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From clean and green to grey and grubby

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, December 15th, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: climate change, youtube - Tags: ,

Tourism New Zealand has recently launched its dedicated YouTube channel – Have Your Say – where tourists can post video messages about their experiences while visiting here via a mobile studio.

Here’s what our new PM, Minister of Tourism, and veteran YouTube user John Key had to say.

But while John’s out there on YouTube doing the hard sell on “clean and green”, off camera he and his ministerial mates seem far more committed to an environmental future that’s grey and grubby.

New Climate Negotiations Minister Tim Grosser has just returned from UN talks in Poland where he’s been trying to weasel out of our agricultural emissions obligations while here at home Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Energy, has signaled the National/Act government’s forthcoming backdown on biofuels.

So smiling tourism videos aside, Greenpeace reckons “with our new Government’s embarrassing backtrack on climate we’re now at serious risk of becoming an international climate pariah”.

I sure hope Tourism New Zealand has a plan B.

39 comments on “From clean and green to grey and grubby”

  1. Did he really say our country is “very pitcheress”??? And what’s with the peach shirt??? Honestly left/right politics aside this guy is a friggin embarrassment…

  2. Tane 2

    an opportunity “to learn some of those Maori words”

    Have to agree with the ‘Sod, what a dork.

  3. Bill 3

    Speechless.

  4. why does he mince about like that on screen? and why was he superimposed on that weird backdrop using 1960s technology?

  5. DeeDub 5

    Good GOD! The MAN-SALMON! the MAAAAHHANNN-SALMONNNNNN!??!!!Nooooooooooooo!!!

    Seriously though, his ‘axunt’ is a national embarrassment, as is his attempt to look ‘casual’.

    Twat!

  6. all_your_base 6

    Superimposed? I just assumed he was lying on the forest floor.

  7. gingercrush 7

    I’d listen to him over Helen Clark any day.

  8. Yeah but who cares what you think?

  9. all your base. that’s it, you win the best comment of the year award. Pick up your prize at the next super-secret standardista meeting. the password is carrots.

  10. Chris S 10

    Steve, I was thinking the exact same thing about the mincing. Very strange.

    Looking forward to learning some cultcha.

  11. Felix 11

    I have this horrible(y funny) feeling that the people who shot and edited this had a lot of fun at wee Johnny’s expense.

    I can hear them saying “Nah, nah, doesn’t look gay at all. It really helps if you move more – even dance a little, you’re having fun! That’s it. That’s the take!”

    Oh and John? Don’t worry about those maari words – you’re having enough trouble with the english ones.

  12. Tigger 12

    ‘I love going to QUEENStown’ – tee hee. I bet you do, you flamer!

    This is comedy gold! Finally we have proof that we elected our first ever gay male Prime Minister!!! Way to go New Zild!

    Course, as a gay man I don’t actually want Key on our team so any time you straights want to reclaim him will be fine by me.

  13. Felix 13

    No returns.

  14. greenfly 14

    Is he ad libbing or did someone write that vacuous tripe for him?
    p.s. Is he the dog from ‘Garfield’ ? Odie ?

  15. student_still 15

    Every time I hear John Key speak I feel physically sick to the core of my being. Someone with a speech impediment and a limited understanding of and appreciation for the English language, as well as the ART of verbal communication, does not BELONG in politics. ‘Unfortunately’, this would rule out the majority of the National caucus. So I must, for the next 3 years, put up with John Key leaving out entire syllables in words, as he fumbles his way through his SINGLE term as Prime Minister. I’m so utterly embarrassed by this man.

  16. Kerry 16

    im so embarrased……for the next 3 years i cannot leave the country!! I mean what if someone says “oh you got that dork as your PM havent ya”??!!

    Anyone got any shoes I can throw?

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    Stop be’n silly. Key is a reel New Zeelander all the way from New Ork. He knows lots of em’ Maari words.

  18. forgetaboutthelastone 18

    i haven’t seen a button-down collar since the 80’s – u cant buy those nowadays can ya? why tf would u wanna button down your collar?

  19. Lew 19

    student_still: Someone with a speech impediment and a limited understanding of and appreciation for the English language, as well as the ART of verbal communication, does not BELONG in politics.

