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Whose Resignation?

Written By: - Date published: 3:52 pm, August 30th, 2014 - 115 comments
Categories: brand key - Tags:

Judith Collins’ resignation has, it is suggested in some quarters, allowed a line to be drawn under the whole dirty politics saga. We can, it seems, get on with the “real issues” of the election. Such optimism, however, seems entirely misplaced.

First, there can surely be no more important issue than the fitness to govern of some of these pretending to office. What could be more serious than the abuse of power – its use, not to serve the interests of the country, but to discredit and destroy, in an unfair, vicious and underhand way, those whom the government sees as its opponents?

In other countries and at other times, such abuses have led to those responsible being dismissed from office in disgrace – Richard M. Nixon is one obvious example. Are we really to say that, whereas the Americans thought such behaviour worthy of impeachment, we will set it aside as no longer among the “real issues” of our general election campaign?

And could there be a clearer example of that abuse of power than the apparent secret complicity by a minister with a notorious muckraker and practitioner of the dubious art of destroying reputations with the intention of “gunning for” the chief executive of an important agency for which she had ministerial responsibility?

John Key tells us that he retains an open mind about the truth of these serious allegations. What is beyond doubt, however, is the close relationship between Judith Collins and Cameron Slater – the one treated by the other as his confidante and mentor – and her willingness to use his services in order to further her political goals.

The inquiry announced by John Key into the whole rotten business may well be designed to serve the usual purpose of such inquiries – the deferment of any conclusion about guilt or innocence until after the crucial date – in this case, election day – by which time memories are less clear and it will in any case be too late. And what the inquiry will presumably not do is take a wider view of the involvement of the National Party, at every level, including the very top, with such disreputable people and practices.

Yet it is the very integrity of the government as a whole that is the “real issue”. It beggars belief that, in a government and a party so much dominated by its leader as to warrant the sobriquet “TeamKey”, John Key did not know and did not therefore, tacitly at least, approve the use of the special skills of the likes of Cameron Slater.

He virtually admits as much. His principal defence against the charge that he is personally involved is that “this is the nature of modern politics” and “everybody does it”. It is only the nature of modern politics because people like John Key allow it and like Cameron Slater make it so.

In the excitement of the moment, as well, let us remind ourselves of the bizarre nature of John Key’s announcement of Judith Collins’ resignation and the holding of an inquiry. It is only a week or so ago that another inquiry was announced into yet another aspect of the dirty politics saga.

That inquiry was, in effect, into John Key’s own conduct. The inquiry will attempt to answer the question – did John Key know that the Security Intelligence Services, for which he is the responsible minister, would release a secret report, denied to all other media, but released with unusual alacrity to – that name again – Cameron Slater? That released report involved, of course, the then Leader of the Opposition and was used by Cameron Slater to denigrate him as a general election campaign got under way.

John Key attempted to deflect attention about his involvement in this episode to the quite separate and much less important question as to whether he had been told in person by the Director of the SIS that the release had been made, after the deed had been done.

We must hope and expect that Inspector-General, in her inquiry, will focus on the real question – did John Key know (and almost certainly approve) that the release should be made when Cameron Slater was tipped off that he should seek it? Given the National Party’s close reliance on Slater for such purposes, does it not again defy belief that, on such a sensitive matter, John Key was not kept in the loop?

Are the allegations against John Key any less serious than those against Judith Collins? Is the willingness to use the country’s secret services for the partisan (and distasteful) purposes of the responsible minister not the most serious breach of proper practice that could be imagined?

So why is the case against Judith Collins enough to warrant her resignation, while John Key, subject to no less serious allegations, sails serenely on? Is there not a dreadful irony in seeing one of those subject to serious allegations of dirty politics (John Key) accepting the resignation of the other (Judith Collins).

As no doubt intended, the inquiries may not report till after the election. But the election does provide the opportunity for an earlier day of reckoning.

Bryan Gould

30 August 2014

 

115 comments on “Whose Resignation? ”

  1. greywarbler 1

    This page has been reverting back to Home a number of times. I hope I can read this post in full soon.

  2. Kat 2

    “As no doubt intended, the inquiries may not report till after the election. But the election does provide the opportunity for an earlier day of reckoning”.

    Bryan the election as a day of reckoning for National will only happen if the main stream media vigorously pursue the truth in Dirty Politics. A lot of voters will have the opinion that now John Key has acted the election can just merrily carry on. A good example is John Armstrong’s latest article today in the Herald suggesting that now Key has “exercised prime ministerial fiat” in removing Collins the “weeping sore” that the campaign can continue.

    The media need to get on top of this immediately with some serious investigative journalism. What is happening politically in this country right now and how the truth can be discovered and the integrity of our politicians restored could arguably be more important than blindly going through the motions of an election.

    • Paul 2.1

      They won’t get on top of this.
      They are implicated in this Dirty Politics and are part of the plan to reelect a right wing Tory government.

      • Liberal Realist 2.1.1

        +1. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • finbar 2.1.2

        Like the media pack waiting with bated breath for the P..M. to appear,how long,as he sent home for his casual wear, sheading his corporate collar and tye for a more casual look.Nothing casual about his freinds sending him a message, get rid, this is getting to close to you.

