The Dismantling of a Prime Minister – Completed

By   /   December 7, 2016  /   75 Comments

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As with the death of Princess Diana; Trump winning the Presidency, or (if you’re old enough) the assassination of JFK, you will recall where you were when you heard this sudden, unexpected and gob-smacking public announcement from John Key;

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National-Party-Holds-Conference-Wellington-sJ7OyG8uc6Yl

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As with the death of Princess Diana; Trump winning the Presidency,  or (if you’re old enough) the assassination of JFK, you will recall where you were when you heard this sudden, unexpected and gob-smacking  public announcement from John Key;

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pm-to-resign-it-feels-like-the-right-time-to-go-radio-nz

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At 12.50pm, Radio NZ  interrupted it’s international-segment – Worldwatch – to announce John Key’s resignation and crossed live to his press conference.   Ironically, the Worldwatch segment featured an  interview about the  resignation of Italy’s own Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.

Like 4.4  million other New Zealanders, this blogger was taken by surprise. (At first, I thought Radio NZ was reporting on Bill English stepping down.)

There are two aspects to Key’s resignation which have taken my attention.

Key’s “Popularity”

Media personalities, pundits, and political opponants have all praised Key’s popularity.

In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young gushed;

“He is still immensely popular after eight years.

[…]

They will abound because what Key has done defies political gravity.”

Writing for Fairfax media, Tracy Watkins said;

“Nothing can be the same when a leader as popular, and as successful, as Key bows out.”

John Campbell on Radio NZ’s Checkpoint enthused;

“…And after eight years [Key] still sits at honeymoon levels of popularity in opinion polls.”

To Key he remarked;

“Your popularity has defied the laws of gravity.”

None of which is true.

The media and political pundits have been reading glowing “obituaries” for a man still  very much alive and drawing breath.

In fact, Key’s popularity has been spiralling downward since a high of 55.8% in October  2009;

Oct/Nov 08: 36.4%

(Source)

Feb 2009: 52.1%

April 2009: 51.1%

Aug 2009: 51.6%

Oct 2009: 55.8%

Feb 2010: 49.4%

April 2010: 49.0%

June 2010: 49.6%

Jul/Aug 2010: 48.7%

Sept/Oct 2010: 50.6%

Nov/Dec 2010: 54.1%

Feb 2011: 49.1%

April 2011: 52.4%

May 2011: 48.2%

Jun/Jul 2011: 50.5%

Aug 2011: 53.3%

Sept 2011: 54.5%

Oct 2011: 52.7%

1-8 Nov 2011: 50.0%

9-16 Nov 2011: 49.4%

16-23 Nov 2011: 48.9%

Feb 2012: 45.8%

April 2012: 44.2%

May/Jun 2012: 40.5%

July: 43.2%

(Source)

Feb 2013: 41.0%

April 2013: 38.0%

May 2013: 41.0%

Jul 2013: 42.0%

Nov 2013: 40.9%

Jan 2014: 38.9%

Mar 2014: 42.6%

May 2014: 43.1%

Jun 2014: 46.7%

Jul 2014: 43.8%

5-3 Aug 2014: 44.1%

19-25 Aug 2014: 41.4%

26 Aug-1 Sept 2014: 45.1%

2-8 Sept 2014: 45.3%

9-15 Sept 2014: 44.1%

Jan 2015: 44.0%

May 2015: 39.4%

(Source)

15-22 July 2015: 38.3%

(Source)

8-16 Sept 2015: 39.5%

(Source)

22 Nov 2015: 38.3%

(source)

24 May 2016: 36.7%

(source)

Only four months ago, Key’s Preferred Prime Minister rating had levelled;

8 Aug 2016: 36.7% (n/c)

(source)

By contrast, National’s most recent  Party-poll ratings remained astronomically (and somewhat unfeasibly) high;

Roy Morgan: 49.5%

Colmar Brunton: 50%

Reid Research: 45.1%

As a party, National has been consistently out-polling it’s own supposedly “popular” Prime Minister. If Key’s personal polling had continued to drop further, it is conceivable that he would have become a Muldoonesque  liability instead of the gilt-edged asset he has been for the last three elections.

Which would go some way to explaining why Key’s photo-ops with National Party candidate,  Parmjeet Parmar, during the Mt Roskill by-election seems to have had zero positive effect on her  election result;

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 Parmjeet Parmar and John Key on the campaign trail ahead of the Mt Roskill by-election. Photo: RNZ / Sarah Robson

Parmjeet Parmar and John Key on the campaign trail ahead of the Mt Roskill by-election. Photo: RNZ / Sarah Robson

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When asked if he would attend Ms Parmar’s by-election campaign party, Key replied;

“I don’t go to any of the by-election ones. I haven’t historically and I won’t be going whether we win lose or draw.”

To which Jenna Lynch, writing for TV3 News, pointed out;

“That’s only partly true though – he didn’t attend the party of Mark Osborne in Northland – he lost. He also didn’t go to Melissa Lee’s failed campaign for the Mt Albert by-election.

But he did attend parties where it seemed he thought his candidate had a chance.”

“Reading the entrails”, Key understood that his days of surging popularity were drawing to an end. The media and pundits were simply  slow to catch up with Key’s own realisation of his inevitable fate.

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Key’s “blues”

In the same interview yesterday (5 December) on Checkpoint, John Campbell tried to pin down the reason(s) for Key’s departure.  With his usual boyish charming honesty, John Campbell asked Key;

“You sound buggered…

[…]

… Are you exhausted?”

Key soundly rejected Campbell’s suggestion that he was in any way “buggered” or “exhausted”.

