The Dim-Post

November 15, 2011

Defining expectations down

Filed under: psuedopolitics — danylmc @ 5:52 pm

This is very clever. Nothing the Prime Minister said on the ‘tea tape’ could be as weird or inept as the things his comms team told him to say regarding his suppression of it:

Mr Key on Tuesday said he is drawing a line in the sand to protect other people’s privacy.

He said he was concerned about the principle, giving as an example a scenario in which a high profile New Zealand couple are recorded discussing their suicidal son who then killed himself after the story was run in a Sunday newspaper.

My guess is that Key’s legal team told him he didn’t have a leg to stand on, so the campaign team got creative.


  1. The suicidal son in this case being Don Brash?

    Comment by Aztec — November 15, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  2. Yes – I almost fell over when I heard this on Checkpoint. I mean, if the HoS chose not to publish Key’s recorded conversation out of concerns about the ethics of how it was obtained, who knows what such an unethical and mendacious outfit might do if they came into possession of such a recording discussing the risk of suicide? I mean, they might not publish it either (unless the parents agreed)!

    Or something. I guess. But nice to see JK stands for something, even if it makes no real sense.

    Comment by Grassed Up — November 15, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  3. First they came for the Prime Minister. But I was not the Prime Minister. Then they came for your children, and their kittens, and the All Blacks’ children’s kittens, and …

    Comment by sammy — November 15, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

  4. Damn it Aztec you bet me to it🙂

    Comment by swan — November 15, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  5. So wait, Key is threatening to commit suicide if the tapes are released?

    Comment by Hugh — November 15, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  6. Key is threatening to commit suicide if the tapes are released?

    You don’t know who hard it is to live with the pressure.

    Comment by Phil — November 15, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  7. Its long past time for the media in the know to man up on this tape of national importance. They must do their duty and RELEASE THE TAPE without fear or favour!


    Comment by JC — November 15, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

  8. worried for max now, can’t be easy being son of the Keyster

    Comment by Cnr Joe — November 15, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

  9. what? It’s pretty obvious that the tapes contain nothing controversial – if they had, the Herald would have published it. You all know that the Herald – and TV3 who have also heard the tape – would use the “public good” justification for publishing in a heartbeat, if there were even a skerrick of a shadow of public interest in what was said. Hell, even if the interest was only

    The fact that neither have chosen to do so, but have instead used the “mystery” in order to bring in the viewers/buyers, tells you all you need to know.

    also, has anyone else’s username and password suddenly stopped working? But I don’t even swear or insult people!

    Comment by Milla — November 15, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  10. ahem. “even if the interest was only for ridiculing purposes.”

    Also it turns out a mis-functioning key will stuff up your password, who would have thought.

    Comment by Milla — November 15, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

  11. Could be Keys campaign team have told him to take the moral high ground because the Greens have just made themselves look like a bunch of hypocritical rabble. Stay klassy Joe.

    Comment by will — November 15, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

  12. This is getting hilarious, Key has to deny every half truth and piece of bullshit from here on in. Winston is on TV making shit up! Tomorrow Goff will accuse Key of admitting he enjoys the taste of raw Kittens. Key will have to deny. Cracks are appearing in the ‘Key Media machine’, Duncan Garner can smell blood in the water, even John Armstrong is wavering.

    For a conversation so ‘bland’ that Key can’t remember it even when he is denying he said what he can’t remember, he sure is dying in a ditch over this. The suicide stuff is panic material, normal people just don’t go there!

    Comment by andy (the other one) — November 15, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  13. I’m confused andy. Why does Key have to deny everything from here on?

    Winston makes shit up all the time he’s like the family mad uncle who everyone suspects of fisting the turkey while no-one is in the kitchen.

    Fatty Garner and the rest of the media would love for the election campaign to turn into a story about the media but they don’t understand that the drooling public don’t care about the media and barely understand the MMP referendum questions.

    At least Russel fronts up with integrity I’ll give him that but the story is now the Green implosion and Labour will be praying that Brad White isn’t one of theirs.

