Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How low can Key go?


The Prime Minister's performance in the House on Tuesday reached a new low when he accused the Labour of supporting "rapists, child molesters and murderers". After a question from Marama Davidson regarding Australia's breaches of human rights he even acccused Davidson and the Greens of similar: "If those members want to protect sex offenders, rapists and murderers, go ahead".

It seems that the Prime Minister is happy to ignore issues of human rights if it is expedient to do so. While claiming to have voiced concerns about the detaining and deportation of New Zealanders for historical crimes to Tony Abbot at an earlier meeting, it doesn't appear that he expressed them very strongly. Key keeps repeating the fact that those being held in detention on Christmas Island are criminals despite the fact that many are being deported for historic crimes where a sentence was served and there has been no reoffending since.

John Key and and human rights are not a natural pairing. As a student he had no memory of where he stood when the country was ripped apart during the 1981 Springbok Rugby tour. It is inconceivable that a 20 year old student would not have been confronted with the apartheid/rugby dilemma and not have had an opinion unless they had no strong moral convictions.

As a politician he has supported dirty politics and was happy to feed privileged information to "shock jock" blogger Cameron Slater to destroy his opponents and his open disregard for the Official Information Act is a concern.

When a New Zealander was killed by an American drone, Key brushed aside any concerns about natural justice, "For the most part drone strikes have been an effective way of prosecuting people that are legitimate targets." I would love to know what he thinks would define a "legitimate target" given his enthusiasm for making personal attacks on opposition members.

John Key is a Prime Minister with no obvious moral compass and has no interest in making a stand on moral issues. He would be happy to be known as the Prime Minister who changed the flag rather than making genuine positive difference in the world. He would rather rub shoulders with celebrities then help struggling New Zealanders or displaced refugees. Metiria Turei exposed the shallowness of his commitment to the vulnerable in the world when she questioned him on New Zealand's commitment to lead on important global issues while chairing the UN Security Council.

Prime Minister John Key does not treat his privileged position with any sense of decorum, he plays dirty, speaks dirty and his legacy will be in considerably lowering the bar for a PM's behaviour and what is acceptable in politics.

UP DATE: Today the speaker admitted that he was in error for not ruling the Prime Minister's statement out of order because he hadn't properly heard what was said but he still did not allow a number of women MPs to voice their objections. It was clearly unacceptable for him to block objections on Tuesday and, despite acknowledging his error today, Key's statement will remain unchallenged in Hansard.

Metiria Turei, Jan Logie, Catherine Delahunty and a number of female Labour MPs all stood with Points of Order objecting to Key's statement because of their own experience of sexual abuse or active advocacy for victims. Carter ruled the objections out of order because he deemed that they were too late for him to act on them. Marama Davidson continued with another point of order on the same issue and was ejected from the house and a number of MPs from Labour and the Greens walked out in support.

Turei's later questions saw Key reaffirm his comments, but the Speaker bizarrely ruled that reaffirming an objectionable comment was not cause to express offense and he would not act on those concerns.

Key's determination to continue with his objectionable statement (and possible dead cat strategy to deflect attention from the Government's lack of action) continues the downward spiral to an even lower low!

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