        • North 2.1.2.1

          Couldn’t help noticing TheSartorialGodKey at “The Witch Is Dead” press briefing today – beige slacks coupled with the Hoorah Henry navy blazer, just like the golfing buddy lives in the White House (Washington DC not Upper Queen Street – I guess). Algud – at least Crosby Textor’ll be closely questioned when the next invoice turns up with the usual medium high five figures under “Attendances – Apparel”. Oh hang on maybe that’s in the Ralston/Wilson brief.

    • They’ve tried this numerous times and it hasn’t worked.

      Now Key has moved from saying that Hager is a left wing conspiracy theorist to essentially agreeing with the central thesis of Hager’s book.

      He needs to be hounded out of office. If the media won’t do it, then public spirited citizens should turn up at his campaign stops and interrogate him themselves.

    • I wish there was a like function for comments.

    • Saarbo 2.4

      It makes you wonder how long we will maintain our status as one of the worlds least corrupt…it could only be declining under National http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11166639

      • disturbed 2.4.1

        So the press was dealing through Slater also, to undermine our political process?
        We need a full royal commission independent wide reaching investigation into all Government and MSM collusion here, as Herald and others were partnering to undermine politicians!
        We have been corrupted. Britain dealt with Murdock over there and we have to also do this here right? Read this example of lies NZ Herald was peddling. last year claiming we were among the lowest corrupt in the world?
        This while they were part of the Black op’s? It is called corrupted press and civil service or cancer. True corrupt Murdock press see below.
        We need an investigation into MSM as well as Government now.

        Herald run a story last year claiming “NZ among the least corrupt in world.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11166639 while a NZ group here said the opposite.

        http://www.transparency.org.nz/ Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment The Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment was released by Transparency International New Zealand on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2013. This landmark report reveals that serious and urgent action is needed to protect and extend integrity in New Zealand. Recent incidents and investigations of corruption, and increasing public concern, provide a compelling case for a more pro-active approach to these issues. According to Co-Director Suzanne Snively “Our report finds that the mechanisms that support a high integrity and high trust society, and that facilitate social and economic development, remain generally robust but are coming under increasing stress. There has been complacency in the face of increased risks”. – – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/08/30/comparing-burning-puppets-hip-hop-lyrics-and-drunk-student-chants-to-blackmailing-mps-hacking-political-party-computers-sis-info/#sthash.bYBY2g2Y.dpuf

      • disturbed 2.4.2

        So the press was dealing through Slater also, to undermine our political process?

        We need a full royal commission independent wide reaching investigation into all Government and MSM collusion here, as Herald and others were partnering to undermine politicians!

        We have been corrupted. Britain dealt with Murdock over there and we have to also do this here right?

        Read this example of lies NZ Herald was peddling last year claiming we were among the lowest corrupt in the world?

        This while they were part of the Black op’s?

        It is called corrupted press and civil service or cancer.

        True corrupt Murdock press see below.

        We need an investigation into MSM as well as Government now.

        Herald run a story last year claiming “NZ among the least corrupt in world.”

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11166639

        While a NZ group here said the opposite.

        http://www.transparency.org.nz/ Integrity Plus 2013

        New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment The Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment was released by Transparency International New Zealand on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2013. This landmark report reveals that serious and urgent action is needed to protect and extend integrity in New Zealand.

        Recent incidents and investigations of corruption, and increasing public concern, provide a compelling case for a more pro-active approach to these issues. According to Co-Director Suzanne Snively “Our report finds that the mechanisms that support a high integrity and high trust society, and that facilitate social and economic development, remain generally robust but are coming under increasing stress. There has been complacency in the face of increased risks”

      • disturbed 2.4.3

        Saabo, While a NZ group here said the opposite.

        http://www.transparency.org.nz/ Integrity Plus 2013

        New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment The Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment was released by Transparency International New Zealand on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2013. This landmark report reveals that serious and urgent action is needed to protect and extend integrity in New Zealand.

      • disturbed 2.4.4

        Saabo

        This Herald article was superseded by a local organisation that found the opposite so Herald used crap from overseas to mask the real issue.

        http://www.transparency.org.nz/ Integrity Plus 2013

  3. toad 3

    So why is the case against Judith Collins enough to warrant her resignation, while John Key, subject to no less serious allegations, sails serenely on?

    I suspect Collins & Slater will be having a chat and asking themselves that very question right now. Let the dirt on Key unleash!

  4. Paul 4

    I think the editor of the Herald should resign too.

    • Rich 4.1

      Agreed.

      I guess I should do this?

      +1

    • Blue 4.2

      +1

      The Herald is now in desperate damage control, trying to pretend they have done nothing wrong:

      Two big stories the NZ Herald broke regarding Adam Feeley in 2011 were independent of Whale Oil, and sourced from other contacts. It was good journalism, and in the public interest.

      Reporters will have conversations with contacts from all sides of the political spectrum every day – it’s our job to be fully aware of the source and their motivation, verify the information, and present it in a fair, accurate and balanced manner.

      Whale Oil was one of a number of people Jared Savage spoke to as the issue rolled on, to find out what he knew. Some information would have been shared, but none of it, in our view, pivotal or relevant to our inquiries.

      – From Herald editor-in chief Tim Murphy, NZ Herald editor Shayne Currie

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11316711

      The Herald have been exposed for what they are – and what they are is definitely not journalists.

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        tim murphy… who doesnt know the diff between a statement and an affidavit. I feel reassured.

      • Puddleglum 4.2.2

        Apparently passing information you are unable to publish in your own stories to bloggers who you know are “right wing” is perfectly normal behaviour for a journalist – according to Jared Savage.

