Covering for ‘Vacation John’

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, January 15th, 2010 - 68 comments
Categories: dpf, john key, Minister for Overseas Holidays - Tags:

Both David Farrar and Cameron Slater have posts up attacking a comment by roger nome in one of our comment threads, and it shows they are worried about Key’s image as a do nothing ‘Minister for Overseas Holidays’.

On the surface level, it’s kind of cute that Farrar and Slater are obviously reading through our comment sections so thoroughly. I mean, and no disrespect to roger nome here, I hadn’t even seen the comment that has Farrar and Slater all in a lather. 200-odd comments a day is too many to read them all. The comment doesnt’ breach our high standards. You can write what you want in our comments threads as long as it’s on topic, not just trolling or flame-war inciting, and not gratuitously filthy or insulting. You can contrast that yourselves with what is allowed on Farrar and Slater’s blogs.

Frankly, Farrar and his rabid chihuahua Slater both going after a spur of the moment comment by an ordinary person on our blog and then trying to somehow link that to us or the Labour Party stinks of desperation.

And why wouldn’t they be desperate? The vitriolic response coming out of National’s proxies to questions about why John Key is spending so much time on holiday while unemployment continues to rise at home (and who he might be meeting with while spending all that time in the US) is revealing. They know that Key’s Achilles’ Heel is his ‘do nothing’ approach to government. That both Farrar and Slater have gone after a random comment in a post that criticises John ‘Minister for Overseas Holidays’ Key for his frequent vacations while Kiwis are still losing their jobs shows that they are aware that Key’s ‘do nothing’ image is hurting.

Maybe one of them could prove me wrong and write a post showing how Key’s policies and actions have helped contain unemployment and improve the lot of working New Zealanders. But what could they write about that? Nothing. Key is the do nothing Prime Minister. Therein lies their conundrum, and therein lies the genesis of these strange little attack posts.

68 comments on “Covering for ‘Vacation John’”

  1. Ari 1

    Has nobody else thought that “Minister of Tourism” could be an excellent pun in this regard? It keeps popping into my mind whenever you say Minister of Overseas Holidays. 😉

    • Daniel J Miles 1.1

      That’s exactly what I was thinking the whole time. Surely it’s much funnier just to call him the Minister of Tourism.

      • Matt 1.1.1

        Isn’t he actually Minister of Tourism? By the way – the Kblog comments were just surreal – it has become a farce of a parody of itself.

  2. Eric C. 2

    I said it before and I’ll say it again.

    “John Key is all style and no substance.”

    The news must be filtering through to the National Party which would explain their lap dogs’ vicious attacks on the Standard and Labour today.

    No, I don’t really think they were vicious. I was simply attempting to use their methodology.

    Anything the Standard puts up that worries them causes them to attack it “vicious” or “nasty”. It is a great technique if it is not over used.

    • Jim McDonald 2.1

      “all style but no substance” ?

      – actually, “neither style nor substance” is what some of us are thinking … most of my family voted for National or opted to give National a try and we are not so sure now that we made a good call

  3. Zaphod Beeblebrox 3

    George W. to a Tee. The overgrown schoolboy who never quite grew up enough to realise life isn’t a giant holiday.

  4. BLiP 4

    What has John Key got to hide that his wolf pack comes baying at what appears merely to be a fanciful suggestion?

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    David Farrar has been quite explicit in emphasising (in bold, no less) that nome’s view cannot be taken to be that of The Standard. So it’s hardly correct to then accuse him of “trying to somehow link that to us or the Labour Party”.

    The level of paranoia you ascribe to DPF in that allegation is exactly the level of paranoia which leads you to ascribe to him the motive of “defending” Key’s constant holidaying. I can see him doing no such thing — merely defending his right to privacy and critiquing a comment.

    Could it simply be that a rather silly comment was made by someone entirely unconnected with The Standard and the response is merely pointing out that some on the left are rather daft, if not a little nasty, in a cheap point scoring exercise? (as are some on the right, but of course right blogs will never admit that, and vice versa).

    Sometimes things are exactly what they seem.

    Zaphod Beeblebrox:

    That’s an apt comparison. Bush used to take an average of nine weeks a year, mainly at Crawford. But as someone said at the time “the longer he’s away, the less damage he can do to the country”.

    • lprent 5.1

      The problem is with Key is that the longer he is on holiday, the more that the dumbass ministers can entrench themselves into stupid positions.

