The bloated ego of a vain man – When John Key refused to listen

By   /   September 22, 2015  /   20 Comments

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So if the TV3-Reid Research question was “basic” or “not terribly sophisticated” – what does our esteemed Dear Leader think of the second ballot paper, which is nearly identical?

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Fuck you my little Kiwi Peasants!

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A TV3 Poll on 20 September confirmed what many of us already suspected; the majority of New Zealanders are not interested in changing the flag.

For whatever reason, most respondents chose to stick with the status quo;

Want to change the flag: 25%
Keep the current flag: 69%
Don’t know: 6%

The poll was conducted from 8 to 16 September, and surveyed one thousand people. Even when the margin of error (+/-3.1%) is taken into, the result is a decisive and unambiguous ‘Yeah, Nah!”.

The response of our esteemed Dear Leader was one of arrogant dismissal.

On the morning of Monday, 21 September,  on TV3’s “Paul Henry Programme” (which this blogger has not seem, but is quoting from the TV3 web-story), Key gave his response to the poll;

“It’s, with the greatest respect, not a terribly sophisticated question. It’s yes or no question but within all of those numbers there will be some people who will say they will never change and others who say they’ll never change but if… you press them they might change.”

Key had parroted precisely the same line earlier on Radio NZ’s Checkpoint;

@ 0.45

Key: “Ok, so it’s not a terribly sophisticated question. It’s a yes or no question [unintelligible]-“

An increasingly exasperated Guyon Espiner posed simple questions to the Prime Minister – and elicited anything-but-sensible responses;

@ 0.50

Espiner: “Aw, come on though. This is the best question. It’s a simple question; do you want to change the flag, yes or no. And only 25% of people want to change the flag. It’s a great question.”

Key: “So if you ask more sophisticated questions, fair enough, [garbled] the people who just want to say ‘I won’t change under any circumstances, that’s it, I’ve made my mind up’. That number is under 50% and falling. So everybody else is in a, ah, they will, they’ll say to a pollster ‘Yes, I’ll keep the current flag, but they’re open to change and they’re considering it.

Key kept repeating the mantra that the ‘Yes/No’ question from the TV3-Reid Research Poll was “basic” and was insistent in his (obviously pre-prepared tutored) responses to  Espiner that different questions would yield different answers;

@ 1.23

Espiner: “Yeah but that might be a valid argument if we hadn’t seen the options, Prime Minister. But we’ve got those options out there. People have seen the four options. Then they’ve been asked. And they’ve said, over-whelmingly, they’ve screamed this, ‘no, we don’t want to do it‘.”

Key: “Yeah, like I’ve said, yeah, y’know it’s a very basic question. If you have a look at a more sophisticated basis [sic] you get different answers.

@ 2.19

Espiner: “So the 70% of people who say they don’t want to change the flag, do you think that they, what, don’t know their own minds, or…?”

Key: “No, like like I said to you, y’know, if you ask a more comprehensive question, you get a much more granular [sic] breakdown. And therefore, and then you get to the number of people who just say, ‘no, I don’t want a change’. And that is under 50%. But, y’know, it’s a big number and that’s what makes it difficult, because for a lot of people, y’now, they say, “Oh, it’s out history’ and that’s it. But for goodness sake, every audience I go to at the moment I ask them this question, y’know, at some point in the speech, and I haven’t had an audience that’s been more than 50% at wanting to keep the flag, and in fact the vast overwhelming bulk want a change [unintelligible]-”

Espiner: “Well, come on, that’s just a, that’s just a nice little anecdote though. This is a scientific poll. I mean, we take these numbers seriously, you take your 47% party vote pretty seriously. You can’t have that, and then say ‘Oh yeah, but the poll’s rubbish because I went to a meeting and everyone liked it’.”

At one point, Key  invoked the 1972 Kirk-led Labour government as a justification for his increasingly monomaniacal flag-quest.

Key: “…It’s not a new debate. I mean, whatever the merits you think that, it goes all the way back to Norman Kirk.”

Espiner’s response was immediately derisory;

Espiner: “Oh, we’re not going to start blaming Labour from 1972, now, are we?

Key’s insistance that the TV3-Reid Research poll was flawed because the question was too “basic” or “not  terribly  sophisticated” is a cop-out.

The actual Reid Research poll question was;

Now you have seen the final four flags, do you?

  • Want to change the flag
  • Keep the current flag
  • Don’t know

That poll question is similar to the proposed  second part of the Flag Referendum. Schedule 2 of the New Zealand Flag Referendums Act 2015 is specific how the second referendum ballot paper is to be laid out;

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Schedule 2 Voting paper for second flag referendum
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So if the TV3-Reid Research question was “basic” or “not  terribly  sophisticated” – what does our esteemed Dear Leader think of the second ballot paper, which is nearly identical?

The reality is that this poll has put the “frighteners” into Key.

Perhaps for the first time he has glimpsed the potential implications if the referendum fails to replace the current flag. John Key’s credibility will have taken a severe pummeling; he will have spent much of his “political capital” for no good reason; and it will be seen as a personal failure for his leadership skills.

