Tax Payer funded hypocrisy

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, July 2nd, 2009 - 47 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Remember the hip-hop tours ‘scandal’ the National Party used over and over and over again to attack the previous Labour-led government? They went as far as to put it in their 2005 election billboards. It was a minuscule amount of money, yet National used it as one of their prime examples of wasteful spending.

Now Prime Minister John Key is taking a tour of the pacific next week on the Air Force Boeing, taking about 70 people with him. Most of the guests have to pay $200 for the flights, and pay for their own accommodation. However John Key has decided to take a hip-hop group on tour with him at no charge, and the taxpayer will foot the bill for their accommodation.

I have no problem with the taxpayer paying for this hip-hop tour, however I do have a real problem with the hypocrisy from the Prime Minister. At first I thought perhaps this was a great sign of John Key being somewhat different from his predecessor, but unfortunately that is not the case.

A quick search of the New Zealand Parliament website reveals four occasions where John Key personally attacked the previous government about taxpayer funded hip-hop tours. 31st August 2004, 1st September 2004, 15th February 2005, and 18th May 2005, the attacks were spread out over almost a year, perhaps indicating how significant an issue John Key believed this was.

So my question to the Prime Minister is this: Now that you have decided there is nothing wrong with taxpayer funded hip-hop tours, will you admit that either you were lying in 2004/2005, or that you were wrong?

47 comments on “Tax Payer funded hypocrisy”

  1. I have no problem with you highlighting the irony if not hypocrisy as you’ve noted.

    The problem is that this is politics and all we ever know is what a politician says today (and we don’t even know if they believe what they say).

    The issue I have is that this simply leads to a tit for tat type of “he said, she said” game of bollocks as we’ve seen over the last few weeks.

    You can prove that what Key said was bollocks. It won’t take long to do the same with Goff or any other politician who’s been in opposition.

    It’s just the nature of the game.

    • rocky 1.1

      Daveski I agree with you that if you look for it you can find hypocrisy anywhere and from anyone. However this was not just saying one thing and doing another. This was a sustained attack from National over a long period of time, it was clearly something they at least pretended to believe was hugely significant. We’re not talking about the odd comment, we’re talking about something National used in their election billboards, and that their MP’s brought up numerous times to attack Labour.

      • Daveski 1.1.1

        The games that politician are most likely reflected in their rating on the public trust scale. Ironically, I think the Nice Mr Key thing that the left hates worked in the Nats favour as they could and most likely did that blame Brash (the way Labour has attributed “blame” for the 1980’s diversion to those no longer in the party).

        You wouldn’t run a sports club on the model we use for parliament.

        • jarbury

          Considering National’s approach to quoting what Phil Goff said 25 years ago, I think this is a tad more relevant.

          So what it is John – were you lying or were you wrong?

          • Daveski

            Hip hop tours vs economic fundamentals? See what I mean, dumb game – we’ll just go round and round in circles on this one if you really want to play it.

            • felix

              But putting an end to “wasting taxpayer’s money” was one of the fundamental economic principles National believed in up until the election.

              Wasn’t it?

              What’s changed so much since then (7 months ago) that they can now happily do the exact thing that they used as the poster boy for government waste?

            • jarbury

              Hip-hop tours 4-5 years ago v housing policy 25 years ago…..

              My main point is that it’s silly for National to play the “you once said” game, but as they’re willing to dish it out they’d better expect it in return.

          • Swampy

            Should John Key refuse to take a cultural group on tour to the Pacific Islands and then get roasted by the Opposition for missing an opportunity.

            This is just a game, admit it.

      • Swampy 1.1.2

        This is a political blog. We talk about politics and the same kind of political games. A few political junkies make a big deal out of it. Everyone else ignores them because they have a life to get on with.

  2. randal 2

    ho hum.
    Helen did it because she was given the wrong advice.
    if Keys wants to associate with that sort of stuff then he is in real trouble.
    it is vanity music produced by drug thugs who want to p*ss on the world with a noxious blend of psychotic rantings.
    and furthermore it is not music.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    They are a different kind of hip-hop tour, Rocky. The kind Mr Key criticised involved two people travelling around the world to study hip-hop. In one of the links, Katherine Rich describes the study tour as:

    “Then there was the hip hop tour, where someone had the opportunity to travel for 70 days to research how hip hop got to New Zealand. It included a Paris stop-over, a nice wee stop-over in Fiji, not to mention the chill-out period in Hawaii. Where is the report from the trip? We have not seen it. Labour is proud of those sorts of projects, such as craft trips to Melbourne. Many New Zealanders would like to go on craft trips to Melbourne; the difference is we do not expect other taxpayers to fund them.”

    That is very different from four young people tagging along on a government delegation and acting as youth ambassadors and singing for their supper.

    • jarbury 3.1

      Different kinds of hip-hop tours…… LOL. Splitting hairs much Tim?

      • Tim Ellis 3.1.1

        No, jarbury. One is a pointless pseudo-academic study that costs $70k, the other is the entertainment on a prime ministerial delegation that at most will cost a thousand dollars.

