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Parsing John Key on TPPA

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, August 17th, 2015 - 72 comments
Categories: john key, making shit up, Media, slippery, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, winston peters, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , ,


John Key was interviewed this morning by Paul Henry on TV3.  The interview was cringeworthy.  The complete lack of independence shown by Henry and the obsequious nature of his treatment of Key were a joke.  Winston Peters has criticised Mike Hosking for being a National Party stooge and has said that the cost of his show should be counted against National’s electoral advertising.  The same comment applies to Paul Henry.  Our media is in a shocking state.

Key’s comments were reported in this article and shows Key at his disingenuous best.  And some parsing of his comments suggests that his comments are not, ahem, accurate.

Prime Minister John Key says protesters against a Pacific-wide free trade deal were misinformed.

Like when opponents said that Pharmac would be gutted and this was denied until recently?  And much of the heat has been generated because of the lack of information about the negotiations.

… Key said the protesters, only about one-third of which he said were “genuine”, were adamant they should know what the TPP involves before negotiations had been wrapped up.

“Name a single free trade agreement we’ve ever done in the public,” he asked on TVNZ’s Breakfast.

You mean that all sorts of WTO negotiations, or negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement were also conducted in complete secrecy?  And the European Union Ombudsman has recommended release of similar documents from the US-EU negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

And accusing two thirds of those who took part in the protest of not being genuine is insulting.

… Key said one-third of those were rent-a-crowd protesters who opposed any free trade deal and another third were Labour and Green supporters who opposed anything the Government did.

Funny I did not see people with clipboards at the Auckland protest determining who were “genuine”, who were “rent a mob” and who were Labour and Green supporters.  Perhaps since he knows so much John Key could advise where we can get our rent a crowd payments from?

Reports that Pharmac, the Government’s drug supplier, would be disestablished under the TPP were simply not true, he said.

“Pharmac will still be able to carry on with its own policies.”

Another false flag argument.  The concerns raised are that the Pharmac model, which has delivered significant savings in the cost of drugs, will be adversely affected.  This will either make the cost of buying pharmaceuticals more expensive for the country or the quality of what is available will drop or both will occur.  National’s position has changed.  Of course Pharmac will be affected.

The media is in a bad way with such openly partisan hacks as Henry and Hosking occupying such important positions.  Because it is the media’s most important job to hold John Key to account when he says stupid things.  Clearly as today’s example shows the media is not doing this at this stage.

To paraphrase Winston Peters both Hosking’s and Henry’s jowls are up the Prime Minister’s cheeks and the quality of public debate is clearly suffering.

72 comments on “Parsing John Key on TPPA ”

  1. Graeme 1

    “… Key said one-third of those were rent-a-crowd protesters who opposed any free trade deal and another third were Labour and Green supporters who opposed anything the Government did.”

    So the other third were National supporters. Like they’re the genuine people….


    • Charles 1.1

      If 2/3 of the protestors were genuine Green/Labour supporters and/or by definition genuinely “opposed anything the government did”, and one third were “genuine” protestors, then 3/3 of the protestors were genuine. It’s possible a sixth of the non-partisan could have been misinformed, since the rest had no need to know either way and still be genuine. But that would allow up to a sixth of them to have been “informed” of secrets no one knows and yet they protested anyway.

      So given the rough numbers of protestors at the events, there could be a minimum 600 non-governmental people who know the contents of the TTPA negotiations. This government has a serious leak!

    • Chooky 1.2

      I seem to recall anti- Springbok Tour protesters were put down and called “rent-a- crowd” and “communists”

      ….didn’t alter the facts one iota

      ….and John key went to Nelson Mandala’s funeral ( while at the same time throwing insults at Hone Harawira, who genuinely was a brave protester and anti – apartheid…John Key of course could not remember which side he was on or even the Springbok Tour apparently)

      these name callers are full of shi..te

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “Pharmac would be gutted”

    I don’t think the changes we are aware of would rise to the level of ‘gutting’ Pharmac, which figuratively means being a shell of it’s former self.

    Pharmac will still exist; all the existing cheap medication will stay cheap. The amount of drugs it can buy based on its current funding model will decrease; one estimate I heard (from a group of medical professionals against the TPPA, on Morning Report on Tuesday or Wednesday of the week the Hawaii negotiations were going on) is that it would cost an extra $50M for each year of patent extension. Now, that’s not tiny pocket change, but nor is it going to destroy pharmac.

    Of course since the whole thing is secret, there could be much worse provisions that we don’t know about.

    • Richard@Down South 2.1

      How many years will they seek though? Currently its only 3 years from what I understand… what if they rounded it up to 10, or 20… or what about RIAA/MPAA Level copyright, 70 years

    • Sacha 2.2

      The main damage to Pharmac is not patent extension but the crowbarring open of its prioritisation process and the power under ISDS for big pharma companies to use legal challenges against purchasing decisions they don’t like.