New Zealanders will have every right to ask why Key spent $26 million on a referendum which only 25%  of respondents – less than National’s core voter-base – supported.

The flag referendum will do for Key what a 1997 referendum on a proposed compulsory superannuation savings scheme did to  National-NZ First coalition  Treasurer, Winston Peters. At that referendum, 92% of voters (from a postal ballot turnout of 80%) voted against replacing NZ Super with a private savings system.

The poll was widely seen as an indictment of Winston Peters and the Bolger-led National-NZ First coalition Government.

A failure of this magnitude will be remembered as “Key’s Folly” – a moment when one man’s ego out-stripped his common sense and he began to believe the hype created by National’s taxpayer-funded spin-doctors and party strategists. In other countries, such ego-driven leaders build massive bronze statues of themselves.

Even Key is not as delusional as to think his “popularity” would let him get away with a 20-metre metal-version of himself in front of Parliament.

As more polls on this issue appear, pressure will increase on Key to dump this fiasco.

The question is; is Key’s ego greater than his much-vaunted political-acumen?

It hasn’t been so far.

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Appendix1

A strategy to subvert John Key’s vanity project

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spoil and foil - flag referendum

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#spoilandfoil

 

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References

TV3 News: Political poll – Support low for flag change

TV3 News: Key – Flag poll question ‘not sophisticated’

Radio NZ: Checkpoint – Key brushes off poll but admits changing flag a tough ask (alt. link)

NZ Parliament: New Zealand Flag Referendums Act 2015 – Schedule 2

NZ Parliament: New Zealand Flag Referendums Act 2015 – Voting paper in second flag referendum

Wikipedia: 2002 General Election

Wikipedia: Referenda in New Zealand

Other blogs

No Right Turn: So much for the PM’s vanity project

The Standard: The flag poll

Previous related blogposts

Letter to the editor – John Key’s legacy?

The Flag Referendum – A strategy for Calm Resistance

Flying the flags of discontent – MOBILISE!

The slow dismantling of a Prime Minister continues

 

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20 Comments

  1. bert says:

    John Key “I’m, with the greatest respect, not a terribly sophisticated person, Yuh know I don’t really give a damn, this is about me, me, me and I will ask the sophisticated questions all right? I’m so sophisticated I pull ponytails and do 3 way handshakes. I can do it all, I’m the king of the world!”

    • Winnie says:

      I hear he wants to add a 6th flag option, with a fern and a bamboo tree and a panda in the corner.

      Let’s face it pandas are so cute, and cute things take the voters minds off the issues. And the PM has promised money to pay for the pandas.

      Shouldn’t that panda money and the flag referendum be going to make NZ a more inclusive? I’m sure he said something on election night about a more equal New Zealand.

  2. elle says:

    Key is probably just trying to distract from Tppa Talks.

    His marbles are around somewhere if he could just find them.
    Key is the most devious Pm we have ever had, irrational and self centred,Obama is treating him like an indentured servant, .

  3. elle says:

    Key is playing games ,if he accepts the public don’t really know what they want regarding flag, he cant rig the referendum.
    Key will pull out all stops to get what he wants, if 100% of population say we don’t want the flag he still will pretend we do.Referendums mean nothing to Key unless they are in his favour.
    This flag game is probably just to get us riled up to focus on flag and ignor TPP .
    NZ. just remember Key is not really our PM, he’s Americas
    rent boy planted here to complete their takeover of another country in the name of democracy.
    History will show his legacy not for his change of flag but his treason and false leadership,and the demise of our country and sale to 1% and. his obsequious crawling to OBAMA.

  4. wild katipo says:

    The flag issue.

    The hoped – for distraction from the TTPA.

    And the long list of shortcomings this groomed plant and advocate for USA hegemony in the South Pacific as a bulwark against Chinese influence in that South Pacific has committed.

    Really …..lets be honest now….do we really need him or his party?

    And do we really think he and his USA advisers could have really done a better job than real New Zealand politicians?

    Why do we really need an American sycophant as our Prime Minister anyways ??!!??

    Why ???

    Just why ???

    We got on fine without them before with our own people – whats changed?

    Are we children that we need to be baby- sitted through the process of coming under USA jurisdiction ?

    Are we not a sovereign nation ?

    Just why do we need John Key ?

    Its not as if he has done anything in the last 7 years to benefit us – in fact most of what he’s done has been to dismantle our democracy….

    So lets get rid of him.

    We don’t need him …at all.

    • GettingOn says:

      I remember being very proud at the way we stood up to the US on the nuclear issue. What happened to our backbone?

    • elle says:

      How do we get rid of him Wild Katipo, any ideas?

      • wild katipo says:

        Derision . Constant derision.

        He’s a derisive personality .

        Street theater for a start…ok he hasn’t porked a porker like Cameron but he’s pulled a fair few pony tails…

        But in every TTPA demonstration there should be satire with a guy in a judges wig and another guy yanking on a pony tail.

