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April 8, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Politics (Left) – Don’t You Forget About Ian

I’m worried for our Prime Minister. My maternal instincts reach out to the lost little rich boy leading our fair nation. Has he remembered to wear a singlet? Did he eat breakfast this morning? Are his car keys sitting lost in the refrigerator? The problem is that he seems incapable of remembering anything. So many times during this term (and the last), John Key has used the “I forgot” excuse and, quite frankly, I’m beginning to fret that he’s forgotten his credibility.

There was the time when he forgot his stance on one of the most divisive events of the 20th century in New Zealand. Sure, the Springbok Tour isn’t a pressing policy matter these days but it is definitely important culturally. I wonder if Key is more afraid of offending the middle class liberals brought onside by tax cuts or the “But rugby’s different!” crowd who associate the blue of the All Black’s Powerade with Key’s party banner? Either way, claiming to have forgotten what he was doing during the 1980s is just silly when we all know he was earning the GDP of a small nation and playing squash with his T-shirt tucked in.

There was the Dotcom saga where he claimed at first that he didn’t attend the meeting, then he couldn’t recall the meeting, then he couldn’t remember what was said in the meeting.

Then he forgot his vote on the drinking age. And who was in the CIA plane at Wellington Airport. And how many Tranz Rail shares he owned. And that he owned a vineyard. And what was said over a cuppa with John Banks. Then, last week, to top it all off, he forgot that he called his mate Ian, and told him to apply to be New Zealand’s top spy — a job which the PM then made sure Ian got.

Perhaps there is something in the water at Parliament. Maybe a liquid amnesia agent? John’s mate, John Banks, has had a nasty case of forgetfulness in the last year: not only forgetting the helicopter trip to a fat German’s mansion, but also the $50,000 donation—which he asked for.

Of course, it might not be an accident. All these forgotten meetings, memory lapses and brain fades aren’t just a colossal case of coincidence, but rather the deliberate covering up of a government that has a culture of lying, leaking and cronyism. Maybe, just maybe, the way that this Government thinks they can get away with their dodgy dealings is to feign forgetfulness.

The matters to which these memory lapses relate are far from trivial. They involve spying and serious stock trading. Even if these lapses are unintentional, should we really trust a man this forgetful to run our country? And worse, if intentional, how can we trust any politician if a precedent is set that forgetfulness is a legitimate excuse for impropriety?

After all this, one thing is for sure: by the end of 2014, New Zealand will be wishing they could forget this National Government.

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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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