DPF points to the legal advice from Key’s lawyers here.
The key paragraph appears to be no. 9.
Mr Hodgson’s conclusion is that you still have an interest in the shares he refers to in his letter as long as Whitechapel Limited remains the owner. However, the fact that a Companies’ Office search shows that Whitechapel Limited is registered as the owner of shares in other companies cannot of itself establish that they are shares in which you have an interest. The above analysis shows that you have no interest and have no influence or control over the shares.
Overall I think the letter misses the point (the one Hodgson has been making in public at least) – that the company holding the assets is visible to public searches thus because Key (supposedly) knew the company name he could know what he owned.
To me, the above strongly suggests that Whitechapel owns shares on behalf of other trusts, which would render such an accusation moot. But on second reading, I wonder why that’s not explicitly stated.
DPF calls this H-Fee MkII. I’m not convinced it’s completely without merit (As the H-Fee smears were) but it certainly shares the “long hours of research in order to produce a dubious character smear who’s biggest effect will be a backfire” characteristic of the previous attempt.
But the funniest thing is putting Hodgson at the front of a campaign about character…
I have to say, Key has been a very smooth operator generally. So much so that what’s-his-name has even complemented him recently.
But Key seems to have one weakness – managing his own money. There was a story some time ago where Key had failed to put his assets into a blind trust. Now, it seems that blind trust might have been setup to be not-so-blind by including a company in the mix.
Even if true, Key’s still not got any control of what’s going on. The Labour argument was that it was blind to all but Key. But Key’s denied he knew the existence of the company. Were that true, then Labour’s claim is false.
The other thing that bothers me about Labour’s claim is the “why”. Why, when John has so much money, would he need to use his position as PM to advantage himself? To use an overblown analogy, it’s like a farmer with 1,000 acres killing his neighbor in order to purchase his quarter acre section from the estate. Too much risk for very little reward.
Yet Labour’s story does seem to have some legs. There are just too many coincidences, similar names, common trustees and dates.
Yes, it’s a relatively minor point. But it seriously undermines the idea that he’s an above-the-board straight shooter.
Which of course is the whole point. But we’ll ignore the irony of Labour being the one making it.
P.S. Ok, now I remember – Phil Goff is the Labour leader. Funny how you forget these things.
Well, for once I agree with The Standard.
The more I think about it, the more Key’s Letterman approach is demeaning both to his office and New Zealand. Sure he did the stand up comedy competently but is that what we want our PM reduced to? A gag to be treated at best as a cute nobody, at worst dismissively, by some variety host?
I mean, sure have a laugh, but there shoudl[sic] have been be an interview as well. On the same show, there were interviews with the guy from The Mentalist and same guy playing Mick Jagger in a movie, FFS. Didn’t Key or Letterman think he had anything worthwhile to say? It’s disappointing that Key let himself as our PM be reduced like that.
I assume that the episode was the one Prime played last night while the news was on the other channels. I didn’t see Key’s performance there (saw it on youtube earlier), but it struck me that our PM was relegated to a pretty silly (though often funny) 4 min section while some random, uninteresting people who I’d never heard of were interviewed. I had thought they would have sat him down and got a bit more out of him – he is a head of state after all.
I guess though that the US viewers would have a different perspective.
I feel faint now, going to lie down.
An observation from Bryan Spondre at Gotcha! today:
It is interesting that Helen Clark chose to be associated with the arts by becoming Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage while John Key has taken on tourism.
By becoming arts minister, Helen was making sure she kept a very vocal sector on side. There is no doubt in my mind it was a political ploy aimed at improving her media image by sucking up to those who had power over it. It helped that it was her own area of interest too.
John on the other hand, associates himself with selling the country to the world.
Political survival and personal gratification vs. driving the country forward.
Speaks volumes really.
Left wing blogger with poor grasp of reality (read the link labeled “barging their way into caucus” – nothing of the sort happened) and tendencies towards wild, completely baseless accusations (“an army of thugs”) towards those on the right wonders why Key has more security than Helen.
Gee, why might that be?
Heh, I think this is so funny.
One Labour supporter repeatedly asked Mr Key to “tell the truth” about the changes National would make to the Employment Relations Act.
Eventually Mr Key’s frustration boiled over.
“The truth is you’re an idiot,” he yelled back.
Well, if you keep asking for the truth, sooner or later someone is going to give it to you.
Especially the case given Labour have been protesting at National party events throughout the years they have been in government. Pathetic really, and it’s quite degrading to the country in my opinion to have the government party attacking the opposition like that. The underlying attitude (“hold the opposition to account”) is so similar to Zimbabwe.
Despite the loud opposition, Mr Key was mobbed by supporters who wanted to shake his hand, chat and get their photo taken.
