The news media were interviewing people at the TPPA protest in Akl who couldn’t actually say what the TPPA was or why they were against it.
The same applies on the Dexter side as well - talked to many who support it blindly, while not having any idea what it involves, just that it's a 'trade deal' and John Key said it was a good thing...
It's the same cognitive dissonance in action.
Time for everyone to watch the Key Genesis again - back when he was a fledgling Forex whiz kid who'd found his wings at Elders Finance*, before he conquered the overseas bourses and made his millions and was head-hunted/groomed for National by Cameron Slater's dad...
I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him...
(and there's a throwaway line in there that make me wonder if Bronagh isn't really the shadowy power-behind-the-throne!)
*Elders Finance was of course eventually bought in a fire sale in 1999 by Hanover Finance aka the lovely Eric Watson and the charming Mark Hotchin...
...I think we all know what happened then - Trust Richard Long? Sure can't!
groomed for National by Cameron Slater's dad
thought it was by Boag - hence little Cam's loyalty to evil Judith's faction instead.
An uninformed people will get restless. To assume it's all about hating on John is rubbish.
I agree. It's easy to pretend that it's specifically Key-hating when any number of Stuff, Herald and Facebook threads get substantial portions of comments expressing disgust at John Key (sometimes misspelled), even if he wasn't even mentioned in whatever spawned the conversation. Lots of criticism would probably be more appropriately-levelled at wider parts of the political branch of the government and how it operates, instead of just the nominee to the top. Otherwise you'd think that National could solve all its problems simply by unscrewing the PM, filing him away in Hawaii and screwing in a new bright and shiny PM who's untainted. Problem solved, right? Everyone likes the new one. But, realistically, National almost certainly can't make all those KDS sufferers like it by replacing the PM. Underneath the PM is still the same political machine that'll work the same way, implement the same policies, and that's the real problem that people have. Are people mad only at John Key, or is his name just the mechanism that many choose to express their anger?
But hey, just as Clark was before him, he's the guy at the top who's supposedly meant to be responsible. He's the person whose face is in all of the government's major campaigns and events. He is who people see and think of when they have problems. To an extent, the political branch of the government probably wants him to run interference, get in the way of blame and be the target for discontent as part of its PR strategy. It's not necessarily such a bad thing when he's out pulling hair, or saying embarrassing things on a radio show, even if that leads to "controversial" coverage. The more that coverage and arguments are about him, the less that they're about government policy or actions. After all, one of his great skills is, somehow, to be able to remain trusted by enough of the populace to retain their support, even if it increases the overall polarisation. He's much better at it than Helen Clark ever was.
… not least because that sort of misdirection wasn’t part of the job description for Clark.
Yep, Rob, I had something similar to say on The Standard a couple of days ago to one of that site's highly-enthusiastic resident Tory Trolls, frequently-delighted as they so often are by what they perceive to be the erudition of their tangy little bon mots..
Dang ! I meant to preview the above comment rather than post !
Second half of that sentence was more than a little tortuous.
Bugger, bugger, bugger !
thought it was by Boag – hence little Cam’s loyalty to evil Judith’s faction instead.
Boag wanted new blood but not identified so CamsDad and that Shipley-Dame -to-be (and therefore a colonial relic) swung into action…
One assumes The Right maintains this page’s fact base?
In 1998, on learning of his interest in pursuing a political career, the National Party president John Slater began working actively to recruit him. Former party leader Jenny Shipley describes him as one of the people she “deliberately sought out and put my head on the line–either privately or publicly–to get them in there”.
My advice to everybody is try not to get yourself touted as a future leader,” says former National Party president John Slater. “It can almost be a kiss of death among your colleagues.”
Key’s entry to politics — via a bitter selection battle with the sitting National MP Brian Neeson — is widely associated with then-president Michelle Boag’s wish to inject new blood into the caucus. But plans for him to run for the party were actually hatched during Slater’s presidency.
Key was in London, earning a fortune as Merrill Lynch’s global head of foreign exchange but nursing an ambition held since his Christchurch childhood to get into politics.
After Slater learned of his interest — through a chance business encounter with Key’s sister in Christchurch — National’s informal talent recruitment machinery whirred into action. Meetings were arranged with Slater and National’s then-leader Jenny Shipley. Back in New Zealand on holiday, Key was invited to a New Year soirée attended by various senior party people at Slater’s Pauanui beach house. Wine-buff Slater recalls Key bringing an excellent bottle of Kim Goldwater. So does Key, who collects a bit of wine himself: “I told him not to drink it with his sausages.”
His chances were helped by Shipley’s recognition that following the retirement of a group of senior MPs her party was light in the finance portfolios.
“He’s not the only person in the National caucus who I deliberately sought out and put my head on the line — either privately or publicly — to get them in there,” says the former Prime Minister.
