Young on Key’s refusal to apologise

Audrey Young writes in the Herald that Key attack leaves him offside with women. 

Key has certainly risked getting offside with some women, but I think it’s far from universal.

PM’s refusal to apologise harms him and future of Speaker.

Almost certainly yes on both counts, but it’s very difficult to quantify by how much.

The refusal of Key to apologise after accusing the Opposition of supporting murderers and rapists suggests he is willing to squander his reserves of political capital – in particular with women.

Any Prime Minister gradually bleeds their reserves of political capital.

Key damaged himself this week because we no longer know what to believe.

He said for weeks he was concerned about the plight of Kiwi criminals locked up in Australia awaiting an appeal of their immigration status.

He took a more moderate tone than the Opposition but that was acceptable as long as the Government was actually on the case, keeping up pressure on Australia to expedite matters and to make fair calls on Kiwis who call Australia home.

Justice Minister Amy Adams was dispatched as the hard cop to demand answers from Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Then as we know, under pressure from being called gutless, Key attacked Opposition MPs, accusing them of supporting murderers and rapists.

His refusal to apologise is inexplicable. There is no advantage to him not apologising for a slur that was aimed at Labour MPs but was felt by a much wider constituency.

I don’t think his refusal to apologise is inexplicable. He has dug in doggedly under attack before.

By sticking to his cause, we are left wondering what he truly thinks.

Had his previous concerns been a sham – had he just said what he thought the public wanted him to say?

Was his moderate tone a reflection of a lack of motivation by the Government to do the right thing by its citizens?

Inflaming a furore and then stoking it along certainly risked bleeding a bit more support, and it distracted from and sign of sensibly addressing the Christmas Island detainee issue.

If he had apologised in part and then turned to explaining his efforts and stance on detainees he would have limited any damage. But he chose to escalate the stakes.

One day, and particularly one election, Key will come unstuck.

Certainly his comments undermine faith in the convention that it is a fundamental obligation of government to look out for its citizens in trouble abroad – not by seeking special treatment but by seeking fair treatment.

Watching Key’s behaviour over this week has been similar to watching him during the Teapot tapes in 2011, which he still believes was deliberately set up to tape his conversation with John Banks.

He has moments of absolute doggedness.

Key has disappointed me in the way he has handled the issue this week. About the only thing in his favour is that other leadrs, MPs and parties have been diasppointing as well.

Many will still staunchly support Key but it is inevtiable that he will have lost some voters over this. Too often for Key sorry seems to be the hardest word – even strong leaders should use it occassionally. In this case it would have been appropriate.

It’s sad that we seem to be choosing our Government on a ‘least bad’ basis, and too often judge their performance on a ‘least disappointing basis.

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28 Comments

  1. kiwi guy

     /  14th November 2015

    He’s got nothing to apologise for. He is right on spot with his comment.

    The Left is desperate to score a hit on Key and trying to whip up hysteria about it. Key will get through this relatively unscathed.

    Feminists, never ones to miss the opportunity for a shake down:

    “We also call on you to show that you and your Government ‘back’ victims and survivors of sexual violence by committing to fully fund specialist sexual violence agencies to provide core services, especially kaupapa Māori services.”

    http://thestandard.org.nz/petition-its-not-ok-prime-minister/

    Reply
  2. Robbers Dog

     /  14th November 2015

    Is Audrey speaking on behalf of the entire sisterhood these days?

    Strange because all the women I know have been appalled by the shameless, illogical and shallow grand standing by some of the opposition women in recent days. Labour have only served to reinforce how much of a credibility issue they have, something the polls reflect with monotonous regularity.

    According to Hansard this is what the Prime Minister actually said; judge for yourself if this can be construed as offensive:

    “They cannot go on a commercial aircraft if they are violent or if they have mental health issues. I have a responsibility to the New Zealanders here at home that they are looked after. What the Labour Party is saying is: “To hell with the rest of New Zealanders; these people should be put on a commercial aircraft and despatched to New Zealand.” Well, you back the rapists; I—[Interruption]”

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  14th November 2015

      But calling a person who has been raped a supporter of rapists is not shameless, illogical, and shallow?

      Sorry but 1. I don’t follow your logic, and 2. I don’t agree.

      I also have grave concerns about our democratic process when microphones are turned off while members of parliament speak out about their experiences of abuse. That shouldn’t be how decent societies treat abuse victims. We should be privileging the voices of abuse victims, and obliging their abusers to stand up and be accountable, not gagging the victims and suppressing the names of abusers.

      Reply
      • tealeaves

         /  14th November 2015

        I’d like to know how common it is for an MP to have their microphone cut, and under what circumstances.
        Part of the reason I thought this would play badly for the Left is the general distaste for “personal revelations” of sexual abuse. Boag’s interview in which she decries the women for “making it all about them” is a reflection of a pretty common point of view, I think. Turning off their microphones a dramatic example of this inability to tolerate hearing about sexual abuse.
        (This was Boag’s comment on Q&A tv1.)

        Reply
        • tealeaves

           /  14th November 2015

          However, having said that, if a buch of right wing female politicians now decide to speak out about their own experiences, many of the people scorning the LLL’s (loony left wing losers) for their stance will find great merit in the bravery and courage of those suited and coiffed ladies of the right in speaking out about what must be such a difficult and personal thing, cetra cetra.

          Reply
        • I remember talking to Sanda Lee (I think? I’m not good with names) about the toxic culture she encountered upon entering Parliament and how unprepared she was for its ferocity and pervasiveness. The individual must mostly turn off their feelings, an important ‘guide’ for their decision making, intuition, along with reason. Governance of any organisation will suffer when the governors have turned off their feelings. In this case they happen to govern the whole nation. Parliament becomes a House of “half life” and the waves ripple out across the pond as the rock of intellect sans intuition, psychic disconnection, plops into the water …

          Reply
      • Maggy Wassilieff

         /  14th November 2015

        I don’t recall any of the opposition women in Parliament speaking out against @peace lyrics about raping John Key’s daughter last year.

        “That’s why I’m going to kill the Prime Minister. I’m going to kill the Prime Minister, because we are down and suffering and the motherfucker ain’t doing nothing. Going to kill the Prime Minister.

        One of these days I’m going to fuck your daughter. This poor boy going to make his seed, going to wake up in your girl – well hello Miss Key.”

        Reply
        • tealeaves

           /  14th November 2015

          Doesn’t threaten to rape her, he says one day he’s going to fuck her. Having a fuck and being raped are not the same thing. They’re not against sex, per se, they’re against sexual violation.

          Reply
          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  14th November 2015

            Yes, you are correct. Tom Scott does not mention rape in his song. But as he raps about fucking Key’s daughter in the sentence following his mention that he is going to kill Key, I interpreted it to mean a violent act of fucking. Silly me… I didn’t read it as a passionate entwining.

            Of course there was no mistaking what Tom Scott meant when he told Kim Hill
            “I probably should have said I was going to rape his son”.
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11370079.

            Anyway, thanks for sorting my misguided thinking out.

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  14th November 2015

              Do you thinks it’s strange that people might expect different standards of behaviour from the Prime Minister of NZ than they do from an underground rap singer?

          • jaspa

             /  14th November 2015

            @ tealeaves

            Are you saying Stephanie Key would have consented? 😕

            Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  14th November 2015

          @Maggie

          You say that as if speaking out against violence is problematic. Because they didn’t speak out then, they shouldn’t speak out now. Or, it’s fine for Key to say what he said, but not OK for them to talk about their own experiences of abuse. Or, MPs should have their microphones switched off when they disagree with the Prime Minister…

          I don’t buy that for a minute… the reality is that we have domestic violence and abuse problems in our communities and we need to talk about them.

          Reply
          • steveremmington

             /  14th November 2015

            No need to hear Labours oppinions to be honest. Labour have been clear that they don’t think Xmas island is the best place for deviants. We all know that Labour would prefer to second them to the UN instead.

            Reply
          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  14th November 2015

            @Joe Bloggs
            No I haven’t said they shouldn’t speak out against violence. Of course they should. At every possible occasion. Not just at a time when they can score political points. Read what I wrote on Kiwiblog about this On Nov 12th:

            “I don’t doubt that the female MPs who walked out of parliament have encountered some type of sexual abuse in their life.
            But I am disappointed that all these women have kept this fact a secret for so many years.
            What message does that send to young women today? Wait 15 years before you tell someone about it?

