A satirical music video (above, the original was banned, HT to Mr H for sending us a link to a replacement video) depicting John Key strumming on a Maui dolphin against a backdrop of oil rigs is likely to be completely withdrawn in New Zealand. It has just been banned from radio stations.
Planet Key is currently at #24 on the iTunes singles charts. It costs $1.79 to download it. Here’s the link https://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/planet-key-single/id904476293 before it disappears for ever.
It’s already been banned from New Zealand’s airways for being ‘too political’ too close to next month’s election. That is despite anyone from the Electoral Commission having seen it.
Earlier today recording artist Darren Watson posted on his Facebook:
“Buy it while you still can, folks. Apparently we are about to be banned. Official word by the end of the week.”
There’s nothing like a ban to ensure a recording’s popularity and the track, which had started to slide down the iTunes singles chart stormed back up again. A victory for freedom of speech and expression, concepts dear to every New Zealander’s heart.
Watson’s status update attracted comments like these
Jack Yan “‘Planet Key’ is a decent song, and it reflects the mood of the times for some, which is what music is supposed to do. Biased and unfair editorial gets past the Electoral Commission. Your viewpoint is as valid as some of the bollocks I see in the media.
I guess some stations will just have to run a 30-second “story” about you before playing it then!”
Michel A Rowland “This wouldn’t ordinarily be my kind of music but I like what you’re saying, and I hope the Electoral Commission’s ban makes you an overnight internet sensation. It’s just ridiculous when people like Paul Henry with obvious political biases are allowed to front their own current affairs shows on national network television, but musicians can’t openly sing songs saying they don’t like their current government. Stick it to the man and all that. Go you.”
Key breached electoral commission law with pre election radio show in 2011
But what short memories people have. No one has mentioned RadioLive was found to have breached electoral rules when Key hosted a radio show prior to an election in September 2011.
At the time other party leaders were livid that Key had been given sole access to the state radio station’s network for a whole hour, a facility that had been denied to them.
The Electoral Commission gave a warning that the show should not turn into a political program.
After it aired it was leaked that the Commission ruled that the show was a breach of the Broadcasting Act. i.e. the public got to find out about the ruling because someone blew the whistle on it.
Police were said to be looking into the ruling, fines of up to $100,000 were talked about.
No prosecution was laid. The police decided to take no action due to lack of evidence. That was in spite of Key talking to Paul Henry about the downgrading of NZ’s financial ratings and his government’s approach to debt.
End of story…or was it?
Update 3 April 2015
Seven months later the High Court has ruled that the song and music video did NOT constitute an election advertisement or election programme, rather it was satire. The court also emphasized the importance of the rights to freedom of expression.
The court also decided even if the Song and the Music Video were election advertisements or election programmes, relevant exceptions in the Electoral Act and the Broadcasting Act applied so that their publication or broadcast would not be illegal.
Darren Watson took the court’s decision in good humour on his Facebook page
A late win for human rights, but this is probably a sad indictment on the government’s ability to influence the actions of the Electoral Commission.
Read the court’s press release here ‘Planet Key’ Judgment: Watson & Jones v Electoral Commission.
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