But in May 2012, Key was already showing signs of wearying from the demands of political life;

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john-keys-midterm-blues-tracy-watkins-fairfax-john-key-resignation

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Watkins reported;

The frustration continued to show yesterday when Mr Key did a radio show and was asked about the $350 million SkyCity convention centre.

I’m out there trying to promote a convention centre which we don’t put any money in and all I get is grief. OK? That’s what I get is grief,” he complained.

“Sure I can sit around and do absolutely nothing for the next nine years and I might survive that long but it’s not going to take New Zealand anywhere.”

Four years ago, Key was already showing signs of becoming jaded.

More and more people were becoming disillusioned with his administration – a fact highlighed by his steady decline in the Preferred Prime Ministership polls (see above).

Whatever things Key may be, he is no fool and he was no doubt perceptive enough to recognise that his “chumminess” was no longer a facade he could use to mask growing social problems in New Zealand. Homelessness; child poverty; worsening home affordability; near-stagnant wages; declining environmental quality – coupled with constant scandals; ministerial cock-ups; and dubious dealings, were taking their toll.

Key was friendly with the corporate sector, but his administration showed unrelenting hostility to workers, unemployed and other other beneficiaries, and anyone else at the bottom of the economic heap. National’s decision to increase benefits was announced in May 2015 – but not set to start until a year later. This was a clever ploy to paint National as “caring” for those on benefits, with two publicity-bites from the “media-cherry”.

At the same time, beneficiaries were being forced of WINZ books; state housing was being sold off; and unemployment made to look “low” by  Statistics NZ’s fudged figures [see: Lies, Damned lies and Statistical Lies – ** UPDATE **].

But there were social pressures building that National’s “hands off” (or reluctant intervention) could not hide with “massaged”, dubious statistics. Nowhere was this more apparent than in our current housing crisis, affecting both the poor (living in cars and garages) and the Middle Class (facing rising home unaffordability).

The crushing defeat of Key’s vanity-project, the flag referendum which cost taxpayers $29 million at a time when early child educationschool operational funding, and many social services  were being frozen/cut, was perhaps confirmation that his “popularity” was no longer sufficient to govern.

Key’s charming affability could no longer hide the real right-wing agenda being covertly implemented.

Key could see the writing on the wall.

It was time to go; the charade was over.

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References

Radio NZ: PM to resign – ‘It feels like the right time to go’

BBC: Matteo Renzi – Italy PM resigns after referendum defeat

NZ Herald: Audrey Young – John Key’s resignation – the question everyone is asking is why?

Fairfax media: Tracy Watkins – Key’s resignation changes election odds

Radio NZ: Checkpoint – “The timing feels right” – PM

Roy Morgan: National Party support up again in November

Colmar Brunton:  Poll 12-13, 21-23 November 2016

Reid Research: TV3 Poll Results

Radio NZ: Mt Roskill by-election nears

TV3 News: John Key expecting National candidate Parmjeet Parmar to lose Mt Roskill by-election

Fairfax media: John Key’s midterm blues?

Radio NZ: Budget 2015 – Govt targets child poverty

Fairfax media: Unemployed losing the paper war in reapplying for the benefits, says Labour

Fairfax media: Government to sell 1000 – 2000 state houses – John Key

ABC News: New Zealanders label $23 million flag referendum a waste of money

NZEI: Cuts to early childhood education revealed in ministry figures

NZ Herald: ‘Frozen’ school funds heartbreaking

Previous related blogposts

The slow dismantling of a populist prime minister

The slow dismantling of a Prime Minister continues

The slow dismantling of a Prime Minister – downward slide continues

Special Education Funding – Robbing Peter, Paul, and Mary to pay Tom, Dick, and Harriet

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John Key resigns as PM. Rod Emmerson 06/12/16

 

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75 Comments

  1. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Despite this being described as a shock, some of us were not at all surprised.

    There are two possible narratives:

    1. Key had achieved what he wanted to achieve -a vast increase in personal wealth at other people’s expense and establishment of connections to people he could not have easily connected to in any other position.

    Having achieved his goals, he done what you would expect most cowardly mendacious arseholes to do: run with the money well before the shit hits the fan.

    2. Key was installed by the unseen powers that be to do a job -rupture NZ society a little more and consolidate the fascist police state- and has done it. He now collects his reward from TPTB and makes way for the next corrupt liar to carry out the next round of sabotage.

    Either way, I doubt we have seen the end of Key. The system is rotten to the core and looks after its own. Therefore, expect to see Key appointed to a position that enables him to continue sucking money from the public purse in the self-serving manner we have come to expect from politicians and ex-politicians.

    • Either way, I doubt we have seen the end of Key.

      Indeed, Afewknowthetruth. No doubt he’ll turn up on Q+A ,The Nation, Radio NZ, and other political media as a commentator. Expect more spin and mendacities, but this time without the constraints of his role as Prime Minister. He is still capable of mis-leading the public with his affable way of telling lies or half-truths.

      • Good point. Has the Sith Lord just become more powerful than we could ever imagine?

      • e-clectic says:

        Disagree – he will disappear even faster then he appeared on the scene.
        You think he has some commitment to public discourse?
        Then again, maybe the odd cameo on The Rock or Jono and Ben will provide us with fond memories of the guy who hocked his country as he whiles away his retirement feeding the chickens.

        Oh, and Frank, you can add one more lie to the litany of Key’s lies you have documented, that he is doing it for his family.

    • esoteric pineapples says:

      “Either way, I doubt we have seen the end of Key”

      I’d like to see him stick around so he can be charged with crimes against humanity for actively seeking to derail attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions

    • andrew says:

      Afewknowthetruth:

      Only two possible narratives?

      Clearly you lack imagination. I could think of a dozen more given ten minutes effort.

      Try harder!