            During the time that they have kept their mouths shut, their sexual abusers have been free to go about their daily lives without any accounting for their behaviour.”

            Reply
            • kittycatkin

               /  14th November 2015

              Maggy, I took the ‘song’ to mean rape, in that context.It’s unlikely that a girl whose father has just been murdered would willingly have sex with the murderer. I would guess that the writer lost his nerve and didn’t say rape.

              It’s a bit too hard to believe that every woman in the opposition parties has been raped. If they had, why did none of them make a complaint at the time ? Not one seems to. My guess is that some or most of these offences have been minor. Nobody likes being groped (or hardly anyone does) but unpleasant as it is, it’s not in the same league as rape.

  3. Pete – repeating this:

    “Certainly his comments undermine faith in the convention that it is a fundamental obligation of government to look out for its citizens in trouble abroad – not by seeking special treatment but by seeking fair treatment.”

    Over and over doesn’t make it true. Keys’ government have been batting for the detainees for months. Key face to face with the PM and the relevant Ministers in direct contact with their Aussie counterparts… Key has made statements on the record about this repeatedly

    The detainees are being looked after by their lawyers and by NZ government actions. Just because its not all played out in dramatic fashion across the front pages of the papers in a manner a witless opposition demand doesn’t make it any less effective.

    Key gave as good as he got in the house, and now hurty feelings are being cited by the Opposition. The old saying is don’t bring a knife to a gun fight – Little et al should remember that.

    Reply
    • But it’s done nothing to improve a very poor public perception of Parliament.

      I think that’s a shame for our democracy, and shame on those MPs who keep dragging the standards down.

      Reply
      • Pete – parliaments has been a bear pit since before NZ was conquered by the British. Its a very robust place always has been and always will be. Telling idiots like Davies that they are criminal huggers is just par for the course.

        The Greens trumpet that they engage with respect, but watching them in house gives the lie to that marketing message. And Labour have resorted to screaming as if on a picket line…. if they acted better maybe they would force the governments hand on the decorum issue a bit.

        it doesn’t worry me a bit

        Reply
      • Maggy Wassilieff

         /  14th November 2015

        There was a set-up by Kelvin Davis before the debates began.

        Are we to believe that the TV camerafolks were in the corridor just by chance at the correct location and time to film Davis accosting the PM?

        The Greens and the lefties want to control the narrative on sexual violence. They can’t accept that sometimes its not just powerful rich folks who are the abusers. Sometimes its powerful rich men who are trying to protect ordinary kiwis from violence.

        Reply
        • tealeaves

           /  14th November 2015

          Would an attempt to “control the narrative” on anything at all be unusual in politics? Key started it with his “dead cat” and the dead cat got picked up and thrown back at him.

          Reply
        • Goodness me! Most of what we call ‘News’ today is actually just Press Release, carefully planned and stage managed. Comforting in a way to hear you think only Labourites and Greenies are intelligent enough to organize these things. John Key’s encounters with the media are, of course, by comparison, spontaneous and utterly genuine “off the cuff” affairs.

          Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  14th November 2015

        PG said: “….a very poor public perception of Parliament.” and I think that’s a much greater concern than many may realise. It’s become so discredited in the eyes of such a large number of citizens that its current state is just taken as read, Although in fairness to some of the politicians. the open disdain for our democratic institutions from parts of the Fourth Estate such as Media Works hardly assists. Ironic when you look at the calibre of their ‘journalists’.

        Reply
  4. Mike C

     /  14th November 2015

    Very interesting interview between Lisa Owen and an Australian Senator on the Nation right now. The programme will be repeated on TV3+1 at 10.30am … and I would highly recommend watching it 🙂

    Reply
  5. Kevin

     /  14th November 2015

    Labour have no one to blame but themselves. Anyone with half a brain would have been able to see that the public would perceive what Labour was doing as siding with thieves, murderers and rapists. What Labour should have done is found someone genuinely deserving of support and championed them – something like “XYZ has been held in detention for allegedly committing just a minor crime yet …”

    Reply
  6. kittycatkin

     /  14th November 2015

    I find it really annoying when one woman claims to speak on my behalf and on behalf of all women-what arrogance.

    Reply

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