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Leader’s debate IV

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 pm, September 17th, 2014 - 155 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, john key, labour, national - Tags:

We had the quick fire fast food version of the leaders debate tonite moderated again by Mike Hosking. The leaders were offered an hour. Cunliffe agreed but Key declined.

The debate started off with questions about the GCSB and mass surveillance. Key looked particularly weak. With all the changes of position that he has shown over the past few days you really have to wonder what he actually thinks. Even Mike Hosking was scathing and pointed out that on the same day Key said the Americans could be spying on us he was saying they were not.  He asked are they, aren’t they, or doesn’t he know. Key then added a further possible position which no doubt will be the subject of further analysis and a further conclusion that Key has again shifted his position.

Hosking suggested to Key that he could not explain what was happening in relation to our intelligence agencies and Hosking is right.

Polls were discussed. Key criticised Cunliffe’s statement that on the latest Reid Research Poll Labour could form a Government. Cunliffe’s response was wonderful, “If you think that Internet Mana is going to go with John Key after all of this that’s weirder than most of the stuff that has happened over the past couple of days”.  Cunliffe rightly pointed out that the result depends on whether or not the Conservatives get over the line and used the opportunity to question what they would do to the country.

Key then mentioned Lamb Chops. I am still not sure why …

The possibility of Winston Peters being PM was raised. It was ruled out by Cunliffe and Key. But Key has not ruled out the Deputy Prime Minister position for Peters.  It seems that to a merchant banker everything is on the table.

The first hundred days policies are interesting. Cunliffe promised that Labour will

  • start raising the minimum wage
  • repeal some of the unfair labour laws
  • start the commission of inquiry into the management of our security agencies
  • broaden the commission of inquiry into John Key’s ministers’ abuse of power
  • and start turning this country around to something that is cleaner in more ways than one as well as more productive.

John Key’s list:

  • focus on the opportunity and continue to deliver for New Zealanders (whatever that means).
  • lift and support professional development for our teachers for our principals
  • sign a free trade agreement with Korea
  • continue with their plan for cancer care
  • continue to invest in infrastructure
  • continue to invest in science and innovation
  • create 150,000 jobs

Key’s list was interesting.  Most were things that NZ Inc is delivering rather than National.  The jobs target is something that regularly appears in National Budgets and has never been met.  There was a complete lack of anything new.

Near the end Key mixed up Tamaki Makarau with Te Tai Tokerau by thinking that Kelvin Davis will win the former even though he is a candidate for the latter. Way to go John. I trust the media will pick up on this.  Labour’s prospects in the Maori seats just received a big boost.

And the Herald commentators called it a draw. When this happens you know Cunliffe came out ahead.

Overall my impression was that Cunliffe was more confident and much funnier than Key. And he knew his stuff and had a vision.  By comparison Key was much better at the snarky stuff but otherwise struggled.  And I still have no idea about what National intends to do this term if they are re-elected.  And this is scary.

Result?  Clear win for Cunliffe but of course I would say this …

Some interesting tweets …

155 comments on “Leader’s debate IV ”

  1. Tracey 1

    I havent watched any of the debates. I hope New Zealand won.

    • karol 1.1

      I watched the first ones, but had given up by the time this one came on – half an hour of game show, celebrity politics with Hosking…. better things to do.

  2. b waghorn 2

    Would Winston be able to make keys resigning part of a deal to go nats way.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      weka has brought that up before on TS and I just don’t think it’s tenable.

      For Winston to effectively veto who the PM is a bridge too far. The public would be in uproar over it. The resultant government would be very unpopular with the public, because a good 10% of National’s vote is largely on the basis of “that nice man Mr Key”.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Actually, that’s not quite what I brought up. If Key is Peters only sticking point, is it possible that a National/NZF govt could form without Key? If Key is already considered a liability then he may be persuaded to leave. I never said that Peters would public demand his resignation in return for support to form govt. This was speculated some time ago when there was still time for things to go very badly for Key before the election.

        • Lanthanide

          If election night result is National + Peters = Government, and then on Sunday night the result is National – Key + Peters = Government, then everyone will see through exactly what happened.

          • weka

            You think Peters will declare himself on election night? I think that is extremely unlikely.

            • Lanthanide


              I mean if the result on Saturday makes it clear that National + NZFirst could form a government, which is actually very likely to be a possible outcome from Saturday, but then on Sunday (or later) we find out that such a government would not include John Key as PM, it will be *very* obvious that it was Winston’s demand to remove Key in order to support National, whether that is “made public” or not. The media isn’t stupid.

              • weka

                But isn’t the most likely scenario on sat night that Peters could form govt with either left or right and that we have at least a week or two before Peters declares what he will do?

                Sorry, but the media is often grossly stupid.

                • Lanthanide

                  Um, yes. Sorry, I’m really not sure what you’re not getting.

                  • weka

                    I haven’t said anything about Peters doing the demanding. That’s all your idea.

                    Plus, Peters does his negotiating behind closed doors, sometimes over weeks.

                    I don’t think your scenario is the only way it could or couldn’t play out.

                    • Lanthanide


                      If the election outcome is National – Key + NZFirst = government, it doesn’t matter who did what or how long it took to get to that situation, the media and the public will say it was Winston that forced Key to leave.

                      Regardless, such a government would be so monumentally unpopular that I don’t think Winston would accept it, either in making the offer himself or in entertaining such an offer from any backstabbers in National.

                    • weka

                      I would agree with all that except that it’s quite possible that Key will have to resign anyway because of what’s happening with spygate. You don’t seem to be allowing for any possibility other than him being pushed out in a cynical play to gain power.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Unless there are new developments in spygate, it’s not credible to suggest he’ll resign after the election over the evidence we already have.

                      At this point, new developments do not seem forthcoming, and it’s unlikely any of the investigations set up by the National government will find anything incriminating.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Only the press can force Key to resign, and they won’t, even though there is significant and sufficient cause.

                    • weka

                      “Unless there are new developments in spygate, it’s not credible to suggest he’ll resign after the election over the evidence we already have.”