  2. Nick says:

    The gig was no doubt up. The student import scam was just around the corner, the Kaikoura quake was going to gobble up the “surplus” and eliminate tax cuts. The Right Wing of the party was going to demand red meat at the next election and put Key’s affable clown persona at risk and so on. But I didn’t go to school for the study. Did you?

    Key has spent the best part of a decade schmoozing international movers and shakers. And now they are all gone or on life-support. Obama (who could forget (or be allowed to forget) that single round of golf with his Hawaii neighbour (and Max)), Cameron, Helen Clark, the Queen even that shirtless prat Abbott (the poor man’s Vladimir Putin) And perhaps worst of all: Ritchie. It is said the secret of long life is not good health or abstinence, it is the ability to handle loss.

    Watching Key in a silly shawl clowning around with Justin Trudeau (love child of Fidel Castro, it appears) a man of the next generation, fawned on by the press and with his whole charmed political life in front of him would be enough to make a less superficial man than John Key a bit reflective.

    You are right, though, with the growing gap between party vote and personal popularity, that snicker-snacker in the wings is no longer a chattering ticker-tape of the happy stock market, it is indubitably the sharpening of Judith Collins’ boning knives.

    The time was over for another well-timed pratfall to distract an easily distracted press.

    Been there done that.

    Meanwhile the essential analysis of his reign came, surprisingly, from Don Brash who, when asked what Key’s legacy was, disarmingly conceded there wasn’t any, while John Key himself gave it as his goal to leave the country better than when he found it (a line he borrowed from Rob Muldoon, I think) and claimed to have achieved that.

    On the Left I’m sure we would disagree. I would assert that he left the country, in so many ways both big and small, worse than he found it. And many of those, own goals.

    • Patrick says:

      Surely you saw the bowl of sour grapes Don Brash was tucking into.
      Seems many have forgotten that Key rolled the colourless Brash from leadership.
      Brash has never forgiven him so his assessment was always going to be lukewarm at best.
      Pretty normal. Remember John Marshall and Geoffrey Palmer.

  3. Banjo says:

    The fixation on Key’s popularity does seem a bit ridiculous. It’s a shallow concept and it becomes irrelevant in time anyway – Milli Vanilli used to be popular too.

    Key’s ‘popularity’ doesn’t even seem authentic or organic. It’s not the natural consequence of great character or constant selfless behaviour in the way someone like Helen Kelly’s for example was.
    Key’s popularity was manufactured to a certain extent – how many millions of dollars must have been spent on Crosby Textor, David Farrar, the dirty politics crew etc? A well oiled machine constantly working away to ensure Key never stepped into unpopular territory, to the detriment of all us, even Don Brash has called him out on how he failed to make the tough calls for the long term benefit of NZ.

    At the end of the day Key has been all about Key. I don’t understand why that is being lauded as something great.

  4. save NZ says:

    Absolutely spot on! From 55% to 36% is a massive fall in popularity and a major change of votes being lost. Key left because he had to, he was becoming a liability – as soon as the opposition picked up on it rather than relying on MSM messaging, and campaigned on all his lies in the next campaign he would be toast.

    The only reason Key survived as long as he did, was the new dirty campaign to control all the MSM messaging including getting rid of Campbell Live, harassment of Nicky Hager and others and keeping Hoskings/Henry on every channel cheerleading the lies and Granny and her step sister Spinoff knocking the opposition daily and distracting with trivia and infotainment and sponsored content.

    • Words says:

      Also John key getting a drubbing in the Mt Roskill by election by Labour showed up the spin and lies for what they were, he knew then he couldn’t con his way into a 4th term anymore and so he bailed, what he falsely thinks, is on a high.

    • Patrick says:

      So John Key controlled private TV and radio stations too?
      So much most of us didn’t know.

      • Priss says:

        Patrick, Key certainly had the “ear” of Mediaworks. This Herald report kind of illusstrates the point –

        “Prime Minister John Key has done an about-face after denying he had a discussion with MediaWorks bosses before the Government decided to give the company a $43.3 million helping hand.

        He has now admitted meeting then-MediaWorks boss Brent Impey two months before, when Mr Impey pressed his case for a scheme the Government initially turned down.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10718054

        You may not have known but the rest of us understand very well the unnatural relationship between Key and his corporate cronies

  5. Helena says:

    Knighthood or jail time? Hmm decisions decisions.

  6. i'm right says:

    “From 55% to 36% is a massive fall in popularity” and after 8 years into the job of PM, prey tell what the other leaders of parties are polling? It will be harder for National to win a landslide next year, as they would have done, but now with Key out the picture it’s more and more likely National/NZF next year. Winnie did not like Key (the feelings mutual I suspect) and he detests the Greens, so the upshot of all this is BAU for Labour! (Labour are still stuffed next year no matter if Key was there or not 🙂

    • Priss says:

      “I’m Right”, is a misnomer for your user-name. Frank reported the stats and demolished the media narrative that Key’s popularity has “defied gravity”. Nothing you write contradicts that.

      The point is that Frank has looked at the media narrative and found it to be sloppy at best, misleading at worst.

      What other leaders are polling is irrelevant. Key is the topic here, not David Seymour.

    • Words says:

      Brand John key was thrashed in the Mt Roskill by election by Labour.

    • bert says:

      None of the Nat M.P’s likes Winston which makes you more of a fool than I thought

    • …after 8 years into the job of PM, prey tell what the other leaders of parties are polling?

      Imright – “other Party Leaders” are not the Prime Minister.

