“By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them”: There’s nothing ‘moderate’ about John Key’s government.



NEW ZEALAND’S LOVE AFFAIR with John Key, like most enduring relationships, is based on trust. Ever since he wrested the leadership of the National Party from the scary Don Brash, it has been Key’s unwavering mission to present both himself and the party he leads as ordinary, decent and (most important of all) non-threatening. Looking back over the past six years, only a fool would say he hasn’t been extraordinarily successful.

Had Brash won the 2005 election New Zealand would have been plunged into a period of acute political instability.

Faced with a government determined to relegate the Treaty of Waitangi to the status of an historical relic, and abolish the Maori seats altogether, the Maori Party, the Greens and (with much less enthusiasm) the Labour Party would have found themselves mobilising not only a furious Maoridom, but also a very significant swathe of Pakeha society as well. The resulting clash of a very significant minority of the population with “the racist Right” would have made the 1981 Springbok Tour protests look like a tepid historical dress rehearsal. After three years of increasingly violent and ultimately fatal confrontations, it’s likely that Brash, the National Party and their rabid Act allies would have been consigned to electoral oblivion. The Right’s electoral rehabilitation would have taken at least a decade.

In a very real sense, then, National (and New Zealand) dodged a bullet in 2005. And the two National Party politicians who appreciated just how big a bullet it was that had whistled over their heads were John Key and Steven Joyce. It’s not that these two politicians underwent some sort of Road to Damascus conversion from far-Right fanatics to kitten-eyed moderates – far from it. What they grasped was that any further attempts to impose the entire right-wing agenda in one fell swoop were bound to produce exactly the same electoral failure.

Brash had taken his inspiration from Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson. All three of these politicians were “policy aggressors” determined to overturn “the conventional wisdom” in the name of a radically reconfigured New Zealand economy and society. But what Key and Joyce, both inveterate poll-watchers, clearly grasped was that National’s last-minute failure in 2005 was only partly due to Brash’s personal stumbles. When push came to shove, the New Zealand electorate just wasn’t ready to take yet another wild ride into political and economic upheaval. If National was to capitalise successfully upon the electorate’s growing disenchantment with “Nanny Helen’s “ “political correctness” and a Labour Party fast becoming unrecognisable to “Middle New Zealand”, then the negative legacies of Richardson, Shipley and Brash had to be expunged.

And nobody does expunge like John Key. In spite of the fact that in his earliest incarnation as a National Party back-bencher, the MP for Hellensville boasted a decidedly reactionary political profile, John Key, as Leader of the Opposition, proved to be extraordinarily adept at presenting himself as “Mr Moderate”, “Mr Bloke-Next-Door”, “Mr Guy-I’d-Like-To-Have-Beer-With” or (if you were a woman) “Mr Guy-I’d-Like-To-Shag”. If Brash’s mentors had been Douglas and Richardson, the policy aggressors; Key’s were Sir Keith Holyoake, Jim Bolger and Clark herself: incrementalists all.

But just because, as a politician, you’ve decided to make haste slowly, doesn’t mean that you don’t get to where you’re going in the end. A dispassionate review of the Key Government’s legislative achievements since 2008 could only conclude by observing that notwithstanding all the taunts of National having turned into “Labour-Lite”, this is a very right-wing government indeed. It’s unrelenting hostility to all forms of environmental protection; its opening of our land and sea to mineral exploration and extraction; its blank refusal to take any meaningful action against Climate Change and its determination to protect the dairy industry from any and all forms of practical regulation: these are only the beginning of what is now a very long list National’s reactionary victories.

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And just consider what has characterised the opening shots of National’s third term. Dismissed as mere technical adjustments, the Government’s changes to the Employment Relations Act place New Zealand at the far right-wing reaches of the OECD. (As the CTU president, Helen Kelly, quite rightly points out.) Then there is Bill English’s and Paula Bennett’s extraordinary decisions in relation to state housing. At a time when people are living in caravan-parks and cars, the idea of selling up to a third of the nation’s state houses represents a sudden and utterly unmandated return to the darkest days of Jenny Shipley. And as if these measures weren’t reactionary enough, it now seems certain that Key will commit New Zealand military forces to the confused and almost certainly ineffective US-led war against the Islamic State.

