Tracey Watkins has a good summary of the blind trust story. There might still be something there in amidst all the wild accusations: Key may have visibility into his trust meaning he failed to disclose conflicts of interest. But Labour have wandered off into some weird conspiracy theory in which Key is collaborating with co-investors (that he has apparently never met) to prevent an excise tax increase on liquor. What’s their proof? There is none – it just might have happened. Why does Labour get so crazy when it comes to Key? They had a valid point to make but they buried it under implausible accusations. Watkins writes:
Why so determined to drag him down? It is not personal. Labour just want to chip away at the fairytale. Mr Key’s rags-to-riches tale of a state-house boy made good is a huge political asset. Understandably, Labour sees a huge upside in denting that and its goal is to taint the fairytale with the usual big money associations. But it hasn’t done that so far with these latest allegations. Nor with the prevous attempts – which, in the case of the H bomb, came at a heavy cost. And the wounds from that had only recently healed.
Part of it is Rovian politics: you attack your enemies strength and Key is certainly that. But I think there’s also the sense that Labour thinks that Key is a terrible Prime Minister and they’re frustrated by his enduring popularity: why does the public like him? HIM? They’ve been tricked – duped by Crosby/Textor – so all they have to do is pull away the curtain and reveal Key for what he REALLY is. But they always reveal more about Labour and their inability to conduct even a simple old smear campaign without pissing all over themselves like rats in a nest.
(I’m reluctant to ask this question but here goes anyway: does the fact that Whitechapel owns Key’s assets mean that they pay tax at the company rate rather than the trust rate?)