  7. Fayrestorm says:

    John Key got out while the going was good (or relatively good) no doubt. He’s a Trader, knows when to buy and when to sell. He made his reputation of having an uncanny ability to read the markets, in fact he was legendary for doing so. His instincts, and insider knowledge of the state of the NZ’s fiscal position, the state of the global economic position, the movement away from Globalisation as represented by Brexit, Trump & the defeat of TPP, and a global public discontent with the ravages of the Neo Liberal model, would have have been flashing neon lights for a savvy soothsayer like Key. Many thought his ego would never allow for such a move, but in hindsight his ego wouldn’t allow for anything else other than an early exit. He always said he was in politics for a good time, not a long time. Always believe people when they tell you the truth about themselves. Has he worked hard, no doubt. Ha he represented the best interests of his constituency over the last 8 years? No. Ultimately John Key represented himself, which his exit amply proves. He’s done, and moving onto greener pastures. No doubt hedging himself financially from whatever Economic woes are heading down the pipeline. Good luck to his successor! Key will not feel a shred of responsibility as the National Party scramble for footing at the next election. The cracks will start to show over the next 12 months, as Key’s affable and shit don’t stick teflon delivery is absent, to disguise the shitty reality that we as a country are now in.

  8. Thubten Odzer says:

    Key’s main legacy is the 29 dead men in the Pike River mine, brought about by negligence, through the running down to the point of impotence of the department responsible for the protection of workers in the mining industry.

    It was clear at the time that the mine was working at a lethal pace and over-riding safety systems in order to meet unrealistic expectations. No-one checked. Given management incompetence, the lives of the men depended on the government’s the health and safety regulation backstop.

    The outcome has been 29 dead, immunity for those responsible and attempts to seal the mine and destroy any chance of recovering the victims or discovering clues to the cause.

    The legislative outcome has been to set up a row of pigeons (company directors) to fire blame at in the future while writing immunity into the law for government and local body officials.

    This has been a government of duck shoving and responsibility dodging, which has spent its time gutting the public service, wrecking the environmental protections, and deceiving the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

    With Key gone the sweet scented floral lid has been lifted on the long drop. I dread what will crawl out.

    • Words says:

      +1 Excellent post THUBTEN ODZER

    • Patrick says:

      A disaster which you apparently knew about.
      If the problems were clear to you at the time why did you not alert the mines people so the disaster could have been averted?
      If we do agree on one thing it’s that deregulation in areas of safety is plain stupid. Both major parties were to blame – as you well know – and hopefully both have learned.
      Mines safety had been run down under 9 years of Labour and it is a tragedy that National did not recognise this when they came power.
      But they didn’t.
      Unfair to blame the whole thing on one man, but guess that’s the way your little mind works.
      As for the rest I suggest you read the open letter in this morning’s Press from directors of Solid Energy outlining the dangers of re entering the mine.

      • Mines safety had been run down under 9 years of Labour and it is a tragedy that National did not recognise this when they came power.

        Misleading and incorrect, Patrick.

        Safety in mines was de-regulated under National, when Bill Birch introduced the so-called “Health and Safety in Employment Act”, in 1992. As the Dept of Labour lamented in their report, “Review of the Department of Labour’s interactions with Pike River Coal Limited”;

        ” The HSE Act 1992 and the Department’s role.

        45. In broad terms, the HSE Act replaced heavily prescriptive standards (telling duty holders precisely what measures to take in a particular situation) with a performance-based approach, primarily by imposing general duties (sometimes referred to as goal setting regulation) such as to take ‘all practicable steps’ to ensure health and safety, leaving it to the discretion of the duty holder how they achieve that standard. This approach was coupled with greater use of performance standards that specify the outcome of the health and safety improvement or the desired level of performance but leave the concrete measures to achieve this end open for the duty holder to adapt to varying local circumstances. There was also a focus on systemsbased standards. These identify a particular process, or series of steps, to be followed in the pursuit of safety, and may include the use of formal health and safety management systems.

        46. New Zealand embraced the Robens philosophy of self-regulation somewhat belatedly, but with particular enthusiasm and in the context of a political environment that was strongly supportive of deregulation. Indeed, in various forms, deregulation (and reducing the regulatory burden on industry more broadly) was strongly endorsed by the Labour Government that came into power in 1984 and by the National Government that succeeded it in 1990. The HSE Act was a product of this deregulatory environment and in its initial version was stripped of some of the key measures recommended by Robens, not least tripartism, worker participation and an independent executive. It was regarded, so we were told, as a ‘necessary evil’ at a time when the predominant public policy goal was to enhance business competitiveness…

        […]

        50. Put differently, whereas under the previous legislation, inspectors had been expected to go into workplaces and direct duty holders as to what safety measures they should introduce (the expectation being that the inspector rather than the employer would take the initiative) under the HSE Act employers bear primary responsibility for health and safety while providing information and support, particularly when it comes to establishing and developing health and safety systems and processes and takes enforcement action where the employer fails to meet the practicability standard.”

        Ref: https://www.employment.govt.nz/news/media/pikeriver/Pike-River-Mine-review/regulatory-role.asp#ftn5

        The effect was to reduce the number of Mines Inspectors from seven down to two (with one position unfilled at the time), to cover the entire country. As I wrote in August 2011;

        “…de-regulatory events were to take place in Health & Safety, in 1992, with regards to mining. In 1998 seven dedicated OSH mines inspectors were absorbed into OSH. The disbanding of the mines inspectorate group, and moving its functions to the Department of Labour, had saved about $1 million. Health and safety (mines) inspector, Michael Firmin, was the sole inspector of mines left.”

        Ref: http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/pike-river-mine-inquiry/pike-%20%20river-mine-inquiry-day-6/

        Solid Energy was equally scathing;

        The current state of our mines inspectorate is now so bad that even state-owned coal-mining company, Solid Energy publicly expressed it’s dis-satisfaction and called for the process to be handed over to Queensland for safety oversight,

        “Solid Energy has called for New Zealand’s mines’ inspectorate to be run out of Queensland, saying the lack of resource at the Department of Labour was partly to blame for the Pike River tragedy.

