Posted by BE on July 20th, 2011
I think it is a media myth that a photo op with Obama will sway anyone’s vote. What we have is a a pm that is a typical good kiwi bloke who is comfortable in any situation.
the appealing thing for me is that he cares not a jot about the politics which is such a refreshing change from the previous outfit where everything was about politics. Key just seems to be having a good time while making a pretty good job of running the place, sort of qualities one would like in a boss.
I usually enjoy reading the blogs and responses on this website, and I have found many persuasive pieces which have forced me to challenge my own views. That being said, I am not sure of the purpose of the photo montage? 5 minutes on Google images gains the same sort of results for Helen Clark and other politicians, from a range of party affiliations.
Kate – I think you will find Helen Clark actually was an effective PM even when not having photos taken…unlike Mr Key, whos sole skill seems to be able to Smile and Wave and thats it…..he certainly not shown any other ability!
I’ve recently left a role where I was seeing pretty much every magazine and newspaper produced in New Zealand daily.
I learnt two things about John Key from this role.
1) It is amazing how little time in the office John Key does spend.
2) John Key’s smile gets more chilling every time.
I never thought I’d miss Rob Muldoon’s ugly face…
It’s a credit to you Brian for posting a special ‘John Key Tribute Page’. With this electic collage of the photogenic and fanciful pics of our very photogenic PM, it really puts paid to the belief that you’re an irredeemable dyed-in-the-wool Labourite.
Keep up the good work!
“Key just seems to be having a good time while making a pretty good job of running the place, sort of qualities one would like in a boss.”
Oh no, David. Do get it right. The intelligentsia’s orthodoxy around here, courtesy of objective folk like markus, Kerry and Sean is that there is only way to manage a country – micro-manage, intervene, and attempt to solve every problem in intricate detail. Anything else is simply a lack of caring and/or coherent policy.
Anyone considered the possibility that in a complex modern democracy, when coming out of a recession the most important goal is attracting a suitably high shared level of confidence and buy in so as to harness collective effort? Having a leader with a deft relaxed touch goes a long way to achieving that. Sort of like David Lange was in the 1980s – but then didn’t Muldoon accuse him of being as shallow as a bird bath?
This just acts as a much needed (albeit smaller) counterweight to the pro national, pro John Key, love fest that is occurring across all of our major news sources. At least some people are doing the work that our major newspapers should be doing.
Not sure where Liz Hurley fits in here .
BE: A slight liberty, I admit. You may remember that JK thought she was “hot”.
It must be extremely galling for you Brian to know that only a small minority of New Zealanders agree with you.
Perhaps the difference is that Key did not spend his entire life desperately aiming to be Prime Minister and actually seems to have a life outside politics.
In contrast to his predecessor.
And how you must hate being outside the loop!!
pjr-its john key in drag,isn’t it? very effective get up.
can we get phil goff doing a lady gaga? or maybe a taylor swift even.
Mediocre, deeply anti-intellectual, a cultural philistine and just a little bit lazy – just a few of the characteristics of our PM that when you point them out cause those who so aspire to be like him to take the criticism so extraordinarily personally.
Do I detect a certain narrow Cartesian Duality to your thinking here, Kimmy ?
I have no idea what you detect, markus.
Probably the reflection of your own prejudices.
However, I think you are suggesting a duality between perception and substance. Perception is important. So is substance. One feeds and continually bolsters the other. Clark had both, and reigned for nine years as a result. If Key is a lite-weight, he’ll be found out. Have seen little argument of substance in the last two threads to show that he will be.
I am confused though. If he follows Clark’s policies, he is too intellectually dull to come up with his own. When he does come up with a differing policy, it is proof that he is thick and heartless. Ho hum.
Liked Sean’s earlier reference to Muldoon. Looks like National have another PM who has stolen the heart of the common man, the ground that Labour so treasures – and needs. Labour supporters and sympathisers tactic then was to demonise Muldoon. Now with Key they are trying to dismiss him as trivial. So instead of treating either of them on their merits, it is easier to sneer, and blame the electorate for its poor decision.
With such poor tactics Key looks set to be around for a long time yet.
The intelligentsia’s orthodoxy around here, courtesy of objective folk like markus, Kerry and Sean
Thanks for the abuse Kimbo, I assume you were being ironic.
I’m objective enough to measure the present government on its results, which in terms of economics, employment, and social equality have been very poor.