        I have the worrying suspicion that he actually does believe that’s ok.

      • North 4.2.3

        Murphy Smurphy – there’s an undeniable stink around Dear Jared and the Herald. Make reflexive claim to high professionalism ’til the cows come home if you must – but we know it, you know it – it’s very, very shabby. Like when you need work done on the vehicle and somehow you end up with the the mechanic in town everybody knows is shonkey.

        Thank you Murph’ for your rationalisations of rubbish journalist and rubbish rag. Which rationalisations actually prove the point.

  5. Clemgeopin 5

    Excellent points in this article. Every voter, every newspaper, every commentator should be asking this question. The price of democracy is eternal vigilance. If we ignore wrong doings for political expediency, we will be doing an enormous disservice to our country and its future generation.

    • disturbed 5.1

      100% +++++++++++++

      Today the opposition must meet and force a totally independent Royal Commission to now this week ahead begin the process of collecting warrants to investigate every Government office and Ministerial office for any other records relating to the Dirty op’s operation with Ministers and place them under oath for a wide ranging investigation while this issue is now at the biol.

      We owe this to our future generations to have a safe honest corrupt free governance, we cannot carry on with this “Business as usual”. corruption.

  6. emergency mike 6

    Great point Bryan. I think Key has used his last layer of teflon in accepting Collins’ resignation over the mere suggestion she might be involved in this particular smear campaign, (one of a pattern of many), after all, she’s not wrong when she points out that she didn’t write this email. While he himself remains minister of the SIS in spite of an inquiry being underway questioning his role in something equally serious.

    Of course, since as SIS minister he’s onlt answerable to himself, it comes down to John Keys opinion on whether matter is ‘serious’ or not. Apparently he thinks that the allegation of leaking priviledged SIS information to a lowlife attack blogger for political gain is not serious.

  7. Anne 7

    … did John Key know (and almost certainly approve) that the release should be made when Cameron Slater was tipped off that he should seek it? Given the National Party’s close reliance on Slater for such purposes, does it not again defy belief that, on such a sensitive matter, John Key was not kept in the loop?

    That a Public Servant, with the breadth and length of service – as detailed in the link below – would have supplied the [hastily declassified] document to Cameron Slater without direction from the Prime Minister is out of the question. Of course Key gave the direction, but it was enacted by one of his office minions
    after he had departed for America. It gave him plausible deniability should the question ever arise.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Tucker

    It would not surprise me if that is the reason why John Key has procrastinated over Collin’s dismissal for so long. Some of his senior ministers will know exactly what happened over the OIA scandal and Judith Collins is probably one of them.

  8. Sable 8

    Once upon a time there was a now extinct species called the “honest” mainstream journalist who left the variety of politician defined by people like Richard Nixon with no choice but to resign. They are now gone replaced by toadying journalists who excuse every kind of disgraceful behavior on the part of right leaning political parties and their minions.

    Nixon had no blanket of misinformation to wrap himself in. These days journalist’s craft a variety of excuses and ploys to suit any questionable political entity and individual. Just look at the spy fallout Obama is mixed up in. In Nixon’s day he would have been long gone but now he hangs around like a pervasive stink causing long standing problems both domestic and international….

    • Inky 8.1

      A retired journalist from Wellington tells me that 30 years ago journos down there overwhelmingly were to the left in their personal politics. He put it at 85 to 90 per cent. Right-wing journalists were few and far between. But he reckons it’s turned the other way since the contracts act. Few join the union now and most are oblivious to the fact their forebears, through the union, fought hard to obtain the wages and conditions they enjoy today. Most jump at an individual contract, take the boss’s word that the unions and left are no good, and therefore unless their family background is left they end up right wingers. He says back in the day, the lefty journos couldn’t slant their writing even if they wanted to because the newspaper owners were right wing and sackings would have resulted. But now the owners have a right-wing staff, well it appears showing your bias is no longer a problem. Once the remaining older generation of journos has gone, he reckons Kiwi journalism will be close to a zero left zone.

  9. disturbed 9

    IMPORTANT, – URGENT.

    Today we call officially on all opposition parties.

    They must join together and must meet in an emergency forum to set the discussion surrounding the whole matter of political corruption within the Hager book and the laying of the grounds for the public interest in a truly independent commission of enquiry into the whole Slater gate affair with Team Key and His “black ops” “Dirty Politics” scandal reaching right back to when the records start with the Key Government and before.

    There will never be a more correct urgent time to jump on this issue and destroy the cancer before it destroys us all.

    • Sable 9.1

      Agreed there is a need for an independent commission. The problem is it takes “public momentum” for this to happen and thanks to the misinformation spread by the mainstream journo’s this will never eventuate. There is a need to confront them before dealing with anyone else. They are the source of the problem as they keep the pubic ignorant and in so doing keep these people in office.

      Time for a commission into journalistic standards in New Zealand and a full revision of existing laws.

    • kenny 9.2

      Not a bad idea.

      I wonder if this the start of National doing some internal house cleaning, hoping there is still enough time before the election to turn things around.

      I am waiting to see how Whale Oil responds to this resignation; we should then get a better picture on how things are likely to develop.

      Who sent the email to Key?

      • Rodel 9.2.1

        Kenny
        I’d bet a bottle of wine ( signed by Helen) that Key has had that email simmering in his ‘top drawer’ for some time.