        How about a compilation list of all the lunatic statements and policy effects on our population being handed out at every demo?

        If there’s one thing these over serious individuals who are filled with a notion of their own self importance hate – its being mocked.

        Make a complete fool of the guy.

        Have fun.

        Send him up.

        Make it a festival event.

        Make a fool of the cowardice of our legal system in not bringing him to trial over common assault.

        Make it a public affair.

        Its called grass roots activism without the irritance of police involvement- and totally democratic !!!

        And the Police would thank you for being a good natured and well behaved crowd!!!

        And you don’t even have to swear allegiance to any particular party – just show your disdain for a useless ‘PM ‘.

        It could become a national pastime and institution to have a send up and mocking day for idiot and useless politicians in this country…

        And we could all have fun and meet new people in the process – the New Zealand way !!!

        • Groucho Marxist says:

          On the first of every month JK says “white rabbits”.

          He has said he is superstitious. The public should be reminded of that.

          It is a weakness that many gamblers have.

      • mary_a says:

        I do Elle. I know how I’d like to get rid of him, once and for all, but I’d be arrested for threatening behaviour! And despite wanting to see FJK gone for good, what I’ve suggested goes against my philosophy of non violence.

        Instead passive resistance along with civil disobedience is the way to go. But a combination of good strong dedicated leadership will be required, so protest is organized and continuing until the goal of taking NZ back to an egalitarian state is finally achieved. Won’t be easy, but I’d like to think the outcome will be worth it.

        I’m looking at turning 70 next year. Age for protest is no barrier, if one is physically able to help make NZ a fairer, more decent place for our grandchildren to inhabit. It’s the very least we can do to improve the future for generations to come. So I’ll be there to support and do my bit for the common good of NZ.

        It’s something which has to be done.

        • elle says:

          Key wasn’t chosen for his brains Mary A, he was chosen for his ruthless selfishness Hillary Clinton once said Key is a dickhead or words to that effect. Key will do anything for attention and money, He even boasted his son Max had twitter that they “hated his father and wished him dead,”what sort of man would subject his son to that type of comment?but I suppose to Key any attention is good.
          Key fawns over Obama like a kicked dog.
          Obama wont even help Key get a dairy deal, that’s how much he thinks of Key

  5. e-clectic says:

    You don’t find a lot of empathy in a sociopath.

  6. Liminal says:

    These interviews and John Key’s answers (as in most instances when I’ve listened to him) shows him to be barely articulate, flippant and unintelligent. One might expect a country’s foremost minister to sound the part, have some gravitas, and not hold in contempt his own citizens.

    Although the flag debate might seem trivial compared to other problems facing NZ, a highly visible public-relations kick-in-the-face for Key in the form of a resounding NO to his plans, might at least waken some of the “Sleepy Hobbits” from their apathy/enthrallment to the man.

  7. cleangreen says:

    Key is not of the human ilk.

    He grew up bitter and twisted and out to get the world at any price.

    Just need to read the way he used to treat his sisters, and during playing Monopoly with them he would cheat!!!!

    Key is a psychopathic liar.

    He will do all things possible to get his way as he regards this all just as a game as monopoly was to him at 10yrs old.

    With his lies and buying the control of his opponents (probably with public money for favours and bribes) we are all in big trouble here I am afraid.

    Letting an unbalanced leader loose on the world today like this man key is, will be asking for another rise of the totalitarianism event that occurred to Munich Germany in 1933.

    • J S Bark says:

      You are absolutely correct. Most Kiwis have no idea at all how far down that slide we have already come.

      It is a very real possibility.

  8. Ray ince says:

    It’s a pretty sad indictment of our collective lack of intellectual curiosity that after seven years of sociopathic assaults on the most vulnerable in our society, the undermining of our freedoms, and the abuse of democracy which has been accompanied by serial lies, the first National policy issue which threatens the PM is his ego-driven desire to change the flag.

  9. Neil Watts says:

    John Key’s fascistic arrogance knows no bounds.

    How on Earth can anyone but the most authoritarian tyrant even begin to argue that this isn’t a valid question, delivering a valid response?

    As for “but if you press them they might change” – what does Mr Key propose to press us with? A winter or two in the gulag? A date with a ravenous rat in Room 101?

    This Prime Minister grows more and more comfortable dictating to New Zealand with each week he holds power.

    I wonder how long “two plus two” will remain a simple question, once the TPPA binds Oceania to unending oligarchical control.

  10. Mike the Lefty says:

    Even the most devoted Nationphile might be starting to squirm with embarrassment over their dear leader’s blatant arrogance and pig-headedness over the flag. John Key is looking more and more like a prize pillock the longer this goes on, and even the combined efforts of Henry, Hosking and Glucina to spin it are looking very feeble.

  11. thekiwisonfire says:

    I am more pessimistic, and think National voters would still cling to John Key even if he declared himself ‘dictator for life’, put a 50 meter tall bronze statue of himself beside parliament, and started whipping passersby for fun. That is the depth and scope of the brainwashing.

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