      They have wanted to undermine Pharmac for many years lest other nations copy the model. And guess who has been at the table helping write the TPP..

      • dukeofurl 2.2.1

        I think you have hit the core issue there Sacha.

        We can see the advertising that Big Pharma do on TV ( as NZ is like US which allows advertising of pharmacy only medicines) where they run down the generics and tell people they can ‘insist’ of the drug thats ‘right for you’.
        So there is push back against Pharmac allowing competition to existing medicines , so Its certain they will push back in the courts to when existing medicines are dropped for cheaper versions

        • northshoredoc

          NZ and the USA allow advertising of prescription medicines, most countries allow advertising of pharmacy medicines.

          I’m not sure about the USA but the only prescription medicines i’ve seen advertised in NZ recently are for asthma.

          • dukeofurl

            Not long ago it was advertising for a anti depressant ‘branded’ against a generic.
            A bit longer back , when Viagra came out it was quite cleverly advertised- there were some bathroom sinks that ‘deflated’.
            But of course viagra has moved to pharmacy only not prescription only

          • tricledrown

            not many countries allow advertising by pharmacuetical companies.
            many perscription and non perscription medicines are advertised putting pressure on patients to ask their doctors!
            corruption govts should ask those companies to reduce the price of the medicines by not advertising putting that money they spend on advertising towards reducing percription costs.

      • Tracey 2.2.2

        Pharmac’s business plans and methods of pricing have been passed over by our Government to our potential partners as part of the secret negotiating process. THAT kind of information is “die in the ditch” stuff in the commercial world. TPP or no TPP overseas pharmas have the info to begin to undermine Pharmac…

        • northshoredoc

          PHARMAC’s plans and methods of pricing aren’t secret, they publish them on their website.

          • Tracey

            hmmmmm…. am sure I read something about it in the last leaks and it didn’t relate to readily available information BUT it could have been misrepresented to beat up the story by those opposed to TPP, so thanks for the correction. Or I didn’t listen properly.


            • Tautoko Mangō Mata

              Tracey, could this have been what you had read?

              “The Annex sets out a series of principles and procedures by which agencies like Pharmac must operate. They are designed to give the pharmaceutical industry more influence over its decisions and break down the procedures and budgetary cap that makes Pharmac so effective.

              According to Professor Kelsey, Pharmac is the most exposed of any programme in a TPPA country, especially since it assumed responsibility for medical devices as well as pharmaceuticals.

              While the ‘transparency’ Annex is not enforceable by other states, there are numerous ways the US and the pharmaceutical companies can force New Zealand to make changes that would seriously undermine Pharmac’s effectiveness and workability.

              The most immediate is the certification process, where the US can refuse to bring the TPPA into force in relation to New Zealand until Pharmac’s regulations and procedures are changed to meet what the US says the Annex requires.”


    • Tracey 2.3

      This is what Key and his advisors do. They lie about what people have claimed and then show the people were wrong to claim that, even though they didn’t.

      Interesting that he feels the need to address the issues raised (or imagined to be raised by him) by these disingenuous people…

      AND there goes a National person who knows better. It is NOT a FTA it is much more than that… and no one corrects him, not like we correct Wayne here!

    • Pat 2.4

      It would appear a little more “gutting” than the Government of the day (read tax payers) having to reallocate increased resources to Pharmac, and remove that funding from somewhere else…the other consequences i.e. legal challenges could potentially have a far greater impact. The purpose and effectiveness of the Pharmac model could well be termed to be gutted.



  3. Detrie 3

    Both the TVNZ and TV3 interviews were hopeless, although TVNZ version started by stating that the thousands over the weekend were obviously not the ‘rent a mob’ but genuinely concerned individuals. However no awkward questions followed, ending with a discussion of the PMs view of the weekend rugby game. Good grief….

    I guess we get the politicians and PMs we deserve, this one sadly being little better than a used car salesman. At least car salespeople are selling real items, not money itself.

    • Stephen Dickson 3.1

      Who actually owns our media? Because quite frankly our media are an embarrassment and indeed need to be held accountable themselves.

      • maui 3.1.1

        Not sure but whoever they are, they’re fucking assholes. Democracy and balance in what they do are long gone and it’s increasingly rubbed in our faces.

        • In Vino

          Our media have been handed over to the marketing industry because that is how we are stupid enough to fund the media. In how many other countries would the CEO of supposedly State-Owned (‘Enterprise’) TVNZ be a man from the bloody marketing industry?

  4. rhinocrates 4

    Question for Hosking and Henry: does it taste salty or sweet – or does it taste like nothing at all?

