Pay attention, you’ll need patience and concentration.
It’s got the lot – lies, conspiracy, fraud, theft, and a truly good cover up that has stood the test of time (until now). Let’s begin.
Here’s John Key lying to Claire Trevett:
Mr Key said he left Elders Merchant Finance in 1987 three months before the “H-Fee” was dreamed up and knew nothing of it.
“So Labour is sitting there thinking â€˜we’ve got this guy. John Key’s done the Foreign Exchange deal’,” he said.
“Just one small issue: Three months before any of those deals got decided, I had left Elders. I never did the deals I never knew about the deals, and wasn’t involved in them.”
Hmm, that’s pretty categorical isn’t it, possums? Wasn’t there, can’t be involved – end of story.
But no – look what he tells Eugene Bingham eleven months later:
In 1988 Key was on the verge of leaving Elders, unshackling himself from a three-year contract after agreeing to three months “gardening leave” before taking up his new job at Banker’s Trust, newly established in New Zealand.
Well, look at that.
Claire Trevett hasn’t bothered to authenticate her story about Key’s departure date – she could have found out when the H-Fee actually happened, and could have verified his departure date with Elders Merchant Finance – now Hanover Finance – or any of the half dozen or so EMF employees still around, often in other roles.
(You’ll be surprised at some names, possums, but that’s for later).
This tour de force of journalistic incompetence or indolence becomes received wisdom in the Press Gallery and is not picked up by dear old Granny Herald when Key tells Eugene Bingham something closer to the truth eleven months later.
This is that he leaves EMF in 1988.
Eugene Bingham’s digging has been with a teaspoon. He obviously hasn’t read Trevett’s earlier piece, but despite the differing year, he still prints the lie, that Key had left. Isn’t that what Editors tidy up?
Either Granny Herald’s huge political staff is asleep at the wheel, or this “watch dog” has turned into a blue rinsed poodle. Batman charitably favours the former explanation.
Tomorrow: The date of the H-Fee and how the biggest white collar crime of the last century worked.
[Update: one of the joy’s of The Standard is that, as a loose collective, we can write pretty much what we want without going through any approval process but the drawback is sometimes people stuff up. It relies on a lot of unwritten rules. One of those rules that’s now been written pretty firmly is that when we get an email from some joker calling themselves Batman, we don’t make them an author. I don’t want some random writing whatever they want on a blog with my name on it. But they do have an important story to tell, even if their writing style is a bit esoteric, so we’ll give them a guest post to tell it. SP]
[lprent: I was wondering..]