“Moderate”? “Labour-Lite”? Not really. John Key’s government is every bit as bad as its predecessors. It is, however, a great deal better than most of them at pretending it isn’t. And to those who find it impossible to see “that nice Mr Key” as being anything other than the soul of reason and common sense, I can only offer the words of St Matthew’s Gospel:

 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.You will know them by their fruits.”


  1. Fantastic stuff @ Chris Trotter . The front page of every news paper etc etc .

    The more erudite the masses become , the more patient , deceitful and abstract our masters must be . You are right . Jonky is a Master Swindler , unfettered by a conscience with a rat-like cunning honed by a world class education .

    The words of St Matthew’s Gospel ? ( Who ever the hell he is/was ? ) Priceless .

    While The Masses watch Monster Trucks , he ‘sculls’ beers , eats a sausage and gets a vote .

    Yep , nah . Time to get the fuck outa here .

    I love my beautiful few little islands . I was born on this land and am deeply connected to it . My parents were stacking hay the day before I was born . I would have come home from the maternity hospital to the smells of sheep and turnips . I started driving when I was about nine years old , following mum around in her old ‘ 38 v8 Ford Deluxe at lambing time . In a day when houses never had door locks . When a murder sent the country into shock . When the cost of living never moved year to year .

    douglas , richardson , brash , shipley , bolger etc . They took all that away from you and I . That delightful innocence . This once wonderful few Islands , now a nightmare of violence , hunger and anxiety .

    Mindless greed and the soulless addiction to having much , much more than is needed ( and if it means you must fuck others over for their share too , all the better ) is a Libertine dysfunction that’s arisen from small minds having far too much time to ponder what might be achieved with far too much of other peoples money to fiddle with .

    • Countryboy it sounds like you and I were born in the same place at the same time — similarly I lament the unstoppable transition of the political system from an ideological entity to a corporate entity. This is partly why Key has been so successful – I don’t think he sees himself as advancing any sort of ideological agenda for the long-term betterment of society. For him this is simply the ultimate CEO position, the jewel in the corporate crown where he gets the job of chief executive of the country. He manages it like a corporation where he appeases the investors (tax-payers) in proportion to their investment. The richer you are, the more your interests are protected. They live the lie that the wealth gap isn’t growing, and keep the masses preoccupied with the fear that rocking the boat is too risky because you might lose what little you have. It’s a bit like the false promise of the lottery where people are fooled into believing that if they keep buying tickets they might one day be rich, when the truth is that the odds are so incredibly low that it validates the notion that lotteries are a tax on stupidity. That’s what too many people have bought into, the seemingly benign assurance that if we buy into it there’s a wonderful reward at the end. Like someone said, giving more money to the rich didn’t work, so let’s give more money to the rich.

    • Well said Chris……….. Something has to change…….. Wake Up NZ.
      I came here 28 years ago after a gut full of Thatchers nightmare. Mr Key and the ‘hungry ghosts’ that came before him have taken us down a track to Thatcher’s Divide and Conquer Politics.
      The Labour movement worldwide to been bought down from the inside – which leaves the swinging 30% to swing towards Mr Keys candy coated nightmare.
      Is it time for the ‘free thinkers’ to push back and bring down this house of cards ????????????????
      All those in favor take to the streets in a Day of Action ……….. How about a “Where has the 100 Billion gone John” (National Debt) in a few weeks time.

  2. Well said Chris.

    NZ has been duped by a slimy, corrupt currency trader!

    Old St Matthew, whoever he was, must have been a man of great foresight with John Key in mind when he spoke his piece! His words sum the PM up perfectly.

    • Matthew was a tax collector in an earlier life – he decided that it wasn’t for him and saw the light, so to speak.

  3. You’ve neatly outlined the method used by John Key and the National party to get their policies past the New Zealand public. Gradually they turn up the heat, slowly, ever so slowly. One small amendment here, an amendment there, just enough to entirely change the legislation to the opposite of what those who enacted it intended. If people question their intentions they placate them with John stating just how comfortable he is with the changes. If John’s comfortable surely everyone can relax, right? Wrong. Absolutely, categorically, wrong.

    If New Zealand allows Key and National to continue implementing their legislative changes which push forward their extreme right-wing agenda incrementally then this country will be truly ruined.

