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Q+A interview – Key still lying

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, August 15th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: class war, cost of living, john key, poverty, tax, wages - Tags: , ,

A better than usual interview of John Key by Guyon Espiner on Sunday’s Q+A.  On the plus side Espiner was raising some serious issues. On the minus he let Key get away with his usual lies and evasions.

GUYON So you’re still expecting 170,000 jobs over four years and back in surplus by 2014/2015?

JOHN We’ve got no reason to back away from that.

And we’ve got no reason to believe in it. The same 170,000 jobs were predicted in the last budget too, it’s just a cut and paste.

GUYON Let’s talk about the domestic economy. You said when you opened Parliament for the year in February, and I quote you, ‘The government is conscious that for most New Zealanders, an indicator of how well the economy is doing is whether or not they can keep up with the cost of living.’ Do you seriously think they are?

JOHN Well, I do. I mean, if one goes and has a look at things like the Food Price Index and the like, yes, it has risen, but it’s not the craziest moves we’ve ever seen. Um, there’s quite a lot of fluctuation in there.

Inflation is at a 21 year high of 5.3%.  Wage growth is less than half the rate of inflation, in fact is at its slowest rate for 15 years (and no you can’t tax cut your way to higher wages).  Even The Herald is asking If it’s boom why are so many feeling bust? Espiner did follow up on the matter of inflation:

GUYON But you promised also to, and I quote you again, ‘maintain a low level of inflation’ in that opening speech to Parliament at the start of the year. You’ve failed. 5.3%. Highest in 21 years. It’s a failure.

JOHN No, well, I don’t accept that either. You’ve got to go and look at the data. The 5.3% includes a 2.2% uptick for the one-off adjustment of, um, GST increase. Now, everyone knew that, so if you take that out&

GUYON But that’s real. This is not some technical discussion, is it? If you’re sitting at home and your food bill’s gone up because of GST, then you feel that.

JOHN Yes, but, I mean, you’ve got to look at two things. [… blah blah blah …]   actually, wages have gone up in terms of after-tax wages because of the tax cut. That’s what’s driving that. So it’s not in isolation. People have more money in their hand, and they pay slightly more for their goods because of GST.

After tax cuts and GST increases, folk on the average income got around five dollars a week, those on the average salary around ten dollars a week.  A drop in the bucket compared to the (non GST) inflation.  In fact, it’s only around $80,000 of income that you start to break even.  On then to the wage gap with Australia:

GUYON One of the key indicators of wages, one of the key ones that your government set was catching up to Australian incomes. Are you making any progress in that regard?

JOHN I think we are. Um, you know, we’re three years into what’s been a 40-year decline against Australia. But in real after-tax terms, we think we have narrowed the gap with Australia.

Ahh – no.  The wage gap with Australia is wider, according to figures reviewed by the Dominion Post, and the CTU – oh, and the government’s own figures.  (Hardly a surprise as the government is doing nothing at all to close the gap.) Key has been called on this lie by any number of commentators, but as you can see, he’s still telling it. (When he’s not talking up the wage gap as a “competitive advantage” that is.)

Espiner then asks some good questions on poverty – Key reckons its all down to “poor choices” – before moving on the rich-poor gap:

GUYON Yet the rich got richer.

JOHN Well, actually, I don’t know. Is that right?

GUYON It must be. When you cut the tax rate from 38% to 33% and you’re earning $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 a year, of course you got richer. That’s a choice that you made.

JOHN Actually that’s not technically right. …

WTF?  Key’s excuse seems to be that the rich spend the money and pay GST, and there were also some property tax changes, so it was all a wash.  Or perhaps he’s still quoting this discredited report, which didn’t take account of last years tax bonanza for the rich.

Back in the real world that tax bonanza gave $2.5 billion a year to the top 10 per cent of earners while the bottom 20% got practically nothing, wages are falling for the poor and rising for the rich, average and median wages have diverged by 12% (because the rich are getting richer the poorest half of NZ is $80 a week worse off), child poverty and other indicators are getting worse, the concentration of wealth is increasing, and the 150 people on the “rich list” have increased their wealth by 20% in the last year.  Key should just stick with his original instinct and tell the ordinary folk not to get jealous.

The interview then moves on to discuss child poverty (more on that in another post soon perhaps).

