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Hollow man on the world stage

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, November 16th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: Minister for Overseas Holidays - Tags: ,

Judged by his own terms, what has John Key actually achieved on trade?

He talked big about Japan’s trade barriers – no-one paid him any attention.

Russian FTA talks were announced – it’ll be worth just $27 million.

Key’s meeting with ‘good mate’ Obama – actually sitting “pretty much next to” him during a play.

And still no White House invite.

24 comments on “Hollow man on the world stage ”

  1. Key’s meeting with ‘good mate’ Obama – actually sitting “pretty much next to” him during a play.

    That is a bit unfair. Didn’t they also have the same breakfast?

  2. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 2

    Hey Zetetic,

    It is encouraging to hear that you are convinced of the benefits of free trade and that, like many others, you are frustrated that we are not making enough progress on that front. You must be one of those ardent neo-liberals I hear so much about. More power to your elbow.

    Want to help me order 500 pizzas to be delivered to Jane Kelsey?

    • Zetetic 2.1

      Not about whether I support FTAs. About whether Key is achieving his own goals. That was in the first sentence. Did you get that far?

      Since you asked. I oppose artificial restrictions on trade in general. They result in inefficient use of the world’s resources. But moderate that by supporting countries’ rights to ban certain imports or protect industries that are vital to national sovereignty. Japan will regard their agriculture in that category. Which is why no half-arse clown like Key will get them to give up their tariffs.

      • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 2.1.1

        That was in the first sentence. Did you get that far?

        I did get that far. But then I got a bit lost. Just because the post was so cerebral. It brought to mind Fredric Jameson’s watershed essay, Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.

  3. Fisiani 3

    Great post. This will really raise the spirits. Despite two glarings errors. Keep it up.
    Is Zetetic the speech writer for Kris Faafoi?

    • Zetetic 3.1

      you mean Key isn’t good mates with Obama and he didn’t talk big?

    • Kaplan 3.2

      Fisiani, with your ability to believe your own fantasy and your fleeting relationship with the truth I reckon you’d be perfect as Key’s speech writer.

      Key makes almost all his mileage through puffing his image up more than it deserves under proper scrutiny. To my mind this means when he stumbles badly enough to expose the naked emperor his bubble burst is going to be epic.

    • felix 4.1

      Beautifully captured. I hope his babysitters haven’t let him do much talking in to all those proper leaders.

  4. Frank Macskasy 5

    I’ve long given up on Key’s caretaker-government…

  5. M 6


    Are you teasing Johnny?

    Might have been kinder if you’d photoshopped him right out than left him with a cut-out reminder.

    Key should have left as soon as he realised an invite wasn’t in the offing, now he just looks desperate.

  6. Irascible 7

    Like all money speculators Key could only utter echoes of those who had gone before when he spoke about the dangers of the race to the bottom in the “currency wars”. While the NZ media declared that he had made wise comments the International media yawned, asked who he was and ignored him, because the warnings had been made by others more informed than him.
    His other “big noting” declarations about Free Trade and relationships with Japan & Russia were only big on NZ media outlets although there was a brief mention on RNZ that Groser had warned Key away from the negotiating table as his inexperience was embarassing him. Can’t have been all that rosy for Key being ticked off by his Trade Minister….

    • ianmac 7.1

      Key said NO compromise with the Japanese wanting to become members.
      Groser said that Japan should be able to compromise as a start for Free Trade.
      Groser experienced negotiator V Key ruthless money trader. Ummmm.

  7. Rosy 8

    Well, there goes the chance of an early election. I can’t see Smile&Wave giving up the chance to attend a royal wedding next June/July. Then the RWC…

  8. Annalivia prurabella 9

    Both have been to Honolulu. In the same year too.

  9. Craig Glen Eden 10

    The worse thing for Key is not that he achieved nothing for NZ but that he didn’t even get a T Shirt!

  10. higherstandard 11

    I linked to the the NZIER article and had a quick squizz – how do they get that it’s worth 27 million when we export 107 million in dairy products and they predict it will increase dairy exports by 170% – perhaps I read it too fast and before i’d had breakfast ?

    • Marty G 11.1

      $27 million net I guess.

      I wonder what kind of modeling NZIER applied. Did they make it specific to certain features of the Russian economy. Those being:

      – the population is shrinking and aging
      – the government has a goal of being 90% self-sufficient in dairy within five years
      – the market is as far away as you can get in terms of energy burnt to get our butter there. Did NZIER factor in even the moderate oil price scenario from the IEA? (on that point, it seems virtually no-one actually factors in realistic oil prices for their planning – Treasury’s budget forecasting is based on current futures prices, not IEA or EIA predictions)

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        “Treasury’s budget forecasting is based on current futures prices, not IEA or EIA predictions”

        Which makes treasury a complete an utter joke if they don’t even use the data that they should be using to make predictions. Nevermind that that data is highly suspicious anyway.

  11. Chris73 12

    We are so lucky to have the inclusive John Key as our prime minister

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