The next stage of the courtship was an invitation to speak at the National Party’s Auckland conference, which inevitably raised the hackles of some sitting MPs who scented a potential rival. Shipley: “He was an unknown at the time and there were some egos that had to be dealt with because, of course, members of Parliament are very keen to speak at their regional conferences.” The speech hardly cemented his future. (“Look,” says Shipley, “he wasn’t a brilliant presenter at the time.”)
Slater sr was rewarded by Boag oustng him from the Nat Party presidency - In many ways whaleoil was raised by wolves…
Is John still in Auckland Politics, wasn’t he Palino’s campaign manager?
in possibly unrelated news I hear there is a massive cockroach invasion in Auckland…
Dang ! I meant to preview the above comment rather than post !
Second half of that sentence was more than a little tortuous.
Bugger, bugger, bugger !
If you mouse over the comment, you should see an edit link come up – it's good for 10 minutes after you post.
So, reading the comments, it's people explaining how they're not obsessed with Key by detailing his past.
Sometimes I sigh at how much focus there is on his past, like those depressingly repetetive folk banging on about a statement to the SFO over twenty years ago as if they're Woodward and Bernstein - or how he was a banker and isn't to be trusted. Labour ran that one in 2008 and look how it turned out? Grant Robertson admitted that in an interview recently, they underestimated how good Key would be and how bad their attacks were. It's EIGHT YEARS LATER and that is still happening.
At times it seems like the post-Clark social democratic left has been so thoroughly out manouevered, out messaged and out thought by the National comms department that they cling to tiny fragments of meaningless information as though it reveals the true nature of Key, National etc, when the reality is very few people outside of these groups know or care.
And that's not a mainstream media conspiracy, it's just that there's nothing new there. And refighting the same old battles again and again without an actual enemy, because lord knows National and Key have moved on, means they end up another step ahead on whatever comes next. Instead of barracking Key with insults or committing all their energies to shouting at the public (like certain bloggers of note), who aren't listening anyway, thinking outside of the Key situation would benefit.
He's not going to last forever and National won't have another one like him ready. Eight years in no politician, no matter how good they are, can last too much longer in power. So, a few questions...
What does the political landscape look like with Judith, Simon or Paula at the helm of the National party, heading into the 2020 election?
Who'll be leading NZ First post-Winston (it's actually going to happen one day), and what happens if the soft National vote peels to NZF in 2017?
Will Labour manage to establish a clear, confident 'Government in waiting' platform by next year? If not, is it Jacinda time?
With the increasing prevalence of Green ideas in the mainstream, how do the Greens break the 11% boundary and where do those votes come from?
If 2017 sees the end of UF in Ohariu, how does that change the electoral maths?
What happens to the Maori party as a result of its impartial coalition presence?
What will David Seymour's role as Parliamentary clown do for the ACT vote if National's vote shifts?
All of these questions are key to the future of NZ politics and none of them involve Key, except in absentia. It's time to start thinking about the future, because it's where we're headed.
National and Key have moved on, means they end up another step ahead
eg: those " I'm a Key person" teeshirts? Replaced with ones that just say "youngnationals". Preparing for leadership change already.
I've needed to get that off my chest.
Excellent comment John - I've felt uncomfortable for some time about the relative (and unproductive) obsession with Key (and more latterly and - unfairly in my view - what his children get up to - the perceived sins of the father are no excuse to sneer at two young people trying to live their lives) and am convinced it is electoral poison to those who find tribalism and partisonship a trun-off. And to be honest, Rob's original post is a good example of the genre, albeit dressed up as academic critique. Some new music needs to be developed for the post-Key era.
Exactly. Given the dross in that Nat caucus, why not try a full-court press?
Those who ignore the past, cripple the future
- sure that was then and this is now
the arrow of time and all that...
I have no obsession with Key
but as that is what this thread is ostensibly about
naturally one looks to where he came from to begin to get the measure of the man, to compare with his current actions and I find the same smarm and disingenuousness, and if anything he is losing his self control - should I pluck my eyes out and unremember these things?
People are free to ignore them if they wish
or if the past constricts their breathing...
and venting does help I see
Indeed he's not going to last forever, but he is setting the tone and the direction - case in point Todd Barclay (the Dipton wunderkind) promising to make more mistakes in the future on National Radio this morning!
but hey that's history now...
Sometimes I sigh at how much focus there is on his past, like those depressingly repetetive folk banging on about a statement to the SFO over twenty years ago as if they're Woodward and Bernstein - or how he was a banker and isn't to be trusted. Labour ran that one in 2008 and look how it turned out?
As Ian Dalziel's concise history made clear, there are significant players in the Dirty Politics saga who were intimately involved with Key's ascendancy. Some of them are likely to be around long after Key, Winston, Dunne and the Maori Party have moved on.
