John Key is pushing ahead with his mining plan despite all the political trouble that’s brewing. The flames of the argument are flicking at his shorts, and as John Armstrong notes, the battle for public opinion “is already half lost”.
Why then is Key determined to push on with this immensely unpopular plan, which will destroy some of our most precious conservation lands?
The answer could be quite simple: Pay-back.
National’s chief spin doctors are the men from Australia’s PR firm Crosby/Textor, the chair of which is one Robert de Crespigny.
de Crespigny is a man with huge financial interests in mining and nuclear energy, and whose company ceaselessly helps the election of conservative parties with ‘friendly’ policies. Long associated with the international mining industry, de Crespigny is known as a “prominent mining sector identity”.
The Crosby/Textor chairman’s international mining interests are incredibly numerous – from Australia, to the UK, to Greece. Most recently de Crespigny has been appointed to the advisory board of Barclay Capital’s Natural Resource Investments business. And if you’re looking for something a bit closer to home, de Crespigny founded Normandy Mining, which was responsible for the modern Waihi mine.
de Crespigny is a mining man; a Crosby/Textor man. Why is that so important?
Crosby/Textor help those who help them. That means helping the conservatives who implement policies prying open new markets for their unidentified clients. They helped John Howard achieve victory in 2004, tried to help former UK Tory leader Michael Howard win in 2005, and of course helped John Key with his NZ win in 2008.
So what does Crosby/Textor get out of John Key? Will de Crespigny’s companies be mining our conservation parks for gold? ill other clients of Crosby/Textor be mining those lands?
We don’t know who those other clients are because, unusually for a PR firm, they keep their clients’ identities secret. As with MPs trusts, a veil of secrecy prevents us seeing the true extent of the links between National and mining interests. But it’s a fair bet that plenty of mining companies use Crosby/Textor seeing as they have de Cresigny chairing the board.
Is that why Key remains so silent about National’s relationship with Crosby/Textor? Why won’t Key come out and confirm the nature of his relationship with the company, how payments are being made, and the extent to which he relies on them?
I think we need to be watching with very close interest see to whether any of de Crespigny’s numerous companies or other companies linked to Crosby/Textor apply for mining permits on our conservation lands. Because if this story rings true then Key is taking on huge political risk for the financial benefit of his PR masters.
Worse, Key’s doing the wrong thing at expense of what the vast majority of Kiwis believe to be the right course of action.