The rise of Collins and the decline of Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, May 4th, 2015 - 82 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins, national - Tags:

Oh to be a fly on the wall at National’s next Caucus meeting.

[audio:http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20150504-0711-prime_minister_regrets_misreading_ponytail_saga-048.mp3]

John Key was interviewed by Guyon Espiner this morning on morning report. Gone was the cocksure arrogant Prime Minister who has with a huge amount of teflon coating avoided scandal and problems for the past seven years. Crosby Textor’s framing him as a financial genius you would like to have a beer with and a State House kid who has amassed huge wealth through his innate abilities is finally being scraped off.

Key has been successful because on occasions he gives the perception of being liberal and ordinary. But the reality is that behind that carefully crafted veneer is a politician who in economic terms is certainly to the right.

The most startling admissions were that Key had taken legal advice on Graeme McCready’s private prosecution and that he does not rule out standing down as Prime Minister if the prosecution reached fruition.

To add to his problems Judith Collins is clearly positioning herself for a return to Cabinet if not a tilt at the leadership.

She recently hired a Public Relations staffer readying herself no doubt for some change. She was the first National MP as far as I am aware of who publicly criticised Key after ponygate broke. As reported by Radio New Zealand two weeks ago:

Ms Collins said many women would find having their hair pulled inappropriate.

“It hasn’t happened to me, but I guess some people just have their quirky little mannerisms and what they might see as a joke, sometimes can fall flat in that the recipient doesn’t find it funny.”

“I know the Prime Minister so well, he would not have been thinking that he was going to upset anybody.”

But Mr Key had apologised and that was the right thing to do, she said.

She tiptoed right up to the edge of what was appropriate with those comments.

And yesterday she appeared on Q&A brandishing her feminist qualities.

The narrative will be that as Collins was cleared by the Chisholm Report there is nothing to stop her return to cabinet. But the failure of the report writer to interview most of the important players in that rather sordid episode means that its conclusions must be treated circumspectly. And in most functioning democracies Collins’ behaviour in relation to Oravida would mean that she would never be considered for a return to Cabinet.

The most peculiar recent activity by Collins was giving a Young National calendar to reporter Tova O’Brien. The calendar included a picture of young women with rather long hair and dressed somewhat inappropriately. The subsequent social media blaze will, shall we say, not be helpful for Key. It is unfortunate for National that Judith did not foresee the possible consequences of this.

82 comments on “The rise of Collins and the decline of Key”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    I thought the most interesting part of Natrad’s coverage this morning was the deluge of correspondence telling them to stop going on about it. From Natrad listeners.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      You mean the deluge of emails from National Party members?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1

        Probably National Party voters, but that’s who Labour has to get to vote Labour, isn’t it?

        • Sable 1.1.1.1

          No its Green party and NZ First supporters Labour needs. Little chance of that happening (no pun intended).

        • Tracey 1.1.1.2

          All of them?????

        • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.3

          Labour needs swing voters. Tribal NAct do not change. In fact, Labour mostly needs decent policies and a cleaning out of the bureaucratic cabal that ruins everything.

      • higherstandard 1.1.2

        Yes that must be it.

        Best that the media should concentrate on ponytails and other dross rather than the brittle economy, auckland’s housing shambles and growing public debt or the continuing cover up in the North.

        Yeah concentrate on ponytails and the PM being a dweeb that’ll win the next election and if things aren’t going quite to plan you can wheel out Dotcom, Snowden and Assange again that’ll swing the vote.

        • Dave 1.1.2.1

          If you’ll notice it is the media controlling the narrative on this, I haven’t seen much discussion of the issue from opposition MP’s. It’s just something else the left & right can agree on in this country, journalistic standards have dropped dramatically.

          • higherstandard 1.1.2.1.1

            There are journalistic standards ?

            • dukeofurl 1.1.2.1.1.1

              You have no idea what a media company has to do to be popular with its readers. These stories’ sell’ in the media parlance.

              They have to appeal to everyone.
              There was one the other day about a teenager not paying the salon. It was a top story.
              You may not like it, but it sells advertising, and that keeps the papers in business.
              Meanwhile for your high brow tastes the New York Review of Books is waiting for your subscription

          • ianmac 1.1.2.1.2

            Just now on Nine to Noon Mr Williams said that a message went out to Labour people to say nothing about pony tails but let others/media do the saying. Good strategy?