      At least when he is around JK stops a lot of ideas because they’d involve (ummm) work – and that isn’t ‘relaxing’

      😈

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      Fir enough Rex, but dpf kind of ruined his act in comments:

      “[DPF: I made very clear it was a comment, not a post. But considering this is a topic the author have gone on about so often, I think it is fair to say they were dog whistling for it.]”

      The posts aren’t dogwhistling ‘dumpster diving’. They’re about Key being a lazy bugger. That’s pretty unrelated to going through his trash. So it’s not fair enough. Unless you do this…

      Combine that DPF comment with this from his OP:

      The Standard is obsessed with the fact that John Key holidays in Hawaii. They go on about it all the time. The obvious answer that it gives him and his family some privacy is far too obvious.

      …where DPF ignores that the criticism of Key is how much time he holidays, and introduces the idea that Key needs to protect his privacy from, err, someone, and voila….

      …The criticism of Key being a lazy bugger is ignored and it’s all about teh nasty Standard dogwhistling nome to suggest that lefties do what righties actually did do to Clark.

      Shorter Pb:

      I’ll see “I know you are, I said you are, but what am I” and raise it with an “I’m rubber you’re glue what bounces off me sticks to you”.

      😉

      • Rex Widerstrom 5.2.1

        Errrr… ink, pink… nah, I’m out 😛

        Hmmm I guess if you combine those writings in that way you could take that view. So fir enuf back atcha, Pb.

        If The Standard did whistle to nome (in doggy style or otherwise) I’d be inclined to avoid it as I do another blog which accords him considerable space and where I was once subjected to a hissy fit for telling you to bugger off, so buggered off myself 😀

        • Eddie 5.2.1.1

          Rex. You probably were wise enough to stay away but Slater’s post specifically links from nome through us to Labour.

  6. The Voice of Reason 6

    Watching the Aussie/Pakistan test a few minute ago and the guest commentator was PM Kevin Rudd. First question to him was what brings you to Tasmania? He answered that he’s been in Tassie on holiday with the wife and kids for the last ten days.

    Imagine if we had a PM that not only liked the country he allegedly leads, but was chuffed at spending his holidays here too. Anyone want to start a sweep on where Key retires to the day after quits or is sacked? It sure as hell won’t be Helensville.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      I’d lay odds that, as soon as he’s out of parliament, he’ll be back to the US. I’m reasonably sure that he doesn’t have any real connection with NZ.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        So why did he come back to N.Z. then?

        He was earning far more money in his previous profession than what he could possible hope to make here.

        • Eddie 6.1.1.1

          PM looks good on the CV

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Who said he left his previous position? He’s a speculator and he can do that even while being PM. IMO, he probably spends more time being a speculator than being PM so I doubt if his income has been hurt at all..

  7. TB 7

    1) I seem to remember Helen Clark spending just as much time on holiday overseas so what’s the issue with John Key being on holiday?

    2) for as long as I can remember from about early December to early February our nations illustrious, self sacrificing and hard working MP’s have always been on holiday (paid for an ever grateful taxpayer), usually overseas.

    • The Voice of Reason 7.1

      HC loves tramping and climbing mountains and holidayed mostly in NZ, as I recall. Key is on the big silver bird at every opportunity and has had more days off than any PM in living memory. What annoys me more than his lack of commitment to his job is his lack of commitment to NZ.

      At least Piggy Muldoon, for all his faults, just parked it up at Hatfields beach and hung out with the locals. I suspect Bolger and Shipley stayed on the farm, Lange, I’m not sure of, though he did spend time in the Cook Islands, which is still sort of local.

      I guess the problem is that Key simply doesn’t appear to like his job, his people or his country and clearly prefers to be somewhere else. That’s not his problem, it’s ours.

        • BLiP 7.1.1.1

          By all means, feel free to submit your leave application in triplicate to The Standard where it will be given due consideration and you will be notified of any outcome accordingly.

          However, is your job to lead by example, are you charged with promoting New Zealand as the ideal place to holiday, have you told the world that we are 100% Pure and encouraged your overseas family and friends to come on down . . . No?

          All in all, John Key’s example is a bit like Rob Fyfe flying Jet Star.

          • Jared 7.1.1.1.1

            Wow. Just like Helen Clark!
            2001 – Holiday in the Himalayas to climb Mount Aconcagua
            2003 – Again, Christmas overseas
            2004 – Yet again, another overseas Christmas, this time in Norway
            2005 – Another Overseas holiday to an unknown destination

            A Herald article in 2003 highlighting her exploits, and the fact that she didn’t even tell where she was going. I wonder if National should have sent spies to follow her???
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3050915

            “Helen Clark’s chief press secretary, Mike Munro, is “not at liberty” to divulge her location and will not pin her down even to a particular continent.