        • Rich 9.2.1.1

          Yes starting to get that suspicion myself. As is Winston Peters.

        • joe90 9.2.1.2

          The thot plickens.

          Lobbyist and political commentator Matthew Hooton says he was called by “a Beehive source” about the email on Wednesday. Mr Hooton says the source was a low-level functionary, and he does not believe Mr Key was aware of the email at the time.

          […]

          “National party supporters will be absolutely thrilled that John Key looks fully priminsterial again for the first time since August 15,” Mr Hooton said this afternoon.

          “But unfortunately it seems Mr Key only knows the tip of the iceberg about what has been going on under his nose.”

          nbr.co.nz/article/speculation-collins-will-be-sacked-1230pm-ck-161688

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.2.1

            more shit coming down the pipe, is how I read that.

            • Clemgeopin 9.2.1.2.1.1

              The above link states,

              “NBR understands there’s worse to come. A source close to the action says the next Whaledump, expected tomorrow, will be a full Facebook messaging exchange between Mr Slater and Ms Collins”

              That could be explosive, I think.

          • kenny 9.2.1.2.2

            Mr.Key knows exactly how much has been going on under his nose. The problem seems to be that too many people also know – things are getting out of hand.

            ‘Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive……’

        • Ffloyd 9.2.1.3

          You can count on it. He was far too comprehensible for him. Too prepared for a *sudden discovery*!!!!. Got his little rodent paws all over it.

        • Puddleglum 9.2.1.4

          I’d like to know why the source of the email has not been mentioned.

          John Key (or his Office) is not a journalist and so cannot hide behind that reason for not saying who passed the email to National.

          It seemed very odd to me that the email was passed to journalists as a photo of a PC screen. Why not the original email file? Was that method chosen in order to protect the source?

          If it was not stolen, then the email must have been passed on by a recipient or one of the recipients who passed it on to someone else who then passed it on to National.

          The recipients are clearly implicated and so their name should be released especially if it was the redacted recipient.

          What possible legitimate reason could there be for withholding that information? (Is the person at risk of their life or something similar??)

          According to Matthew Hooton (in a comment on the NBR link) it was known by some ‘low level’ person in the Beehive Wednesday night.

          • Saarbo 9.2.1.4.1

            These are the questions the media would ask if this was a Labour Party issue, every nook and cranny would be investigated.

            Seem as though National is implicated, the media (particularly Armstrong) seem intent on ring fencing this issue around Judith Collins.

            Clearly the reason this whole dirty politics saga has become so deeply ingrained in our government is because the MSM have allowed it too, they are implicated. The MSM are hard on Cunliffe/Labour, which would be fair enough if they were equally tough on National.

    • Clemgeopin 9.3

      An excellent suggestion. I hope the leaders of various opposition political parties will act on this great suggestion.

      May I suggest to you to email your idea to the various leaders asap, like tonight?

      Labour leader, Mr Cunliffe has already indicated that one of their policies is to have a thorough review the GCSB and the cyber spying and other covert spying laws.

      An investigation into the Dirty Politics campaign will be another very worthwhile thing to do. If all the opposition leaders jointly call for this, as you suggested, or to commit to doing this on assuming office, will be even better.

      Let us know what response you get.

  10. Rich 10

    The current government of NZ should resign, not just the PM, not just Collins but the whole damned government. Not many of them have the interests of NZ at heart, Odgers lives in HK, Key is an Hawiian by any reasonable measure and his family will not be in NZ in two years, Collins is so much in bed with Beijing that she may as well take up citizenship and supposedly someone has just spent 6 million on putting the right MPs in to the National Party. Well that 6 million, is it NZ money? I doubt it.

    • Paul 10.1

      That’s for sure.
      They are all serving large multinational interests and not the citizens of this country.

    • karol 10.2

      How can any party form a minority government if they can’t be assured of confidence and supply?

      • yeshe 10.2.1

        Because the GG says so ? I hope someone will delve into this thoroughly in the next days …

        • karol 10.2.1.1

          yeshe, it doesn’t seem feasible to me. A government needs to be assured they can get the budget voted for (supply) and have enough votes signed and sealed in the event of a vote of no confidence. i don’t understand how the GG could do anything that goes against that.

          You can’t form a government, without at least agreements with MPs so that the government would have a majority for confidence and supply.

          Helen Clark ran a minority (Labour) government, with the agreed alliances and confidence and supply votes.

          • yeshe 10.2.1.1.1

            karol .. am trying to find links that I read about a discussion Key claimed he had with GG … I agree with what you and Clem write .. it’s why I was so shocked at what I read. Have to find it though … am looking …

            see above 11.3.1.1.1.1 for what GG said last year …

            • karol 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes. I read it. I think you’re panicking a bit unnecessarily.

              It sounds like the options if there is a hung parliament and neither a left or right block can form a clear majority. Key might try to game it by daring the opposition to vote against him on C & S, and thus resulting in a new election. This is based on the idea that no party wants to be blamed for calling a new election soon after a previous one.

              This article:

              “I would be more than happy running a minority government with confidence and supply obviously given for the core issues,” Key said.

              “In the perfect world you’d have to know that when you pass your Budget that he’d vote for that.”

              If the situation presented by the poll arose after the election, Key said he would tell Governor-General Jerry Mateparae that he would put a vote to Parliament.