                      Just as well I haven’t suggested that then.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ CV: I don’t think there’s sufficient cause in the spygate stuff in isolation, but the conduct of this government since the start of this year has been appalling and I think a ‘fair’ media would be putting much more pressure on them than we’re seeing, if not outright calling for resignation. Probably the only reason they aren’t is because of Key’s high polling – I think if National were in the high 30’s the media would have a very different tone; but it is of course a chicken and egg situation.

                    • weka

                      “Only the press can force Key to resign, and they won’t, even though there is significant and sufficient cause.”

                      Maybe. Or maybe things are starting to change post-Slatergate. I think he will get away with much less from now on, and it will be harder for him to pull off the smile and wave. His mask has slipped, we all now know he is a liar and only the most dedicated will be able to pretend otherwise.

          • Hanswurst

            Not to mention that there has been an entire narrative built up by the media and National itself around a vote for National being a vote for Key. On national.org.nz, we see a National Party banner with the slogan “Working for New Zealand” in the top left-hand corner, with the hashtag #teamkey given pride of place next to it. On mynational.org.nz/support, the exhortation is to “join Team Key 2014”. National’s campaign website is called “teamkey.co.nz”. For National to ditch John Key would be as much of a betrayal of campaign promises to the electorate as increasing class-sizes, deciding to run annual deficits or authorising mass surveillance.

            In the event of a right-wing coalition or minority National government without John Key, the opposition would crucify the government on a narrative that everything in Dirty Politics and the Greenwald revelations was accurate and went right to the Prime Minister, that the National front bench was trying to save its own arse by making him a scapegoat, that National was in such a shambles that it couldn’t even cement its (and the electorate’s) candidate for prime minister, and that the government was headless and in disarray. National would take a swift and permanent hit in the polls, as would every associated party, and the government would be gone by lunchtime.

            • Lanthanide

              Yip, although not entirely sure about the “gone by lunchtime” bit. If the deed were actually done, it’d require a vote of no confidence or extraordinary intervention by the GG to bring about a new government / parliament.

              But they would be utter dog-tucker in the polls, and exactly the opposite of the ‘stable government’ they’ve had as their only real mantra in this campaign.

              • Hanswurst

                I’m not entirely sure about the “gone by lunchtime” bit, either. However, I don’t get the impression that National can agree on a leader or even a public direction without John Key. Most of the available coalitions would probably have such a wafer-thin majority that Peters would not feel confident of pulling of his post-1996 gambit of splitting off to take the moral high ground from opposition without bringing down the government; thus he would rather throw his lot in with Labour if implosion were a realistic danger to a suddenly Key-less National-led coalition (which it would be).

                A coalition involving the Conservatives would be a different story, of course, but I doubt they’d be interested in getting rid of Key, so it doesn’t matter.

                So basically, the government probably wouldn’t be gone by lunchtime on account of National’s governing without Key, but only because National’s major coalition prospects wouldn’t touch the proposition with a ten-foot barge-pole and it therefore wouldn’t happen.

            • weka

              Leaving Peters out of it for a moment, what if after the election National form govt and then Key is forced to resign because of the GCSB shit. Surely you are not suggesting that National can’t replace him with someone else and would instead have to send the country back to the polls?

              • Lanthanide

                If the resignation was some months after the election, then it could feasibly be accepted. If that resignation were to happen prior to the formation of government, or within mere weeks of it, I think the public would be very angry.

                Even him resigning after a few months would crater National’s polling, and potentially cause his coalition partners to desert him.

                • weka

                  Ok, so if something happens say in two weeks time, separate from the election, that would ordinarly mean that Key should resign (eg definitive proof that he lied about the GCSB), you are suggesting that he shouldn’t or he wouldn’t resign because the public would be angry? That doesn’t make sense.

                  • Lanthanide

                    I don’t think that’s likely to happen, but sure, if that were to happen, then yes he would resign.

                    But I think such a resignation, so close to the GE, would put the government under immense pressure to go back to the polls. Certainly if it were National + NZFirst = Government situation, I think Winston would vote no confidence and form a government with Labour instead.

                    • weka

                      “But I think such a resignation, so close to the GE, would put the government under immense pressure to go back to the polls.”

                      Is that because of these circumstancs (as opposed to say if Key got ill)?

                      Can the government be changed via a vote of no confidence or does there definitely have to be a new election?

                • Tracey

                  I am not sure what the mechanism would be though Lanth. Sure public might be angry BUT it would require a no confidence vote in Parliament to actually force the new eelction, unless the GG stepped in?

            • dave

              win or lose there going to
              cusify national over dirty politics aduse of power next 3 years for national are going to be hell on earth even if they were in oposition dirty politics has ripped national open and its not going to go away

            • Theodora

              The last part of your comment is my secret fantasy scenario. It’s like sticking the knife in your own back.

        • Local Kiwi

          Good wrap Mickey,

          I thought Hosking’s and Cunliffe won.

          Key looked gaunt and unsure of himself trying to cover it up when he tried to shrill over bit all.

          I was surprised how much he interjected when motor mouth Key tried again to runaway with piffle about how great thy Team key was doing.

          I saw some very black looks key gave Hosking’s so bad that mike must’ve had to change his briefs afterwards.

          David Cunliffe really has grown legs and went over the most assured confident of the two, and always clearly threw up responses quicker than Key.

          I’d say 50/30/20 respectively from all three parties in that debate, Cunliffe/Hoskings/key.

          • Colonial Viper

            Hoskings did hold Key to account a number of times. Unfortunately Hoskings also made some parts of the debate more about himself than the actual candidates for PM.

            Overall though, my estimation of Hosking has gone up, and even though my criticisms of him as an elitist Tory shit bag stand, I think he can (on occasion) do a very professional, sharp job – when he feels like it and is mildly pushed to.

          • Tracey

            On a news clip this morning, on TV1 I think, Key put his hand on Cunliffe’s arm at one stage to stop him speaking…

            I am beginning to wish someone would secretly film a Nats Cabinet meeting and leak it… Cos if what we see in these debates is the restrained cos the public can see Key…

            • Theodora

              Agree. ‘Smiling Assassin’ aside, you don’t get to the top of the forex by being nice.