Just because Nicky Hager, who can hardly be accused of suffering from the delusion that he's an amalgam of Woodward and Bernstein, failed to make a significant dent in Key's standing, it doesn't follow that his revelations should be consigned to an irrelevant past.
No amount of future-oriented punditry managed to predict that Key's flag hubris would probably cost him more political capital than anything revealed in Dirty Politics, but it's a hubris spawned by the same cynical manipulation of the electorate. We've seen it crash and burn before with the patronising personality cult attempted with the hapless Roger Sutton. Playing silly buggers with Matthew Hooton only gratifies and encourages the perpetrators.
Best article I’ve read for ages. I really don’t understand how Hooton makes money, he just spouts gibberish and I just don’t get why anyone goes, oh let’s throw lots of money at this guy whose main for form of argumentation are ad hominem attacks. But somehow he’s an overpaid Ferrari driving talking-head.
Excellent post John. Only one point that I'd contest a bit, and it's this:
out manouevered, out messaged and out thought by the National comms department
There really isn't some brilliant National Party comms department. There's only John Key and his extraordinary retail political talents. When he is absent, the famed National Party comms department seems to fail: e.g., the Mt Albert by-election, the Northland by-election and now the Vic for Mayor campaign being run by Crosby Texter's Auckland office. Crediting brilliant PR masterminds for Key's success is another example of the left underestimating him (and, if I'm allowed to say, a bit of KDS). This also means that when he is defeated or retires, there will not be any brilliant infrastructure to take the party forward under a new leader, which may give the left some hope.
It's more than Key. Fixating on him is a mistake.
Spending a fortune on constant polling underpins the government's rather flexible direction. But they also do a better job of digesting, framing and feeding the media than the left.
It all costs money but for some reason even operators like Labour who have some of that do not seem to be able to grasp what's needed. And we all suffer.
obsession with Key (and more latterly and – unfairly in my view – what his children get up to – the perceived sins of the father are no excuse to sneer at two young people trying to live their lives)
I do suspect much of the anti brigade would be exactly the same as the anti Kardashian brigade or the anti Paris Hilton brigade and there are numerous kids that have signed up to social media in the way that demands that attention. For the Herald to have front page attention on Key Kids constantly is no help either . Trouble is ,once that box is open......
John Key is just the by product of much of the children's attention because many of their followers have not one iota of interest in politics. The anti Key brigade have plenty of ammo without needing to resort to the kids. The kids making their way will however receive derision as basically all artists do and that being their chosen fields need to get used to it. As for key, his money trading is his identity, and many of those leopards in that field, haven't changed their spots ,hence recalling his past helps us try to understand his presence. There is a saying about leopards and their spots....
But they also do a better job of digesting, framing and feeding the media than the left
And everytime I read or listen with distrust. I've known a few dodgy people in my time and every time someone from National is a talking head, I feel like I'm being conned again
Let's just get the facts right on Key's children, before muttering "KDS" again.
When they were minors, there was no attention paid to them at all. That reflects well on John and Bronagh Key, who clearly wanted to protect them from unwelcome publicity. Adolescence is hard enough without living it in the public eye.
It also reflects well on the NZ media (I rarely say that) and on the opposition too. The kids were off-limits, and that's quite a contrast to some other countries where the family is paraded as a political prop.
Now they are adults, so what has changed? Have they been thrust into the media by paparazzi chasing them? No. Max Key has chosen a public profile - as he is fully entitled to do. He is promoting what he does (don't ask me what, I ain't down with the yoof) and this elicits a response, from people who reckon it's rubbish or good (Kim Dotcom, even). In Steffi's case, there is less self-promotion, and it's in another country, so she's less prominent in our media.
Are some people being snotty about Max and Steffi Key? Yes. Are Labour/Green MPs getting stuck in? No. Are there bitchy comments online? Have there been vile comments? Yes, and it's nasty ... as opposed to which public figure? Does this have anything whatsoever to do with the Prime Minister? No.
Who is to be blamed for the celeb circus of the contemporary NZ media? Long list of culprits, and ranked very low on that list would be leftists who prefer party conference remits to Spy and Scout.
This is, at heart, another version of the "KDS" distraction. Tactic: find some fringe ranting on the Standard or Bradbury's blog, lump it in with the mainstream media which gets a hundred times more views, and claim the "Left" (elastic definition, but must include Andrew Little, smearers gotta smear) are obsessed with Key and his kids!!!1111!!!.
Personally I care far more about bullying by Ministers against ordinary citizens - the powerful exploiting their power. National have done that throughout. Let's call it "people derangement syndrome" - why not?
Won't anyone think of the 'kds'...?
- it had to be said