So there you have it, some real issues raised for a change.  But when Key is put on the spot his responses are nothing but evasions and recycled lies (that don’t get any truer for the frequent repetition).  It’s pretty hard to defend a terrible record of course, but the country deserves so much better than this.

61 comments on “Q+A interview – Key still lying”

  1. happynz 1

    I watched the interview yesterday morning and I did notice that Key was clenching his fists quite a lot. He appeared to be taken aback that he was being given tougher than average questions rather than the typical media cuddles and hugs that he usually gets.

    • handle 1.1

      Good to see a local interview more like the challenging one with Key on the BBC earlier in the year. He has to be called out on lies to his face instead of afterwards on blogs where hardly any voters get to hear it.

    • Treetop 1.2

      Did you notice Key was blushing mid way through the interview? I was so focused on the blushing that I did not notice the hand clencing.

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    Does he ever utter a sentence that doesn’t have the word ‘actually’ in it?

  3. Peter 3

    Good read, now who is going to turn all of this into a change of Government?

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    So much for him admitting it when ‘ he gets it wrong’

    Remember the hoopla over this, that it makes him not like other politicians.

    • jackal 4.1

      I hear the Natz are going to give Shonkey the boot soon. Apparently some of the older ranks don’t like all the lying. He’s getting replaced by Count von Count.

      One… 170,000 jobs over four years will miraculously appear, walla! Two… over 200,000 children now living in poverty will miraculously disappear, tadaa! Three… 30% of GDP is too much net debt for me, whoosh! Four… I get $400,500 each year to tell you lies, ha ha ha ha! Five… 5.3% inflation will no longer be crazy, shazam! Six… pick up your welfare bashing sticks, ha ha ha!

  5. Reminds me of the old joke.
    How do you know when Key is lying?
    His lips are moving …

  6. Bored 6

    When you analyse Keys words it is very obvious he is:
    1. A muppet.
    2. A liar.
    3. Both of the above.

  7. Tombstone 7

    Enough is enough! The guy is out of touch with life as it is for the average Kiwi and is a downright liar. Labour, the Greens and the useless bloody media should be tearing Key and English new arseholes right now. And don’t even get me started on Paula Bennett – that woman disgusts me to no end! FFS – where are the bloody jobs Key?!

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    First interview that Guyon has done were Guyon has actually got frustrated or reacted to Keys lines.

    How long will it take for him to say but thats not true is it prime minister?

  9. alex 9

    It kinda sucks that we are all excited over one interview with the PM that treats him like a normal accountable politician. I mean, reading the transcript, they were very fair questions, with a little bit of harassment over the answers, but it was nothing that could be considered harsh or a grilling. I suppose it shows how easy a ride Key gets.

    • felix 9.1

      ‘xactly alex.

      Part of the trouble is the format. No-one broadcasts an interview longer than about ten minutes anymore, and ten minutes isn’t long enough.

      Professional pollies like Key know that if they waffle and obfuscate for a while on a difficult or embarrassing topic, the subject will get dropped ‘cos the interviewer wants to get through all the issues of the day.

      Espiner managed to question a few of Key’s answers quite well, but he didn’t have time to keep drilling into them, as would happen in an actual interview.

      Two words that would have little Johnny Keys pissing down his leg: Tim Sebastian.

  10. ak 10


    Preparatory mind-numbing exercise #17:

    Sit in comfortable chair in front of mirror and without blinking or hesitation, read aloud the following mantra with utter conviction and confidence.

    Yeah, but what I’m saying to you is there’s almost two groups here….. There is another group, the tail as we look at it, in terms of education, and we understand that that tail is disproportionately larger, and in education terms, the comprehension levels between the tail and the bulk of the other children is quite broad. But you can’t just say, ‘Well, OK, look, you know, you want to talk to me about welfare reform, but, by the way, you know, I want to talk about something different in that group.’ That group is dominated by young kids growing up in poor areas with low income going to their families, often broken homes with a lot of social issues. And if we look at what’s happening in those households, of course we have to have welfare reform and a Green Paper and a better way of dealing with these young children.

    Repeat with conviction until all sensation is absent from upper half of body.