      • DS 2.1.2

        Peters wouldn’t care though. It’d just be an incredible case of trolling the Nats, and seeing if they would be prepared to backstab Dear Leader in return for three more years.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    “Near the end Key mixed up Tamaki Makarau with Te Tai Tokerau by thinking that Kelvin Davis will win the former even though he is a candidate for the latter. Way to go John.”

    This ‘mixup’ plays to Key’s base. They don’t compete in the Maori seats, they don’t care about TTT or Kelvin Davis, so this is not really a gaffe on Key’s part.

    I watched the commentators discussion streamed live on tvnz afterwards, with Hooton, Williams, presenter woman I don’t know and the woman organising Vote Compass.

    Hooton said this debate was won by Key and that Key won the whole series. The other three all said this debate narrowly won by Cunliffe and that Cunliffe also eked out ahead in the whole series.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      This ‘mixup’ plays to Key’s base. They don’t compete in the Maori seats, they don’t care about TTT or Kelvin Davis, so this is not really a gaffe on Key’s part.

      Correct. Good of you to remind us that Key always only talks to his base. He is not talking to the general NZer.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Not saying it was deliberate by Key, but it’s pretty much irrelevant. If the left and/or media even try and make a big deal out of it, they’ll just look stupid.

        • Inky

          Fear not, there’s no chance in hell that our blue rosette-wearing media will ever make a big deal out of anything Key stuffs up. You’re mistaking him for Cunliffe — they even make a big deal out of things he hasn’t stuffed up.

    • Tracey 3.2

      Hooton is on there? Hooton who supplied Hager’s address to someone who wanted it to harm Hager?

  4. vto 4

    3. My other better halves reckoned Key looked like a cornered rat

    2. Did Key actually push Cunliffe’s arm away at one point?

    1. Key at one point said something very derogatory but it has slipped from my decreasing mind … time for bed

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      2. Yes. They replayed that on the commentator live-stream, but I didn’t notice it myself during the debate. Hooton didn’t think it was any big deal, the political compass woman thought it wasn’t a good look.

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        Hooton wouldn’t. see my post above about his ethics around human contact

      • vto 4.1.2

        That’s what I thought. Imo that was very telling and indicates that Key is losing it. Stressed and frustrated he has resorted to physical action, no matter how small.

        Points to Key being right at the very ends of his abilities and desires – in fact probably past those ends.

        It is all over for the poor man and I think he has known it for the last three weeks.

  5. b waghorn 5

    Cheers lanthanade just looking for silver lining incase of worst happening

  6. SPC 6

    A vote for National is a vote for the TPPA and subordination of New Zealanders to more than mass surveillance by the Americans, also subordination of our national sovereignty to their corporates agenda for profit making.

    • Sable 6.1

      Oh and you think Cunliffe won’t sign too? Don’t kid yourself. The only thing that will stop this odious betrayal of NZ becoming ratified is a government that includes a strong representation from the Greens and Internet Mana.

      • mickysavage 6.1.1

        Read Labour Conference remits on the subject. There are that many conditions I would be amazed if a Labour Government ratified it. The most difficult is that Labour will not support a TPPA if the state was opened up to being sued if it changed local law. There is no way that Labour activists will agree to this being changed.

        • Tracey

          “Thank you for your email to Hon David Cunliffe concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. Apologies for the delay in my reply.

          There is genuine concern about what might be included in the final outcome of the negotiations, which the Government has not adequately addressed by making clear where it stands on important issues in the negotiation.

          Labour demands more openness and transparency from the Government. As Minister of Trade negotiating the China and Asean Free Trade Agreements in 2008, I involved a cross-section of groups in the process including the Council of Trade Unions and Greenpeace as well as businesses and exporters. That helped ensure we got good input and it also won trust and confidence in what we were doing.

          Those trade agreements hugely helped economic growth and jobs in New Zealand with New Zealand exports to China increasing from $2 billion to over $7 billion dollars in five years and closing the trade deficit with that country. It helped save us from suffering as badly as the US and Europe from the Global Financial Crisis.

          Labour has also set bottom lines for support for a TPP agreement. It must result in a clear and significant net benefit to our country. It must be a high quality agreement allowing New Zealand to gain access for our major exports to countries like the US, Japan, Canada and Mexico, removing barriers like the current exorbitant tariff rates on dairy (200-300 per cent), tight quotas and behind the borders barriers. For our services and manufacturing industries we would also want access to government procurement contracts, a market in the US alone worth $334 billion from which we are currently excluded.

          Labour recognises that the TPP is not just a trade agreement but deals with behind the borders issues and could impact on domestic policy settings. New Zealand must not sacrifice Pharmac or give up our sovereign right to regulate and legislate such areas as health, the environment and economic policy or in areas like gambling, tobacco and alcohol. The policy protections must be tight enough to prevent multinational companies from winning law suits against us when we regulate in these areas to their commercial disadvantage. We support intellectual property protection but not where it goes to extremes which would hinder innovation and create excess profits at the expense of the consumer. The Government needs to heed the concerns of smaller companies in New Zealand including those in the IT sector.

          Labour supports trade deals which genuinely benefit our country. We need growth in exports so we can close the gap between the value of what we export and import. A trade deficit which has persisted over 40 years has meant New Zealand having to borrow to pay the difference. Growing debt has resulted in us increasingly losing ownership of our own country.

          We need growth for jobs and higher incomes. We need growth to increase government revenue to pay for higher quality services in areas like health and education.

          The Petri study from Brandeis University shows that a TPP would likely lead to export growth to New Zealand of over $5 billion a year. The Parliamentary Library, based on the Brandeis study, states that could lead to job growth of up to 22,000 jobs.

          Half of our trade goes to the TPP countries. If we did not participate in a successful agreement our exporters would be disadvantaged by facing barriers in the key TPP markets that our competitors do not.

          We continue to insist that the Government better inform parliament and civil society as to its negotiating objectives and its position on issues of concern. Only then can the public be involved in an informed and mature debate. Labour will support a deal only if it is genuinely in the interests of New Zealand.

