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Personal responsibility

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, December 6th, 2007 - 34 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

05cullen_key.jpgIt seems John Key’s lack of judgment isn’t restricted to matters of policy.

Twice in the last few days he’s made nasty digs at senior Labour MPs’ personal lives – something National has previously been very sensitive about – and when challenged his response has been to try and duck responsibility.

It began on Tuesday when Key dragged Michael Cullen’s wife into the debate over her support for Russell Fairbrother’s Napier candidacy in 2002.

Then yesterday Key thought it was a good idea to refer to Darren Hughes as ‘the son Helen Clark never had” – a clear dig at the fact Helen Clark never had children, and a long-time obsession of the National Party right.

When challenged by Cullen over his scumbag behaviour, Key fled for cover by blaming something he thought he’d read in the Independent, then complained that Cullen hates rich people.

We’re starting to see a pattern here.

It’s always someone else’s fault with John Key. ‘I thought I read that in the paper” ‘It was the production company’s fault” ‘I was technically right.” “I was answering a different question.” “I’ve always believed in climate change.”

Is this man capable of taking personal responsibility for anything?

34 comments on “Personal responsibility”

  1. Susan Deare 1

    Wait a minute John, doesn’t your party stand for ‘personal responsibility’. In fact, I think you talked about taking personal responsibility for yourself in your horrible horrible DVD.

    Hypocrite.

  2. Kent 2

    This is simply what happens people once they’ve been in parliament any amount of time and want to make inroads. Politics is about getting one over the opposition, personally, not just about policies and rational debate.

  3. illuminatedtiger 3

    This John Key is a real scum bag! Sorry I can’t put it more eloquently than that!

  4. burt 4

    Do you guys here at the standard actually know that there is more to politics in NZ than “Labour good – National bad” ?

    You could post about political issues rather than making personal attacks condemning people for making person attacks.

  5. rjs131 5

    Is Trevor mallard going to take personal responsibilty for ruining Erin Leigh’s career and say so sorry? Where are your demands/comments on that?

    Is taito Philip field goign to take personal responsibility for his slave labour practices?

    Really this is a ridiculous post. Key stated a fact about Cullen’s wife, and quoted Hughes. If Hughes had been misquouted, shoudnt he have immediately demanded a retraction?

  6. Gruela 6

    Nice post

    Unfortunately: Trevor Mallard.

    Does anyone know why he’s still in the Cabinet?

  7. Tane,

    I did notice you were flying the flag of this Labour Party line last night. You are apparently trying to pre-empt public disgust at Michael Cullen’s use of the expression “scumbag”, and reference to John Key as a “rich prick”, three times last night.

    Darren Hughes has himself jocularly referred to himself as “the son Helen Clark never had”. It isn’t a statement about Helen Clark’s childlessness, although it could be interpreted in that way. It is a reference to Helen Clark mothering him. It is a reference to Hughes being Clark’s political heir apparent. And, to be fair, it is a slight on Helen Clark to be pointed out as the mother of a fanta-pants.

    Otherwise, stop being so precious. It’s no different to calling Clayton Cosgrove “Mike Moore’s Mini-Me”.

    Michael Cullen’s wife is not merely a private person. She is a FORMER LABOUR MP, FFS! She nominated Russell Fairbrother in 2002. She’s a former Hawkes-Bay based MP. It is not dragging personal lives into the equation by pointing out that three years ago she nominated Fairbrother, yet this year, Cullen nominated Fairbrother’s challenger.

    That criticism is absurd as attacking Rudi Giuliani for bringing Bill Clinton into a debate about Hilary.

  8. Kent 8

    Does anyone know why he’s still in the Cabinet?

    His pay keeps turning up in his bank account?

  9. Benodic 9

    rjs: I understand Hughes was not misquoted – he wasn’t even quoted saying it. Key’s just repeating sexist lines he read in the business press and had a joke about with his mates in the Northern Club.

