Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: All In

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm sure that's the case Craig but not many of those other people are potential coalition partners for National

    None actually, but I don't see any potential coalition partners doing a damn thing to keep the party solvent and functional. Nor do they get to vote on the leadership of the parliamentary wing, candidate selections or the president.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Personally I'd go down to my room of gold coins, and frolick like Scrooge McDuck.

    Scrooge preferred notes; coins were for burrowers.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm wondering if this is going to backlash on Labour and any media outlet that touches it.

    John Key made his fortune in an industry where it's fairly well documented that sharp practice has often been the way to get ahead.

    For others in that line of work, the sharp practice crossed over into tax fraud and they went to jail.

    Key has in past interviews distanced himself from this - the Herald article calls the timing in his version of events into question.

    I think it's an important question the people of NZ need to ask - do we want somebody with a background in the international banking industry running NZ? The idea that this is "nasty negative campaigning" isn't the point - we are entitled to know about this stuff.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It will be interesting to see the details and the spin then applied - that Herald article doesn't really say much that's damning to me, except the "I definitely left before the payments were made" line he made when clearly he hadn't.

    The (ahem) key paragraph of the Herald story is this:

    Checks by the Herald of court documents made public by Labour have unravelled several aspects of the version he told, including the fact that he resigned from Elders in June 1988, six months after the first payment. There is no evidence that he was involved in handling the sham transactions.

    Labour will be seeking to show not that Key was involved in the crime, but that Key is slippery about his past.

    It's a wee bit like the Springbok Tour thing -- no one cares in 2008 if he happened to be pro-tour as a 19 year-old, but his evasiveness was odd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It looks like the Herald breaking the story has accelerated Labour's schedule. One News says there'll be a press conference in about 20 minutes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Robeson,

    Point of order: can't really see Labour working with ACT. Or with any of the fundy Christian spinnoffs.

    otherwise, please continue.

    Since Feb 2008 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh cool. The Herald is re-versioning. Here's the latest version of the paragraph:

    Checks by the Herald of court documents made public by Labour have raised questions about several aspects of the version he told, including his memory of when he left the company. He resigned from Elders in June 1988, six months after the first payment. There is no evidence that he was involved in handling the sham transactions.

    And the original again:

    Checks by the Herald of court documents made public by Labour have unravelled several aspects of the version he told, including the fact that he resigned from Elders in June 1988, six months after the first payment. There is no evidence that he was involved in handling the sham transactions.

    Guess somebody complained. I suspect Eugene Bingham is not very happy about his story being rewritten by his bosses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    My first thoughts on this bit of John Key slipperyness was "well, he was there, but it doesn't mean he knows anything and maybe I couldn't remember exact dates from 1987-88 either."

    But then I read over at the standard that Key wasn't a lowly tea boy at Elders Merchant Finance, he was the HEAD of foreign exchange.

    If he says he didn't know about this fraudelent transaction, it will be about as believable as Winston saying he knew nothing about Owen Glenn's donation.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The 3 News report was quite a useful summary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah, apart from that bit on the end about "playing the person, not the ball".

    This Is Not A Game of Rugby.

    The nation is deciding who governs us for the next three years. The attitudes of that party to financial shenanigans at the smart end of town are fully relevant to that. It isn't like accusing somebody of having a custard fetish or whatever.

    I think the National Party's idea of a clean election is that they present their policies, Labour present theirs and the electorate decides there's nowt much to choose but they could do with a change of scenery.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    he was the HEAD of foreign exchange.

    If he says he didn't know about this fraudelent transaction, it will be about as believable as Winston saying he knew nothing about Owen Glenn's donation.

    In most of the organisations I've worked in the HEAD of any given department would actually have been the last person to know what was going on......

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    John Key made his fortune in an industry where it's fairly well documented that sharp practice has often been the way to get ahead.

    So is politics, but I'd really want to make sure my "neutron bomb" didn't turn out to be a damnp squib. Risky play from Labour, and it might work. Or it might blowback on people who actually think the biggest crisis to hit the world economy in 80 years is a little more important than who paid for a going away lunch John Key had twenty years ago.