          Yours sincerely

          Phil Goff

          Hon Phil Goff
          MP for Mt Roskill
          Labour Spokesman on Defence
          Trade, Ethnic Affairs, Veterans’ Affairs
          Associate Foreign Affairs
          Private Bag 18 888, Parliament Buildings
          Wellington 6160, New Zealand
          T: + 64 4 817 6775 | F: + 64 4 817 6461

      • SPC 6.1.2

        Once you consider who Labour’s coalition partners would be then you realise that saying that Cunliffe would do the same as Key is just wrong.

        A Labour NZ First coalition requires Green support to sign TPPA. That will not happen.

        • weka

          no they don’t. Labour can use any party’s vote, not just the left’s.

          • SPC

            Do you think Greens would continue to provide confidence and supply to a government that brought in TPPA?

            If Labour was inclined to support a TPPA agreement by seeking backing from National they might find Greens would go to the polls on the issue.

            • Tom Jackson

              That is a very astute point.

            • weka

              Personally, I would hope the Greens would withdraw C and S over such an issue. I don’t know how that works though. Do we have precedent? Many commentators say that forcing an election tends to work against the party that forces it (they get punished by the electorate).

              • Draco T Bastard

                I don’t know how that works though. Do we have precedent?

                Only one I can think of ATM is Marilyn Waring crossing the floor bringing down Muldoon’s Government.

                • weka

                  I thought of that too, but Waring says she had no idea it would trigger an election, so it’s a bit different than if the GP withdrew C and S (as opposed to just one policy vote) knowing full well that would bring down the govt.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    It;s up to Labour to be smart enough not to force the Greens to ever consider doing such a thing…and in fact to use that pressure from the GReens as a platform and justification for doing the right thing by the TPPA – scrapping it and putting safeguards in place preventing anything similar arising again.

              • DS

                There are three precedents that come to mind in New Zealand, and none of them forced an election.

                In 1912, the group of independent MPs propping up the minority Liberal Government switched to supporting Reform. You had a change of Government without an election.

                In 1930-31, Labour pulls its support for the minority United Government (Labour had been giving it C and S since 1928). United forms a Grand Coalition with Reform instead.

                In 1998, the National-NZ First coalition collapses. Jenny Shipley props herself up with an odd band of renegades from NZ First, plus Alamein Kopu.

                • Tracey

                  Therein lies the irony of the scare mongering of the Right about a coalition of the Left. The ONLY failure under MMP was between National and NZ First.

              • Tracey

                They could make it a conscience vote not C and S on anything to do with TPP

    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.2

      Yeah, disappointing DC didn’t say that in the first 100 days he would pull out of the TPPA. This country isn’t going to the dogs, it’s going to America (which might be ok if their country and reserve dollar status wasn’t going downhill fast).

  7. Sable 7

    Not that its even remotely possible for so many reasons but I see Cunliffe ruled out NZ offering Edward Snowden asylum. Would have been nice to see Labour take the moral high road and at least make a positive gesture by saying they would consider it were it feasible.

    Its easy to see why traditional Labour voters like myself have walked away in disgust. As to their debate, really who cares. Since when was MMP “just” about these two characters.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Cunliffe desperately needs to distance himself from KDC as much as possible, so even ‘vaguely plausible’ ideas need to be talked down. Silly ideas need to be killed stone-dead, which is what Cunliffe did.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      Offering Snowden asylum would be silly. There is an extradition treaty with the US that they would then immediately invoke if Snowden landed in Aotearoa.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        I thought the point of ‘political asylum’ is that people use it to get away from their governments, which would by definition be used to prevent extradition?

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Not if they evidence of a crime, see KDC v USA.

          Brazil is more likely to be the place , no extradition treaty with US. Trouble is he has to get there and US has record of pulling people off planes in stopovers so they can be ‘rendered’ to US territory

          • Lanthanide

            KDC was granted residency, not political asylum.

            Sure, they may be treated exactly the same under extradition law, but you didn’t actually state that.

      • weka 7.2.2

        Plus it’s really the wrong time to even be talking about this. People have far to much to deal with with everything else that is going on, let alone having to think through the issues involved in giving assylum to Snowden.

        • Lanthanide


        • Tracey

          Did Cunliffe retort to key’s surmising that Cunliffe needed Internet Mana that the only poll that matters is Saturday and he focuses on what new zealanders want not want 6 different polls say

  8. politikiwi 8

    I actually laughed out loud at Key’s list.

    150,000 jobs in three months?

    Tell me more…

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Yeah, I really wished Hoskins had said “you’re going to do that in 3 months? Those other things you said don’t sound like things you can complete in 100 days either”. Cunliffe actually answered the question, Key just gave his rehearsed “reasons to vote for us” bullshit.

      • tc 8.1.1


        Complete BS allowed to pass by hoskings who has been consistently awful so he didnt dissapoint me in that regard.

    • Inky 8.2

      Maybe he’s thinking lots and lots of Hobbit extras for the next movie? Seriously, 150,000 jobs is a bad joke, but it’s one the sheep will swallow.

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 9


  10. Jrobin 10

    John Armstrong must finally be worried about the thousands of comments he has been getting on his own column about his obvious bias. Thanks John but too late to save your reputation. After the Liu smear campaign you have reached joke status.

    • tc 10.1

      Yeah right, he would wear that as a badge of honour and you assume he reads them.

      Just another sad old out of touch press gallery trougher in a stable alongside audrey, clare, fran etc

  11. BM 11

    Does Cunliffe not realize he comes across as a rude arrogant fuckwit?.

    I’ve never seen such a dislikable individual, no wonder labour is polling around 20%

    Worst Labour leader ever.

    • weka 11.1


      Even for you that’s a bold lie BM

    • gobsmacked 11.2


      (see, I can quip!)

      • BM 11.2.1

        Honestly he’d win so many more brownie points if he just shut up for a minute.

        Everything I’ve read is
        “that Cunliffe what a rude arsehole,

        “Cunliffe, I didn’t think I could hate the man any more”,

        “Cunliffe put a cork in it for a second and let the other guy have his say”


        The man seems utterly oblivious.

