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The Todd Barclay debacle enters the sixth day of the news cycle

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, June 26th, 2017 - 61 comments
Categories: bill english, Media, national, national/act government, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

This is really bad news for National.

The Todd Barclay story has entered into its sixth day of media coverage.

And Bill English is no John Key.  He is struggling to deal with the matter.

For evidence have a look at this Q&A interview between English and  Corryn Dann.  Or this interview between English and Paddy Gower on the Nation.

English looked extraordinarily uncomfortable.  Both times.  He must have had a hell of a weekend.

Part way through the Dann interview he relies on a defence of proof beyond reasonable doubt.  Memo to Bill, Members of Parliament should be upstanding conscientious law abiding members of our community.  If they do things and then refuse to speak to the police even though there are serious questions for them to answer then this is not a good look.  This is why the Todd Barclay story is in its sixth day of media analysis.

And English has brought this all onto himself.

Over the past six days he has:

  • said he could not recall who told him about the Barclay tape recording,
  • recalls that he told police that Barclay had told him that he [Barclay] had made the tape recording,
  • claimed that he reported the matter to the police,
  • agreed that he did not report the matter to the police,
  • thought that Barclay had the right to remain silent,
  • wondered if it was an offence to tape someone without their permission,
  • did not recall that he and John Key had sought to have others prosecuted for doing exactly that,
  • confirmed that Barclay should cooperate with police,
  • suggested that there may not be a tape,
  • remembered that Barclay offered to play him the tape.

And the National Party conference?  The chance to present a happy face and new policies and show that National should be trusted again with the reigns of power.  All blown.  Nothing to show for it.  Anyone aware of any new policy announcement?

This morning things have only got worse.  English has given this train wreck of an interview with Suzy Ferguson.  English could not answer the most straight forward of questions.  He had not sought to clarify with Todd Barclay if the tape existed.  And he said that he had no role in settlement of the employment dispute and he did not know how much had been paid out.

What utter bumpkum.  He is now Prime Minister and leader of the National Party.  The Leader’s office made the payment.  Couldn’t he sit down with Wayne Eagleston and ask him “whats the go here”?

As noted by Weka the latest breaking story from Newsroom, that National’s president and ruling council were reminded repeatedly how unsuitable Barclay was as a candidate will further lengthen the news cycle of this particular story.

The National Party caucus must be a very grumpy place right now.  If polling dips significantly, and there must be a real risk of this happening, then English may be in trouble.

But don’t take any note of what I say.  After all I am nothing more than a clearly partisan Labour Party hack.

https://twitter.com/MatthewHootonNZ/status/878822087548207105

61 comments on “The Todd Barclay debacle enters the sixth day of the news cycle ”

  1. Sacha 1

    When voters see Hilary Barry on morning tv exasperated by the PM’s refusal to give straight answers, guess where their sympathies will be? Awesome clip: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/you-need-front-up-and-tell-us-know-hilary-barry-challenges-bill-english-over-todd-barclay-saga

    • Gold. Hilary very frustrated by Bill and no wonder what a tool. This dumbarse leading the country – I don’t think so.

    • ianmac 1.2

      Imagine if all Interviewers asked questions of those who have the power. Wow. They did and continue to do so. A miracle for MSM! Will it continue and will other leaders be subject to the same scrutiny? Watch this space.

    • mickysavage 1.3

      Man that was one tough interview. Her anger was palpable.

  2. ianmac 2

    The Interview this morning with Suzie is actually @
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201848818/english-doesn-t-know-if-barclay-tape-still-exists

    [Thanks I managed to post the wrong link … now corrected – MS]

  3. riffer 3

    Very interesting how Bill English keeps looking away from Hilary Barry’s gaze throughout the entire interview. A huge tell. I wonder when he developed such a bad flick of the eyes?

    This page provides some insight into this behaviour:

    http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2005/11/08/what-are-we-doing-when-we-look/

    • Cinny 3.1

      My 12 year picked up on something watching Hilarys interview this morning, the outgoing PM’s eyes turned really dark towards the end, angry eyes, like a demon.

      Cheers for the links and info everyone. Personally am looking forward to question time tomorrow.

