Keys unconvincing lies | The Jackal

4 Apr 2013

Keys unconvincing lies

Today, Stuff reported:

Prime Minister John Key says he simply forgot - but critics have accused him of "lying by omission" and "misleading the public" over the appointment of spy boss Ian Fletcher.

The Dominion Post revealed yesterday that Mr Key shoulder-tapped family friend Mr Fletcher for the job to head the Government Communications Security Bureau in a phone call.

Last week, John Key said that he had no association with Ian Fletcher... He did however admit to there being a relationship between their mothers and being schoolboy friends with Ian Fletchers brother, who he childishly claimed is more intelligent than Labour's deputy leader Grant Robertson.

At the time Key also said that he played no role whatsoever in Ian Fletchers recruitment and his appointment as the new boss of the GCSB was processed normally by the State Services Commission.

Despite these claims, yesterday we found out the Prime Minister personally phoned Ian Fletcher to see if he was interested in the high level position. Key also had a number of "business breakfasts and a lunch," with the new spy boss prior to his appointment that he conveniently forgot about when questioned in parliament.

But to make matters worse, Key had a meeting with State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie in which the Prime Minister said Ian Fletcher was appropriate for the position. He therefore clearly influenced the outcome of the appointment process.

His intervention came when Mr Rennie rejected the shortlist, prepared by recruitment consultants. Mr Key said he and Mr Rennie then had a "brainstorming" session in which two names were floated - Mr Fletcher and that of another candidate.

How can John Key have such a monumental brainfade about a "brainstorming" session to choose the new boss of the GCSB? It is also concerning that the four other people shortlisted for the appointment were dismissed around the same time Key called Ian Fletcher to see if he was interested in the position, with the excuse being that they weren't somehow appropriate... However that unsubstantiated claim has been strongly disputed.

So, the question is whether Key put any pressure on Iain Rennie to dismiss the four other applicants who were shortlisted in favour of the prime ministers family friend? This seems to be the case, especially when you consider that at least one of the other applicants was infinitely more qualified and appropriate for the position than Ian Fletcher, who has proven himself to be totally incompetent.

March 27, in Parliament when asked by Labour MP Grant Robertson what role he played. "His appointment was made by the state services commissioner . . . "

March 27, asked what part he played in the appointment: "Only that the state services commissioner came to me with the recommendation. That's normal."

March 28: "I didn't undertake the recruitment, that was fully done by the State Services Commission."

April 2, in response to questions: "[I] rang Mr Fletcher and said that if he was interested in the position of director, GCSB, he would need to go through a process and should call Maarten Wevers."

April 3rd: "Iain Rennie, State Services Commissioner recommended him to me . . . I rang [Mr Fletcher] and said ‘Look, you know, you might be interested." Asked again who first suggested Mr Fletcher: "Iain Rennie put it to me." Pressed to clarify, he said: "I would have mentioned it to him, I'm sure," and then: "I'm sure I probably would have."

Either Key cannot remember three separate meetings with Ian Fletcher and personally phoning him about the position as well as forgetting about what was discussed at a meeting with State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie or he's a complete liar... Either way, John Key is not suitable to be the Prime minister of New Zealand.