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Only on Planet Key

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, November 26th, 2014 - 16 comments
Categories: john key, national, uncategorized - Tags: ,

The Cheryl Gwyn report into the SIS release of information concerning the Goff briefings is a brave principled report. The Herald announced former Auditor General Kevin Brady as the New Zealander of the year in 2006 because he criticised Helen Clark’s pledge card. This year they should confirm Gwyn as the New Zealander of the year. Her bravery should be rewarded.

Her report is startling. Since when has the head of the SIS been told to apologise to a left wing (in the broadest sense of the term) politician? Name me one instance.

SIS head Tucker breached pretty well every rule the Public Service has. He declassified and disclosed to a National Party attack blogger misleading information during an election period which was then used to attack the credibility of Phil Goff. In the middle of a very tight election the head of the country’s security apparatus gave the right incorrect information that was used to attack the leader of the opposition. Maybe in a third world nation like Zimbabwe this would happen but in New Zealand? An apology three years down the line does not seem enough.

John Key’s response is desperate. He wants us to think that there was no link between his office and the attack on Goff. He says that the claim his office helped Slater with the OIA response is “contested”. This is an insult to Gwyn.  Her finding is clear. She reported that Slater received guidance and preferential treatment from Key’s office so that Goff could be smeared.

Who should we believe? Ede who deleted his emails to hide the evidence and gave Slater draft blog posts? Slater who Gwyn essentially accused of lying? Or Gwyn herself who has obviously dug deep into the evidence?

Here is the passage of the report where Gwyn essentially said that Slater was lying about having a source within the SIS to protect Ede:

214.  Mr Slater also later provided a series of emails to and from Mr Ede, in which Mr Ede expressed his concern that he “might be in the shit” over his use of the NZSIS information. Mr de Joux explained to the inquiry he was not happy Mr Ede had chosen to work through Mr Slater rather than mainstream media because it would create an unhelpful perception. Mr Slater’s email reply to Mr Ede was that he would simply state that he had an NZSIS source. In the context of Mr Ede’s evidence, I interpreted that email to mean that Mr Slater would claim to have an NZSIS source in order to protect Mr Ede.

Radio New Zealand had a poor start to yesterday’s news with Suzy Ferguson and Guyon Espiner claiming that the early release of the report’s conclusion was the same as the institutional use of the country’s security apparatus and the presentation of misleading evidence to undermine the political opposition. They are important parts of the nation’s media. They should not be parroting National attack lines. They should take lessons from Mary Wilson who nailed Key with as a direct a line of questions as you could ever ask for.

Today in Parliament presents an opportunity to ask Key what he means by “contested”. He should be asked if he believes Slater or accepts the findings of the Gwyn report. On Planet Key it may be that Slater is right and Gwyn is wrong. But Planet Key seems to be far away from reality.

Update: Question time in Parliament promises to be very interesting today.  Questions will include the following:

2.  ANDREW LITTLE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that parts of the Gwyn Report are “highly contested”; if so, which parts are contested and by whom?

4.  Dr MEGAN WOODS to the Prime Minister: Does he agree with Judith Collins that Cameron Slater “manufactured a story and he wanted to believe it” and the findings of the Chisholm Inquiry that Cameron Slater is “prone to exaggeration”?

16 comments on “Only on Planet Key ”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    We all need to adjust to the new paradigm, that a fact is only a fact if it is not “contested”. If it is “contested”, it is not a fact. And in the absence of facts, all is simply opinion. So it comes down to who you believe, who has the best spin, who can tell the best lies. Straight from Wall Street to Molesworth Street.

  2. Bill 2

    I believe JK when he says the link between his office and Slater is contested…of course it is!

    Here’s the thing though. It’s only contested by him.

    So, I have a question. If some thief had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar and then contested the link between missing cookies and themselves, would anyone even bother to mention their protest at the link being made? Maybe in passing. Maybe as a matter of ridicule.


  3. Anne 3

    John Key thinks that the finding by Cheryl Gwyn that his office helped Cameron Slater with his OIA request is “contested”. Who should we believe?

    The answer to that question lies in a special political interview with Mike Williams and Matthew Hooton just finished on RNZ.

    Both these commentators have been subjected to plenty of criticism on this site (including by me) but this morning they should be given full credit for their excellent analysis of events in the last 24 hrs.


