John Key’s love affair with a straw man



Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over.

Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders and he did it again this morning when he said “without a shadow of a doubt GCSB does not conduct mass surveillance on New Zealand”.

It will be interesting to hear the details of the mass surveillance programme which Key now says he stopped last year but irrespective of that it’s very clear that mass surveillance of New Zealanders is conducted by the US National Security Agency, the data stored and then available to the GCSB to access through the X-Keyscore programme.

We have known all this for at least a year following Edward Snowden’s revelation but when Key is specifically asked about it he says he won’t comment on operational issues about how our spy agencies work.

The main issue for New Zealanders from tonight’s meeting is not the conflict between John Key and Glen Greenwald and neither is it the conflict between John Key and Kim Dotcom.

Whatever happens between those players the most important point is still that the GCSB is not operating in New Zealand’s interests but in the interests of the US and its global goals for political, economic and military dominance of the planet.

That’s the reason the GCSB must be abolished and its spybases at Waihopai and Tangimoana closed down.

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  1. Yeah but you gotta admit Key and the Nats done for lies and corruption and then given the boot because of tonight’s revelations is a nice epitaph for this election.

    And the final monument is the citizenship of Mr Dotcom . 🙂

  2. Apart from his straw man technique he’s also trying to obfuscate by conflating the need to counter cyber threats and the (questionable) need for mass surveillance.

    Also – the Monday to Thursday image nails his MO!

  3. ” . . .in the interests of the US and its global goals for political, economic and military dominance . . . ”

    Yes, I’m inclined to agree on this point. We are “sold” the line that the reason why we “need” all this security is the threat of terrorism from organisations such as I.S. (or ISIS or ISIL).

    But the real reason is precisely what you state it to be.

    In other words, the NSA/GCSB and other local regional equivalents are merely an extension of what THE USA has been trying to foist upon the rest of us in the Pan-Pacific Trade Agreement, and in its predecessors, the Government Procurement Act, etc.

  4. So. Who is Key really working for?

    Who is his allegiance to given that it doesn’t seem to be for the people of New Zealand at large?

  5. I read somewhere recently that Gough Whitlam wanted to shut down a U.S. spybase in Australia. That is why apparently the CIA managed to engineer the downfal of Gough’s Government. How can we have safe-guards against that in NZ especially with the MSM we have here?

    • I was living in Australia at the time and can say that Gough Whitlam was brought down by his own Government’s incompetence. The CIA may have managed to force an election (though I doubt it – the Murdoch press would be quite enough) but you cant force the people to vote any way but that of their own choosing. He was thrashed in the election that followed. I helped voted him in and I helped vote him out.

  6. Well Neil, Keys first loyalty is to his wallet & to the financial money markets that keep it filled.
    When it comes to Key vs a Pulitzer prize winning journalist together with Snowden who’s integrity has really been put to the test it’s no contest at all.

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