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ImperatorFish: There appears to be an off button

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, October 29th, 2014 - 16 comments
Categories: accountability, john key - Tags:

Scott at Imperator Fish kindly lets us syndicate his posts. Original Here.

Above: On or off?


John Key has told Parliament that he has not had phone calls with blogger Cameron Slater in his capacity as Prime Minister. It is not yet clear whether Key said this to Parliament in his capacity as Prime Minister.

It’s a curious thing that John Key can stop being the PM when it suits him, particularly as the job would seem to be a 24-hour-a-day seven-day-a-week occupation. It’s even more curious that Key can stop being the PM when he is talking to people who are heavily involved in politics—people like Cameron Slater, for instance. What would Key and Slater talk about if the subject matter was not political? Perhaps Key rings Slater when he needs to know the weather forecast. Everyone knows Slater is glued to his computer screen almost every waking hour, so who better to call if you need someone to go online and check out the MetService?

But let’s assume there’s something to all of this. Let’s accept that John Key’s Prime Ministership has an off button. If someone comes up to John Key while the button is switched to off and starts to talk about tax or housing or unemployment, Key will be forced to say: “I’m sorry, but you will have to talk to the Prime Minister. I am not the Prime Minister at this particular point in the space-time continuum.”

John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public. If Key can turn his PM setting to off the moment anyone asks him anything awkward, how will we ever be able to hold him to account? Shouldn’t we expect our politicians to answer the tricky questions? But a more fundamental problem is that we’re never going to know when he’s on and when he’s off, unless he tells us. What if his Prime Ministership is on during an interview, but the interview goes badly for him and so he then decides that it was actually turned off the whole time?

“You may claim that I just said all beneficiaries should be turned into sausages and fed to the working poor, Guyon, but I didn’t say any such thing in my capacity as Prime Minister.”

So wouldn’t it be helpful if there was some way for people interacting with John Key to know the exact status of that interaction?  For example, when Key orders his morning coffee, will he be doing so as the PM, or will the button be turned to off? Doesn’t the barista making his coffee deserve to know?

John Key owes it to the people of New Zealand to be open and transparent about his capacity. There needs to be some way for us all to tell when he is being the PM, and when he is being someone else. The obvious and most cost-effective solution (bearing in mind the constrained fiscal environment our government operates in) would be for John Key to wear a particular hat when he is Prime Ministering. Better still, he could wear a cape or robes, or one of those horsehair wigs barristers sometimes wear.

But how would this work when John Key was on the phone to someone, or was being interviewed on the radio? If John Key phones a blogger to shoot the breeze, how is the poor blogger supposed to know whether he is speaking to the PM, or to some other person? They could always ask, but they might think it rude to do so.

The answer is for one of Key’s staffers to always be present in the background with a little hand-held stereo unit. As soon as Key picks up the phone to call someone in his capacity as PM, that staffer would turn the unit on and play a Prime Ministerial music track that everyone recognised. This track would be sounding gently in the background, providing certainty for anyone listening at the other end that they are listening to the PM, and not some other John Key.

We don’t have an instantly recognisable tune to associate with our leader, unlike the US with its Presidential anthem Hail to the Chief, so there will need to be public debate about the song to be played in the background, and this process should also involve consultation with Iwi and other stakeholders, whoever they may be.

Key is the leader of our country, so God Defend New Zealand might be the answer, and it’s a song everyone knows; but on the other hand it’s a dreary tune that doesn’t do much for some people.  Alternatively, different party leaders might choose different tunes based on what inspires them or makes them feel good, kind of like Radio NZ National’s Best Song Ever Written. But what tune would John Key select?

We could even make a contest out of it and call it an election. Now there’s an issue that might engage the young.

 


lprent: Fixed the image and the link.

 

16 comments on “ImperatorFish: There appears to be an off button”

  1. adam 1

    Go with the Peter Gabriel song. It seems to suit Key rather well.

  2. Arthur 2

    Has the PM read Catch 22 or The Trial? We know he must have read 1984.

    • ma rohemo 2.1

      Can the PM read?
      He always says he has never read any report anyone asks him about.

      The song I thought of was the first David Bowie song that had the lines :

      “Ha ha ha, hee hee hee,
      I’m a laughing gnome and you can’t catch me”

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    The same thing happens for Cabinet Club meetings, they fly there as a Minister, get chauffeured as a Minister to the front door, and lo and behold walk into the meeting as an MP.
    Then how come they invited as an Minister and talk about such things that are in their portfolio.