    • Macro 3.1

      Totally agree Anne – Both were very fair in their analysis and the conclusion can only be that Key must take responsibility for this. He set up the system in the first place (removing himself from the direct workings with the SIS and placing a partisan in his place and extraordinary lax and irresponsible thing to do with the security of the country). For the system to then function in the way he obviously intended it too, should be no surprise to him. Indeed he confirms this when he says that he would not fire either of his minions for the actions they so obviously did do as he wanted (of course they are no longer in his service so he can’t).

  4. DoublePlusGood 4

    Well, to my mind Nicky Hager is the New Zealander of the year no contest. But Gwyn has done worthy work here too.

  5. Ashoka's Hell 5

    Mickysavage, you wrote:

    “Radio New Zealand had a poor start to yesterday’s news with Suzy Ferguson and Guyon Espiner claiming that the early release of the report’s conclusion was the same as the institutional use of the country’s security apparatus and the presentation of misleading evidence to undermine the political opposition. ”

    Guy and Sue used the same BS tactic when dirty politics came out. Their voices go all soft and compliant when there right wing friends come on the air. I suspect their eyes well up with tears in respect of their benefactors.

    When any left leaning commentators come on air Guy & Sue typically get all excited, scratchy and parochial.

    Maybe they could re-brand morning report as the Itchy and Scratchy Show?

    Listening to them is truly tortuous.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”

    Oscar Wilde.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    “..yesterday’s news with Suzy Ferguson and Guyon Espiner claiming that the early release of the report’s conclusion was the same as the institutional use of the country’s security apparatus ….”

    What is even more amazing is that they had no guests who supported this claim. So where did it come from, was there a government press release that touted such a fact?

    We all know that it really was backbround briefing by Key and or his press secretaries, but why dont they say , “the PM is saying ….”

    • lprent 7.1

      I happened to hear the end of it when they were reading feedback from emails. The feedback was aghast at their spinning…

      • Macro 7.1.1

        But Guyon was at it again when interviewing Little. Little prevaricated too much in my opinion on the matter. He should have shut up Espiner with
        “Look the issue of whether or not Phil Goff released some of the report before the embargo was lifted is neither here nor there with regards the substance of the report. I will talk to Phil later about that, but I am here to talk about a far more serious issue – namely the involvement of the Prime Minister and his office into the misuse of SIS information and the smearing of my predecessor immediately prior to an Election.”

        • Ashoka's Hell


          Nice I agree.

          Just keep itchy and Scratchy on task, sorry I mean Guyon and Sue.

          They love pushing people around, particularly those who are willing to consider other sides of the argument (decent people like Cullen with a sense of fairness).

          They use questions that are typically of little merit but undermine. A classic one they use is Johns childlike “But you do it to” (typically comparing not apples with apples but a goat).

          It’s like a cognitive pause or a blind side where for the interviewee thinks it through and the interviewer takes the heat of the main question (railroading them and making them look weak).

          Another trick RNZ does is report JKs sound bites because he’s too shit scared to be interviewed even by his devotees. RNZ et al, then just parrot it. It should be a policy of no show, no go…. Also timing of the news snippets…. very clever to help JK.

          So, yip, Little more of the ‘Cut the Crap” with Itchy & Scratchy (TM) and arses like the conjoined gerbil sisters Henry + Gower and that ajax sniffing arse Hoskins.

  8. Skinny 8

    Key will bat these questions off with ease as per usual. The Electorate allows him to shrug his shoulders with ‘so what who cares’. Only when the public switch off to him will he really be bothered.

    Just like they did during the election, the MSM play silly games of apply a bit of discomfort only to back right off and then turn in support of him. The tide will turn eventually and when it does Key will be off and gone to his friendly foe in America.

  9. Heather 9

    Life on planet Key is quite different from life in New Zealand. Key is almost completly removing himself from reality, he rambles and looses track of what he is thinking about, constantly and furtively looking around and trying to change to subject and content of the question.
    It is interesting how both the print media and TV are now showing him in more pictures looking rattled and furtive, this is a change from the past.
    Yes, question time will be interesting this afternoon. I am sure we will see another display of fire from Andrew Little.

  10. Tracey 10

    Key caught in another lie or as he put it another instance where he misunderstood the question…

    Asked about contact with slater in the past week he said no. Tv three obviously put it to him and said they documents showing he had… So, Key jogged back to parliament to say he did have contact with Slater but misunderstood the question.

    He is a liar or a dunce. Neither makes for a Prime Minister.

  11. Andrea 11

    Imagine if Key is playing for time, dragging things out until close of play at the end of the year while something else is slithering on underneath.

    It happened like that in the 1980s. It can too easily happen again. We’re such sweet innocent trusting citizens. ‘Trussst in me…’

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