The Dim-Post

February 4, 2015

Shorter Sabin Summary

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:16 am

Andrea Vance has an overview here. The crux is that Key appointed Sabin to chair the Law and Order Select Committee while he was being investigated by the police, which is just a horrible, horrible conflict of interest. Key claims he didn’t know Sabin was being investigated when he appointed him, but he’s changed his story about when he did know three times in one week as new facts came to light, so everyone thinks he’s lying but no one can prove it.

On the one hand it seems really unlikely that our super-gossipy Prime Minister didn’t know one of his own MPs was being investigated for a very serious crime. On the other, if he did know, why would he appoint the guy to a position which could – and has – blown up into a scandal? Makes no sense. Maybe they thought they could ride it out? That Sabin is an ex-cop and the police would look after their own, and it wouldn’t go to court? No one would ever find out and Sabin’s career could go on as normal.

Which kinda begs the question: how did this get out? Who tipped off the media? Someone in National? Who feels slighted by the PM and his office? Who has close ties to the police and justice sector? Who would very much like Sabin’s position as Chair of the Law and Order Select Committee? Who is very close to WhaleOil. But who???

27 Comments »

  1. Whale Oil is all over this and it is the only piece of inside political info he has had since dirty politics. Using my powers of deduction I reckon that Kevin Hague is behind it.

    Comment by King Kong — February 4, 2015 @ 9:57 am

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

    Comment by oleolebiscuitbarrell — February 4, 2015 @ 9:58 am

  3. I suspect Danyl is pointing the finger at Judith C.

    Comment by northshoreguynz — February 4, 2015 @ 10:04 am

  4. “…so everyone thinks he’s lying but no one can prove it..”

    So “when did you first hear about Kim Dotcom” all over again. Common sense tells you Key would have known about the allegations against Sabin as soon as the police began investigating them, just like common sense tells you he must have heard of Dotcom long before the raid. Why does Key do it? Why does he tell such flat out lies, then blame shift, dissemble and split hairs to slip out of being caught? He he has to say was he appointed Sabin because he was assured it was a minor affair, say it was a error of judgement, and move on. Now it’s all about slippery John again. Eventually, one day he’ll slip up and someone will have proof he’s lied.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 4, 2015 @ 10:25 am

  5. Here’s how it makes sense –

    – PM establishes well-earned reputation for being caught lying
    – It gets assumed he will be caught out, therefore assumed that if not yet caught out he hasn’t been lying
    – He carefully chooses to lie about others’ behaviour which when discovered will seem worse than his lying
    – He gets to look, if not perfect, at least nothing like as bad as they are
    – And he gets to look righteous demoting them.

    Every time he does this he makes lying seem more normal and acceptable.

    Comment by George Hendry — February 4, 2015 @ 10:27 am

  6. I think the Prime Minister is a liar.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — February 4, 2015 @ 10:43 am

  7. I have never said that the Prime Minister is a liar.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — February 4, 2015 @ 10:43 am

  8. Am I reading correctly that the protocol for Select Committees only seems to require that members declare financial interests in business before a committee? It also says nothing about other potential conflicts of interest of Select Committee members, or even that anyone else needs to be told, except that a Chair might decide to step down on their own initiative. Advisors to the committee need to declare possible conflicts of interest, but members themselves apparently don’t.

    You’d think it’d be obvious, but the rules really need some reconsideration.

    Comment by izogi — February 4, 2015 @ 10:54 am

  9. I doubt Key was involved in the appointment of The Chair of the law and Order Committee, or any committee for that matter.

    What we know of his hands off style is to get someone else to do practically all of a Pms duties.
    I get the impression this would be done by the leader of the house ( Gerry?) and Eagleson

    Comment by ghostwhowalksnz — February 4, 2015 @ 11:05 am

  10. I read the link to The Standard. What could Sabin be accused of that’s too horrible for words from WhaleOil? It must be awful indeed.

