Teflon off: Key gets a mauling at Press Conference

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, May 18th, 2009 - 33 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags:

John Key’s performance at this afternoon’s 4pm Press Conference was impressive. I’ve never heard so many, ‘don’t knows’, denials, ‘I can’t tell yous’, prevarications and equivocations in a press conference before. You wonder why he bothered to even turn up, he could’ve just sent along a billboard with ‘No Comment’ on it for all the informational content of what came out of his mouth. The looks he gave were none too reassuring either, nor was his very abrupt flounce-out at the end.

Of course Key had to appear, to prevent the latest Supershity non-announcement meltdown growing even bigger (apparently it’s an important decision and they don’t want to rush it 🙄 ), the Rankin meltdown growing even bigger, the pig industry meltown growing even bigger, the Don Brash’s mysterious emails meltdown getting even bigger.

Lots of fires for Mr Key to fight and very little information from him to fill the media vacuum – even less evidence of National having any control over the political news agenda (which is what a PM’s presser is actually meant to achieve). Meanwhile the Press Gallery are sounding ever more frustrated and incredulous, which can only be a bad sign for a government that’s all of 6 months in to its first term.

Perhaps Key will take a leaf out of Jenny Shipley’s book and cancel them altogether?

33 comments on “Teflon off: Key gets a mauling at Press Conference”

  1. Anita 1

    Please tell me that Scoop will be posting the footage/audio.

    • thanks andy, link now also in post.

    • Anita 3.2

      Actually I don’t think he did too badly. He could waffle for his country, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: t didn’t provide sound bites worth using, it didn’t make the media think press conferences are really worth an effort.

      If he’s looking for a method for dampening down the media he may well have found it.

  2. Mostyn 4

    I have a new respect for Key’s multi-tasking ability from his efforts to answer questions about the Super City.
    I didn’t realize one could look defensive AND flail about at the same time.

  3. Gabby 5

    ‘I’ve had what i would describe as two meetings on the issue…’ WTF?

  4. exbrethren 6

    What’s the story with the Brash emails getting bigger?

    • Anita 6.1

      It appears to be one of National and friends’ favourite strategies. Under pressure or not in charge of the news cycle? Re-re-re-release something about the Brash email leaks complete with a series of unprovoked and unfounded attacks on Nicky Hager. Watch happily as the media run unsupported accusations and innuendo at the post of the news.

      Rinse and repeat.

  5. Tim Ellis 7

    You must have been watching a different press conference to me, Sprout.

    I didn’t think Key got a mauling. He was asked the same question multiple times about the composition of the super city transitional board, and said he wasn’t going to answer because decisions haven’t been made yet.

    I don’t know how you would determine that as a mauling. He seemed to me to be pretty composed and relaxed.

    I guess we just see what we want to see.

    • gobsmacked 7.1

      “I guess we just see what we want to see”

      Like when Melissa Lee was told not to give any more interviews, and you just refused to believe it?

      The real apology

      Looks like Mallard got it right, eh?

      Your spin skills are going downhill, Tim. Lift your game or you’ll be taken off the team.

  6. Pig industry meltdown? FFS, if SAFE would reveal where they shot their video, MAF could investigate. But they won’t, because SAFE has a “strategy” – I would have thought that SAFE would first and foremost be concerned with animal welfare, not strategy.

    • Ah yeah they have released the location of the farm the footage was from.

      I’d say tonight’s TV1 news lead story makes it a bit of a meltdown Inv2, helped along by Key’s “I was appalled” and the Minister for Agriculture’s “I didn’t know” comments. And then there’s the industry’s cancellation of their Bacon Awards scheduled for this week. Definitely has the aroma of something frying.

      update: and now Close Up leads with “Pork industry plunged into panic”

    • Maynard J 8.2

      inventory2 – SAFEs position is that hte farm they filmed is representative of the average factoy pig-farm. If they gave the location straight away, that one farm would be made a scapegoat and there would be no policy change. They obviously want more than that, do you blame them?

      Their concern is for animal welfare, they are not being so short sighted. I get the impression you just felt like a rant against this PC namby-pamby animal rights group, but you can’t really attack them for what they have done, so you chose the next best target. I hope my impression is wrong and that you just did not think about it.

  7. Even though the world’s economy is in freefall, unemployment rates are surging, more and more jobs are disappearing every day, hundreds of homeowners in Mount Albert will have their houses bulldozed, Auckland democracy is being undermined, and the country’s climate change policies have been hopelessly undermined at least Key will step in to help the Hillarys.

