxpayer funded layers of snoopers and a PM that represents Washington here rather than vice versa may be educative for a few “don’t know, don’t wanna know” kiwis.

    Still amusing to think of the giant German thundering past Key’s electorate office in his pink ’59 caddy convert. Apparently he has acquired a few speeding infringements in NZ. Coatesville is not far from ShonKey’s office, but who knows if he is ever there. Not that it matters, but surely the PM is where most of the loops intersect?

  3. Parliament will be very interesting this afternoon.  There are a few questions on the topic of the GCSB …

    1.  Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau: Does he consider that he should have been informed about the unlawful bugging of Kim Dotcom earlier than Monday, 17 September 2012; if not, why not?

    3.  Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: How many times has he been formally briefed by the Government Communications Security Bureau, by year, since November 2008?

    4.  DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements in relation to Kim Dotcom and the inquiry into the actions of the Government Communications Security Bureau?

    11.  CHARLES CHAUVEL to the Attorney-General: Has the Government given any type of indemnity relating to legal actions concerning Kim Dotcom; if so, what are the terms and which agencies were consulted before it was given?

    • Also Radio NZ is reporting a claim by Shearer that Blinglish also signed an indemnity order, which means the Government would be liable for any legal costs if Mr Dotcom sued it. Mr Key has refused to comment on that claim.

      I might be wrong but IMHO the only rational time that an indemnity would be required is at the time the warrant was issued which begs the question.  Did the GCSB know there was a problem at the time?

      The report may be mistaken but my curiosity is in overdrive … 

    • freedom 4.2

      two of those are multi-part questions and will only allow the weasel to further express his contempt for the processes of parliament. Why does the opposition continue to ask multi part questions instead of using the second part as the supplementary and actually get an answer? The sheer volume of wasted supplimentaries in this term must be hitting some sort of record.

      I am the first to admit i have some naive ideas about our parliament and the machinations of power but clarity and brevity have always proven to work a lot better than the kitset excape kits the opposition continuously supplies to the government.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.2.1

        Is my enemy’s enemy my friend? Sometimes. Dottie even if for revenge has done a better job so far of revealing the duplicity of the NZ state forces than many of the parliamentarians.

        • Robert M

          No not usually. The priority is get Banks to resign from Parliament and first Cabinet. Then regardless of whether Issacs or Brash come in or even if theirs an early election the political field will be open. What would follow a new government, new leaders, who knows.
          Dot Com is just a fugative from US justice. A doubtful customer, whose expensive parties presumably with lots of goodies, fireworks and inviting booze are doubtlessly financed from easy work that was illegal under US Law and deprived millions of earnings from recording artists, studios and producers. Sure they get the money back from vigorous touring but the strain seems to tell even on Rhianna.
          Giving Dot.Com credibility likes he’s a later day Robin Hood or moral equivalent of Julian Assange for the left in a very direct way gives Banks and Act credibility. Both the real right and real left would very like to see the back of both Banks and Act

    • karol 4.3

      The transcripts for each question are online for those wanting to give them close scrutiny:


  4. I am watching Parliament and Key is remarkably down and the nats are terribly silent.  Something is up …

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Is English in the house? Or is he busy writing up his resignation letter?

    • tc 5.2

      watch the quiet ones….still waters run deep..

    • mike 5.3

      Yes very quiet… And John Key the comedian is absent, there is a much more reserved and pasty looking Key instead. All he says is “Wait for the report.” So far no one has asked “Will the PM be reading the report even if it’s contents are politically inconvenient?”

  5. gobsmacked 6

    Key’s plan is pretty obvious – say “wait for the inquiry”, so by the time it comes out at the end of the week, Parliament goes into recess. So the opposition only have two shots – today and tomorrow.

    The Dotcom fireworks should feature on the news tonight – pretty pictures for telly.

  6. karol 7

    Lyndon Hood Does Dotcom Indemnity:




    The desk lamp is still lighted. Outside the windows, the dawn is slowly breaking.

    English is still clutching the dictaphone. There are eight or nine used memory cards on the desk beside him. A widening stain of leaking credibility shows on the left shoulder of his jacket. He is very weak by now, and his voice holds a note of utter exhaustion.

    Read on at the link if you like a bit of fun – kind of government fanfic.

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