Move along! Nothing to see here!

by Toby Manhire / 20 February, 2013
John Key used the phrase repeatedly in parliament today in relation to the SkyCity report. Does he know what it means?

On at least five occasions during parliamentary question time this afternoon, the prime minister dismissed inquiries over the the SkyCity Convention Centre deal by characterising the Deputy Auditor-General's findings as "nothing to see here!" or "nothing to see there!"

While his intention was presumably literal, the choice of idiom was a little puzzling.

Because the words "Nothing to see here", often twinned with "Move along", are almost invariably used by an authority figure - a police officer, typically - when there is a lot to see.

In popular culture, that is inescapably the case.

The TV Tropes website explains it this way:
Move Along, Nothing To See Here

The standard line used by police officers or The Men In Black keeping people away from something interesting. Usually a case of Blatant Lies. Also often used in Suspiciously Specific Denials.

And offers the example:

— Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons

The clip from Naked Gun, above, is just as instructive.

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