  4. Looking through the book, ‘The Making Of Pink Floyd The Wall’ by Gerald Scarfe, this is the last song:

    Outside The Wall ( Waters)

    All alone, or in twos,
    The ones who really love you
    Walk up and down outside the wall.
    Some hand in hand
    Some gather together in bands.
    The bleeding hearts and the artists
    Make their stand.

    And when they’ve given you their all
    Some stagger and fall, after all it’s not easy
    Banging your heart against some mad bugger’s wall

    Isn’t this where….?

    • Let’s hope we’re not on an “endless river” of gNat governance, if so, ‘welcome to the (‘money’) machine’.

  5. The current National government is one of the most moderate governments we’ve had in decades and in my view has largely continued the course set by Helen Clark and Michael Cullen. If you disagree name a significant social or economic policy from the previous government that National has reversed.
    While John Key and his colleagues may not have hearts of socialist gold I think they are constrained by democracy – as your article alludes – and this will keep them close to the centre.
    It is possible that National may go rampant in their third term but I get the feeling John Key knows that middle NZ would not tolerate a radical shift to the right – however well disguised it is.

    • Piffle – Helen Clark’s Govt was not left wing. Name one significant social or economic policy of the vast plethora of New Right policies brought in by Roger Douglas/Ruth Richardson etc that Helen Clark’s government reversed. I think you will find that the cupboard is bare.
      Chris Trotter is correct.

    • No right-wing changes, Peter? Not many……….
      Asset sales, loss of co-operative school systems, the destruction of our adult education opportunities, the loss of an independent and honourable foreign policy, state house sales, 15% GST, introduction of private charter schools, loss of full legal aid, employment protection….stop me when you have had enough, Peter….no strategy to oppose climate change, loss of incremental support for Kiwi-saver, worker’s union protect destroyed, student’s union protection destroyed, protection for the depredation of the environment to produce ever more milk (that no one seems to want), and drill for oil (that no one seems to want), at the expense of national parks and clean waters, no quality employment or R & D strategy……Of course, poorer people need not worry their heads about high matters. I’m sure they only care about free cereal at a few schools. They should show a little more gratitude.

    • The right gets away with as much as the left permits, and as the left is presently in a state of disarray, it is not much of an opposition. A bit rich to put all the blame right.

    • When the entire political mass is drifting steadily rightwards – how can you tell if the Mythical Centre is still where it was 10 to 50 years ago?

      “While John Key and his colleagues may not have hearts of socialist gold…” They have hearts?

    • Key has no respect for democracy. It’s in his Oath of Allegiance that he has to respect the democratic values, and the rights and freedoms of the people, so where did Key put his allegiance when he denied the rights of the people and a petition with 51 000 signatures against the smoko break bill? He didn’t care enough to put consideration into his practice of responsibility, but rather he breached his Oath as a Prime Minister, the Representative of New Zealand and the New Zealanders. Yes, he’s a good for nothing lying money hungry slimeball who’s only out for himself and the capitalist mates in his circle of friends, who are getting ready to open the gates of hell under the TPPA and republicanism rule of American law.

  6. “NZ’S LOVE AFFAIR with John Key, ….Looking back over the past six years, only a fool would say he hasn’t been extraordinarily successful.”……….such FLATTERY, excuse me while I nip to the Loo and be sick!!
    the only reason that this smarmy ‘A**wipe is achieving their agenda is because of the totalling compliant Media. Key has been allowed to lie and grease his way through the last 6 years with just about total impunity!!!!

    • Its not flattery. Are you serious? Trottski was just accurately describing a reality. The nats are successful. It is an acknowledgement of fact. Its more complicated than the “compliant media” although I agree that is a real advantage to the nats. Lie and grease, yes.

    • None of your foreign ideas, DJ!
      In New Zealand English we like to say smarmy a***wipe!

      Did any one else wonder about the PM’s latest pronouncement that to make rent only 25% of outgoing for those who need government accommodation assistance would only cost ten million, while building enough houses would cost 1 billion?
      More strange figures from the man who worked out the cost of a cycle track the length of the country on the back of an envelope (and only got the number wrong by an order of magnitude).
      Sounds like more of the same. No wonder our financial wizz decided his talents were best used in the Tourism Ministry.
      Unsurprisingly, Guyon Espinar, who was conducting the interview in question, didn’t notice.
      Looks like it isn’t just the PM who is innumerate.