        • vto 1.1.2.2

          I couldn’t believe the ignorance spouted by those Nat Party emailers complaining about the coverage of ponytailgate…… claiming it is a nonsense and unimportant….

          what a bunch of fools ….. the judgment (extreme lack of) of the Prime Minister is very important, not to mention the probable commitment of an offence. It has made everyone question what the fuck goes on in Key’s mind – and that if he is so far off the planet with this then wtf else has been way off the planet on?

          At the top of the importance list is the ability of a Prime Minister to function

          It is the most critical of issues

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.2.2.1

            It has made everyone question what the fuck goes on in Key’s mind…

            Has it, though?

            • Tracey 1.1.2.2.1.1

              no, not everyone, but some more than before, .

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                I don’t know at all. It is possible that his might be the thing that ends Key’s golden run. If so, all of those commentators who have, since 2008, been saying that “the honeymoon is over” will finally be right.

                However, I think it is equally possible that a fair proportion of the population will feel some sympathy for Key and that the over-wrought reaction of Key’s enemies will backfire.

                Don’t know. Just wondering.

                • higherstandard

                  I don’t know that it’s Key who has had a honeymoon run more that his opponents, apart from Helen Clark and her team, have been unbelievably woeful.

                  • dukeofurl

                    Woeful to compared to what.

                    The hot sheets hotel minister, the minister barging around airport security, the minister gallivanting around China at taxpayers expense ( make that two ministers), then there are the Mps too many to count

                • lprent

                  Probably why neither Labour nor the Greens have said much about it. A few press statements and a bit of jiving in the house.

                  The “over-wrought” reaction has come from the rather ordinary citizens on blogs. The reaction from the non-political people across the spectrum who keep mentioning it with various levels of embarrassment is the most interesting. It is also the most damaging politically.

                  But keep holding on to your fantasies. May I suggest you communicate those clearly to the National activists. It will keep them happy.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    The honeymoon is over I tells ya!

      • Corokia 1.1.3

        After 8 Natrad said they had had lots of texts disagreeing with those who had said it was unimportant and they then read some out. Overall they read out more from listeners who said this issue is not over yet.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.3.1

          The key was Natrad listeners. About 17 of them voted National at the last election.

  2. Skinny 2

    So what are you saying here Mickey?

    What your working for the rightwing of National by promoting Collins. Why make it easy for that to occur.

    Not to down with National roping teenagers into their party. Guess its better than boys.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      The last thing I would do is promote Collins for anything. I am remarking on her attempts at self promotion and wondering if Key should be afraid.

      • Vagabundo 2.1.1

        The sudden and conspicuous increase in mentions of Collins this weekend was certainly curious, to say the least. And then there was the Audrey Young story on Saturday. I wonder if there has been some talk going on between Collins and some sections of the press + blogosphere (including maybe a certain you-know-who.)

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11441957

        • Jones 2.1.1.1

          Without doubt promises to back scratch aplenty… Slater and Co. will have seen the ponytailing as an opportunity to get back in there. As Brent Edwards highlighted on Morning Report this morning, John Key’s lost moral high ground thereby providing Collins an opportunity to get back in to Cabinet, at least. But Collins as PM? God help us… she’ll make Maggie look like a socialist.

        • Quicksilver 2.1.1.2

          I thought the same thing Vagabundo. It gave the appearance that someone, somewhere, has decided that Key is rapidly approaching his political expiry date, and that there is now a desperate need to introduce the “replacement”. Will the Natz replace like for like? Talk about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!

      • Skinny 2.1.2

        Right oh cobbah agreed it is the very last thing we want is the rightwing taking the helm. Unfortunately this is how it will play out with not only the infighting but pressure from yanks and big business. Key despite having many faults has kept the hardcore right at bay, little wonder Hooton, Hide and other ACT cheerleaders are ripping him to bits as being a socialist.

        I recently heard thru a very close source to Key that he doesn’t have the stomach for continuing on much longer. I guess Helen experienced the same when the right tried pushing her out and install Phil Goff Off at the top. Thank goodness that never transpired, well actually he did take over and look where we are now.

