Category Archives: John Key

Perils of engaging with ‘full take’ drama ‘heroes’

The revelations about NZ’s GCSB mass, ‘full take’, surveillance of communications in Pacific countries have resulted in far less criticism of the government than Key’s decision to send troops to Iraq. This is in spite of the muddled, inadequate, contradictory responses by John Key.  And it is in spite of some mainstream and alternative media journalists/columnists criticisms of Key’s responses (see for instance, Andrea Vance, Gordon Campbell, David Fisher, Toby Manhire), and the fact that:

most of the targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as has been suggested by the Government.

Images of the likes of ‘Jihadi John’, ready made arch villain, for cowboys versus Indians style narratives, are likely to have a strong influence on many people’s political views – maybe more so than reasoned, evidence-based criticism.

Larger than life images of fictional (and fictionalised real) ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ provides the most direct means for large numbers to engage with political, social and economic issues. In the mainstream, images and related narratives of the likes of ‘Jihadi John’ may have more meaning for many Kiwis than references to faceless GCSB workers, or critics of mass surveillance.

v mask GCSB-protest-17

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John Key vs Clarke & Dawe: slippery as

This week David Parker cited John Key’s similarity to Clarke and Dawe. How similar are they? The slipperiness seems hilarious, until you look at the actual consequences: the erosion of democracy and the undermining of NZ’s independence (or what’s left of it) internationally. Today Toby Manhire exposes some of the contradictions.

John Key’s leadership is one of diverting from, burying, and avoiding any honest accountability.

David Parker does John Key as Clarke and Dawe – a true story. John Key in a press stand up, being question on his private dinner with Donghua Liu. [h/t The Standard]

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Song for today: “Lives in the Balance”

Yesterday John Key finally announced he is sending NZ troops to Iraq.  This is no surprise as he had been softening up the country for this announcement for months.  As Russel Norman said, this was a decision made in Washington.  Several years ago, Jackson Browne wrote a song that pretty much explains it. “Where a government lies to a people, and the country is drifting to war”:

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Not in our name: “No” to troops to Iraq

John Key has been softening the NZ public up for sending troops to Iraq for a few months (BLiP on The Standard).  He looks to have made the decision a while ago.  He has opted for the dodgy categorisation of sending troops for training, and providing intelligence support for bombing.  This is clearly because polling shows New Zealanders do not want NZ troops to be sent to Iraq in a combat role.


Nicky Hager explains, on Radio New Zealand this morning:

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Metiria Turei – challenging the old boys Surveillance State Club

I have written before on how, in politics, “economics”, “finance” and leadership roles have strong masculine and power associations. Men largely being given responsibilities for these high profile portfolios.  The same is true of issues of international conflict and state surveillance services.

Yesterday, NZ Labour caucus leader, Andrew Little, was deeply insulting towards the NZ Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.  Little failed in his obligation to consult with opposition parties when selecting opposition MPs to sit on the governments Intelligence Security Committee.


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With Key on its side

I do not support John Key’s government sending troops to Iraq as part of a poorly planned, dubious and futile campaign against the Islamic State.  A petition, hosted by GreenPeace explains why sending troops would be futile, and ultimately destructive.

John Key has been gradually leading us into sending (non-combat?) troops to Iraq to support the US-UK-led campaign against the Islamic state.

Below are videos of anti-war songs, and a poem, that help to explain who benefits and whose lives are damaged and destroyed from such wars.

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