Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Let’s learn English, with John Key.

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  • Idiot Savant,

    If you really think (not to put too fine a point on it) spying on people either encourages candour or "enhances the democratic process", I'd like you to have a think about the company you're keeping. Seriously.

    Absolutely it does - it encourages MPs to be straight with the public rather than trying to bullshit us. Just like leaked documents help keep governments honest.

    That doesn't change the fact that it might have been illegal (depending on who was doing the taping), but the fact that English and Smith's comments have come to light has definitely revealed something about their atitude to the electorate (sorry, the "punters") and their honesty.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "I'm hoping that we'll do some useful things that way that may not be policy right now."

    Like what Lockwood? What 'useful things" are you holding back from policy that we are not ready to get? We want real politics not see through election strategies .

    Politicians who don't have the strength to debate their convictions are useless to us, even more so parties.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Well, John Key on Radio Live, developing his "dirty tactics" theme, has just made the allegation that Nicky Hager "broke into" the e-mail system. And this morning he said that Helen Clark got him to do it (NZ Herald).

    Personally I find this constant smearing of Hager a lot more "dirty" than anything that's come out of the Nats' cocktail party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1332 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    sorry craig, but you didn't have issues with mike williams being caught out by a secret recording back in april (per your words above). i don't recall seeing a single comment from you about the ethics of secret taping

    Keep looking.

    nor do i recall hearing anything from you regarding guyon espiner airing a pre-interview conversation with michael cullen without cullen knowing he was being taped, although i may not have been paying close attention. so why the all the angst now?

    Wow, I'm sure going to call bullshit on that false equivalence. A good rule of thumb is to assume that every microphone sitting in front of you is live at all times. And we were talking about a press conference in his office, right?

    Now, if Guyon Espiner is in the habit of sleazing up to people at parties and recording them without their knowledge or consent I have a very big problem with that.

    And it has been a long time since I was a working hack, but you don't get to retrospectively call 'off the record' when you say something embarrasing. And accusing journalists of slanting coverage of tax issues, because they're more interested in lining their own pockets. Next you'll be telling me it was out of line for Audrey Young to point out publicly that John Key was (to put it bluntly) full of shit when he effectively accused her or fabricating quotes, and she had the tape to prove it.

    Anyway, Craig, you haven't answered my question: are you cool with National's smoke-and-mirrors act ? If so, why ?

    Mr Curtis: I'm going to loosely paraphrase Margaret Wilson's response to roughly every other point of order during question time: I did, and its not really my problem if the answer isn't to your liking.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Personally I find this constant smearing of Hager a lot more "dirty" than anything that's come out of the Nats' cocktail party.

    Oh dear... Poor Hager. Of course, he could settle the question one way or the other by revealing who his sources are and how they obtained the e-mails. Or, as I understand it, he could sue Key for defamation.

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Regardless of the ethics of taping political conversations at a party conference (& remember this was an arranged NZ political forum where people went to talk.... shock fucking horror..............n.z politics) the disappointing thing is National have confirmed that their mission is to get into power and then fight their (not yours yet) battle from the government benches .

    Bill and Lockwood both know they fucked up by saying things that they actually believe in , now that's fucked up.

    Be honest, dazzle us with aggressive economic strategy but don't just pretend your grand vision is too hard to explain.

    Where are your democratic skills ? Why can't your "useful things "
    agenda be articulated and debated? Why would any politician not have the nerve to win electorates over with enterprising policy?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Argh. I've been locked again by Blogger.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Eight posts already from Craig trying to protect his beloved Tories?

    Wow, it must be serious.

    No one knows who made the recordings. Not very nice, but thats real-politik for grown ups. We are talking about two tribes going to war over who runs the country, and the prize is to high for anyone to seriously believe the discourse can be carried out like a polite disagreement over God at the vicar's tea party. Anyone who thinks it has not always been so should look up what happened to Colin Moyle.

    So it is a bit rich for a party whose main online cyphers (kiwiblog and whaleoil) spend their time encouraging the most disgusting language and abuse toward the person of Helen Clark to get precious over being secretly recorded.

    In the race to the bottom, National is at least a big a sinner as sinned against.

    The resson these tapes resonate is simple. National has attempted to inoculate any issue with bland and wishy washy "trust us" statements so as to win the treasury benches. This raises legitimate suspicions about just how much the leopard has really changed his spots. National has ridden a wave of "not Labour" popularity for a long time now, and all this palaver is really just its own complacent expectation of a sleepwalk to victory blowing up - finally - in its face.

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

  • Don Christie,

    Well, John Key on Radio Live, developing his "dirty tactics" theme, has just made the allegation that Nicky Hager "broke into" the e-mail system. And this morning he said that Helen Clark got him to do it (NZ Herald).

