The Dim-Post

June 28, 2016

Key and awkward subjects

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:07 am

Audrey Young writes:

John Key came prepared to his post-Cabinet press conference yesterday on foreign trusts.

He doesn’t always. Occasionally he will expect a subject to be raised but deliberately be unprepared.

By some coded means (perhaps two touches to the left ear and a stroke of the chin) his staff get the message that the PM Does Not Want to Be Briefed on that issue so he can deny knowledge.

Guyon Espiner is wise to this stunt. Pretty much every time Key is on Morning Report nowadays the exchange plays out like:

Espiner: I want to ask you about [awkward subject].

Key: Actually I haven’t been briefed on [awkward subject] so I can’t comment on that.

Espiner: You can’t comment?

Key: No. I just don’t know much about it.

Espiner: Because [expert or opposition politician] has said [thing about the awkward subject that makes Key or his government look bad].

Key: No, that’s wrong, that’s completely wrong, because hey, it actually turns I know an awful lot about [awkward subject], almost as if I’ve been extensively briefed about it and just lied to you a second ago to try and avoid the topic, but I will now speak about it at length.


  1. Depends on the scale of awkward. If it’s too awkward, he’ll just not show up.

    Comment by mutyala — June 28, 2016 @ 6:18 am

  2. Ah, New Zealand. siempre Qué Guay.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 28, 2016 @ 7:22 am

  3. ooohhhh Danyl has a journalist crush! 🙂

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 28, 2016 @ 9:57 am

  4. Robert Singers – on the evidence of your posts on this blog so far – I reckon your repressed/in denial – about what I haven’t a clue – I don’t mean that in a malicious way

    Comment by rodaigh — June 28, 2016 @ 10:09 am

  5. While Key may be lying about whether or not he was briefed, the question of whether or not he was briefed seems to be of zero importance.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — June 28, 2016 @ 1:51 pm

  6. @rodaigh I am repressing my anger about the feminization of muesli bars (we have ancient and super grains in bread and breakfast food, why can’t I have some nuts and dark chocolate?) and everyone is in denial about something. 🙂

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 28, 2016 @ 2:09 pm

  7. “The feminization of museli bars”
    What a strange lens you look at the world through

    Comment by Corokia — June 29, 2016 @ 7:50 pm

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