  11. Key is a failed social experiment.

    We gave him the benefit of the doubt at the last election. Voting him in thinking he was some sort of financial whizz to see us through the tough times we knew were ahead and he’s come up short, wayyyy short….Dude’s all hat and no cattle.

    We already knew English was a failure. Anyone can see he’s spewing on NZ for rejecting him as PM and leader of the opposition so he’s exacting his revenge on us by ripping the taxpayer off with his abuse of parliamentary ‘entitlements’ while fattening the wallets of his fatcat overlords.

    OK, so Team Goff may not be able to do a better job, but they sure as fuck couldn’t do worse than the Blue lots team of useless cunts. At least with Labour you kind of feel they have the wider interest of the less fortunate at heart.

    I guess in the upcoming election it’s gonne be a case of the lesser of 2 evils.

    • Bored 11.1

      How you going to vote from a canoe somewhere in the middle of the Pacific? Reckon your waka will be afloat, unlike Keys sinking ship.

      • pollywog 11.1.1

        Got bigger fish to fry than John Key, Bored. I figure by the time i get back it’ll be almost time to step into the light, kick the masterplan into full effect and assume my rightful place in the bigger picture 🙂

        Just quietly, I’m gonna leverage the fame and knowledge from voyaging into a youth oriented employment and social health scheme targeting mainly local Pasifikans. Intially as a pilot programme that can then, upon it’s proven success, be ‘franchised’ to other regions. Then i’ll get myself elected to the local council, learn the ropes, join the Green party and become their Pasifikan rep with a guaranteed list seat and finally flip the script on a whole range of relevent issues.

        It’s all about reading the signs and navigating the path foretold in the stars, positioning your waka to best capitalise of the changing winds of fortune. My biggest fear isn’t that I’m inadequate, but that in knowing i’m powerful beyond all measure, i can use that power wisely.

        Our Deepest Fear & The Invitation

        and if i don’t, i’ll set one of my kids up to instead…


    • neoleftie 11.2

      that polly i have to agree with….

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Anthony- don’t you know anything? Its the fault of all those 16 and 17 yo’s buying tobacco, in association with all those single mum’s who don’t go back to work quickly enough. That’s if you don’t believe its the fault of the GFC/the earthquake/Helen Clark/political correctness and all those people out there making bad decisions.

    • mik e 12.1

      Keys answer to the Question that the rich haver had a huge increase in take home pay.the price of flash cars hasn’t gone up houses no gst their a=has stayed static where are they paying the huge mount of gst at their accountants.YEAH RIGHT.Most likely it will be put into speculative investments most of which don’t attract gst.Re balancing YEAH RIGHT

    • mik e 12.2

      Keys answer to the Question that the rich haver had a huge increase in take home pay.The price of flash cars hasn’t gone up houses no gst their price has stayed static where are they paying the huge mount of gst at their accountants.YEAH RIGHT.Most likely it will be put into speculative investments most of which don’t attract gst.Re balancing YEAH RIGHT
      Overseas trips no GST.

  13. Ed 13

    I also noticed that he stated again that the reason that so many NZ’ers are leaving for Australia is because of the minerals and mining boom… but the Herald this morning reports that over half are going to Queensland… sounds very much like people disillusioned with NZ, otherwise they’d all be moving to Western Australia

  14. tc 14

    Yet again it shows what a pathetic political reporter Espiner is, that’s a token touch up with no persistence or digging in on the BS responses. Nice work if you can get it….whose a good boy then, now play dead.

    • Tiger Mountain 14.1

      Yes, you could see Espiner in one side shot smirking while making eye contact with Shonkey, signaling “I don’t really mean it (the line of questioning) John”

  15. mik e 15

    When key is really put on the spot he speeds up his speech rate and lowers his voice volume then starts mumbling so his answer is all over before the interviewer realizes.A cunning linguist

  16. vto 16

    Can anyone explain how Key got away this morning with saying, in his opening salvo, “our welfare system is unsustainable” and then three sentences later (achally Key speaks in just one gigantic incoherent sentence. he is the new Joh Bjeikle-Peterson) saying “we can afford our welfare system”?

  17. Ianupnorth 17

    There is a very common theme for these threads – they never have QSF, Pete George, HS, Chris73 commenting – why? because everything here is fact; they have no answers, they cannot dispute the truth. On ideology they can argue, but on fact they have no ammo.
    Now to get that message to the masses.

