I know it is picky – but it is Friday..

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, May 20th, 2011 - 26 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2011, Economy, humour, john key, making shit up, video, youtube - Tags:

I was listening to John Key on Parliament TV last night on the budget. I was musing that he had clearly not yet fully realized that he’d won the last election. He is still blaming Labour for his cabinets inadequate performance in running the government. After all they did not leave him with enough surplus income to give tax cuts without borrowing heavily.

Apart from being a slow learner when it doesn’t come to photo-ops, ego boosting and perks this does tend to point to a character flaw. John Key clearly doesn’t understand what work is. Otherwise he’d be looking at the work required to kick lazy sods like Bill English into producing an less amateurish budget – one that didn’t rely on magic to make the numbers work in a mythical future.

But John Key is also bloody lazy when speaking. I had to watch his lips before I could figure out what he was saying last night. This morning there is a video of his remedial vocal work that illustrates this problem..

26 comments on “I know it is picky – but it is Friday..”

  1. joe bloggs 1

    Yes it is picky Lynn, and here’s why: back in 2009 The kiwi accent was rated the most attractive and prestigious form of English outside the UK in a BBC survey

    Given Key’s highly ranked for social attractiveness by the electorate, his grasp of the langauge is clearly resonating with the masses.

    And given the smell of your comments and similar from Brain Edwards’ website, there’s more than a whiff of post-colonisation cringe coming from the elitist left.

    • lprent 1.1

      So? Who cares about people from outside the country.

      FFS: My family has been around here since very early in the 19th century. We have quite strong kiwi accents from our various regions. If I can’t understand him then it is unlikely that many kiwi’s can.

      Based on your pretty mindless comments around here, I’d guess that to have a mumbler PM is good for ensuring that you don’t find out anything to that would upset you.

    • Ha, Key sounds like a Kiwi.

      Very funny Joe, crack up.

    • Lanthanide 1.3

      It’s one thing to have an accent.
      It’s quite another to actually have accurate diction so you don’t sound drunk all the time.
      This post is about his diction, not his accent.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        Correct – I literally don’t hear his accent. I’d say that Phil Goff has a more pronounced accent and I can understand him ok. For that matter Helen had a Waikato accent that was pronounced enough to cut peat with – she was always clear

        The problem is half of the time that I don’t understand what he is saying. As you say, he seems to slur the words into each other like he is half cut. It is bloody annoying.

        • Lanthanide

          To my ear, Key has far and away more of an accent than Goff or Clark.
          I also generally don’t have a problem understanding what he’s saying (and I did spend 50 minutes typing out the first 8 minutes of the hard talk interview! 30 wpm average), but he is a very slack speaker.

          • todd

            It’s not his accent that is the problem. It’s his slur. He actually tries to have an Aussie accent sometimes. If you don’t believe me, go watch David Letterman.

            • Lanthanide

              I think that was a poor American accent, achully. And yes, I already said it was his diction – see #1.3

  2. vto 2

    That final “rubber wool cup” has had me at a giggle for the last couple hours.

    But seriously, if that’s possible with Key, he is truly difficult to understand when he is talking. Both his speech and his grammar double up to confuse and leave the listener always half a sentence behind. Perhaps that is part of his m.o., just like all snakeoil sales people. Talk too fast, bamboozle, and finish with a smile and a couple of reassurances. Deal done.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      His grammar and sentence structure can be quite rambling and long-winded. He normally does seem to have an idea what he wants to say, but takes a long time getting there. I wonder if it’s an (unconscious?) stalling tactic during interviews – if he waffles on and on, it makes it harder for the interviewer to follow up, he can drop in unrelated tid-bits and waste a lot of time saying nothing so has less time to answer actual questions.

      I got a bit of a feeling for this when typing up the hard talk interview.

      In contrast, Helen was a lot more considered and slower in her speech, but had a much higher signal-to-noise ratio.

      • pollywog 2.1.1

        i reckon it’s more in hope that the interviewer will finish his sentences for him so he can just smile and wave in agreement.

    • felix 2.2

      You’re onto it vto, it’s all part of the game.

      He has to sound like he’s saying what you want to hear, but he can’t actually say what you want to hear or else you’d be able to hold him to it later.

      To get away with this he has to speak in non-sequiturs. He has to use half sentences, backwards grammer and meaningless phrasing. This is so nothing he says can be accurately scrutinized as his apologists can always protest that “of course he didn’t mean that, you’re being too literal“. And they do.

      But this trick of words simply wouldn’t work if he had good diction, it’d be too obvious that he wasn’t saying anything. So he’s got to mumble and slur and drawl to get away with it.

  3. Brendon O'Connor 3

    It is probably more about having an accent that no one can tell when YOU ARE drunk…..
    schhhcuse me officor, i havnt bin drinkin, i’m just the prom munster of nu ziland

  4. todd 4

    I’ve asked for one before… Can we have a translator for John Key please?

  5. terryg 5

    thats not John Key, its a good impersonator

  6. gnomic 6

    The consensus here is that the Prime Lisper needs elocution lessons? I suppose we shouldn’t give them ideas. I have been wondering why he hasn’t been taken in hand before now, ie dragged off for intensive speech therapy.

    My theory is that John isn’t actually all that bright, despite being fully vested, and has trouble verbalising effectively. He doesn’t actually have any intellectual convictions (apart from, I made good lifestyle choices me) and has to spend most of his time bluffing and trying to say what he thinks will appeal to the mainstream (remember them?) in soundbites. Platitudinous shite will also do.

    He is probably also chronically tired from being on the treadmill all the time and often looks as if he is not quite up to the demands of the job in this respect.

    I expect it’s not all that easy being an emissary of globalist capitalism when the system is failing egregiously.

  7. logie97 7

    Sometimes it’s nice not being able to catch what Joky Hen is saying, because ekshly thrs no substins tit enway.

    • logie97 7.1

      … can you imagine a cabinet discussion with Joky Hen and the motormouth Petulant Bean in full flight with both over using the ‘ly’ words – eckshly and obviously. Both “articulate” politicians of real substance.

  8. randal 8

    has he had a stroke?

    • Carol 8.1

      Speaking from my experience teaching in “special education” – some children speak like that without having had a stroke – born that way, due to a deficiciency in a specific part of the brain. key is a very mild version of something I’ve seen in many children.

  9. randal 9

    I have seen it too. but it doesnt stop them from adding up the numbers.

  10. Dotty 10

    Shame they didn’t get him to say “interest rates”

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