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First the Hone bash, then the royals

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 20th, 2013 - 116 comments
Categories: crosby textor, david cunliffe, election 2014, hone harawira, john key, Metiria Turei, news, spin - Tags:

It’s looking like Team John Key is trying every PR media spin trick in the book to try to gain an advantage for the election next year.  Does he have anything to offer Kiwis other than bash, spin and photos ops?

Show us the policies, John!

Ones that will make life easier for struggling Kiwis, improve the job prospects and social security for the least well-off, decrease the inequality gap, and deliver the conditions that will lead to thriving sustainable businesses and public services: ones that benefit all Kiwis.

Earlier this year questions arose about Key’s intentions to arrange a royal tour to NZ next year.

RNZ November 2103:

John Key says he can’t say whether a visit will take place, or who might be coming, but it doesn’t matter that it is an election year.

He says established protocols are in place and a visit would not happen close to a general election without support from both the main parties.

There is also a possibility that Mr Key will travel to the United States next year to meet with President Barack Obama.

NewstalkZB,November 2013:

Mr Key says there are established protocols about royal visits in election year, and he expects they would be followed.

He says if a visit was to happen around an election, bipartisan support for it would be sought.

“But if it happens well and truly outside of the election period – that sort of three months is broadly how I’d define it – then there’s nothing new about that taking place, and we wouldn’t need bipartisan support.

“For every election of the last five elections, we have had royal visitors to New Zealand.”

So, does that mean there won’t be an election before the end of August (given the royal tour may take a month)?  There’s no mention of Key getting bi-partisan support for the tour, so it must mean an election after August.

I’m struggling to find evidence to fully support Key’s last claim.  Was there a royal visit during the 2008 election year?  Can’t see any mention of it here.

There was a royal visit during the election year of 2005 (July),

when Prince William represented the Queen of New Zealand at VE and VJ Day commemorations in 2005, as part of an 11-day tour …

–  election September 2005. Then

 as part of her global tour for her Golden Jubilee, Elizabeth was in New Zealand from 22 to 27 February 2002.

Election was July 2002.  There was a royal visit in 1995, the year before the 1996 election.

So, it does look like Key isn’t doing that much different from some years when there was a Labour-led government.

However, I shouldn’t have had to look for this evidence. Why are the MSM articles today just reporting the planned visit in a celebratory way, without looking at the protocols and precedents around royal visits in election year, and Key’s motives for organising the visit?

Further, it surely is part of Key’s on-going MO of promoting himself and his government via photo ops, rather than through honest electioneering around clear and explicit policies.

And there was this challenge from David Cunliffe in early November at the last Labour Party conference.

Mr Cunliffe at his first Labour conference speech said Mr Key would want to invite the Royal couple to New Zealand “to bring its cutest member here for a long series of photo ops in an election year.”

He challenged Mr Key to take them to McGehan Close, a poor street in Auckland used by Mr Key in Opposition to illustrate what he described as a growing underclass in New Zealand.


Remember McGehan Close, John? And how 5 years later his electioneering poster child had left for Aussie after being bullied at school, taken in to CYFs care, and failed by key’s government?

key Aroha-Nathan-Ireland-John-Key-Getty-2007-1200

So now, in 20013-4, Key cares more about being seen with royals than those continuing to struggle to survive under his watch. Meanwhile Hone has been out amongst those struggling on low incomes.


Opposition MPs do photo ops that are strongly related to their core policies and values.

And this month Metira Turei, coming from a low income background, has been talking about her commitment to improve the lot of people in poverty today in NZ.

To have every citizen be deeply free – our institutions, economic, political, social need to be purposefully built to deliver equality.

Just making little tweaks in a band aid response to inequality is not good enough for our kids.

So I, Metiria, grown up, accept responsibility for delivering a genuinely transformed world for our children, not for perpetuating one that embeds inequality.

Turei children


What do Key’s photo ops show about his values this time round?



116 comments on “First the Hone bash, then the royals”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Great article karol. Love the quote from Metira.

    • Anne 1.1

      So, does that mean there won’t be an election before the end of August (given the royal tour may take a month)?

      No it doesn’t. If he decides it’s politic to go earlier, he will go earlier. What he says and does are always different things.

      So, it does look like Key isn’t doing that much different from some years when there was a Labour-led government.

      I don’t think they bear comparison karol. The Royal visits in 2002 and 2005 were about specific commemorative events which happened to fall in election year and would normally include the presence of a royal personage. The one involving the Queen especially was part of a global Jubilee year visit. On the other hand, we know John Key was angling for a visit by W&K (and baby) next year when he spent that weekend at Balmoral because he admitted as much. In other words, unlike the previous two occasions it was a calculated invitation designed to impress voters in election year.

