I must say, I’d never really picked Sue Bradford as a gossip. A busybody, for sure. But not a gossip. However, I think the sad disease of Key Derangement Syndrome has overwhelmed her brain and caused her to start the Key-smearing rumour mill. In a poorly argued diatribe straight from the
Marxist Alternative Welfare Working Group comes this bizarre canard:
“Among other comments made to the church leaders that day, John Key is reported to have said, “If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.””
This phrase has no attribution at all. By whom is this reported? An attendee? A reporter? A person with advanced delusional schizophrenia? We can’t tell from this, and Sue is apparently not revealing her “source”. It seems a most unlikely phrase for John Key to use in front of a meeting of church leaders. Apart from the mild swearing, a statement disparaging welfare would not go down well amongst Christian leaders. A not-insubstantial portion of their flocks would be on it.
Of course, there is no context to this statement at all. I could vaguely envisage Key saying something in this vein, when talking about the great charitable works that Christian institutions are doing.
““I commend the works of organisations like the Salvation army and the Auckland Mission who succeed so well in providing for the poor of this city. Such is their generosity that, even if we cancelled welfare to the 330,000 people currently on welfare, none would starve to death.””
That would put a very different spin on the same words. I am not saying that this is what Key actually said – this is merely my illustration of how context is vital. Personally, the entire phraseology is very Un-Key-like and I have serious doubts whether he said anything remotely like it.
That doesn’t stop the odious Bomber Bradbury from repeating the unsubstantiated rumour. Not that this surprises me, given Bomber’s propensity for wild, unreasoned accusations. Notice how he says the rumour is “reported by Sue Bradford” – as if Bradford herself heard the words, rather than merely reiterated a rumour. The Standard was already into the rumour, boots and all, on the same day that Bradford posted her gossip, but then the Standard has never been a place that bothers much with whether something unpleasant about John Key is true or not. They are the Hot Zone of Key Derangement Syndrome…
Of course, the ground zero of KDS is the Labour party. And, ably demonstrating that she is still thoroughly infected, Annette King drags this rumour into parliament question time. A million and one things one can ask the Prime Minister, but Ms King chooses to ask about a unsubstantiated piece of gossip. Sigh. I can hear the protestations now. But we have Sue Bradford’s word on it…
It’s not as if Bradford has ever lied about anything, is it? About the consequences of the anti-smacking bill, for instance?
So to Ms Bradford, I say – show us some real evidence for a change (a church leader, who will corroborate, will do nicely), or cease your pathetic muckraking.