Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: The Evasive Mr Key Has 2 Million Friends

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  • Ian MacKay,

    Wow! A very large bite to digest. This is the best collection of information that I have read and genuine food for thought. The Listener feature was very vague and maybe that is because John is a bit vague yet. The question of privatisation will be the most telling. Thanks for the blog.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Very interesting article, it is good to see the Critic is making an effort still. I am impressed that he has toed the line re US involvement though, I would have thought it incrediably easy and rewarding to mutter a few "Bush out of Iraq, lol!" comments for any NZ politician.

    On another note, this post is almost custom designed for TL;DR posts.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Anorak,

    Hats off to Mathew Littlewood!
    Critic, the last bastion of intelligent print journalism! (ok, I'm somewhat biased, but still, well done!).

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    On another note, this post is almost custom designed for TL;DR posts

    That's why you don't get the lesbians and the gym offer until tomorrow :)

    I'll lay you a lazy ten bucks that Idiot Savant, Peter Cresswell and Alistair Thompson have already read it through to the end, though.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    All this was on Facebook? Have you poked* Key yet? Bitten* him?

    * Facebook jargon that I do not understand.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    There are at least two articles about John Key on the Listener's website, both by Joanne Black: Mister Aspiration and (ho ho) Key Player. Isn't Black's partner one of Key's senior advisors?

    Since Nov 2006 • 166 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, for fuck's sake, David - are you angling for a human resources position at the Environment Ministry? With all these male Mata Haris John Key is hiring nowadays, I have to wonder if he wants to be Prime Minister or run a male brothel.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    __A wolf in Little Brother clothing?__

    That's genius.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    Craig -- sorry for raise one's heckles so early in the day but to be honest I wasn't really aiming for anything particularly nasty (although I can see how it reads). I appreciate how small Wellington is. The question was actually an honest one. So, you know, chill.

    Since Nov 2006 • 166 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I don't really like an opposition who attacks the government for their policies and actions, but never puts anything concrete out as an alternative, always trotting out the line that their policy will be out by the election.

    It's entirely negative, and offers nothing positive.

    And where he does give an answer:

    This is a combination of short and long-term solutions; it's about incomes and opportunities. Tax cuts are one solution, but it's more than that. It's about raising after-tax wages, development of better infrastructure, more educational opportunities, and a business environment where entrepreneurship can flourish, all while protecting our unique environment.

    I mean seriously. Michael Cullen or Helen Clark could have given exactly the same answer to a question, and it wouldn't have looked out of place.

    This isn't leadership, it's playing defense and waiting for the other team to turn the ball over so you can score.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    Argh: heckles = hackles.

    Since Nov 2006 • 166 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    This isn't leadership, it's playing defense and waiting for the other team to turn the ball over so you can score.

    Could you translate please - surely a ball is the same whichever way up it is?

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

  • Joanna,

    Hang on, you added me as a Facebook friend automatically because of past correspondence? I'm gutted. I thought you liked me, you really liked me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Robertson,

    sorry Craig, but the fact that the Listener has never bothered to tell its readers that Joanne Black's husband is Key's chief advisor rankles with me. It is a totally different matter from the employment of Kevin Taylor's partner at MFE. Black has written a specific piece about Key, which as noted is more than friendly, where was the disclaimer? I remember when Denis Welch first wrote for the Listener after standing for the Alliance in 1992 he was kept miles away from political stories.

    good article indeed, with some interesting responses from Key. If Matthew is reading, a small point Labour's interest free loans are not for just while you are studying. That was the 1999 policy- things got a whole lot better last time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    Could you translate please - surely a ball is the same whichever way up it is?

    Is this a serious question? Just in case it is.... turning the ball over refers to possession being given/awarded to the opposition. For example, if you knock the ball forward then possession would be awarded to the other team (rugby)

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I don't really like an opposition who attacks the government for their policies and actions, but never puts anything concrete out as an alternative, always trotting out the line that their policy will be out by the election.

    Well, duh. I think National learnt from the last election that if they come out with a policy/election promise too soon then Labour will gazzump it.

    Besides, when you're ahead in the opinion polls why risk pissing anyone off by actually announcing policy?

