The Dim-Post

January 26, 2012

That’s fairly interesting

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 2:43 pm

There’s a cleared up recording of the tea-cup tapes here. To my mind the most intriguing segment is seven minutes in, when Key discusses the prospect of rebuilding the ACT Party with Banks, and the fact that they both find Don Brash ‘strange’. Key is hard to make out, but he then says something like:

that is why when they rang me in the UK [garbled] 15 percent, have a snap election. No.

We know where the mythical 15% came from – Brash’s conservative estimate for ACT’s vote share under his awesome leadership. But who proposed a snap election to the PM? ACT? Brash? Key’s strategists? Key was in the UK for the Royal Wedding, and if you do a New Zealand google search for suggestions for a snap election dating from around this time you get Guyon Espiner enthusiastically endorsing a snap election and Cameron Slater seeding the rumour. Odd combination.

It’s also pretty funny listening to the PM insist – with apparent sincerity – that he never goes negative and never engages in personal attacks. If you watch him during Question Time, it’s very rare for him to take a break from negative, personal attacks to mention his own government or its policies.


  1. And saying that National and Act have never engaged in negative politics. Conveniently forgetting their entire time in opposition

    Comment by max — January 26, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  2. “A lot of his constituents will have died.” LOL.

    Comment by Jake — January 26, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  3. “It’s also pretty funny listening to the PM insist – with apparent sincerity – that he never goes negative and never engages in personal attacks. If you watch him during Question Time …”

    I’m assuming Key was referring to occasions on which the public might actually see him in action, as opposed to when no-one is paying any attention. I mean, if a tree falls on the Labour Party in the House, does anyone notice?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — January 26, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  4. John Banks is also conveniently forgetting the period in which he was a talkback host whose fallback issue, on days when too few outrages of indigenous scandal, violent crime or moral depravity had emerged, was demonising then-PM Helen Clark in the most personal terms.


    Comment by Lew — January 26, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  5. I agree. JK has been swept into a negative spin and is sounding less and less aspirational as he goes on. Which is a shame really. I prefer my toast without marmite and my politics without rancour.

    Comment by XChequer — January 26, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

  6. The only time I’ve heard John Key speak he didn’t waste an opportunity to ridicule Andrew Little. The self-aggrandising on the tea-tape makes him out to be a sanctiminious twit. So no news there.

    I must admit I chuckled when I heard his and Banksie’s sphincters slam shut. “Is this a… a recording device?”

    Comment by Oh Busby — January 26, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  7. I thought the most interesting part was the final 2 minutes…

    Comment by Sam — January 26, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

  8. Thats it?
    I thought it was John’s Key and Banks discussing a Final Solution for the nations elderly? Or so Winston Peters would have you believe.

    Comment by gn — January 26, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  9. Has anyone done a transcript? Most of that is a bastard to make out.

    Comment by helenalex — January 26, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  10. @ Ag “if a tree falls on the Labour Party in the House, does anyone notice?”



    Comment by will — January 26, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

  11. I think that generally Key doesn’t believe in or practise negative or personal politics, so yes, it’s odd to see all that fly out the question time window.

    Comment by Pete George — January 26, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  12. >”if a tree falls on the Labour Party in the House, does anyone notice?”

    Gotta be a haiku in that

    Comment by insider — January 26, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  13. “It’s also pretty funny listening to the PM insist – with apparent sincerity – that he never goes negative and never engages in personal attacks. If you watch him during Question Time, it’s very rare for him to take a break from negative, personal attacks to mention his own government or its policies”

    That’s the nature of Question time. All players participate. Mary Poppins would go negative if she was the PM or Leader of the Opposition at Question Time, whatever her party. It would not make her less relentlessly positive in the rest of her day anymore than Key’s upbeat approach be invalidated by how he performs there. Incidentally, what party would Mary belong to?

    Comment by Tinakori — January 26, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

  14. The point is Labour were out and out nasty nearly 24/7 during the campaign. I can’t recall a National moment of nastiness directed at someone the way Labour did repeatedly towards the Mad Butcher etc…

    Comment by James — January 26, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  15. Oh NOOOOOO you don’t, James! I hold no flag for Labour, but I’m beggared if I’ll leave that claim unchallenged.

    Sir Mad (aka Peter Leitch) was the one who went postal on Labour, when he shamelessly endorsed John Key on National Radio (and other media). And I mean shamelessly. Wormtongue would have blushed at such craven grovelling.