  7. If there is one thing that infuriates me more than any other with this government it is their duplicitous manner. They are the consummate conmen, dodgy dishonest and devious.

    Look no further than the unmandated but well planned state housing dismantlement that National now has underway. To quote Key “I will lead a Government that will govern for all New Zealanders”, utter lies, because now they walk away from direct state housing provision for those in need in a society that is littered with need and leave an uncertain amount to the winds of fate with the private sector. But this time rental subsidies will be dolled out to whoever that landlord may be. Tough shit if you are left out of this grand plan though!

    In 6 years National have ensured that welfare is now an ordeal for anyone who needs it and is rejected to those in need regularly so how easy is it going to be to get housing supplements for those in need of housing?

    Clearly dealing with the fundamentals of Auckland’s housing market would have cost votes even for the greater good so now state housing tenants are going to bear the brunt of this failure by losing their homes so these can go into the red hot investor market. And this is a major incentive for National and its supporters, more stock to punt with.

    House prices are outstripping rents and the ability to pay rents in our low wage economy by quite a substantial margin and the whole model is therefore precarious to say the least so a temporary fix is in the form of taxpayer top ups. But where to for those less attractive renters that the state took care of?

    Right now the conditioning is underway that in the “brighter future” you who work and earn a living will probably be a renter and all that goes with it for you lifetime. So a new class of investors has been carved out to rent their investments to these new taylormade renters of the lesser classes with both being supported by government welfare. But for how long can this continue and to what standard?

    The investor will be forever in the debt of National and has and will become the new bludger on the state, though they would never dream of being called that, and National plug another hole in the dyke for now with the unstable housing market it has failed to address.

    • Perhaps the *brighter* future is for those who are woken early by the sunlight and kept awake by moonlight while sleeping with their family in their car.

      • Woken by the bright glare of torches of the cops, harassing them, and chasing them off the grounds they may be parking on, while living and sleeping in their car, that is more like it, when Key and English go on about the “brighter” future.

  8. Alot of truth in what you`re saying. I wish people would wake up and see that we are loosing our birthrights as New Zealanders. I hope the TPPA protests planned this weekend show JK that some of us are awake and aware of what is happening.
    Has anyone been able to find out if JK has dual citizenship with America? I saw that under the OIA there was no information available when I googled it.

    • @ Annebee – if Key hasn’t already got it, I’d say US Citizenship could well be one of the many ‘goodies’ up for grabs, once he has betrayed and sold Kiwis out completely, appeasing his US masters.

  9. Great article. Interesting that the road to Damascus conversion is mentioned. I’ve just read a description of Saul/Paul. ‘Paul’s character profile resembles what is today know as a sociopath: an ardent, brilliant, highly convincing person able to play different roles in different social settings but who always maintains a self serving hidden agenda. In fact the Pauline appeal to be “all things to all people’ is the perfect formula of the sociopath.’
    Needless to say the writer has no sympathy for the Abrahamic religions nor for the irrational “no pain, no gain,” idea of salvation and redemption through suffering.
    Neo- liberal dogmas contain and transmit a peculiar poison ideal for those who have no vison, no imagination and no idea that they are a product of the very earth they seek to plunder and destroy. It carries the stench of deceit and age old cunning in order to promote advantage for the few. It seeks to erase local identity and avail itself of the commons not only because that is the method by which capitalism renews itself but because the very globe itself is perceived as territory for a minority.
    It is truly refreshing CB to read the Arcadian words of one who does not know who St. Mathew ” is/was.”

    • What actually happened on the Road to Damascus?

      Acts 9:6 … go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

      Acts 22:10 … go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

      Acts 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

      Sociopath is one description, egotistical liar is another.

  10. Award

    winning stuff Chis,

    About time we saw the old Chris back, as you was one of the standards of the past decade,

    I hope you can drag some of the others back with you from the walking dead chamber of MSM.

  11. “But just because, as a politician, you’ve decided to make haste slowly, doesn’t mean that you don’t get to where you’re going in the end”

    this is a biggie that people always forget

    Just because they didnt get it done in 3 years or weve had another govt inbetween doesnt mean that the long term plan has been dropped.

    Historical context is a massive part of understanding what any party is intending to do.

