International laughing stock

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, April 23rd, 2015 - 72 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, john key, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

John Key has made headlines for bizarre or offensive behaviour before. The Guardian provides its own summary complete with images, video, and ominous parenthetical comment: “John Key: New Zealand prime minister’s weirdest moments (so far)“. But Key has really outdone himself this time:

John Key’s pony tail pulling risks making PM laughing stock

… Key’s failure to read the situation till it had reached a point where the woman felt she was being harassed was a serious misjudgment. Given Key’s popularity, public opinion is likely to be sharply divided. But National’s worry is that it will also turn him into a laughing stock. Judging by the speed with which the story flashed around international media, it already has.

Some of the international headlines:

Washington Post: New Zealand’s ponytail-pulling prime minister becomes national embarrassment

Fox News: New Zealand prime minister apologizes for repeatedly pulling cafe worker’s hair

New York Times: New Zealand’s Premier Apologizes for Pulling Waitress’s Hair

Sydney Morning Herald: NZ PM John Key apologises for hair pulling (leading story yesterday)

Canada’s CBC News: John Key, New Zealand PM, apologizes for tugging on server’s ponytail

BBC: New Zealand PM John Key apologises for hair-pulling (second most read story yesterday)

The Independent: ‘Bully’ New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologises for repeatedly pulling waitress’ ponytail

The Telegraph: New Zealand PM John Key apologises for tugging waitress’s ponytail

The Guardian: New Zealand prime minister John Key apologises for pulling waitress’s hair (top story in The Guardian yesterday)

For several more (with images) see this excellent summary.

And finally:

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/590843407179898880
https://twitter.com/K8Shuttleworth/status/590804200596107265
https://twitter.com/MrDuttonPeabody/status/590810666203803648

72 comments on “International laughing stock ”

  1. Paul 1

    Tony Abbott and John Key.
    Auditioning for Dumb and Dumber 3.

    • sabine 1.1

      these guys are nothing but the symptoms.

      The disease lays with the people that voted for them, the people that enable them, and the people that cover up for them.

      Greed would be the main motivator i venture to guess.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        +1

      • Merrial 1.1.2

        @ sabine: “The disease lays with the people that voted for them, the people that enable them, and the people that cover up for them.”

        Don’t look at me: I didn’t vote for the bastards….

  2. red blooded 2

    Infantile idiocy which also manages to cross the line into sexual harassment. A middle aged, entitled “joker” fingering and tugging and telling a young woman she’s enticing. Yuk!

  3. irascible 3

    Cannot help but notice that the Herald’s gossip columnist, Rachel Gulicima, is attempting a “Hair today- forgotten tomorrow” line in an attempt to blow-wave her friend’s, ,John, fetish behaviour away.
    Marilyn Waring summed it up- behaviour unbecoming of a PM which breaks the law in many ways.

  4. BenM 4

    Slightly off-topic, but I found this bit of the Washington Post article quite refreshing:

    ‘…when he wore a shirt that read “I’m not sorry for being a man” — a reference to a Labour politician’s speech in which he apologized for domestic violence perpetrated by men.’

    This is the first time I’ve seen Cunliffe’s speech characterised this way by any media. NZ’s awful media only ever reported that “Cunliffe is sorry he’s a man”, and refused to go into the context. When it’s reported the way Washington Post reported it — actually mentioning what the speech was about instead of cherry-picking a quote — it makes Cunliffe look a lot more reasonable.

    • Bearded Git 4.1

      @BenM Very well spotted Ben, and well done the Washington Post.

      Why did the media here not take the same line? The juvenile mischaracterisation of Cunliffe’s speech by the woman-harassing Key was one of the pivotal moments at the last election. Irony? What irony?

      • idlegus 4.1.1

        The Guardian yesterday “Key was accused of making light of domestic violence when he was photographed wearing a T-shirt that read “I’m not sorry for being a man”, a reference to a speech made by the Labour party leader David Cunliffe at a Women’s Refuge symposium, when he apologised on behalf of his gender “because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children”. ”

        Seems to me like it was only NZ news that mis-reported the Cunliffe speech.