        • Kiwiri 2.1.2.1

          Imagine Phil Goff taking over the largest city in NZ 🙂

        • Aaron 2.1.2.2

          Key was smarter than the lot of them, he knew you had to go softly softly with the right wing approach, he did pretty much what Don Brash would have done but kept the public onside in the process. Looking back it’s a pity Brash didn’t become PM because he would have destroyed the National Party and made Neo liberalism the dirtiest of concepts in this country – and he would have done it all in the space of 12 months.

          With any luck Collins will get in but with not much time to do any damage and National will get an even lower vote at the next election than Shipley did.

          • Wayne 2.1.2.2.1

            Aaron,

            You need to compare what John Key has done, with what Don Brash promised. They are a fair way apart. And I do have actual knowledge.

            The New Zealand public are not stupid. They know there is a substantive policy difference between John Key and Don Brash.

            • rawshark-yeshe 2.1.2.2.1.1

              “actual knowledge” as opposed to what — ‘illusionary knowledge’ ?? isn’t it one of the non-quantifiables ? or is everything up for grabs on Planet Key ?

        • You have a source who is “very close” to Key?

          • rawshark-yeshe 2.1.2.3.1

            Bronagh is allowed to have friends.

          • Skinny 2.1.2.3.2

            A source close to myself who’s source is a closer source than my source to me. You should be able to work that one out.

            And when I consider a senior ACT man told me there isn’t a month go by that a private jet lands here with some suit who has a job offer for him, it is little wonder Key is considering folding.

            Thanks for answering on RNZ about Collins new PR person, so a no name, female I assume being a feminist and all.

      • aerobubble 2.1.3

        Collins will not be PM, it’ll be disaster for brand National. No, Collins is vying for the voice of the right of the National party in up coming leadership to hold over the two front runners, the left looking Bennett and the middling of the bats Bridges. Collins will get rewarded for getting concessions out of the next leader, concessions favorable to the rich rightwing backers of national.

        • Skinny 2.1.3.1

          If I was a national supporter, which I’m not, Collins is it, no one else comes close in the steel balls department of running a tight ship.

          • rawshark-yeshe 2.1.3.1.1

            Hmmmm, Skinny. Titanic was a tight ship until she wasn’t.

            Personally, I’d prefer a government that did not require steel balls. I’d like a government that understood compassion for all its peoples and keeps ‘abreast’ of things that way ?

            Steel balls is the capitalist way. I am agin’ it. It’s killing our planet home, (and my goodness, this might be the only planet that has chocolate !)

            Away, Steel Balls. Go and clang against each other somewhere else. Collins — go to China. Surely Shipley can find you a decent sinocure ( deliberate mis-spelling for accuracy ) in one of her banks. Please, do the decent thing for NZ and just sod off. Oh yes, please take Jenny with you. ( And a few others, but you know who they are.) Collins, dear, — maybe you can become the China promoter for the Elvis impersonator your performed with in Papakura .. you could dance on stage every night and have far more fun than ever is available for you here. Bye !!! I wish you Oravida.

            (and Collins dancing link in case you think I made it up!! at 2.47)

            http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/elvis-graces-the-stage-four-decades-on-2015030618#axzz3TYihJFZe

            • rawshark-yeshe 2.1.3.1.1.1

              ( that’s a very brief dancing clip .. it went on for a v e r y long time. )

            • sirpat 2.1.3.1.1.2

              maybe we need a Collins there scaring the fark out of everyone…….might be just the lever to get all the folks out there to actually vote!!!!!….{left of course}

  3. Charles 3

    That calendar picture is disturbing… Look how high the poor cat has to climb to get out the catdoor. Even the pets are forced to climb in YoungNat world.

    • b waghorn 3.1

      That’s not for the cat its a slug hole for slater and friends to slither in an out of.

      • Joy Clark 3.1.1

        remember the Seven Days quip from Paul Ego to Judith Collins about her lovely complexion? She blushed…. and then, in-for-the-kill he asked if it was all the Whale Oil she used…. (I started to choke at this point…. on the visuals of the sperm whale coming in her face)

    • CnrJoe 3.2

      Moonbeam has Diplomatic Security Squad place a footstool beneath the flap when requiring egress doncha know?