    I, too, despise the way our PM says `litricy’ and such things, but I have a couple observations to make:

    1. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth was engaged in whenever Helen Clark’s political opponents complained about her so-called masculine voice and speaking manner.

    2. Apparently he DOES belong in politics, having led his party to electoral victory. Can those of you who decry the emphasis on prettiness and nice, empty words in modern politics REALLY get too concerned that he got elected despite his diplomatic failings, except for partisan political reasons?

    L

  20. IrishBill 20

    Key’s diction was not the point of Steve’s post.

  21. Lew 21

    IB: Quite true, and my observations weren’t directed at him.

    L

  22. Felix 22

    Lew,

    I’m not sure it’s valid to compare criticism of the sound (or even the manner) of someone’s voice with criticism of someone’s lack of ability to pronounce simple words correctly.

    But of course he’s been elected democratically so we have to wear him, like it or not. It’s not the first time we’ve been represented overseas by an embarrassing personality and I doubt it’s the last.

  23. Lew 23

    Felix: I’m not sure it’s valid to compare criticism of the sound (or even the manner) of someone’s voice with criticism of someone’s lack of ability to pronounce simple words correctly.

    Of course it is. Both criticise cosmetic matters of delivery rather than substantive matters of capacity. That’s not to say cosmetic matters are irrelevant, but it’s important to keep them in perspective.

    L

  24. Tigger 24

    Who is this aimed at? I mean, who would come to ‘picturess New Zild’ after seeing this? More likely it’s an invitation for some nation like the US to bomb the hell out of us to stop us breeding anymore camp, dorky PMs.

    In a year, once the world realise that our ‘clean, green’ image is tainted and we’re run by a cabal of climate change deniers then Key will be dropping this portfolio like the proverbial hot potato – of course, he will claim workload as the reason.

  25. Felix 25

    Lew,

    I suppose the question is whether the inability to pronounce four consecutive syllables is due to a substantive lack of capacity. Today’s video certainly made me wonder…

  26. Lew 26

    Felix: I suppose the question is whether the inability to pronounce four consecutive syllables is due to a substantive lack of capacity.

    Which might be a reasonable speculation if you weren’t aware that the person in question has already copiously demonstrated his capacity in the worlds of business and politics. Please don’t tell me that you still think John Key is a no-talent façade of a man who’s sleepwalked to fabulous success.

    L

  27. Alexandra 27

    Never mind Key’s voice or his lack of ability to pronounce simple words correctly, how about his inability to string a sentence together ……’…amazing sort of arrr 360 turns.’ The backgroung music is particularly enchanting. Sounds curiously like the 1970’s scar band the Specials – Message to Rudy, without the words but the beat goes with ….’stop your fooling around…..time to straighten right out… better think of your future….’

  28. Felix 28

    Lew,

    I think he’s a highly motivated person with a narrowly focused range of abilities which he’s used to his advantage to achieve reasonable success in his chosen fields.

    No more, no less.

    I don’t he’s proved himself particularly intelligent though.

  29. I suggest everyone add a comment to the video spelling out John Key’s environmentally destructive policies. I have.

  30. Lew 30

    Felix: reasonable success in his chosen fields.

    If you consider the sort of positions Key rose to in his chosen field `reasonable’ success, then I expect we’ll be seeing you on the Rich List (or receiving a Nobel Prize, a Man-Booker Prize, a Fields Medal, an Oscar, an Emeritus Professorship or something of the sort according to your chosen field) real soon now. That is, if you aspire to reasonable success.

    Honestly – this was the major reason Labour and co. lost this election – they underestimated John Key, and chose to lampoon him and criticise his weaknesses, rather than taking him seriously and as a credible threat, and attacking him on his strengths. And you’re still doing it. You might plausibly argue the man is evil, but there’s no credibility to the argument he’s incompetent. It’s just not so. Trace, NZ’s best propaganda cartoonist, gets it.

    I don’t he’s proved himself particularly intelligent though.

    Intelligence is a problematic concept, and not a strong predictor of capability. In any case, I wasn’t arguing he was intelligent – I think it’s rather moot – I was arguing his capacity as a businessman and politician.

    L

  31. bobo 31

    Beyond cheesy, when I saw the tourism video booth on tv I thought it looked lame, like a doctor who set with dead grass stuck to a wall.. Whats wrong with tourists filming on their own cameras with real scenic backdrops outdoors.. way too low tech I suppose.

