Brian Edwards Media

Dr. John Key MD, FRCS, FRCPsych, MP, PM (NZ)

Outed! Dr Key tries to hide stethoscope, but white coat isdead giveaway!

The Prime Minister’s supporters will have been reassured to discover that, should their leader be cast into the electoral wilderness, he has a second string to his bow. To be strictly accurate, a third string, since Wall Street would no doubt beckon him to return to the heady lifestyle of the foreign exchange trader. But there is a downside to that course of action. The world’s opinion of Wall Street is, to put it mildly,  not high. From Prime Minister to member of a community in large part responsible for buggering the world economy, might be seen as a loss of status equivalent to abandoning Holy Orders to become a pimp.

Fortunately, the PM will not have to make that choice. With characteristic modesty he has been hiding his light under a bushel, his stethoscope under a bed sheet. He is a member of a much more respectable profession than foreign exchange trader. He is a doctor, the Rt. Hon. Dr. John Key MD, FRCS, FRCPsych, MP, PM (NZ).

Dr Key’s special field is the little-known ‘Retrospective Diagnosis’.  Still in its infancy, Retrospective Diagnosis has the distinct advantage over more traditional forms of diagnosis that it does not require the patient to make the burdensome journey to the doctor’s surgery or to hospital. No actual examination is required.

The sick person, or a relative or friend, if the sick person is unable to speak, simply rings the surgery and asks to speak to the doctor. Since there are no patients waiting in the surgery to see him, the doctor will usually be free to take the call. Here is a transcript of a classic Retrospective Diagnosis. 

Patient: Doctor, I feel terrible, I have a temperature of 126, my blood pressure is 380 over 260 and I have boils all over…

Doctor: Never mind that. How were you a year ago?

Patient: Fine, but…

Doctor: And a month ago?

Patient: Fit as a fiddle, but I don’t understand…

Doctor: What about last week?

Patient: Well, you met me at the bridge club.

Doctor: So I did. I’d completely forgotten. You were grumbling about the bloody government.

Patient: Yes, but what’s that got to do with…

Doctor: Well, you looked fine to me then. Didn’t have a temperature then did you? 

Patient: No, but…

Doctor: Or high blood pressure?

Patient: I don’t think so.

Doctor: Or any boils?

Patient: No, but…

Doctor: Right. Nothing wrong with you. Stop malingering. Get out of bed and go back to work. Now where do I sent the bill?


Doctor: Hello, hello, are you still there?

Patient’s Wife: He appears to have expired, Doctor.

Doctor: Expired? What do you mean, ‘expired’?

Patient’s Wife: He’s dead, Doctor.

Doctor: Dead? Nonsense. He can’t be dead. I saw him last week at the bridge club. He looked fine to me then.

Patient’s Wife: Well, you’re the expert, Doctor.

[Note: Please do not ring the Prime Minister if you feel sick. He cannot be expected to run the country and take calls from people he didn’t actually see last week. His recent Retrospective Diagnosis was merely intended to reassure a colleague.]

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  1. excellent. and also this.

  2. In spite of your excoriating wit which has no doubt caused Mr Key to curl up in a ball under his desk, the fact is that we do not actually have any facts.

    You tell us that Mr Carter is suffering from chronic and disabling depression. Is that your diagnosis? I do not for one moment doubt your word but the continued absence of any definitive information is inevitably going to lead to unfounded speculation.

    I know it’s not fair; you or I can be ill without our symptoms being paraded across the media. However Mr Carter has got himself into the invidious position where nothing less than a statement from either his doctor or lawyer on his behalf stating unequivocally that he is seriously ill is going to put the matter to rest.

    And as for Mr Key’s intervention, can you say with your hand on your heart that you have never uttered an uncharitable “yeah, right” when hearing information of which you were sceptical especially if it hapened to be a work colleague suspected of swinging the lead?

    Finally I do wonder whether you would be so staunch in your defence of Rodney Hide were he to suffer a mental collapse. I do not recall your getting indignant at the treatment meted out to Benson Pope.