  18. drum 18

    Most NZers have to work up to 7 days a week just to remain able to stay afloat as a family unit, most of our large companies are foreign (or have foreign %ownership)and most of these profits are returned to their shareholders overseas.
    We are it appears nothing more than a cash cow for these companies and the others that will chase after ownership of our SOE’s and primary sector industries as they are left open to pillage in the next 3 years. Therefor there is no motivation for the political powers to answer the gap between Australia and NZ wages as that would upset the equation.
    Guyon will need to be careful as any reporter who gives the Prime Minister to hard a time usually finds it harder and harder to get an interview.
    Do remember that all questions are forwarded to the office before hand so it is very hard to get past the PR spin that we have had to swallow since a certain Irish descendant journalist crossed over to advise.
    Like David Carter MP and Gerry Brownlee MP, the Prime Minister finds it hard to answer any question at all instead we get the same spin that Carter uses.(Probably using the same PR guy).”The question you need to ask”. This is something we hear alot from all caucus members and that way they avoid answering the question.
    Question I would like to ask is. Who does NZ work for?

  19. Espiner did well. I don’t think Key cracked a smile once, and several times he seemed a bit stunned that Guyon kept on at him.

    I also liked the fact that the interview was framed in terms of: the hardship facing many people; growing inequality and child poverty; failure over things promised.

    There are obviously other issues that are vital, and Key – and all politicians – needs to get grilled about them in the media (cue Afewknowthetruth) but at least he’s been pointedly called to account by a mainstream journalist once during the three year term (excepting overseas interviews). 

    I think Tiger Mountain mentioned Espiner smirking in compliance with Key. I must have missed that. A couple of the cuts to him looked more like expressions of critical disbelief – furrowed brows and all.  Whether or not I’m over-interpreting Espiner’s expressions, it’s that kind of general approach and demeanour that we need more of.

  20. tc 20

    Espiner did as his masters instructed and keys media handlers demand, ask a sort of tough question and ignore the BS reply and don’t follow it up or persist for a pertinent answer just keep moving through the pre ordained questions……there’s a good boy Guy, wanna ride in a chopper to plenty of room next to duncan.

    Key gave plenty of opportunity that a decent interview could park a truck in and demand clarification before moving on, but hey this is recycling Rick’s cosy little govt soapbox after all.

  21. Ianupnorth 21

    And still no Gosman, Chris73, etc… must be busy….

    • They are over at stuff clicking away on the poll Fairfax is running ; )

      • Tiger Mountain 21.1.1

        Yeah, more age discrimination, 16 & 17 year olds can’t vote and should not be served retail booze and ciggies, so put the slipper in.

        Appearance is all, the ‘clampdown’ looks good for those sadists that enjoy New Zealands second favourite pastime-bashing the dirty filthy bennies!

      • felix 21.1.2

        With one hand they’re clicking, yep.

        • Ianupnorth

          I saw the king troll Gosman on another thread and asked him to comment; currently running scared I guess.

      • Anne 21.1.3

        Just been over to Stuff. They’re still clicking.

      • bbfloyd 21.1.4

        and clogging up red alerts comment section with a choice selection foam flecked wittisisms.

  22. Rijab 22

    Key is a liar.

    I was told I’m a middle class twat by someone after trying to point out the flaws in our wonderful Prime Minister’s thinking. It frustrated me that there are people out there fueling the perspective that we’re a class society, it’s just sad. My frustration came out in a few words after the conversation and after seeing this interview I’m gonna share them here,

    Just a Middle Class Twat

    A middle class twat,
    That’s all I am.
    I should shut up and blindly follow Uncle Sam.
    I’ve got to prove myself you see,
    They fear people like me.
    Don’t voice any dissent,
    Just go on living with smiling assent.
    Don’t complain, you have no right.
    Those upper class fellows have far better sight.
    Forget our fisheries and our farmers,
    they should just be thankful for the big boy dramas.
    Businessmen wake in their own delusional dawns,
    To control all their stupid little pawns.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Real shame they didn’t call you a working class twat. Coz then you could have gifted them a liverpool kiss.

