A Labour BLiP at The Standard

‘BLiP’ is well known at The Standard  for his list of alleged lies told by John Key. A lot of the items on that list were quite questionable, but that didn’t stop The Standard re-displaying the list from time to time.

BLiP was not required to provide evidence in support of his claims – anyone attacking Key and National in particular and also other parties at The Standard can say virtually what they like without being moderated.

Some of the moderators (BLiP is one) are much more touchy about any criticism of Labour in particular, and also criticism of their allies, the Greens.

In a recent exchange:

red-blooded 1.2.3

Peters has always said that he’d deal with the largest party first. This does suggest problems, as L/G are not one party (plus his antipathy towards the Greens is well-known and longstanding). I hope I’m wrong, but I do think we should be concerned about the idea of Winston choosing who forms the next government.

  • weka1.2.3.1

    So either that means he would first deal with National. Or, he’s going with the intent of MMP and he would deal with L/G first if they had higher numbers. But given Peters has monkeywrenched MMP I also don’t have much hope. More likely is he will imply something and then just do whatever afterwards.

    This stuff really needs to be clarified by the MSM during the election campaign.

Several claims about Winston Peters that were left unsubstantiated, as is normal.

I responded:

Pete George 1.2.3.1.2

But L/G ends on election day. It is a campaign arrangement with an end date before coalition wrangling begins.

Labour obviously want to keep their coalition options open. Particularly if NZ First gets more votes than Greens (a distinct possibility, if voters dump National they are more likely to vote NZF than Greens).

The MSM can’t clarify what Peters will do before the election. I doubt Labour will clarify what their strategy is either.

Remember that Labour has shat all over the Maori and Mana Parties and has ruled out dealing with them. That leaves either NZF or Greens.

Unless Labour+Greens can for a majority on their own the Greens are in a weak bargaining position.

[BLiP: Provide evidence of Labour having “ruled out dealing with [maori and Mana parties]” in your very next comment or do not post here again for one week. Up to you.]

Touchy, and a typical double standard.

I responded three times with different justifications for my claim. BLiP has not even acknowledged my replies, instead leaving the impression that I didn’t comply with his demand. I presume that is deliberate.

Andrew Little and Labour have made it clear they don’t want to deal with the Maori and Mana parties. They have made it clear they want to deal to them – to wipe them out of Parliament.

NZ Herald reported on Little at Ratana in January:

Labour leader Andrew Little has further distanced Labour from the Maori Party while also dismissing Hone Harawira’s Mana Movement as “irrelevant”.

Speaking at Ratana Pa near Wanganui this morning, Little all but ruled out forming a post-election coalition with the Maori Party or Mana Movement, which have agreed to work together to win back Maori seats.

Little said Labour would work with parties which had “a practical set of ideas of what can be done” for Maori.

The Maori Party had been “shackled” to the National Party for nine years, and National had failed Maori, he said.

“Why the Mana Party would want to now shackle itself to the Maori Party is entirely up to them, but they are totally irrelevant.”

Last month also from the Herald:

But it takes two to tango and Labour leader Andrew Little was putting on dancing shoes with sprigs.

He was not interested in the tango.

He was interested in the danse macabre; he wanted to kill off the Maori Party completely.

Little went into a lengthy, full-blown tirade against the Maori Party on RNZ.

He downgraded the Maori Party as a future support partner from “far from the first cab on the rank” to “simply not in my contemplation.”

He then declared the Maori Party was “not kaupapa Maori” [based on Maori values].

From Stuff in early March: Little signals Greens will be ‘first cab off the rank’ in post-election talks

“There are two other Opposition parties, apart from Labour, that we work closely together with and I contemplate both being candidates for partners or support partners to form a government.”

In an interview on The Nation earlier this month:

But do voters deserve to know that? You know, he’s a potential coalition partner. Would you countenance him as Deputy Prime Minister?Little: Voters want to know what are the parties that we have good relations with and who are likely to be part of a coalition arrange – a set of coalition arrangements. We have a good relationship with the Green Party. We have a good relationship with New Zealand First.

Okay, so you’re not ruling it out. You’re not ruling it out.

Little: If I have the privilege after the 23rd of September to form a Government, my first phone call will go to the Greens and New Zealand First will be not far behind.