    Comment by Conrad — February 4, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

  11. the thing that makes me laugh the most is that key is setting up a situation (well, using his latest “version’ of events) where he finds out such info via the opposition telling his office and not via the internal mechanism of the party he leads

    which is really embarrassing and so unlikely that i would put money on yet another change in versions by friday.

    But of course thats all bullshit – what sort of party, especially a party that has a very top down, get in behind, structure like the nats, ever hears of such an issue from external channels before internal?

    once again its a choice of two outcomes – incompetents or liars (and i think we can all safely say that they arent incompetent)

    Its high time more people than little called key a liar – and it should be to his face

    Comment by framu — February 4, 2015 @ 12:49 pm

  12. It seems apparent that the PM thought he could get away with hiding it. That’s a huge miscalculation.

    Comment by George — February 4, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

  13. So “when did you first hear about Kim Dotcom” all over again.

    The difference is that he could plausibly claim that he had not heard of a police operation against a German hacker/entrepreneur.

    He cannot plausibly claim that he did not know about a police investigation of very serious allegations against one of his own MPs. It is well established that he was told last year.

    Comment by George — February 4, 2015 @ 2:12 pm

  14. I guess, when you’re as popular as this PM, the lying accusations don’t stick, and instead the accusers simply get seen as politickers.

    I doubt this story will dent Key’s armour in the slightest – preconfigured perceptions trump facts.

    Comment by Michael — February 4, 2015 @ 2:30 pm

  15. Why does he tell such flat out lies, then blame shift, dissemble and split hairs to slip out of being caught?

    Because politics, like telling the truth, is boring and he likes excitement!

    Comment by ross — February 4, 2015 @ 2:32 pm

  16. Eventually, one day he’ll slip up and someone will have proof he’s lied.

    Except there’s proof he has lied about lots of things. He doesn’t care about being caught…

    Comment by ross — February 4, 2015 @ 2:34 pm

  17. @George: “It seems apparent that the PM thought he could get away with hiding it. That’s a huge miscalculation.”

    I think that “honesty” in the PM is a value which many potential voters will happily sacrifice, especially when it’s honesty on details about things which the majority of the public aren’t familiar with nor care about, like government processes and committees for robust and effective lawmaking. People have a Prime Minister and a government so they don’t have to care about or understand all that stuff. He’s not judged on that type of honesty: he’s judged on how personable he appears, how polite and assertive he is, how much he smiles and has a relatable sense of humour, and so on. To try to repeatedly demonstrate that he’s someone other than who people have decided he is is to tell people they’re stupid, which is a recipe for being ignored and written off as hopeless, biased media or opposition with an axe to grind.

    Unless a coherent opposition shows up to capitalise on stuff, by looking as if it’s an acceptable alternative. Maybe that’s beginning to happen, but it’s still really hard to know.

    Comment by izogi — February 4, 2015 @ 2:35 pm

  18. The thing about Key is he never said “I’ll keep the super age at 65” and then raised it. He never said I’ll “I won’t sell assets” and then sold them. That s**t drives voters crazy (see Queensland elections). Instead he says “I learnt about this last week” then he says “actually I learnt about it two weeks ago” and voters don’t care, because why would you?

    Comment by artcroft — February 4, 2015 @ 9:08 pm

  19. So let me get this straight. You say it makes no sense to appoint Sabin if the PM knew about his misdemenours, but this implies thst the Vance article you cite states that the “crucial thing” is there is no proof that anyone Key or “high up” knew before September. But that is insignificant because ‘someone’ informed Little’s office and they knew of this for crucial week in late November, and it appears they waited until the following Friday evening to contact Key’s people, who (may, or may not) have informed Key the following Monday -i.e. early December.
    The only logical conclusion I can draw from your tantalising questions is that Matt McCarten, Little, Whaleoil and (correct me if I’m wrong) Judith Collins are colluding to bring Key down because collectively they share a frustrated sense of moral outrage that the public can’t appreciate how often he’s been accused of lying, but appears to get away with it – crucially, mind, in the absence of any proof to the contrary. Which of course, appears to only further confirm guilt, or a cover-up.
    Priceless.