  4. Ant 4

    With the unfortunate election result and the highly diversified and entertaining campaign now no more than a memory my choice of melody would be “The carnival is over.”

  5. left for deadshark 5

    Go for Referendum,theirs $25 million in it for some.maybe an Xfactor type show,you could uses the nearly defunct Maori TV facilities,their have been songs written for the PM before so theirs talent out there.Maybe push out the flag thing,your’ll have $50 million floating about.that could be the first ever job creation policy the Nactional have optioned.If they play it load enough,you will not notice Keys mis truths.

  6. this one..surely..?

    ‘please allow me to introduce myself..

    ..i’m a man of wealth and taste..(woo-hoo!)’..

  7. Aerobubble 7

    Keys reply was that he was doing nothing different than Clark.
    You remember the woman who left such a mess.
    You know the third most owerful woman at the UN, who loves the notion.
    That she had relations with a right winger blogger who called a dead man a feral, etc.
    Of course the speaker was incensed at calling a previous member, who Key has so little regard for her period of govenance, with sch implications.
    I mean Clark was sufficient enough of a pm, leader, spouse, etc to distance herself from cruel crude bloggers.
    Key is damned by association.
    Double down and the feckless PM.

  8. maybe mitch ryder and the detroit wheels..?

  9. The Al1en – Faeces of the species.

    • The Al1en 9.1

      First proper song I ever wrote. Couldn’t have done it without fjk.
      Original untreated (untreatable) vocal recording. 😮

      https://soundcloud.com/theal1en/faeces-of-the-species

      One more day, one more lie, one more smile, one more wave.
      Some old joke wants my vote. Aspirational fail.
      Did you see on TV? The third world disease on her face.
      Unlike me, all you see, are scabs not your first world disgrace.

      You’re the faeces of the species, you’re the disease, you’re the plague on the face of that girl.
      You’re the hunger, you’re the plunder, all asunder, heaven wonder if there’s oil on the moon (in our bones).
      You’re the statistic, optimistic, pessimist e-con-o-mystic, you’re the waste in the space.
      Merchant banker, supertanker, deep drill wanker, pull your anchor, just get out of the way.

      And we’ll rise. And when we rise up.
      We will sing, and we will be glorious.

      One more try, one more bribe, one more tea for your friend.
      Some old bloke on a rope while they bury his dead.
      Did you see on tv? The mould on kids in their bed.
      Unlike me, all you see, is dirt and the profits from rent.

      You’re the faeces of the species, you’re a disease, you’re a plague on the backs of us all.
      You’re the sadistic, little twisted, first world gifted, Mi-pad whiz kid, the foul wind in the sales.
      You’re the hunter, you’re the blunder, toxic numbers, six foot under, and you’re the slag of good grace.
      Mother cluster, bunker buster, colonel mustard, general custard, just get out of our way.

      And we’ll rise. And when we rise up.
      We will sing, and we will be glorious.

  10. perhaps the clash say it best..?

    (recorded live in 1980..)

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1

      I’d go one of two Skids songs as he moves into Prime Ministerial mode:

      Working For The Yankee Dollar

      or Goodbye Civillian

      Though lyrically Charade would be just as appropriate

      When we play our charade
      We were like children posing
      Playing at games, acting out names
      Guessing the parts we played

      And as he moves out of Ministerial mode maybe Tiffany

      or Bohemian Rhapsody

      (Is this the real life?
      Is this just fantasy?
      Caught in a landslide
      No escape from reality;
      Open your eyes
      Look up to the skies and see)

      I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
      Because I’m (easy come, easy go
      Little high, little low)
      Anyway the wind blows, (doesn’t really matter to me),
      to me

  11. “He’s a perfect stranger,
    Like a cross
    of himself and a fox.
    He’s a feeling arranger
    And a changer
    of the ways he talks.
    He’s the unforeseen danger
    The keeper of
    the key to the locks.
    Know when you see him,
    Nothing can free him.
    Step aside, open wide,
    It’s the loner.”

    sorry neil

  12. Thinker 12

    “I’m sorry, but you will have to talk to the Prime Minister. I am not the Prime Minister at this particular point in the space-time continuum.”

    It’s politics, Jim, but not as we know it…

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