Noticeably excluded are the Maori and Mana parties from Little’s contemplations and ruling in.

Why is BLiP so intent on suppressing an impression that Little has repeatedly made obvious?

I note that BLiP made no attempt to argue against Labour’s impression, he just banned and censored what he didn’t want posted.

Posted under Little’s name on the Labour Party website:

“If Māori want to see progress on the problems they face in housing, health and education, then they should back their Labour candidate.

“We have a plan to turn the position of Māori around and we’ll be running a campaign to show how Māori will be better served by a strong Labour Māori voice around the Cabinet table.”

He seems to think that Labour alone can properly serve Māori.

I’ll leave this post with this impression from Andrew Little: Maori King is ‘abusing his office’ by endorsing Rahui Papa for the Maori Party:

As to the plan to restore a relationship between Labour and Kingitanga, the Maori King movement?

“We’re going to campaign and win and we’ll beat the Maori Party,” he said.

“The problem with the King is that for whatever reason he’s allowed himself to become a mouthpiece for a single political party in a way that no previous head of Kingitanga has done.

That’s rather ironic given that Little is the mouthpiece for a single political party that  wants to be the sole representative of Maori voters.

A BLiP flap flip

A BLiP flap over accusations of John Key lying quickly flipped to accusing a Newshub update of covering up the lying.

Yesterday BLiP posted Oooops! at The Standard which showed two headlines:

john-key-hasnt-spoke-to-his-lawyer-620x328

The first from NZ Herald timed and dated Tuesday 3 May 2016 12:32 pm:

Prime Minister John Key agrees lawyer’s email was ‘sloppily written”

Speaking to reporters this morning, Mr Key said he had discussed the issue with Mr Whitney, who works at Auckland based firm Antipodes Trust Group.

He is absolutely confident my version of events is correct,” he said.

The second from Newshub times and dated Thursday 5 May 2016 8:49 am:

Key hasn’t spoken to his lawyer about email yet

Prime Minister John Key hasn’t spoken to his lawyer since it emerged he lobbied Inland Revenue against changes to foreign trust rules.

In comments a number of people accepted two non-specific news reports as gospel and as proof that John Key lied.

Lanthanide explains:

On May 3rd, Key says his lawyer agrees with him that the email was sloppily written and did not reflect what actually happened.

On May 5th, Key says he hasn’t spoken to his lawyer.

Both statements cannot be true together. At least one, most likely both, must be a lie.

Neither news report, as far as they are shown at The Standard, specify timing, nor which emails they are referring to.

Assumptions that most likely both reports “must be a lie” are not supported by anything quoting what Key said.

Magisterium went against the flow…

That’s not correct.

The Tuesday article says that Key spoke to Whitney to confirm that Key’s recollection of their conversation (“not my area, contact the Ministry”) was correct.

The Thursday article says that Key had not spoken to Whitney since it became known that Whitney had emailed the Ministry to lobby about tax policy.

These two articles do not contradict each other.

[BLiP: It is impossible for someone able to type, spell correctly, apply relatively competent grammar, and use the internet to be as stupid as you are trying to appear. For this reason, its obvious you are trolling. Banned for one week.]

…and was banned.

The New Student points out:

Perhaps Magisterium has a fair point, as it seems Satherley’s story has changed somewhat. All I can find by Satherley on NewsHub is “Key doesn’t hold a grudge against lawyer” Thursday 5 May 2016, 8.49 am. The line that’s in the above picture is nowhere to be found in this version of the article. I’m not terribly bright so you should check for yourself if I have it straight.

The quote is: “I haven’t caught up with him because look, I’ve been busy,” I can’t watch/listen to any media as I’m on crummy school computer at the moment.

From this article, the last time they “caught up” is not entirely clear. So going back to the articles on the sloppy email issue, the last time seems to have been whenever that discussion (supposedly) took place. Maybe that’s why the article has since been amended.

James also says:

Blip – you do know that the headline you are mentioning is completely gone right?

Its been completely updated. So perhaps there was a issue with the original article as opposed to Key telling a lie?

BLiP flips from accepting the word od two news reports as definitive proof of Key lying to accusing Newshub of “helping John Key cover the lie up”.

Yep, Newshub is helping John Key cover the lie up. If you click on the link you will see that the URL still contains the original headline.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/key-hasnt-spoken-to-his-lawyer-about-email-yet-2016050508

With the MSM now actively colluding with John Key in deceiving New Zealanders, it always helps to get a screen cap. 🙂

The Newshub article now has a different headline and opening paragraph (although the time and date are the same and the URL matches the original headline:.

Key doesn’t hold a grudge against lawyer

Prime Minister John Key has revealed he met his longstanding lawyer Ken Whitney at antenatal classes more than 20 years ago, when Mr Key’s wife Bronagh was pregnant with their first child, Stephanie.

Mr Key says he doesn’t hold a grudge against Mr Whitney, despite the fallout from the lawyer’s lobbying of Inland Revenue (IRD) against changes to foreign trust rules.

“I haven’t caught up with him because look, I’ve been busy,” he told More FM’s Si and Gary show on Thursday.

Non-quoted ‘Key hasn’t spoken to his lawyer’ has changed to a quote “I haven’t caught up with him because look, I’ve been busy.”

That may or may not be contradictory. Catching up with someone may or may not be the same as speaking to them.

The Herald article also has a changed headline and appears to have additional detail or is rearranged:

Email was ‘sloppily written’: Key

Prime Minister John Key says his lawyer has agreed that an email that used Mr Key’s name to lobby a minister against a crackdown on foreign trusts was “sloppily written”.

Mr Key said yesterday that his personal lawyer Ken Whitney had misrepresented him in an email to former Revenue Minister Todd McClay.

The email, sent in December 2014, said: “We are concerned that there appears to be a sudden change of view by the IRD in respect of their previous support for the [foreign trusts] industry.

“I have spoken to the Prime Minister about this and he advised that the Government has no plans to change the status of the foreign trust regime.”

Speaking to reporters this morning, Mr Key said he had discussed the issue with Mr Whitney, who works at Auckland-based firm Antipodes Trust Group.

“He is absolutely confident my version of events is correct,” he said.

“Maybe the email was sloppily written. I was certainly aware that we weren’t making any changes.”

Again, speaking with someone about a specific issue may or may not be the same as catching up with them.

I don’t think there is sufficient detail here to claim ‘Key lied!’ and then when the news story changes claim ‘Newshub covered up a lie!’.

News articles online are often changed, perhaps as more information comes to had, and sometimes due to feed back.

I have pointed out factual mistakes and as a result articles have been updated to be more accurate, not to cover up anything.

I would hope that an updated MSM article was more reliable than a BLiP on a blog flipping from taking vague reports as absolute evidence of a terrible lie to accusing the media of covering up lies when they change their content.

BLIP’s lies

BLIP has compiled a long list of claimed ‘lies’ by John Key. These have been posted at The Standard, for example John Key’s Lies Since The 2014 Election.

The list has grown like Pinnochio’s nose since then, with this update recently: The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

BLIP has just posted on John Key’s reception at the Big Gay Out:

John Key, Nikki Kaye, and Maggie Barry booed off the stage

Turning up in a pink shirt did little to help John Key win over the crowds at yesterday’s Big Gay Out where he was glitter-bombed on his way to the stage.

Despite pleas from the event compere, John Key attracted vociferous boos and general abuse from a large section of the crowd which managed to limit the Prime Minister’s speech to less than 20 seconds.

Missing from the MSM coverage of the event is the fact that National Ltd™ MPs Nikki Kaye and Maggie Barry were also subject to the same vociferous booing. Nikki  Kaye’s speech lasted less than John Key’s 20 second effort while Maggie Barry didn’t even bother trying to speak.

While no one in the crowd at this year’s event seemed particularly concerned about National Ltd™’s approach to LGBTIQA  issues, rather, it is opposition to the TPPA which is being uniformly reflected throughout New Zealand society.

Contrary to media reports (see  The Big Gay Out boo scale) BLIP has claimed “general abuse from a large section of the crowd”.

BLIP also claimed “While no one in the crowd at this year’s event seemed particularly concerned about National Ltd™’s approach to LGBTIQA  issues…” – I don’t know how they monitored all of the reported 10,000 members of the crowd.

And “it is opposition to the TPPA which is being uniformly reflected throughout New Zealand society” is not just questionable, it is an unsupportable claim.

