Every Kiwi with access any sort of media outlet will have of course heard about the story that’s been obsessing both local and international media circles for the last three days, the very public ridiculing of New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key for what appears to have been his rather peculiar fetish for pony tails. The story having managed to make it into a number of international news outlets by the end of business on day one in New Zealand, as the international times zones slowly entered dawn around the globe.
Australia’s ABC was the first to take notice, followed closely by 20 or so other international news outlets and of course bloggers in both hemispheres.
The Story was first broken by Kiwi Blogger Martin Bradbury on his own blog www.thedailyblog.co.nz. Bradbury’s piece was then nicked by another Kiwi political blog, the Standard. LF suspects however that these two left leaning political machines were working in cahoots to make the most of Mr Bradbury’s planned attack on John Key – and make no mistake this was a deliberate and extremely well executed political attack……certainly the National party also likely knew it was coming.
Once Bradbury’s post had appeared to get traction with the Kiwi public the country’s major outlets also started pushing the story, at the exclusion of almost every other other local news story of any worth. Their angle was to try and play the incident down, first by referring to the Prime Ministers down home country approachable and “tactile” style, and when that failed by attempting to belittle the waitress turned whistle-blower who had been the victim of Key’s fetish and unwanted attentions
This too was interesting for a number of reasons. The first is rather obvious, larger news organizations in New Zealand tend not to run with material led by the country’s extremely active political blogger’s for the reason that they have recently had their fingers burned – oh and they’re not at all comfortable with the competition that’s chomping at their heels.
What amused LF however was the New Zealand Herald’s entry into the fray – nothing short of a complete balls-up. By day two however it had turned from a complete balls-up into a public relations catastrophe, and all executed under the hand of the new editor in chief, Shayne Currie.
By day two what Currie had thought would be a “scoop” had turned into a complete expose of the Newspapers own political leanings, in particular editor Currie’s extraordinarily obvious right-wing political bias and sycophancy.
The fact that Shane Currie managed to balls it up so spectacularly is down to his complete inability to read what was actually happening, what was unfolding with a sense of immediacy that only social media such as Twitter and Facebook can create. The other thing about the social media factor is the speed with which information is made available to both the reader and the writer, as in those posting information, be it Facebook, twitter and or blogs and bloggers.
As aforesaid, Currie tried to spin Bradbury’s story of the young waitress who had had her hair repeatedly tugged on by the Prime Minister over a period of weeks, perhaps even months, whilst he frequented the waitresses work place, a Parnell Cafe owned by a company called “Hip Group“, owned by Kiwi’s Jackie Grant and Scott Brown, but managed by none other than Rachel Glucina’s twin brother Henry, a man who in his own words has the “proven ability to deliver a profit in challenging times”.
Currie’s biggest mistake however came at the end of day one when he thought it was smart to alert the Heralds loyal readers to an “exclusive” to be run on the morning of day two.
We here at LF knew immediately, as no doubt did every other blogger familiar with what had unfolded earlier, that in running a story written by National party attack dog Rachel Glucina Currie was probably going to run a hatchet job on the waitress, naturally enough LF felt it necessary to point out that suspicion in a less than subtle tweet –
So if LF and every other blogger knew exactly what Currie had in mind, then Currie was an even bigger fool if he expected anything other than the well researched responses that had no doubt been drafted in preparation overnight, all of which were launched with the precision and speed of a Stalin’s organ as the Herald’s readers where still woofing down their fucking cereal whilst reading Currie and Glucina’s “exclusive”.
By mid afternoon both Currie and Glucina were clearly hemorrhaging credibility in an extremely public way, in fact the whole world had been watching Currie’s battle strategy collapse no sooner than his readers had unfolded their morning paper. The scenario is best captured by Kiwi blogger and lawyer Jono Natusch (it is worth reading Natusch’s entire post here – although LF disagrees with his conclusions with respect to Glucina’s motivations);
RACHEL GLUCINA AND JOURNALISTIC ETHICS (OR THE LACK THEREOF)
The waitress has detailed her account of Ms Glucina’s overtures here, and, if true, Glucina’s actions (and, indeed, the actions of her editor, Shayne Currie) reflect appallingly on the Herald. Here’s the long and short of it:
- The Parnell cafe, Rosie, in which this all went down, is owned by Hip Group.
- Rachel Glucina’s twin brother, Henry, is employed by Hip Group.
- Ms Glucina, through her brother, therefore personally knows the owners of Hip Group, Jackie Grant and Scott Brown.
- During a speakerphone conversation with Glucina, the Hip Group owners introduce Glucina to the waitress as a PR expert. (Glucina is in fact in PR. According to her LinkedIn page, she is a director of ‘Pink PR’, specialising in ‘Media strategy, product planning, brand development, public relations’.) During the speakerphone conversation, Glucina’s last name is not mentioned. The waitress agrees to make a joint statement in order to protect her employers’ reputation. She also agrees to a photo being taken of her with her employers, to show they all still had a good relationship.