              “While all the Opposition parties could collectively vote me down, I don’t believe that they will … because if they vote me down it’s election time,” Key said.

              “Small parties will get annihilated because the New Zealand public will say it’s bad enough having an election every three years.”

              • weka

                In that situation could Labour not do the same thing? ie why would National get to form a minority govt instead of Labour?

                • karol

                  Good point weka.

                  That article is about Key and Peters playing chess re the possibility of Peters holding the balance of power.

                  • weka

                    Am glad it will be explicit now – a vote for Peters is a vote for a National govt.

                    • yeshe

                      still not sure that is true weka … still not sure at all. much water yet to flow under this bridge too far I think.

                    • weka []

                      Peters has said this week he will talk first with the biggest party. How is that not an indication that he considers National his first choice for coalition? The only way that won’t happen is if L/GP get enough MPs to force him to go left. I think he has ruled out working with IMP and the Conservatives too, which means that L/GP would need substantial numbers.

                      This is why it’s crucial to get the message out there. If you want a change of govt, then NZF is at best a risk of a right wing govt. Vote left instead.

                    • Draco T Bastard []

                      IMO, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Peters/NZ1st will go with National despite the fact that NZ1sts policies contradict National’s.

                    • Caesar's Wife []

                      [deleted]

                      [lprent: If you want to post comments, then don’t ignore or piss off moderators. As Stephanie says in her notes, you showed all the hallmarks of desperately wanting to be banned. Now you have gained your merit badge, enjoy it until your ban expires.

                      Be warned that I start doubling bans when people post comments while banned – I do it on each comment. I’d suggest that you read the policy. ]

              • yeshe

                Hi Karol .. I am not panicking –you’ll know when I am! There is another article I read where John Key refers to a proposition he put to the GG Mateparae this week, and GG agreed. What you have posted is not it .. but I can’t find it. still looking …

        • Clemgeopin 10.2.1.2

          Unless there is C and S, a government can not be formed. I don’t think the GG has the powers to allow that. He will insist that the stability be tested. The government will be unstable and can fall at the first vote.

          • Caesar's wife 10.2.1.2.1

            No worries. Italy has managed perfectly well with unstable Governments for decades. No, wait….

      • ScottGN 10.2.2

        Key made specific mention of Harper and the minority governments he has run in Canada (and presumably the Liberal minority governments before him). None of which have involved any formal C & S arrangements with other parties in the House of Commons. Canada is unusual in that there are four main parties, Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and the Bloc Quebecois which makes it very hard for any party to muster enough votes to get a majority of seats (even though they use FPP). Harper currently does have a majority government even though he won less than 40% of the vote at the elections in 2011.

  11. BLiP 11

    I’m a little surprised to see the New Zealand Fox News Herald so deeply involved in this. Nicky Hager made special and positive mention of the paper during his address/q&a on Wednesday. Yet, here have direct evidence of its collusion in an orchestrated attack on high level public servant in order to manufacture its own news. The implications this unethical behaviour has on the functioning of democracy in New Zealand is stark. Any concerns about this appear to have never been considered, replaced instead by short-term mendacious, manipulative and mercenary motives. Is the New Zealand Fox News Herald directly involved in a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by interfering in the functioning of the agency investigating the largest corporate fraud in our nation’s history? Looks like it. And what was the Prime Minster, John Key, doing while his Minister of Justice – yep, that’s Minister of Justice – was leaking private information, plotting behind his back, plonking Slater henchmen into tasty sinecures, and ratfucking the head of New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office? Why – smiling and waving, of course; miles away from the filthy goings on.

    What’s gonna happen now? The Crosby/Textor playbook tactic of “accuse others of what it is you are doing yourself” has come something of a cropper. Judith Collin’s total-PR anti cyber bullying has, once and for all, evaporated to expose her as one of the biggest internet trolls to ever come out of the National Party. Exposing that has also further exposed John Key’s “its a conspiracy” bullshit. All the while John Key was front-of-house, his right-wing government was involved in a conspiracy with the MSM to stymie accountability, pervert the truth, and deliver another good kicking to the public service. How chilling it must have been for other senior public servants to watch what happens when you mess with any of National Ltd™’s mates. The Crosby/Tector option to play the victim has, interestingly, been carefully laid out over the last two weeks. Judith Collins is now going into full-on victim mode now that John Key has carefully laid out the cards. Poor dear, all those nasty songs, and the burning effigy, and all those billboards being defaced, and having to cope with the worst financial crash every in the whole history of mankind, and having to put Christchurch back together . . . yadda yadda yadda. For the moment, everyone except Judith Collins is is trying out the “its an isolated case” meme to see if that sticks. Will the punters out in punterland swallow it and accept the sacrafice of Judith Collins? Seems unlikely.

    These revelations have given the New Zealand a short, sharp education about real politik under John Key. Put simply, he is either the most mendacious and grubby Prime Minister in the history of New Zealand or he is the most imcompetent blithering idiot to have ever held the office. Either John Key is the real life, first term Jim Hacker or he is the “greed is good” Gordon Gekko. The Jim Hacker possibility can’t be dismissed out of hand. Not only does John Key just make things up like an idiot as he goes trots along like a less eloquent Forrest Gump, he also friends Cameron Slater and repeats in The House what Slater tells him. The most obvious example was when John Key spent ages wasting Parliament time gloating about who had visited Kim Dotcom. That information, we now know, came via Tempero to Slater direct to the Prime Minister’s ear – not his office. Admittedly, John Key looked more than a little queasy when he was exposed as one of Cameron Slater’s phone-buddies. Perhaps he realised then what he had done and was wondered briefly if everything else might come out. “Whew,” he might have said to himself, “that was a close call”.