      • karol 1.1.1

        That’s a good point, Anne. Generally Team Key does what other politicians and parties do, but more more calculated spin. They aim to fit within the precedents and rules, but do more diversions and superficial PR, that tends to masks their underlying agenda.

    • alwyn 1.2

      Is Meteria waring one of her uber-expensive outfits in that photo-op?
      She may have “come from a low income background” but she certainly doesn’t live like it now.
      Rather like John Key, in fact.

      • karol 1.2.1

        Oh really? You can tell by that photo? And do you have evidence of Turei’s uber-wealthy life-style? In the league of John key?

        • alwyn

          Please Karol, did you read what I wrote.
          1, I never said that she was wearing an expensive outfit in this photo. I ASKED if she was, because I wasn’t there and the image is very small.
          2, I very much doubt that she is in Key’s league for wealth now. However my comment was that she, like Key, came from a poor background and doesn’t live like someone who is poor now. Also the uber-expensive referred to her clothing, not the rest of her standard of living.
          I think that that is a reasonable statement.

          • karol

            Oh gee, alwyn. So comparing Turei to Key was not meaning that Turei is as wealthy as Key? And really… Turei came from a poor background struggled in her early years, and has achieved some successes – so? Do you expect MPs to look like they are unemployed?

            The differnece between key and Turei is:
            1) it sounds to me like Turei’s family did exist on a pretty meagre income for a long period. As a young adult she wasn’t that well off – wen’t to uni at a later period. Key’s family doesn’t seem to me to have struggled much, and he was able to go to uni straight from school.

            2) Turei hasn’t pulled the ladder up after herself – she remembers her past struggles, empathises with those who are struggling still, and aims to do something to build a fairer society. Nothing like the hypocrite Key doing his photo ops in McGehan Close then leaving them to flounder.

            • alwyn

              According to her own biography, as on the Green website and in an interview in the Womans weekly, going to University “at a later period”, as you word it wasn’t because she wasn’t “that well off”.
              She says that, before she got pregnant at 22 she had failed School Cert, Sixth Form Certificate, her BA and Teacher’s College, where she had apparently been at 18.After her daughter was born she settled down and instead of devoting her time to the Anarchist movement, NORML and the Mcgillicuddy Serious Party, she gor down to work and did a Law degree.
              I don’t think Key, who was a much more serious individual, thought he could waste his time on trivia.
              and the Green Party website

          • bad12

            Pathetic rubbish alwyn, what do you expect Mets to dress in, sack-cloth or rags perhaps, she is a well paid leader of a political party who knows full well the effects of poverty, who has personal aspirations of seeing ALL New Zealanders be able to afford a new set of rags when they need them…

          • weka

            alwyn, what’s you point? Obviously Turei has a higher income than she did before. So what?

            • alwyn

              Why should Karol bother to point out that Metiria came from a “low income background” as if that was something unusual. As I proposed, so does John Key.
              Actually far to many politicians go on at length about how poor they were, when it isn’t really true.
              I remember seeing something by Pita Sharples about how badly his father had provided for his family. You know the sort of thing. Dirt floors, no shoes, walking miles to school, no coat when it rained etc etc.
              Then he said that his father made him choose between going to the (private) Te Aute College OR to go to a Scout Jamboree in England. Poor Pita! His father said he couldn’t afford to do both. Somehow I couldn’t feel that sorry for his life of penury.

              • karol

                alwyn – you missed the point about not pulling up the ladder after themselves. Turei is committed to helping those in poverty. Key uses the “underclass” for photo ops, then abandons them, now is more into photo ops with royals. The policies of his government amount to pulling up the ladder after himself – as for Bennett and her punitive welfare reforms.

                • alwyn

                  You might want to check up on Metiria not “pulling up the ladder after themselves”
                  From the attached item you might begin to wonder whether Metiria has crossed over to the dark side. She certainly seems to be enjoying herself gallivanting at this gathering of the Otago Aristocracy. I don’t see too many of the proletariat there with Ms Turei.
                  It looks a rather more upmarket do than John Key’s beer and a barbeque for William on the driveway at Key’s Wellington accomodation doesn’t it?

                  • karol

                    You’re a comedian, right, alwyn?

                    So Turei wearing….. nothing, with the invisible aristocrats?

                    How long did you have to search to find anything of Turei (allegedly) with the wealthy? It ain’t her normal style.

                    Haven’t seen Key getting down and dirty to clean parliament along side the cleaners.

                    meanwhile, key goes out of his way to be sen with royals, leaders of major countries, Hollywood moguls, All Blacks, etc, etc…. etc, etc.

                    Edit: Oh, OK it works now…. FFS – that’s a winters’ costume ball in Dunedin! Are you deliberately trying to score own goals! Turei is always well into dressing up in costumes to party.