            “She is intensely private about her holiday arrangements and we have been asked not to say where she is,” he added.”

            So does this mean that Helen Clark hated NZ? No, and neither does John Key.

            • BLiP 7.1.1.1.1.1

              And Helen was Minister of Tourism, when?

              • Jared

                Since when does the Ministerial role impact on Holiday choices? Should Judith Collins be holidaying in solitary confinement? Actually, don’t answer that one. My point is, John Key deserves privacy, something no Prime Minister gets anywhere in NZ, which is why he and other Prime Ministers chose to holiday overseas.

              • BLiP

                Why – what’s he got to hide?

              • Jared

                The assumption of wrong doing on his quest for privacy is incorrect. Everyone deserves private time with family, if he was to holiday in NZ he wouldn’t get that sorta privacy. He holidays in private for the same reasons Helen Clark kept her holiday plans quiet. Why does privacy automatically mean he has something to hide?

              • BLiP

                So, the argument put forward by National Ltd® for trashing privacy across the rest of society doesn’t apply to John Key?

              • burt

                Jared

                You are a bit slow on it today. If Helen wanted privacy that was good and healthy, if John wants privacy that is evil. You see it is based on the colour of the party logo. Red = good and Blue = Bad. You think you can compare what they do rather than what colour their logo is – wow – you have a lot to learn.

              • Jared

                I must have missed the part where Key was complaining of benefit entitlements. Or are you talking about Labours baby, the Search and Surveillance Bill?

            • mickysavage 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Count the days that she had off and then criticise her. Also compare her grasp of New Zealand’s issues to that of Key and then tell me he is doing a good job.

              • Jared

                If only it was that easy Micky. She kept her holidays pretty damn secret. And I wasn’t criticising the length of holidays taken by her. I said it was hypocritical to assert that JK “has had more days off than any PM in living memory’ as The Voice of Reason had without historical evidence proving such an allegation. What I was also criticising was the inference that John Key is the only PM to holiday overseas, Helen Clark travelled overseas for her holidays frequently, and in a more secretive nature by not even stating what countries she was visiting.

                Grasp of issues is a subjective matter, and I wouldn’t expect to agree with you, or you agree with me.

        • The Voice of Reason 7.1.1.2

          I’m not the left, JP. I don’t speak for the left, though I speak from the left. The left is of course, responsible for your four weeks annual leave, so feel free to say ‘ta’ any time you want, but rest assured, no permission is required.

          The point of the post and the comment you object to, is that Key is showing a remarkable inability to focus on the job and clearly would rather be anywhere but here in NZ. This is starting to become an issue for the right, hence the attack posts on Kiwiblog and Slater’s cesspit.

          Nobody begrudges you your vacation, JP. I’m sure you’ve earnt it. I’m less sure about whether Mr Floppy has earned his.

          • TightyRighty 7.1.1.2.1

            I would have thought that sixty five percent of the sampled population thinking new zealand is heading in the right direction is a clear indication your doing your job well.

          • TB 7.1.1.2.2

            Actually I started getting 4 weeks leave back in 1995 when I negotiated that condition with my employer. I well remember National being in government then.

            • Captain Rehab 7.1.1.2.2.1

              So did I. But that was because the union I was a member of at the time negotiated it for me and all of my workmates. I don’t reckon anyone would have four weeks if my union and all those other unions hadn’t set the trend early on.

      • Jared 7.1.2

        Come on, that is pretty low. I have a bach in the coromandel, does that imply that I hate Auckland where I live? If anything, going on holiday to Hawaii where he is unknown gets him out of the media glare that politicians can hardly avoid. Trying to give his family some privacy doesn’t imply that he hates NZ, or that there is something more sinister going on. Imagine if he did holiday at Omaha? It would be front page fodder every move he made. Even HC chose remote and obscure destinations to holiday in (including predominately overseas).

        Also, is there any historical data to compare Keys holidays to? Im not prepared to take a blanket assertion that JK has had the most holidays of any PM without some historical data.

  8. illuminatedtiger 8

    So tell me right wingers, how is it that you can spend years attacking our former Prime Minister’s sexuality, even her gender status, yet have the sheer audacity to claim the moral high ground when someone questions John Key’s holiday time. Do tell.