        • mickysavage

          You should read more left wing comment on the debate.

        • gobsmacked

          He should have said Key has a fat butt?

          Be Prime Ministerial, you mean?

        • Richard

          Seriously! as Hoskings was giving Key all the talk time. Hoskings was asking Cunliffe a question but would not let him reply.

          I’d be trying to interrupt to get my point over too.

          BM you want Key to glow in the spotlight so you can hear him fair enough mate but be fair did Cunliffe get to do the same even once? I saw Cunliffe STFU 3 times and let key have time and key just would not stop until hoskings HAD to stop him, then we went and argued all over Cunliffe.

          So want to talk about the debate? or just wave the blue flag like a dick.

        • Inky

          BM, you sound like Key’s campaign henchman, lol. A debate involves two people having a say, not Key lamely trying to talk for the full 30 minutes so he doesn’t have to answer any questions and Cunliffe is denied a chance. You’re simply used to Key being given open slather by the blue rosette-wearing media every time he opens his lying pie-hole. Well, Cunliffe isn’t John Armstrong. He’s not going to sit mutely, dribbling from the corner of his mouth, while John XKeyscore fills the airtime with BS. Dishonest John still spoke the most anyway, yet said nothing.

    • Rodel 11.3

      ‘ I’ve never seen such a dislikable..(dislikable?) … blah bah blah.
      Hey BM…Look in a mirror.
      Sorry you are so upset. I wonder why?

      Maybe because Key appears confused and disconfident but Cunliffe is intelligent and proconfident.

    • DS 11.4

      You’re confusing Cunliffe with Geoffrey Palmer, I think.

    • appleboy 11.5

      BM you are totally hilarious – you’ve been a bit quiet of late. I wonder why. Dislikable? Slater? Lusk? Jordan Williams? Cactus Kate? John Banks?

      Jesus you right wingers never cease to amaze me. If Cunliffe is dislikable please do tell, on Planet key, what are the words you use for your attack dogs?

      • BM 11.5.1

        I’ve been converting a java web start app to a javascript webgl app.

        It’s been taking up most of my time.

    • Lanthanide 11.6

      In the debates, I think Cunliffe has been a bit too eager to interrupt and talk over John Key.

      But I can’t blame him, he’s so written off by the media that he has to get cut-through and make an impact. It also doesn’t help that Key repeats glib lies about his own record and mis-representations of Labour policy and potential coalition parties, so I can see why Cunliffe gets the urge to interrupt.

      So while I’m not hugely enamoured with is style, I’m not going to hold it against him.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.6.1

        It’s the moderator’s job to guide the tone of the debate. If they allow Key to get away with constructing a false frame and then weaving another of his lies around it what is Cunliffe supposed to do?

        In future debates, I’d like to see a genuinely neutral moderator with control over the candidates’ microphones.

    • the pigman 11.7

      FIFY BM

      Does BM not realize he comes across as a rude, arrogant fuckwit?

      I’ve never seen such a dislikeable individual, no wonder Gosman, Naki Man, srylands, rich the other, Pete George and the Hoverboard Kid barely visit anymore.

      Worst RWNJ ever.

      • lprent 11.7.1

        Some of them are on bans that terminate a few days after the election.

        I figured earlier in the year that I had enough reading and moderation to do leading up to the election so anyone banned tended to get ones that terminated after the 20th.

    • Inky 11.8

      BM, so you think John XKeyscore is an honest PM who wouldn’t hide the truth from the people while pushing through a major spying bill that had huge ramifications for those citizens’ privacy?

      Well, the fact is he did. That’s one of the reasons why I want him out and Cunliffe in.

      Here’s a tip. I’m not young enough to be bothered with naked selfies or videos of my girlfriend or myself. But if you have some of those, then thanks to your beloved John XKeyscore, spooks here or in the US could be having a perv right now. Maybe they’re admiring, maybe they’re guffawing, who knows. Or they could be reading your email, having a squizz at your blog posts, seeing what you bought online or looking into what sort of books you’ve checked out of the library in recent years.

      I don’t like the prospect of any of that happening to any Kiwi. So that’s why I’d take Cunliffe over John XKeyscore any day of the week and twice on Saturday if it were legal.

    • Hanswurst 11.9

      Does Cunliffe not realize he has come across a rude, arrogant fuckwit?


  12. gobsmacked 12

    Cunliffe met Key according to Hosking rules, and did fine. Nobody will care much.

    But I just wish he’d torn up the rules. Labour’s essential problem (it was Goff’s and Shearer’s too) is that they seem to believe they can win by appeasing these fuckwits. They can’t.

    “Mike, what are you on about? Are you on your soapbox again? I’m here for the next half hour, are you?”

    or similar, even stronger.

    Accept their premise and you’re already losing. Should be tattooed on every Labour’s leader’s hand.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      I don’t agree. That would be seen by the commentators, therefore MSM, therefore public at large, as an arrogant bully not ready to lead the country.

      • Richard 12.1.1

        Depends mate, some will see it as I did a one sided ref letting one team have to much waffle and the other argued with, therefore they will sympathize with Cunliffe trying to get a word in and defend the lies key was making up about them. Like needing IM.

        Some it will put right off keys team for being arses and using hoskings, Armsgtrong, oSullivan, Snakeoil and all the multitudes of media to make out they are so popular. people are smart, you have to have faith.

        If I can see through the media backing of National so do others. I see it so clearly if labour win I am going to email them ten times a day until they sort out the NZ media’s bias towards political parties and their predjudiced influence until it does get sorted out.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.2

        I don’t agree. That would be seen by the commentators, therefore MSM, therefore public at large, as an arrogant bully not ready to lead the country.

        NZers like to vote for a bit of arrogant bully.

  13. Richard 13

    Cunliffe won but not because he won the debate in my opinion but because of the unfairness from Hoskings, I gave it to him for not getting a fair go, but when he did, he made excellent points that outweighed the lack of detail from Key.