  23. tc 23

    Yes Rijab, based on plenty of chats I’ve had with folk escaping mother england since Y2k they are voting for that class system they miss so much. That nice man John speaks directly to their perceptions.

    • Ianupnorth 23.1

      tc, I left the UK midway through Blair’s first term, I have never voted Conservative, I will never vote National. I think your generalisation is pretty inaccurate; I know plenty of people from the UK who are keen to see Key go and keen to retain MMP as a way of staying away from FPP.
      In fact, if anything it is white, middle class, golf playing Kiwi’s that are keeping Key et al in power; they have too much tied up in their investment property portfolio and live in fear of unions and/or Maori gaining power.

      • Jellytussle 23.1.1

        tc….you are way off with your strange idea that people from the UK come to NZ and vote national because they miss a ‘class system’

  24. tc 24

    We probably move in different circles, these are tories at heart looking for more of that Thatcher vibe.

    • Ianupnorth 24.1

      tc – ain’t denying there are a few of those about; I had nine great years under Aunty Helen, two and a bit of Key make Aussie look attractive.

    • Vicky32 24.2

      We probably move in different circles, these are tories at heart looking for more of that Thatcher vibe.

      None of the nurses from the UK who my son works with are anything like what you describe! (They’ve come here to get away from the Rogering of the NHS)

  25. tc 25

    Yup agree, Clark and Cullen did the right thing and it’s like watching the idiot children inheriting a strong business and wrecking it as they’re clueless and heartless. A banker supported by a career public servant, media whore and various power hungry elitists all backed by the hollow men.

  26. “People have more money in their hand, and they pay slightly more for their goods because of GST.” – John Key

    Yes, Mr Key. They are paying more for food, power, water (if metered), rates (which means a tax on a tax), petrol, public transport, medical bills, clothing, shoes, accomodation…

    As a point of interest, Key addressed a public meeting in Upper Hutt on 2nd August. Amongst other things he,

    * justified asset sales because they would be “better managed”,

    * and wasn’t certain what the cost of petrol was when he referred to fuel prices and the level of the Kiwi Dollar.

    That was a telling moment: the man didn’t know what the price of petrol was.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Yep. Makes no difference to Key personally if petrol is $2/L or $4/L.

      • neoleftie 26.1.1

        JK more concerned about the winter wonderland of delight and opportunities of elitism pasttimes.
        ive just been talking to too many people suffering because of the cold temps and cant afford decent heating so a little miffed at an our glorious leader joyous delight and ignorance or uncaring of the flipside of subzero temps.

  27. So, who is going to write the thread about how when you point all Keys lies out none of the typical tory trolls appear, yet on every single other thread they are there?
    Where is Queenstreet Farmer
    Where is Gosman
    Where is Higherstandard
    Where is Chris73
    Don’t want to debate your bosses lies? Maybe they are the real chickens?

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      It’s typical of The Standard to take democracy in action and criticise it. Key fronted up and answered the hard questions, and by all impartial accounts did very well. Guyon was surprisingly even handed, all credit to him. More than anything this interview falsifies the Left’s consistent claim that the MSM in NZ is biased – if anything our mainstream media is usually too left wing.

      Now I would be the first to admit that Key’s performance wasn’t perfect and yes he stumbled once or twice but he is human and he showed that he cares for those on struggle street. John Key is just an ordinary guy responding honestly exactly as he thinks and I feel that Kiwi’s really appreciate and understand that about him. It’s part of the reason he is as popular and trusted today as he has ever been. He knows what every day New Zealanders are going through and he has an honest commitment to the country that no other politician has. He really is the non-politician politician and after years of contrived acting in Parliament he is a breath of fresh air.

      The attacks from the left are really just desperation. The numbers are against you and so is middle New Zealand. No one is interested in the politics of envy that the left spouts, New Zealand has moved on. Get with the aspirations of modern day ordinary New Zealanders.

      Honestly, I’m comfortable that our Prime Minister has what it takes come November.

    • Colonial Viper 27.2

      (so how did I do as a stand-in?) 😈

      • The Voice of Reason 27.2.1

        If you could have found some way of blaming the economy on Labour, saying ‘they did it too’ or bringing up the driving habits or painting skills of the previous PM, then I would have said you’d have nailed it 100%, CV!

  28. Ianupnorth 28

    Gees, you had me worried there mate!

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