The Dim-Post

May 28, 2010

Stage 1

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:16 am

Shockingly enough it looks as if Labour’s latest attack against Key actually stacks up:

The company referred to is Whitechapel Ltd. Simple Companies Office searches reveal it was set up a week after Mr Key became Prime Minister and that he and his wife, Bronagh, sold their shares in Highwater Vineyard Ltd, Earl of Auckland Ltd and Dairy Investment Fund Ltd to the company shortly after. Whitechapel still owns the shares.

But Mr Key – since Aldgate was formed – has been on the record as saying he owns part of a vineyard. Yesterday he told reporters he had “no clue what’s in my blind trust”.

He also denied any knowledge of Whitechapel and said he had never received any reports or any other documentation regarding the company.

Asked yesterday if his ownership of a vineyard might cloud his judgment on alcohol reform issues, Mr Key said he “wouldn’t know” he owned shares in the business.

Uh huh. I think this could be the first genuine media crisis Key has faced as PM. Last November I blogged about the generic script for scandal management:

  1. Deny that you’ve done anything wrong.
  2. Explain to the media that your scandal is ‘a beltway issue’/’not a story’.
  3. Play the moral equivalence card (ie try and make the story about your opposition).
  4. Confuse the issue with technical details.
  5. Play the victim.
  6. If it looks grim then publically apologise for creating the perception that you may have done something wrong. Make a token gesture of repentance.

If the story has legs then I think we’ll see all of these. The middle four might not occur in that sequence but I’ll try and tick them all off as they come up. I’ll limit it to statements from Key and his office. DPF alone will probably hit most of these notes sometime in the next few hours.

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85 Comments »

  1. As if Tim Murphy will do anythng but bury the story.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 28, 2010 @ 7:25 am

  2. That Tim Murphy is on Keys payroll and it is thought by some to shun daylight.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 7:37 am

  3. Looks like stage 1 in full effect this morning: Labour making it up, says Key.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — May 28, 2010 @ 7:49 am

  4. The PM is actually quoted on the DomDom as follows the Opposition was “desperate” and “making it up”

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 8:00 am

  5. Mr Murphy refuses all interviews about his editorial policy, yet it seems easy enough to get him along to dinners where he hob-nobs with the PM and right wing lobbyists. Clearly as far as he is concerned the sterilizing effect of daylight is something for people other than the NZ Herald’s editorial board.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 28, 2010 @ 8:21 am

  6. Can we be sure this is not a cunning pre-emptive plan by Labour (point 3) with the much-trumpeted release of the past Government’s expenses expected at any day?

    If not expect the release any moment now which would not necessary mean I am right just National using point 3

    Politics..its tricky stuff for the conspiracy theorist

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — May 28, 2010 @ 8:52 am

  7. Sanctuary,

    It’s easy. Journalists have strict codes of ethics and a professional commitment to remaining independent and objective. The rest of the world doesn’t. Once this truth is internalised, everything else follows.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — May 28, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  8. Hmm, ok, so there is something going on here after all.
    *grabs popcorn, sits back*

    Comment by Michael Stevens — May 28, 2010 @ 9:10 am

  9. “…DPF alone will probably hit most of these notes sometime in the next few hours…”

    Actually DPF will do what he always does when it comes to bad news about the government. He won’t mention it until 4pm, then make 3,785 rapids posts afterwards.

    Comment by Sanctuary — May 28, 2010 @ 9:15 am

  10. “Labour making it up, says Key.”

    Key also stated that he was rubber and Labour was glue, but refused to comment on whether he fights like a dairy farmer.

    Comment by Helenalex — May 28, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  11. The obvious question is: Did Key sign the share transfers to Whitechapel or was this done by his solicitor under power of attorney. If the latter, then Key may be right in his denial.

    Comment by Pat — May 28, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  12. I’ll believe Labour might be on to something when Goff makes these allegations and not his professional muckraker. If Hodgson was so sure he wouldn’t be alleging that any of the alcohol law reforms were due to Keys stake in a winery- which is absurd.