    The frustrating this is that we have a government riddled with professional liars making use of a huge budget to shape opinion aided and abetted by foreign-owned multinational news corporations. Who can we trust now to tell us the truth and deliver the justice required to mend our broken democracy?

    Its up to us, folks. Every one of us.

    An election is one time when politicians are forced to listen to ordinary people. Kiwis from across the political spectrum have the chance to demand a much higher standard of conduct and decision-making from their elected representatives.

    We have the right to live in a democracy where our leaders do not lie to us, or abuse their powers, or strip away our freedoms. They need to represent what’s best, not what’s worst about New Zealand. We are entitled to feel proud and confident about the way we’re governed, not embarrassed and ashamed.

    ^^^ Anne Salmond.

    • woodpecker 11.1

      Awsome Blip

    • pollywog 11.2

      mad props !!!

    • yeshe 11.3

      thank you Blip. Can I add this please ?

      Something else I find more than a little scary is that Key has already had discussions with, and approval, from GG Mateparae that he can form a minority govt entirely on his own. This GG is owned, let’s be clear about that.

      We need an outright majority of the left parties to avoid the biggest constitutional mess we have ever seen in this country.

      Everybody who can needs to vote.

      • Clemgeopin 11.3.1

        “Something else I find more than a little scary is that Key has already had discussions with, and approval, from GG Mateparae that he can form a minority govt entirely on his own. This GG is owned, let’s be clear about that”

        What are you alluding to? Any links?

        • yeshe 11.3.1.1

          It’s something I read in the last day or so, referring to a Canadian system, while pointing out we are a little different as we have no federal state govts as well as central govt — trying to find the link. Like most of us, my brain has absorbed so much data over the last last few days my usual memory bank is on the blink !

          I know I was shocked .. will keep trying to find it … I really hope I am wrong, but I don’t usually make stuff up.

          • Clemgeopin 11.3.1.1.1

            May be he meant correctly that he can form a minority government ‘on his own’ without any coalition partners, but with some other parties sitting on the cross benches voting as they please for or against on different issues, except giving C and S.

        • yeshe 11.3.1.2

          Here’s a part of it .. still trying to find what Key said exactly re his discussions already held with GG:

          Open mike 29/08/2014

          • ScottGN 11.3.1.2.1

            That was me yeshe. I think that I first came across the statement (about Harper and Canada etc) from the PM on a Stuff article but as you say there’s been a lot happening the last few days. Key said he’d run the idea past the GG and that he might be ok with it which is all fine, there is no constitutional reason why we couldn’t have a minority government (and there are plenty of examples available under similar Westminster parliamentary democracies). We are unusual though in NZ with our unicameral system and I’d say we tend to like strong majority government. My main point though was that any talk of minority government in itself represents a pretty big reversal of National’s ambitions for this election. Events today would seem to bear that out.

            • yeshe 11.3.1.2.1.1

              Thx Scott — I read the same original article, but cannot find it anywhere. Can you pse search your own history and see if you can discover it ?

              Fascinating now .. have just read that Slater has filed a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner about Key releasing his email !! Irony much? Collins was minister overseeing Privacy Commissioner !!

  12. North 12

    Collins’ ‘rationalisation’ – if you can call it that – it’s actually more like a brazen “Fuck You !” – is disgraceful in the highest degree. It simply adds fuel to the flames, demonstrable as it is of a repeatedly actualised propensity to piss on the imperatives of democratic governance.

    Whom amongst us would raise our kids to behave like Collins ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11316704

    “I am the victim !” Bloody breathtaking ! The worry is that Collins may not be the primary cancer in the National Party.

    Very prescient of Dame Anne Salmond ! Let John Key swear his oath to an unquestionably independent Royal Commissioner. I suspect one so warranted would not see fit to render meaningless the personal pronoun.

    Another outing for “orchestrated litany of lies” ?

    • Rich 12.1

      I’ve got a simple rule of thumb for employees who act in bad faith or who are not there to serve the interests of the business they are employed by. And although government is not business I think the rule still holds. If there’s a problem at the bottom, look to the top to find out why.

  13. disturbed 13

    Today the opposition must meet and force a totally independent Royal Commission to now this week ahead begin the process of collecting warrants to investigate every Government office and Ministerial office for any other records relating to the Dirty op’s operation with Ministers and place them under oath for a wide ranging investigation while this issue is now at the boil.

    We owe this to our future generations to have a safe honest corrupt free governance, we cannot carry on with this “Business as usual”. corruption.

  14. Travis 14

    Mark???
    Hotchin? Let me get this straight. The minister of justice….involved in a conspiracy against the head of the SFO…..a conspiracy which includes in its distribution list someone who at the time is under investigation ….by the SFO….if that is not corruption what is?

    • Tracey 14.1

      only if she was part of it

      • yeshe 14.1.1

        And eventually no charges ever laid against Hanover by SFO. All coincidental, of course. Could be another “Mark”.

        TV3 is following up and SST has interviews tomorrow …

      • North 14.1.2

        It’s all evidential Tracey. And propensity evidence……arguably plenty of it.