      • Red 3.1.1

        That’s called propaganda conditioning Cinny,

        • Cinny 3.1.1.1

          Crikey and I was thinking it’s just body language reacting to avoidance spotted by a 12 yr old who listens to Noam Chomsky, watches TED talks is aware of body language along with advertising propaganda and encouraged to form her own opinions and ideas.

          O.O Thanks Red you’ve inspired me to introduce her to Edward Bernays, dang she’ll really start to see through the smoke and mirrors after digesting his methods.

          Red, have you seen “The Man in The High Castle”? now that’s propaganda conditioning.

          • Red 3.1.1.1.1

            Will watch later

          • In Vino 3.1.1.1.2

            Not sure why you think that is so good, Cinny. Had read/studied it all before.. fact is that the Wehrmacht was not ready to face the French army in 1938, and Hitler knew it. He also knew that the French would not be aggressors, which is why he did not start the war too early. Propaganda? did I miss something?

            • Cinny 3.1.1.1.2.1

              It’s an awesome TV series, puts a real spin on how history could have been different. The propaganda embedded in the series, the lies of how things really are, the control of the people etc it’s right up there with house of cards. A distraction i thought that red might enjoy. It’s a very clever series, the links I gave does not give it enough credit.

              But it’s a fine example of control via propaganda. Looking forward to the third season.

  4. Brendon Harre 4

    There is a brilliant interview of Melanie Reid, who did the investigative journalism on the Todd Barclay affair. The interview goes far deeper than just the Todd Barclay affair. Melanie Reid discusses the state of journalism and democracy in NZ. She also talked about working for a small online news website Newsroom. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ are worth following and even supporting with the odd donation if you can afford it.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/201848765/melanie-reid-investigative-journalism

  5. bwaghorn 5

    should a seen him on hews hub , a cant a cant i won’t laaa laaa not not listening , classic english
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/94070529/chart-of-the-day-how-big-is-southlands-economy-per-person

    odd thing to turn up on stuff must be the nats trying to put their finger in the dike

  6. roadrage 6

    Barcley will not be returned at the next election. He is gone. So the noise ain’t about Basrcley. Its how a MP given previous tapes was so unaware of consequences. I mean how notable that a tape exposing the former PMs hypocrisy resulted in his demise,all from the former electorate office of the now PM. The present PM knows the taped better than the taper. Was there ever any tape, was it just a ploy to transition to a new leader, was it the now routine election PR noise necessary for politicians to avoid answering real questions about real govt issues. Press fail, Nat fail, smoke win.

    • Gabby 6.1

      Got to wonder if Wee Toddy was acting on advice and if so who Bingles might be covering for.

  7. Karen 7

    Suzie did a brilliant job on National Radio this morning patiently repeating questions while Bill responded with drivel completely unrelated to the questions. The Hillary Barry interview was also good particularly because of the incredulous look on her face.

    Then I watched the interview with Andrew Little shown on Q & A. Quite a contrast with Bill’s performance.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/andrew-little-speaks-labours-marae-controversy-and-national-s-rough-week

    • weka 7.1

      That’s a good interview, really shows Little’s ethics and world view on what’s important.

  8. Red 8

    The people who watch Q&a and listen to radio red are not swing voters and are belt way junkies or tragic lefties looking for a glimmer of hope in a dark chasm that are the polls , the voting mass don’t care and are more interested in Rugby and sailing

    • Cinny 8.1

      Dude who are you trying to convince?

      • lprent 8.1.1

        Himself I think..

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        Himself.

        He knows that the RWNJ policies that he supports have proven to be a failure again and his leaders proven liars.

      • Red 8.1.3

        I am not trying to convince anybody just trying to avoid mass hysteria breaking out on this site by doing my duty and conveying the general populous view, no matter how difilcult this is for some, a circuit breaker for a lack of a better word Let see in September who is on the money re our little wager 😀

    • bearded git 8.2

      the polls are pointing to a lab/gr/nzf government

    • mac1 8.3

      Radio red, Red? Bollocks. If you think Nat Radio is red then you really have a discernment problem.

      Or maybe I have- and that all that material that I discern as tripe from the commentators is actually red propaganda.

      Red, mate, you have to just acknowledge that sometimes the other side’s story gets told, and that sometimes journalists fasten, as if it’s their job, onto a story of lies, corruption and deception, failure to follow cabinet manual procedures, failure to inform people of their responsibilities regarding possible criminal acts, and failure to follow party rules regarding candidate selection procedures.

