Lying to win

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 pm, October 14th, 2008 - 64 comments
Categories: election 2008, helen clark, john key - Tags:

A narrow victory for Key in tonight’s TV1/Youtube debate.

A forum where he could repeat his tired slogans to his heart’s content suited him. No-one could pull him up on his lies, except Clark who, inexplicably, failed to do so. And when Clark spoke, Key just yelled his lines over the top of her.

That might come back to bite him though. Key didn’t want to repeat Brash’s mistake of appearing to treat Clark softly because she is female. Instead, he let out the nasty side in him, yelling, talking over the top. He seemed disrespectful; ‘I can talk over Helen for the whole debate if you let me Mark – it’s your call’, awful. That won’t play well with women (seems Tories can’t just treat women as they do men).

Clark was, as ever, on top of all the issues raised but failed to expose the lies and emptiness of what Key, whereas he had an attack, however dishonest, for everything she said.

Key failed to lay out that legendary ambitious and positive agenda, instead he was all slogans and the usual negative lines (how many times did he say ‘decade of deficits’?). If the question was ‘who showed they have what it takes to be Prime Minister? Key failed to make the case for himself. But that’s not the question in a debate. Key just had to land as many hits on Clark as possible, and he did that.

64 comments on “Lying to win”

  1. randal 1

    the nats always win phone in competitions. they are experts at be in the draw to win but nobeody ever finds out who won.

  2. milo 2

    As a site that has specialised in attacking, even defaming, John Key, your claim that he was lying to win has zero credibility.

    If a nine-year incumbent can’t defeat the newcomer on her own patch, in her own terms, we all know exactly what that means.

    [lprent: Yeah thats what I thought as well – pretty much of a draw.

    We don’t defame JK – that would imply that we lied (and you know how I feel about people saying that about us). We just enjoy pointing out the defects in his understanding of (well) just about everything, and the possible interpretations for the things that he doesn’t want to say (because Crosby Textor told him it’d be a bad idea to show what he really felt about the ‘punters’).]

  3. randal 3

    key lies like a flatfish. you have to lie to sell worthless bonds to gullible people. he is just very good at it.

  4. randal 4

    how else do you end up with $50,000,000 of someone elses money?

  5. spot 5

    After a while it all gets a little cringeworthy, particularly oth leaders interjections, but I guess that’s thew nature of the debate beast.

    Side comment – what was with the Springbok thing, from Soper for start, but then the PM’s ‘attempt’ to gain from it, not so sure.

    Good posts from SP on the ‘lies’ angle, I’ve not time to do the homework on it, so will take it at face value. Cynical doens’t even cover it, but I’m not naive enough to believe it isolated to Nats/Key.

    Look forward to Nov 5 ‘rematch’, but first, the endless drivel in tomorrow’s papers analysing the thing like it’s a test match. We’re going more and more US style by the day.

  6. Daveski 6

    Hell SP, even Helen isn’t bitter!

    Disrespectful

    Surely you jest? In a political debate with someone of the legendary skills and expertise of Helen, you expect Key to not interrupt?

    Frankly, I thought both leaders demonstrated a level of states(wo)manship by playing it tough without overdoing the personality stuff.

    Actually, if KB is anything to go by, there was almost universal surprise at how well Key had done given Helen’s standing.

    [KB is never anything to go by on anything. Debating respectfully is important, people are not just judging what you say but the type of person you are, including your manners. SP]

  7. IrishBill 7

    Steve, I think Key did better than you give him credit for. Occasionally he came across as too well fed on lines and his closing was weak but all round he kept it simple, stayed on message and ran attack lines hard and with few verbal errors. CT have done well.

    I also think Helen did a lot worse than she should have, especially on the economic issues. I think she misjudged the format and expected it to be more focused on presidential vision statements and so prepared wrong. It doesn’t take a PR genius to understand that a youtube debate will by its very nature be down-home in style.

    But Helen is not a PR genius (she’s not even close) and I saw a lot in this debate that showed how much she has moved away from taking PR advice on these sorts of issues in the last few years. Perhaps now she’ll listen.

  8. randal 8

    all keys did was to repeat certains words like health, education, and the economy ad infintium and not tell the truth about them. that is lying I believe. both by comission and omission and he appears to be very skillful at it

  9. Dean 9

    “A forum where he could repeat his tired slogans to his heart’s content suited him. No-one could pull him up on his lies, except Clark who, inexplicably, failed to do so. And when Clark spoke, Key just yelled his lines over the top of her.”

    How about Clark and her clanger?

    “”I’m sorry John, I’m sorry John …. you might be used to shouting people down at home….but you won’t be shouting me down”.

