Parsing John Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 21st, 2015 - 32 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , ,

John Key is treating the New Zealand population with contempt in the way that it is responding to the latest Snowden revelations.  He would have us believe that Nicky Hager is propagating false information AND dealing with stolen information all at the same time.

So which one is it?  If Hager is lying then what he is saying ought to be easily disproved.  And if he is relying on stolen information then obviously it is accurate not to mention deeply disturbing.

Or is it that John Key is speaking out of many sides of his mouth at the same time?  He has an uncanny skill of doing this.  If you want an example then parse this recent passage from the Herald:

[Yesterday], Mr Key told Radio New Zealand the claims were “unproven”.

The paperwork revealed New Zealand’s GCSB spy agency worked with the United States’ NSA elite hacker team – the Tailored Access Operations division – which specialised in cracking computer systems and planting spyware on computers.

The documents emerged in a reporting project between the Herald on Sunday, investigative journalist Nicky Hager and the US news site, The Intercept, which had access to Snowden’s information.

But Mr Key said: “I would not take everything these guys say literally by any stretch of the imagination.”

He said he had not seen all the information that Hager had access to.

“[Snowden’s] a thief and he stole and you’ve got a bunch of people who’ve been out there propagating information that’s actually been proven to be incorrect.”

Mr Key said no country in the world, including China, talked about the work their foreign intelligence gathering services performed.

“They don’t do it in the United States … they don’t do it in China, they don’t do it anywhere else.

“In the end we have legally established foreign intelligence gathering services – they are there for a reason, they are there for the protection of New Zealand and New Zealand interests and that’s what we do.”

Get that?  In a few sentences Key goes from the claims being “unproven” (Hager always said he had no proof), to an aggressive false sequiter by saying Key would not take every single thing Hager had said literally (only most?), that he has not seen all of Hager’s information (who said he had?), Snowden is a thief AND propagating information proved to be incorrect (which is it?), New Zealand does not talk about these things (why can’t it issue a simple denial), and the GCSB is legally established (which is completely different to a legally established entity deciding to act illegally).

And the funny thing?  Key has not directly denied that the GCSB has worked with the NSA to spy on the Chinese.

The episode displays something about Key which is becoming more and more obvious.  He is not a big wheeler dealer who made his millions by the complexity of the deals that he completed.  He made his money by lining up contracts and persuading the parties through a combination of guile and sloppy language that for each of them it was the deal of the century.  He is a used car salesman on methamphetamine enhanced steroids.  With the assistance of the best focus grouping that money can buy he says what he thinks the various parts of our community will want to hear.  When he is under pressure he says many different things at the same time to a variety of different audiences with a group of tailored messages.

The last time he was this desperate was after the release of Dirty Politics when the response was the same, it was all a lie and the information was illegally obtained all at the same time.

Although I may buy a used car from that man I would prefer that he was not the Prime Minister of my country …

32 comments on “Parsing John Key”

  1. Craig Glen+Eden 1

    But sadly the journalists hardly ever say, so hang on a minute PM? Is it that the info is stolen or false that you have a problem with? As you rightly point out if its just false made up shit you don’t have to steal a thing you just make up more false stuff.

  2. adam 2

    I think Ray Davies says it best about our dear PM. Thanks for reminding me of this song MickySavage.

  3. Tracey 3

    “But Mr Key said: “I would not take everything these guys say literally by any stretch of the imagination.”

    Is that like “my office”, Prime Minister hat, Pary leader hat, ordinary bloke hat.

    OR transference

    • It’s a way of diminishing Hager/Greenwald/Snowden’s status as informed experts on the issue. If they’re just “these guys” they’re not to be taken as seriously as “these well-regarded investigative journalists and surveillance professionals.”

  4. dukeofurl 5

    Ask if the GCSB was spying on NZ residents or citizens when it was tapping on communications links between Chinese consulate offices

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      It would be very unusual for embassy staff to have permanent residency, let alone citizenship, in NZ.

