from: Frank Macskasy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to: Dominion Post <email@example.com>
date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014
subject: Letter to the editor
Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his own political ends.
I refer to his comments on Radio NZ, on 16 December, where he referred to the lone gunman in Sydney as the product of an “ISIS outreach programme”.
There is no evidence whatsoever of any ISIS or any other organisational involvement. Thus far, the gunman appears to have been a narcissistic, deranged individual facing criminal sex-related charges in Australia.
Then Key justified the increase of SIS/GCSB surveillance powers by referencing this lone gunman.
Though good gun-control laws help, no amount of legislation will ever fully curb determined, lone nutters, as David Gray in Aramoana in 1990 showed. Or Martin Bryant in Port Arthur in 1996.
If this is his justification for turning our country into a Police surveillance state, then we have been grievously misled.Shame on Key for exploiting this tragedy and mis-stating the facts for political opportunity.
I would have thought he had learnt his lesson from his Pike River Mine involvement and broken promises.
[address & phone number supplied]
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from: Frank Macskasy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to: Sunday Star Times <email@example.com>
date: Wed, Dec 10, 2014
subject: Letters to the editor
.The EditorSunday Star Times.
I think the Greens will have no problems distancing themselves from the Labour-National Grand Coalition after both major parties voted to increase the powers of the SIS.
I would not be at all surprised if the Green Party builds on this issue and receives a boost in poll ratings as a reward.
Then again, maybe I’m hopelessly naive and don’t realise that 21st Century New Zealand loves the idea of a Surveillance State (to protect us from Muslim jihadists; uppity brown people; Kim Dotcom; communist Greenies; martians, pod people, Uncle Tom Cobbly…)
In fact, somewhere along the line, I slipped through a tear in quantum realities and ended up in a Parallel Universe where the Rise of the Surveillance State is proceeding with hardly a murmur.
Clearly, this is not the country I grew up in.
It is a hopelessly-apathetic; easily-led; twisted variant.
[address and phone number supplied]
Libcom: 1982 – The death of Neil Roberts
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Sunday 23 November:
John Key apologises to right-wing blogger Cameron Slater over the publication of an email that forced Justice Minister Judith Collins’ resignation.
Monday 24 November:
John Key and Cameron Slater exchange txt-messages regarding impending release of Cheryl Gwyn report. Slater claims Labour is trying to kill him;
Cameron Slater: gave it away to me…Goff leaked SIS report
John Key: It’s a joke isn’t it. They will attack Jason for talking to u and they break the confidentiality agreement. Classic lab.
Slater: Yup…I’m very angry over it…Goff is the one who leaked oravida stuff too.
Slater: They still have standard bloggers on staff
Slater: And Mccarten was involved in hack
Key: Hopefully it will all come out in time
Slater: I wish they would hurry up…they played the real dirty politics…even tried to kill me…I have evidence of.
Tuesday 25 November:
Key denies he had been in contact with Slater, after RadioLive reporter, Jessica Williams, asked John Key the following;
Jessica Williams: Have you spoken to Cameron Slater since this report came out yesterday night?
Mr Key: Well I haven’t spoken to him on the phone for months and months and months on end. He sent me a text one time but I can’t remember when that was.
Jessica Williams: Has he text you about this particular report?
My Key: No.
Wednesday 26 November:
Earlier in the day: MP for Wigram, Megan Woods asked John Key this question in Parliament;
Megan Woods: Did he have communications with Cameron Slater between the 23rd and 25th of November regarding the Chisholm inquiry or the Inspector General’s inquiry?
John Key: Mr Speaker no.
John Key: “On Monday the 24th of November, I received an unsolicited text message from Mr Slater with a reference to the IGIS [Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security] report. There was a very short exchange where I briefly acknowledged that text message.”
Later that night: Key’s Office released a transcript of the text exchange.
Thursday 27 November:
Key denies he was caught out lying over Slater’s txt-messages;
“No I haven’t been caught out. No absolutely not. I haven’t had a brain fade.“
“When the particular question was asked, there was quite a lot of noise in the House. If I’d heard the other bit, I’d have answered it fully.”
“Just to be clear, I never said the Labour Party were trying to kill me. That’s the spin the Labour Party have put on it this morning.”