    Still, if out of corrupt self interest Key manipulates the economy such that we sell more pinot overseas I wouldn’t complain.

    Comment by Neil — May 28, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  13. “but refused to comment on whether he fights like a dairy farmer.”

    or why he governs Canterbury like one.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — May 28, 2010 @ 9:49 am

  14. Pat – that’s not quite the only obvious question. It doesn’t matter who signed the share transfer certificates if Key knew the name of the trust-management company his lawyers used (i.e. TGT Ltd). TGT has been around for about 10 years, and is the sole shareholder of Whitechapel. So it is relatively easy to trace it back through the trail of shareholders to the exact assets held in trust for him.

    Again, it’s not a matter of whether Key is trying to control his trust assets (he can’t), its a matter of whether he knows how they’re being spent. I don’t know if he is in fact trying to do that, but I don’t think it can be outright dismissed as a “labour fiction” as he is trying to do.

    Comment by Eddie C — May 28, 2010 @ 9:58 am

  15. I’d be a little more confident if we hadn’t been here before — remember back in ’07 when Hodgson had irrefutable proof that Key made false statutory declarations to both the Companies Office and the Registrar of Electors? Well, it wasn’t so irrefutable that any evidence was passed on to anyone who would actually investigate and lay charges.

    I’d also remind folks that Three has built up quite a back catalogue of sin-sational political “gotcha!” stories that never quite panned out. (And before Sanctuary gets his tits in a lather, Labour’s been on the receiving end of this crap plenty of times.)

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — May 28, 2010 @ 9:58 am

  16. I find it hard to get excited by this story – probably because it’s all based on speculation and what *could* be happening behind the scenes. That isn’t news: That’s bored reporters who either can’t be bothered doing the legwork to find decent evidence, or who haven’t been able to uncover anything so are falling back on “Ooooh, it’s not a good look, is it?”

    Of course we got another dose of that yesterday with Andy Haden and “It must be true because someone told me behind the bikesheds”.

    Speculation, innuendo and hearsay: The bedrock of New Zealand’s media. Wonderful.

    Comment by Ataahua — May 28, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  17. Ataahua, does that count as #2?

    L

    Comment by Lew — May 28, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  18. Better send Mike Smith to Melbourne to dig up some corroboration. :-)

    Comment by Vibenna — May 28, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  19. Lew, I think the story counts as ‘#2′ in more ways than one.

    Comment by Ataahua — May 28, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  20. oh dear I see the rightwingers from kiwiblog are here in force naysaying as usual.

    Lets get back to the point –

    “Dishonest mr Key, I think you are about to be ‘outed’…”

    Comment by Colin — May 28, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  21. Don’t worry, Key’s given Andy Haden a bottle of wine to say something stupid and take the front page.

    Comment by James — May 28, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  22. Do we assume that if Key guesses what might be going on then he is guilty or do we assume that he must have actively sought out information from the trustees and therefore is guilty? It all sounds a bit tenuous and technical to me, almost like a Labour play on point 4.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 11:21 am

  23. Lessons from ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

    1. Don’t cry “Wolf!”.

    2. In the end, there was a wolf.

    Funny how often we forget the second one. I can well understand why people don’t want to listen to Pete Hogson. That’s not a reason to chuck away your critical faculties. Ponder this:

    “He also denied any knowledge of Whitechapel”.

    Can’t yet see the wolf, but something’s howling.

    Comment by sammy — May 28, 2010 @ 11:34 am

  24. (Hogson – oops, or sic?)

    Comment by sammy — May 28, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  25. I also think there may be lesson to be learned from the following but can’t be sure.

    1. The Parable of the Sower Matthew 13:1-23

    In this story, Jesus told about the word of God being like seed that a sower (farmer) threw out. It fell on many kinds of soil.

    Some of the seed fell by the wayside, along the path. The birds came down and ate the seed. This is like the person who hears the message, but does not understand it. The evil one comes and takes it away.

    Some seed fell on the rocky ground.The plants came up quickly, but there was not much earth so the plants dried up. This is the person who receives the word, but falls away when trouble comes.