    I'd also point out, Rich, that the linked story was rather careful not to allege any criminal wrongdoing against Key.

    I think it's an important question the people of NZ need to ask - do we want somebody with a background in the international banking industry running NZ?

    I'd actually like someone who is focused on that fiscal shitstorm I mentioned two pars back.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Craig

    I'm wondering if this is going to backlash on Labour and any media outlet that touches it.

    Why? Honestly, I am curious as to why should media outlets not touch this story?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Guess somebody complained. I suspect Eugene Bingham is not very happy about his story being rewritten by his bosses.

    Russell: I'd think Eugene Bingham would want to be a little more careful about calling anyone a liar. And if he's that pissy about having his copy (and I can't really see how the substance is altered) perhaps he's in the wrong trade?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Meanwhile, on the other side, the ASA has come out with a decision saying Labour's two John's ad is misleading.

    This is interesting for two reasons:

    First, it shows how the internet changes things - TV and radio political ads are outside the ASA's jurisdiction, and the only reason they could look at the ad in this case was because it had been posted on youtube. Of course, the decision doesn't affect what Labour can do on TV, but it's a bad look to keep running an ad that's been deemed misleading.

    Second, the decision itself is... shaky, I'd say. Not necessarily wrong, but I've had a look at some of their previous decisions on political ads, and this doesn't quite seem to square with those decisions. The Nats' Iwi/Kiwi billboards were seen as perfectly acceptable, even admirable, advocacy of political views. The truth or otherwise of the implied message was to be left to the voters to decide. Same with a Nat billboard essentially saying "OH NOES LIARBORE IS STEALING YOUR MONIES TO FUND TEH MAAARIES AT TEH WANANGA."

    And, in the non party-political area, a newspaper ad from the people opposing Meridian's wellington west wind development that featured giant scare windmills as physically impossible as barbie's tits was ruled fair advocacy. Given this background, it seems odd to rule that "cut kiwisaver in half" is misleading cos it only applies to MOST of National's kiwisaver policy, not all of it.

    The decision was also a minority one, and the majority made a couple of factual errors. I'm not sure how consequential they are, but they're there. Will be interesting to see if Labour bothers to appeal. The media's all over this at the moment, but this and the John Key slippery thing might well cancel each other out.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Why? Honestly, I am curious as to why should media outlets not touch this story?

    Well, Don, the Herald can touch it. But they better hope it ends up having a little more substance than an Ian Wishart hit piece. Labour basically doesn't lose -- it's a pretty risky attempt to get campaign coverage back on their script in the last week. It works, fine. It doesn't, at least they tried. And if ends up going down with undecided voters like a buckets of cold sick, you don't win big without taking risks.

    But The Herald better have a bit more on the table tomorrow morning, for the sake of its own credibility.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Tom Semmens wrote:

    If he says he didn't know about this fraudelent transaction, it will be about as believable as Winston saying he knew nothing about Owen Glenn's donation.

    Eddie Clark replied:

    In most of the organisations I've worked in the HEAD of any given department would actually have been the last person to know what was going on......

    And more than a few years back, I worked for a company where one of my co-workers was (I later found out) robbing the company blind. Strangely enough, he wasn't exactly broadcasting the fact far and wide and with all due respect to Tom, I wouldn't have thought the management would have turned a blind eye to it if they'd had any idea.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The nation is deciding who governs us for the next three years. The attitudes of that party to financial shenanigans at the smart end of town are fully relevant to that. It isn't like accusing somebody of having a custard fetish or whatever.

    "Attitudes", Rich? You're damn right this election campaign isn't a game of rugby. It's not an episode of Oprah either.

    Let's just cut the shit and get real about the politics of this. In nine days we go to the polls against the backdrop of the most severe financial crisis to hit the global economy since the Great Depression.