“You’re now asking me, in a period of three months where I’ve dealt with an election campaign, where I probably deal with, I don’t know, a thousand text messages a day from hundreds and hundreds of people, you’re now telling me I have to remember exactly the number.”
From an earlier blogpost, penned two and half years ago;
Slater is National’s “asset”, doing their ‘dirty work’ . When the National hierarchy does not want to dirty their own hands with mud – but still want to make public damaging information to embarress a political opponant – Slater is their go-to man.
Slater’s role in such nefarious activities is even more useful to National after Paula Bennett’s clumsy mis-handling of private information belonging to two solo-mothers, which she disclosed to the media. There is still a complaint pending against Bennett for abusing her position as Minister for Social Welfare.
Somewhere, sometime, a top National Party apparatchik would have instructed each and every minister and MP not to repeat Bennett’s mistake. S/he would have given firm instructions that releasing damaging information to discredit an opponant had to be done surreptitiously, using a Third Party.
That Third Party would be Slater.
That would give National “plausible deniability” when the sh*t hit the fan and fingers were pointed.
“Frankly Speaking“, 29 March 2012 (See: Born to rule )
Past Prime Ministerial porkies and mendacities
To those on the Left or who have followed John Key’s career, his lies over his txt-messaging with Cameron Slater will come as no surprise. With regards to bending the truth; misleading by omission or exaggeration; or outright mendacity, Key has ‘form’.
One political commentator, using the pseudonym ‘BLiP’, has put together a list of lies from the Prime Minister that is eye-opening and deeply troubling. More could be added to that list, which is now over a year and a half old.
Some early instances of Key being ‘sprung’…
In February 2011, Key denied all knowledge of the National Government’s intention to buy 34 new BMW limousines for ministerial use. By 22 February, it was revealed that Key had actually signed the documents to authorise the purchase;
Prime Minister John Key signed four documents that referred to a deal to buy a fleet of luxury cars – and at least three other ministers were briefed, documents reveal.
Mr Key – who is responsible for Ministerial Services – says he was in the dark about the deal until a conversation with his driver two weeks ago. But an embarrassing paper trail, dating back to 2009, and issued yesterday by the Government shows there were a series of documents referencing the deal.
And in July last year his chief of staff Wayne Eagleson met the manager of VIP Transport Service, Geoff Knighton, to discuss the renewal of a contract with BMW to supply 34 new cars.
Mr Key said he was “not going to make excuses” and acknowledged “the matter should have been handled better by everybody, including myself”.
“The whole thing has been sloppy and frankly the public deserves better.”
Mr Key said Mr Eagleson could not recall the meeting, despite a series of emails between July 19 and 20. He has since apologised to Mr Key and offered to resign.
In March and April 2009, Mr Key and minister for internal affairs at the time Richard Worth signed off on three documents – drafts of the Department of Internal Affairs Statement of Intent – which referred to the fleet replacement. Then last March he signed off on another statement of intent which made two mentions of the new cars.
Mr Key said yesterday he had not read the documents.
In April 2011, Key was once again hot water over his propensity for mis-leading people.
Prime Minister John Key has done an about-face after denying he had a discussion with MediaWorks bosses before the Government decided to give the company a $43.3 million helping hand.
He has now admitted meeting then-MediaWorks boss Brent Impey two months before, when Mr Impey pressed his case for a scheme the Government initially turned down.
The scheme, announced in October 2009, allowed radio companies to spread payments on 20-year broadcasting licences over five years, instead of one lump-sum payment.
On Monday, in answer to written parliamentary questions, Mr Key said he had not had any discussions with MediaWorks, which owns TV3 and a network of radio stations.
But on Wednesday, he issued a correction, saying he “ran into Brent Impey at a social event [in August] where he briefly raised the issue”.
On 4 October 2011, Key’s credibility took another hammering over a dubious “Standard & Poors email”, when he made this astounding claim in the Parliamentary Debating Chamber,
“When Standard & Poor’s were giving a meeting in New Zealand about a month ago, what they did say was there was about a 30% chance we would be downgraded – that’s what happens when you’re on negative outlook. They did go on to say though, if there was a change of government, that downgrade would be much more likely.”
The comment was made under Parliamentary privilege.