    Gosh. Key had probably better front up with some evidence for those claims, because if he doesn't he will start looking a lot like the leader of NZFirst.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Eight posts already from Craig trying to protect his beloved Tories?

    Where it only takes one post from Tom to show why hacks who can't tell the difference between politics and an apocalyptic religious cult are killing civil society.

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

  • Malcolm,

    Um, Lockwood Smith said that if they wanted to do something new, they would have a discussion document for consultation.

    Doesn't sound very secret to me.

    Since Apr 2007 • 69 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    John Key's response is interesting. It seems to me people who are recruited into politics from autocratic or technocratic backgrounds underrate the skill set of the politician. They are not used to having their word or their agenda questioned, and beneath the smooth exterior seems to lurk a corporate authoritarian, who gets angry when impertinent peons go off the coporate message.

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "perhaps go through a discussion document process"

    Oh, those 7 words put me at rest, thank you.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Nothing like alcohol to get the best out of a man.It wont be long before people are spiking politicians drinks at social events.

    On a more serious note, taping is wrong without prior knowledge.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Um, Lockwood Smith said that if they wanted to do something new, they would have a discussion document for consultation.

    Doesn't sound very secret to me.

    Malcooooom, you're not playing! Don't read the text! :)

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "On a more serious note, taping is wrong without prior knowledge.'

    NEW RULE:

    Expect people to be very interested in the contents of your words at a political party conference in election year.

    To be honest the whole bloody thing should be taped, they're talking about ruling us for 3 years ,.... sorry i mean we are talking about employing them to run OUR country. Tape all the conferences. I thought open politics was universally supported here.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    It seems to me people who are recruited into politics from autocratic or technocratic backgrounds underrate the skill set of the politician. They are not used to having their word or their agenda questioned, and beneath the smooth exterior seems to lurk a corporate authoritarian, who gets angry when impertinent peons go off the coporate message.

    This technocratic 'professionalisation' of politics, with its slick contempt for those outside of the tightly-managed party structure, seems to have been around since at least the time of Harold Wilson. Hilary Clinton would be a prime example. As the BBC's Bea Campbell once observed about Tony Blair, he doesn't like it when 'amateurs' attempt to make their political voice heard.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    I thought open politics was universally supported here.

    The only people who don't like it are politicians and wannabe aristocrats.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    National should not be surprised that this has blown up in their faces.

    They have spent 9 years effectively sitting on their arse without doing hardly any policy groundwork, so that they are now going into an election without a platform that they all subscribe to. Instead, we have a series of 1 page policy statements, comprising mostly of present govt policy. What do you expect National MPs to say when they have been asked to swallow so many dead rats?

    If they had done the work and developed a policy platform that the party believed in, they wouldn't be facing the prospect of the campaign going pear-shape simply because of loose lips that hint distrust.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I posted this Link yesterday about the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development. In light of John Key's mention of borrowing for infrastructure and the subsequent recordings what do you guys think about the connection?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Tape all the conferences. I thought open politics was universally supported here.

    Well, I also used to think reasonable expectations of privacy and some basic journalistic ethics were also universally supported in these parts. Its something of a curate's egg, I guess.

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

  • hamishm,

    The point here is that the genie is out of the bottle. We can't unhear what Smith said. Incidentally I'm not sure how much Lockie has his finger on teh pulse anyway. He could have been just talking to the peeps saying "Yes we are looking all feeble, but just wait until we get in" knowing full well that in MMP it can go arse up pretty darn quickly if you upset the New Best Friends.
    Taping pollies at a politics forum is not too awful, they should have said that they were doing it. But now it's out there and saying it's unfair will not cut it. You're either thinking of doing the same thing we got MMP in to combat, or you're not.

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Actually I/S I don't really think it is particularly nice to secretly record people. But we live in the digital age, where everyone owns a MP3 recorder and the cameras are everywhere. In a wider context then it seems to me it is interesting that this has exploded the day after Russell posted about the assumption of privacy on the internet with the trademe business. I would have thought Lockie and Bill would have realised that in these digital times even a mobile phone can record conversations very well indeed. A technological peril rears it head again then.

    But like most technological perils, there is a simple human solution - As Helen Clark said today, the best way to not have secretly taped conversations released in the media is to say in private what you say in public.

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "As the BBC's Bea Campbell once observed about Tony Blair, he doesn't like it when 'amateurs' attempt to make their political voice heard."

    That's just sad and mental. "amateurs", that's fucking classic.
    Politics is moral cricket to those schoolboys.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "Well, I also used to think reasonable expectations of privacy and some basic journalistic ethics were also universally supported in these parts. Its something of a curate's egg, I guess."

    Just don't tell me the truth if it upsets anyones feelings? Bill just said what everyone who follows politics knows he thinks. We know his track record , it's no surprise it's just he quickly apologised for it and everyones a bit stunned. Why apologise?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

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