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      cheek by jowl used to have a different meaning!

    • Anno1701 4.2

      ouch !

    • NZJester 4.3

      It would taste of nothing at all as he is so hollow and disingenuous on the inside. But they are most likely getting a placebo effect that makes them think that it tastes sweet, because he told them it would!

  5. Its really not much good depending upon the media.

    It is the Labour Party’s job to confront John Key.

    Let’s face it, they’re hopeless at that job.

    Even I can see so much that Key could be pulled up on but the Labour Party just can’t seem to engage on the issues that matter.

    Who ever is in charge of strategy needs a good arse kicking.

    • rhinocrates 5.1

      The truth is, in their tiny little hearts and in their tiny little minds, the front benches don’t oppose the government. I’d say that they’re simply going through the motions of being an opposition, but they’re pretty immobile.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.2

      ah the smell of fake concern in the afternoon, thanks for that Rodbeater, it is actually wider participation and activism like the weekend marches that will make a difference

    • Tracey 5.3

      if Hosking and Henry won’t report or challenge, how will the public KNOW if Labour is challenging the assertions. For example, the false assertion by Key that TPP is like other FTA’s. It’s not, that is part of the point.

      • Redbaiter 5.3.1

        OK let’s assume that is true.

        That the two little MSM gnomes Hosking and Henry are a big part of confronting Key with an alternative and informed viewpoint.

        If so, then where do they get the information they need to construct this alternative viewpoint?

        Are you depending upon them to seek it out? If so then you’re doomed because they’re both lazy uniformed political noobs and they’re never going to do it.

        They know about ratings and that is all.

        There’s only one way Hosking and Henry are going to become informed about alternative views (to those of John Key) and that is if the Labour party makes those views well known. In parliament and other places.

        They’re not doing it.

        • Tracey

          yeah they are. In question time every session. It is a fallacy that they are NOT challenging this government. They are sometimes reported and sometimes not. BUT Labour talking in parliament will NOT make Henry or Hosking say to Key “but this is different to all those other FTA’s PM.”

          “There’s only one way Hosking and Henry are going to become informed about alternative views (to those of John Key) and that is if the Labour party makes those views well known. In parliament and other places.”

          On what basis do you consider Hosking and Henry want to become informed about a viewpoint that challenges their own view of the world? My evidence that they don’t, is that, well, they don’t.

          • NZJester

            Hosking and Henry could have easily got informed by looking at the facts that are easily available. But unless it is something coming to them filtered through the National part first they are closing their eyes and plugging their ears and going “nah nah nah nah nah”.

            John key quotes facts that sounds to good to be true and they will not ask him for his source of information to back up the claim. A member from another party not aligned with National quotes facts and they demand to know where they got the source of their information from so that they can be checked out.

            The MSM are demanding the highest of standards from or opposition parties but not demanding the highest of standards from the Government. A fair and balanced media should be demanding the highest of standards from everyone including themselves!

  6. Karen 6

    Muldoon always used to claim the majority of those taking part in protest marches were “paid political protestors.” Never worked out who was supposed to be paying.
    He also would do his best to personally demean anybody spoke out against his policies, particularly if they were an academic.

    Key is just singing from the old National Party songbook, and on this issue Matthew Hooton is doing all he can to help by trying (unsuccessfully) to damage Jane Kelsey’s credibility.

    • rhinocrates 6.1

      Does he have her address?

    • rhinocrates 6.2

      Does Hoots have her address?

    • rhinocrates 6.3

      Does Hoots have her address?

      • rhinocrates 6.3.1

        Ach, buts in uploading, sorry for the repeat. Can someone remove the redundant ones?

    • Tracey 6.4

      It amsues me that Kelsey, they say, is to be dismissed cos she has never supported a single FTA YET they are all full of credibility despite none of them EVER opposing a single FTA…

      Deep down I suspect a few (Mapp, Key, etc) are intimidated cos Kelsey probably is WAY more informed on what the TPP implications are than they are.

  7. Blue Horsehoe 7

    NZ has been stitched up in what could only be described, as a deliberate operation

    Heartbreaking stuff

  8. georgy 8

    Classic Crosby-Textor speak by Key on TV1 and 3.

    • NZJester 8.1

      Classic Crosby-Textor speak just by Key? You do have to wonder if they also wrote some of the interviewers questions for him as well!

  9. Tracey 9

    I AM NOT a rent-a-crowd. I don’t hate everything this government does, but I do strongly object to them signing us up to the TPP. I guess simple concepts are tough for Shohn Key?

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 9.1

      What about rent-an-MP? There’s a whole party of them and these are the ones who are going to ratify this “agreement” .

    • Keith 9.2

      @Tracey; “I don’t hate everything this government does”

      But I surely hate everything about this governments constant dishonesty!