    • In spite of your excoriating wit which has no doubt caused Mr Key to curl up in a ball under his desk, the fact is that we do not actually have any facts.

      Be patient.

  3. I am a fervent admirer of your ability to make a good case for the causes you believe in, even when I disagree profoundly with your position. But in the ongoing Carter imbroglio I fear you are in a hole and should stop digging. Mr Carter is no doubt a worthy person, who as you might put it, deserves compassion when facing unfortunate circumstances and difficulties. I have no problem with that at all. But the following I also hold to be indisputable;
    1) This affair has been profoundly damaging and embarrassing for Mr Goff and Labour.
    2) Politics is a tough game, not for the thin skinned.
    In light of these facts, I think that for Mr Key to not let off a potshot or two aimed at his opposite number rather than Mr Carter would require the restraint of a saint. Unfortunately it seems politics is not a field for saints either.

  4. I wish key would stick to what hes good at……im just buggered if i know what that is!

    I think before key makes comment about Chris Carter he should enlighten us on the Mr Worth resignation.

  5. Tell, Carter to put away the Panadol. Aunty’s come a scurryin’ back home, to him, next week.
    And with that news, I just know, the spring’s returned to his step; alacrity to his heart, coupled with the preening posture to his gait; the Cheshire grin’s reappeared on his dial; mouth is salivating; and the pores of his skin, excreting, in excited expectation.

    Who’s the quack, who came to the determination, that he needed “8 weeks” to recover, anyway? How could quackie be so specific, with a set timeframe? Why not 5 weeks, 12 hours, 17 mins and 28.5 secs? I don’t believe, that he’s suffering anything more than a bruised ego, and the runs of petulance. And he’s playing up to it, like there’s no tomorrow. Just like a kid, who, wants to stay home from school.

    If, he is suffering from a bit of stress, then, it speaks volumes as to the fortitudes of Benson-Pope, Worth, Field, the odious Heatley et al.

    And don’t tell me, a get-away holiday is the prescriptive panacea for what’s ailing this guy. Because, he’s banked enough of those to last for several lifetimes.

    He had full presence of mind — when he, coldly, set out to wreak havoc on to his Party. One, that: not only has cosseted, but also indulged him, for so very long.

  6. Damn – that fellow Merv has used up all the commas.

  7. Merv, I find you very entertaining and eloquent but you do go over the top a bit at times.

    I dislike Carter as much as you do, but if he is genuinely ill I see no point in putting the boot in further. Why not wait and see.

  8. Hes obviously following the Gordon Gecko school of inhumanity.
    “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

  9. @ Annie: Hun, if I left you with a couple, you wouldn’t know what to do with them, anyway. And sorry, for using up all your one and two-syllable words; leaving you with absolutely nothing, save your adolescent name.
    Feel free to reconstruct the above; I’d be very interested to see your effort.

    @Ben: I know, I come across as a heartless shit. I also know, that, John Key wouldn’t make that call, unless, he knew there was truth to it. Bearing in mind, it’s a very delicate situation, if it weren’t true.

    Annie: have a crack at this, as well.

  10. To Orphan Annie.

    From a poster:
    The remote diagnosis by ‘ Dr John’ is laughable.

    Without the comma after ‘Dr John’, it’s Dr John who is “laughable”; rather, than the “remote diagnosis”. You get it, or you don’t?

  11. Question, for Merv

    How old were you, when, you, left school?

  12. Brian, I’m with Bill on this, you should stop digging.

    Lets not forget Chris Carter’s apparent depression is a result of his own actions and whilst I have every sympathy for those who genuinely suffer from depression, I have little sympathy for Chris.

