Hide on Key, GCSB and less openness

Rodney Hide on Key and the GCSB dramas:

The Prime Minister in the moment forgot about a call he had made months previously. Big deal. Prime Ministers shoulder-tap people for jobs all the time. The correct process was followed once Fletcher applied. And no one is questioning Fletcher’s suitability for the job.

Key’s opponents are declaring cronyism, lying, cover-up and incompetence. They have landed a punch and keep on hitting. The media are reporting the stoush and appear not to accept the PM’s assurances that he had simply forgotten about the call. They see his momentary memory lapse as all too convenient.

So Key has declared he won’t in the future be so casual. He will check and recheck before giving answers.

He will sacrifice immediacy for accuracy. It’s the way it has always been with politicians and it’s a little sad. I liked it that Key answered on the spot and didn’t weigh and calculate his answers for their political effect.

It felt like we were getting the real deal. Key was different from other politicians. Well, not any more. The PM is promising to be more cagey. I think it’s the country’s loss.

So the media may get a more cagey Key and have already grizzled about it, but they can blame themselves (actually they won’t, but they should).

And the opposition may get a cagier Key in question time, but they persistently grizzle anyway.

In reality this shouldn’t stop a lot of Key’s on-the-spot responses, he’s very well informed about many things, but he should take more care with gotcha questions from both media and opposition MPs.

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