  4. Sable 4

    Why does the song “Send in the Clowns” keep coming to mind. I guess they we all know they are already here….

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    National are really grasping at straws if they’re trying to resurrect Collins – they’d get more credibility out of Jamie Whyte.

  6. Sabine 6

    it looks like the girls to the far right and far left are not happy lending their faces to their slightly exposed bodies.

    And also, is there a picture showing young Key Man in t-shirts only, pulled down enough to expose the naughty pics? Or is that just another time where the female for is used for advertising to men?

    As for Collins? She might be the sanest thing the Nats have at the moment, as I really don’t believe that Bennett is going to win any election just yet, nor can I see Joyce cutting it. What are the other options? Mr. 19% Bill English? the man with the charm of a stale english breakfast scone?

    One thing that peeps don’t seem to be mentioning is the fact that National Voters have previously voted for Labour, they did so for Helen Clark (at least twice 🙂 ) after the debacle that was Dame Jenny Shipley and Saatchi and Saatchi. Funny thing is as a bynote, that the selling of State houses was started under her, and the Flag changes were started under her. So essentially this current National Government is so devoid of ideas that they are actually trying to tying up the loose ends from the Shipley reign.

    So yes, i can see John Key resign thanks to Mr. McGready , and Collins take over in absence of anything better.

    • tc 6.1

      Yup and consider that John Phillip has no parliamentary workload, cavorts about all over the globe with his goons in tow with one specific task…..front the sellout and keep the steeple duped.

      All he had to do was focus and keep his banksta behaviour in check and with the msm muppets assisting all would have been fine however he couldn’t do that and let his born to rule arrogance come through.

  7. Tracey 7

    Mickey

    “The most startling admissions were that Key had taken legal advice on Graeme McCready’s private prosecution and that he does not rule out standing down as Prime Minister if the prosecution reached fruition.”

    You reckon? Sounds like a CT line to make the public turn on McCready

  8. Rosie 8

    Sorry Mickey. I was reading your post, mulling over the prospect of Judith Collins wedging herself into position for a triumphant come back and then I got to the Miss December’s and got stuck.

    My god, do these nats not know anything about boundaries and appropriateness? The young woman on the left with her face down and pulling her t shirt down are far as she can looks like in her mind she is pleading “just leave my fanny out of this. This is not my idea, I really don’t like this”.

    Or is this “all just a laugh” too?

    “It is unfortunate for National that Judith did not foresee the possible consequences of this.”

    But Jude did no doubt. It could be quite intentional, a sly way of suggesting Key is associated with such inappropriateness and that only a woman can be trusted as a leader after all his problems.

    Anyone see her on 7 Days two Fridays ago? She made it very clear that when “she seeks revenge she gets our knives out and sharpens them”. (Not a direct quote).

    • Rosie 8.1

      Furthermore, why would you give someone a calendar in May? Maybe more to do with the tactics than providing someone with a helpful and useful gift they can use throughout the whole year.

      Eww. Whats the bet Key gave this calendar to his buddy David Cameron and Cameron’s sitting in his office perving at the December page that is constantly up. “Whoar! Conservative young tottie! “.
      Unlikely in real life but plausible in the sick world these men inhabit.

      • weka 8.1.1

        The inappropriateness of that calender even being made is breathtaking. This is yet another reflection of the culture within the party that is running the country and it shows in pretty much everything they do. No sense of boundaries.

        • rawshark-yeshe 8.1.1.1

          who are the girls and why are they and/or their parents or guardians being silent ????? WTF. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.

          [r0b: deleted]

          • rawshark-yeshe 8.1.1.1.1

            ok Rob .. sorry. Maybe you can delete the whole line for me then ?

          • Rosie 8.1.1.1.2

            It’s really creepy. I wonder if these young women fully understood what they were doing when they posed and I wonder if they were enthusiastic about it.

            I don’t think they were enthusiastic , especially not the two on each end, the one on the left especially, as mentioned above. Their heads are down either because they are anxious to attempt to conceal their identity or out a sense of shame – shame that doesn’t belong them I should add. The shame is on those who thought this was ok as a subject for a calendar of the ruling political party.

            There is a real sense of discomfort in this photo. Why did someone think it was ok to take in the first place, and then to go ahead and publish this photo on a calendar when clearly at least two of the young women are really unhappy to be photographed partially naked?