Five days later, and after mounting media and political pressure, on 10 October, Key “explained” that the comments had come to him in an email, from an un-named “friend”. As questions swirled around the alleged comment by Standard & Poors, Key relented and released released the text of the email,
Subsequently, Key held a press conference where he was grilled by journalists,
Key’s body language, tone, and expressions speak volumes whether or not he was being truthful. That “email” could easily have been written by any number of Key’s Beehive staffers, including National’s “black ops” man, Jason Ede.
Standard & Poors, though, had differing views on what really happened at the Auckland conference;
Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has contradicted a claim by Prime Minister John Key that a credit downgrade would be more likely with a change of Government in New Zealand.
Mr Key was questioned in Parliament last week by Labour leader Phil Goff about the agency’s downgrading of New Zealand’s long-term foreign currency rating from AA+ to AA.
Mr Key claimed Standard and Poor’s had said at a meeting last month that “if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely”.
The next election is on November 26.
Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst Kyran Curry, who attended the meeting in Auckland, said that would not have happened.
“In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties.
“It is something we just don’t do,” Mr Curry said. “We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”
These are a few examples where Key’s willingness to be “loose with the truth” has come unstuck and become known to the public.
Little wonder then, that a Fairfax/Ipsos poll last year had nearly 59% of respondents not believing what Key said. Only 23.5% – National core-constituency – said they fully believed him.
Two years before that, a Fairfax Media-Research International Poll had similar results, with 34.9% of respondents replying that Key was more likely to “bend the truth” than then-Labour leader, Phil Goff, at 26%. A further 21.3% stated that both would “bend the truth – pushing Key’s results up to 56.2%.
He may be Mr Popular – but the majority don’t seem to trust him.
For good reason, it seems.
Txt-Messages – the further undoing of a Prime Minister
Slater landed Key in the deep doo-doos by making public the txt-messages from Monday night. He knew full well that passing them on to another person (in this case another blogger, Josh Forman, of the so-called ‘Slightly Left of Centre‘ blog) would, in only a short matter of time, find their way to the media’s scrutiny.
This is especially the case when, as blogger Danyl Mclauchlan, from The Dim Post, recently reported, there seems to be a very strange and less-than-clear relationship between Forman and Cameron Slater. (See: The very odd Slightly Left of Centre)
Why did Slater release details of his conversation with Key, on Monday night, to Forman?
Why did Slater acknowledge his on-line conversation with an unknown person by confirming the validity of a screenshot of the exchange? (Especially as Slater has no hesitation to lie when it suits his agenda or to save his own backside.)
Why is Slater feeding the media on this issue?
What does he have to gain?
On 28 November, Political scientist Bryce Edwards made this astounding assertion on Radio NZ’s “Checkpoint”;
“It’s obvious that Cameron Slater has dirt on the Prime Minister. And that’s why he’s very vulnerable. He’s… I mean, I wouldn’t call it blackmail, but it’s like he’s leveraged by Cameron Slater, and he can’t escape him. I mean, it’s obvious that the Prime Minister would want to be saying ‘ef off Cameron, don’t talk to me again’, because he’s so toxic, but I understand Cameron Slater does have dirt on the Prime Minister and National and he’s talked about going nuclear in the past-“
So what is the ‘dirt’ that Slater has on National and John Key?
Plenty, I would hazard a guess. As Nicky Hager’s expose, ‘Dirty Politics‘ showed, Slater has been the recipient of much information from ministers such as Judith Collins, and has connections with other MPs.
Why would Slater “go nuclear” on National?
Slater has good reason (in his own mind and twisted worldview).
As Nicky Hager reported in his book, in this exchange between Collins and Slater;
Cameron Slater: he is a very silly man, because I could stop the people who are going against him. But now, he is just is going to get double.
Judith Collins: you know the rule. always reward with Double.
Cameron Slater: I learned the rule from you! Double it is.
Judith Collins: If you can’t be loved, then best to be feared.
When Judith Collins was forced to step down on 30 August, over allegations that she was “gunning” for Serious Fraud Office Director, Adam Feeley, her close friend, confidant, and political associate, Cameron Slater, did not react well;
“As Judith and I are friends, I am gutted for her. Judith Collins has now been taken down by death by a thousand cuts.”
Slater then made a comment which, in the light of current events, can only be described as a veiled threat; he referred to John Key as a “temporary Prime Minister”.
When asked what he would do about Collins’ forced resignation, he stated,
“I always give back double. Judith always gives back double.”