  12. I agree with the commenter above who points out how much Key owes his popularity to the media. He almost always gets a very easy ride – and is forgiven lapses and gaffes which would be result in others being lampooned or pilloried.

    • What we know from Dirty Politics is that this government from the PM’s office down is not afraid of using its position and privileges and smear to knee cap its opponent’s so surely the same also applies to any other organisation that dares criticise it! For example the public character assassination of businessman Matt Blomfield by Whaleoil, of which Slater is a regular confidant to the PM must have caused a fair bit of concern to any journalist or editor speaking out against Keys government. This is what you face if you cross us or worse!

      Similarly the vast wealth and influence many of the National Party have could so easily be turned against an organisation like a media outlet and criticism could be very bad for business. And lets not forget all those “retiring” ex Nat MP’s and ministers who seem to find themselves in extraordinary positions of influence just outside parliament that seem to dovetail so nicely for this government. Conversely positive unquestioning pieces and maybe even the odd book could prove mutually, very beneficial. Isn’t the carrot always dangled first with the stick in the background?

      I can only conclude that this otherwise illogical dream run National have had in the media over the last 6 years is no accident!

  13. Yes, it is extremely concerning how Key and his “new” National Party get away with all this. We are not only getting fast track legislation reducing workers’ rights, even impacting on tea breaks, we get a massive asset sale program dressed up as the “usual operation” within Housing NZ, and we are being readied for participation in WAR!

    Indeed, we are having a very right wing government, and they feel very emboldened by their election win. What Key and his ministers said before the election is already largely irrelevant, and they are proceeding at a pace unseen and unheard of.

    Labour having a leadership contest at this very time is not helping, as much of opposition work is left to do by the Greens and Winston Peters and his NZ First party. Half the House is full of nodding heads.

    It is clear that Key would never have been able to get this far, had he not “charmed” the mainstream media and with their help the public and voter base. This last election was though rather a vote for “stability”, not for more radical change, I think. National and Key are pushing boundaries now, and I feel that this term they will go too far, and slowly, too slowly, more will finally wake up from their long slumber in complacency.

    Economic and other growth is slowing, can wane soon, and more may soon feel more pain, as they cannot keep up with the Jones’ anymore, and join the struggling working poor.

    • Agreed, this hopelessly cumbersome and seemingly regular leadership electoral system does not fit the NZ political system. But National are getting all tbe dirty work out of the way early on before slipping back into moderate mode.

  14. ‘Dirty Politics’ explains it all – the two track system adopted from US politics by National Party to portray JK as the ‘nice guy next door’ thus untainted by the covert, underhand dirty politics. Unfortunately the voting NZer’s are too trusting and thus uninformed of the subtleties. By all means, try and correct that but to quote Buckminster Fuller
    “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing system obsolete.” The global grass roots Transition Movement response is worth considering.

    • “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing system obsolete.”

      That is exactly what has been done, and is continuing to be done.

      And that ‘nice, aspirational Mr Key’ picture is part of it because many of today’s employed people weren’t politically aware at the time of the Fourth Labour Government and therefore have never known any different ways.

      They don’t know we went down a dead end and it’s time for a U-ie.

      Are we of the left shrewd enough to manage that without alerting the complacent right? Start a new and better game while they think we’re still glumly watching them dominate the Monopoly board?

    • “The global grass roots Transition Movement response is worth considering.”
      Not according to Guy McPherson who thinks it’s too late and we are all screwed; as outlined in his on-line lectures, NatureBatsLast web site, and in his latest book, “Going Dark”.
      I do hope he’s wrong.

    • Labour should hold leadership contests within a time frame of a week. Having all candidates present themselves via websites, a party forum online, and by publicly releasing their personal vision, preferred priority policy statement, a brief CV, holding a 5 or 10 minute speech, and letting the party spread and share this out to the membership. It may be combined with an extra conference meeting. Then allow a few days of voting based on that, saving all this traveling around up and down the country, costing much time and else, and achieving little more than what I summarised.

      Even important job interviews for high calibre candidates in business and so does not involve holding endless meetings with various employee and other stakeholder groups the candidate will have to work with. Anyway, we know the candidates already, given they have already been politically active for years, have a track record and have also been fronting media and the public often enough. And anyway, they should have had their “review” on the election first.