        The state-owned power company is hoping to be the new owner of Pike River Coal, and said the best option to ensure the mine’s safety is to align New Zealand’s framework with that of Queensland.

        “We are suggesting Queensland because we believe it is at the forefront of safety in Australia,” said chief executive Dr Don Elder.

        “The industry needs research capability to look at the best advances overseas and evaluate how those might be applied locally.”

        […]

        However, Elder said because New Zealand mining is a small industry, it would be too expensive to provide all of those services, so the most sustainable option is to contract inspectorate and support services to Australia.”

        ref: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/solid-energy-wants-australia-run-mines-inspectorate-4811727

        The de-regulation of the economy started under Labour when it was ‘colonised’ by a cadre of neo-liberal apparatchiks. But the process of de-regulating the mines was carried out by Bill Birch, during the Bolger-led National administration in 1992. As Andrea Vance wrote back in August 2011;

        Check inspectors were abolished in 1992 and a mine inspectorate was dismantled in 1998. A Labour Department discussion paper in 2008 recommended that check inspectors – workers with the authority to clear a mine if they considered it dangerous – be restored in underground mines.

        ref: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/pike-river-mine-disaster/5461419/More-inspectors-after-Pike-disaster

        The Pike River Mine disaster along with the Leaky Homes scandal were a direct result of de-regulation anbd our mania with neo-liberalism.

        My write-ups on the subject can be read here:

        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/key-will-he-put-his-55m-where-his-oily-mouth-is/

        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/green-party-action-on-deep-sea-drilling/

        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/nationals-disdain-for-taking-responsibility-2/

        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/heather-roy-head-down-the-mine-shaft/

        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/w-o-f-reforms-coming-to-a-crash-in-your-suburb/

        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/a-lethal-lesson-in-de-regulation/

        https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/health-and-safety-jobcuts-havent-we-been-down-this-road-before/

        • Before you reply mr pat. Shut your hole. How dare you use the pike river tragedy to score political.

          No one here will accept an apology letter written by ones self, distributed internally by Solid energy.

          Take your PR stunt and fuck off

        • Wha Left says:

          Frank 15 – Patrick 0.

          Your serve Patrick!

          • patrick says:

            Gosh, so you see this as a competition.
            How sad.
            I thank Frank for giving the date of the legislation under a National government. I was living overseas at the time but when I got back in the mid 90s I couldn’t understand this overactive drive for deregulation. We had been over regulated for many years but slowly slowly seemed the sensible way forward.
            Very stupid legislation on behalf of National and there was plenty of opportunity for it to be amended during the Clark years.
            It wasn’t and the new Key government didn’t do anything either.
            perhaps I’m missing something but in view of the history I can’t see how all the blame can put onto Key.

        • patrick says:

          Thanks Frank,
          Was certainly not trying to be misleading,and had no idea it went back as far as 1992.
          But that doesn’t change what I believe. Have never been a fan of deregulation especially where safety is concerned.
          So National passes this disastrous legislation, Labour saw fit to leave it in place and the Key government didn’t do anything about it either.
          A plague on both their houses.
          My point was it doesn’t make sense to apportion all the blame – as the poster did – to one man.

          • Sally's Husband says:

            “Was certainly not trying to be misleading,and had no idea it went back as far as 1992.
            But that doesn’t change what I believe.”

            So….. Frank presents the facts and puts recent history in context, but “that doesn’t change what you believe”?

            Nice to know facts play no part in your critical thinking, Patrick.

  9. Samwise says:

    Excellent assessment as always, Frank. I remembered that Key’s popularity had fallen in the polls, but couldn’t put my finger on it. As always, you fill in the gaps and give us the info that the MSM are too busy kissing Key’s spotty backside to give us.

  10. Mike in Auckland says:

    Well, consider also, the Trump win in the US, the ditching of the TPPA, which Trump will do on his first day in office, and the gloss coming off all those so much “aspired” FTAs Key had been dreaming about.

    Someone told me, once Trump puts down the new rules by the US administration to governments of China, Japan, various ones in Europe, and of course Mexico and the rest of Latin America, only some business people and their employees will be cheering.

    America First is the slogan, and Trump is already showing what that means, it means, keeping investment and jobs there, and making it harder for others to export their goods and services to them.

    New Zealand has had a short honey moon with trade with China booming, once China gets hit with trade barriers in the US, and being able to export much there, they will dump more on the rest of the world, at low prices, and they will also buy only what they want and need, at prices they set.

    We may be hit by slowing economic activity in China and elsewhere, and struggle to get rid of agricultural and other exports to the US and even other places, also becoming more protective.

    The housing market is already slowing, immigration will reach its limits, with more people getting disillusioned by growth caused by that and tourism, and we are in for an economic winter.

    No wonder a Merril Lynch “professional” of the past gets cold feet, it is the economy, stupid, the economy, that will soon nosedive.

    And then Key would suddenly be gone with a bad reputation, as his house of cards will collapse. Hence he is leaving it to English and others to pick up the pieces, while he will enjoy the sun of Hawaii.

    • Patrick says:

      Take a photo of that post and trot it out 12 months hence to see how close to the mark you were.
      I can’t help but feel that US citizens have got used to cheap everything from China and other low cost countries.
      Very difficult to get manufacturing back to the US and not sure if they want clothing and electronics to increase in price by a factor of five.
      I suspect that even you Mike are not averse to buying goods made in low cost economies with questionable human rights, no health or accident insurance and no government benefits of any kind.

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        Patrick, you are misguided, I am NOT a consumerist, and I hardly buy anything cheap from China or other places at all. I grow my own veges, use clothes bought years ago, am very frugal and mindful, only the masses of brainwashed idiots, some like you, go and follow the mad flow.