    Some seed fell on the thorny ground and the thorn bushes choked the seed. This is the person who is worried about life and wealth.

    Then some of the seed fell on good ground. Those seed grew into healthy plants and produced a good crop, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold and some thirtyfold.

    “The good soil,” said Jesus, ” is like people who are honest. When they hear God’s word, they remember it, and do what God says.” These people produce a bountiful crop for the Lord.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  26. There’s nothing wrong with Key owning part of a vineyard – people own stuff. Rich, former merchant bankers who retired to run a Pacific island nation do, in fact, own stuff.

    And there’s nothing wrong with not doing much about alcohol and drug reform, while owning the vineyard – pressure from business groups is most likely the main reason for the government sticking its thumb up its arse while the country drinks itself to death and then drives home. That’s why Labour did fuck all about it, as well.

    But there is something wrong with claiming you don’t know if you own something, while at the same time, knowing that you own something. That’s called being a lying fucker.

    And Key is a lying fucker.

    Comment by dontsurf — May 28, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

  27. Was that directed at me, Colin? Oh well, it balances out Cactus Kate and her ‘pinko’ label a while back.

    To be clear: My comments are about the veracity of the media reports, not the actions of Key. I don’t have an opinion on what Key does or doesn’t know because I haven’t seen anything that’s worth basing an opinion on.

    Comment by Ataahua — May 28, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  28. “if his ownership of a vineyard might cloud his judgment on alcohol reform issues”

    Well Helen Clark owned 5 or 6 houses.And knew about it. Should we accuse her of personal interest and because of her property assets, thats the reason she never introduced Capital Gains and Property taxes.
    Of course not.
    Same applies here with Key.

    Comment by David — May 28, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

  29. “He also denied any knowledge of Whitechapel”.

    Can’t yet see the wolf, but something’s howling.

    You’d think that they’d trot out a trust lawyer to explain that they set up Whitechapel for [plausible reason here] and that Key had nothing to do with it. I guess their small target strategy means they engage with the story as little as possible.

    Comment by danylmc — May 28, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  30. “Well Helen Clark owned 5 or 6 houses.And knew about it. Should we accuse her of personal interest and because of her property assets, thats the reason she never introduced Capital Gains and Property taxes.”

    once you take into account that quite a lot of other people in her cabinet also owned multiple investment properties, it’s certainly plausible. And I have heard it argued by a number of people.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 28, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

  31. Kahikatea, that means that no property-related policy would ever get changed. There has to be a degree of tolerance. And then there’s the fact that politicians gain a financial advantage from cutting the top tax rate, as has recently been highlighted. And the fact that they often send their kids to private schools. Should we also remove taxation and education policy from the realm of parliamentary influence because of these “conflicts” of interest?

    L

    Comment by Lew — May 28, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  32. A sense of proportion I think. Which is what is at risk with Labour’s line of attack. If one cannot be an MP and have investments in NZ without these sorts of claims we would be avery sad country.

    I can’t see any govt decisions that have not been based on their policy principles. There is nothing that appears to have been motivated by Key’s personal avarice. Which is surely the point. The trusts etc are attempts to mitigate appearances but lets not start trying to pretend that putting things into a trust means they have disappeared.

    Comment by Neil — May 28, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  33. Here’s fun for all the conspiracy theorists: Shoreditch is the next tube station from Aldgate and Whitechapel so I searched it at the companies office – and a Shoreditch Trust company was set up in Wellington by a central city law firm a couple of weeks before Whitechapel was set up.

    Comment by danylmc — May 28, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  34. Yeah but faced with a probable trouncing in 2011 its a gamble Labour can afford to take. Imagine if they succeeded in getting Key in front of a privileges committee hearing. Any loss of face by Key would help Labours cause.

    Its a long shot, but if you are Goff, what else have you got?

    Comment by Pat — May 28, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  35. To clarify the legal context, if the Keys sold their shares in the vineyard company directly to Whitechapel Ltd when they set up their blind trust then presumably Whitechapel Ltd is the trustee of that trust? Is this right?

