Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Key Questions

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  • Russell Brown,

    See also: Gordon Campbell.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Good summary. And yes, Bryce's was epic. I almost needed a lie down after poring through it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    That house exchange is strange knowing what we now know.

    In the Knucklehead tape, (to coin a phrase), Key is at pains to explain that he only had 16 seconds, and that he can't be expected to remember all of the damn things, and that he gets up very early and goes to bed late don't you know, and 100% correct is a very tough standard indeed, and if that's what you want, well, he's just gonna have to be getting back to you a bit more in the future.

    None of which explains what he said.

    He didn't get it 90% right, or even 50. He was 100% wrong in a very specific way and dragged in things he wasn't asked about. It really doesn't look like forgetfulness was the problem.

    Pretty sure someone could compile a list of times Key has replied using the qualifications "To the best of my knowledge" or "as far as I can recall". But this one wouldn't be on that list.

    God knows why he reacted to that question the way he did, but his backpedaling since doesn't really explain it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I always thought the director of GCSB was chosen by NSA, with possible helpful input from GCHQ? What Key or any other nominal NZer might have to do with it is unclear - maybe he tried to simplify the process of rubber-stamping the Americans' nomination and came unstuck.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    He was 100% wrong in a very specific way

    Tracy Watkins doesn't mince words about this (and I've bolded the most significant word out of Key's mouth):

    When he was asked if he had had any contact with Mr Fletcher since his school days Mr Key said he could not recall any particular occasions. And when he was later asked what role he played in the appointment, Mr Key responded: " Only that the state services commissioner came to me with the recommendation."

    It wasn't just that Mr Key misspoke. He was asked the question in various ways and the basic thrust of his response didn't waver.

    You can play the semantic game all you like, but ultimately it boils down to one thing. By any acceptable yardstick, those answers were simply not true.

    Mr Key's subsequent explanation, that he forgot, also stretches credulity.

    She even offers a plausible line of reasoning for Key's dishonesty, which to me has seemed particularly strange in this instance (though it's hardly the first time). Why lie if there's really nothing going on? And then double down by getting the media offside.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • John Holley,

    Sadly I think that Brian Edwards is fast becoming a GOB (Grumpy old bastard). I use to really respect his perspective on media matters but I am losing it pretty quickly - his disdain for Cameron Slater on Media3 being a case in point. (and I thought Cameron was much more reasonable)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    hardly the first time

    knew I'd seen a rollcall somewhere

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    This whole affair only reinforces suspicions that NZ right now is being run from a country club golf course instead of a parliamentary chamber.

    And 'knucklehead' is basically just 'nitpicker' for the smartphone age.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Key reminds me of Michael Fay and "His Bank". The story went along the lines that an underling pointed out that Mr Fay shouldn't be doing this with the BNZ money. His reply was along the lines of "I'ts my fucking bank, I'll do what I like".

    John Key: "I'll treat this country the way I want. Now piss off".

    Is it something in the dealing room coffee that affected the DNA of pricks like this?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Nah, it’s their over-weening pride/under-weenied-size (because they are all males)
    that they cant admit they’ve tried to warp/twist/use/abuse a democratic life-vein- one of the hard-fought-for ways humans have established for the general good
    of *all* humanity-
    I wont say this is limited to politically active males - that piece of Danish womanshit is on my humour/horror board forever!I can send out bad stuff to the silly um- person? Shrug/whateffer-in my thought-fields and know she gets it-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Kerre (ex-Woodham) McIvor reckons maybe the guy's just bored.

    Is John Key so sure of himself and his popularity that he goes out of his way to make life difficult, just to spice things up?

    His previous life as an international trader was all high stakes and adrenaline surges during the 80s. Maybe running a sleepy little country at the bottom of the world is just too easy - even during a global recession - and that's why our Prime Minister likes to mix it up a little.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sacha,

    ...maybe the guy’s just bored

    Key has said that he has no stomach for opposition, so maybe he is just engineering his exit plan.
    I doubt he has much loyalty to the National Party either, their fall from power would just be collateral damage as he moves on with his bucket list, and the money is neither here nor there, it's in Geneva, or Hawaii...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    I'm not sure whether it's a response to too much sugar or some kind of early morning/daylight savings issue deep inside my brain, but can I just recommend Matthew Hooton's piece in the NBR: [url|http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/i-did-not-have-sexual-relations-woman-matthew-hooton-ck-138203]

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    oh, that's a pig's ear. Apologies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    that piece of Danish womanshit

    I was confused when I saw your comment last night, Islander, but this morning I think I see what you were referring to. I think it's clear from her comments on the hongi and waiata that, among many other things, she really needs to grow up.

