There was the time when John could not remember being told of the Government Communications Security Bureau’s surveillance of internet tycoon Kim Dotcom.
And then there was the time – as TV3 reported – when he heard that most voters in a new poll thought the drinking age should have been raised to 20, and he said he agreed with them.
“That’s one of the reasons I voted for it to go to 20 – in line with what the public thought,” Mr Key told media on Wednesday.
But that was wrong: Mr Key voted for the age to be split, so 18-year-olds could drink in bars, but only those 20 or over could purchase alcohol at off-licences.
When that option failed, Mr Key voted for the age to stay at 18, rather than being raised to 20.
Mr Key was at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands when the vote took place, and his vote was cast by proxy.
Much more recently the Green Party was claiming The Boss’s answers to questions about dirty politics could not be trusted after he was forced to backtrack over contact with blogger Cameron Slater.
According to TV One News:
The Prime Minister’s memory lapse yesterday over contact with the Whaleoil blogger was not the first time this week he suffered a brain fade over recent communication with him.
Mr Key told reporters on Tuesday he hadn’t spoken to Mr Slater on the phone for months but acknowledged he (Slater) “sent me a text one time, I can’t remember when that was”.
Asked by the media if he’d had text communications and phone calls with Mr Slater about the latest report, Mr Key said “no”.
However, it has since emerged Mr Key had a text conversation with Mr Slater the previous evening.
The Boss had told the media earlier in the day that he hadn’t “rung the guy (Slater)” and that he hadn’t “proactively text him – I haven’t been caught out”.
“I don’t keep any of my text messages, I get thousands – I’m fundamentally not in contact with Slater,” he said.
It struck Alf at the time that this meant The Boss spent one helluva lot of time reading his text messages.
Even if he didn’t bother reading them, and simply deleted them, he would be busy hitting the delete button thousands of times. This would make him vulnerable to repetitive strain injury, adding to the problem of brain fades.
Mrs Grumble did a bit of googling and winkled out this item that provides a useful list of Key’s memory lapses
* Forgot how many Tranz Rail shares he owned.
* Unsure if and when he was briefed by GCSB on Kim Dotcom.
* Forgot how he voted on drinking age.
* Could not recall whether he was for or against the 1981 Springbok Tour.
* Could not remember who was aboard mystery CIA jet parked at Wellington airport.
* Forgot he phoned future director of GCSB urging him to apply for the job.
Alf accordingly had become awfully worried about The Boss and his brain fades.
Mrs Grumble’s Uncle Fred had similarly struggled with forgetfulness before he was diagnosed with dementia a few years back.
It would be tragic for we Nats if our leader was similarly afflicted.
But good news, folks.
There was rejoicing in the Grumble household when The Boss demonstrated during Question Time this week that no, he was not forgetful about everything.
Andrew Little : Does he accept Statistics New Zealand’s finding that incomes for the top fifth in the year to June 2014—after the date for the OECD report—grew by 14.7 percent, while incomes for the bottom fifth grew by just 2.9 percent, thereby increasing inequality in New Zealand?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : The last bit is the assumption of the member and it is simply incorrect.
Hon Members : Ha, ha!
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : No, I am sorry, but it is simply incorrect. The first point may be correct, but if my memory serves me correctly, and the member is talking about the data series I have seen in the past, that is because it includes returns on investments and other things, and as the member will…
Hon Member : When was it you got your memory back again?
The Boss didn’t answer the interjector’s question.
That was a worry.
Maybe he had forgotten.