It appears that John Key has made one formal apology this year.
Not to Tania Billingsley even though he had promised to. Not to any of the victims of dirty politics smeared by leaks sourced from Key’s office. Not to Adam Feeley or Sean Hughes who were attacked for doing their jobs. Not even to Simon Pleasants who received death threats after being wrongly accused of leaking information. Not to the estimated 250,000 children living in poverty in a land of plenty. Not to future generations for running climate change policies rated the seventh worst in the OECD. Not even to the complainant in the CERA case when Roger Sutton was allowed by the State Services Commission the opportunity to ridicule and minimise her complaint.
John Key’s one and only formal apology was to Cameron Slater.
As reported in Stuff this morning:
John Key delivered just a solitary written apology in 2014, ironically to one of New Zealand’s most controversial political figures.
According to Key “to the best of my recollection”, the prime minister wrote just one letter of apology this year, parliamentary questions asked by the Labour Party show.
Perhaps ironically, that single apology was delivered to Cameron Slater, the WhaleOil blogger who largely supports National but has brought much controversy upon the Government.
Key wrote a letter of apology to Slater earlier this year in relation to the Government’s decision to release an email Slater wrote to associates claiming that former justice minister Judith Collins was part of a campaign to undermine former Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley.
This really is descending into farce. You have to wonder what National’s back room is doing. Key’s association with Slater is very damaging to the brand and undermining the Crosby Textor created illusion that has required years to construct. The need to stop any contact with Slater would appear to be a no brainer.
But yet Slater has this unholy hold on Key. And he is willing to allow Key to be publicly damaged by requiring Key to give him a grovelling apology. This is the weird bit. A serial privacy breacher insists on an apology for having his privacy supposedly breached even though this damages the party he supports.
I hope that Slater continues in his actions. He is doing a better job in undermining the authority of the Prime Minister than any of Key’s critics have been able to do.