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April 8, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Politics (Right) – Communication Breakdown (With Apologies to Led Zepplin)

Expanding on my theme from the last Salient of New Zealand politicians having really terrible memory, it appears that most of them are really shit at communicating too.

Though in the Prime Minister’s case, it might be being a bit too good at communicating, judging by the events of the past week. Labour has accused the Prime Minister of corruption, of personally ringing Ian Fletcher (a family friend) about a job going as the head of the GCSB, and telling him to apply for it. Mr Fletcher was the successful candidate. the Prime Minister had seen a shortlist submitted to him by the State
Services Commission for the job, vetoed it and rang Mr Fletcher instead.

Mr Fletcher is evidently qualified for the role, but not in a conventional way. All previous GCSB Directors have been military leaders or intelligence experts; Mr Fletcher’s background is in diplomacy and public service. Labour does not take issue with Mr Fletcher’s skill set, but with the fact that it appears the Prime Minister personally chose the new spy boss who reports to him and him only. If you were a conspiracy theorist, you could connect some serious dots if you felt like it, given the recent series of clusterfucks around Kim Dotcom involving the GCSB.

When it comes to political scandal in New Zealand, I favour incompetence over malice. New Zealand is a very small country. In all fields of professional life, whether it be law, accountancy, medicine, economics or public service, it is highly likely you will know (or know of) most people in your field once you are qualified. Take for example the judiciary: most of our judges went to Law school with the people over whose arguments they preside and decide on. Just think, that moron in your Torts lecture who reeks of Lynx might be a High Court judge one day!

So is Labour correct when they say John Key is a corrupt, crooked, Richard Nixon-style, executive power-abusing dictator? Of course not, Labour are wrong about most things. What the Prime Minister might be a bit foolish. As for those commentators saying that the gloss has come off Key, they have been saying that for every minor kerfuffle over the last five years. Ignore them. Because in the words of Omar Little from the wire, if you come at the King, you best not miss; Labour continues to.

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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