    I wish I could say "don't worry about her", but unfortunately it seems to me that fascism is on the rise in Europe again and there's probably quite an eager audience for such puerile nonsense.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Islander,

    that piece of Danish womanshit

    Love it Islander +1

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    I hear warning bells every time Mr Key starts an answer to a tricky question with, "Now lets back up bit. Some time ago ...." He does this so well that the original question is lost.
    Mr Key's defenders say, "It was only a phone call for goodness sake. Move on."
    Mr Key's non-defenders say, "He lied and ducked and weaved to hide the answer to a simple question. He tried to cover up. A PM should not behave like this."

    And I wonder if Mr Robertson has more to come.
    And I wonder if The Speaker will change his practice given that origin of Mr Key's problems was the silly non-answer in Question Time.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to Paul Brislen,

    oh, that's a pig's ear.

    Far from it, because here's the silk purse I made from your makings. And the contents, Matthew Hooton's NBR piece, is indeed a fine and rare gem.

    The headline is particularly apt, drawing attention to the point as for Clinton that the lie in attempted cover-up/denial is of greater significance than the earlier matter of inquiry.

    And it is assuredly a lie that his/Key's only role in Fletcher's appointment was to receive (and approve) the recommendation of the State Services Commissioner. Not a lie of omission, not a brainfade - a plain lie. To Parliament in formal business on a matter of substantial significance. Contempt, Privileges Committee ...

    Why is there still soft-pedalling this by the Opposition?

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Islander:

    that piece of Danish womanshit is on my humour/horror board forever!

    A real life Mrs Scum what don't like darkies.

    The "power" of the Majority Makers: Danish Peoples Party

    Jesus. With a couple of exceptions....where have I heard this before? Oh yes...Act 1 & First scene.

    The party's expressed goals are to protect the freedom and cultural heritage of the Danish people, including the family, the Monarchy and the Church of Denmark, to enforce a strict rule of law, to work against Denmark becoming a multi-ethnic society by limiting immigration and promoting cultural assimilation of admitted immigrants, to maintain a strong welfare system for those in need, and to promote entrepreneurship and economic growth by strengthening education and encouraging people to work, and to protect the environment and natural resources.

    and

    Controversies
    Throughout the history of the Danish People's Party, its leaders have sought popularity through controversial and polarising stances.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to ChrisW,

    Why is there still soft-pedalling this by the Opposition?

    I never thought I would hear myself say: "Bring back Lockwood......"

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Paul Brislen,

    I find it instructive that 59% of respondent NBR online subscribers – who ought, broadly speaking, to be sympathetic towards Key – don’t believe he genuinely forgot about the phone call.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    it seems to me that fascism is on the rise in Europe again

    Is it what. Hungary is no longer a democracy, declares the New Statesman, and it's hard to argue with the conclusion based on the evidence.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to ChrisW,

    Not a lie of omission, not a brainfade - a plain lie. To Parliament in formal business on a matter of substantial significance. Contempt, Privileges Committee ...

    Why is there still soft-pedalling this by the Opposition?

    Snap. Robertson calling it a "lie of omission" on The Nation was another head-shaking moment.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Danyl has posted a timeline of the main events including the Dotcom raid.

    Now that I’ve laid it all out like that I don’t really know what to make of it. This reminds me (a) of that season of Lost - I think it’s Season 4 – in which all the dramatic tension relies on the fact that none of the main characters ever stop and have a very brief conversation with each other about what they know and what they think is going on, and (b) one of those undergraduate statistics exercises where you multiply together a bunch of medium probability events to reach a very low probability outcome.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to ChrisW,

    Why is there still soft-pedalling this by the Opposition?

    Because in the absence of a smoking gun that Key lied and knew it, they don't want to open that can of worms for future sessions. Members of the present Opposition will be ministers in a future government, and they want to avoid giving National the precedent of questionable complaints to the Privileges Committee over errors of memory. It's bad enough that National has Shearer's non-declaration of a sizeable offshore bank account (which he knew he had, since he declared it for tax), without taking the PM to the Privileges Committee on less than a concrete case of misleading the House.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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