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The Mendacities of Mr Key #2: Secret Sources

24 February 2014 3 comments

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key's credibility takes a hit

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In an on-going series, we will look at the half-truths; mis-representations; omissions; and outright lies, told by Dear Leader John Key.

2. Secret Sources

Background

On 4 October 2011, John Key made this astounding statement in the 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, on 10 October, Key “explained” that the comments had come to him in an email, from an un-named “friend”. He duly released the text,

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When Standard and Poors heard Key’s comment, they were none too pleased.  Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst, Kyran Curry, who attended the Auckland meeting that the “email” referred to, replied,

“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. We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”

Key fronted to a media conference and was grilled by journalists,

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His body language, tone of voice, and other minute clues all indicate he was being less than honest. I leave it to the reader to reach their own conclusion how honest Dear Leader was.

In my opinion, John Key lied and the email was subsequently fabricated.

Nearly two and a half years later, and Key is embroiled in yet another “secret sources” mess;

On 12 February, Key disclosed that Winston Peters had met with Kim Dotcom, at his mansion in Coatsville, three times. Peters accused Key of using the GCSB/SIS to spy on him, saying,

“What’s his informant, who is he? … This is is a surveillance matter and I want to know more about it.”

Key responded the same day,

“I heard from an individual who’s a person who’s got nothing to do with National Party, nothing to do with any government agency. The person told me it was three. I was pretty sure they’d be right – because they often are – and guess what, they were.”

On the 13th of February, Key stated,

“I can absolutely categorically tell you it’s got nothing to do with an official agency. From time to time people see things and from time to time people tell me.”

Key added,

“Contrary to what [Peters] might want to believe, I can read. A member of the public, for want of a better term rang me up and said what was the case. I assumed it was right. I said it, it turned out to be right. I didn’t think it was that controversial, to be honest.”

So did a member of the public” phone Key and inform him that Peters had visited Kim Dotcom? Or did Key “read” about it somewhere?

When questioned by the media, Slater told the Herald,

“If the Prime Minister says I’m a source, I guess I must have been.”

Which kind of makes Key’s earlier assertion that he “heard from an individual who’s a person who’s got nothing to do with National Party” a complete lie. As we all know, Slater is closely connecxted to the National Party; his father (John Slater) is an ex-President of the National Party; and Slater is probably a paid up member of the National Party.

Unless it is Slater who is lying (which is equally plausible as he has a reputation  for telling lies)? Otherwise, if Slater is telling the truth, then he has landed Key in it.

One of them is lying.

Take your pick.

Conclusions:

Key had not been forthcoming either on the Standard and Poors “email” or on where he got the tip-off that Winston Peters had visited Kim Dotcom.

What is equally disturbing is that Key is willing to use private information to smear a political opponant. Not since Paula Bennet released information on Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnston, has a politician willfully invaded another person’s privacy.

Whatever one may think of Winston Peters – and I am no fan of his – Peters deserves his privacy like anyone else.

Charge: broken promise/deflection/half-truth/hypocrisy/outright lie/mis-information?

Verdict: Mis-information, (probable) outright lie

 

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References

NZ Parliament: Credit Rating Downgrade—Effect on Economy

TV3: Key accused of lying in Parliament over downgrade

Previous related blogposts

Nick Smith

Politicians never tell fibs

The Mendacities of Mr Key #1: The GCSB Bill

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Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 17 February 2014.

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From the Horses mouth…

21 August 2013 9 comments

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Sometimes I wonder if politicians realise what spews from their mouths, as in the case of Justice Minister, Judith Collins, at the Privileges Committee today,

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“It was quite a chilling experience to realise that ministers’ and staff’s emails, and their right to privacy, were treated with what I would say was a contemptuous attitude”

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Indeed.

As  most  New Zealanders will be chilled to realise that our emails and right to privacy will be treated with a contemptuous attitude, once the  Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill and
GCSB and Related Legislation Amendment Bill are both passed through Parliament.

But evidently –  as Ms Collins will be voting for the GCSB and TICS bills   – the privacy of New Zealand citizens is nowhere as important as that of government Ministers.

Now that, I find chilling.

 

 

 

 

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References

MSN News:  Quotes from the privileges committee

Image: Otago Daily Times

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Politicians never tell fibs…

10 October 2011 12 comments

… do they?