Perhaps it’s worth compiling a list of BLIP’s lies – his misinformation (false claims) are at least as bad as any political propaganda. Perhaps that’s what they are.

And perhaps that’s what his Key lie list is. His credibility has serious bias and exaggeration issues.

BLiP and the list of Key’s lies

For some time ‘BLiP’ has published a list at The Standard of what he calls lies made by John Key.

I haven’t taken a close look at the list but it’s been pointed out that some of the claimed lies are fairly subjective.

Recently a number of people at The Standard discussed raising enough money to publish the BLiP list in a book, hoping to have a similar impact to Dirty Politics. It evolved into setting up an online list.

For the record it’s worth having an idea of what BLiP’s political leanings are. A couple of comments made yesterday. The first one:

There are so many pluses for Labour in running for Northland I kinda feel compelled to keep my trap shut about things until after the by-election. It seems to me that even if Ritchie McCaw himself were to stand for NZ First and if the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key were to put up a half-boiled turnip, the brassica would still romp home in Northland.

Might as well give Willow-Jean and her local crew another work out in preparation for a more likely opportunity further down the road. No need either to let the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key and NZ First have all the photo-ops carefully managed to detract from the really important things going on.

I have no doubt we will, sooner or later, see Willow-Jean in Parliament where, given the current assortment of blokey-bozos Labour has fronting for it, she will stand out.

Also, I think she can do great things for Northland standing on a platform which, perhaps, focuses on a quite narrow range of issues that really matter to that constituency.

She could, for example, bring attention to the need for our children to live in homes free of violence and contrast that with the sort of culture the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key is fostering with its warmongering on behalf the boys down at The Club.

She might also talk about how women need, once again, to demand that their complaints to police are (a) believed and acted on, and, (b) that there is a government in place which will ensure that, rather than deny them justice due to institutional misogyny which results in violent offenders casually strolling out the country or, as ridiculous as it sounds, holding powerful positions in the law and order arena. You know, little things like that

Good luck to her, I say.

It’s fairly obvious he isn’t an impartial observer. (Or maybe BLiP is a she, it’s hard to be sure with pseudonyms it’s hard to be sure about gender, and credubility).

And a second comment:

The permutations possible when considering the depths to which the John Key Dirty Politics Machine will dredge are vast. I wouldn’t put it past the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key’s henchmen to have stitched up a deal with Winston.

The Dirty Politics Machine would then just have to encourage Labour and the Greens to stand aside in order to bring NZ First into the Cult’s coalition without having to spend a cent.

Winston, who’s getting on a bit, could, just about, name his price while the collective cheering from his supporters emanates from rest homes across the country.

And recently a post by BLiP: Labour’s Betrayal Continues begins:

At a time when oversight of New Zealand’s spy agencies is needed more than ever,  Labour’s betrayal of New Zealanders continues unabated.

And concludes:

Rather, Labour appears to have abandoned both its founding principles and, ironically, to have deserted the application of any real “intelligence”. Instead, Labour has joined the Brash “mainstream” to take part in the all-consuming but ultimately futile game of continuously chasing MSM polls by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Its a slippery slope. Studious observers can see already that contempt for New Zealanders and cynicism is dripping from both Labour and the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key in equal measure. To keep up in the perpetual polls, the game of “Beehive Idol” will require more betrayal because it becomes far too risky to attempt anything new or anything which might startle the judges. Come 2017, when that contemptuous and cynical betrayal is even more apparent, why would the “lowest common denominator” Labour is apparently trying to reach bother voting for Andrew Little over John Key when the choice essentially comes down to choosing Pepsi or Coke? Might as well go for what you’re used to or, if it is a choice of either Pepsi or Coke, why bother voting at all? This won’t stop any adherents of the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key from voting, of course. With this in mind, what ever gains Labour makes for putting the boot into the Greens and, yet again, betraying New Zealanders, will be short term.

It might well be in Labour’s best interests to cut the crap now and go into coalition with the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key. It would be the honest thing to do and might even temper some of the back-logged neo-liberal excesses still to be rolled out. At least then New Zealander will know where the boundaries lie and who actually is working to oppose the implementation of the wider neo-liberal ideology. Recent leaders of the Labour Party – Andrew Little, Phil Goff and David Shearer – certainly aren’t.

