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Whenever you’re ready, John

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 am, June 21st, 2011 - 53 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, john key, spin - Tags: ,

Gerry Brownlee says an announcement on Christchurch’s land will be made “very, very soon” but testily refuses to give a date, or even a real timeframe. I have a sinking feeling this is all a PR exercise. Just as Brownlee has got everyone really agitated, that Nice Man Mr Key will unveil the information. When it fits into his diary, of course.

I am struggling to come up with any reason for Brownlee’s appearance on Morning Report yesterday, or Q+A and The Nation on the weekend, other than to antagonise people. He gave no information and got shirty just at being asked to. It was as if he was taken by surprise, three days in a row, that questioners would ask him about when he would announce which land will be rebuilt and which will be abandoned. Now, surely that wasn’t the case, which means his responses were planned.

National has played this game repeatedly in the past. The minister or some government proxy like the 2025 Taskforce does the scare job to lower public expectations. Then, just when public angst is reaching a fever pitch, in Key rolls, who beats the lowered expectations and everyone is expected to fawn.

It looks like the announcement on Christchurch’s land will be made when Key gets back from whatever important work he is doing in Australia. His weekly trip to Christchurch will be on Thursday, and that’s surely when he will reveal which areas will be saved and which won’t.

Of course, that must mean the information is already decided and known by senior ministers like Key and Brownlee but is being held back until Key’s diary opens up. This is government by showmanship, the practical concerns of the people in need come very much second to fitting things in to Key’s schedule for PR purposes.

There’s no denying it’s been effective politics in the past. But playing politics with the hopes and fears of the people of Christchurch’s Eastern suburbs as your pawns is surely a step too far.

53 comments on “Whenever you’re ready, John”

  1. tc 1

    Spot on Eddie, this is all about framing sideshow as the man of the moment, centre of everything, look at all the great stuff I’m doing etc etc.

    Playing politics and blagging another Term is where the relentless focus is going. Given sideshow was born and raised in chch just shows those banker morals yet again coming to the fore…..sod the people I’ve an election to win as it’s all about my brand.

  2. RedLogix 2

    A step too far yes…. but a game the media just loves to be in on.

  3. Pinochet, Thatcher, Reagan, Bush, Cheney, Key, Brownlee, they all follow the same philosophy – that of Milton Friedman.
    To get a good understanding of what Key and co have planed (and are putting into place) you need to read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein or watch her movie
    “In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.” http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine
    Torrent http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/5555952/The_Shock_Doctrine_2009_Ws_Pdtv_Xvid_Pboy

    Or I can supply copies

  4. burt 4

    Eddie

    You seem to have forgotten; The business of govt is whatever govt decide it to be.

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      burt…. once again you display your fascist sympathies for all to see.

      just for your benifit, i will explain what responsibility to the electorate means.

      it means that the policies that got a party elected in the first place are the ones the govt should be adhering to. that is why they were elected. they are chosen to REPRESENT us in the manner WE elected them to.

      if a new govt, after being elected, chooses to follow doctrines , and policies that were not espoused as policy before the election, then they aren’t governing according to mandate.
      compounding that with harassment and vilification/bullying of any dissenting voices.

      that is the opposite of democracy. that is fascism, or in the case of this govt, we are seeing a totalitarian, authoritative cabal developing where once democracy held sway(albeit for a short time).

      simple really… democratic government is about governing with the support of the populace because they understand, and support the policies, and philosophies of the governing party. it is NOT about the ruling party making its own rules as it goes along to suit itself without any reference, or consultation with the people who voted for it under false impressions.

      this is new zealand, not the porirua chapter of the mongrel mob…or is it?

      • burt 4.1.1

        Yes I thought it was a fascist comment when I first heard it as well.

        I think the original quote was;

        “The role of government is whatever the government defined it to be”

        Do you know who said it ?

        • rosy 4.1.1.1

          Have you got the original quote? With some context? I can only find Roger Kerr saying Helen said it.

          • burt 4.1.1.1.1

            I can find lots of reference and I can tell you it was in relation to the government spending vast sums of tax payers money supporting uber rich yachties in the America’s cup 2003.

            But other than linking to outrage on various blogs and comments about it – sorry no links to the original quote.

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Usually the reason for not being able to find an original source for a quote is that it was never said or was quoted completely out of context. This was a feature of the right wing in the 00’s. They loved lying to make up myths.

              For instance the way that “rich prick” was a taunt directed at John Key – somehow it became “rich pricks” in the hands of the nut jobs and directed at middle income earners. I seem to remember that you were one of the more shameful exponents of the practice yourself.

              • burt

                lprent

                Regrets, I’ve had a few … Michael Cullen reflects

                MICHAEL CULLEN didn’t mean to call John Key a rich prick. At least, not out loud. “That was an interjection I never meant to be heard by anybody, not even those around me,” says the former deputy prime minister.