    Comment by Lee Clark — February 4, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

  20. Here’s a theory: Key knew ages ago, but not the whole story. Sabin successfully bullshitted the PM that it was a minor incident when in fact it was much much worse. (Possibly confidentiality towards the victim(s) making the bullshitting easier).

    Key won’t admit that, because a public “Sabin lied to me” would not stop Key looking stupid. So Key bullshits the public that it was a minor matter that he’d only just found out about.

    Which he might have gotten away with, except for backstabbing from his own team. He looks stupid anyway now…

    Comment by R — February 5, 2015 @ 7:26 am

  21. the public can’t appreciate how often he’s been accused of lying, but appears to get away with it.

    Lee, the PM has been caught in blatant lies on many occasions. If you think he hasn’t you must be living in a parallel universe.

    Comment by ross — February 5, 2015 @ 8:06 am

  22. A fine theory R, except that Key has an enormous appatus available to him to determine whether he was being bullshitted by Sabin or otherwise.

    So we’re left with two options:

    (I) Key is a fool who learned nothing from the Collins affair and is not being fully apprised by his advisors on critical political issues.

    (II) Key is a liar, but knows from recent history that he can brazen this out as the public don’t give a shit.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 5, 2015 @ 8:11 am

  23. the ‘prime minister’ is in heavy damage control mode. i.e. deflect, deflect, deflect.
    By continually referring the Sabin’s ‘personal issues’ the pm is betting that the suppression order will be permanent.

    Comment by Jeremy — February 9, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

  24. @artcroft: “The thing about Key is he never said “I’ll keep the super age at 65″ and then raised it. He never said I’ll “I won’t sell assets” and then sold them. That s**t drives voters crazy (see Queensland elections). That s**t drives voters crazy (see Queensland elections). Instead he says “I learnt about this last week” then he says “actually I learnt about it two weeks ago” and voters don’t care, because why would you?”

    The “convention centre won’t cost taxpayers anything” promise seems more significant, though. It’ll be interesting to see if it hangs around for any prolonged amount of time with voters.

    Comment by izogi — February 11, 2015 @ 9:40 pm

  25. “…II) Key is a liar, but knows from recent history that he can brazen this out as the public don’t give a shit….”

    or III) Key is a completely amoral money trader culturally quite typical of his era, and thinks that ethics is what you can get away with and truth is simply a legal concept.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 12, 2015 @ 7:33 am

  26. “…The “convention centre won’t cost taxpayers anything” promise seems more significant, though…”

    Steven Joyce and his flippant smart alec answers on an issue outraging the public certainly isn’t helping National.

    The convention centre is potentially going to really hurt National, because it goes to heart of his governments appeal to legitimacy – economic credibility. If Key and Joyce are made to look like they’ve been played as bumbling fools by a bunch of sharp practice Aussies then it’ll call into question all their other blithe assurances about the economy – I see English is running a mile from this. Key was categorical when he was acting as Sky City’s cheerleader in chief that this was a great free deal for NZ that he hammered out with his chums in the rarified atmosphere of high business. Now he looks like a chump.

    Secondly, if he tries to squirm his way out of his “free to the taxpayer” commitment on the convention at the same time as he is using exactly the same media management techniques to squirm out of answering questions about Sabin then it’ll be a really bad look.

    I don’t know what is wrong with Key at the moment. He warned about third term arrogance, but he is swimming in it all the time. It is almost like he is daring the media to try and catch him out, and he thinks he will always have the get out of jail free card of public support no matter what he does.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 12, 2015 @ 7:46 am

  27. “The convention centre is potentially going to really hurt National, because it goes to heart of his governments appeal to legitimacy – economic credibility.”

    Well they’re certainly creating evidence for the mantra that governments suck at business stuff.

    Comment by izogi — February 12, 2015 @ 8:18 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: