Grant Robertson and easy rides

In advance of yesterday’s interview on The Nation I posted Grant Robertson – pre-interview praise by The Nation producer, where Robertson had been praised by Richard Harman, producer of The Nation.

This morning Robertson tweeted a comment about Q + A:

Grant Robertson@grantrobertson1 

Raymond Millar and Susan Wood really have not been following how John Key changed his story over last week. Why the easy ride on PM?

Perhaps they see things differently to a party intent on discrediting their main opponent.

And it’s particularly ironic considering the easy ride Robertson had in his The National interview. Rachel Smalley virtually have him a free ride, he was able to make questionable claims and paint perceptions unchallenged.

The subsequent coverage was

Labour won’t commit to GCSB Review

Deputy Opposition leader Grant Robertson says Labour wants an inquiry into the appointment of GCSB Director, Ian Fletcher, but wouldn’t commit the party to review the security service should they win Government.

He says that Prime Minister’s taping on the shoulder of Mr Fletcher for the position is an issue concerning fair and transparent process, rather than a criticism of the security service itself.

“Oh look I think we’ve got to look at the wider picture and how intelligence services are working, and I’m sure that’s something we’ll address.  But right now what we’ve got in front of us is a case where we have an appointment process that seems to have gone away from what was originally proposed, and the moment that that particularly occurred was when the Prime Minister intervened.  That’s why we’re asking for an inquiry into this particular appointment process,” Mr Robertson says.

Mr Robertson says the relationship between GCSB Director and Prime Minister is a powerful one, and it concerns Labour that due process in the appointment of Mr Fletcher may not have been followed.

“Well when you look at the GCSB Act, it says that the Prime Minister is control of the functions of the GCSB.  That’s actually a different phrasing than almost any other ministerial role in an act of parliament, so they have a very key role.  They work very closely with the Director of the GCSB, and that close relationship is what’s now being raised here, because we now know that the Prime Minister shoulder tapped somebody that he’d known from childhood into that role.”

That’s a fairly mild excerpt when taking the whole interview into account. There’s a video of it all at the above link.

Robertson has been carrying out what appears to be a concerted campaign attacking Key, and some of the media has been taken for the ride. They have been right to hold Key to account, but have failed to provide balance by examining Robertson’s motives and mode of operation.

Leave a comment


  1. Darryl

     /  7th April 2013

    This mornings Q & A was the best I have watched of that program for a very long time. Susan Wood has restored my faith into NZ Journalism. Her interviews were excellent. without BIAS. I also watched Robertson on TV3, Rachel Smalley paddled around him, and quite frankly didn’t ask him anything she thought would make him stumble. Sorry Mr Grant Robertson, Susan Wood, should of been interviewing you, just like she did your bumbling Leader Shearer, what a pathetic display he put on. Both Susan Raymond and Michael Barnett, would leave Robertson and Shearer for dead, and were not showing bias, and venom towards our PM. It is about time this Labour Party got some spine and showed the people of NZ, just what they would do any better. They are telling us NOTHING.

    • Someone on Q + A said Shearer was much improved – he doesn’t hesitate and mumble so much, but there’s a distinct contrast between when he thinks he knows what he should say – rehearsed and often repeated phrases – but he still waffles around anything he doesn’t have any taught PR on hand to reply with.

      Far from convincing.

  2. Darryl

     /  7th April 2013

    OMG Pete, I haven’t looked on the FB page for Q & A this morning. But I can tell you if that was an improved Shearer, god help us all. He didn’t answer any question, and that was confirmed by Susan, Raymond and Michael. Shearer was just like he normally is, err arring and looked as though he wasn’t sure what too say. Asked what he would do for the country better than John Key, and we got a big fat nothing. He is an embarrassment.

    • You’re being too harsh. At the end when asked specifically what he would do for a certain type of person in Auckland he made it clear what he would do, recite Labour’s last year policies – again.

  3. Darryl

     /  7th April 2013

    Not harsh enough Pete, is my answer. I won’t tell you what is said in our house behind closed doors, that might give some people reason to whinge. Did the Labour Party have policies last year? All I remember them doing is throwing mud at John Key.

  4. jabba

     /  7th April 2013

    “Deputy Opposition leader Grant Robertson says Labour wants an inquiry into the appointment of GCSB Director, Ian Fletcher, but wouldn’t commit the party to review the security service should they win Government.” .. and 1 day later his boss said they would. I wonder if David and Grant talk to each other


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