                    • alwyn

                      Sorry about that. I thought I had got it right the first time but I got the link messed up. You must have looked just after I had posted it and before I managed to fix it.
                      I didn’t think anyone would have taken this seriously, particularly after the reference to the “dark side”. Unfortunately, even though it has been pointed out to me where the “smiling faces” is explained I still haven’t worked out how to put one in.
                      Come on admit it. Don’t you think it is even the tiniest bit funny?
                      As for Key being seen with royals, leaders of major countries, All Blacks etc, etc, it is unavoidable in his position. Certainly it is a lot more likely than if you are the co-leader of a minor party.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    The Larnach Castle do looks a bit like a steampunk convention. It certainly looks less upmarket than a do with visiting royalty, armed security guards, and a personal photographer, but I suppose you’ll see what you want to see. How the hell is Metiria’s going to a party in a dress that could have come from an op shop pulling the ladder up after herself? Will no one with a similar level of income be allowed to enter Larnach Castle from now on? Why are you so bitter and spiteful towards her?

                    • alwyn

                      I’m not bitter at all. On the other hand if it was from an op-shop I think she should have shelled out a little bit more money and got a larger size.

                    • karol

                      Of course Turei at the steam punk ball is a bit of a laugh. The thing about Turei is she is a very smart, legally trained politician. She still retains a sense of fun from her younger days, and remembers what it’s like to survive on very little. She can mix with the powerful and folks on the lowest incomes.


                  • David H

                    What an amazing dress.

                    And if you can afford it then you too can go to the ball alwyn


        • mike

          cant you read karol?

      • North 1.2.2

        Raving on about Metiria’s gears Alwyn you strange person ? What’s that got to do with anything ? Trust a rightie to exhibit their thickness at the drop of a hat.

        • North

          Oh my goodness Alwyn…….I said earlier “strange person”. Let me amend that …….sort of knocking on the door of perv’ and nutter person. Oh sorry…….forgot you’re the working class Tory who borrows a pair of boots to walk 20 miles to vote…….Tory. Completely fucked in the head sort of thing..

          Sad prick. What are you doing here anyway ? Your natural habitat is more like SlaterPorn.

      • Foreign Waka 1.2.3

        So sack and ash would be just right? OMG, how far does this go? Into the Dickensian ages?

  2. Skinny 2

    Key will roll out the red carpet for the royal toffs. I hope their visit back fires and sparks a strong move within NZ to becoming a Republic. The English royal family are nothing more than a bunch of snobby nosed blunders, the timing of their visit here is to prop up the Tory Government here. The cost of the visit will cost us tax payers plenty. 

    The costs should be debited to Nationals election campaign that’s why there coming here next year.   

    • Tracey 2.1

      the collective “we” shouldnt be paying. We cant afford it. If they want to come, let them pay, for everything, includng the services that surround the disruption.

      BUT it must be priced so do we need to OIA estimates?

    • Grantoc 2.2

      It aint going to backfire Skinny. Most of the population will fall over backwards to welcome them, including most Labour/Green supporters. Republicanism won’t get a look in.

      You and yours will be a very small minority and your point of view will be perceived as petty sour grapes.

      I betcha you won’t hear anything from David Cunliffe either that is remotely in support of your views because he’ll be on the wrong side of the argument; somewhere he won’t want to be in election year.

      Thats realpolitc for you, tough as it is.

      Have a happy Christmas Skinny! And raise a glass to the royals!

      • MrSmith 2.2.1

        Unfortunately your probably right Grantoc and that says a lot about the intelligence of the average Kiwi, personally I wouldn’t cross the road to piss on their shoes.

      • Skinny 2.2.2

        It’s election year you can count on the royal visit as a platform for minor fringe parties to use the visit as a way of getting good media coverage (any publicity is good publicity). You will find 
        a lot of Kiwi’s would be annoyed if the NZ taxpayer is funding one of the wealthiest females in the Worlds son on a Tory junket.

         It’s all in the message “Tax payers fund millions in an election year promotion for Tory Government”  & “The Queen & her England Family hold little relevance in former colonial outpost.”

        I would expect Cunliffe to moot the time is nearing to becoming a republic and with it a New Zealand constitution that reflects our coming of age as an independent Nation. There is a feel good factor in it and a signal of meaningful change. Like I say it’s all in the messaging and of course there are votes in it to be mopped up, means to an end.   

        You can bet Key will change his position very quickly should the call to becoming a republic be strongly supported by the people. 

  3. Tracey 3

    How much will their tour cost us? I want the money diverted into food for kids programmes, or rape prevention education in High Schools. Much better use of the money. IF they want to pay for it and our police and traffic services etc then they can come.