  32. Quoth the Raven 32

    Lew – Key was just one of thousands upon thousands of faceless bankers at his level. It’s hardly nobel prize or emeritus stuff and to say otherwise is farcical. Furthermore, those people who are worthy of that kind of praise have far far greater worth to society than an appropriator of wealth (even actors). On the diction bit, we were just having a little fun at Key’s expense, there’s no need to jump up on your high horse, it doesn’t mean we think he’s simpleton. On intelligence, if you add a moral dimension key would then be a simpleton.

  33. Felix 33

    Success is also a problematic concept. I’m not particularly impressed by money so I don’t rate his successes as highly as others might, but if we’re comparing his bank account to those of the leaders in his field then “reasonable success” seems fair. I certainly wouldn’t equate his achievements with a Nobel or Man-Booker Prize (Oscar, maybe). If you’re impressed, good for you.

    The reason his intelligence was brought up was because you suggested that people were making fun of his voice, whereas I think it’s quite clear that the fun was being poked at his limited grasp of the language he’s been speaking all his life (not a sign of great smarts).

    As for being evil, I don’t see it – he’s just another aspirational tory, no worse than many others I’ve met. His vested interests may conflict with mine but that’s another matter.

  34. Rodel 34

    Come back Crosby Textor!
    You are obviously no longer on the payroll and it shows.
    We need you to put the appropriate words in our PM’s mouth and help him look unstupid again.
    Please as taxpayer I don’t mind paying for this just to stop the embarrassment to our nation.
    He’s almost as embarrassing as that Bush fella.

  35. Lew 35

    QtR: Key was just one of thousands upon thousands of faceless bankers at his level.

    That doesn’t in itself make his achievements any less worthy.

    It’s hardly nobel prize or emeritus stuff and to say otherwise is farcical.

    I concede a degree of hyperbole in that comment, but only as far as his business career goes. The achievements I listed represent the culmination of a life’s work. However I would put becoming Prime Minister of a country on a par with those – so as far as his political career goes, my comparison stands.

    Furthermore, those people who are worthy of that kind of praise have far far greater worth to society than an appropriator of wealth (even actors).

    This is a much more interesting argument, and rests largely on the utility of wealth to other social goods. I suspect it’s an argument for another time and place.

    On intelligence, if you add a moral dimension key would then be a simpleton.

    Another interesting argument, which further problematises the already problematic concept of intelligence! I’m not sure we have enough information about Key’s morality to make this judgement. I don’t accept that everyone who believes in wealth creation as a first priority is necessarily amoral.

    Felix: Success is also a problematic concept.

    Quite.

    I’m not particularly impressed by money so I don’t rate his successes as highly as others might, but if we’re comparing his bank account to those of the leaders in his field then “reasonable success’ seems fair.

    So, as leaders in his field goes, he’s done `reasonably’ well. How about as compared to all participants in his field? Doesn’t the fact that he’s among the leaders mean he’s done rather more than `reasonably’ well?

    I certainly wouldn’t equate his achievements with a Nobel or Man-Booker Prize (Oscar, maybe). If you’re impressed, good for you.

    Same concession as above : )

    I think it’s quite clear that the fun was being poked at his limited grasp of the language he’s been speaking all his life (not a sign of great smarts).

    I don’t think he struggles with the language – I think it’s clear he struggles with the delivery. I think that’s fundamentally the difference. If you believe that everyone who is frequently tongue-tied or is a poor public speaker is necessarily unintelligent, I think you’ve got a fairly uncharitable view of the world.

    As for being evil, I don’t see it

    For what it’s worth, I don’t, either. But I accept it’s a matter for debate.

    L

  36. Chris G 36

    Showed this to a few mates last night….. They thought it was a piss take.

    The wine pronounciations got a sure fire laugh.

  37. Tigger 37

    By the way, he’s wearing a Polo shirt here. You’d think if his handlers are going to write him a naff ‘up with green’ script and indisperse his lisping with some local imagery they could have at least put him in a shirt by a local designer – and one that fits! Key looks like he’s being sent off to boarding school in a shirt its hoped he will grow into one day.

  38. Tigger 38

    Hehehehe. It’s been removed! First YouTube video…next the goverment!

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  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
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