It was revealed today that John Key was caught out telling a “porky” in Parliamement. (In political-speak, “porky” = lie.) And quite a setrious one at that,

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Full Story

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The Prime Minister stated in the House,

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm that. It may well be; it sounds logical. But let me quote this from Fitch Ratings: “New Zealand remains well placed amongst the world’s highly-rated sovereign credits, with its creditworthiness supported by moderate public indebtedness, fiscal prudence, and strong public institutions.” But I will say this: when Standard and Poor’s was giving a meeting in New Zealand about a month ago, what it did say was that there was about a 30 percent chance that we would be downgraded. That is what happens when one is on a negative outlook. It did go on to say, though, that if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely.” –  Hansards

So according to the Prime Minister, Standard & Poors – one of the three main credit agencies – stated that if there was “a change of Government” (ie; Labour was elected), that our sovereign credit-rating would be “much more likely”.

Unfortunately for our happy-go-lucky Prime Minister – Standard & Poors denies saying any such thing,

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Full Story

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Specifically, S& P stated categorically,

We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments’.

Caught out, it seems, the  Prime Minister then went on to say,

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Got it in an email

At his post-Cabinet press conference in Wellington on Monday, Key told media he was not at the meeting with Standard & Poor’s in September, but that he had received an email on September 6 from a trusted source who was at the meeting.

That source told Key Standard & Poor’s said there was a one-in-three chance that New Zealand would get downgraded and a two-in-three chance it would not, “and the inference was clear that it would be the other way round if Labour were in power,” Key quoted his source as saying in the email (see the full email below).

“The person is known to me, they’re known to be very trustworthy. I rang the person, had a conversation with them and it was relayed exactly as I relayed it in the House,” Key told media on Monday.

Key said he had not spoken to Standard & Poor’s to confirm whether S&P had made the comment.

“The person was at the meeting. I simply got the email, thought it was rather interesting, rang the person up. I’ve dealt with them before. They’ve given me information before which has been correct,” Key said.

The person was obviously confident that what he was telling Key was correct, he said.

“I wasn’t at the meeting, but all I’m telling you is it’s not a random comment I made up. I received the email, I verified it with the person. That’s it.” Source

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So in effect, Key got his “information” via “an email on September 6 from a trusted source who was at the meeting”?!

Riiiiight…

Kinda like, I heard this story which is true, ‘cos it came from a mate’s friend who is the brother of this guy’s hairdresser, and she heard it from her cousin who is the wife of the Prime Minister’s secretary’s gardener that…

The text of the email follows,

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Note that all identifying details have been removed. In fact, that “email” could have come from anywhere, including the Prime Minister’s secretary’s gardener.

Interesting.

In the Prime Minister’s statement to Parliament,  he refers to “…when Standard and Poor’s was giving a meeting in New Zealand…”.

But the “email” refers to “…a session with a range of economists yesterday morning – every year they do this session – with economists from Aus plus all the main NZ banks, and this year two from Standard and Poors…”.

In John Key’s statement, the meeting was organised by Standard & Poors.

In the email, the meeting was held by “a range of economists… with economists from Aus plus all the main NZ banks”.

So who organised this meeting?

Where was it held?

Who attended?

We don’t know. All we have is an anonymous “email” – unsourced and unverified –  statements from the Prime Minister that contradict the email; and a firm denial by Standard & Poors’  analyst Kyran Curry that they would ever make such comments.

The greatest irony here is not that  John Key may have lied and mis-led Parliament and the people – but that Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury is banned from Radio NZ for “defaming” the Prime Minister.

If ever you get a chance to watch the movie, “Wag the Dog” – do. It is a chilling insight as to how politicians and their staffers can manipulate the media to serve their own ends.

As for the Prime Minister – perhaps he will get away with it, again. But the “clock is ticking”, and these stories of deceit  are becoming more prevalent.

The media is finally catching on,

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Curiouser and curiouser,

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ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie was not at the breakfast meeting in Auckland and a spokeswoman said another colleague of his who was there was not the author. The BNZ's Stephen Toplis said it had not been him nor anyone at the BNZ. Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said he had not sent the email but wouldn't comment when asked if he knew who had. ASB Bank economist Nick Tuffley said he was at the function but didn't send the email.

Full Story

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So the question remains;

Who wrote the email?

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