    SP, Surely you’ll be calling her to task over that outburst?

    Yeah, I thought not.

  10. Paul 10

    “A narrow victory for Key”

    Who, what, where? I must have been watching another channel. He looked like a vicar at a jamboree. I thought at one stage he was actually going to try a fake tear when talking about the state housing background and how hard it is (que the violins). Still he’ll lock up for good anyone from said background who commits crime.

    Key came across better than I thought, but it was based on lies, despite what Milo thinks. It’s those very lies as a basis for society which necessitates his prisons later down the track. If it’s good enough for him to lie, it’s good enough for the petty criminals to do so to, or the white collar criminals for that matter.

  11. lprent 11

    Dean: That is a simple statement of fact. John Key was trying to interrupt and shout over her whenever she said anything he didn’t want to hear. Pretty damn irritating and bloody stupid. Made him look like a jerk-off

    Helen eventually started to just talking over him when she was talking.

  12. milo 12

    Leaving aside the common and garden variety abuse typified on this thread, The Standard defamed John Key on June 4, 2008.

    [lprent: My birthday – who did this momentous deed. Probably a birthday present. So tell me milo why haven’t I seen the paperwork? Oh gee – possibly the truth? Or a reasonable interpretation. Please save your fingers and go and read Lange vs Atkinson about defamation and politicians. It is an interesting decision.]

  13. milo 13

    And for those of you concerned about politeness. Gah! Labour have raised “robust political debate” to a bullying art-form in question time. As you well know.

    Crikey, talk about a double standard.

  14. Dean 14

    IrishBill: You’ve been banned. Come back when your month is up.

  15. randal 15

    milo…call the cops!

  16. ghostwhowalks 16

    It seemed that Key was using the Telecom approach, when you are the underdog, then spread confusion, at times he seemed prepared to single handed to wreck any sort of civility by talking over Helen, past his time limit and interupting her pat pieces

  17. A victory to Key, and my take on it, was Helen was quite rude doing most of the yelling, while Key remain clam.

    I have said it a few times here, this election is about Labour getting it from being a landslide so they have a chance in 2011, because they cant win this election.

  18. milo 18

    lprent, randal. I get the point. You think it’s only wrong if you get successfully prosecuted. That’s the Heather Simpson school of electoral campaigning, isn’t it. Well, I pledge to hold myself to a higher standard

    [lprent: Actually you’re describing the Wishart school of thinking. The moron has it down to a fine art – often against friends of mine who aren’t politicians.
    However I’m following the courts decision about what constitutes legitimate debate and opinion about politicians. Improve yourself, read about the Lange vs Atkinson decision. It is the defining decision to give guidance about this matter.]

  19. ak 19

    Noddy did Rambo armed with only the usual “NZ Sucks” platitudes and a big can of “Fresh”. Rude and lightweight compared to solid and gracious.
    Called Sharples a liar – and if his “facts” get any scrutiny from the media, the slippery label becomes a tattoo. Bad start for the “trust me too” campaign.

  20. Lew 20

    BD: It’d be interesting to do a qualitative analysis of that. You know – count the words talked while the other person legitimately had the floor, or count ten-second blocks of shouting. Easily doable, just takes awhile.

    Not that it matters a damn against peoples’ gut.

    L

  21. Daveski 21

    SP What I meant by my comment was that he did better than his supporters expected.

    IB makes some valid points also.

    I think it’s reasonable to say that Key performed better than he was expected to while Helen perhaps underestimated the challenge.

    The next one will be really fascinating.

  22. milo 22

    lprent – so your defence is that’s it’s okay because you can’t be prosecuted. Hmmn.

  23. Jane Chalmers 23

    As a woman I found Key’s behaviour appalling. Any ideas I might have had to vote for him have gone out the window. He was disrespectful, a bully and kept interrupting. My rating for the debate is: Clark 8; Key 4; Sainsbury 0.

    J. Chalmers

  24. lprent 24

    nilo: No what I said was that the courts have defined what is permissible and acceptable. Tell me who else should I take guidance from – you? You don’t even know the law.

    BTW: June 4th. All JK has to do is to show what contributions he made to the National Party via the Waitemata and other anonymous trusts. But of course that would be illegal according to Nationals Electoral Act 1993. In the meantime the rumors will fly.

  25. Daveski 25

    As a woman I found Key’s behaviour appalling.

    What’s Helen’s gender got to do with it? We don’t do sexism or any of those other ism-schisms here at the Standard.