    • Rodel 9.3

      Rent a crowd? No..it’s ‘rent a sycophant’ Hoskings, Henry and a few others make it the real’ rent a crowd’.

  10. Chooky 10

    re “To paraphrase Winston Peters both Hosking’s and Henry’s jowls are up the Prime Minister’s cheeks and the quality of public debate is clearly suffering.”

    ….disgusting really

    GO Winnie!

    • rhinocrates 10.1

      To quote Lenny Henry, “If you can say ‘fuck’, then you can’t say ‘fuck the government'”.

      Deliberately vulgar language undermines the ‘dignity’ of politicians. An interesting historical fact is that of course after printing was invented in Europe, it was used to spread porn… which was really often political satire depicting nobles and clerics in compromising activities – which was why it was banned of course.

      Stanley Kubrick did the same in Dr Strangelove depicting politicians and military officers as having weird sexual obsessions.

      The enforcement of ‘good taste’ is the refuge of the corrupt and insecure.

  11. Gosman 11

    Even the recent changes on the drugs issue that have been discussed doesn’t suggest Pharmac will be ‘gutted’ (whatever that value laden term actually means in this context). The most that was mentioned is that new tpyes of drups would have longer patent protection. What this means is that it would take longer before Pharmac could source the generic alternative. In essence this is likely to increase the cost for Pharmac in the long term. If this is accompanied by increased funding then what is the problem?

  12. peterh 12

    Why do you think Sky City. give Henry & Hoskings $50.000 a year

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    Key’s latest “people want me to build a fence”

    No you STUPID ARROGANT GIT – you are temporarily manning our border control and when you’re gone (which can’t come soon enough) we want to have some of New Zealand left.

    The TPPA is criminally, disastrously, seize-traitor-MPs-and-burn-them-alive stupid. Do your homework, find out why, and don’t bloody sign it. Nothing was always what you did best.

  14. Paul 14

    Hosking is symptomatic of everything that has gone wrong with NZ.
    A self-centred popinjay.

    • maui 14.1

      I heard some Martians were looking at launching an attack on earth and starting with NZ. Then they picked up our digital signals with Hosking all over it and realised that we’re already being fucked over by someone else, so why bother.

    • keyman 14.2

      hoskins is smug selfish stunted git

  15. dv 15

    Isn’t the irony that even if/when the deal is signed the text is secret for 5 years??

  16. Kriss X 16

    I voted for Key (probably not again) and were out protesting against the TPPA this weekend.

    It is worth remembering that this process began under a different government. It sucks, no matter who is in power.

    It is an issue that has united left/right/libertarians in all countries that may be signed into this agreement.

    Now is a time to all put our other differences aside and pull together for the greater good.

    • Anne 16.1

      It is worth remembering that this process began under a different government.

      I think you will find that the original anticipated terms and conditions of the trade agreement were quite different to what appears to have eventuated under this government. Whatever John Key is claiming you can be sure it is a lie because the man is a pathological liar. He did it over the Saudi sheep deal where he has made demonstrably and easily proven false claims about Labour’s initial involvement. The MSM continue to keep their powder dry and are letting Key get away with all the lies. But sooner or later something is going to give…

      • Kriss X 16.1.1

        Probably true. But that does not make the opposition right. Or forgive past wrongs.

  17. Keith 17

    Was Paul Henry humping Keys leg during this pointless “interview”?

    • Paul 17.1

      Henry and Hosking have given up even pretending they are journalists.

      • AmaKiwi 17.1.1

        They are entertainers. They never were journalists. Their bosses gave them that title.

        It’s like addressing a crooked MP as “the Honorable.” It’s a title that goes with the time slot but has nothing to do with reality.

      • Puddleglum 17.1.2

        Hi Paul,

        Mike Hoskings has already confirmed that he is not a journalist.

        To quote him:

        Finally to all those who get exercised about this stuff, much of it seems based on the fact that “journalists” are supposed to be neutral.

        Well, top tip for you, I am not a journalist, and any claimed neutrality from others is most often a myth.

  18. venezia 18

    All the more reason to support the legal challenge to disclose the secret TPPA documents. You can donate on the givealittle page:


  19. millsy 19

    We are too worried about Pharmac to focus on other implications, such as the ability of future governments to ensure utilities are kept in public hands, or even to regulate them.

  20. Smilin 20

    And you never know what youve got till youve lost it
    This TPPA is the country we know gone forever bit like OPEC the UN and all the rest of them
    When are we going to get a CLEAN UP THE PACIFIC agreement and hold France Britain Japan Aust and the USA to account for the nuclear and garbage mess theyve left us .
    The new plastic continent to go with plastic politics so we all have a plastic spoon while Key gets away with the family silver
    Thats the real TPPA

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