      • “Labour should hold leadership contests within a time frame of a week” Absolutely correct. What is happening presently is an absolute wankfest

        • It’s hard to take seriously when, if Labour loses the 2017 election, they’ll go through the whole process again. I’ve asked the question before and I’ll keep asking it; why should we support a Labour leader when Labour doesn’t support that Leader in times of adversity?

          The only impression I’m getting is that each Labour leader is Leader only until the next time, when they are replaced by a new Leader.

          Not exactly reassuring, is it?


  15. Agree wholeheartedly Chris. You have, unfortunately, 20×20 in the Kingdom of the blind.
    Having recently returned after two years overseas I am astounded at the change in this country and I fear it is beyond reversal now, it is embedded in the new economic model. The transition to a Service Economy is devastating for the Left. Whereas a worker on the factory floor voted with his peers in a common cause, his modern-day counterpart (a Vodaphone salesperson say) has no such allegiance. He sees himself as a mini-capitalist.
    Those who have the political running have drawn new lines, split us into trivial interest groups – Gay/Feminist/Abortion/Guns/etc (the Labour Party post Bill Rowling bears some responsibility). Interests that pale into insignificance beside Housing, Health and Education.
    Its buggered I think. Unless some real threat occurs such as a major environmental or economic disaster (as opposed to the bogus terrorism meme), New Zealand will resemble Singapore in a very few years.

  16. It is said that success breeds arrogance. John Key’s demeanour and launching of policies not part of the election platform would confirm this. The mask of the reasonable caring bloke is starting to slip and the committed neoliberal ethos and its accompanying paucity of compassion is becoming more apparent to all who will see.
    When considered the recent obtuse statements on State Housing clearly indicate that the pillaging of the public purse is to continue.

    Key has spoken of the desirability of Income Related Rents. If these Income Related Rents are the current scheme where the government pays the difference between the Market Rental and a predetermined % of the recipients income then Prince John Key’s claim that sic.. “Mark my words, they will be considerably better off and the cost to the Government is a fraction of building more state houses,” is a dishonest misrepresentation of the probable economic outcomes.

    The outcome of this policy will result in;

    1) a transfer of wealth and income from taxpayers to landlords.
    2) upward pressure on the prices of lower value housing – thus making it harder for first home buyers.
    3) a deterioration in the size and quality of lower value housing being built as developers / landlords maximise their returns.

    These outcomes are not “leftie” economic theory but the sound supply and demand responses so much loved by the government, fellow travellers and cheerleaders.

  17. If Income Related Rents are the current scheme where the government pays the difference between the Market Rental and a predetermined % of the recipients income then Prince John Key’s claim that sic.. “Mark my words, they will be considerably better off and the cost to the Government is a fraction of building more state houses,” is a dishonest misrepresentation of the probable economic outcomes.
    The outcome of this policy will result in;
    1) a transfer of wealth and income from taxpayers to landlords.
    2) upward pressure on the prices of lower value housing – thus making it harder for first home buyers.
    3) a deterioration in the size and quality of lower value housing being built as developers / landlords maximise their returns.
    All of these outcomes are not “airy fairy” economic theory but the sound supply and demand responses so much loved by the government, fellow travellers and cheerleaders.

  18. Unfortunately New Zealand is about to get a very short sharp lesson in psychopathy.
    The same personality type that the likes of Merryll Lynch seek out , was also mirrored by the National Party.
    The biggest con men in the world nearly always tick the boxes you have described .ie “Mr Bloke next Door” etc. However I don’t know of a single woman who finds him sexually attractive. Most of them tell me that they think he has “eyes like a dead fish “. But for whatever reason , he seems to have had you hooked.
    To think that this anesthetizing of 47% of the electorate is all Key’s doing is ….well, words fail me.
    Add , Crosby Textor .
    Add, Whale Oil .
    Add a compliant corporate media loaded to the gunwhales with ex National , ex Act reporters and ‘commentators’.
    Add a truck load of corporate and Chinese money .
    Add an absence of real investigative journalism and these are but a few of the support systems that the Key façade has benefitted from over the past 7 years.
    Some people can spot a user from day 1, and others , like a battered wife , can’t see, or don’t want to believe , what they have before them.
    So the denial goes on .
    But like the young Maori girl that Key befriended and then discarded, ruthlessly using her to make political gain, said .
    ‘ I wouldn’t vote for John Key . I grew up and realised that his actions didn’t match his words .’
    This sensible young woman with first hand experience, has encapsulated all you need to know.
    Unlike the electorate, she will not suffer from battered wife syndrome!

