Du Fresne has fallen out of love with John Key

Third termitis is definitely taking its toll

The day after winning re-election, prime minister John Key warned that one of the biggest risks his government faced in its third term was arrogance. What a pity he didn’t heed his own advice.

Over the past few weeks, we have observed a National government that seems determined to live up to every stereotype about third terms. It has been arrogant, smug and incompetent.

Worse than that, it appears to have undergone an integrity by-pass.

Key has given new Labour leader Andrew Little a dream start, and Little has the ability to take full advantage of it. More by good luck than good management, Labour has found itself with a leader who could prove a real handful for National.

I would go further and say that if National and Key carry on as they have in the past few weeks, there’s a good prospect of a Little-led government in 2017.

It’s a bit far out to say that.  There’s an awful lot of water to go under that particular bridge.  But yes, it’s been a very uncharacteristic start to the parliamentary term for National, and John Key specifically.  

…let’s look at the charge of incompetence. Consider the following.

■ Murderer and paedophile Phillip Smith, a man known to be clever and manipulative as well as evil, escaped to South America because of staggering naivety on the part of the Corrections Department;

■ The State Services Commission presided over an embarrassing sexual harassment fiasco in which it was seen as supporting the senior public servant whose behaviour was the subject of the complaint;

■ As already mentioned, the former head of the SIS allowed himself to be used in an underhand smear campaign aimed at discrediting a senior Labour politician.

…But don’t hold your breath for waiting for ministers in this government to maintain that tradition. It’s just not going to happen.


Finally, there’s the issue of Key and his relationship with Cameron Slater, which brings us to the subject of integrity.

I now seriously wonder whether the prime minister has any, given his pathetic dissembling over whether he’d been in touch with Slater. That came on top of his preposterous claim recently that when he spoke to Slater, it wasn’t in his capacity as prime minister.

For heaven’s sake, give us a break. This is altogether too cute and too cocky. People have given Key the benefit of the doubt before, but there must come a time when his credibility runs out.

You could argue, I suppose, that if he has some sort of political death wish that compels him to continue dealing with Slater, that’s his prerogative. But what’s inexcusable is that he plays us for mugs by bullshitting us.

At the very least, he should show us a bit more respect.

Seriously now.  I texted John Key about Phil Goff leaking the SIS report (and breaking the law doing so), and you’re still all climbing on the bandwagon that Key is now better off without me?

There is no doubt that Key made a total mess of it, first (probably) lying, then correcting, then saying “so what”, then saying “ok, not more”, and finally ending up at “I’m not blocking him, but I won’t respond”.

I mean…


Key deserves all the criticism for his woeful performance over the last couple of weeks.  But to focus on his “relationship” with me is ingenuous, and just another strand to the ongoing push by the left of politics and the media to try and prevent two inevitable things from unfolding:   a new player in the media market, and the revelation that Dirty Politics is to be eclipsed by the left’s Illegal Politics.

I’m not going anywhere, and even if you cam get the National Party to disown me somehow, Freed and Illegal Politics are going to unfold and destroy lives, careers and political parties.

People would be well advised to turn down the bandwagon rhetoric as they will be, once again, at the wrong side of history.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.