    • Good comment Tracey ,So I wonder if Key will take these aristocrats and Royals to South Auckland and other poverty stricken areas ,? Will the royalists in Aotearoa comment on the difference between our kids in poverty and the privileged life of their little darling. I think not.
      The whole thing stinks of of election scam. I hope New Zealanders will reseal this fact .unfortunately I very much doubt it.

  4. millsy 4

    I hope Prince “Hori” screeches his guts out when Key tries to hold him. That would be funny.

    As an aside, is there a point to monarchy? Seems to be a hangover from more primitive times.

    • fender 4.1

      Surely they wouldn’t let such a lowlife touch the most important baby in the world, they may however let him consume the contents of its soiled nappy.

      • David H 4.1.1

        You could just imagine it Key standing there arms twitching as if he’s going to grab the baby, whilst he mumbles “Please lemme hold the babbeee. PEEeerrleese” Then there’s that nasty I’ve lied/soiled my pants intake of breath, and then the mumble “I’ve got my own photographers” “Purlese lemme hold the baby.” ” I need to hold the baby” “It’s my right to hold the baby” Thud, thud, thud. As the security types have to stop him from, grabbing the baby screaming. “It’s my right i neeed the photo’s”

        • North

          On a day when for a variety of reasons I am hoha you gave me a great laugh with your word picture there David H.

          “Johnny wanna Johnny wanna Johnny wanna !”

          Sadly depictions of Key The Spoilt Child while amusing conceal the reality of Key The Robber Baron.

          Oh The Hoha……..

    • chris73 4.2

      Is there a point to any monarchy

      – not really

      Seems to be a hangover from more primitive times.

      – Yep

    • Millsy.

      The whole lot are a load of bludgers ,
      Most of Europe deposed of them but they still took their ill gain fortunes with them and most if not all live in the lap of luxury.

  5. BLiP 5

    . . . I’m struggling to find evidence to fully support Key’s last claim. Was there a royal visit during the 2008 election year? . . .

    No, there wasn’t a “Royal Visit” in 2008 but we did have a “royal visitor” – John Key is just being a tricksy bugger and playing semantic hopskotch to avoid telling another one of his blatant lies. That the media lets him get away with this is typical, but hardly surprising. Remember also that a Royal Visit boosts MSM sales and eyeballs immensely, so why let the truth get in the way of that?

    • alwyn 5.1

      Can you tell me how a “Royal Visitor” is in some way not a “Royal Visit”. Do you have some strange definition that distinguishes them?

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        I suspect when we pick up the tab it’s the latter.

      • karol 5.1.2

        I suspect the difference is in the way next year’s visit is headlined: ie a “royal tour”

        A flying visit to attend a specific event is not in the same league as a very high profile PR managed tour – the latter involving a range of appearances and vast media coverage.

      • BLiP 5.1.3

        Don’t be trying that fancy footwork around here. The simple definition is that a “royal visitor” wasn’t invited by the New Zealand government and just happens to be here for some reason, whereas a royal invited by the New Zealand government is then on a “Royal Visit” to New Zealand. Simple, really. Your attempt to defend John Key’s half-truths is touching, if futile.

      • Anne 5.1.4

        No, it’s just that you apparently don’t have the cognitive ability to distinguish between a person who happens to be a member of the British Royal Family who attended a conference that happened to be taking place in NZ and a member of the Royal Family who is on an official visit. Princess Anne was not on a formal visit even if she did take part in one or two functions while she happened to be here.

    • Hanswurst 5.2

      Besides any of the above, the link indicates that the royal concerned was in NZ after the general election.

  6. Steve Wrathall 6

    “Does he have anything to offer…”
    A rapidly improving economy, which the statists deny, and out of the other side of their mouth use as justification for their spending promises.

    • KJT 6.1

      Where do the right wing find their, seemingly endless, supply of satirists.

    • Murray Olsen 6.2

      “Statists” – wow, have you just watched a Ron Paul video? What do you call it when the government bends us over backwards for the mining and drilling companies? Please try to remember that “pleasure” is not the correct answer here. What do you call the government help going to the dairy industry, the corporate welfare, the mounting intrusions by the state on our privacy? Your anti-statism is about as principled as Blubber Boy’s outrage at marital infidelity. Keep it up.

  7. infused 7

    If this is the beginning, you guys sure are going to be mad next year.

    • Tracey 7.1

      you dont mind the few million it will cost infused? kind of a form of welfare but not for the vulnerable/

      • infused 7.1.1

        Give it a rest Tracy.

        They come all the time. We pay each time. That’s how it’s always been and always will be until we break free, which no one has the balls to do.