      Especially when the country’s Prime Minister is involved.

      And if that is ‘red’ then ‘red’ is synonymous with words like ‘duty’, ‘democracy’ and ‘justice’ and is the opposite of such words as “criminality’, ‘lies’, “corruption’ and ‘cover-up’.

      Red. I hope you are well-named!

      • Red 8.3.1

        That’s fine not saying otherwise, albeit bit of hyperbole and over sensitivity, and a teeny wee little bit of bias in your comment My point is people don’t care, not that it is reported Slave labour however way better click bait

        • mac1 8.3.1.1

          Red, you call Nat Radio left wing you don’t get to call on bias.

          People don’t care?

          Not what I heard today.

          Day 6 and getting worse for the liars.

        • mickysavage 8.3.1.2

          It is clearly radical left wing dogma to expect all angles of an issue to be reported on.

    • In Vino 8.4

      And where is the capital S for Sailing, you bigoted rugby muppet??

      • mac1 8.4.1

        “The people who watch Q&a and listen to radio red” writes Red at 8 above.

        In Vino, our russet friend by his own fair hand has pronounced himself to be big on questions but short on answers.

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Bill English trotted out lies and couldn’t answer the any question straight.
    But did paint himself into a corner about not being involved in it.
    English former next door neighbour for senior electorate office worker.
    Previous comments by Bill English where he has said he tried to smooth things over.
    Bill English is an amateur liar.
    Unlike Sir lie a lot.
    To say he knew nothing about the illegal taping the illegal payment to Dickson to withdraw from a criminal prosecution.
    Does not add up from a man who is supposed to be a financial genius.

  10. dukeofurl 10

    Half of Barclays problems seem to be that the ‘rural rump’ of the electorate thought they selecting as MP a local Gore boy who had done well.

    Once elected he moved to Arrowtown and preferred to spend a fair amount of his time at either the Millbrook Golf resort clubhouse or the rooftop bars in Queenstown. ( as described in Spinoff by a local who was a former journalist)

    There would be a lot of resentment in Southland proper to the fast life available in Queestown and horrors Aucklanders living there. There was a cuckoo in their nest and they were determined to get rid of it – as you would.

    • Red 10.1

      According to my sister, friends brother cousin twice removed who has now gone to ground, sheeeeeeeeez, you would think poor old Todd was Idi Amin the way you lot are carrying on

      • weka 10.1.1

        nah, we just think he’s a fledgling Key sociopath. We don’t have to do Idi Amin here because we’ve got protofascists who know how to manipulate the existing democracy.

    • Gabby 10.2

      Well we don’t know just how ‘fast’ the fast life he was leading was. Backbencher’s salary.

  11. Brendon Harre 11

    I look forward to the politician or journalist who asks Bill English;

    -“as the PM of NZ you have access to all the resources of the SIS or GCSB -would you ever consider making secret recordings of employees or the public, even if it was possible to do so without the public finding out?”

    -“as the PM of NZ do you know when it is ok to make secret recordings and when it is not ok?”

    -“Whilst being in government have you always held yourself and the party you lead to this high standard?”

    • riffer 11.1

      Do you actually think he’d reply honestly?

    • Stuart Munro 11.2

      I’d like to hear them ask:

      “What are you thinking of doing after politics?” and

      “Do you really think SERCO staff will let you do that?”

  12. repateet 12

    Isn’t it the Bull English debacle?

  13. Corokia 13

    Why were National so determined to stick with Barclay for so long even when the local party members made it clear that he was a liar and obviously not suitable? Would it be anything to do with his tobacco company links? Are the Nats big wigs tied into something there I wonder?

    • Red 13.1

      Do you really think he was a tobacco lobbyist at 20 to 22, I suggest he was very junior support crew in the lobbyist department, you no a bit like cunners inventing Fonterra on his cv, likewise taping somebody’s ain’t exactly the crime of the century Sorry for breaking Todd Barclay is Ghengis Khan meme

      • grumpystilskin 13.1.1

        Yes, but interesting that despite the “stay the fuck away from this dude” messages that kept on popping up from party officials , National were sure on making this guy a future PM. With a moral compass like this where do you think they are headed? Be honest.