        How damned wrong you are so often with your presumptions, go and dig a piece of garden, learn to grow and cultivate, and become more in touch with real life, that is nature.

        • patrick says:

          Michael.
          Very pleased to know you practice what you preach.
          Your spuds ready for Christmas? If you celebrate it that is.
          Don’t be too cruel – the jobs many people hold down require them to be dressed a certain way. That’s just the way it is.

  11. WILD KATIPO says:

    John Philip Key was / is an arsehole.

    A vindictive , dangerous arsehole.

    One only has to remember back to the setting up of Kim Dotcom , with the illegal spying , illegal arrests, illegal freezing of assets , – using govt depts for entrapment techniques to grant him residency to hand him over to the FBI.

    This from Stuff :

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9103159/GCSB-acted-illegally-on-Kim-Dotcom

    And this :

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/…/kim-dotcom-mansion-raid-legal-supreme-court-says

    Since then not only did he autocratically change labour laws to serve Warners Bros interests – but also as a double barrel approach used it to take punitive and vindictive action against unions and our work force.

    Further reading :

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10683613

    One month after that we had the Pike River disaster, and some of the things outlined by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Pike River was the substandard number of mines safety inspectors, and negligence by mines CEO’s in health and safety ( in which Worksafe NZ paid off Peter Whitalls Insurance company which let Whitall off criminal charges ) – as a consequence (as they had to be seen to ‘care’ ) new Health and Safety laws were passed, which , – like the Hollywood enabling issues and illegal surveillance laws surrounding Kim Dotcom – were retrospective and after the fact of 29 men losing their lives. Interestingly , Penny Bright has some interesting insights regarding Pike River in a draft copy here :

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/murder-at-pike-river-mine-timeline/

    A further perspective is found here :

    https://waterpressure.wordpress.com/…/whistleblower-claims-it-was-murder-at-pike-ri

    Then we had what could only be described as the vindictive pursuing by Keys henchmen of Nicky Hager and the Police entering his home , and confiscation of computers and various other data , – which was later found in court to be in breach of their duties and illegal . ‘Fundamentally unlawful ‘ … was the description used , in fact. This case was critical in the democratic principle of a journalist being able to protect their sources – if they no longer could, this would have left the door wide open for political and legal abuse.

    Further reading here :

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/…/nicky-hager-wins-case-against-police-over-search-of-home

    ………………………………………………………………………………………..

    THIS ,… is the REAL legacy of John Philip Key.

    Never mind all the other hype , palaver and song and dance over sports stars , panda bears or flags ( although that was obscene enough with the amount of poverty in this country now and the amount that was spent on a flag referendum) , – what we endured was a Forex money trader involved in one of the biggest Forex scams in history which almost destabilized this country’s economy that was air dropped into this country to further the end goals to an unsuspecting populace of a globalized corporate agenda.

    And he almost succeeded in doing so with the TTPA.

    He was carefully chosen because :

    A) He had the appearance and image of success and that was used as an inspiration point for struggling New Zealanders.

    B) He lacked any historical political baggage which could have been used against him by his detractors.

    C) His ruthless personal character attributes honed in his Merril Lynch money trader years meant he was more than willing to see people suffer the effects of his actions with no sense of conscience if it meant he won favour and personal gain from those who sent him. This also opened him up to being able to lie quite comfortably about important legal /ethical issues while holding the highest office in the land.

    There is no doubt that his work with the TTPA isn’t finished despite the set back of a Trump Presidency. That work will be morphed into a simplified and more streamlined temporary version , – while waiting for the opportune political moment to push on with plans to complete the operation more reminiscent of its original.

    John Philip Key was nothing short of a con man sent here for an express number of reasons. There should be no lamenting his departure but rather exultation tempered with caution that at least for now , – temporarily at least , – we have been somewhat spared from that pernicious global corporately influenced agenda which he represented.

    • Words says:

      100% agree with you WILD KATIPO you have said it like it really is. Your contribution is the post of the day imho.

    • Wha Left says:

      He was New Zealand’s John Major, kid from a poor area who made good in the world, in spite of his childhood environment and struggle-street start in life. The neoliberal myth, the streets paved with gold for the poor, ‘if only they get off their arses and out of bed by 2pm’

      It’s a sham. But you know what? Brexit, and Sanders and Trump would have happened here in 2017 and John Key would be out on his backside, another trampled hollow man, snake-oil salesman for neoliberal shite.

      You can polish the neoliberal turd of trickle-down riches, you can sprinkle glitter on selling off assets that support a caring society, to “mum and dad investors”, but it’s still robbing a nation of its heart and core. Unprecedented inequality, people living in cars, social safety nets being privatised, marginalised and torn asunder.

      Good riddance Key, take your 30 pieces of silver for betraying the values of this country and asset-stripping the nation. Fly your corporate alternative fish-bone flag outside your mansion in Hawaii.

  12. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    “As with the death of Princess Diana; Trump winning the Presidency, or (if you’re old enough) the assassination of JFK, you will recall where you were when you heard this sudden, unexpected and gob-smacking public announcement from John Key;”

    Hyperbole much? I doubt anyone will much remember this event or indeed the man himself in even just a few years time. Especially given that The John Key has left literally zero legacy (other than that we all hate him here at TDB).

    • Priss says:

      Not hyperbole at all, Nitrium. Muldoon is still remembered, even if for all the wrong reasons. Key will be remembered as someone who managed to de-politicise politics and instigate asset sales despite public opposition and STILL GET RE-ELECTED!! Also the man who went through scandal after scandal and most (not all) of it never struck. Mostly he’ll be remembered as the Man who Did Nothing. He let his minions do it all for him.