But who gets the headlines? The people, or the agitators?
I realised something in the last few days.
I’ve been reading The Standard, and once you muscle past the bile… actually there’s only bile.
But I believe they have something of a point about John Key – he should have done a lot better managing his conflicts of interest with Tranz Rail.
There is post after post trying to establish wrongdoing, but what I haven’t seen on those posts is what should be done with Key. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t anywhere see calls for Key to resign.
Pretty obvious why – if you’re party refuses to do something about a corrupt minister, how can you ask for someone who was careless with their conflicts, but is otherwise squeaky clean, to resign. You can’t. Neither can a party leader who deliberately stole near to a million dollars from the public to fun an election campaign to stay in government demand integrity on what is a smaller matter by an order of magnitude from her opponent.
I was inspired by Cactus Kate’s “Jack Baur” comment to make a further list… feel free to add your own.
- John Key doesn’t make losses, it’s the market that makes makes mistakes sometimes when John is ready to sell
- John Key smiles so much because he once won a stock picking competition with Donald Trump. The looser had to wear a bad toupée for the rest of his life.
- Helen Clark’s teeth were not photoshopped in the last election’s billboards, they only went crooked after standing on the podium with John Key. That was close enough.
- Labour says Key wakes up and thinks about his stocks. He doesn’t. He wakes up and telepathically orders the markets back to where he thinks they should be.
- John Key counts sheep to get to sleep. He once tried counting the number of pathetic attacks Labour made on him that week and didn’t finish until dawn so he doesn’t do that anymore.
- Parliaments’ floor is said to be two and a half swords lengths apart. This used to be true, but it’s now defined as the distance a corrupt minister is physically able to sit from John Key without crumbling into dust when John smiles at them.
- John Key was the guy who shorted all those airline stocks before 9/11, because he was able to predict it. He considered calling Bush to warn him but Bush was too overcome by the honour of being called by John Key to listen to what he was saying.
- John Key was the one who made it rain every second day in Auckland after the PM announced a drought this year.
- John Key deliberately looks evasive sometimes to give Helen Clark a chance to catch up a little in the polls. He’s that much of a nice guy. So far however, it hasn’t worked.
- Jack Baur once tried to kill John Key but John was able to predict this and via complex manipulations in the financial markets was able to keep Jack busy fighting terrorists that day. So far, Jack has tried this 6 times and failed every time.
DPF has compiled a list of what Key has failed to take responsibility for, after Cullen quite rightly pointed out his role in the current crisis.
- Why is Key so silent on that day in Dallas on the grassy knoll and what was he up to in Sarajevo in 1914?
- You forgot the one about disabling the warning signal at Tangiwai.
- John Key has been known to mix formula milk at home, and must have something to do with the latest, ‘China Syndrome
- He will certainly make all State Housing Clients homeless
- Ordering the My Lai massacre
- Financing Osama BinLaden whilst at Merrill Lynch
- Arranging the transfer of the Nazis gold bullion and art treasures
- I have it on good authority that one of the reincarnations [of John Key] was of a close relative of Genghis Khan
- He probably poisoned the AB’s before the WC final too. Rich Prick.
- John Key will SELL the hospitals to his cronies at Merrill Lynch
- Since John Key is personally responsible for global finacial melt-down having worked at ML, on the same logic surely he must also be responsible for violence in South Auckland (having visited there), foreshore treaty claims (for owning a beach house), conning Cullen into paying too much for the train set (as a ML shareholder), theft of medals from Waiouru (didn’t he drive through there once), milk contamination in China (having met with Andrew Ferrier)
- Members of the Manson cult are also known to have celebrated John Key’s 8th birthday by slaughtering Sharon Tate and others
- Breaking news: John Key named in apple/Eve enticement scandle!
- It is a little known fact that Key was the designer of the Titanic, apparently he was also the man who loaded the flight plan into the computer of the ill fated DC10 Erebus flight.
- John Key was also seen leaving Cape Canaveral prior to the launch of Challenger, with an o-ring hanging out of his briefcase.
- And the letters in NATIONAL MP JOHN KEY can be rearranged to spell KLEPTOMANIA JOHNNY. No wonder this election is about trust…
Today Michael Cullen tried to imply that John Key’s employment in Merrill-Lynch meant that, because that company failed 8 years after he left, he was unfit to be PM.
Frankly, when Key called this for what it was – pitiful – I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guy with a wider grin. Key normally has a good grin, but he was laughing so hard at this bizare and desperate attack I was worried that he would require medical treatment.
In other news, several students failed an Otago chemistry* paper this year, meaning that Cullen must now resign as finance minister if he expects to maintain his personal integrity.
*Cullen was a history lecturer