  10. Tane 10

    You are apparently trying to pre-empt public disgust at Michael Cullen’s use of the expression “scumbag”, and reference to John Key as a “rich prick”, three times last night.

    Yes Prick. I was having a beer with Michael Cullen last night and he gave me a heads-up to pre-empt the Herald story. I know it’s a cliche, but tin foil hat mate.

  11. illuminatedtiger 11

    @rjs

    He doesn’t have to as he said what he said under parliamentary privilege.

  12. Tane 12

    Oh, and Mallard? Yeah, the guy’s a dork. Get rid of him.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    They should all be above this kind of thing – all of them, regardless of party.

    Still, at least on this one you can forget the usual tiresome chorus of … “Australia does it better”.

    NZ’s parliament is a love-in by comparison.

  14. Crikey, Tane. You want to dump your own Labour Minister? Are you sure that nobody’s hacked into your account, and is posting as you?

    You haven’t responded to my substantive points, Tane. You are trying to beat up a story to justify Cullen’s use of the term “scumbag”, and calling John Key a “rich prick”, three times in the House last night.

    Hughes has referred to himself as the son the PM never had, and the nomination by a former Hawkes Bay MP of Russell Fairbrother is fair game for comment.

    Can the indignation. It just makes you look like a hollow woman, Tane.

  15. Gruela 15

    Does anyone have any opinions on who the absolutely worst behaved MP in the House is?

  16. Gruela,

    Trevor Mallard has to take the cake. David Benson-Pope would be in the top three. Winston would be in the top five. Tau Henare would be competing with a few of them.

    But I’ve got no doubt that Mallard is far and away the most objectionable low-life in the House. How Helen has excused his conduct for the last eight years astonishes me.

  17. Gruela 17

    Insolent

    Yeah, hard to disagree with that. He’s doing Labour a lot of damage. He must be a demon for hard work behind the scenes. Also, questions need to be asked about David Parker’s judgement…

  18. the sprout 18

    Cullen’s description of Key as a “rich prick” is a perfectly reasonable statement of fact, as Harawera’s “smiling snake”. personally i would go for the more florid “two faced smarmy wanker”.

  19. Outofbed 19

    Nick Smith is pretty nasty

  20. Gruela 20

    I was actually pretty shocked when I heard about Judith Collins calling Benson Pope a pervert. I think that’s probably my no.1 individual incident of unnecessary behaviour.

  21. gobsmacked 21

    I think we’re mixing up two issues here.

    MPs insulting each other is not exactly edifying, but it’s hardly new, and they’re all big enough to cope. I just wish they’d show a bit of imagination with their invective, e.g.

    “I’m a country member …”
    “We remember!”

    MPs having a go at other MPs’ families is a different kettle of hoki. Not on. They’re not there to answer back, and they’re not public property at all. Doesn’t matter who started it, who’s worse, blah blah. No place for it.

  22. Gruela,

    Helen Clark has managed to exercise unprecedented authority in our leadership of the Labour Party because she has surrounded herself with people who are utterly devoted to her. That isn’t a criticism: it’s what’s needed to remain in power for so long. Trevor Mallard, Pete Hodgson, Judith Tizard, Steve Maharey, Margaret Wilson, Ruth Dyson, Lianne Dalziel, and Chris Carter are her closest friends. They are all fiercely loyal to her, and she in return is loyal to them. It’s the main reason why Phil Goff has not managed to seriously challenge Clark’s leadership position for the last eight years.

    Some of these people have been competent ministers. Others have been far from competent, and owe their positions in the Party to Helen. In turn, Helen has overlooked the excesses of their behaviour. There is no more evident an example of that than Trevor Mallard.

    The problem Helen has is that cracks are beginning to show because either some of these people are about to retire, or it’s no longer tenable to continue to overlook their incompetence or poor behaviour.