I have to ask, what “deft relaxed touch”? If John Key actually had a “Deft relaxed touch”, things would be looking better now, instead he is taking New Zealand down a hole, with a wave and a smile.
I’ll admit, Sean, to sharing on occasions the same tempestuous Celtic tempermant that your name implies. Nevertheles, anyone who can post comments such as, “Key isn’t a knight in shining armour, he’s a con man with a cheap shiney lie”, and “I never thought I’d miss Rob Muldoon’s ugly face” really has much grounds for complaining my comparatively innocous comments constituting abuse.
Man, this is like visiting Whale Oil. Different politics, same mentality. At least Cam and his regulars are honest about who they are, and what they are about.
As a result, I’ll stick to my initial instincts regarding the partisan quality of your judgements.
Thanks for the dialogue.
The middle picture in the first row best sums up the man.
Here’s a little litmus test: imagine Helen Clark in Key’s place in each of those photos.
Nope – she still would have lost the election.
BE: You’re probably right. But, aside from dealing with world leaders, which she was very good at, she wouldn’t have done any of those things anyway. Photo-ops were not her thing and she was never very good at them, especially the clowning-around variety. It’s an interesting area. Some people have bodies that don’t work for them – Don Brash and Dick Hubbard are two very good examples. Still, not a bad record – won three elections and might have won four, had it not been for Winston. But winning more than three terms is almost impossible. (“Time for a change!”) And the “Nanny State” mantra (aka trying to get people to do things that are actually good for them, like stopping smoking) was very powerful.
Man, this is like visiting Whale Oil
No, it isn’t like visiting Whale Oil. For a starter, Brian writes as a likeable fluent person who can create a well reasoned and constructed post that is entertaining. A number of times I have read Cameron Slater and come away with a concern for his well-being and stability.
Yep, you are right in thinking I’m partisan against the current government, but it isn’t a blind partisan ship.
I hold my view because this government has failed economically, unemployment is up, and social inequality is increasing, as is child poverty. I also hold my view because of this government was elected on a stated aim of decreasing the wage gap with Australia, slowing emigration trends to Australia. This government has failed by its own measures.
And John Key is the front man for all of this. That’s why I say he is a conman selling a lie. The lie is that National/ACT/Maori party are a good government, and he cares what happens to New Zealanders, statistics say they aren’t delivering. His actions say he doesn’t care.
As for missing Muldoon’s ugly face: back when he was Prime Minister his face was on telly every night, eventually it drove the public up the wall. The important difference is when Muldoon was in office, he only appeared in-front of the public as Prime Minister. John Key photo opportunities are based around son planking, or he wears a colourful shirt, or he is at a motor-race, or has a funny hat. My favourite was of John Key, in a lab coat, hunched over a large spider, looking not unlike Igor. I was not exaggerating about my experience of New Zealand’s media. I’ve seen a lot of it over the last two years. The sheer volume of time John Key photo opportunities connected to John Key merely standing beside something is staggering.
And this has left me utterly terrified about what John Key will sell out in a trade deal with America, for a chance to be photographed standing next to President Obama. Will it be a free trade deal that excludes the products of New Zealand’s agricultural sector? Will it increase the rights of Multi Nationals while reducing New Zealander’s protections? Will it end Pharmac, increasing costs of medical drugs across the board?
My position is that John Key’s government is not acting in the Nation’s best interest, and we are all going to pay for it. It isn’t an unreasonable position.
“My position is that John Key’s government is not acting in the Nation’s best interest, and we are all going to pay for it. It isn’t an unreasonable position”.
Ok, Sean. Thanks for taking the time to articulate your position in depth. I’d attempt to dialogueinteract in detail, but I fear your brand of certainty would render that pointless for both our sakes.
A few thoughts though. Labour in 1972-75 also presided over the same sort of economic conditions we are currently experiencing. They were cast out of office, possibly unfairly.
In a small country like New Zealand, the captain of the ship of state has little choice over the seas in which he or she has to navigate. Personally, I think if Clark had been re-elected in 2008, things would be little different from what they are now. How could they? Key has, like a good pragmatic conservative in the classic National party mode, simply reinforced the essential status quo. And except for a bit of tinkering, Clark and Cullen would have done the same – waiting for the upturn in the cycle.