  19. Yep, these characters have been around forever….
    “One may smile, and smile and be a villain”
    And they continue to fool a lot of the people too much of the time,or to use Keyspeak
    At the end of the day, a minority of Nulinanders are overwhelming the vast majority.

  20. One moment Mr. Trotter…

    You say NZ dodged a bullet in 2005, a bullet that would have led to better things via the violent rejection of an extreme version of National. Then you say National now is, more or less, an extreme version, but in slow motion.

    So does that mean our 2005 bullet is just travelling at musket speed instead of high velocity hollow-point? If so, then we have nothing to worry about… except that the calibre of musket balls can vary up to .50″, depending on who makes them, and can easily rip limbs off and explode heads.

    Will it be a Clayton’s Revolution: The revolution you have while not having a revolution? Now I understand why the Labour Party continue to behave in a manner that appears to be blissfull ignorance of reality. They can’t lose. No one loses… according to Trotter logic.

  21. If the government is really far right why on earth wasn’t Labour able to capture the vacant middle ground and win the election. Dosen’t say much for their political nous or ability.

    • What the government does is in some core policy very “right” of centre, that is what Chris seems to mean. They get away with doing what they are doing, by presenting themselves as “moderate”, as Key is a teflon coated smooth talker.

      He is experienced in merchant finance and so, and known to make “deals”, and hence he knows all the tricks in the box, to “win over” people, with cunning but effective double speak, so to say.

      He and his government may give a little with one hand, but they take a lot more with the other, before people wake up to notice it. A bit of free doctor’s visits for the kids, a little bit extra parental leave, and in return an attack on labour laws, again affecting the weakest. More asset sales in the form of massive Housing NZ stock sales and more to come, get the message?!

  22. So now we know what is planned, for now that is. Key has held his speech on what the government wants to do to support the fight against IS or ISIS in Iraq. Talk is of some training of the Iraqi army, and the trainers to be guarded by SAS soldiers. Some other additional help for humanitarian causes appears planned.

    That does all sound rather moderate, but the actual worrisome stuff is what is planned for the “home front”!

    Up to 48 hours surveillance to be allowed by the SIS WITHOUT A WARRANT, additional to what the police are already allowed to do, if there are reasons to suspect some terrorist activity, whatever that may mean. There is talk of up to 40 high risk persons ISIS supporters or followers being observed and kept under surveillance, and up to another 40 that maybe supportive of ISIS, and that may form some risk, now or later. Of course no details about what kinds of activities and threats there are, have been presented.

    Also the SIS is supposed to get another 7 million to spy on us and others!!!

    So it appears that more powers will be given to the SIS, and possibly the GCSB, but surely, the GCSB must already been surveilling internet and other activities at a high level, as it is unlikely the info we got was simply gathered by informers or undercover SIS staff that had contacts with suspected “terror” supporters.

    Passports are planned to be cancelled for up to 3 years.

    This is all ominous stuff, and while certain firm measures may be justified for real risk persons, we know how Key and his government work, they undermine our rights and civil liberties step by step, and by presenting themselves as “moderate” (see above what that has meant for labour laws, state housing, and so forth).

    Again New Zealanders are being prepared for more, that will follow. This is just the beginning. Only months ago many were worried about the GCSB, about mass surveillance, intrusion into our privacy and so on. All that has been swept aside by the MSM, that no longer reports on such concerns. Now they serve the government yet again, reporting to us Key’s propaganda and agenda.

    And re the Iraq military training that NZ is already preparing to provide (staff have gone there already, before any law has been passed), what use is this going to be to go to a disunited, sectarian lines split, largely unmotivated and poorly resourced military there? And as I see it, this all has not been mandated by the UN. And NZ is supposed to sign up working with the US (now under a rudderless, lame duck, Obama lead US), the UK, Canada and Australia, doing all this, as a supposedly “neutral” UN Security Council member?

    The people again, fed by a useless MSM, are taking and accepting all this hook line and sinker, and most will follow the head ram, I fear.

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