                But are you saying Clark never said that lprent or are you just trying to cast doubt on the fact she said it because it was such a fascist thing for her to say ?

              • rosy

                I thought so too. IF it was said, it was probably in total exasperation of having Roger Kerr ranting again and again “it’s not the governments role…..” for ALL government initiatives.

              • Deadly_NZ

                Errrrr not quite correct Lprent.

                “To the supporters of unfettered Government power, and in the words of the Rt Hon Helen Clark, the role of Government is whatever the Government defines it to be.”

                by of All people.

                http://www.rogerdouglas.org.nz/?p=392

              • Draco T Bastard

                So, Roger Kerr and Roger Douglas attribute it to Helen Clark. Roger Kerr specifically says that it was quoted in “Dominion Post of 4 March” but if they did it’s not online.

                ATM, I’d take that with a grain of salt. Neither of those two are trustworthy.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    The problem is not that they dont know which areas will be abandoned, but Key will fluff his lines and write off the wrong areas. … but wait New Plymouth has had a tornado….. so must get a helicopter visit from El jefe.

    So many disasters…. so much smiling and waving…. who has time for any work ?

    • ianupnorth 5.1

      Oh come on don’t be so cynical…. he was out representing us ordinary Kiwi’s at the $8000 per head dinner with rich Aussie’s last night, bless.
       
      Surely no touting for another banking job, maybe looking for a loan for mre tax cuts?

  6. On Radio New Zealand this morning Lianne Dalziel said basically the same thing.  She also said that the Christchurch MPs had been told their usual briefing would be changed to Christchurch this Thursday and thought that the announcement would be deferred to then.

    She thought the delay was so that a scripted smile and wave opportunity could be presented to Key.  Brand Key at work again. 

    She also commented on Brownlee’s beligerence over the past few days.  On the third day of asking “when” he continued to express surprise and attack.

    So folks a further period of uncertainty and anguish for the people of Christchurch so that Key could have a smile and wave opportunity.

    Appalling.

    EDIT: Link is at http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2491771/labour-mps-pressure-government-to-release-land-details.asx

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Why did they even have that dork Kennedy Graham on there? Did they even ask Jim Anderton to front, or is he now seen as irrelevant by the MSM?

  7. I spent time in Christchurch at the weekend, including a stint digging liquefaction at a friend’s place in New Brighton. The general feeling is that CERA and the government have the devil’s own job in making these decisions, and whilst the people we were helping want to know what is happening to their area and their house, they realise that Monday’s quakes changed the game again.

    The decisions to be announced whenever will impact on Christchurch for generations. Hasty decisions are generally poor decisions. I’m surprised that Goff is now making this a politcal football by accusing the government of undue delays. It’s a long time since I learned Latin at high school, but the proverb Festina lente comes to mind; hasten slowly.

    • Blighty 7.1

      No-one’s asking for hasty decisions.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      The decisions to be announced whenever will impact on Christchurch for generations. Hasty decisions are generally poor decisions.

      Some emergency decisions are needed for those families living in semi destroyed housing. Also for those businesses currently bleeding into bankruptcy (Are those decisions forthcoming??? Or is the attitude here that a long enough delay will cause the problems (i.e. the people) to leave)

      For others not in as urgent a situation, they would still like to know where the decision making process is at and what options are being considered and why.

      Not sure why Brownlee and CERA won’t even say that much. Keeping everyone in the dark about the process underway is a good way to sap confidence.

      I’m surprised that Goff is now making this a politcal football by accusing the government of undue delays.

      Christchurch is going to lose National this election.

    • bbfloyd 7.3

      well you’ve got that alright. the govt are going so slowly that they must be moving at the speed of light! it really must be falling to bits down there in wellywood if they have their footsloggers busy making excuses for them.

      get this numby,,, the govt has had the info they needed for the decisions to be made for months! they have been playing coy games around that fact for weeks! difficult, or not, they have the most comprehensive data, and the most competent advisers available.

      knowing this, you still maintain that the govt is handling this issue in the most humane, sensible manner possible? bullshit! they’ve turned what is a traumatic experience for hundreds of thousands of kiwis into a series of publicity stunts. disgusting, reprehensible lowlife.

      making excuses for incompetence and the procrastination that has ensued is more a reflection on the ones making those excuses than any meaningful statement of mitigation.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.4

      The problem is not the speed of decision-making, but rather the lack of a coherent process and timetable to guide the decision making process. Making it up as you go along is fine for playing in the sand pit- but not really conducive to good government.

      • rosy 7.4.1

        exactly ZB.