    • Jared 8.1

      I work with facts illuminatedtiger, not heresay. If you want to allege John Key has taken the most number of days holidaying then I expect historical data. Its not an unfair request. Otherwise such statements are unsubstantiated bullshit.

      • illuminatedtiger 8.1.1

        Jared, re-read my comment and point to where I said John Key had taken the “most number of days holidaying”. If you’re observant individual (which so far seems doubtful) it might click somewhere in that big, “fact working” brain of yours that I didn’t That’s a fact.

        • Jared 8.1.1.1

          my qualm was with the comment posted earlier that stated “and has had more days off than any PM in living memory” written earlier by the Voice of Reason. Which was where the comment “If you want to allege John Key has taken the most number of days holidaying then I expect historical data” not questioning yourself, but questioning the earlier statement by The Voice of Reason.

          • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1.1.1

            Fair question, Jared.

            I suppose these matters are public record so no doubt somebody will come up with the data. The only ‘living memory’ I trust is my own and I’m confident that Key will be way out on his own in terms of both frequency and length of down time. I’ve seen a few PM’s in my time, but none I can recall have insisted on this much time off, particularly in their first year in the job. Or during a global economic crisis for that matter.

    • TightyRighty 8.2

      Sheer audacity? it’s the way you bang on about it like he isn’t allowed a holiday, or a holiday overseas, when dear leader was unable to be located when on holidays overseas. Mr Key has performed incredibly well this past year, record high poll ratings both party and personal, increased voter confidence in the direction the country is heading, steering the country through recession that was not helped by the vindictiveness of the last government. i think that man deserves a holiday. at least he isn’t risking life and limb up the himalaya’s or in the andes and uncontactable. plus if the rumour mill in wellington is true, which it usually is, then everything some righties have claimed for years, is true.

  9. I thought roger nome’s comments were not too bad.

    The right wingers are like a pack of rabid hounds. If they have the slightest sniff of scandal they descend. Why should the left be any different? I guess we do have standards.

    But there are many scandals out there in right wing land. Why should we not comment on this?

    Politics is currently a strange game. It is essentially a matter of building senior members of each party into indestructible super heroes and then waiting for them to self destruct.

    This is not a very good way to decide on policy.

    • Gosman 9.1

      I’m not surprised that you, or any other leftist person on this blog, didn’t have a problem with Roger Nomes’s comments. Too people not on the extreme left of politics they came across as seriously unhinged.

      I actually made a joke about going though John Key’s rubbish thinking that suggesting something as extreme and bizarre as this might make him realise his comments were a little unhinged. However his response suggested that he thought this might actually be an option if it wasn’t illegal.

      There does seem to be a really bizarre fascination by some members of the extreme left with John Key and what he does, or doesn’t do.Frankly I think that is a good thing as so much effort is wasted trying to attack him rather than on other, potentially more politically lucrative areas.

      • sk 9.1.1

        roger nomes comments were daft. But that is a straw man. JK’s distance from real NZ will matter over time. . .

        Anyway, JK is suppose to a financial genius, but his property in Maui must be down 50% since he bought it.

  10. sk 10

    One explanation is that the reason that JK’s holiday’s are such a lightening rod is that there is an underlying sense that NZ’ers are being used by this P.M. That he loves gallivanting on the global stage, but at some fundamental level does not give a rat’s arse about what happens to NZ.

    After all, he is happy to tell people – even as PM – that the only reason he came back to NZ was to go into politics, that if not for that he would not have come back.

    There is a sense that he does not have the attachment to the places, to the landscapes, or the land that makes us New Zealanders.

    That is the issue, and that is why Farrar et al needs to hose down this issue. For it is real. And at the core, has nothing to do with where he or HC holidays. It is about ones commitment and vision for NZ. And JK has none .. . .

    • Gosman 10.1

      He’s a Politician. Just like Helen Clark before him he has his own agenda as well as a view of what he wants for the country.

      Many people have argued that Helen Clark was just using her time as PM as an extended job interview for some sort of International position. I’m sure there was some of that but I’m also sure she thought she was doing the best by the country she most closely identified with.

      If John Key didn’t have an affinity with N.Z. why did he move back here?

      • sk 10.1.1

        I am not sure he has a view of what he wants for the country, If he has, he will have show them very soon.

