Don’t forget, he’s the “Smiling Assassin”

The PM didn’t care and why would he, getting booted from the house is hardly a punishment. It’s more of a reward.

If winners are grinners, it wasn’t hard to see who was claiming victory after Prime Minister John Key’s ejection from Parliament on Wednesday.

Far from looking chastened at being booted from the house, Mr Key was smiling. By Thursday morning he was laughing about the incident on More FM, saying his wife had told him to write lines in penance: “I’ve done my lines, I wrote 500 out.”

To be fair, he seemed rather pleased with himself even before the Speaker took action, but the punishment apparently did little to dampen his mood.

His first ejection from the house as prime minister (a fate also suffered by predecessors Helen Clark and David Lange) was administered as he answered, with typical hammy brio, a question from Greens co-leader James Shaw, who wanted him to apologise for having dragged Greenpeace and Amnesty International into debate over the Panama Papers.

Apparently unable to contain his enthusiasm for the fray, he carried on counter-punching when Parliament’s referee had effectively called “break”, thereby earning himself an early exit.

This was all too neat for critics on social media who reckoned he had got himself thrown out to avoid answering more questions about those problematic Panama Papers.

What problems with the Panama Papers?

The Media party gave up on Wednesday after just two days. There was nothing in them and the public saw it for what it was, a shabby manufactured government hit by Nicky Hager and the seven intellectual pygmies of the Media party.

But that wasn’t the interpretation Mr Shaw and Labour leader Andrew Little gave in a joint stand-up immediately afterwards. “He basically lost control of himself in the house,” said Mr Shaw.

Mr Little reckoned that Mr Key’s aim was distraction and that when that didn’t work he demeaned people: “He lost control.”

Mr Shaw later retweeted a claim the Prime Minister had deliberately engineered his ejection.

Oh boo hoo, idiot. So what, the fact that you let him get there says as much about you as it does about Key.

Key’s Parliamentary opponents have been left swinging at clean air.

Maybe the prime minister was happy to be banished, but he was hardly taking a battering beforehand.

While debate will continue about New Zealand’s foreign trusts industry, the Panama Papers have yet to deliver the deadly anti-Key ammunition his opponents would love to uncover.

If they had, would the Parliamentary attack have been so focused on the relative sideshow of getting an apology for Greenpeace and Amnesty International?

In a week that might have turned out far worse for him, Mr Key’s buoyancy is understandable.

Why should he apologise? Greenpeace and Amnesty International are in the Panama Papers. The problem for Andrew Little and James Shaw is that they have spent weeks demonising every mention of someone in the Panama Papers.

The opposition launched yet another failed hit, showed the public they are still unfit for public office and are left floundering.

Don’t forget that he was known in the corporate world as The Smiling Assassin.

While his opponents struggle to make some concrete gains from the Panama Papers, expect the grinning to continue.

Quite.

The opposition made much of it, stating it was embarrassing and showed Key had lost his cool, but strangely when pointed out that Clark and Lange had also been given the arse card when PM they still kept on with the hits. Like punch drunk fighters they just don’t know when to quit. The voters threw in their towel long ago.

 

– Radio NZ

 


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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.

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