    Comment by will — November 15, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

  14. @Will

    Stay confused buddy, it suits you. Key has painted himself into a corner, Check out the part between 1.05 and 2mins.

    Also see how Winston can make shit up that Key has to deny, because of previous denials.

    At least Russel fronts up with integrity

    What, I thought he was part of a hypocritical rabble at 8.44pm tonight.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — November 15, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  15. Hi andy,

    Key just has to steer a steady course through this controversy which is a pretty obvious attempt at a stitch up by the HOS, and could have been helpful to the Labour cause if it wasn’t sooo bleeding obvious, and it’s plane sailing to polling day. Add into the mix that the Greens have provided another media circus to divert the public attention and it’s game over for Labours up-tick chances. There is no extended entanglement to be derived from the tea tape saga.

    So Key has to engage with Winnie, a known weasel, because of some previous weasel activity by Winnie? Er, no.

    I said the Greens were looking like a bunch of hypocritical rabble and this was because of the Green activists behaviour. Russel looks like a proper opposition leader and acts with integrity.

    I hope this clarifies where I’m coming from andy and removes any cause for confusion that you may have had.

    Comment by will — November 15, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

  16. The HoS has managed the tape well. They have led with the ‘game changer’ tape story on the 13th, built up interest, encourage Key to deny that there is anything of value and question the media for suggesting otherwise, and then, BOOM release on the 20th under the guise that ‘Key has challenged us to prove their is nothing on the tape – here it is’. Remember HoS only publishes on Sunday – to get the most mileage and alleviate the ‘damage’ done by something unethical, they would have to ensure that they got at least two/three solid weekends of sales out of it.

    So looking forward to hearing this tape!

    Comment by Tim — November 15, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

  17. the internet has revolutionised elections. politicians have nowhere to hide anymore. We are participating in something new here and these so-called wannabe leaders have shown what a bunch of headless chooks they all are w hen the heat lamp in the hatchery is turned up.Winston bullshits, Keys comes out with whatever that was? The bottom line is…. who the frick do you bother voting for? KFC anyone?

    Comment by tawhaowhao — November 15, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  18. What has me shaking my head is that there’s a legitimate (if highly debatable, to put it mildly) point there, which Key decided to make using a bizarrely inflmamatory and distasteful example. God, I hope everyone had an early night with a glass of warm milk because it’s been a three-ring gimp circus of a day.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 15, 2011 @ 11:47 pm

  19. There’s footage of the conversation but no (released) audio…

    Anyone thought of employing a professional lip reader?

    Comment by Wan Gok — November 15, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  20. Wan Gok – apparently they did the lip reader thing on Close Up last night.

    Comment by Pete George — November 16, 2011 @ 7:32 am

  21. What Key really said is that he wants to have Bank’s love child, and that releasing the tape would be like he and Banks talking about their love child etc.

    Comment by Chris — November 16, 2011 @ 7:51 am

  22. Craig,

    What I find truly astonishing is that Key – the genius who is going to lead us out of these difficult times – left himself wide open here when there was a much simpler alternative: Not put up a candidate in Epsom. Why did our astute PM not think of that?

    Comment by Ross — November 16, 2011 @ 7:52 am

  23. I undersatnd that the Party makes those types of decisions Ross, is that right political wonks?

    Comment by — November 16, 2011 @ 8:31 am

  24. Someone needs to tell lil will that ‘splainin’ is losin’. “I hope this clarifies where I’m coming from andy and removes any cause for confusion that you may have had.” Best to stick to the put-downs.

    Comment by Galeandra — November 16, 2011 @ 8:52 am

  25. Also see how Winston can make shit up that Key has to deny, because of previous denials.

    I believe it’s known as the LBJ pigfucker defence: “I’m not saying he fucks pigs, I want to hear him denying that he fucks pigs.”

    Comment by Paul Rowe — November 16, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  26. Benjamin Franklin said that “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” This quote is applicable to brands as it is to reputations.

    National is John Key now. On any objective analysis their governance has been one of miserable do-nothing failure, a party thin on talent and bereft of ideas that exceed the scrutiny of a 72 hour news cycle. the only thing they’ve got is “Brand Key.”