- While everyone waits for Glucina to send through the draft statement, the waitress discovers Glucina’s last name. Alarm bells begin to ring. In fact, the waitress googles Glucina, and discovers the headline “Who is Rachel Glucina and why is John Key always phoning her up?”.
- The waitress’s employers admit that Glucina works for the NZ Herald, but state that Glucina was not acting in her capacity as a journalist.
- Upon contacting Glucina again, Glucina abruptly claimed that was acting in her capacity as a journalist. Despite the waitress then revoking permission to use the photo or her comments, the story ends up in the Herald.
The United Kingdoms Guardian, amongst the many international outlet’s, having also immediately spotted the problem;
Furore after woman whose ponytail was pulled by New Zealand PM John Key says she was misled by NZ Herald
….Since the waitress complained of the prime minister’s harassment in an anonymous post on leftwing site the Daily Blog on Wednesday, questions have arisen about the New Zealand Herald’s actions and its links to Key’s governing National party, which surfaced in the lead-up to last year’s general election……
The speed with which Shayne Currie and his precious New Zealand Herald, and of course the National party side-show freak Rachel Glucina, were fucked sideways was truly impressive. Shayne Currie was so shaken by the experience of being raped, ripped to pieces by just about every blogger in New Zealand and a few more thousands of miles off shore that he kept stuffing up his press releases, or should that read – his legal advisers contrived excuses.
In fact it was not until Curries forth attempt that he and the papers lawyers decided to stop putting out revised versions of the Heralds spin on what they were claiming had transpired. By then of course it was to late, the bloggers and the international media were on to the Herald’s fast collapsing pro Key spin:
The New Zealand Herald had shown itself to be incompetent, caught off guard by the rabid onslaught, but little more than a political attack dog, clearly at the beacon-call of the National party war room and it’s absolutely disgusting political strategists.
Whats probably now more significant is that Currie and Glucina have left the paper, its corporate master and the Cafe owners wide open to damage torts and possibly criminal complaints.
The twitter-sphere had exploded, with the New Zealand Herald, Shayne Currie and Rachel Glucina coming under heavy fire, on occasion from people with inherent credibility, clarity of thought and extremely accurate demands, extracting and targeting the core issues with precision: LF had already noted before that Currie (and a few notable others we might add) had read what was unfolding incorrectly. They had seen the issue as only one-dimensional – simply a young waitress who was making mountains out of mole-hills and a politically motivated blogger (Bradbury) taking advantage of the situation – which to some extent may well have been true, if the waitresses complaint over John Key’s hair pulling behavior related to events six months ago or perhaps longer, as some are now alleging.
All of that however is somewhat irrelevant when viewed in light of John Keys strange serial offending. In fact it is John Key’s persistent behavior, having over the past 48 hours been on public display for all to see, including the now curious international media, that has arguably fed into a greater public anger, that suppressed anger having no vent, now being directed into the ponytail saga.
Of course LF is in no way seeking to diminish the legitimacy of the complaints Amanda Bailey, the young waitress at the center of the scandal, has raised. Keys behavior was appalling, but it also demonstrates another unknown aspect of the Prime Ministers character.
As Bradbury’s post unexpectedly grew wings, by mid morning wings of a significant span, and flown higher than anyone had expected, there was a very interesting corresponding upward shift in the language being employed by many to describe the waitresses experience.
At first the term’s “school-yard bully”, “sexist and demeaning” were employed, then as the day progressed and more commentators and political adversaries climbed on board, the issue of “power dynamics” – “prime minister verses lowly waitress”. Finally the language used reached it’s crescendo and in doing so probably better captured the crux of the public’s outrage – the issue that had really been bugging thousands of New Zealander’s for months, the now heavily suppressed issue of “sexual harassment” and child abuse.
The Herald and the National party spin-doctors completely failed to foresee where it was headed, what they had thought was little more than a minor blip on their radars that could be “handled” with a little dose of spin-doctored crap had in fact all the while had potential to feed into a larger political social issue and the public outrage buried just beneath the surface – and as it turns out subsequently has.
This storm has arguably been building since last December 2014 when Key made the foolish mistake of concealing serious criminal sexual allegations against a member of his own government.
Key had earlier, in October 2014, unwittingly also compounded what would become a litany of lies by permitting the accused politician,National party MP mike Sabin, to continue as if it were business as usual – Key’s spin-doctors rolling out the old “Move along nothing to see here” mantra, which of course the New Zealand media, as is their sad custom, obliged in cloning, echoing ever since.
John Key could not hide the truth – far too many credible well placed people already knew – but at the same time it became obvious that Key himself and his advisers were incapable of seeing that they had fooled absolutely no one.
John Key in particular, isolated since the dirty politics debacle, no longer had a handle on the electorates mood. That became obvious when the National party and other players moved to have the Sabin sexual abuse charges suppressed with rarely before seen Court super injunctions.
There was just one flaw in their plan however, a fly in the ointment so to speak. A number of international media players and bloggers had witnessed what the New Zealand Government had done and taken an interest, two publishing details of the coverup and the accused.