        • Tracey

          god what a totally redundant thing to say. You really consider yourself just a powerless wee thing waiting for others to see the light? No wonder we’re in the shit. If people actually object strongly enough to paying for this kind of shit you think a populist like key would keep spending it? he would become an anti royalist in a heartbeat if he thought it would make him popular and as long as he could still have his kinghthood.

    • North 7.2

      You’re mad already you confused poor thing.

  8. veutoviper 8

    Another good post, Karol.

    Being the cynic I am, I find the timing of the visit in April very interesting for a number of reasons.

    IIRC earlier speculation was that the visit would be later in 2014 (eg Sept/Oct). An April visit now strengthens my instincts that Key will go for an early election – even as early as July.

    Both the Herald and TV3 News articles suggest that the visit will start in NZ in early April, rather than in Australia.

    The April timing also would help overshadow the Banks court case in March- and an early election would then negate a possible Epsom bylection if Banks loses.

    The Dotcom extradition hearing is also currently scheduled for April (although likely to be delayed again) – so an April royal visit followed by an early election could also be a gamble to get the election over before any “revelations” coming out about Key’s involvement at the extradition hearings etc.

    EDIT – Prince William also visited NZ in March 2011 (an election year) for the Christchurch Earthquake memorial service and to meet the Pike River families. ….

  9. Matthew 9

    Would be nice if parents accepted responsibility for the welfare of their own kids

    But everything is the fault of the Key government though isn’t it!

    • karol 9.1

      Yeah right! So even if the jobs aren’t there, cost of living keeps rising and benefits are increasingly squeezed…. it’s the parents fault if they don’t have enough money….?

      • infused 9.1.1

        Jobs are there Karol. Stop spinning that bullshit.

        The fact is they would rather stay on walfare.

        • bad12

          Infused, my comment at 9.3 applies also to you which will save my fingers a little work…

          • Tracey

            it’s like some of the right wing hypocrites who post here have become so titlated by the Brown stuff that their brains have turned to mush and they are back chanting the leaders mantras like good little trickle downeeze. the golden rain showering down on his supporters from John Key.

        • fender

          Yeah the jobs are there, way over there in India, scrounging around in garbage dumps in an effort to find food.

          Infused with bigotry, that’s you.

          Is this ‘walfare’ you speak of similar to wallpaper?

          • North

            Fender it’s Walmart…….where wages are low, robber baron ethics are lower, and to collectivise is subversive. ShonKey Python territory.

        • Tracey

          it’s not a fact just because you throw the word into a sentence…

        • freedom

          Yes jobs are out there infused, you are safe in your wormtongue imaginings.

          The problem is (and it is one you and others steadfastly refuse to acnowledge) there is only one job for every couple of hundred people looking. – As one of those currently looking i think i know a little bit more about it than you do.

          Let me guess though, you want proof. Proof that there are not enough jobs, but seeing as you prefer wifi re-runs of neoliberal fantasy to vistas of fundamental reality I fail to be convinced that any amount of emperical data would ever satisfy your puerile reasonings so i would instead like to leave you with a simple but heartfelt message. (and this goes to the whole gang, you srylands the gosman BM PR richie and our ol’ mate brett dale to name but a few)

          Your commentary in 2014 will be less predictable if you stopped your pavlovian prostrations for those that built high the towers of ignorance and cruelty. You may begin to see that New Zealand is in a whole lot of trouble. Ask any engineer, or doctor or your local plumber given your longstanding love of sewers, all pressure points have a way of failing when overly stressed. Today there are over a million kiwis living well below the real poverty line, that number is climbing steadily and aside from the sport it offers you, you could not care less. Do you really think that is a fact you can simply ignore?

          Please, make it your new year’s resolution to run your life using the grey squidgy thing that resides in your head and not be controlled in all you say and do by the plastic cards glued to your arsehole of an ideology. In short your life would improve and who knows, the lives of others, even those you will never meet know of or be directly exposed to, might also find that brighter future. If you make a real effort to be more aware, that sliver of decency that pierces your words on occassion might offer you a flash of self-recognition and you would not feel quite so isolated from your humanity. Or you can continue to be an ignorant hater and watch the world around you crumble. Gotta love life, so full of choice!

    • Tracey 9.2

      So why was key highlighting it then????

    • bad12 9.3

      Question Mathew???, are there 300,000 jobs loitering somewhere in the economy that those on benefits have failed to take up???,

      The obvious answer to that is a big NO, so are you suggesting that those who rely upon a benefit for their income do not have children at all???, if so what do you propose should occur where a worker with children is made redundant????,

      Shall we perhaps make the children ‘redundant’ in some way also,perhaps we could have labour camps for such children,

      The short version of this little rant is as follows: sod off you piece of s**t…

      • Tracey 9.3.1

        mathew and infused appear to believe that everyone on welfare was always on welfare. Ipso facto no one who had children while in work could possibly be out of work now? And while on lower incomes they couldn’t afford income protection insurance, so now are the subject of the scorn of the smug.