    Unless something pretty astounding breaks today, nobody - not even Clark - is making any allegations of wrongdoing against Key. But there's a pretty transparent attempt to dog-whistle to economic angst in a way Karl Rove would be proud of.

    Yes, I went there. Throw dirt, pretend you're not doing it, and make sure you're going it close enough to polling day that any hits you score are increasingly difficult to respond to.

    And you know something, I just don't believe Clark when she says (to quote the Three clip Russell linked to) that "this is all The Herald's work". I think someone should be asking Eugene Bingham on the record whether that's true.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Unless something pretty astounding breaks today

    Which it isn't: **'Neutron bomb' on Key proves fizzer for Govt **

    Money quote:

    Last weekend, the party believed it had a smoking gun - a signature on the A$39m first H-Fee cheque bearing a striking resemblance to Mr Key's. Senior party figures advocated making the document public immediately.

    Within days, though, court documents proved that what would have been the campaign's most explosive allegation was wrong. The January 11 cheque was actually signed by an Australian-based executive of the firm Mr Key worked for.

    I do hope Mike Williams caught a show and did some shopping while in Melbourne. It would be a shame if the trip turned out to be a total waste of time.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Let's just cut the shit and get real about the politics of this. In nine days we go to the polls against the backdrop of the most severe financial crisis to hit the global economy since the Great Depression.

    I keep hearing that, and you know what? I don't feel it. And there's no point quoting figures at me, I just don't feel like understanding them. It all sounds vaguely histrionic to me when people say it, and I realise that if I were to believe coming out of anyone's mouth, it would be yours, Craig. You are fairly nous-ey about these things, it is true. Still don't buy it, but. Maybe I'm a sheltered leftie, but I don't see this recession as being anything more than the financial universe righting itself after all these "bullish" years of overspending and flash harryness.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I keep hearing that, and you know what? I don't feel it. And there's no point quoting figures at me, I just don't feel like understanding them.

    Were we separated at birth, Jackie? :) I think there's a fair point to be made that we don't want to be getting into a death spiral of self-fulfilling hyperbole (save that for the next time the AB's get knocked out of the RWC); and our banks are definitely in a damn sight better shape than other parts of the world. (Though, like political attack ads, clearing the bar set by America's finance sector isn't exactly demanding.) But there's not much room for complacency either. The razor's going over our discretionary spending next year, that's for sure.

    Maybe I'm a sheltered leftie, but I don't see this recession as being anything more than the financial universe righting itself after all these "bullish" years of overspending and flash harryness.

    And, again, I wouldn't pick a fight with you there either. Then again, I'm one of these freaks who had it dinned into me from an early age that debt is like pigging out on lammingtons. Not to be made a habit of, and it's all going to catch up on you in the end. And David is the really sensible one in our house.

    Might be a little less sanguine if I was trying to service a telephone number mortgage on a grossly over-valued house though.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But I do stand by my original point: I really think your average undecided/swing voter is a little more focused on the here and now than John Key not remembering who picked up the tab for a going away lunch twenty years ago.

    In the end, I think John Armstrong has a point. If you believed yesterday that banker rhymes with wanker, and John Key is both nothing about this will change your mind. Ditto if you're on the other side of the scales. To use that awful cliché one more time, the 'neutron bomb' didn't have a warhead.

    And to be fair to Key (whether you like him or not) fraudster tend to telegraph what they're up to. And smarter people than I have chewed through their own weight in aspirin trying to make sense of things like the H-Fee transactions.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    whoops commented in wrong chain

    bye bye election. this is proof in the old maxim about governments losing elections...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Fnark...

    "And to be fair to Key (whether you like him or not) fraudster tend NOT to telegraph what they're up to."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Che:

    The funny thing is, that even when I thought Labour were a pack of cynically opportunistic rat-bastards, you had to give them their props for being disciplined and effective to a fault. Among much else, I can't believe Labour was sloppy enough to give National a free shot to turn the whole trust/credibility/judgement/exsperience thrust of their campaign back on them.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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