    Comment by Mitchell — May 28, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

  36. Danyl – I don’t think Key would be seen dead in shoreditch. And the hipsters wouldn’t appreciate him either.

    Comment by Eddie C — May 28, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  37. Advice Refutes Labour’s Conflict Allegations

    Correct use of word ‘refute’ by politician?

    Comment by lyndon — May 28, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

  38. Mitchell – if that is what happened, then yes. But that isn’t necessarily the case, or the sequence of events. Trustees are generally empowered to buy and sell using trust funds, within the scope of the trust’s rules (which in this case presumably are to improve the value of the Keys’ investments). Thus the trustees could have transferred the shares to whitechapel after the trust was settled, if they in their judgment considered that to be the best way to manage the trust property.

    Comment by Eddie C — May 28, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

  39. Sammy:

    I’m perfectly familiar with the Tale of the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf. Now let me introduce you to another equally ancient proverb: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. And you’re going to swallow what Labour and Three are selling without engaging your own critical facilities, then more fool you. I make no apologies for finding this is one subject they’ve got a Greece-sized credibility deficit based entirely on their own record.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — May 28, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  40. Lyndon – regardless of correct usage or otherwise, from my understanding of Labour’s allegations, the fact that he has no beneficial interest in Whitechapel wouldn’t negate the point that he knows which shares his trust funds are being invested in.

    Comment by Eddie C — May 28, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  41. Shoreditch is the next tube station from Aldgate and Whitechapel

    And Bloomsbury is a place where people live in squares and romance in triangles. It all becomes clear…

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — May 28, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  42. There’s definately something fishy going on here. Something’s missing: Aldgate Eat. Aldgate and Whitechapel aren’t even on the same line, let alone next to each other. Find Aldgate East and I think you’ll find the evidence you are looking for.
    I’m slowly working my way around all the tube stations on the Companie Office website, and it makes VERY interesting reading.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 28, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  43. After that, I will trawl for the names of all the disused LU stations. After that, it would be worthwhile looking at the names of Mainline Stations like Forest Gate, or DLR stations like Mudchute. Both of those can be made to sound smutty.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 28, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

  44. I think I’m on to something with Forest Gate. But I see no one has registered Bermondsey. I’m not surprised: I wouldn’t go south off the river, either.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 28, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  45. Which tube stations had the terrorist attacks? There’s a link back to Key somewhere.

    John Grisham would be proud.

    Comment by Pat — May 28, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  46. Aldgate of course is one of the tube stations for City of London so it’s clear that Key is a puppet still controlled by his financial masters. Or something.

    Comment by garethw — May 28, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  47. I call dibs on Crouch End — not only poetic but oddly accurqte.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — May 28, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  48. Oooh yes, Aldgate was the site of one of the 7/7 bombs. So Key is both a puppet of international financiers AND an Islamic terrorist. Makes sense, what with the holiday home in Hawaii where Obama decided to make his fake home after a Kenyan fundamentalist upbringing.

    Comment by garethw — May 28, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  49. Or else the jewish Key is really a Mossad agent in deep cover. Planted the bomb in Aldgate to frame islamic extremists. Now running South Pacific sleeper cell.

    Comment by Pat — May 28, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  50. “Kahikatea, that means that no property-related policy would ever get changed. There has to be a degree of tolerance. And then there’s the fact that politicians gain a financial advantage from cutting the top tax rate, as has recently been highlighted.”

    alternatively, we could say that they can continue to pass laws on these issues, and other people can continue to speculate on whether their financial interests have influenced their judgement, and punish them at the ballot box if they think they have. seems more practical to me.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 28, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  51. We’re through the looking glass here people…

    Comment by garethw — May 28, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  52. Clunking Fist wrote: “After that, it would be worthwhile looking at the names of Mainline Stations like Forest Gate, or DLR stations like Mudchute. Both of those can be made to sound smutty.”

    but considering that Dunedin’s Woodhaugh Gardens is manifestly smuttier, you will have to find a way to include that as well.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 28, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  53. Kahikatea, a capital idea!