  15. Bearded Git 15

    And here is John Armstrong’s take on the resignation in today’s true-blue Herald:

    “If the election campaign was showing signs of turning against National, Collins forced resignation should help shift it back in the governing party’s favour.”

    WTF??

    • karol 15.1

      Corin Dann is running the same line.

      • North 15.1.1

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11316693

        Old Duffer Armstrong’s perfunctorily into the “weeping sore”. Leaving us with the “sore weeping”. Which in two days he’ll spin into “poor Judith down but never out”.

        What a useless old fuck of a journalist he is. “Weeping Sore” by the “Sleeping Snore”. They’re all busted now though. Great thing for New Zealand. Dying to read Kerre McIvor nee Woodham tomorrow for some more laffs.

        This ain’t gonna go away just on his geriatric say so.

        Don’t forget John laddie…..you’re dealing with hubristic wild cards here. It’s outa your control fool. You don’t frame it anymore.

        “He must consider resignation……. ” on your lips is it John ?

    • CM 15.2

      I know, it’s just appalling. An utter joke as a journalist.

    • Tracey 15.3

      paddy gower was pretty hard hitting

    • deWithiel 15.4

      Biggest joke in Collins affair so far is the New Zealand Herald editors’ claiming to ‘present [news] in a fair, accurate and balanced manner’. Fox News redux. And there I’d been looking at the Herald headlines for the past couple of weeks wondering if there really was an election going on. Today’s front page all about an Auckland Grammar School boy’s running challenge! Extraordinary stuff.

  16. Rodel 16

    BG
    You say, ‘John Key tells us that he retains an open mind about the truth of these serious allegations.’

    Richards Dawkins, admittedly on another matter says, ‘ By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.’

    I think in Mr Key’s case that just happened.

  17. pollywog 17

    John Key is a vampire. Sucking the life blood out of this country.

    I’d love for Cunliffe to echo that line.

    • Ben Adam 17.1

      One way Collins can redeem herself somewhat is by EXPOSING everything and every one, including Key, that has done any dirty questionable stuff. If not, she will forever remain in New Zealand history as the only ‘victim’, the fallen woman of this scandal, as she claims she is.

    • Rodel 17.2

      PW
      I think Cunliffe might think it but will stay relentlessly positive, difficult as that may be.

    • Murray Olsen 17.3

      Cunliffe won’t say anything like that. He says how much he respects Key and accept that they are both working for the good of the country, just using different methods. He’s possibly forced into that by convention, but I couldn’t say it.

      • Thinker 17.3.1

        Gotta master the double-entendre.

        Like,

        “Well, John Key’s been running NZ now for six years, and I’m sure he’s been doing that to the best of his own integrity. We should all give due acknowledgement to him for that. But, the team I lead has its own standards and priorities, and we’ll be putting those into place, starting September 21st”.

  18. fambo 18

    Armstrong and other columnists are in danger of starting to look out of touch as things sprint along.

    • ScottGN 18.1

      Are they what! Armstrong’s efforts today were totally fucking feeble. There’s an awful lot of arse-covering going on at the Herald

  19. pollywog 19

    John Key has nothing to hide so he has nothing to fear…yeah right !

    • kenny 19.1

      And how come no ‘journalist’ (laugh) has managed to hunt down Jason Ede – surely he must be made to answer questions on all of this, he just can’t get away with it scott-free.

      If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear Mr.Ede.

      So why are you still hiding?

      • Bearded Git 19.1.1

        Agreed Kenny. Ede is the missing link and needs to be found.

        He knows where the bodies are buried.

  20. anker 20

    Just a thought and someone may have suggested it………..what say this is a deal between Key and Collins. He sacks her or she resigns over Feely. Key gets to present himself as decisive, strong leader, getting rid of Collins as the polls indicate people want.

    She stands down declaring herself an innocent victim, blah, blah etc. Key gets to bounce back as smiley wavy nice bloke before election. After election enquiry held in to Collins vis a vis Feeling SFO. Nothing can be proved, because after all this is just Slater being verbose. Collins cleared. Returns as minister, everyone has forgotten Orivida, etc. Collins, cleared and vindicated. Key pisses off to Hawaii and Collins get’s her chance to slug it out with Joyce and English, Bennett etc to be leader. Everyone has forgetten Dirty Politics (they hope) and moved on……………….may I am sounding like a conspiracy theorist and I admit it is just a theory,…………but

    • Anne 20.1

      On to it anker!

    • yeshe 20.2

      your scenario doesn’t allow for what voters will say, nor for what KDC has coming up. But I see where you are coming from … we have to more than second-guess everything now.

      And I watched Hollow Men again last night … it is but a prequel to what is happening right now .. same faces, same cold cold avaricious hearts. So I don;t think you sound like a conspiracy theorist. Paranoia doesn’t necessarily mean they are not out to defraud us!

      The SST will give us more clues tomorrow.

  21. blue leopard 21

    Thank you so much Bryan Gould, I very much enjoy your extremely insightful articles on these matters.

    I sincerely hope that New Zealanders are not fooled by the show of leadership (operative word ‘show’) going on today, but have a horrible feeling they will be.

    I just wonder how we can keep this issue focused where it needs to be without many New Zealanders getting bored and switching off like the Dirt Raking Players wish them to?

    🙁 Our Democracy is Under Attack 🙁

    That is a real issue.

  22. repateet 22

    Does anyone remember the Judith Collins’ response to the Electoral Commission’s MMP Review?