  26. milo 26

    Gee Jane, you should see the Prime Minister sneering and yelling in parliament, the Deputy Prime minister making homophobic insinuations about opposition MPs, and the general abuse and thuggery from Labour. Why, a senior minister even punching an opposition MP, and telling smearing lies about a whistleblower.

    If you are making up your mind based on polite behaviour, Labour just have to go.

  27. higherstandard 27

    Goodness for the SP to grudingly admit Key did OK suggests to me the PM got a bit of a hammering in your real opinion.

    Jane

    Did you vote for Don Brash in 2005 then ?

    What did you think of Helen Clark’s comment on Key shouting down people at home ?

    Have you never watched parliamentary question time or political debates before – this was verging on the staggeringly polite.

  28. milo 28

    lprent – the allegation was not that he donated something, but that he bought something. That’s quite difference. Remind me, what was The Standard’s position on trusts and donations again? What have you said on that topic recently

  29. higherstandard 29

    IB are you touting for business ?

  30. randal 30

    and now the kreeps from twiedmee onions are going on about one the wife of one of tonights panel in their nasty mean spirited way that seems to hang around the national party like the stench of a cesspit and that is no lie.

  31. Lew 31

    Jane: That’s an interesting perspective. What did you think of Don `I didn’t want to interrupt a woman’ Brash?

    L

  32. higherstandard 32

    Plain english please Randal – or provide a dictionary so those of us unfamiliar with your terminology can translate.

  33. Lew 33

    HS: Or you could just ignore him like most of us do.

    L

  34. lprent 34

    Yes milo, but the mechanism used in either case is protected by electoral law.

    My position (the standard is a machine) is that there should be NO anonymous donations to politicians or political parties above a trivial level. I’ve repeated that every time that the topic has been raised. I don’t like them and I think that they are terrible for democracy.

    However when I see the coal range calling the kettle black. ie National and Act (millions of dollars per year) attacking Winston using an anonymous trust.(thousands of dollars) that is just hypocritical. When they open the books and show exactly who they have received money from and we tally it up against National (and Act) policies, then I’ll consider that I may be wrong. In the meantime I’ll assume that both parties are massively corrupt.

    Most of the people on the right who attacked that moron Winston are mostly hypocrites as well. There were very few that were attacking the use of the trusts themselves.

    Is that clear enough for you..

  35. Felix 35

    hs,

    read “twiedmee onions” as “trademe opinions” and the rest will make sense. It’s where nats go when they find kiwibog too pc.

  36. Barb 36

    Only a rude, arrogant person would say “I can talk over Helen for the whole debate if you let me Mark – it’s your call”. He never listened and whenever Helen was making strong, relevant points he would interject, talk over and drown her out with his senseless prattle. If a woman carried on like that, she would be called a ‘flibberty jibbet’! No way does this man have the potential to lead this country – terrifying stuff!

  37. GPT 37

    Key did very well against an extremely accomplished politician. The reality is that anything close to a draw was going to be a win for Key. Not sure why you focus on Key interrupting Clark. She started the tactic and looked like she was winning on that point. Qudos to Key for coming back. Both used stats as they liked (remember Clark saying Australia’s top rate is higher than NZ – but ommitting to mention when it kicked in). On the environment Clark spun big time – she actually answered the question what is sustainable with, amongst other things, sustainability! Good win for Key.

  38. milo 38

    lprent – I agree. I’m against anonymous donations too.

  39. randal 39

    yep there’s scum and there’s scummerer

  40. Daveski 40

    Thanks Felix … I had no idea otherwise which is par for the course for randal. If I was LP I’d ban him just to hope he ends up at KB 😉

    [lprent: I ban or moderate for particular types of behavior – ie for a reason. It is rare for randal to get even close to the types of disruptive behaviors we look for. I can’t think of anytime he has been moderated by me. From vague memory, he has just told to back off a few times by other moderators. Hell – he gets into the debate and even brings up some interesting perspectives sometimes IMO. ]

  41. Akldnut 41

    Daveski “What’s Helen’s gender got to do with it? We don’t do sexism or any of those other ism-schisms here at the Standard.”

    Jane was talking about herself not Helen , you should’ve finished it off “As a woman I found Key’s behaviour appalling.”

  42. randal 42

    there they go again…telling people what to do. they just cant resist. its in their nature to lean on anybody they can.

  43. ape08 43

    I think she is gone… IMHO.

  44. Moron 44

    67% to Key on the TV1 poll!! Not surprisingly I see most of you are like, “Well of course he was going to win!” Not what I’ve been reading on this blog up till tonite.

    You guys reak of yesterday.

  45. tony norriss 45

    Key’s main advantage was that he was able to connect with the average person. Clark came across as an academic stuck in an ivory tower.

