Teapot tape now online
The notorious recording of the PM and John Banks having a chat is now online.
This recording was deemed so sensitive that the PM went to the NZ Police to have it stopped - and they duly obtained warrants to search news organisations that might have a copy. A Nixonian paranoia and a Nixonian reaction made possible by a weak media and a conflicted police service that is appointed by and responsible to the PM.
So what's on the tape?
It's 10:45 long.
Starts with voices of handlers shooing the media away. Then they talk about what a good media turnout they have - about 30 press. Then Key talks about polling, saying he expects National to ease to 50%: "around 49".
JB: "the left have been nasty"... "you have no idea how vicious they've been, especially at public meetings [...] we can handle that..."
JB: "Someone said that you'd be working with... ah, ah..."
Now there is no name mentioned but they both know who they mean. There's a lot of nod, nod, wink, wink with that - are they talking about a journo, a consultant? Then Key tells Banks what he will say to the media when they finish their cuppa. You can hear the clinking cups etc. so the "teapot". Then Banks tells Key what he should say:
JB: "You might be inclined to say 'I know John quite well' [...]
JB: Do you think Winston will cross the line?
JK: "Not a dog's show. He's at 2.5 on TV3 [...] He won't poll much over three..."
JB: Labour have given up on Epsom. [...] Labour are nasty...
JK: The reason I don't text is it puts you under pressure to say whether he has or hasn't [...]
JB: I haven't talked to you. [...] Catherine and the 4 of us [...] restructure the party...
So Banks thought he could get 4 in. They got only himself in in the end, but he was still confident at this point - just as Key was that Winston wouldn't make it. Act falling and certainly the rise of NZ First was in large part due to the existence of this recording.
JB: He's a strange fellow the other fellow, isn't he
JK: Mmm, yeah, oh yeah. Yeah, no, we've been down that road. The reason why when they rang me in the UK I never ever thought that [...] 15% a snap election.
JB: No, no, I didn't know, I didn't know.
That odd fellow they refer to is Don Brash. What the hell 15% and snap elections have to do with anything and why Banks is claiming profusely that he didn't know is odd. The tape is a almost inaudible at that point because they go into a whisper. People only whisper like that if it's dodgy. So was Key contemplating a snap election?
JK: So, you want to go? Is that yours? Is that yours? Is that yours? [...] Hey, that's a recording device!
John Key was prepared to stuff what little we have of a constitution down the shredding machine when he called in the police to heavy the media - all over what? What matter of state security was mentioned that could possibly merit what he did?