    • karol 9.4

      Would be nice if parents accepted responsibility for the welfare of their own kids

      Yes the royals who will be doing the tour with their young child should get a real job, pay for their own kids, and do international travel out of their earnings, rather than spending so much of taxpayers money on international junkets.

  10. bad12 10

    Why anyone would attribute to these descendants of Irish Piss Pot Emptyer’s a status above anyone else in the modern world is beyond me,

    The in-breeding seems to be working tho as science says it must with each generation appearing from where i can view them to be thicker and less likely to exhibit ‘normalacy’ then the one befor, He who talks to flowers has spawned a Prince, or is that a Ponce, who addresses His future Wife, thankfully at least a step removed from the inter-breeding, as Baby-kins,

    That one word contains so much saccharin that teeth have been known to rot at it’s first reading and the waste of space who penned such an endearment of such patent false-hood should in my opinion confine Himself to Countries other than this in election years and every other year for that matter….

  11. Fisiani 11

    Getting the election loss excuses in already I see. Typical defeatism in the face of a booming economy, strong job growth and surging manufacturing, dairy, film, wine, forestry, oil, gas and housing sector.


  12. How sad that in the following month, May 2014 there will be the potentially 10 day trial of the DEFENDANT John Archibald Banks for alleged electoral fraud?


    Penny Bright


  13. Tim 13

    Seems to me that Madge and Phil’s bullshit detectors are not functioning to well as they enter their dotage – otherwise they’d realise what a complete philistine and cnut ‘the unidentifeid guest’ is.
    I suspect they’re relying on ‘the fat ginger’ and a copter pilot who’re down with the kids and the philistines to keep them informed.
    The unidentified guest, truth be known – with his desperate attempts to be ‘down with Madge’s’ carpet slippers, matching checks ‘n’ all, as well as every other cheap celeb trying to extend their 15 minutes of fame to 15 weeks, is probably going to end up being a big reason NZ eventually moves to a republic.
    When history is written and NZ reflects on Key, the ‘brand’ will be toxic.
    Bit of a shame none of them have inherited Lady Doi’s bullshit detector.

    • Tracey 13.1

      he’s making sure if he loses the election and labour trashes the honours system, her Maj will give him a knighthood from her personally. Afterall he thinks so highly of his fellow kiwis that he made her husband one of our 20 greatest living NZers.

      • Will@Welly 13.1.1

        Don’t hold your breath Tracey, there’s still more gaps there he can fill up, with the likes of Charles and Camilla, and all the other horsey types.
        Perhaps come New Year, he’ll sprout forth a new set of credentials, calling himself the “entitled one”, or Lord or Baron of this fair land. As we all know, the man’s a ********* (take your pick), and to quote him, he’s only interested in his jollies.

  14. North 14

    Tim and The Bad above – Great word pictures !

    Slow down there though The Bad. What’s wrong with “Babykins” ?

    It’ll be a wonderful calmer when ShonKey Bad Uncle Python greedily executes the infamous Three-Hand-Grab and clamps the screaming royal issue to his chest.

    “Ooooh Babykins Babykins – shut the fuck up for the cameras will ya”.

    • Rodel 14.1

      ‘Babykins’ is perhaps better than his dad’s, ‘I wish I were your tampon’ comment to Camilla.

  15. Ad 15

    Karol you complain too much. Key’s team are better than Labour at what they do: they hold the good news for the right time in the electoral cycle and roll it out.

    Labour stacked up for the last quarter of 2013:
    – the Leadership change
    – the Party conference
    – the by-election
    – the asset sales referendum
    – the poverty marches
    – the anti-violence marches
    – the John Banks stuff
    – the Conservative Party stuff
    – etc etc

    Which on balance have made not a dent in National.

    Whereas National have held their nerve, stayed on message throughout, and now go into 2014 with:
    – State of the Nation speech
    – pre-budget announcements on roading in Auckland
    – booming economy and gradually deflating house market (of course not their doing)
    – reform the RMA
    – popular welfare reforms
    – fresh expenditure on schools and hospitals
    – an accelerating Christchurch rebuild
    – and of course Royalist froth

    National’s team are simply good at their job, and Cunliffe’s team (both caucus and office) have front- loaded all their best shots and are now shooting blanks.
    Auckland is incredibly lucky the Minister of Local Government has not put a Commissioner in to run Auckland – then Labour’s mayor would severely tarnish Labour across Auckland. Hell if I were PM and wanted to crush Labour, I would.

