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Key’s lies are nothing new

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, July 29th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, national - Tags: ,

The Nats lied and promised their way in to an election win in 2008. That was always going to make it difficult for them as the honeymoon glow wore off. Now they’re being squarely confronted with their failure on one of their biggest empty promises of all. Even John Armstrong (eventually) gets it:

Key figures out how to bamboozle with the best of them

A politician who does not twist statistics to suit his or her argument is not by definition a politician. John Key’s big attraction, however, has stemmed from being seen to be not indulging in such behaviour. But yesterday, the Prime Minister revealed he is is as capable of Machiavellian manipulation of the figures as the rest of the pack.

It could be argued that he had no choice but to defend his Economic Development Minister, Gerry Brownlee. But Key’s choice of figures was nothing short of outrageous in being so brazenly selective.

Brownlee got into trouble in Parliament the day before by claiming that the income gap between New Zealand and Australia had narrowed since National came to power in 2008.

Labour MPs did their own calculations. Finding their figures contradicted Brownlee’s assertion, they sought to ping him, while leaving the Prime Minister with the dilemma of contradicting a senior Cabinet colleague or backing him even though he was wrong. Loyalty dictated John Key take the support option.

Ummm – WTF? Sorry, snorted my coffee there. Loyalty to Gerry dictates that Key lie? How about loyalty to the country?

To loud guffaws from the Labour benches, Key told Parliament that he had been advised that the gap between gross average weekly earnings in Australia and New Zealand, adjusted for purchasing power parity, was $160.25. “That is certainly a lot less than it was in 2005, when it was $187.60.”

Indeed it is. But National did not win the 2005 election. It was elected in 2008 when – according to Key’s own figures – the income gap had narrowed to $138. Since then, the gap has widened by around $22. Without those figures in front of them and still coming to grips with Key adjusting them for “purchasing power parity”, all this seemed to pass Opposition MPs by. So Key did it again.

When Labour leader Phil Goff asked why Key and Brownlee were spreading this “misinformation”, the Prime Minister kept spreading and fudging. …

And so on. Well, it may be a revelation to Armstrong that Nice Mr Key is a liar, but there are plenty of us out here to whom this is very old news indeed.


26 comments on “Key’s lies are nothing new”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Armstrong agrees with the figures that Key gave. So why call it a lie?

    • Bored 1.1

      Sometimes you get a moment of pure joy. I just looked at the who posted box and saw tsmithfield on Key’s lies are nothing new ….the instant thought occured without having to read the article that one of those little moment had just occured, something oxymoronic in the line above stood out like the proverbial…a post from Mr Mendacity himself on lies.

    • joe bloggs 1.2

      TS – calling John Key’s comments lies goes with the turf unfortunately. The paranoid conspiracy theorists on the left have a nasty habit of pointing the bone at the right and this posting’s another sorry example.

      Look no further at the rabid Left-wing outrage over Paula Bennett – even when Natasha Fuller admitted to fabricating evidence she presented to 3 News, the cries of corruption continued.

      And so another commentator at The Standard has just shown what muck rakers the neo-lib left really are.

    • Ari 1.3

      Because he’s comparing oranges to mandarins by trying to imply he’s grown wages.

      He’s trying to claim he’s improved wages since the election, but he’s talking a low figure from the middle of Labour’s term, (instead of the figure at the beginning of his own term of government) and comparing it with now. That would be like me saying that everyone should buy their own home after having inherited a family house from my parents, say.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Key told Parliament that he had been advised that the gap between gross average weekly earnings in Australia and New Zealand, adjusted for purchasing power parity, was $160.25. “That is certainly a lot less than it was in 2005, when it was $187.60.’

    Indeed it is.

    Key made an entirely factual statement. As the quote above shows, Armstrong agrees with that. Key can make a comparison with any time period he wants to. He clearly stated the comparison period was 2005. No lie in that so why say there is? Heck, even Marty’s graph on the previous article agrees with this.

    • jimmy 2.1

      lol ts, boss hog was elected in 2008 not 2005. I believe the point of the post was about picking and choosing statistics. Whats the quote again? Lies, outright lies….

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      “But ts’s choice of Armstrong quote was nothing short of outrageous in being so brazenly selective.”

    • Kevin Welsh 2.3

      Shit, why stop there? Why not go back 10, 20 30 40 years? Or even better, why not do what you usually do and pick on an obscure part of the argument and hijack the thread in an entirely different direction.

    • MikeG 2.4

      ts – you also have to look at what question Key was answering. It was asked in the context of the National govt closing the wages gap with Australia – so why did he go way back to 2005 – that was still the 2nd term of the Labour govt?!!

      Even Farrar has admitted that Brownlee made a fool of himself around this issue.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.5

      Defending the indefensible again I see TS.

      Jonkey lied by omission (he purposefully left out critical information that disproved what he said) but it’s still lying.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    All he was doing was comparing the worst point under Labour with the worst point under National. That is a perfectly valid comparison to make. If National had just left office then it would be appropriate to compare the end point under Labour with the end point under National.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      A valid comparison is not the same as a relevant comparison. You can make all the “valid comparisons” you want, but if they aren’t relevant, they don’t matter.

      • Ari 3.1.1

        Actually, validity requires relevance, because validity is the logical process of laying out a link between factual claims and a hypothetical conclusion. Irrelevant information to an argument is never valid, but it can be factual.

    • jimmy 3.2

      Yeah the point BEFORE working for families took full effect. No massive redistribution would close the gap, oh wait…

      Anti spam: wait

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      TS, he lied in an attempt to make the NACT government look good. It was, and is, immoral.

  4. John Armstrong 4

    Tsmithfield…You are reading too much into what I wrote.. I was not making any judgment on the accuracy of Key’s figures, merely pointing out that ‘indeed” $160.25 is less than $187.60. I was trying to show Key was being highly selective, even when quoting his own figures. The piece was a parliamentary sketch — not an analysis of the actual size of the income gap.

    • tsmithfield 4.1

      I do realise this John.

      However, I have just been making the point that it is a real stretch to call it a lie.

  5. T(its-on-a-bull)Smithfield 5

    TSmithfield – ‘it would be appropriate to compare the end point under Labour with the end point under National.’
    Please say you are looking at the imminent ending of this regime…..or just the last time this electorate got wise and got rid of this sort of appallingly crappy dangerous self-interested bossman style of governance.
    captcha – shames

  6. Blue 6

    If you want a good laugh, have a read of Duncan Garner’s latest blog on this topic.

    The last sentence alone is pure comedy gold.

  7. johnbrash 7

    John Key is a liar who does not care about working people. I live in a small rural town and most people do not trust John Key. I think it is disgusting that a man like John Key can be in government when he does not represent the majority of New Zealanders.

    • graham 7.1

      Your town must be out of step with new zealand if you look at the polls.
      A small question does anyone work in your town ?

  8. Pat 8

    Speaking of lies, hows this one for a doozey:

    “So does Phil Goff have your full support until the next election”

    Cunners: “Yes he does”.

    • eye saw 8.1

      Cunners”That is the election for leader of the opposition not the general election”.


      Depends how you look at it.

  9. tsmithfield – I had something to say to you, but saw my anti-spam word first, so I’ll simply pass that on to you.


    • graham 9.1

      Heres a question?
      Every day john key is abused here called shonkey,liar,corrupt etc but yet he is the most popular PM in 30 years.National is over 50% in the polls. so either the people dont believe the Standard or no reads it?

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