The standup that John Key did with the press, the day after the launch of Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, is one which John Key was trying to repeat his hastily prepare spin lines of denial, denial, denial. He made various claims, some of which already have been shown to be incorrect. Key is very often slippery with his wording, appearing to say something, while leaving a little wriggle room to deny he actually stated that point.
So I have started transcribing TV3’s video of the standup, in order to compare what Key said then, with what has unfolded since. If nothing else, it may show how Key spins certain lines, while leaving a certain amount of ambiguity.
This post contains a transcript of the first 5 minutes of the video.
It’s very interesting to see how Key seems to be claiming Cameron Slater’s credibility is higher than Nicky Hager’s. Actually he doesn’t quite state that,, but implies it. He keeps falling back on what Slater has said publicly, without giving any reason why we should believe Slater, more than we should believe what Hager has written in his book.
In this section of the video, Key responds to allegations in Hager’s book, about the accessing of private details on Labour Party website; and allegations of Slater being given privileged treatment with respect to OIA requests for information from the SIS.
TRANSCRIPT OF TV3s video of John Key’s press standup,
Thursday 14 August: ‘John Key talks Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics‘ – Part One: 0- 4.57 minutes.
INTERVIEWER: Handed information over to Whale Oil. What do you make of that?
KEY: No, I don’t think that’s correct. What we’ve seen is a typically Nicky Hager book. I mean, quite frankly, full of baseless allegations and theories which don’t stand up. In my view t’s a, there’s a reason Nicky Hager released the book at 5 o’clock last night, and that’s because he didn’t want people who are in the book, to actually critique it, and to be able to put their side of the story before the 6 o’clock news.
And look frankly, if there’s dirty politics in New Zealand, it’s actually coming from the left. If you look at the left, they don’t want to talk about the issues that actually matter to New Zealanders. So what we’ve had from them this week, ah, we’ve had Dotcom putting up a video f young people chanting we’ve had effigies being burnt and displayed on the internet, we’ve had billboards being wrecked, We’ve had a parody out there on the thing. And now we’ve had this book of baseless allegations.
INTERVIEWER: Would that’s fine, but but you’ve got communications from Jason Ede to Whale Oil, to Cam Slater, talking about campaign politics and tactics. And he sits in your office.
KEY: Well for a start off: A – he works for the National Party. B- yeah he’s a communications research guy, and of course he talks to blogs, he talks to a number of blogs, just in the same way that we talk to you the media. They are just another form of the modern media. And actually the modern media – the media ask us questions about things that are on blog sites all the time. That’s pretty standard practice. There’s nothing untoward that’s happening. There’s a couple of major allegations that Hager’s made that are completely and utterly wrong.
INTERVIEWER: Which are?
KEY: Well, A: National’s been nowhere near Labour’s website. As I said, Mr Slater made it quite clear this morning that he found the way in there, and that’s because it was completely open and they didn’t have any protection on it. Nothing to do with National. In terms of the SIS, I had made comments about that Israeli position. I said that Mr Goff was briefed. Mr Goff refuted that. They are in the public domain. Then what happened was that the head of the SIS said that he’d briefed them. So that was why an OIA request was put in. It was nothing to do with my office.
INTERVIEWER: But Hager has emails showing that Jason Ede was talking about trolling through the Labour Party website.
KEY: Yeah, well that’s not correct. It’s nothing
INTERVIEWER: Are you saying those emails are false?
KEY: Well I’m saying it’s nothing to do with us. What happened was, Mr Slater’s made it quite clear on his website today, that in fact it was nothing to do with the National Party.
INTERVIEWER: The IP address went back to your office.
KEY: No I don’t think that’s right. It’s nothing to do with our office.
END PART ONE
It’ interesting to compare the guy standing behind Key’s left shoulder in the video, with this tweeted image:
Key takes to the screens to diffuse allegations of dirty politics with a prominent tobacco lobbyist in frame lol
Update: SIS has responded to the allegations, (allegedly) supporting Key’s version of the events
Tracey commented that the SIS doesn’t fully support Key’s statements.