Meanwhile, the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key’s Spy Czar, Christopher Finlayson, has appointed one of his underlings, Deputy Solicitor-General Una Jagose, as Acting Head of the GCSB. Don’t know much about Una but lets hope her concern for the rights of corporate tax payers is reflected in a similar concern for the rights of all New Zealanders. Seems doubtful, though. Her primary function at Crown Law lately has been mitigating any legal risk the government may put itself at. What a handy skill set to have in her new position. With the ISC and GCSB now firmly in his pocket, John Key can be ensured that whatever legal risk there is in spying on New Zealanders can be completely eliminated from any new legislation his “Five Eyes Club” has planned for us.

Here’s the beginnings of discussion to publish the list. And the following day the discussions continued:

Hi BLiP, if you’re around this one’s for you.

Yesterday we had a discussion about doing some crowd funding, a give a little campaign was suggested, to publish your chronicles of Key’s lies.

The motivation for this and benefits of publishing such a book are outlined in this thread, starting here:

http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-09022015/#comment-965675

It’s your work we’re talking about so your thoughts are required before we go any further.

I think it could be done and should be done. It’s time there was a public response to the media’s lack of holding Key to account, in a post Dirty Politics NZ. We can’t leave it to opposition parties to do all all the work. As NZer’s, ordinary people, we can also hold a mirror up to the govt.

After some discussion  ropata:rorschach has gone ahead and set it up online.

I have gone ahead and created a wiki site: https://offkey.hackpad.com/

BLiP’s list will go here: https://offkey.hackpad.com/The-List-kUC4LW4cyFQ

It needs a lot more work, feel free to jump in, or write your thoughts in this thread.

The Off Key website:

About
Welcome to “Off Key”, a record of the famous reality-altering verbal gymnastics of The Right Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

This website is also a “wiki”: a collaborative site that anyone can edit! To join this project, just drop me an email at this address:
robertpnz AT hotmail DOT com

Collections

328 lies identified by BLiP

27 lies identified by Reddit users

20 SkyCity porkies identified by BLiP

26 diversions listed by Keyholes.co.nz
History
Idea germinated on The Standard, based on excellent work by BLiP and others, as listed here:
http://www.reddit.com/r/newzealand/comments/29406c/the_big_list_of_john_keys_lies/

The list of lies begins:
Promises, Promises
1. I  promise to always be honest 
2(a). We’re not proposing to change the Employment Relations Act in a way that weakens unions
2(b). we are  not going to sack public servants, the attrition rate will reduce costs 
3. we are  not going to cut  working for families 
Oddly that links to a National media release that says “NEWS: National to keep Working for Families unchanged” and has no proof of cutting.
Changing Climate Policies
4. I  firmly believe in climate change and always have 
I guess you could claim he can’t have ‘believed in climate change’ when he was at Kindergarten but calling this a lie seems to be based on having different views about climate change and what to do about it. Disagreeing on politics would make everyone a BLiP liar.
5. We seek a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050. 50 by 50. We will write the target into law. 
6. National Ltd™ will provide a  consistent incentive for both biofuel and biodiesel by exempting them from excise tax or road user charges 
Using the term “National Ltd™” suggests an associated agenda.
Memory Faults
7. there is  no truth in Nicky Hager’s book “The Hollowmen” 
8. I didn’t know about The Brethren election tactics
9. If they came to us now with that proposal [re  trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods regime], we will sign it 
10. I  can’t remember my position on the 1981 Springbok Tour

It’s dubious calling political statements promises and any doubt or change of position as a lie.

But claiming that someone saying “I can’t remember’ is a lie unless you somehow have proof that they did remember at the time they said something is a bit nonsensical.

What people seem to be unable to understand that something they were very strongly about was not a passion shared by everyone else. And it’s got little relevance to governing the country well into the twenty first century.

Few of the items on BLiPs list are likely to trouble John Key now unless they can be linked to something new.

Trying to discredit a politician by accumulating things they have been recorded saying that may not have complete  factual basis, no room for dispute or absolutely no chance of changing due to changing circumstances seems a bit futile to me.

One of the keys to holding politicians, whether as an opponent, as a journalist or a member of the public is picking your fights.

Nit picking ad infinitum is unlikely to get much attention or change many votes.