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    I think National learnt from the last election that if they come out with a policy/election promise too soon then Labour will gazzump it.

    It's their right to play it tactically, but it's my right to feel treated with disregard. The tactic they've chosen is probably safer, but you can also demonstrate yourself to be fresher and more capable by generating a continuing stream of superior policy proposals, if you have them, and making plenty of noise each time the incumbents adopt or adapt your idea.

    Meanwhile, on pop-cultural matters: Joanne, of course I do.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    sorry Craig, but the fact that the Listener has never bothered to tell its readers that Joanne Black's husband is Key's chief advisor rankles with me.

    And is Jane Clifton still with Murry McCully? It looks like what used to be magazine for leftish intellectuals is now being run by Tory groupies. No wonder it's full of "The NCEA will give you cancer, but plastic surgery will improve your house price" stories.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Hang on, you added me as a Facebook friend automatically because of past correspondence? I'm gutted. I thought you liked me, you really liked me.

    Yeah, when it says it's off to interrogate & invite all your contacts, including people you don't know but once emailed, or who once emailed you, you realise the truth about all the invitations you've received to sign up to Facebook, MySpace, Gnomeworld et al.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I wonder how the Listener's circulation is going just at the moment. Using my sure-fire circulation monitor (the number of copies left on the shelf on a Friday in my local Whitcoulls) the Listener seems in serious decline.

    Pamela Stirling's apparent desire to take the Listener from the teacher's staff room to the Clevedon drawing room seems to be failing miserably.

    I Listener was a heroic voice in the wilderness during the height of the madness of the Rogernomes. How ironic it should succumb now.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    you realise the truth about all the invitations you've received to sign up to Facebook, MySpace, Gnomeworld et al.

    Three years ago some lady mistakenly emailed me thinking I could help her get one of the NZ Idol contestants to sing at her friends wedding.

    Since then, I keep getting emails sent on her behalf inviting me to sign up for various online services.

    Most of them are fairly unremarkable, but every now and than I'll get one like this:

    Hi Robyn! Your friend, [name], did the What Sexual Position Are You quiz. [Name] is anal sex! Why don't you take the quiz to find out what sexual position you are! Click here to start!

    No.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    sorry Craig, but the fact that the Listener has never bothered to tell its readers that Joanne Black's husband is Key's chief advisor rankles with me.

    And Kathryn Street (who is now the PM's chief press secretary) didn't end every industrial relations or political story she filed as RNZ's chief reporter with, "by the way I'm fucking Maryan Street - no relation - read into that what you will." I understand it wasn't exactly being kept on the downlow in Wellywood media/political circles, and despite the vast left-wing lesbian cabal supposedly running Helengrad, Street left RNZ with a lot of respect on all sides of the political spectrum.

    You want to play that game, Grant, let's be entirely consistent about it. Because I'm really more than a little tired of the snide chipping at the professional integrity of people like Joanne Black and Jane Clifton because they're (literally) sleeping with the enemy. Remember folks - I'm supposed to be the sexist Tory patriarch who think women are just silly little bimbots utterly incapable of breaking wind without their husband's say-so.

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

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    "despite the vast left-wing lesbian cabal supposedly running Helengrad"

    Since when was Labour Left-Wing?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Craig, I think that the Street case too is another where disclosure would have been an ethically righteous thing. It is as bad and objectionable in a leftwing connection as in a right one, and I'm afraid the only reason I've never been concerned about it is that until you blew their cover, I never heard about it.

    Whenever I read business reporting, I expect to see declarations of interest from the reporter if they have ownership or other interests in the subject of the article. Why should political reporters be held to a lower standard than business reporters?

    By all means let reporters report on people they have personal relationships with - but let the reader know. That would really demonstrate professional integrity. Full disclosure has always been better than "just trust me".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Robertson,

    Craig, I think that the Street case too is another where disclosure would have been an ethically righteous thing. It is as bad and objectionable in a leftwing connection as in a right one, and I'm afraid the only reason I've never been concerned about it is that until you blew their cover, I never heard about it.

    perhaps you never heard about it because Craig has his facts wrong.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

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