    Second point is I’ve never seen a PM that flip floppy in any country in my life and I’ve been to Albania twice. Key makes Edi Rama Albanian prime minister (socialist) look honest. Edi’s been linked to the mafia and drug smuggling to germany so that tells a lot.

    Lastly keys choices of Klingons are feral and dim, talking Jayme and what’s his name oh Dunne, then theirs that fruit loop Colin walk like a thunderbirds puppet with some reasonable policies and some fairly out there. Keys slagging the five headed labour monster just bit his lying arse.

    This is what happens when all you do is slag people off and call people names, you lose the last ounce of respect most people had for you.

  14. ghostwhowalksnz 14

    Key also delivered the best punch-line when he was asked what he had learnt from the campaign.
    “Expect the unexpected,” was Key’s response.”

    If he was honest he would say NEVER give the date of the election away so far in advance.
    Old Muldoon had it right back in 84. ” It doesnt give my opponents much time either-slurred.

    • yeshe 14.1

      slurred ? try drunk as a skunk. and look how it ended for him? Funny example you offer.

      But on anothr level, it is perfect. 1984 election day was snow, rain and cold across the whole country, identical with out forecast for this weekend.

      It produced a tsunami turnout overthrowing Muldoon.

    • Rodel 14.2

      Best punchline? Hardly- and hardly original.
      Said years ago by many, including Charles Kennedy, Oscar Wilde and others (probably eminem too).

      “The one thing we can all be sure about in politics is you are as well to expect the unexpected.”
      Charles Kennedy

      “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.”
      Oscar Wilde

  15. blue leopard 15

    Wow! Mickey Savage, somehow you managed to make some sense out of that er…’debate’.

    I switched on a bit late at which point it appeared to be Hoskings debating Cunliffe.
    Later Hoskings commented how Cunliffe was hated by his colleagues (words to that effect – can’t remember the exact wording)
    Hosking balanced it up by calling National’s bunch a 5 headed Hydra.

    Key looked awkward at times

    Well actually they all looked awkward and mismatched sitting around that little table. It looked like one of those plastic things people put outside in their garden, you know the ones they plan to have BBQ’s around but never do.

    What a horrible, nasty, mess, one can’t in all sincerity refer to it as a debate.

    That really was pathetic all round.

    The whole thing was a complete disgrace.

    Is this really the best we have for conveying potential members of the government to everyone?

    I would have thought New Zealanders were sick of this bullying. bitchy carry on by now.
    I know I am.

    Lift your game TVNZ

    I hope the next government does something major with the state of broadcasting in the first 100 days.

  16. Brendan 16

    150,000 jobs in 100 days? Key’s joking right? They haven’t done that in six years.

    • ropata 16.1

      Easy to do mate, just take 50,000 existing fulltime jobs and farm them out at 15 hours per week. Unemployment solved! Key’s brilliance has saved NZ again!!

  17. philj 17

    Totally agree BL. Our media is a disgrace. The media have taken over the circus for their commercial/ corporate interests.

    • blue leopard 17.1

      Just commented on twitter, it probably seemed even worse after having Greenwald providing us with his intelligence and real journalism in the last few days.


      • Lanthanide 17.1.1

        Yes, I had that feeling when watching him at the MoT.

        Had the same sort of feeling when Kim Hill gave us a glorious 2 weeks on MR last year standing in for Geoff.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Key then mentioned Lamb Chops. I am still not sure why …

    Perhaps he’s been taking advice…

    Lamb Chop is a three-star general.

  19. newsense 19

    DC looking really relaxed and having a laugh. Hope all the Labour candidates are looking that good out on the trail.

  20. infused 20

    It was a shit house debate. Glad it went for 30 mins.

  21. felix 21

    Yeah, so was Keys.

  22. North 22

    Two days out from an election we’re at the business end. What else might we expect but this tissue of rubbish and misrepresentation from FranKey O’Sullivan ?

    The comments below this cheerleading slide of the pen reflect that very nicely.

    Like John Denver aye FranKey ? – “It feels so good……to be back home again”.


    • adam 22.1

      I enjoyed the comments – that is pretty much what I’ve been hearing as well. The economic illiterates who bang on how good the economy is doing – or the other one – a stable well run government – crack me up the most though – I almost wet myself.

    • Theodora 22.2

      I agree with your point absolutely, but also want to point out that using cute names can comr across as an ad hominem call and can dilute your argument. But yeah, from what I have read it sounds like she is turning down the chance to do some once-in-a-lifetime journalism. If you are a journalist and giving this Government an easy ride, then you are working in the wrong department. You need to go to Public Relations and leave reporting the hell alone.

  23. dv 23

    I thought it was weird that Hosking cut Cunilife off when he brought up Acts guns in dairies.

    Was there some sort of rule/agreement that they would not talk about other party policy.
    …No that could be right cause Key had a fair go at talking about greens policy.

    Or did i not hear that right?

  24. Tanz 24

    Cunliffe lost my support with his ‘right wing weirdos’ jibe.

    What is wrong with common sense policies. Didn’t hear much policy last night, just shouting. The worst debate of the lot. Winston Peters was indeed lavished upon. Roll on Saturday, so very interesting!! The Cons will be the first small party to make it in, without the gifting of a seat. A great achievement.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1

      Hey look everyone, a lying weasel.

    • dv 24.2

      ‘The Cons will be the first small party to make it in, without the gifting of a seat.
      Nope Tanz


      Of the top of my head.

    • Crunchtime 24.3

      If he lost your vote with that line, he never had it in the first place.

      With crazy Colin’s press secretary resigning today (and Colin saying he just thought she was taking a break! LOL!) …and calling him manipulative, I can see Conservative failing to make 5% now.

      • Tanz 24.3.1

        Really? I haven’t heard of that happening. Do you have a link? Supposed to be going to their winning party, by the way…never mix politics with weekends or fun…!!

  25. Ad 25

    Can anyone imagine anyone else in the Labour caucus getting the best of Key like this, live on television? Shearer? Goff? Robertson? Ardern?

    Cunliffe has done what we expected: beaten John Key in the media – the most popular Prime Minister New Zealand has ever had.