    I don’t know if there is much she can do about this anymore than Key could put on the academic personality. I think she is in trouble in this respect.

  46. lprent 46

    Essentially Key didn’t screw up. That counts as a win for him. But this is the first debate, and now the bar gets raised for his next one. The first one is always about personality for a new party leader – are they a no-hoper. That is a free ride if they pass that test.

    It was a bit disappointing that he didn’t trip over his own feet. But hey, we didn’t expect it to be a free ride to a 4th term for the left.

    Now the fun begins. Three and a bit weeks to go

  47. Sharkbait 47

    Well, OK Key did good tonight. He stayed on message and his lines were more appealing than Helen’s intellectual approach.

    I am bothered though that the commentary seems to be that Key won because he did better than expected – against very low expectations – whereas Helen did well but only as well as we’ve come to expect.

    Hang on. Do we want a Prime Minister we don’t really expect much from? Will we be satisfied with our country being led and represented overseas by someone from whom we expect so little that stringing a few lines together seems impressive.

    Given what the global economy may have in store for us over the next few years, perhaps we need to lift our expectations of our potential leaders.

  48. Key surprised me. It’s the first time I’ve seen him thinking on his feet. To accuse him of shouting over the Tsarina is a bit thick. Rerun the video and see who started the interruptions.

    They’re both away with the fairies. The last thing we need right now is a spend-up – apart from infrastructure projects to keep the economy from going down the gurgler.

    We have three problems:

    1. productivity,
    2. productivity,
    3. and productivity.

    Everything springs from GDP. Ours is pathetic. That’s why our health system is broken. That’s why we can’t pay for Herceptin.
    That’s why we have pathetic roads, police and defence.

    The average person in Luxembourg earns 2.5 times as much as the average Kiwi. Greece and Spain were basket cases not long ago. Now they’ve overhauled us in per capita income. Portugal will soon knock us down a peg or two if they haven’t already. Not long ago Slovenia was a sleepy Jugoslavian province. Now they’re richer than we are and climbing.

    We’re falling. What are these leaders on either side of the debate offering that will do anything to change that?

    Bugger all.

  49. “That’s why our health system is broken. That’s why we can’t pay for Herceptin.”

    No, the health system isn’t broken, and the reason we can pay for herceptin is because there are other more cost effective drugs that the money is better spent on.

  50. insider 50

    My what sensitive souls Barb and Jane are. Imagine their palpitations at haters and wreckers, cancerous and corrosive, chinless scarf wearers and feral inbreds. If Key was terrifying these were almost apocalyptic.

    Lamest thing on the night – the three media panelists. What was the point in having them interject totally out of context questions? Wouldn’t it have been more sensible for them to have set up a discussion or probed on one of the public questions. Completely ruined the flow for me.

  51. DS 51

    >>>67% to Key on the TV1 poll!! <<<

    Let’s see: a self-selecting poll, which allowed multiple voting, and where a single vote cost almost $1 to make.

    If you think that poll was anything other than a hyped-up media tactic to get people to keep watching TV1, there’s a bridge in Sydney I’d like to sell you.

  52. DS 52

    Oh yes, and Sainsbury was a joke.

  53. radar 53

    I would love to know why the Prime Minister insinuated that John Key shouts at his wife and kids. What an appalling thing to say. Clark appears most comfortable when arguing from the gutter.

  54. Tit Mouse 54

    Sorry, I think I have stumbled into a left wing ,union funded , labour think tank.
    Talk about unbalanced. Thank God most Labour voters have no idea how to use the website…other than you bunch of socialist commentators. Very sad and valueless webspace wasted.

    [lprent: It isn’t union funded. It is paid for and run by me – just paid the munificent bill of $170 last night. Read the About and the Policy (you know how to read?) if you want to comment here.

    Don’t repeat accusations that I’m lying on my site unless you want to find out about the methods of tolerance of an ancient geek. Personally I don’t think you can cut it here. I think your standard is too low.]

  55. Hold on Tit Mouse and watch out for the Standard rat trap and smelly cheese…..ya got my drift dude…cheers m8

  56. randal 56

    titmouse…the owners of this site are very polite but I am not so why dont you piss off!

  57. randal 57

    anyway back to the debate. New Zealand is a very small country filled with people with big expectations and natoinal politicians that know they are making promises that cant be fulfilled. all they can do is redistribute taxes in their favour and they are doing everything in their power to hide that fact

  58. DeeDub 58

    Sorry TitMouse. This blog makes no claim to be any more balanced than any right wing site you care to name . . . the ‘socialist commentators’ here make no secret of their allegiances or agendas. Unlike your pals at National Party headquarters, who are busy appearing moderate and calm whilst all the while planning to unleash a neo-con, ideological nightmare on an unsuspecting NZ public.

