French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon have called on world leaders to attend the Copenhagen talks on the new climate change treaty. President Obama will be attending as will the leaders of most major countries. Yet John Key still says he almost certainly won’t go, even after New Zealanders raised the money to get him there.
This is what people are talking about when they say Key is a do-nothing Prime Minister.
He doesn’t literally ‘do nothing’, of course – if you want someone to launch your boat or a cycleway opened or a clown for your kid’s birthday party he’s there in a flash.
But when it comes to the big things, the stuff that matters, he does nothing. Unemployment? Do nothing. Wages? Do nothing. Environment? Do nothing. Copenhagen matters, even National seemed to think so when it was ramming through its shambolic ETS this week, yet Key’s still planning to do nothing.
If you look at the international trips Key has gone on they’ve been meaningless talkfests, a speech to the UN General Assembly at 6pm on a Friday when no-one was there and some amatuer stand-up.
Copenhagen is the real deal. What is being negotiated there (and, probably, in follow-up meetings) is the most significant international agreement, arguably, since the UN charter outlawed the wars of aggression. More countries than ever before will be signing up to legally binding emission reductions. The treaty will be a unique supranational effort to confront a uniquely global crisis.
The world’s leaders will be there to shape the agreement, except for Do Nothing Key. And I guess that tells us what kind of a leader he really is.