    And yep, that’s a message to the Labour caucus.

    I reckon if it’s an 80%+ turnout, Labour will have their shot with Jerry Mateparae.

    OK Mr Talbot, reap your harvest. Workers are ready.

  26. Dont worry. Be happy 26

    To Key….”For a man who can’t remember a lot of things..who doesn’t know much….who won’t read anything inconvenient…you sure have a lot to say”

    To Hosking…”mike, your’e the Ref here. Have you swallowed your whistle or sold it?”

    To the Country….”Stand by me and I”ll stand by you. Throw this Government out on its arrogant ear. Fair go NZ. Fair go.”

    To Kelvin Davis…..(in private) “Ah Fargo Kelvin! Where are we going to get 4 seats from if you Beat Hone? Yes, your chiselled jaw and dimpled chin is amazing but Kelvin, man, we need those 4 seats more than we need you. Settle down”

    Sorry…just dreaming…

  27. emergency mike 27

    Myself I thought it was a mess. The 30min slot was not enough. All three players were rushing to get their points and slogans in. Neither leader came over particularly well. Cunliffe had good points but struggled with the assertive/pushy borderline at times. While Key just sat there looking shifty and talking his usual drivel.

    While many of us grudgingly admitted that Hosking did an ok job in the previous debate, I thought his bias showed last night. He offered up leading questions that contained right wing spin (at one point he told Cunliffe as a matter of fact that his caucus didn’t like him), and interupted him while he was giving answers. Key was allowed to give full lengthy answers.

    Largely all this was the fault of there not being enough time. And we all know who said no to another 30mins.

    One thing that really annoyed me was when Key said that the Green party had last week “said that they were abandoning Labour”. They never said anything of the sort. When Cunliffe challenged that his justification was that “he can watch the news”, referring to last week’s ridiculous Slateresque media beat-up. His statement was of unqualified fact. It was a brazen outright lie.

    • blue leopard 27.1

      Good summary, Emergency Mike.

      I agree re Hoskings bias in this one.

      TVNZ had a huge range of more professional and balanced presenters to choose from.

      Their choice was an appalling one.

      As I said further up, this show really was a disgrace.

  28. Phat Psycho Hen Joky 28

    Public Media, The Perception Machine, The Rise of Managerialism,. Asymmetric Power and Normalisation of the Status Quo:

    The Question asked by RNZ that was never going to be allowed to be answered even though it knew it, itself.

    The question (hopefully the theme is correct) was asked by Kathryn Ryan on RNZ on the interview with Labour leader:

    Why is it that Labour are not doing so well in the polls even though they have well developed policy and the recent dirty politics and spying allegations against National?

    Would this be a question maybe that you don’t want to answer, because if you do, you’re in a bind. Wouldn’t you appear less than confident

    I was compelled as to why Kathryn could not elucidate on her own question, essentially, why is it that the perception machine is not working for labour, yet it is for National. This kind of question I thought would be bread and butter to the media machine and could answer its own question.

    Here is a go to answer it:

    Isn’t it obvious, Labour are competent, its just that National have years of infrastructure that have been put in place that is used to dominate perception (note that does not make Nationals argument right). In fact, it’s the halo effect, were big businessmen, say, you follow us and well be ok (please ignore the fact that even if you become more efficient we will still give you a poor pay rise).

    They appear to have the majority of the MSM (from news to TV shows basic programming etc) on their side, bloggers in their ranks, money, and the backing of big etc.

    They appear to have influenced the structure of RNZ and are now focusing on Maori TV. In other words, your all getting spoon feed from the same can even though it has different labels and different Nannies (Henry, Hoskins, Gower, Hooten, Some RNZ staff etc). The problem is, that your getting cat food. Years and years of being feed from these cans, you wont think anything else exists, and actually you won’t think.

    You will end up picking your politicians like your sports team. With the introduction of Henry and Hoskins, they are even now attempting to bolster (normalize) the infrastructure of Nationals media machine (how brilliant).

    Snoopman offers a great example here: http://snoopman.net.nz/2014/09/11/armed-with-microphones-part-ii-how-two-good-news-cops-from-two-major-tv-news-got-the-show-back-on-the-road-track-for-the-beleagured-national-party/

    “The different treatments in ‘paired examples’ of news stories, from a similar point in time, can reveal institutional allegiances and the underlying power relations, as described by American media scholars Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky in their book

    Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.[i]”

    From what I can gather of his analysis is, keep saying the same message, but do it through different organisations and experts that appear independent of the current government.

    Actually, aside, why is it that people like being spoon feed the news and never dig deeper (rhetorical question?)

    It appears as if there is a rise of Managerialism within the ranks of state funded broadcasting systems. Is it driven by National? I suspect so. From a brief review of the boards of RNZ and TVNZ you see themes develop, that is Banks, Alcohol, and Primary Industries etc. That seems to be the majority. Thats not even taking into consideration the boards of Fairfax, Herald, Dom Post, Research Institutes etc. Also if your own Government advisors and policy analysts don’t agree with you, just restructure or ignore.

    These same mangers keep popping up here and there, one week with a power company, the next with a radio station. It’s not so much that they don’t contribute, or are competent in their own way, its more that it is like a closed club of thought. Once you’re allowed in, and you follow the clubs meme, you’ll be ok mate. There are massive advantages to this. Also, some, not all, feed off the technically competent people for their ideas, sucking them dry before running off to their next victim. It becomes worse when democracy becomes involved.

    Willard F. Enteman points to the danger of Managerialism

    It transcends national boundaries, and what is more, ‘presents a lethal challenge to democracy because it discounts the importance of the individual in general and, more specifically, it discounts the importance of voting in regard to social choice.’”

    Remind you of recent changes to Maori TV anyone?

    So, how do you illustrate this, would it be good to maybe focus on the last public news stations that are seen to be non biased and analyze recent events to understand if perception is being manipulated, yes only a snapshot I agree.

    Is there is a little bit of canned laughter in the state of Denmark (public broadcasting)?

    Lets wind the clock back and see how the independent news develops.