    Perhaps it’s the cynic in me but I can’t help feeling this is just another of the “poor me” excuses he seems to forever roll out whenever he puts his foot in it. Lets not forget he has been a Member of Parliament since 1993, he knows the ropes and he knows the pressures involved with such a position. We all strike hardships in our careers from time-to-time. While I admit few have to do so as publicly as Chris, he has to accept this is the nature of his job. You can’t have it both ways Brian, garnering all the attention when things are going well and then complaining about it when things go badly, particularly if you are the perpetrator of your own demise. As you well know this is the nature of both politics and the media. If anyone should be suffering from depression it should be Phil Goff, watching Labour fall apart around him. I have no doubt after all your years in current affairs and as a political commentator you yourself have contributed to the “pressure” on politicians on many occasions. In fact simply by continuing to write about it you encourage comment and debate, but as I said, this is the nature of the media….

    Having said all this, I don’t think any compassionate person wants to see another suffer, so I do wish Chris all the best in his “recovery”.

  13. Trev, you’re just having your bitch, because I never acknowleged your last post re “beta testing”.

    Dude, I’m really sorry: but, “us” doesn’t include You. I’ve never had much faith in those, whom are known to silently mouth the words, they’re reading.

  14. 14

    I don’t know about PM John Key’s medical abilities but it is interesting that Chris does’t seem to trust real Doctors either

    “Dr Smith said he had received a letter from Mr Carter’s lawyer – friend Claudia Elliot – saying he would be away from Parliament for two months because he was “unwell and unfit to attend work”.

  15. Merv – I find it hard to believe you would use the word ‘dude’. It just doesn’t fit. Has someone stolen your online identity?

    Re: orphan Annie’s remark about your use of the comma. You do seem overly fond of that little punctuation mark.

  16. @ Amelia. Brian, does not like comments that are off-topic. But, as you are civil…..

    Modern Written-English is trending away from the use of the comma. I know that. To me it’s personal preference which has much to with one’s personal individual writing style as well as the accepted rules of application. In many cases it’s neither right nor wrong. The reason being is that Modern Written-English is to approximate the spoken word. In other words it’s sort of being verbalised for the sake of improved rhythm fluency and seamless transition from one thought process to another. I guess what you’re saying is that the use of the comma vitiates the writer’s prose causing it to become stilted luxated wooden clunky and interruptive. But it’s also at the risk of being ambiguous and cluttered with entendres and less inflected unlike speaking where pitch and pace-of-delivery imparts the speaker’s emotional resonance by vocal intonation and of course attendant body language and facial expressions. You can’t do that when writing and that’s why there are ‘emoticons’ to signal cyber cadence. Also I write quickly you know. (Which is true).

    Speaking of: “I write quickly you know”. In it’s literal form, I can write/spell the word “quickly”. And it’s presumptive — that is, you know I can.

    But: “I write, quickly, you know”. Means: I write, at speed, and the statement changes from being presumptive to rhetorical.

    I’m still puzzled about your “dude” remark. Idioms — and the street vernacular — is my first language.

    Take care :)

  17. In praise o’ da comma. The guy who wrote this, done used, heaps.,9171,967673,00.html

  18. Thanks Merv. I will check out that link.

    Re: ‘dude’. For some reason I had imagined you to be an older man, national voter, appreciative of a good wine and a cravat. Hence I was shocked by the use of ‘dude’. Go figure.

  19. Yo! Amelia — “a good wine and a cravat”. The one with the brass ring? No, I’m def not a kid, or even a young adult, or even a growed-up adult. But you’re more likely to see me in a Zumba class — and on the dance floor — than in a grey cardie.

  20. I got a bollocking the other day because I did not use any commas. Yer can’t win can yer

  21. Brian

    Please tell me this is all only a bad dream.

  22. “Please tell me this is all only a bad dream”.

    @Brian, I’d just love to cut loose on this one. I really ‘would’. As in Justice Wood.