    Can anyone say what the “issue” that prevents him from announcing the Transition Board is?

  8. Inventory 2 – SAFE gave the MAF the location earlier in the day according to TVNZ

  9. Relic 11

    Cognitive processes are starting to catch up it seems with the actuality of a genuine right wing Nactional government. Re the Brash mail thing, this has been buried so far as current office holders are likely to be implicated.

  10. gobsmacked 12

    Coming soon to a right-wing blog near you: angry posts titled “Prime Minister suppresses freedom of speech!”

    Key on Rankin:

    ”As far as I’m concerned she’s been appointed a commissioner, one of seven in a part-time job, to advocate for families and particularly because of her expertise when it comes to abused children” …

    ”That’s what I want to hear her talking about and nothing else.”

    Any bets on how long that gag will last?

    • Lindsey 12.1

      Anybody done any research as to what this Trust she worked for actually did for abused children?
      Apart from the S59 stuff where she was at odds with most of the real and qualified people who actually work in the area, what has she actually done?

  11. Natpicker 13

    Even the best “photo opportunity” politicians have to say something real eventually. And sooner or later even the most ardent bigots supporting to the cliches etc start to wonder how long they too can keep believing the spin. Keys just about out of credit.

  12. ever had a telfon pan that’s been badly scratched? they’re a bastard because you just can’t clean them. stuff keeps sticking but you can’t use conventional means for cleaning like a steelo or an abrasive. they’re nieither one thing nor ‘tother, eventually you just have to chuck them out.

  13. Ianmac 15

    Guyon Espiner still goes with the “Helen Clark was a control-Freak” but John Key has a much easier (better?) management style. I would have thought that Helen worked very hard to be aware of every detail. And seldom caught short in 9 years but in 6 months currently John……

  14. andy 16

    “If you accept the argument that her main area of expertise is in abused children, then I don’t think you could point to anything in her background that would indicate she’s not qualified to talk about that issue,” he said at his post-cabinet press conference.


    Key kept repeating the line that Rankin would advocate for ‘abused children’, should she not be working for CYFS instead of the Families Commission. Granted that is one area the Families Commission would have some things to discuss.

    I thought she advocated for ‘abusing’ children not ‘abused children’, smacking = loving families!!!111!!

    • Anita 16.1

      I think Key was signalling he’ll fire her is she speaks publicly about anything other than the abuse of children. To me it sounded like a very clear directive to stop talking to the media.

      • andy 16.1.1

        He did tell her not so subtly to STFU.

        He was also changing the language around Rankin and trying to give the appointment an ounce of credibility by making stuff up about her expertise.

        What confuses me is the ‘she is not PC’ line, but when you ask her a ‘non PC’ question its a left wing smear? I thought not being PC was good, but its bad when you ask a non PC question to a non PC person, kind of like a double negative. Dam this PC business is not only undefined, it’s incomprehensible.!!

  15. Trevor Mallard 17

    Rankin gagged – yeah right.

    • Anita 17.1

      I didn’t say I thought it would be effective 🙂

      But it does give him a way out if he wants to fire her later, and he’d look strong doing it (rather than like he was backing down). I thought it was nicely played.

      I have had to compliment Key twice in this thread, I need to clean my hands now 🙂

      • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1

        Isn’t the commission supposed to be independent though? If so, then wouldn’t Key’s request be out of order?

  16. Zaphod Beeblebrox 18

    He is not Helen Clark, thats for sure. His management of Rodney Hide is losing him good will up north, especially in the rural Auckland regions and the handling (or lack of) of Melissa Lee has been ordinary. His next problem will be John Banks as he shoots his mouth off about how many services the new Auckland council are going to remove.
    The problem is that they have very few positive good news stories to promote. They have spent the first six months dismantling a lot of Labour initiatives but haven’t come up with much of their own. The obsession with low taxes and our credit rating means he can’t afford any positive programs which leaves him on the defensive all the time and reacting to actions of others.

  17. “His next problem will be John Banks as he shoots his mouth off about how many services the new Auckland council are going to remove”

    for sure, Zaphod. did you hear Banks shoot his mouth off on talkback about how 40% of Council staff would go, only to later have to say to a follow-up news team on camera that he was ‘wrong’ – the great irony being he was likely retracting a truthful statement 🙁

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