    L

    Comment by Lew — May 28, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  54. Oh God no! Key attended meeting of World’s nuclear powers. Made friends. Will send everyone a bottle of Pinot for Xmas. Leaders drink poisoned wine. Nuclear war destroys super powers. Key runs world from safety of south pacific haven. Makes a fortune on carbon credits.

    Comment by Pat — May 28, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  55. kahikatea, there’s only one interchange between those stations via Heathrow. I don’t fancy the commute, though.

    http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 28, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  56. I always wanted to check out White City, to see if, you know, it was, like, White. No matter it is only a name, it makes ones eyebrows rise. Just like “All Whites”.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 28, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

  57. I guess their small target strategy means they engage with the story as little as possible.

    Seems to be working for them. And now’s the PM’s commenting on the Haden story.

    There should have been a number 7 on the list – talking about something else entirely. Gotta give the Key PR team full marks for diversionary tactics.

    Comment by Zoo Neeland — May 28, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  58. The tube station that wins, hands down is Cockfusters… it sounds like a job description on the set of a porn film.

    And Key looked twitchy on the news last night when asked about this.. I mean, as twitchy as a reptile who’s about to eat the head of a journalist can look.

    Comment by Cameron — May 28, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  59. Whitechapel was also the stomping ground of Jack the Ripper, and that area of East London is one of the historic homes of London Jews. Cockney slang for blood is, of course, claret. Is John Key the last surviving descendant of the famous 19th Century serial killer? What is in that wine he says he doesn’t know he’s producing? How do the freemasons fit into all of this?

    We deserve answers.

    Comment by Jake — May 28, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  60. Oh, and Cockfosters, despite its hilarious name, is an amazing tube station. Like the other stations on the Picadilly extension, it was designed by Charles Holden, who also designed Senate House. All of the stations on the extension are modernist masterpieces, but Cockfosters is like a futuristic airplane hanger. Well worth a visit.

    Comment by Jake — May 28, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  61. Lyndon’s link has a letter from Key’s lawyer explaining(?) everything.

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1005/Letter.pdf

    Got that?

    Comment by danylmc — May 28, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

  62. Brings a whole new meaning to the train going into the tunnel shot doesn’t it Cameron.

    BTW, I think the station is Cockfosters.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  63. Actually that does answer it – if Whitechapel is the trustee of multiple trust companies then there is no way of knowing that any assets owned by Whitechapel are for any particular trust, including Aldgate.
    Key probably shouldn’t have said he owned shares in a vineyard if he can’t actually know that, but it looks like the “blindness” is correct.

    Comment by garethw — May 28, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  64. I would like someone to draw me a diagram.

    Comment by danylmc — May 28, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  65. “Danyl – I don’t think Key would be seen dead in shoreditch.”

    Yes, but under the Hausdorf Variation of 1872, Shoreditch allows a lateral shift to Rayner’s Lane, and then you’re just a half-bagel away from Mornington Crescent.

    Comment by Repton — May 28, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

  66. May I suggest that this has parallels to Mike Williams fabled election winning losing smear.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

  67. Bollocks. That should look like

    winning losing

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  68. May I suggest that this has parallels to Mike Williams fabled election winning losing smear.

    Could be. I was arguing with someone earlier about whether it was a real story or a beat up and I insisted there was no way Labour would risk another failed smear . . .

    Comment by danylmc — May 28, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  69. But are the Blackfriars allowed to worship at Whitechapel?
    And would The Angel Islington watch over them while they did so?

    btw, I still can’t picture Chelsea without imagining a big pink sugar factory in the middle

    Comment by kahikatea — May 28, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

  70. I still can’t picture Chelsea without imagining a big pink sugar factory in the middle

    That’s Old Compton Street.

    Comment by danylmc — May 28, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

  71. GarethW – it’s an incredibly weasely letter. They don’t actually say that whitechapel isn’t the sole trustee of Aldgate, or that it IS the trustee of any other property. I don’t think client confidentiality requires such waffling in the circumstances, which to me suggests a degree of ass covering.