    1. Kathryn Ryan interviews with Sir Bruce Ferguson (ex director GCSB) and then later Laila Harre (Tuesday 16 September 2014)

    2. last night’s TV debate between John and David (lets just analyse basic content)

    3. RNZ from about 06:30-12:00 and how last night’s debate (and associated agenda) affected the news etc.

    1. Kathryn Ryan interviews with Sir Bruce Ferguson (ex director GCSB) and then later Laila Harre

    Did you notice the difference in interviewing style of Kathryn with Sir Bruce Fergursion vs Laila Harre. From this perspective appeared to be more reverent and softly spoken with Sir Bruce, allowing him time to finish etc. It was like listening to someone who wanted approval from an authority figure. Although asking for definitions of mass surveillance etc, I don’t recall her asking how many of our Government staff and Private sector workers have been spied on and did you have access to historical data, or were you at the very least informed for 3rd parties?

    Contrast this with Kathryn’s interview with Laila, this was more irreverent and dogmatic in nature, interruptions etc, etc. The theme coming through was, oh, there is nothing new, no evidence, we expect this of our spies etc, its just normal, the SO Called (TM) Moment of Truth was a fizzer! You are the accuser Laila. At not one point was there any reference to the asymmetry in power, knowledge that the Brian would have over Laila Harre. What I find scary is the normalising of the argument. No asking, well hang on, if John Key uses the spies to further the TPPA, is that normal? Normalising bad events seem to be rife in the media.

    So lets play the normalisation game (normalise this – horrid example), About 120 million girls around the world – slightly more than one in 10 – have been raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 20,a UN report says.

    Is that normal? In one twist it may legitimate certain surveillance to rid this out of our world.

    Oh and aside, it backs up a recent politician’s speech, that men can be a bit horrid. Yes I know not all men.

    Or lets play

    All NZers data has been stored retrospectively such that at anytime 5 eyes members can access their data in order to? Oh I don’t know send them cheezels and candy canes with scratch and sniff Christmas cards. Its not a Panopticon with eyes that can see the past and predict the future.

    Is that normal?

    The problem is the governments and governance are in constant flux, they can be abused and abuse. There is a legitimate need for spying, however its the governance structures that need to be set in place that ensure we don’t have SIS suddenly being “involved” in events with a certain incumbent party. Its the fact they cant even say who had given certain authorizations even though they have world class spy systems. They cant even use X Keyscore to validate KDCs Moment of Truth e-mail.

    Is that normal? (Never mind the dirty politics and a certain National party)

    2. last night’s TV debate between John and David (lets just analyse basic content)17.09.2014 Wednesday Night

    The stage is set, spying is normal. We have the mighty non biased interviewer Mike Hoskin poised to ask the leaders in a long, long, long interview (0.5h) that will get to the heart of the matter, oh and the agenda set

    •Spying/Dot Com
    •Polls and coalition (clearly no time to talk policy, just about speculation of polls, no shifting in sand here)

    So thats going to address those issues of poverty, housing etc, oh wait a minute, its going to frame it. How could this be? So you frame the debate to ensure it sticks to something that is having almost no effect on the polls or essentially you cannot hold the Prime Minster to account as they time is too short, therefore never getting to grips with the issue (i.e. maintain status quo).

    Then better still you talk about the speculative polls and at no time do you examine or even talk about the key polices or differences in policy between National and Labour. At no point is National put under the spot light for their lack of policy? Nice, well done, who would that suit,. Hummmmm, no I’m lost.

    But wait, will this frame flow through to the morning news and current affairs on RNZ, I wonder if it did:

    3 RNZ from about 06:30-12:00. Rough summary (bits missing/could be wrong so check facts) sorted into themes (no particular order):

    SOUND BITES FROM DEBATE (no mention of after about 10:00)

    •First sound bite of the morning goes to Jk accusing Labour of going with KDC and internet Mana

    •Later DC gets a sound bit….something about Right Wing loonies

    •Suzie Ferguson gets in a comment about Lamb Chops from JK (cutting edge news there)

    •Overall (could be biased) JK seems to get more soundbite time

    •Income deficit rising (not necessarily a bad thing? Foreign companies making more money WTF)

    •6:30: Apparently Fonterra ditched by Daone (this is never mentioned again during the 6:30-12:00 spot but just quietly placed on RNZ site, oh how odd for such massive news)

    •Mention terrorist raid in Australia (i.e increase discussions on terrorist raid while reducing discussion on spying/Kim Dotcom scandal during the 6:30-12:00 spot, essentially end with no discussion about Snowden, all about bad Terrorists in Australia)

    •Get an expert to refute comment by Peter Sherwin from yesterday that the poverty gap was not increasing. That was good, but, in comparison this person was questioned more than Peter Sherwin, who practically had a free sound bite. Note, yesterday, Peter Sherwin was never challenged on why the Poverty Gap is not getting better, or why we shouldn’t have such a large gap (maybe another case of normalisation). Are we not getting more efficient, shouldn’t pay rise? Worse still this should have been in the debates (all 3). No reference to Richard Wilkinson’s work on increasing poverty GAP given this year.

    •Greens pushing for better Governance on spying

    Ask him about the polls and spying (would they change legislation) and why lastly you don’t think despite your best efforts your not wining. Don’t ask about Policy, except for that concerned with spying, ignore child poverty.

    If you were asked why are you not doing so well in the polls even though they have well developed policy and the recent dirty politics and spying allegations against National what would you reply

    I would personally say this

    Manufacturing Consent

    However, you cant…..

    Remember this:

    “The Normal is the good smile in a child’s eyes:-alright. It is also the dead stare in a million adults. It both sustains and kills-like a god. It is the Ordinary made beautiful: it is also the Average made lethal.

    Peter Shaffer, Equus

  29. Phat Psycho Hen Joky 29

    Oh, a few last comments
    Get all RNZ interviewers to talk about the polls incessantly, even, mention the process of polling (i.e speculate).

    Dont really talk about policy and constantly ignore NZ First and Labours reuqests that they wont discuss coalitions until after the election.

    Again, dont talk about policy and Nationals lack of

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