John Key's line:


Smearing the messenger before even hearing the message. That's how John Key works.


As I had reason to tell someone in a completely different context recently …


No doubt Mr Key's line, “Look, members of the news media, despite what those NSA/GCSB documents say, you're completely wrong — but it's not my job to tell you how you are” approach will work for some people, — like National Party/SkyCity cheerleader Mike Hosking, and this group, which Alastair Thompson described as the “cult of Key”, in particular:

Click to view conversation on Twitter

Click to view conversation on Twitter

Personally, reading the articles Nicky Hager, Ryan Gallagher and David Fisher have been publishing over the last day or so, I think it's requisite on the political leader of our country (and minister in charge of the state spy agencies, hand-off to the Attorney General notwithstanding) to offer the electorate something more substantial than a child's bedtime assurance akin to, “Everything is going to be OK, because I say it is”.

In my view, Mr Key is exposed as his most intellectually vapid in these matters. He also seems petulant.Key inconsistentLike his double-minded (right), inconsistent rationale for the imminent NZ Army deployment to Iraq, in 'explaining' his government's international security policy the prime minister seems to suffer from a real authenticity deficit.

The effect of that is to leave us with a slippery, politics-of-convenience moral leadership vacuum. [See also: John Key’s changing narrative on al-Qaeda threat in NZ]

It's troubling, because these are important things.

– P

UPDATE: Fairfax NZ's Tracy Watkins considers aspects of Mr Key's handling of these matters in a thoughtful, and perhaps more diplomatic way than my brief comments.


I recommend you read it, if you're interested. See: John Key burning up political capital following Edward Snowden revelations