    TGT Ltd, which owns whitechapel, is considerably older that Whitechapel, and I’d suggest that IT probably owns other, separate, trustee companies which manage other clients’ blind trusts. After all, Whitechapel was incorporated pretty much as soon as National won the election.

    You’re right in that if Whitechapel itself holds other clients’ trust property, that would maintain the blindness of the trust structure. But the letter doesn’t confirm that.

    Comment by Eddie C — May 28, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  72. “I would like someone to draw me a diagram.”

    There are already diagrams, in the form of the crop circles all over England’s wheat fields. Put there by Freemasons and Hammersmiths, of course.

    Comment by kahikatea — May 28, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  73. Some kind of white confectionery like powder anyway Danyl.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

  74. How do the freemasons fit into all of this?

    Key is *literally* a Widow’s Son. The name Key obviously symbolises the key of Solomon.

    Comment by danylmc — May 28, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

  75. Eddie I agree it’s weasly, but Whitechapel is not Key’s company, and so long as he doesn’t know whether or not they are trustee for others he can’t be certain what assets they hold that he has an interest in.
    Certainly if he looked up the Companies Register and found that assets he had put into his blind trust were owned by Whitechapel he would have a pretty damn good idea they were still his, but he couldn’t be certain that any other assets in there had anything to do with him. Technically the Whitechapel trustees could even have “sold” the vineyard investment to any other trusts they run.

    Comment by garethw — May 28, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  76. Anyway, everyone knows that Jews have gold hidden everywhere, it is a self evident truth that only the impure would dispute.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

  77. Kahikatea, that means that no property-related policy would ever get changed. There has to be a degree of tolerance. And then there’s the fact that politicians gain a financial advantage from cutting the top tax rate, as has recently been highlighted.

    Standing Orders are quite clear – a conflict of interest does not prevent a member taking part in an item of business. Even if Key is CEO and largest shareholder of telecom, he can still properly vote for a law giving it a government monopoly. Parliament’s conflict of interest rules merely require that the interest be disclosed.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — May 28, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  78. Let me see – a transparent lawyer’s opinion backed by a QC on one side, and hysterical series of bizarre accusations from Teh Standard, who believe defamatory statements are fair political tools, on the other.

    You be the judge.

    Comment by Vibenna — May 28, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

  79. Or alternatively, let’s see if there is a QC who will back Pete Hodgson’s interpretation of events.

    Comment by Vibenna — May 28, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  80. “hysterical series of bizarre accusations from Teh Standard”

    BAU.

    Comment by Thomas — May 28, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  81. Vibenna – did you actually read the letter? Not to give creedence to slavering standard accusations, but the letter doesn’t actually say anything. It says “Mr Key didn’t have control over where the assets went”. We know. And “We neither confirm nor deny that whitechapel may or may not maybe possibly be involved in 1, 2, or no trusts.” Of course they’ll get signed off by a QC because they make very few factual claims. I tend to agree in general that this is looking a bit like a beat-up, but the letter doesn’t indicate anything.

    Comment by Eddie C — May 28, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  82. Could be. I was arguing with someone earlier about whether it was a real story or a beat up and I insisted there was no way Labour would risk another failed smear . . .

    Danyl: Oh, you’re working on the flawed assumption that desperate politicians (or journalists) get that one definition of madness is doing the same old shit over and over while expecting a different result. :)

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — May 28, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  83. If the letter doesn’t indicate anything and the beat is looking likely then why the slavering focus on nothing you may ask yourself. I notice someone earlier (and I’d search a few threads if I could be bothered but hey it’s Friday night and I have beer to drink)speculated that the upcoming Labour MP expenses expose may be the reason.

    Comment by Funny nose — May 28, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  84. there was no way Labour would risk another failed smear . . .

    from the people that brought us all that despicable moral prancing over whaling as well as how if you’re against their FSA then you’re a traitor to NZ Nationhood, you expected better?

    Comment by Neil — May 28, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

  85. Repton @ 65: Morning Crescent. Very good! Can’t believe I didn’t think of that. Or Cockfosters. Where the train comes into the station regularly…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — May 29, 2010 @ 11:15 am


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