        On coming back, because his role at Merrill Lynch was a dead-end, and he wanted to be in politics in the way Goldman partners try to buy seats in the senate or congress now. Next step of ego gratification, and NZ was the only place he could do that .

        But you never get the sense that he is ‘into’ NZ, apart from what being a high profile politician offers him

  11. ohkristonastick 11

    you are delusional.

  12. Tigger 12

    One suspects that anyone spying on Key would die of boredom.

  13. Nick C 13

    “You can write what you want in our comments threads as long as it’s on topic, not just trolling or flame-war inciting, and not gratuitously filthy or insulting.”

    Yeah, and as long as you support Labour.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingroup_bias

    • Eddie 13.1

      Do you support Labour, Nick C? No

      And are you being allowed to write what you like within the other rules? Yes

      Is your very comment an own goal? Yes

  14. brokenback 14

    Could it be that John rrilly needs these frequent breaks because, despite the fact that he’s doing bugger all governing in the interests of all new zealanders , he’s very tired from staying up all night currency trading[the only thing we can conclusively say he’s good at].

    selling the $kiwi short[ probably all he knows] , stealing from the productive economy and impoverishing every New Zealander to some degree.

  15. ohkristonastick 15

    Bitter & twisted little socialists, unite in your hatred!

  16. Jenny 16

    Hi Eddie,
    I liked your challenge to both Farrar and Slater, to “write a post showing how Key’s policies and actions have helped contain unemployment and improve the lot of working New Zealanders.”

    You concluded Eddie, “But what could they write about that? Nothing.”

    I don’t think that the government has been doing nothing.

    In fact the Nats like most tory governments, have been busy implementing policies (usually under urgency) that seek to mollify the layer of New Zealand society that they see as their core constituency.

    It is questionable whether Key and his government have the interests of working New Zealanders as their focus.

    I agree with Farrar and Slater that Key could be doing important work during his holidays in Hawaii that will benefit their constituency.

    The question is, who do the Nats and ACT see as their constituency?

    By taking holidays in Hawaii, John Key, through the bars of his gated community, gets to witness the neo-liberal miracle that is the Hawaiian economy.

    He is absorbing from the other wealthy people he meets there, the right wing quackery, posing as economic theory, that he will need to justify applying the same sort of policies that benefit the rich and privileged, but impoverish the rest of society when he gets back to New Zealand.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-12-19-hawaii-cuts_N.htm

    The attacks on the public sector detailed in the above link are similar to proposed attacks on teachers and projected cuts to public services and infrastructure that have been muted by the Nats for us for the coming months.

    Modelling the New Zealand economy on the Hawaiian experience, which while protecting the wealth and privilege of the few, will have the same dire results for for the rest of us as in Hawaii.

    In Hawaii things are working out well for the rich and privileged, the effects of mass unemployment matched with gutting of the state sector doesn’t effect them.

    So in some ways by taking in this experience, John Key could said to be working after all.

    Maybe Key’s supporters and their lickspittles have a point after all.

  17. millsy 17

    Blubber-boy is such a hypocrite.

    His blog is bile and hate speech. Look at what that fat prick said about that lady who died when she had her power cut off?? (I know who she is, I just cannot spell her name). He forfeited any right to the moral highground when he said that comment, and subsequent comments. Whaleoil love dishing it out all the bloody time, it it is time that he got the crap kicked out of him.

    He slags off the following:

    the poor
    workers
    women
    labour
    unions
    gays
    children
    academics (what is he trying to be, the next Pol Pot)

    etc.

    The guy is a hatemonger. Plain and simple, If I ever meet him, I am going to beat the crap out of him, plan and simple.

  18. randal 18

    it is quite amazing how fastidious farrar and slater are when it comes to looking for slights against their persons or avatars.
    their minions from the cesspit are just as creepy when it comes to trolling through other peoples blogs and accounts looking for any or all infractions to knock them out of the discourse.
    democracy it aint in the cyber world.
    anyway back on topic it shows how much keys is comitted to his latest project that he runs away whenever he gets the chance.
    either we dont have enough money for him to suck up for one of his partnerships or we are just too provincial.
    when I look at mcully gulping likea stranded guppy becaue hillary isnt coming to his party then I suspect the latter.

  19. valerie 19

    Hey Randal – I saw Murray at Flax last Thursday evening just after Hillary declined. Despite being “stood up” he looked very comfortable – his partner being all that Hillary must envy in youth and beauty.

    Mr “Equivocate” Key may be a Zionist – he has not confirmed.

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