      I’ll certainly remember where I was when I heard the news and couldn’t believe my ears. I had to check the calendar, for a moment I thought it was 1 April!!

      • Patrick says:

        Muldoon was the last Prime Minister to champion manufacturing in this country.
        You may remember the labels stated ” Made In New Zealand.”
        Within a few years hundreds of thousands of jobs went overseas.
        Why is that forgotten?

        • Sally's Husband says:

          Who said it’s been forgotten??

          • patrick says:

            See above.
            “Muldoon is still remembered even if for all the wrong reasons.”
            We had 22 employees earning good wages under Muldoon.
            After that the numbers steadily headed south

        • Mike in Auckland says:

          Most Kiwi products were crap, my friend, so what was needed was to lift standards and quality and performance, but they left it for others to do that, in China and so forth.

          • Patrick says:

            A sweeping statement Michael, which unfortunately shows your lack of understanding of this area.
            Also wrong in that much local manufacturing had reached a much higher standard than is available now.
            We sold 20% of the products we made to the top department stores in Australia, at a time when Australia imported nothing in this area from NZ.
            I’m going back into the 80’s when we were paying between $8.00 and $9.00 per hour to our staff, plus hols, plus sick pay, plus ACC, plus high tax to help pay for the welfare state, plus high compliance costs to Government and a warm safe working environment.
            The problem was our economy had long been based on “Import substitution ” and was not subject to direct competition from Low cost economies.
            Our staff lost their jobs one by one as the government of the day decided that their jobs should be able to compete directly with imports.
            Competition re quality was not a problem but in light of the above you can’t compete against wages of $ 1.00 to $2.00 per DAY, low taxes and no benefits from the company or government.
            Mike, sorry to say but you sound just like the silver spooned Hurray Henry’s who used to say at the time ” Well, you just can’t get Kiwi’s to work.” My reply was always, ” Would you work for $2.00 per day?”
            You are not a consumer so you probably don’t know.
            It’s current products which are, that manure word you used. Kiwi products were more expensive, but many lasted a lifetime.
            (Our copper bottomed pots and pans, manufactured in Christchurch, good as new after 50 years.) Indestructible Morrison reel mowers etc etc- where are they now. Gone like the Moa – no pun intended.)

            • Patrick, I remember buying rubber-soled boots (70s style) from ‘Crazy Ricks’ in Cuba Street in the 1970s. I recently fished out a pair that’d been in storage since then – still good as new.

              I also recall buying other pairs from ‘Ricks’ and they’d last at least a year or two if treated well. Chinese-made ones will last two to three months, depending how much walking I do.

              The Chinese-made shoes made be cheap, but they have to be replaced every few months, and the cost suddenly starts to build up…

              • Patrick says:

                Frank, as a manufacturer of leathergoods for more than 20 years you are preaching to the converted.
                Precision machine tools from Rangiora, blankets from Mosgiel, Landmark shoes, Jockey and other brands made under license by Lane Walker Rudkin ( they used to employ 3500 production people under good working conditions, in the 70’s and the clothes lasted for years) the list goes on.
                Things had to change but the upheavals caused by the unseemly speed of that change are with us now.
                I doubt anyone under age 45 would realise just how good so many Kiwi products were back then.

            • Mike in Auckland says:

              What I commented was rather general, I admit, and there were of course also some good Kiwi products that were made and are still made.

              But when it comes to woolen jumpers that shrink in size after just one gentle and careful wash and rinse, and many other things, I note that a fair few similar products made elsewhere were clearly superior to the local NZ product then.

              Nevertheless, Fisher and Paykel and some other manufacturers proved their worth, of course.

  13. mosa says:

    You know Key may well be gone shortly but he was only ever the C.E.O
    The board of directors and the larger organisation who signed off on all of these laws and appalling decisions is still in government and never once in eight years did one of them step forward and say ” i dont think this right ” despite Key worst excesses.

    Key was the front man and their greatest public affairs manager but he did not do it alone.

    The rest of them are still there and only concerned about their own careers and who will keep them in a position of influence and control and to protect the staus quo and carry on deluding themselves they are not destroying the country along with the support of our former fourth estate who continue with subverting the real truth.

    This junta has around ten months left before they go to the country and by then Key and his time will be a footnote in our recent history and the real imposters who call themselves New Zealanders which is a real contradiction in terms, this National government and its MPs will be asking once more for our vote to continue with this anti democratic facade and assault on the poor and good hard working Kiwis and its stranglehold on our way of life which is getting just that bit more repressive with every passing day.

    One outlaw is gone but the rest of the renegades are still in the saloon haven taken control of the town.

    Where is the Sheriff and his deputies ?

    • patrick says:

      I think I see Tex Little and his posse striding up to the swing doors.
      Wonder if ” The voice ” is ready to do the commentary.

  14. Words says:

    National’s so called “building a brighter future” was only meant for themselves, not for New Zealand and it’s people.

  15. Jack Ramaka says:

    Winston and NZF are the only credible opposition party, Labour still hasn’t really differentiated itself from National and is still suffering from its adoption of neoliberalism and the abandonment of its key voter base.

    MSM is controlled by National & ACT cronies, and detest Winston as he has got the measure of all of them and they do not have the intellect to debate or understand NZF policies, they are controlled by National’s media arm and Steven Joyce, hence they have to tow the Party line otherwise they will not have a job.

    Labour have to get their act together and prove to the NZ Public they are a credible opposition party rather than just a light weight version of National otherwise the voting public or the non voting public ( 1 Million Voters) are going to stick with the status quo?