    Maharey’s retiring. Wilson is probably retiring. Tizard is lazy and incompetent. Mallard is becoming too much of a liability. Hodgson has made major strategic errors of judgement. Couple all that with the ambitions of newer MPs who don’t owe their parliamentary careers to Helen Clark, and Labour struggling to maintain its position in the polls, and it does look as if the wheels on the Labour Party cart are starting to wobble.

    Clark has to act decisively to deal to Mallard. But by doing so, she risks losing one of her nearest and dearest supporters, from a dwindling base.

  23. the sprout 23

    true gs, and promoting it wil just drive out the remaining decent ones

  24. Kent 24

    If Clark has any sense, she should retire at the election and move on to bigger and better things.

  25. Benodic 25

    IP, I think everyone here agrees Mallard is a liability but I think what’s interesting here is that Key refuses to take personal responsibility for his actions. It’s always someone else’s fault. His peformance on Breakfast this morning was a perfect example of this.

  26. Gruela 26

    gobsmacked

    Good point. MPs = okay, Families = No Way!

    insolent

    “it does look as if the wheels on the Labour Party cart are starting to wobble.” Keep dreaming, buddy. (You’ll notice I made no mention of a certain recent and quite hilarious health policy press conference. Whoops…oh, damn!)

  27. insider 27

    Hughes did stand up and say he never made the claim, when I listened. It was reported this morning that it was a journalist’s comment in a story about Hughes rather than by him. I think it reflects more on Hughes than on HC.

    SO if the standard is now that you cannot use politically relevant facts (I mean how is Cullen not signing a nomination not relevant when both he and his wife have previously signed similar in the past?) what someone else says about a politician in Parliament, does that mean that you can no longer say ‘hollow men’? as Tana would say, “we’re not playing tiddlywinks”.

    Agree with Gruela on COllins. Things got pretty out of control at that time. The regular ‘take your pills’ about Smith are also fairly nasty, especially as Labour have had their fair share of ‘personal’ issues that have been given fairly light treatment by the opposition. Peck and Dalziell being two.

  28. Lampie 28

    Tell me more Gruela about this health policy (or link will do)

  29. Gruela 29

    Lampie

    It’s this one

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=291&objectid=10466057

    But you really had to see it. When the lifting of the cap on doctor’s fees (accidentally!) came out, Key was left floundering in front of the press with a completely blank look. Priceless.

  30. the sprout 31

    that look on Key’s face is priceless. when the penny drops it looks like he sicks up in his mouth a little bit.

  31. Lampie 32

    Cheers guys, now I remember

  32. Matthew Pilott 33

    Helen Clark has managed to exercise unprecedented authority in our leadership of the Labour Party because she has surrounded herself with people who are utterly devoted to her.

    That’s a slip up worth of John Key, and the Labour Government he will lead.

    You are apparently trying to pre-empt public disgust.. ***HIGH HORSE ALERT HIGH HORSE ALERT CALL IN THE PIKEMEN***

    That criticism is absurd as attacking Rudi Giuliani for bringing Bill Clinton into a debate about Hilary.” We’re not quite at the style of US popularity contest for People With Big Wallets yet, despite the best efforts of National.

  33. Matthew,

    Anne Collins is not an ordinary MP’s wife. She’s a former Labour MP.

    Michael Cullen is being precious.

    When his wife, a former Labour MP, nominates Russell Fairbrother in 2002 for a seat that largely incorporates her former electorate, and Cullen nominates a challenger to Fairbrother’s seat in 2007, that IS news.

    You might want to consider that it was actually Russell Fairbrother who brought Anne Collins into the debate. Yes, read his maiden speech, in 2003:

    “To Anne Collins, a former member of this House, and her most humble husband, and to her family, my appreciation defies expression.”. Yes, that’s right. Fairbrother’s maiden speech doesn’t even MENTION Michael Cullen by name. Only his wife.

    You can read it all at http://text.labour.org.nz/RussellFairbrother/speeches_and_releases/speech12/index.html

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