    Fenton, for all her faults (the book of ’em will be out soon), just responded to Sir Mad’s outrageous turncoatery.

    Comment by bob — January 27, 2012 @ 2:01 am

  16. Since when did Labour “own” the Mad Butcher or his vote? So people aren’t allowed to change their minds in Bobs world….?

    Can you produce anything showing the MB being nasty towards Labour BEFORE Fenton got stuck into him…?

    Comment by James — January 27, 2012 @ 2:06 am

  17. what party would Mary [Poppins] belong to

    She’d be the MP for North Shore.

    Comment by danylmc — January 27, 2012 @ 6:03 am

  18. Goodness me, if only the self-righteous puffery of the average Tory could be put in a can, no souffle would ever fail again.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 27, 2012 @ 6:41 am

  19. Hmmm … Perhaps that is why Mary Poppins could fly. while some will remain fatally earth bound until their very last breath, unless they learn how to laugh . . . .

    Comment by Eric Blair — January 27, 2012 @ 7:15 am

  20. Key gives his cell no. to Banks 594 594 6.19 secs in

    Comment by Cnr Joe — January 27, 2012 @ 7:29 am

  21. “She’d be the MP for North Shore.”

    Cruella Deville already has the job

    Comment by Tinakori — January 27, 2012 @ 8:18 am

  22. Incidentally, what party would Mary belong to?

    Could be Greens, NZF, Mana – an umbrella of policies that eveyone knows really have no show of flying.

    Comment by Pete George — January 27, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  23. I’m slightly surprised there wasn’t anything embarassing.

    Key always maitained there was nothing of any public interest and his actions were purely about what he saw was the media’s breach of privacy.

    And since there was nothing that suggests Key’s motivation was as he said it was, whatever you think of it.

    Unless it really was a fiendish plan to get Labour to spend lots and lots of time and energy on a non-issue.

    Why the media should want to publish this when there was nothing to it is a bit of a mystery. If there was an issue that would be of great public concern then that would be a reason to publish what soem consider to be a private conversation. But that wasn’t they case and yet they still wanted to publish.

    (has anyone checked out the stories about the NZ media on the Reporters Without Borders website? There’s something odd about them I just can’t put my finger on)

    Comment by NeilM — January 27, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  24. James – The Mad Butcher is free to change his mind, vote and endorse whoever he wants, and Labour do not own his vote or endorsement. But…. MB went way beyond that, with a blatant multi-media plugging campaign for John Key and National that even left Jim Mora cringing (and he normally lets guests get away with a lot of plugging businesses or causes!).

    So Labour would have been genuinely shocked at the flip-flop in MB’s support, which he clearly had not mentioned to them beforehand. Which prompted Fenton’s foolish attack.

    But the point is – it was Peter Leitch who went out of his way to repeatedly endorse Key & National (and implicitly snub his past best mate’s Labour). Labour just responded.

    All beans under the bridge now, of course. I wonder if MB will revoke his endorsement of Key now the wheels are coming off their economic forecasts? Somehow I doubt it…

    Comment by bob — January 27, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

  25. well anyway, I thought it odd that the only negative stories about the how the media are doing in NZ according to the Press Freedom index are actually stories about Thailand and Burma.

    If they have us confused with Burma then dropping a few places isn’t so bad, I suppose.

    But I can’t remember what dreadful crack down on the freedom of the press Helen Clark undertook to lead us to plumet from 13 in 2005 to 21 in 2006.

    Comment by NeilM — January 27, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  26. helenex: Here’s a transcript:

    Comment by Ataahua — January 28, 2012 @ 8:52 am

  27. I suspect it’s been edited. There’s jumps in the conversation that dont make sense, even for Key and Banks. Who released this version exactly? Does anyone know where to source a video copy of the conversation so we can do a match up?

    Comment by myles thomas — January 30, 2012 @ 12:55 am

  28. If there weren’t any smoking guns on the tape, then why get so unhinged about it? Maybe it’s the fear of dirty laundry getting aired, rather than it actually happening.

    From what I know, the original leak on YouTube appears to have an Occupy NZ ident.

    Comment by DeepRed — January 30, 2012 @ 9:55 am

  29. Just maybe Key actually did think there was a moral issue here re taping people illegally? He might actually have enhanced his standing as a principled man with this stance…Certainly Winston has been made to look even more of a liar..if that were possible.

    Comment by James — January 30, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

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