  16. Jack Ramaka says:

    The “Brighter Future” slogan was a very smart slogan and marketing tool adopted by National to sucker the NZ public, people like positivity that is why they get turned off by Winston Peters NZF and the Labour Party as they want to hear the good news. Key was great at putting the good oil on something that was actually rubbish, obviously a technique he learn’t from his merchant banking days selling securities “selling the sizzle and not the sausage”. Then getting out before it all turns to mustard. The NZ Balance Sheet has been stretched by this National Government so there won’t be much room to move for any new Government as the country has not got much petrol left in the tank, most of the Assets are sold apart from a few old State Houses and we are $120 Billion in the Red, despite the Press telling us we are in surplus?

    • Wha Left says:

      Au contraire about assets.

      There’s still 51% of the power companies to sell to “mum and dad investors” – or if the public has seen the turd beneath the propaganda glitter, call them “dad and mum investors”.

      There’s a prime opportunity for disaster politics by selling off the coastal rail line, or if the public are a bit skittish, call it a PPP – public private partnership with big business.

      The PM’s ex-state house could still get a good premium in the economically declining suburb of Bryndyr, just on “star-rating”.

      There’s plenty of money investing ACC premiums in the Kiwiwealth – stock market, that can be re-invested in National-friendly media.
      Selling Kiwibank would get a good profit.

      There’s dairy farms too, some have a few cracks in them, so they could be discounted.

      Putting out the Retirement Age to 73 will allow the elderly to pass away before before costly entitlement.

      Legalising euthanasia would help, especially is it used to rid New Zealand of ‘ferals’ (a Whaleoilism) and elderly, who are a drain on the economy.

      Legalising marijuana would bring in GST, and reduce costs associated with gangs and dope.

      So, all in all, the future looks rosier and brighter for ACT and National if they keep this rock star economy ticking along, sell everything that is and isn’t nailed down…..to help create a Decent Society!

      • Richard says:

        ..to help create a Decent Society!

        That was a typo – it was intended to be ‘…a descent society’ – but National had already paid for the billboards before the mistake was noticed.

  17. JonL says:

    Key’s a psychopath. Having looked at what he’s achieved for himself and what else he can expect to garner….hes cut and run. Expect to see an outburst about what a pack of useless sods the NZ public are for not appreciating him more……unless the rounds of sycophancy keep him buoyed…..

  18. The Pants Of Doom says:

    If 38% is bad, what is 7%?

  19. Weather says:

    When the hunters become the hunted.

    😉

  20. Wha Left says:

    Our “popular PM” was booed at the Auckland Nines. https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/john-key-booed-by-section-of-the-crowd-at-nrl-nines-on-waitangi-day

    Our “popular PM” was booed at the Big Gay out. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/76878721/John-Key-talks-about-being-booed-off-stage-at-Big-Gay-Out

    Our “popular PM” was booed at Ratana http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11579215

    Our “popular PM” was cheered at our house – when he resigned. Good riddance. Let’s hope the ‘alleged’ corrupt double dipper from Dipton gets the same treatment.

    We’ll cheer just as loudly when he matches or worsens his 20.9% share of the electoral vote, then resigns in favour of Judith Collins.

  21. Mike in Auckland says:

    After all, I think, John Key is a gentleman, to call it quits, before he ruins the nation further, that is a compromised gentleman, as that is all he can be called. NO hero, no performer of significance, a talker, a dealer, a tie breaker and backroom door manager, not a successful PM that the nation needed, so RIP character Key.

  22. Blake says:

    John Key played his role and he is not needed anymore. He secured FEMA here and the US militarization here and their home base in the Christchurch airport and sea sonar exploration and further deep sea oil drilling so now he is ready for a luxury vacation. We are just a slight pimple on his backside, easily forgotten. Besides Parliament and the NZ people just bore him to tears. He likely planned for and was glad for each and every time he was kicked out of Parliament.
    Its money money money MONEY for our vulgar PM as he roles into another business venture, wait and see.
    A book – maybe a few – will be coming out to expose his really dirty laundry and his secret corporate and banking connections and tell us the real and true reasons for his quick departure out the back door – slimy critter.
    Deep sea oil and other mineral etc. rapes of NZ are paramount and heavily invested in despite the ill effects on the health of the seas and safety of the people and our environment. But they could care less. Haarp is paving the way for further devastations and worldwide economic decline and rainbow clouds and tremors. It has been proven now that Hillary Clinton ( and tons more ) knew that the Christchurch earthquakes were going to happen before they did.

    Donky has already made an alleged fortune through unethical dealings as this is his mode and his history is fraught with lies and devastated lives.
    His true and honest legacy will not be a good one but most are asleep and unaware and don’t care anyway.
    His even slight connections ( ? ) and associations with the IMF and the World Bank is worth much MUCH further attention. The IMF has a horrific history and not one worth emulating or respecting.
    Make a note and keep an eye on all those who praise Donky Jonky and put him on a pedestal since his
    ( much welcomed ! and joy filled ! ) departure. Hip Hip Hooray !

    http://www.globalexchange.org/resources/wbimf/oppose

    http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/glossary/imf-criticism/

  23. Blake says:

    As with the hypocritical Pizzagate progaganda and lies, if anyone needs further reassurance or proof or supporting links to anything that I have proposed above than I suggest you do your own lengthy research because I do not pull fluff out of the air.

    • Blake says:

      I want to thank ” Afewknowthetruth ” and ” Wild Kapito ” and Frank Macskasy for their ongoing quality comments and articles that I agree with completely. Their contributions and others keep me coming back to learn more and share more.
      You three and Martyn and TDB are much appreciated in my books as the MSM lame duck madness dies a slow death.

  24. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 7 December […]

  25. Sally's Husband says:

    Key will be forgotten. His one attempt at legacy-building, the $29 million flag referendum, was roundly rejected by the people. He has left no legacy at all worth remembering.