    • Murray Rawshark 5.2

      Indirectly, it would have been. You do not go to a Chinese visa office to obtain a NZ visa if you are Chinese. Such an office deals with visas to visit China. For an office in Greenlane, there is a slight possibility that at least some of the applicants would be Kiwis. Some of them may have even correpsonded with the Chinese diplomats using email, which would have been collected, which is apparently different from surveilled.

  5. hoom 6

    Here is how I parse Key: If his mouth is open & sound is coming out of it he is lying or at best telling half truths.

    It might be easier if Blip gave up on the lies list & went for the probably much shorter list of cases where he has actually been upfront with verifiable truth.

    The fundamental logic of this particular one is severely broken:
    If the documents are stolen *and* they are false -> Why are the NSA etc internally producing & storing so many false documents?

    • Murray Rawshark 6.1

      “the probably much shorter list of cases where he has actually been upfront with verifiable truth.”

      Publishing nothing doesn’t have much impact.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Hi there mr rawshark, just thought I would see if you have yet managed to explain how the rainbow warrior incident was “legally an act of war not terror”

        /be-afraid-be-very-afraid/#comment-1002498 and other

        I am confused as to the lack of response

        [I just saw this. You guys know the rules. Open mike please – MS]

        • Murray Rawshark 6.1.1.1

          Are you my new stalker? I can’t be bothered responding to you. I have useful things to do, like watch grass grow.

          [I just saw this. You guys know the rules. Open mike please – MS]

          • vto 6.1.1.1.1

            Sure. What an epic fail. On both counts

            edit: you have given me the giggles again in suggesting the Rainbow Warrior was an act of war. he he

            • Murray Rawshark 6.1.1.1.1.1

              A little chronology.
              1. You post a definition of terrorism and a list of a few things you consider terrorist acts, including the attack on the Rainbow Warrior.
              2. I state that my opinion is that the Rainbow Warrior attack fits the legal definition of an act of war, rather than your posted definition of a terrorist act.
              3. You laugh. I have no idea why. You ask for a definition of an act of war.
              4. I give you one, from an authoritative legal dictionary.
              5. You laugh some more.
              6. In a subsequent post, you suggest that your previous definition of terrorism is ridiculous.
              7. You misquote me, with “legally an act of war not terror”.
              8. You giggle some more.

              The epic fail would be to waste any more time debating with someone whose version of their past arguments is as slippery as FJK’s.

              • vto

                ffs it doesn’t fit the definition of war as provided by you…. which was … “The use of violence and force between two or more states to resolve a matter of dispute.”

                The Rainbow Warrior incident does not fit that definition you yourself provided. Can you see where?

                I’m out too. All that other shit you just posted you can keep – its yours not mine

            • In Vino 6.1.1.1.1.2

              vto, what is wrong with you? Rainbow Warrior was deliberate sabotage, and qualifies as an act of war. You believe that it also qualified as an act of terrorism. I thought it did not, and that you were allowing Orwellian Newspeak to contaminate clear debate through over-loose definitions. (You have to go to really big dictionaries to get full definitions, and your internet-sourced short definitions are far from adequate.)
              I now see you have imputed political motives to some of my earlier replies. Are you calling me a right-wing troll? Just to reassure you, my support left the Labour Party along with Jim Anderton. I have never voted right wing, and my choices last election were either Greens or Te Mana.

              Got that?

              You may be young and passionate – I do not know. But I think you need to realise that dissent is not necessarily treachery.

              All too often the Left argue and fight harder amongst themselves than they manage to do against the Right.

              Neither Murray Rawshark nor I are Satan personified.

              Let it go.

              • vto

                I don’t know what you are on about.

                • In Vino

                  Precisely

                  • vto

                    You’re as bad as murray. Where is your definition and the facts that fit it? Eh?

                    murray’s never worked. How about yours? Where is it?

                    Never mind all that other crap, just concentrate on the point at hand.

  6. Sacha 7

    At least Kim Hill managed to laugh at his desperate lies. Didn’t manage to get past them though.

    As has been said by others, when is a journo going to do their fricking job and challenge the PM to specify exactly what has been ‘proven’ wrong about anything Hager, Snowden or Greenwald have published. Just one fact would be a start.