        • Pat

          Plus JK’s crew are dope with phat beats

        • rocky

          Actually Tim it was 27K. As Michael Cullen pointed out, approximately 1 cent per taxpayer.

        • felix


          Care to back up the $70k claim?

          And while you’re at it, the $1k claim as well? (I know that one was a wild stab in the dark but I also know you’re miles off btw.)

          Also, when does “academia” cross the line into “pseudo-academia”?

        • Paul Robeson

          I think what Tim is trying to say is that if the uppity natives want to treat their silly native dances as an expanding industry watch out.

          If they want to perform to make whitey happy, and ‘mana enhaced’ this is a different story.

          Thanks Tim. You are a great moral philosopher in these trying times.

      • Daveski 3.1.2

        Does this make John Key Public Enemy???

        • felix

          In bizzaro world, English is Chuck D and Key is Flavor Flav.

          • Daveski

            Who’s Terminator X then? At least Key will know what time it is.

          • QoT

            Oh, thanks for that, felix, now I’ve got the ads for this week’s episode of Flavor Of Love 3 running through my head with JK’s head superimposed.

          • Lew

            Felix, Daveski, Stephen Joyce is Terminator X! He spins while they rap.

            I owe yous a beer … err. malt-liquor for this.


    • Tigger 3.2

      Tim – I love how you’re trying to spin this…yes, it’s different but they’re not ‘tagging along’ (which implies it’s an added extra costing us nothing), we’re paying something for them to go.

      I’ve got no issues with them going – but this is exactly the sort of thing National would have slammed Labour for as a frilly extra that didn’t need to be there. If Key is going to slam Labour for a turnabout on the F&S issue then he has to defend their own changes of heart.

      But god, please don’t let Key dance. He always looks like a drunk uncle at a wedding when he tries to boogie…

  4. rave 4

    Hey Big R u fink Che Fu isa gansta?
    shd tke sm hevy metl up or polyfusion?

  5. r0b 5

    Is this the first ever sighting of hip-hopocracy?

  6. Ron 6

    Could someone please start a “What JK said and what JK did” website? We can use it next election.

    • r0b 6.1

      Could someone please start a “What JK said and what JK did’ website? We can use it next election

      I’ve been working on that as a hobby. Some of them could be updated in light of subsequent events, but they make a starting point.

      Rhetoric and reality

      Rhetoric & Reality 2: Jobs

      Rhetoric & Reality 3: Crime

      Rhetoric & Reality 4: Tertiary Education

      Maybe I need a better hobby… 🙁

      • Daveski 6.1.1

        I warned rocky at the start this wasn’t a game you would want to play.

        Tariana is asking Labour’s Maori MP’s to do remind us what they said then and why and what they are going to say now. Kind of make hip hop tours look like nothing.

        This is not a game to play if you want to be holier than thou.

        Also, could be a good game to play “What They Said About Richard Worth” now there isn’t a court case. But he’s such a dick that I frankly don’t care who said what.

        Captcha: timeless opera … how true!

        • rocky

          Actually Daveski the difference is that Labour have admitted they were wrong about the foreshore and seabed. All I’m asking is for John Key to do the same on this issue (though admittedly this issue is a hell of a lot less important).

          • Daveski

            Good post rocky 🙂 Some nice discussion this time. No big sticks needed either.

          • Ron

            JK was not just wrong but part of the party that whipped up the hysteria about the issue in the first place. If the Marlborough case had quietly gone ahead most people would never have noticed but the Tories thought they’d use it and it worked. Part of a shameful period of racism on their part and they’re not called on it often enough


            Maybe National will like to address the contradiction between their “Kiwi-Iwi” Billboard and the current FS&SB stance as well. Doing a flip flop on hip hop is one matter, but their changed stance on the FS-SB shows exactly how vote grubbing Brashs cynical divisiveness was. Thats the big story.

            • Pascal's bookie

              nah it’s all down the memory hole George. Rude to mention it.

              ‘Explaining is losing’, doubly so in this case.

          • Swampy

            It’s very convenient for Labour to be able to admit that now that they can milk it for political gain at no cost to themselves.

      • Ron 6.1.2

        Thanks r0b. I’ll keep track of those.
        And don’t change your hobby – when we bury him next election we can point to you and say – “It’s down to that sad bastard over there” 😉

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Love that billboard:

    Welfare bribes … treaty lawyers … taniwha … darkies …

    Memo: From Steven Joyce to John Ansell

    “John, delete the last one, we don’t need it. They’ll get the message.”

  8. gobsmacked – they’re missing “rail electrification” on the Labour side of the board.

  9. Scribe 9

    Wasn’t the point of the billboard in 2005 the fact that part of the petrol tax was being siphoned (get it?) into the general fund, rather than going into things petrol tax should be used for, eg roads?

    I’m not saying there isn’t hypocrisy involved, but I’m not sure using this billboard as evidence works.

    • Maynard J 9.1

      That is the simple first-order analysis.

      But it is very clear there is another message there, not just that the money goes elsewhere, but it is wasted on silly things like hip-hop tours, appeasing Maori (Taniwha), courses such as twilight golf.

      No one said they were not clever.

      (love the pun though)

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