Keys mistakes were perhaps best summed up in recent days by Italian newspaper il Post with their headline John Key è un cretino? The journo simply posing the question – Is John Key an idiot? It was a headline picked up on by other international media organizations and of course thousands using social media.
Lauda Finem certainly thought John Key an idiot, as did our fellow Australian, veteran journalist and blogger Derryn Hynch. But it was not just LF and the “human headline” who were interested – LF has over the past 6 months seen to that.
It is crystal clear that John Key and his advisers are indeed idiots, complete tools in fact. They failed to spot the improvised incendiary device, to use a metaphor, that the Amanda Bailey story represented, the trigger that would set in play a far more politically explosive set of events.
Already there have been threats of court actions against Key, both civil and criminal and of course demands from the opposition for a police investigation into Key’s behavior and that of his police minder’s. Politicians, notably not all previously indisposed to Key or his policies, are now pointing the finger and making very ugly noises, claiming John Key’s actions meet the threshold for criminal offending – which of course they do.
These rumblings are now getting louder, there no doubt is a criminal case for John Key to answer, starting with what was an undoubtedly a common assault, but then there’s also the question of why Key deliberately mislead the people of New Zealand and became party to a criminal conspiracy in furtherance of that political aim.
First out of the stalls with these promises was of course non other than Graeme McCready, justice crusader. A man that the New Zealand media, John Keys media, have attempted to brand a serial litigant, in the derogatory sense, despite the fact that McCready has managed to do what the all powerful New Zealand police claimed they couldn’t, or truth be know simply wouldn’t – charge National party ally MP John Banks with electoral fraud, of which the politically powerful Banks was ultimately convicted (now on appeal).
Second to join this race has been Winston Peters, NZ First party leader and now MP for Northland.
Peters unlike Key has had his ear to the ground since late last year and in particular since Mike Sabin resigned from parliament at the 11th hour, only to make sure his parliamentary pension remained intact. Peters knew, as did most of New Zealand’s elected representatives that Sabin had not resigned to deal with family matters as Key had falsely advised everybody, including Parliament and the country’s media.
Key Knew full well that Mike Sabin’s so-called “Family matters” , those that were best dealt with outside parliament, were in reality serious allegations of indecent assault brought to police attention by two complainant, both members of Sabin’s own family.
Winston Peter’s guessed correctly that the allegations against Sabin had become common knowledge among the people of Northland, a relatively close-knit community and Sabin’s electorate. Peter’s also knew that many in the electorate were well aware that they had been lied to prior to the November 2014 general election by the National party and John Key, that Sabin had in fact been under police investigation for the alleged sexual offending before the National party had permitted him to run again as the party’s candidate, as a matter of political expediency.
Lastly, Winston Peters had managed to successfully gauge the level of anger that was by December 2014, being directed at the government. Forget all of the political pollsters and their predictions, the crystal-meth ball gazing after the National Party’s loss, all of that was just window dressing, tosh, pure crap dressed up by mainstream media for public consumption to sell newspapers.
The fact is that Winston Peters won the election with a convincing majority on one promise alone – That he would introduce a private members bill at the first available sitting removing the ability for New Zealand’s Courts to grant pedophiles name suppression.
Peters knew that this single promise, giving people the ability to name Sabin, would satisfy the people of Northland’s sense of community self-respect and justice. Peters also very likely suspected that the National party would block any attempt to introduce the promised bill, because that would mean an end to the suppression of Mike Sabin’s name and possibly the National party as it now stands.
To be fair, there are of course a number of political agenda’s in play here, Key and the National party are no longer one force, huge political rifts have developed, with some in his own party wanting to see the arse-end of the current leader.
The left of politics too has a number of questions they’ll need to answer. The first of those relates to Amanda Bailey’s “strong political points of view” and the vehicle she selected to carry her message, Bradbury. Theres also the small issue of the timing of her complaint – Just when was it that these events occurred and why her employers and the police were not involved at the time?
It’s certainly not sufficient for the leftist rumour mongers and propaganda peddlers at the Standard to have looked through Bailey’s Facebook page and declare Bailey innocent of the charge that she was politically motivated. Are we to take the word of proven lairs and leftist wannabe politicians like Lynn Prentice and Greg Presland?
It is after all Martin Bradbury, socialist and political adviser that we are dealing with, even if Bailey’s Facebook page had been loaded with political opinion Bradbury would have seen to it that the material had disappeared long before he broke the story……Christ give the man credit!!
The more pressing questions however still as yet remain unanswered – what will Winston Peters MP for Northland do now that the government has strangled his anti pedophile name suppression bill? And what do the international media think, now that they’re armed with the whole truth. What do they have in store? Will they too name the ex-cop turned Member of Parliament, Mike Sabin, and the crimes he has been charged with? Will they too share with the whole world just how New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key and his political accomplices have lied to the small south pacific nation and brought both its Parliament and Courts into disrepute?
A nation that so enjoyed pointing the finger at it’s Pacific neighbours, the likes of Fiji, whilst all the while being so much worse. So is Shayne Currie è un cretino? LF certainly thinks Shayne Currie is right up there with John Key, a complete fucking idiot!