John Key is playing all New Zealanders for fools. In his brand of dirty politics, he just pretends he doesn’t remember things, and voila! problem goes away. But NZers are smarter than that, and we know he’s lying more often than not when he claims not to remember something.
His behaviour reminds me of several things, ranging from pop culture to the real world—things that have become catch phrases. Here are three of them:
That video of Sgt. Schultz (portrayed by John Banner) from the American sitcom Hogan’s Heroes is a good approximation of what John Key looks and sounds like when he’s responding to media enquiries about the latest revelation of his dirty politics. I’m reminded of this most frequently of all.
Key’s constant denials of any wrongdoing by his office remind me of this:
We don’t know if John Key is a crook, certainly he constantly claims he’s never done anything wrong, but he refuses to allow a full and open inquiry, so we can’t know the truth. Of course, Richard Nixon also wasn’t a crook in the sense he used the word in his remarks at a press conference on November 17, 1973 (above). Less then a year later, however, facing impeachment and removal from office because he turned out to be a crook of another sort, Nixon resigned the presidency. I have no idea whether John Key will face a similar fate, but the fact he staunchly refuses to allow a full inquiry into the “black ops” dirty politics of his government suggests there’s a lot he’s trying to hide, so who knows?
In this video from a speech on January 26, 1998, Bill Clinton lied about his actions. John Key, less sensationally, obviously, lied about the fact he’s still in contact with National Party-aligned attack blogger Cameron Slater, a sort of “I did not have texts with that man” moment that was revealed to be false.
On Tuesday, Key told reporters that Slater "sent me a text one time, but I can't remember when that was". Which was odd, since the text exchange was only on Monday evening—the night before. The next day, Wednesday, he denied in the House that he’d received texts, then had to return to the House that evening to admit he’d misled the House and that he had, in fact, had a text exchange with Slater. He claimed he didn’t understand Labour MP Megan Woods’ question, when, in fact, she’d asked TWO questions that he failed to answer truthfully.
He said of his false statement to the press, "I gave a general answer because I didn't want to give a specific answer." Okay, then. He also said, "I didn't mislead people. I genuinely couldn't recall," which, quite frankly no one can possibly be expected to believe.
So, John Key pretends he can’t see abuses of power going on within his own government, he declares he’s wholesome and above it all, and then he lies about his own behaviour. All of which is why so many New Zealanders are disgusted with his actions in the "Dirty Politics" scandal.
If this keeps up, what will John Key remind me of next?