    “Justice Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced recommended changes to the electoral system would not be in place ahead of next year’s election.”

    Well there’s one another change ahead of that election that she also didn’t want. And in a sense of irony and vindictiveness, what a nice way to be bitten on the bum.

  23. anker 23

    This from Newstalk 1ZB ….They right are eating each other!

    Updated 8:12pm: Cameron Slater is laying a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner over John Key releasing an email which led to the resignation of Judith Collins.

    An anonymous email was handed to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff last night alleging Ms Collins had undermined the former head of the Serious Fraud Office Adam Feeley, an office she was in charge of.

    John Key’s not saying where the email came from – but it was written by Slater.

    The Whale Oil blogger says the Prime Minister has released his private communication.

    “That he A. Had no right to have and B. Didn’t seek permission to release it from me. Those are my communications and like Nicky Hager he has breached my privacy.”

    • Tigger 23.1

      The left has been blamed for this ‘smear’ but it’s all the work of the right and they seem intent on continuing to throw poop at each other. Odd but just.

    • David 23.2

      I pretty sure my hypocrisy meter just hit a bell and went ding ding. Is he really leveling that accusation at JK? The mans brains have turned to faeces methinks.

  24. Tigger 24

    Why is the middle name redacted? The other two were not. They’re both first names. If it was in that pattern was it a first name linked to Dirty Politics or the PM. ‘Jason’ perhaps?

  25. Distilled essence of NZ 25

    You know i’m thinking that the planned Collins coup was set up for similar reasons to the Shipley coup. Both Key and Boldger are centrist Nats – Shipley and Collins are both far-right. Key was (still is) planned to be rolled in his defacto final term (no one governs for more than three terms), as was Bolger. The far-right can go hell for leather in their reforms and public opinion won’t be a concern. Pretty obvious, but hadn’t occurred to me until now. That’s why all these far-right people like Slater, Plunket and Hooten suddenly and inexplicably went anti-Key, they wanted a far right takeover of the Party, and they still want it. Paula Bennet is the new leader of the far right in the Nats. Slater is upping her over at his blog now.

    • Bearded Git 25.1

      Key is NOT centrist; just pretends to be. Where have you been these last 6 years Distilled?

      • Distilled essence of NZ 25.1.1

        Bearded:

        He’s in the centrist Blinglish camp of the Nats. It must be admitted, things could have been worse. The sale of mighty river could have been complete and not 50/50 (that’s likely to be one thing that changes if Key gets rolled in a third-term take over). The Maori seats could have gone and more anti-employee/anti-union law could have come in. If the left doesn’t win this election, It’s looking like Key will be rolled, and you won’t recognise this country in 2017.

        • miravox 25.1.1.1

          I agree with Bearded. Key is not centrist.

          He’s very keen on being adored by the general public and is politically astute enough to know that New Zelanders are not willing to go back to wholesale sell-offs of government properties and services, or turning NZ into an explicitly advertised tax haven.

          Slowly does it is the mantra, I think aka boiling the frog.

        • Rich 25.1.1.2

          It doesn’t really matter whether he’s a rightist a centrist or a radical leftist, whatever his politics actually are (fairly right and undemocratic I would have thought) they are subservient to the job that he is doing. And he was parachuted into the job from New York not from Christchurch.

  26. disturbed 26

    Sable 9.1 said
    “Time for a commission into journalistic standards in New Zealand and a full revision of existing laws.”

    Sable again 2.4

    “It makes you wonder how long we will maintain our status as one of the worlds least corrupt…it could only be declining under National”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11166639

    It is called corrupted press and civil service or cancer.

    Sable, I offer this true example of Journalist corruption at Murdock press NZ Herald see below, and yes we need an investigation into MSM as well as Government now.

    Herald run a story last year claiming “NZ among the least corrupt in world.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11166639

    While at the same time a NZ based group here said the opposite, but NZ Herald favours using some offshore bullshit on Kiwis, isn’t that corruption.

    http://www.transparency.org.nz/ Integrity Plus 2013

    New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment The Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment was released by Transparency International New Zealand on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2013.

    This landmark report reveals that serious and urgent action is needed to protect and extend integrity in New Zealand. Recent incidents and investigations of corruption, and increasing public concern, provide a compelling case for a more pro-active approach to these issues.

    According to Co-Director Suzanne Snively “Our report finds that the mechanisms that support a high integrity and high trust society, and that facilitate social and economic development, remain generally robust but are coming under increasing stress. There has been complacency in the face of increased risks”.

  27. Appleboy 27

    Something I noticed in the tv3 stand up press confence. Initially Key said his office had the email Friday morning and that he received it “latenFriday evening”. In a second question later in the conference he said he got it “after I got back from Gisborne..oh about 5.00 or 6.00”. Key can’t even keep his story straight for 30 minutes. Does he seriously expect us to believe his COS would have this all day before telling him?

  28. Lloyd 28

    IMO it will be the youth vote for Internet-Mana that will determine the government.

    If you want to get rid of the right-wingers, make sure every youngster you know votes.

  29. Sable 29

    Lets see what the public think come election day. With any luck we have seen the last of Teflon John and his mates….

  30. cogito 30

    “PM may not have to front at hearing”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10444294/PM-may-not-have-to-front-at-hearing

    Slimy John gets to wriggle out again…. but the net is closing.

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