And as for talk over selling out NZ via foreign trade deals? Come on! When Clark signed us up to China, it was a master stroke according to Labour supporters! Doesn’t Key get any accolades for getting the ducks in a row for a similar arrangement with the world’s second largest nation, and one of the 21st century’s burgeoning economic power-houses, India? Or was that all about photo ops in front of the Taj Mahal?
Kiwis are good at picking fakes. I seem to remember Brian making that point a number of months ago. They know that whatever else, Key is someone who cares about the country – just as the vast majority of our politicians do!
Key may be good at utilising the photo op – so he should! It is a useful and necessary tool for successful modern politicians. Hey – David lange went through an entire campaign in 1987 with nothing but photo ops!
You may also question Key’s competence – fair enough. But I fear you are deluding yourself that he is a sell out. He does what he does out of genuine conviction. Doesn’t make him right, but he ain’t dishonest.
“As for missing Muldoon’s ugly face: back when he was Prime Minister his face was on telly every night, eventually it drove the public up the wall.”
Damn right – I actually left the country because of it. More recently, I was about to be forced to do the same again when Clark fortunately lost the election. It was her or me
And as for talk over selling out NZ via foreign trade deals? Come on! When Clark signed us up to China, it was a master stroke according to Labour supporters!
Yes, you see I’m not opposed to foreign trade deals, if they benefit the country. If John Key walks in with a good deal with the Americans, fantastic.
If John Key walks in with a deal that has shut out our primary produce out of American markets, while lowering the employment protections for New Zealander, abandoned the bulk buying power of Pharmac, and given Multinationals the right to sue any New Zealand government for any law change that impacts on their profitablity. I will not consider that a good deal.
The difficulties that have stopped the Americans coming to a decent free trade deal with New Zealand in the past remain in place. I do not believe John Key will solve them, but he may sign a treaty any way. That is why I worry.
“If John Key walks in with a deal that has shut out our primary produce out of American markets, while lowering the employment protections for New Zealander, abandoned the bulk buying power of Pharmac, and given Multinationals the right to sue any New Zealand government for any law change that impacts on their profitablity. I will not consider that a good deal.”
Indeed, Sean, and I worry about that, too.
“Personally, I think if Clark had been re-elected in 2008, things would be little different from what they are now. How could they? ”
Kimbo, where do I start?!?!
1. Cullen would have canned the April 2009 and October 2010 tax cuts. We simply could not afford them – as witnessed by the $380 million we are borrowing each week; $16.7 billion in deficit this year; and $71 billion in deficit since the recession started.
Having to borrow for tax cuts (amnongst other things) is not fiscally prudent. It is madness. In effect, we aree putting other peoples’ money into our wallets.
2. Clark and Cullen (hopefully) would not have adopted some dogmatic “hands off”, “standing back” ideological position as our unemployment went from 3.8% (2008), to 7% (2010). Hopefully they would have implemented a jobs creation programme to keep employment up; unemployment down; business activity up; welfare down.
If a government needs to borrow – borrowing to maintain jobs at least makes some kind of sense.
3. Clark (hopefully) would have instructed SOEs to buy local and hire local. It may be unsound fiscally, in terms of neoliberalism – but to hell with ideologies that are unyielding and inflexible when faced with a crisis. (Such inflexibility destroyed the USSR – founded upon another inflexible ideology.)
The #1 priority should have been the preservation of jobs.
I can’t even recall anything practical that Key has done to keep jobs.
His much-vaunted cycleway was supposed to deliver 4,000 jobs. We got 270.
The jobs summit in early 2009 was supposed to yield options to save jobs. It achieved nothing.
In this respect, National has failed miserably.
Kimbo you should be a politician.
Your statements are worthy of beehive bullshit honours.
You do not work for Treasury, do you?
“You do not work for Treasury, do you?”
Nope. Just a guy with an opinion, who likes to test it out, and see it judged on its own merits, to see if it can be challenged by better ideas, stated coherently, irrespective of passions and prejudices.
Obviously came to the wrong place…
@ Frank Macskasy
“I can’t even recall anything practical that Key has done to keep jobs”.
Yes, well I’d suggest that tells us something about your inability to recall, based on your political myopia.
Let me help you. Second to last photo above – John and Bronny and the tourist shot in front of the Taj Mahal.
Next read my response to Sean – and repeat after me, “negotiating a free trade agreement with India”.
Perhaps if you stopped making sneering an art form, dropped down the level of bile, and paid attention, you wouldn’t need a remedial catch up.