Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How
This Blogger has deduced the new, simplified, John Key Style of Doing Business.
Meet socially and conduct an ‘informal chat’. This leaves only the barest record of any meeting; nothing said is documented or reported; and plausible deniability exists if things go pear-shaped.
From April, last year,
Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks
” Published: 8:28PM Friday April 08, 2011 Source: ONE News
The Prime Minister is defending his decision to loan $43 million of taxpayer money to private media companies.
John Key claims the loan scheme was designed to help the whole radio industry.
But a ONE News investigation has revealed MediaWorks was the big winner after some hard lobbying.
Key is known for being media friendly, but he’s facing criticism from Labour that he’s become too cosy with MediaWorks which owns TV3 and half of New Zealand’s radio stations.
It has been revealed the government deferred $43 million in radio licensing fees for MediaWorks after some serious lobbying.
Key and the former head of MediaWorks, Brent Impey, talked at a TV3 Telethon event.
“I just raised it as an issue but we’d been looking at it for sometime. My view was it made sense. It’s a commercial loan, it’s a secured contract,” Key said.
It’s believed the loan is being made at 11% interest.
But in answer to parliamentary written questions, the Prime Minister said he had “no meetings” with representatives of MediaWorks to discuss the deal.
Two days later that answer was corrected, saying he “ran into” Brent Impey at a “social event” in Auckland where the issue was “briefly raised” and he “passed his comments on” to the responsible minister. ” – Source
The up-shot of Key “running into Brent Impey at a ‘social event’ in Auckland” was that Mediaworks were offered a $43 million dollar loan, despite being earlier declined by Broadcasting Minister, Steven Joyce.
For full background on this story, see earlier blogpost: Politics-Free Zone? “Tui” time!
As John Drinnan, the NZ Herald’s business writer and media commentator wrote at the time,
“So much for market forces. The future of the radio industry was decided behind closed doors in talks between industry incumbents and a former industry player, and signed off by Cabinet. ” – Source
Hmmmm… Now where have we heard this just recently?!
From April, this year,
SkyCity deal was PM’s own offer
” 10:20 AM Wednesday Apr 18, 2012
Prime Minister John Key has confirmed he offered a deal to Sky City allowing the casino to have more pokie machines in return for building a multimillion-dollar convention centre. Mr Key, speaking from Indonesia, confirmed he made the offer to Sky City in his capacity as Minister of Tourism, Newstalk ZB reported…
… Mr Key was asked last July in a question for written answer from Green MP Sue Kedgley whether he or any of his ministers had met representatives from the casino to discuss changes to the Gambling Act.
He replied: “I attended a dinner with the Sky City board 4 November 2009 where we discussed a possible national convention centre and they raised issues relating to the Gambling Act 2003″. ” – Source
That’s how it’s done. Neat, no fuss, no questions from pesky media – sorted. (Even better if the business party pick up the tab for the evening!)
Promise Big Numbers. It doesn’t matter if the numbers never eventuate because they were fictitious to start with. By the time the media and public realise the true facts, the issue will be all but forgotten. A week may be a long time in politics – but a year positively guarantees collective amnesia for 99% of the public.
From December, 2010,
Cycleway jobs fall short
“6:00 AM Wednesday Dec 8, 2010
The national cycleway has so far generated just 215 jobs – well short of Prime Minister John Key’s expectation of 4000.
In May, Mr Key said he expected the $50 million project, which involves building 18 cycleways throughout the country, to generate 4000 jobs.” – Source
Who can remember the initial cycleway project and the promise of 4,000 new jobs?
From March, this year,
Key defends casino pokie machine deal
.“08:23 Mon Mar 5 2012 – AAP
Opposition parties are accusing the government of selling legislation through an agreement that will see Auckland’s Sky City build a $350 million convention centre in return for more pokie machines…
… But Mr Key says it’s a good deal for New Zealand.
“It produces 1000 jobs to build a convention centre, about 900 jobs to run it… ” – Source
In a year’s time, who will recall the promise of 900 new Convention centre jobs?
Who will care that only a hundred-plus eventuate?
That, my fellow New Zealanders is how John Key Takes Care of Business, in this country. (Dropping to one bent knee and kissing his Don Of Don’s ring, wins extra ‘brownie points’.)
Of course, this isn’t the transparency that John Key promised the country in two recent elections – but considering that National has no other job creation policies they can rely on, they are desperate to clutch at any offer of a business proposal that may create even a handful of jobs (no matter how short-sighted, shady, or ethically dubious).
National’s blind adherence to new right dogma that “governments do not create jobs; only the private sector creates jobs” is not only nonsensical, but traps them in an ideological mindset that does not permit them to consider historical alternatives. John Key’s – and National’s – dilemma forces them to rely on business, whether it be shady casino deals or selling our productive, revenue-earning farms to overseas investors.
It is a trap of their own making, but we the taxpayer, will end up paying one way or another.
= fs =
First blogged 23 April 2012