  23. Some poeple are born to excorriating circumstance, some should’nt be born at all…
    It’s immaterial to me how many “intellectual labels” comrade Key has attatched to his moniker, the question is, does the work he does, match the publics expetations of the salary that he gets.
    “I work hard” is often touted by those ministers weho like to provide a one liner, closed ended comment, that we’re supposed to take to our hearts as the gospel truth.
    How dare we question these darlings of upper echeloned godliness, “honaralble ministers” etc:
    The fault, as I see it,lies with irresponsible media quotes, that spin the truth in accordance with ratings.
    Pardon me…what is the truth??
    Media censorship? mis-quoted ministerial statements? inexcrable newscast presentations by emotional presenters….
    “what is truth”?
    Ask Pontius Pilate..
    And the world, as we know it, contines to spin, and spin, and spin….

  24. I do hope that JK’s tongue is faster than his brain.
    The idea that politics is not for the “thin skinned” suggests a political construct of individuals who are not representative of the whole community: that good old world where white middle-class ‘heterosexual’ males with Prussian haircuts and striped suits trade favours in their own exclusive club.
    After lengthy pondering I suggest Merv considers giving up the rhumba in favour of the Queer Tango, I think it just might work.

  25. Toot: “After lengthy pondering I suggest Merv considers giving up the rhumba in favour of the Queer Tango, I think it just might work”.

    Don’t be like that, Girl. I can do rhumba On-1 or On-2; I can do salsa, bachata, merengue; social f/trot and slow f/trot, waltz; American-Hustle, ceroc, Street cha-cha and the normal one etc, etc, etc.
    Yep, and I’ve even had Tango lessons (not Argentinean) from two diff instructors.

    Hell, cos it’s you, I’ll take you on the floor and we can freestyle to my fave song:

    See? I’m not offended.

  26. Alas, I tried to watch your Black Eyed Pea soup but at 756 B/s (and two hours waiting for it to load), I gave up.

    Stuff you probably already know:
    The queer tango movement … opens new possibilities for heterosexual dancers: women learn the lead, men learn the follow. Studying both roles, women and men enhance their sensitivity and communication. (Wikipaedia).

    Keep focused Merv, don’t dissipate your energies, don’t diversify into line dancing hive mentality lest you become terminally apostrophized.

    JK isn’t the only one who would benefit … Arghhh! BENEFIT! Wash my mouth.

  27. @ Merv email me re J Wood NZ style

  28. TV comment; Retirement age to be extended to 72.
    My oh my, whos a clever boy then. We need to economise our retirement bill, unsustainable, etc.
    Wot a salacious crock a crap!!. Give this little blurb a perusal, if you dare!
    We have a nation undergoing an economic crisis, a mini depression; wots that Jonno? a “recession” you say?. Tell that to those individuals who’ve been cast onto the scrap heap of redundancy, and are wondering how they’ll manage to keep their mortgage going, let alone their lives.
    And now, to add insult to injury, they’ll have to work till age 72 to collect a national pension. Save for retirement?? What with Johnno, what with??
    We’ve got an up and coming generation of young people about to enter the work force, some of who have studied diligently at polytech and university to gain themselves a reassonable standard of living, and a chance to be the nations “movers & shakers”. Their study debt equates to the cost of a modest house. That’s got to be paid off before they can think of marriage & family. And you have the bloody nerve to winge through your party manifesto that they’re ducking off overseas where the grass is that much greener and digestible.
    So, here we are, a country in economic crisis, workers laid off through redundancies, an escalating benefits bill, and you want to add extra workers of senior age to a workforce that can’t provide jobs for that escalating number of unemployed.
    How do they fend for themselves, eat cake?
    Who is going to provide jobs to men aged 65 to 72 years of age? You?
    And while the oldies remain employed, who provides sustainable income jobs for the up and coming youthfull wannabes? You?
    And, on top of all this, a massive repair bill for Christchurch. Where’s that money coming from? which Paul do you have to rob to pay Pter?
    WE pay you Johhno, to be a part of the solution, not an addition to the problem.
    Or, is that just too bloody hard for you?
    I’ll bet that Labour can provide a solution, maybe you should ask them.
    Vote for you at the coming elections? No Way!!