    For now, Labour are being beaten by a superior side. No point complaining about it. Labour have to vastly improve, or lose.

    • karol 15.1

      Yes, indeed, ad. My point exactly. Team Key are “the superior side” at being great manipulators and spin doctors. But it’s all about superficial appearances, and little real commitment to the good of all New Zealanders.

      But the left has more commitment to working for struggling New Zealanders.

      PS. It’s not just about Labour. I plan to party vote Green.

      • Ad 15.1.1

        I kinda guessed you would vote Green. I agree that Labour and Greens have more authenticity and care about the real concern of people. It just won’t win the next election.

        The superior skill of National is in the messaging around their content. The content, no matter its virtues, simply will not win. The message wins.

        • karol

          Yes. The NActs have no principles. It’s all about winning. What’s the point of voting for the (don’t count your chickens) winning team if it isn’t in the best interests of the country?

          I’m with democracy and political commitment and principles.

          Thank-you for admitting the ethical bankruptcy of your team.

          • Ad

            Well that will be a cold further three years for the Green-Labour team then.

            Wish it were an ethical quandary. Wish virtue and common sense prevailed in politics. But hoping that virtues and ethical quandaries will alter political discourse is just plain silly.

            Labour and Greens need to change their media and profile tactics. Doesn’t need to change their policies at all. Just need to be better at the game than National. Currently they are being outplayed. Virtuousity, not virtue, will turn this around.

            • BM

              The next election is do or die for labour.

              If labour don’t win at the next election ,Cunliffe will get the boot, with the new commanders in chief being the combo of the angry gnome and Helen Kelly.

              Labour will then become completely unelectable, all I can say is GO NATIONAL.

              A truly golden period beckons for NZ.

              • karol

                I’m glad to see you guys have already started celebrating the holiday season. Office party is it?

                Great to see you so well rehearsed with the election slogans. Be careful you don’t peak too soon.

                • BM

                  Nah, I work from home, but to celebrate the end of the working year, I cooked
                  a very nice piece of rolled pork scotch fillet covered with a home mode plum sauce and rosemary glaze.

                  Very tasty, I have to say.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes. The NActs have no principles. It’s all about winning. What’s the point of voting for the (don’t count your chickens) winning team if it isn’t in the best interests of the country?

            Parliamentary politics was never supposed to be the power base of the Left. And it can never be, simply because of the compromised nature of the game, starting with: you need to do what you need to do, to win. Otherwise why bother?

            In contrast, the power base of the Left are supposed to be those elements which the neoliberals have already destroyed. As discussed previously, they used to include various activist trade unions, womens organisations, social groups and radical movements.

            It is those activist groups on the Left which are supposed to supply an alternative narrative and to pressure the political parties to make principled decisions. Because the political parties are not going to do it themselves, in isolation.

            • karol

              It is those activist groups on the Left which are supposed to supply an alternative narrative and to pressure the political parties to make principled decisions. Because the political parties are not going to do it themselves, in isolation.

              Agree with this entirely.

              But I also think the parliamentary left have become too focused on winning, and not enough on serving the community. Partly this is because the elites have worked hard to kneecap the activist base, and to empower those with highest status and resources.

              • Colonial Viper

                But I also think the parliamentary left have become too focused on winning

                I dunno, it hasn’t really seemed like that to me…

                Partly this is because the elites have worked hard to kneecap the activist base

                Yep. However we should also remember that Parliamentarians sit somewhere around the top 1% by income; that is by definition, ‘the elite.’

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 15.1.2

        Team Key are “the superior side” at being great manipulators and spin doctors.

        At politics you mean? Well… yeah. Self-evident.

  16. Fisiani 16

    National received 45+% in 2008 47+% in 2011 and could easily get 49+% in 2014 having had such a successful 6 years.

    • Skinny 16.1

      Your deluded if you think Key will get another 3 years. The difference was 20,000 votes last election. All the benefit bashing comes at a cost, National are the ones who will get atleast a couple hundred thousand of the 800,000 slackers that didn’t vote last time to the polls voting against them. Couple that with L/G rhetoric about the abolishment of the youth rates, oh boy there is going to be a backlash from the young on slave wages. Assets sales, spying, fishing quota’s, corporate welfare & on & on.

      All those sad old faces Collins, Brownlee, Parata, Smith, Henare & the stench of the rats abandoning the sinking ship. The more smiling Key is in the news the better, Banks & Dotcom will rub that last layer of teflon off his public face!

  17. nznative 17

    Last election was the high tide mark for the Nats and they just got home with the help of Banks, Dunne and the Maori party.