        The frustration is also is increased by one of the fundamental differences between the left and right – the left advocates strongly for community engagement (community boards and DHB boards are 2 examples) while the right sees community engagement as a waste of time and a barrier to progress (mantras of cutting redtape, reducing the rights to appeal process e.g. in the RMA and Auckland super city). The ethos of community engagement affects much of the discussion around Brownlee’s performance.

    • Hi Inventory2, I wouldn’t put all your eggs in the ‘general feeling’ you got from those you were helping. I’m here all the time and – with hand on heart – I can say that most people I talk to are increasingly annoyed at Brownlee’s attitude as well as the slowness. And a recurring theme is that it’s all about what insurers and reinsurers want and not about what the affected people need.

  8. freedom 8

    The recovery of CHCH has been designed as a Photo-op for Mr Key, who will pop in from OZ, smile wave and leave for overseas again. I guess that’s why Brownlee was so pissed of on The Nation, Q&A, and RadioNZ as he is going to be the one left with all the call waiting lights flashing. This is a disgraceful way to treat the poeple of CHCH who have lost so much.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10733527

    • ianmac 8.1

      It is classic Bad cop Brownlie V Good cop Key. Works every time. We Peasants should be impressed.

    • Jim Nald 8.2

      Let’s hope John Key will be focused on more than mincing around with the new CERA jacket which Brownlee was smugly showing off the other day.

  9. mike 9

    Please! Don’t put so many pictures of that hideous national party leader person on your site. It’s just about as bad as TV1. The Standard is my home page, I like to take things slowly in the morning, if I wake to that slimy mug on my computer I begin to over heat – not good for the health. Everyone else is plastering his twisted visage all over their news coverage, please don’t join the club – even in jest. One more time: NO MORE PICTURES OF THAT BASTARD! please

    • lprent 9.1

      But they are such goofy pictures….

      • mike 9.1.1

        That’s right, but it’s still him! That unfortunate image is invading my life. My plea is to use sparingly, if at all.

        • Jim Nald 9.1.1.1

          If you don’t want to see any more of those pictures, you’ll have a fantastic opportunity to vote him off the island on Nov 26.

          • mike 9.1.1.1.1

            Don’t worry, I’ll be doing my bit!

            • Anne 9.1.1.1.1.1

              You sound like me mike. If Key appears on TV1 6pm news I change to TV3 6pm news. If he’s there as well I come close to hurling the remote at the TV screen. Hasn’t happened yet – I purposefully miss – but it’s getting closer by the day. Can’t stand the sly smile and style, or his dreadful diction. He should be banned from all TV screens because he’s a serious health risk!

              • HitchensFan

                hahahahah @Anne and Mike. I SO agree. And as for Brownlee….every time I see his fat, smug face I just start yelling until my husband reminds me “they can’t hear you, dear…”

        • ianupnorth 9.1.1.2

          I agree – we want rid of this bugger for good!

  10. Blighty 10

    So, now we learn that Key is coming back to sign off on the entire package this evening and the announcement will be Thursday. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/5169997/Christchurch-suburbs-to-learn-fates

    they’ve already booked the advertising and mail-drop. No doubt it will have a picture of John Key smiling on it.

    This surely means that major decisions had been made days, if not weeks ago but Brownlee sat on it.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      People have got to know that National have turned Christchurch into a political and PR football.

    • freedom 10.2

      100% pure stage managed media release complete with cued up comments.  We all regularly experience how Stuff takes hours to review comments and yet today the stream of accusations against labour exposing the blatant manipulation of the situation in CHCH fills the Stuff comments within moments of the article being posted.  The destruction of the fourth estate is blindingly obvious.
      When can we rebuild that i wonder?

      • bbfloyd 10.2.1

        speaking of the “fourth estate”. have just watched duncan garner extolling the fact that because key is off to india at the end of the week, that any announcement has to be made before that.

        when did key become minister for everything? the whole article was a complete whitewash.. made me ill to watch.

        i don’t really believe he’s that stupid. but any other conclusion would be disquieting, too say the least.

  11. Wolfie 11

    It’s time to get rid of Christchurch isn’t it?

    Why waste billions of dollars rebuilding the place when even more aftershocks are on the way to wreck it even further?

    • Jim Nald 11.1

      Maybe John Key would be ready to announce that to foreign media next time he is overseas?
      There is his India trip coming up later this week.

  12. infused 12

    *Edit*

    You will hear it in the next 24hrs.

  13. jackal 13

    I really hate to see National playing politics with Cantabrians lives.

  14. infused 14

    The announcements already been finalized. zzzz

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    Oceans on brink of catastrophe
    Marine life facing mass extinction ‘within one human generation’ / State of seas ‘much worse than we thought’, says global panel of scientists
    By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
    Tuesday, 21 June 2011

    Dead oceans = dead planet

    Keep looting and polluting and waving the hand John …. a goodbye to your children’s future?

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