    THIS ‘Labour voter knows how to use the website’ and he also knows how to spread the word about National’s nefarious plans in the real world. And there are many thousands of people like me, buddy!

    As for the ‘union funded’ accusation….. pathetic.

  59. Lampie 59

    “Sorry, I think I have stumbled into a left wing ,union funded , labour think tank.
    Talk about unbalanced. Thank God most Labour voters have no idea how to use the website other than you bunch of socialist commentators. Very sad and valueless webspace wasted.”

    what a excellent contribution you made to it too

  60. Paul Robeson 60

    What a hateful poorly moderated debate.

    Instead of taking one point and arguing the point in an allotted time they are shouting each other down.

    Clark got clearly rattled when Key did this for the first time. She didn’t expect it.

    The Youtube gimmick is appalling.

    I enjoyed watching the first Obama/McCain debate. It marginally restored my faith in the process of democracy. Each candidate had time to speak and was rebuted. When they drifted off topic the moderator brought them back.

    This debate needed someone with the skills of Mike Hosking or some other strong and sharp moderator who had at least studied the topics half as much as the candidates.

    Rubbish, and painful to watch.

  61. Paul Robeson 61

    Okay so I had only watched the first segment when I said that.

    I don’t like how the shot is set up either.

    They shot of Key is much more symmetrical, and has him in the centre of the frame, which gives the impression of him being much more balanced. Key is set up on our screen, his eyes looking left to right, like we read. It looks more natural.

    Am I being too picky here? The camera angle does move around a little, and Key is more relaxed (Some of his iffy morality has probably helped him sleep better).

  62. randal 62

    thats right PR. TV1 is getting creepier and creepier as they pull every slimy trick out of the bag that they can. TV1 has begun to think it is the guardian of the nation. i.e. democracy personified but they are just another gang. It will be time to do something about them after the election

  63. Paul Robeson 63

    randal?

    I don’t understand if you are being serious or if you are a laying on sarcasm like honey on bird-trap toast.

  64. Paul Robeson 64

    Key did a better job than he has done before. He looked relaxed, he explained many of his policies clearly, and he came up with a few lighter moments that still made his point.

    The youtube format didn’t allow for an extended followup on everything said, and to really iron out each issue.

    There seemed to be little or know mention of employment policy, except in the Kiwisaver bit.

    There were a few rebuttals Helen could have made. I felt particularly when Key mentioned the fresh things he would bring. The question asked for specifics. He was vunerable there I thought.

    Helen also is not the smiling new leader of 1999, or the fantastic prime minister of 2002 who just had every piece of information about the minutest detail at her recall against the journalist panel.

    Perhaps what she really needs to do is to take a day off before the next debate! or half a day off.

    Then she needs to be able to cut through Key’s waffle, with the actual results of his policies-

    ‘Are you wishing exam trauma on 6 year olds John? If being a new entrant in a school wasn’t daunting enough, you want to foist on them – which incidentally will create a whole lot of new bureaucracy- you want to foist on the worry of passing or falling at the age of 6. Teacher’s don’t like it. It is wrong and does nothing to help children learn or develop a love of learning. We want to create a desire to go to school not scare them away.’ Or some such.

    When he brought up the tough on criminals thing. It will have absolutely no effect in the first term. Key was happy to quote a Herald headline- Clark could have quoted a Herald editorial back at him- his policy does nothing to address rehabilitation and will only make criminals more likely to re-offend.

    Key got away with a lot of New Zealand bashing. Hopefully the second debate will be longer and we will see that the emperor has no clothes.

    It was distressing to see the trade off that Labour has made in their integrity. The tough on crime guff, where a man has been arressted for assault with a hockey stick. A former police man retracted his public complaint about this arrest and will wait for due process. If it is good enough for Winston Peters why not here?

    Also on climate change Clark could have been on the front foot. I thought Key stung her with the fair enough point that Labour has been timid on climate change. She could have listed National’s record. They have consistently not believed in it, voted against a raft of measures to help- including carbon tax, the emissions trading scheme and they will disestablish the insulation fund.

    She needs to do much better in the second debate and bring back the Helen we know and love. Relaxed, confident- speaking from a strong personal conviction, sharp on every point and in full possession of every detail. Remind the country why she has been able to make a strong government from many different parties over 9 years, and why she should continue for at least 3 more.

    Her opponent just got more significant. Time to take him seriously, but not too seriously!

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