      • Tracey 8.1.2

        collins is promising key his knighthood if she takes over…

  9. greywarshark 9

    T shirts and gormless messages are in for the National Party. Running the country at the behest of thinking NZs and for the benefit of all is out for the National Party.

    This youtube shows what has happened to the Nats and why!
    And if you hold on long enough you will see a visual of how Labour needs to rise with good music!


    • greywarshark 9.1

      I don’t know what has happened to my link to youtube. I can’t get rid of the plugin window on my comment. I hope no-one else is inflicted with it. I’ll have to get advice about this later when my guru comes home. Even shutting down my computer and coming back in doesn’t work. But one thing may be important. I need to do some updating. It may be the answer.

  10. felix 10

    Toward the end of the interview, Guyon asks Key about Collins’ chances of getting her car back.

    Key says the only thing stopping her being in Cabinet is that there are no vacancies at present.

    Guyon then asks about the Minister with a brother accused of being a pedo, but for some weird reason never draws the link between those two lines of questioning.

    Surely there’s a vacancy there for Collins. She’s already been Police Minister before, hasn’t she?

  11. b waghorn 11

    ” It is unfortunate for National that Judith did not foresee the possible consequences of this.” YEAH RIGHT
    Make a good tui ad.

  12. Joy Clark 12

    Snakes and Ladders !
    But in their version the snakes slither ever-upwards.
    That is the Key to winning.

    • freedom 12.1

      & when you pull the ladders up as well, there is apparently no losing for these players

    • Kiwiri 12.2

      Snakes and Ladders: squirm and kick.

      That is the Nasty Party game where, when confronted with facts, they try to squirm they way out; when they have achieved privileged positions, they kick?

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    And in most functioning democracies Collins’ behaviour in relation to Oravida would mean that she would never be considered for a return to Cabinet.

    In a functioning democracy Collins would have been jailed over her actions.

    • rawshark-yeshe 13.1

      But that was never examined, was it ? I thought the once-over-very-lightly jack-up inquiry with the real witnesses missing was investigating only on her alleged machinations against Feeley and the SFO, a la slater. It was on that, and only that, that she was found ‘not guilty’.

      Oravida remains an open sore for New Zealand in all of the east, west, south and north of the land. ( Oravida — nothing we won’t sell ! Animal, vegetable, mineral — we own it all !)

  14. ianmac 14

    Just checked that the calendar is 2015. Tick.

  15. McFlock 15

    The thing about Collins giving the calendar to O’Brien is that it has shades of Chris Carter’s little meltdown – getting so sharp at playing games that he cut himself.

    Feeding that calendar directly to a reporter (maybe she should have used hoots as an intermediary 😛 ) is making the dirty laundry a little too public, in my opinion. It’ll still hurt key more than her, but she doesn’t have to run faster than key so much as running faster than english/woodhouse/joyce/tolleylol/bennett.

    I get that she’s basically figured that her oravida exile is far enough outside the cabinet tent to start pissing into it, but she’s forgotten that other people around the campfire are watching and waiting, too…

  16. emergency mike 16

    That photo. W.T.F. Even if pony tail gate never happened it would still disturb the hell out of me. But it did. Just weird.

    Cheeky move by Collins, to put it mildly.

  17. Tanz 17

    Key is to the left of the Labour Party, many in National are ****** with him as he has sold out National’s founding principles. Everything he does is carefully calculated re the popularity stakes, and he plays a safe game rather then being a reformer.
    His legacy, beside the ponytail thing, will be the next generations of young Kiwis, and some older ones being locked out of home ownership forever. Not that he cares a jot re that!!

  18. feijoa 18

    Of course Collins (Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter) is poised to pounce. I bet that’s why there was bad news for Steven Joyce the other day. Watch out anyone who gets in her way

  19. Michael 19

    If Labour can’t get rid of Key, perhaps it’s best that the Nats do so themselves. After all, Labour’s had three goes now, and failed every time (the last by its biggest margin ever, IIRC?). As for Key’s replacement, I think Crusher Collins represents the National Party and its supporters to a tee.

  20. Clemgeopin 20

    Who is the Public Relations staffer she recently hired ?

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