    This time I expect a dirty election from the Nats ……………

    and I expect them to lose

    • Will@Welly 17.1

      The Nats are full of confidence. With the economy – their part of it, that is – turning around, expect to see election bribes coming thick and fast as they attempt to hang on to power.
      Look at TV One, 7 Sharp, Mike Hoskings being “appointed”, that guy is in the pocket of the Nats – he’s been put in there to lend “credence” to their policies. Look at MediaWorks, Steven Joyce’s old firm, they’ve featured John Key on the radio, uninterrupted. And now the Cameroon Brewer freebie, whose pulling whose strings. We can expect to see more of this political intrigue as we get closer to the election. Prince Wills/Kiss me Kate, coming out here for a date with John Key, making him at least look plausible to his adoring followers.And won’t the mags be thankful, a boost in circulation, which they in turn will reciprocate for National, with stories and B.S. as the election gets closer.
      So don’t get complacent nznative. John Key is the provable snake oil in the mix.

  18. BrucetheMoose 18

    The alternative would be for Key and his lot to do their jobs and run the country properly with competence and integrity.
    Looks like that is too hard basket. Bring on the cameras and lights- IT’S SHOW TIME!

  19. tricledrown 19

    Bumptious Midden
    You are what you eat.

  20. tricledrown 20

    Its very hard to talk with a plum in your mouth BM.

  21. Ian 21

    Labour has not got a chance in hell of getting anywhere near power until they cut ties with the greens,get a leader that can take on John Key and have a massive clean out of their job for life MP’s .I used to vote labour,even voted for Helen to get rid of that tired and dysfunctional National Govt.A short visit from our future king and queen will make stuff all difference to labours chances. Stop clutching at straws and deal to the real issues. First of all take a good hard look in the mirror.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      National’s lies are finally seeping into the consciousness of voters. Until National cut their ties with every crazy electoral life raft flotsam and jetsam passing by, and there is no other way to describe Colin Craig, they are finished. I used to be a National voter, but far from being the party which respects the institutions and laws of the land, we have a dysfunctional government which is being bought and sold by a few crony corporates. Organising a short visit from the future king and queen makes John Key look even more clueless and lost for ideas than usual. National needs to deal with real issues or 2014 is lost for them. First of all John, try and not be an amnesiac when it comes down to matters of principle and morals.

    • North 21.2

      Piss off you talking down cargo cultist. What gives you a mortgage on anything ? Your frenzied support for the psychotic narcissistic robber baron ShonKey Python says it all about you. Piss off to your mates at SlaterPorn.

  22. McGrath 22

    I have to agree with Ian. The Greens are a deadweight around Labour’s neck. I’d rather Labour win outright then have them be a slave to the whims of the Eco-Terrorists…

    • Macro 22.1

      eww!! Send politicians to slavery now!

      Who are the Eco-terrorists again? Ah yeah NACT….. They have shitted on every environmental policy ever enabled in NZ and continue to do so.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        Isn’t Crazy Colin Craig the dead weight around National’s neck?

        The Greens at least have policy that is proven good enough for both National and Labour to work with.

  23. adam 23

    I can’t call them fascist loving pig dogs Macro, BM, Ian and company, because they will enlist some law they worship from some neo-liberal who hasn’t even read the original Godwin. I can’t say if were #1 in freedom – then shit, I worry for the rest of the world.

    The propaganda from the right is nasty, and is so much in bed with Gobbles love of the BIG lie, its not funny.

    And, we can’t call out you wankers on the right – because you will fall back to – I’m sorry. it really was just a joke – really – we didn’t mean to be vindictive little pricks because you lefties keep chipping away at our privilege.

    Have a nice holiday, and hug a black Santa – it might remind you your a human being, not a unit of consumption.

  24. Not a PS Staffer 24

    Labour are not winning it in the eyes of the Press Gallery, in the eyes of the Public and in the eyes of some of Cunliffe’s greatest fans.

    What is Cunliffe doing at an political planning and daily operations level that is any different from what the previous Labour leadership was doing?

    The Weekly Shadow Cabinet meeting is good: but whose arse has he roasted for indiscipline and laziness? I’ve seen enough of that to be worried. Phil Goff deserves a bollicking at least for his TPP approach. Others are invisible.

    The Media Team has changed, I assume. Has he recruited from the same pool as the previous leadership? I’ve seen enough to be concerned. Exit a few of them now and let Simon Cunliffe hire from a different gene pool.

    Cunliffe made some brilliant speeches while being shafted by King and that piece of shit Mallard.
    I hope to fuck he has a few ready for the new year: he has to come out of the starting blocks at full speed. Key is still winning: Cunliffe has to take the fight to him. And he has to win.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Too much pressure on one pair of shoulders. National are renewing their caucus at speed. What the frak are Labour doing. If Labour are going to continue a TPP/raising the retirement age swerve to the right in 1Q next year, we’re pretty much fucked.

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