Slater’s deliberate, carefully planned, and cunningly executed scheme to “give back double” is being directed at “temporary Prime Minister”, John Key.
Slater is gunning for John Key.
Slater has not (yet) “gone nuclear” on National – but the unstable blogger is at DefCon 2 and the threat to Key’s administration is imminent. Irony of ironies, the greatest threat to this government has not been Nicky Hager; nor Kim Dotcom; nor the MSM; nor Labour or the Greens.
It is one of their own.
Further from my 2012 blogpost;
Using Third Parties such as Slater, to spread muck has it’s inherent dangers.
Eventually, the entanglements and the copious volumes of information at the hands of someone like Slater creates it’s own risks for his “handler(s)”. Slater will have considerable dirt on those who have leaked information to him. He will have to be “kept sweet”, to deny him cause to go rogue and threaten to disclose information embarrassing to those who have fed him material in the past.
“Frankly Speaking“, 29 March 2012 (See: Born to rule )
I should have bought a Lotto ticket at the time.
Fairfax media: John Key says sorry to Whale Oil
Radio NZ: ‘Not fair on me’ – PM on text messages
Cloudfront: Slater email
Radio NZ: PM’s contact with blogger questioned
Fairfax Media: PM signed papers relating to BMWs
NZ Herald: S&P contradicts Key downgrade claim
Youtube: John Key on S&P Labour criticism
Fairfax Media: John Key’s ‘believability’ low
Fairfax Media: John Key – Safe hands, forked tongue?
Blog: Slightly Left of Centre (cached)
Radio NZ: Checkpoint – Can the Prime Minister brush off latest controversy?
NZ Herald: Hager’s tell-all chapters
Fairfax Media: Judith Collins statement
Previous related blogposts
Local Bodies: John Key’s Immoral Governance
Occasionally Erudite: Collins cleared; Slater lied
Occasionally Erudite: John Key implodes over the Gwyn report
No Right Turn: John Key’s TXTs and the Public Records Act
Porcupine Farm: Office of the Prime minister
Porcupine Farm: Key of the Day, 26/11/14
Public Address: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading
The Dim Post: The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
The Jackal: When will the PM take responsibility?
The Standard: An Honest Man?
The Standard: Only on Planet Key
The Standard: Key’s repeated reflexive lies (and giving back double)
The Standard: Textses
The Standard: Two lies in 20 seconds
The Standard: Two guilty approaches after Dirty Politics
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 29 November 2014
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To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key;
For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [ TV3’s Lisa Owen on “The Nation”, and our esteemed Prime Minister] was a moment when our Prime Minister faced serious hard questioning and was not allowed to wriggle his way out with nonsensical, glib answers.
Since Nicky Hager’s revelations and the sacking of Judith Collins, Key’s preternatural teflon-shield has been stripped away. He is now just another politician, and if by some miracle he successfully leads the next government post 20 September, he will find his interactions with journalists becoming harder and harder.
It may not be what he says that lowers his esteem in the public eye. It will be the way he says it.
Lisa Owen was simply the first.
Ms Owen was definitely not the only one, and on 25 November, this extraordinary hard-hitting interview between Radio NZ’s Mary Wilson and John Key took place,
Other interviews have taken place, to varying degrees of intensity. From this tepid piece by self-professed National Party-sympathiser, and TV personality, Mike Hosking, on “Seven Sharp“;
To an actual, more incisive interview from a professional, and non-partisan journalist, John Campbell; (Interview starts at 8.10)
As the scandals, gaffes, lies, and other political shenanigans emerge in the coming months, Key can expect a more torrid time with the media. With his teflon stripped away, the media’s preternatural deference to Dear Leader has evaporated.
The interviews and questions will become harder (except from National sycophants such as Hosking and Paul Henry) and his answers less accepted. He will be challenged more often and the public will awake from their slumber to realise with dawning disgust, that on 20 September, they elected a lying charlatan.
Key should be praying that there are no by-elections between now and the 2017 General Election. Not counting Maori Party support, National’s majority in the House is still slim.
Postscript: The PM really should stop wearing the anti-violence-toward-women White Ribbon and just go back to the Silver Fern corporate-logo he usually wears.
Does he think the White Ribbon will garner him more sympathy and support from the public?
Radio NZ: John Key refuses to accept Slater link
TVNZ: Seven Sharp
TV 3: Campbell Live
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 28 November 2014
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