On John Key lying

There was comment here yesterday on whether John Key lied or not over claims that Government officials visited homeless people with the Salvation Army in Auckland. The Salvation army denied the visits had taken place as described.

Social media jumped on the ‘Key lied’ bandwagon.

So did Andrew Little: Andrew Little: Prime Minister John Key ‘patently lied’ about homeless comments

Labour leader Andrew Little has accused the Prime Minister John Key of lying in comments he made about homeless people.

“I can’t think of a time when the Prime Minister and another minister [have] patently lied about something that … hasn’t actually happened,” Mr Little told reporters at Parliament this afternoon.

The Labour leader made the allegation after Salvation Army contradicted a claim by Mr Key that Government officials had visited homeless in an Auckland park this week and had their offers of help declined.

I didn’t jump in to this story because I wanted to see what facts actually emerged. I don’t know that we have the whole story yet.

Mr Key said yesterday that some people who were approached in Bruce Pullman Park in Takanini on Monday night declined offers of help.

“MSD and the Sallies went around and knocked on eight cars that they could find,” he said.

“All eight of those people refused to take support either from Sallies or MSD.”

In a statement today, the Salvation Army said they turned down an offer by MSD to accompany them to the park, which was one of its regular visits to the site.

“[The Prime Minister’s] statements are incorrect,” the charity said.

“The Salvation Army declined the offer by MSD officials to accompany The Salvation Army as some of these people are very wary of Government officials.

“The results of this statement, as well as recent images of homeless people living in dire material hardship disseminated by the media, have deeply upset these people and have put the relationship between them and Salvation Army personnel in jeopardy, weakening the Army’s ability to assist them.”

“The Salvation Army has spent years developing relationships and building trust with these people living on the outer margins of society — people who often have a deep distrust of officials.”

I think it’s reasonable to tale the word of the Salvation Army, in which case it appears that Key was wrong.

But that doesn’t mean he lied, and I would be very surprised if he deliberately lied about something like this.

It’s absurd to think Key would concoct a story like this out of nothing to deliberately mislead.

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said his comments were based on advice that was given to him.

“The point he was making is that people have been approached and offered assistance and a large number of them have refused,” the spokeswoman said.

So I think it is most likely that Key misunderstood what he was advised or he was given incorrect or misleading information.

Of course this hasn’t stopped the Twitterati and others from claiming that Key is throwing Paula Bennett under a bus or throwing officials under a bus. Many people have been trying to portray Key as an inveterate liar for a long time.

Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog: Key just lies about the Salvation Army helping the homeless for him – media ask him if he’d shoot a gorilla

So when Key claimed his Ministry Officials and Salvation Army advocates went out to ‘help’ the homeless, it turns out he was lying…

Some have taken a more reasonable approach, like Mickysavage at The Standard in Salvation Army contradicts Key’s homelessness claims:

Key ought to apologise to the Salvation Army and to the homeless people, preferably personally.  And he should get his facts right before commenting.

Fair enough, I think an apology is justified. But some of the comments that followed were typical of common left wing lines of attack:

save nz:

This government are serial liars and every statement seems to harm someone, even damaging the relationships and reputation of the Salvation Army.

Lanthanide:

Key only apologises to Slater.

Wensleydale:

Oh, look, John Key’s telling lies again. Well, I never!

Andrew Little:

“I can’t think of a time when the Prime Minister and another minister [have] patently lied about something that … hasn’t actually happened,”

Ok, that last comment wasn’t at The Standard but it is along the same lines of attack.

I hope Key does publicly apologise to the Salvation Army for getting things wrong on a very sensitive and difficult to deal with topic. But I won’t hold my breath.

The overreaction from the left once again makes it easier for Key to bat this away as just more over the top petty attacks, which is a shame as it gets him off the hook when the issue of homeless people deserves serious attention.

Key has done some harm through what appear to be inaccurate comments, and he should do what he can to rectify that.

Little’s response was disappointing but unfortunately that adds to a disappointing  performance in general.

The shrill shills on the left are probably doing more harm to the homelessness issue by trying to turn this into just another key bashing exercise.

And they are doing more harm to their powerlessness issue as well.

Leave a comment

40 Comments

  1. Steve Taylor

     /  4th June 2016

    I heard of a similar event in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.

    The Govt apparently placed around 300 campervans in Hagley Park, assuming the community would flock to such assistance.

    Only 3 campervans were utilised, as the Christchurch community and its supporters bonded together, and took care of their own.

    I notice those doing most of the criticising of the Prime Minister were also not the people who were doing the car-knocking offering assistance.

    Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  4th June 2016

    No … I admit I might’ve been a bit hasty at one point suggesting in a comment that it looked like John Key had deliberately lied to the county when stuff.co published their first version of the article where the Sallies said what he’d said on nationwide tv the night before wasn’t true, but Al & me had this out in some detail later yesterday evening and it became much more evident that Key might not have actually lied on the news, but he did bullshit.

    Bullshitting is when someone doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about but they try to convince you that they do.

    The main thing to come out of One News at 6 last night was Vance saying that John Key wouldn’t go on camera about it but that he’d admitted what he said the night before was wrong & had said that Paula gave him the information. So, to be fair, although it looks like Paula is to blame for the wrong information.

    Paula hasn’t commented directly yet, as far as I know, so, at the moment we don’t actually know whether she was bullshitting John, or lying to him, or if she’s innocent & somebody else made them both look like complete wallies, or what happened exactly.

    But it might all still blow over by Tuesday if something else distracts the MSM and/or if people have just generally had a good Queen’s Birthday, so it might not be all that serious for National really.

    I think perhaps the lefties including the wimp ought to be taking a more neutral approach to the whole situation now, like I am.

    Have the Hagamans filed any papers yet? I don’t think I’ve read that they have anywhere.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2016

      Paragraphs 3 and 4 above were meant to all be one paragraph and there shouldn’t be a full stop after “information”, so if you could just read them like that it would be good. Thanks.

      Reply
  3. Corky

     /  4th June 2016

    Its John Key. And John Key can do and say what he likes. Controversy *magically* slides off him, disappears or reconfigures to his advantage. Of course, even magic carpet rides must come to an end. So the Left pray with every John Key lie or mistake this will be the one that takes him down. They salivate at the thought of jumping up and down on his political corpse. As Judge Rinder would say: ” MORONS”

    Voters don’t give a fug whether Key lied about the Sallies or not. All they see is their taxpayer dollar going to predominately brown homeless people, many whom in their opinion are irresponsible.

    So if the Left is listening- Forget Key. He has proven time and again he is your master. Instead concentrate on your own game plan. Hell, its not rocket science. Why do you give the impression it is?

    ps- forget the Panama Papers too. Unless its found Peter Dunn is in cahoots with Mexican drug cartels you will just be allowing Hager to drag you down again.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2016

      Do you reckon Rinder’s gay, Corky? I’d hate to be appearing before him. He’s a right royal bollocker when he gets in a paddy with his litigants.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  4th June 2016

        Surely Corks isn’t a layabout ,couched up watching the Jeremy Rinder Show all day!

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  4th June 2016

          I watched him twice while recovering from the flu and the side effect of Aspirin, Blazer.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  4th June 2016

            I’ve only watched him a couple of times too, Blazer. Well, maybe 6. But, certainly not much more than that.

            Reply
      • Corky

         /  4th June 2016

        Gay. And like many gay men very cutting, witty and concise with his speech. I hate arguing with gays. They give me a taste of my own medicine.

        Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  4th June 2016

    So Pete,quite a simple solution..Key/Gordon’ simply state they were mistaken ,no big deal ,move on…why hasn’t it happened?All be forgotten by Monday!

    Reply
    • If Key simply stated that what he said was wrong and makes an appropriate apology to the Salvation Army and to homeless people then yes, it should have blown over by today.

      And it will probably have been replaced by something else by next Tuesday.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  4th June 2016

        But as he’s apparently fingered Paula, shouldn’t she be doing any apologising?

        Reply
  5. Pete Kane

     /  4th June 2016

    PG: “The overreaction from the left once again makes it easier for Key to bat this away as just more over the top petty attacks……..”

    This is very good ‘council’. Hope it resonates.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2016

      I might just get in quickly here PK before Kitty does and say that should probably be counsel.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  4th June 2016

        I was honestly still in bed – sorry KC – will send donation to the SA today. (Was to scared to spell forthwith.)

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  4th June 2016

          Shit – wait’ll she see how you just spelled “too”.

          Reply
          • Pete Kane

             /  4th June 2016

            B……….r. I’m never posting pre 9 am on Saturdays again.

            Reply
    • That sort of message hasn’t ‘resonated’ on left wing blogs nor with Labour’s strategy team for years and it probably looks less likely than ever of resonating.

      Labour – repeating the same mistakes for eight years and oblivious to the damage it keeps doing to their cause.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  4th June 2016

        The ironic thing is the Salvation army would be better off ‘tapping on car windows’ looking to actively help individuals & get people seeking assistance rather than their current policy of setting up a food truck and encouraging more people to camp out in the area.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  4th June 2016

          Who DID offer help ?

          If these people don’t want help from the government or anyone else, they’re under no obligation to take it-and they can’t then bleat that they need it.

          I like the campervan idea, if it was me I’d rather be in one of those than in a car. It might be a bit of a squash, but there’d be room to stand up and walk around.

          I met someone who converts shipping containers into sleep-outs and such things. Once again, better than a car. The only thing that gives one away as a former shipping container is the ridged outsides.

          Reply
          • Nelly Smickers

             /  4th June 2016

            And the ‘allahu akbar’ graffiti on the inside 😦

            Reply
          • jamie

             /  5th June 2016

            If someone is sleeping in a car at the park, Kitty, it’s probably a safe assumption that they don’t own a block of land and a shipping container.

            Reply
            • patupaiarehe

               /  5th June 2016

              Yup, a car is much better insulated than a shipping container. Doesnt mean that either are fit to live in…

  6. Pete Kane

     /  4th June 2016

    You would think they would have run out of feet by now PG (or bullets – or mouths). But evidently not.

    Reply
    • I used to hope of a post Clark Labour recovery. I even offered to contribute.

      Now I despair of any hope of them surviving as a political force let alone recovering.

      Goff was a capable filler during a fairly futile first term in opposition.

      Shearer was refreshingly different but couldn’t rise to the occasion.

      Cunliffe simply failed on a number of counts.

      I thought Little might be their best hope for a fourth shot but he lacked support from a broken party, and the support he has built seems to be stuck in a last century militant union mentality of attacking the supposed class enemy.

      I’m not ready to give up on them yet but unless a there’s a major change in strategy I don’t see much hope for them.

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  4th June 2016

        “I’m not ready to give up on them yet”

        The experts say it’s too dangerous to go back in the mine Pete. Let it go.

        Reply
  7. Pete Kane

     /  4th June 2016

    I’m no Goff fan to say the least but maybe in vote terms it would have been better for him to have stayed on. But as I said to left friends, very hard to change a government with Auckland house prices going through the roof. Actually very close parallel to the early (July) 2002 election. The KDC thing was the icing on the cake in that last week. And again ‘odd’ stuff as with 2002.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2016

      The reason Phil Goff couldn’t stay on as Labour leader…

      😎

      Reply
  8. Well, true to form I note that another so called-academic expert, one Dr Kate Amore is headlined in the Dominion Post this morning claiming “One in 100 Kiwi’s Homeless-Study”.
    This claim is bullshit of the first order. The Ministry of Social Development maintain a register of those in social need for housing which is updated every quarter. The register is published and can be googled. The most recent register published on 31 March 2016 showed a total of 4585 Kiwis on the register. This means for a population of 4,254,594, New Zealand has one in 927.94 homeless. That is nearly one in 1,000 homeless (needing a home) which 900 percent better off than claimed by a PhD! For heaven’s sake. I also note the continuation of the tactic of trying to dress up dubious negatives using so called academic experts. Do the MSM and Labour think we voters can be fed this crap and buy it!

    Reply
  9. duperez

     /  4th June 2016

    It’s blown away already. The only remnants are the inferences from, “…I would be very surprised if he deliberately lied about something like this. It’s absurd to think Key would concoct a story like this out of nothing to deliberately mislead…”

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  4th June 2016

      I would be, too, what would be the point ?

      It’s astonishing that anyone sleeping in a car would decline any sort of help; I wouldn’t be in a hurry to offer it again. They can’t expect to pick and choose whose help they will deign to accept.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  4th June 2016

        They just mightn’t be in a position to pay off a W&I loan to cover the sleazy motel they wound up in last time though Kitty?

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  4th June 2016

          What if it was the Sallies offering a room ? It seems that it wasn’t WINZ or any government organisation. The whole thing seems to be very badly reported. I’d rather be inside, however cramped the room was, than in a car.

          Why would the motel be sleazy ? How do you know that they were in one and that it was sleazy ? We didn’t hear any details.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  4th June 2016

            They showed some footage one of the unfortunate residents took on their cellphone out the window one night on One News last week of one of the hookers leaving. Pretty sure she was a hooker – wearing high heels and a skirt the size of a woman’s hanky. There was a lot of it going on there apparently. The woman said she couldn’t let her kids near the windows at night.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  4th June 2016

              Actually it wasn’t on One News Kitty. Pretty sure now that it was on a segment of The Nation. You should be able to find it by googling tv3 the nation on demand 28 May 2016.

            • Blazer

               /  5th June 2016

              sound like Fox news reporters by that description.Hope she was too busy with the kids watching the Batchelor to tune into Fox and expose the kids to such a terrible sight.High heels and miniskirts=hooker..-tell MTV to put an R18 ban on too.

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