    National is John Key, and John Key is a carefully designed brand, just like a chocolate bar. And it seems to me the real import of this conversation with Banks is if it damages the brand. Ask Cadbury (New Zealand’s most trusted brand in 2008) about how quickly the public can turn on a brand if it perceived to have tried to hoodwink them.

    Even if the tapes only contain a bit of cynical disrespect to the elderly and a bit of a laugh at rolling Brash, the damage to five years of careful brand management will be considerable – perhaps even fatal. The vehemence of the reaction of Steven Joyce shows us he understands this. The attempt to use the police to try and hide the tapes contents until after the 26th of November shows Key knows this.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 16, 2011 @ 9:16 am

  27. Surely in these internet days someone can just leak this to someone who bounces it round the internet and a few proxies and it winds up “miraculously” on a Russian server for all to download. Anything less and I’ll be bitterly disappointed.

    Comment by Chris Bull — November 16, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  28. Keep the tissues handy Sanctuary, you are acting about as excited as Shane Jones in a pornshop over this. Why on earth anyone (MSM or bloggers) would give the pinstripe dwarf’s unsupported and self-serving ramblings any airtime at all is beyond me unless it is to finally prove that he is as unhinged as he is corrupt.

    Comment by DavidW — November 16, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  29. “…Why on earth anyone (MSM or bloggers) would give the pinstripe dwarf’s unsupported and self-serving ramblings…”

    Because it drives people like yourself into an insane foam flecked rage, that’s why! And if my taxes can’t buy me that simple entertainment then the world is a very sad place indeed.

    On a less flippant level, I don’t see the sort of ranting verbal diaorreha directed at Peters – a man whose party scored considerably more votes at the last election than the considerably less representative ACT party – directed at Rodney Hide. I can only conclude that Peter’s main crime is that most of our self-appointed commentariat and political elites find Winston Peter’s constituency so deeply offensive and out of fashion that they have unilaterally decided to do everything possible to ensure that these ‘wrong” views get no representation. This was and is simply an unjustified usurpation of democracy, hidden behind a flannel of hysterically anti-Peters rhetoric deliberately designed to shutdown any questioning of the elites role in NZ First’s demise.

    I don’t like Peters at all, but the orchestrated campaign by the elites to subvert democracy and get rid of NZ First stank in 2008 and it stinks now.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 16, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  30. You can draw a line in the sand without making a big issue by laying a police complaint about a recording which apparently contains absolutely nothing salacious.

    This is John Key’s solution to everything like this: Get the police involved (as long as the rich aren’t to be the one being prosecuted).

    We hear National’s plans for tougher sentencing, tightening up on crime, tightening up on social welfare, and yet John Key has presented zero ideas to make the workload of the police more efficient or easier to deal with, and had come up with no alternative routes for the police to take except for increasing the strain on the court system.

    What about that guy who was on television who said that Key has ruined his life? He was suspected of being linked to Al Qaeda, he hasn’t been charged or convicted of anything, there is ample reason to believe that he’s just a lonely guy looking for romance. Now his actions are being watched and he is living under restrictions which he doesn’t even know about.

    The Prime Minister of New Zealand feels that it’s acceptable to be targeted in your everyday life by the authorities when you have been found guilty of nothing. Then he uses a privacy excuse, citing the example of a wealthy couple who have a suicidal son who committed suicide after it was reported in the papers. Does Key even know what message he’s giving us here?

    Comment by Betty — November 16, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  31. Right on the button, Betty!

    Comment by Leopold — November 16, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  32. So Brash should be put on suicide watch if the paper runs the transcript ?

    Comment by pollywog — November 16, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  33. Wow, check this out. Mainstream media editors tell Key to fuck off. OK, that’s paraphrased somewhat, but still …

    Comment by sammy — November 16, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  34. “What has me shaking my head is that there’s a legitimate (if highly debatable, to put it mildly) point there, which Key decided to make using a bizarrely inflmamatory and distasteful example.”

    You’re just going to love Garth George’s ‘exploding microphone of death’ conjecture in the Herald today.

    Comment by Sam F — November 17, 2011 @ 8:25 am

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