Key’s appalling handling of the SIS/Israeli/Christchurch earthquake issue demonstrates beyond a doubt that the man is not a leader’s elbow. That is the polite version.
Not in the public interest? Give me a break! What is more important than our country’s sovereignty, not being an easy touch for identity or passport fraud even by a “friendly” country, and the integrity of our own passport system? That’s in the national interest, John. Perhaps it’s not in the National interest? You tell me.
If there were no issues around the behaviour of the four unfortunate Israelis in the van in Christchurch that day, why did the SIS conduct an investigation? Why did the survivors depart the country so quickly? The other two guys who died were in my view innocent tourists. I got an email from their desperate parents asking for the privately funded SAR team from Israel to be admitted to NZ and Christchurch and I sent that on to Murray McCully. I was surprised that the team wasn’t accredited but more surprised that there wasn’t any explanation. I might be wrong about all that but the Opposition hasn’t been briefed on this, so I’ll stick to my version.
But importantly for NZ, Key has fluffed this from the start. Let’s be fair, Foreign Affairs was never his forte, but why not just say you were going to mount an enquiry, get some advice, and would get back to the media asap? If you are going to wing media standups, as he thinks he can do, expect some questions you can’t answer. Instead, we get that excruciating interview which went on way past its Press Secretary tolerance time (I would have thought – where was his Press Sec?) and well into injury time.
We have been abused by Mossad agents before in 2004. We have a right to be suspicious. Key’s leadership was conspicuous by its absence in this case.