      • McFlock 13.1.2

        lol right
        You hire someone who has had access to three(?) ministers, give them a corporate affairs manager title, and have them filing photocopies for 8 months without exploiting those relationships? Riiiiiight.

  14. Cinny 14

    I’m not a lawyer but …..

    Who heard the tapes? What was said on the tapes? Were other senior politicians involved and if so who?

    The recording must have been a big worry for the large payout and confidentiality agreement which appears to be taping many mouths shut, so what exactly was recorded?

    Why has Barclay refused to be questioned by police? Is it because they would ask what is on the tapes? Does he not want them to know what’s on the tapes because it is that damning?

    Do we have whistle blower protection in NZ?

    • weka 14.1

      I think Dickson says she doesn’t know what was recorded so I assume not much detail was given in the settlement process. She says that English told her that he didn’t want to listen to the tapes, so I’m guessing that no-one has officially listened to them. If they still exist Barclay is a bigger fool than he is already known to be.

      He refused to talk to police because by that stage he understood that he’d broken the law and it would cost him his career.

      I don’t think the confidentiality agreement would stop Dickson from talking to the police about what happened. It probably just covers things like how much she was paid.

      • Cinny 14.1.1

        Maybe they just need to ask her and others the correctly worded questions? They are bloody good at dodging if the words aren’t spot on.

        I wonder what that agreement does actually cover? Could the confidentiality agreement be obtained by an OIA?

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          Well it’s confidential, so I would assume not.

          • marty mars 14.1.1.1.1

            I imagine Todd said something like Bill check this out, she said xyz here you listen and hear it for yourself. In other words I’d imagine bill has a pretty good idea of what Todd taped too.

  15. silvertuatara 15

    It appears that 6 days of constantly changing his mind, answers and stories….it looks like after this afternoons news conference, English has finally taken to employing the “Barclay defense” of no longer engaging.

    I wonder if Barclay will consider charging English a consultancy fee for his modeling of how to legally avoid the moralistic and ethical elements of being transparently investigated for potential crimes by the NZ Police.

    It will also be interesting if English “Lawyers Up” should the police decide to press for a more transparent and open inquiry in which they seek to use all legal measures to locate the recording that is in question, including the use of search warrants and the like.

    Given Englishes performance over the past week I think that the MSM should also now ask English to confirm whether he had been offered to view the following other tapes;

    Pike River Mine Tapes,

    The Hit and Run Tapes in which no targeted insurgents were caught, detained or killed, but for which a number of innocent villagers were ambushed in the dark in Afganistan Villages were killed and injured.

    If he has seen them or been offered to view them the MSM should ask for him to confirm the length of the relevant tapes, and also for him to confirm whether any video and or audio footage has been held back from him so that he does not have any excuses that invoke a plausible deniability defense when the truth finally comes out what has been suggested in social media as two further National cover ups which English has single handedly stalled on setting up truly independent and recognise/sanctioned investigations for.

    • Key, English et al are employing a process of obfuscation wherever video and audio evidence is involved, silvertuatara?
      Goodness gracious! Who’d have imagined?

  16. mosa 16

    English has already said ” its time to draw a line in the sand ” a message to the corporate media to stop asking questions and lets drop it as its not looking good was code Key to sweep any embarrassing analysis under the mansion carpet.

    It’s what the wealthy always do.

  17. “Labour leader Andrew Little told reporters it was starting to look like English had something to hide.

    “This is going all over the show; you start to wonder whether there is something here worth hiding. It looks like ..there’s something on those tapes. We’ve got to know what’s on those tapes.””

    We are never, ever going to hear them.

  18. mary_a 18

    Anyone know where John Key, Natz new knight of the realm and most excellent practitioner of the dark arts, is hiding these days?

    I’d thought given events of the past week, Key might have been questioned on his part in the Barclay issue, particularly as money from the PM’s (Key at the time) fund was used to top up Glenys Dickson’s payout!

    He needs to be smoked out of his hole and chased by msm, made to answer questions.

    • Cinny 18.1

      For sures, I would have thought he would have attended their conference or be sticking up for the outgoing PM. But it appears he is AWOL

      When police re-open the case, will Key be called in for questioning along with Goodfellow and the rest of those involved?

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