  7. saveNZ 8

    This is exactly why the SIS and GCSB should be more accountable.

    They should not be a support group for John Key allegations against Nicky Hager.

    The lack of transparency is lowering and making a mockery of our justice system.

    We have allegations of misuse of international and national law.

    But none can be proven because there is no transparency for these organisations. Therefore they can not be held to account and have limitless power.

    A few facts coming out….

    NZ allowing the US to spy on diplomatic Chinese cables in NZ.
    NZ spying on our Pacific neighbours including NZ’ers living there.
    Mass surveillance of all Kiwis, their information spirited away to another country and seen by unknown people and kept in an unknown state.
    GCSB misusing it’s position to aid National in making Phil Goff leader of Opposition look untruthful and incompetent.

    etc etc

    I think Key has gone beyond a 2nd hand car salesman and got himself into the treason situation of selling NZ’s personal information as well as allowing this to happen to our neighbour’s in the Pacific AND our trading partner China and indulging in personal attacks on rivals via intermediaries.

  8. mac1 9

    mickeysavage says that John Key uses “a combination of guile and sloppy language.”

    A recent pronouncement if John Key’s about house prices deserves a similar ‘parsing’ treatment. He said on April 20 “There’s probably a general view that house prices are not over-valued.”

    Note his use of weasel words- ‘probably’, ‘general’ and ‘not over-valued’.
    Ask yourself what he actually has said that is certain or definite. There is nothing, except a lot of wriggle room if he got challenged upon what he actually means.

    It is such a meaningless statement that it could come from someone who actually believes that house prices are over-valued but is couched in terms which distance the speaker from the views expressed.

    What does John Key believe about the level of house prices?

    His ‘combination of guile and sloppy language’ provide a superficially reassuring comment on a huge political issue, that is meaningless and easily defended. The language is sloppy, but deliberately so. a

  9. Rolf 10

    All information digging journalists publish is “stolen” because the information was never intended for them. This is how western democracy works. Journalists dig to expose misdemeanors and dirty works by politicians, to keep them honest, or so the public can sack them. New Zealand need a way to dispose dishonest politicians mid term. They should never feel safe.

  10. keyman 11

    John key is the prim minister he can treated anyone anyway he likes he is a awsome

    • Pasupial 11.1

      Even by keyman’s low standards that is total gibberish.

      Key is not prim, and his conduct is quite improper.

      • keyman 11.1.1

        its people who question him or try to trick him who do not respect his high office people like hager printing that disgraceful book

  11. Pasupial 12

    NRT makes a good point regarding Key’s evasions:

    When brave leakers and journalists have revealed the dirty deeds of “our” spy agencies, the government’s response has been to consistently stonewall. “We do not comment on security matters”, they say. Unless, apparently, they think they have a success story to tell us

    http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2015/04/we-do-not-comment-on-security-matters.html

  12. david 13

    JK is the master of the diss. So his language is peppered with “whatever”, “it can’t be verified”, ” my office”, “I can’t recall that sort of detail”, ” we can’t interfere with a market decision”.

    If an employee did this they would be seen as underperforming as they would be seen as Wafflers, not knowing what they talking about, and they would have no credibility.

    It seems people can end up governing countries for long periods if they are like this though.

  13. Sable 14

    Who said Shonky is talking out of his mouth……

  14. Key has been talking out both sides of his face since he first spoke to the Equiticorp/H-Fee inquiry in 1991. Here’s him lying to Kathryn Ryan about his ‘truthful’ statement one week before brain-dead New Zealanders elected him Prime Minister. All the waffle about the transactions are meaningless. What is important is the dates he was at Elders 84-87, which he says he got ‘wrong’ in 2007. He had to ‘correct’ them in 2008 when his statement to the Equiticorp inquiry surfaced. He lied to the SFO, fabricated his statement to them to help out a mate who was facing fraud charges. He left Elders in 87, not long after Elders announced in June 87 they would be restructuring. How do we get Key’s statement investigated?

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  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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