      • Molly 4.1.2

        Kudos should perhaps be given to TDB, where the Washington Post no doubt investigated the story. Several times on TDB, Bradbury has pointed out the arrogance of the tshirt and the intent of Cunliffe’s comment. It is likely that the journalist read some of those items.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.2

      When it’s reported properly, it’s obvious to me that FJK is saying that treating women like shit is OK. His actions confirm it. Key’s t-shirt is “Yeah, we bash the missus. So what?”

    • Merrial 4.3

      @ BenM: “This is the first time I’ve seen Cunliffe’s speech characterised this way by any media.”

      Indeed. Things have come to a pretty pass when we must depend on overseas media to pick up on the context. But of course the Washington Post would get it. And of course The Herald wouldn’t.

  5. RedBaronCV 6

    And they will be able to follow right up with a story about the Herald’s efforts.

    Must be a lotta aussies delighted to find that some one has a prime minister as stupid as theirs.

  6. miravox 7

    Meanwhile even in Austria, Neuseelands Premier is sorry…

    Kellnerin an Haaren gezogen: Neuseelands Premier entschuldigt sich

    • ianmac 7.1

      “John Key hatte eine Kellnerin wiederholt an den Haaren gezogen, um sie “zu necken”
      John key had pulled a waitress repetitive on the hair, in order it “to necken”
      Wonder what that means!

  7. Is it legal for a journo to pretend to be some one else in order to remove any reluctance a oerson may have towards being reported?

    Is it legal for a newspaper to publish a story that has been obtained in this fashion?

  8. Gosman 9

    I’m pretty sure many leftists have made similar claims in the past.

  9. Germany’s Der Spiegel

    “For him, it was just a “harmless banter”: For months, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key repeatedly pulled a waitress’ ponytail – and could not understand that he violated the woman”

    Goes on to talk about “growing outrage” in NZ

  10. Sirenia 11

    Was even an item on the BBC radio in the middle of the night – heard by local insomniac.

  11. weka 12

    Interesting how many of the headlines are about the PM’s apology and in minimising ways (making it look like he pulled her hair once), but others nail it by focussing on his behaviour.

    • vto 12.1

      Exactly weka.

      The international reporting is highlighting the imbalances and biases of the NZ media

      The international media is showing up NZ media

      ………………………

      Mind you, that aint hard when you see Mike Hosking’s rancid pathetic attempt last night on Seven Sharp. The article was hard-hitting but when it came back to wanker Hosking he did his very utmost to minimise it and reduce it. All he could say was “I blame third term-it is”.

      Most pathetic ever

  12. repateet 13

    We deserve to be a laughing stock when we have apologists for John Key on air like Sean Plunket.

  13. tracey 14

    “A Laughing Stock, you say?” laughed John Key. “Oh well akshully I don’t know anything about that, I have a Blind Trust to handle all my invistmints”;

  14. rawshark-yeshe 15

    BREAKING … and I hope it goes around the world .. gotta love Graham McCready!

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/ponytail-saga-sexual-harassment-complaint-laid-against-john-key-6298530

  15. Rolf 16

    It is pretty remarkable to se how this rather unimportant event have been blown up, compared to the illegal and criminal spying in China on behalf of the USA by the Key administration. The spying is putting the entire New Zealand welfare and economy at risk, here in China they are now debating if the Free Trade agreement should be terminated, or at least suspended. Nothing is reported on that.

    • vto 16.1

      “this rather unimportant event ”

      Nothing could be further from the truth.

      It goes right to the heart of our Prime Minister’s capability to be a Prime Minister
      It goes right to the heart of the sexism/domestic violence issues in this land
      It goes right to the heart of one-half of our population’s values and judgments.

      This is a hugely important event

      • Tracey 16.1.1

        “It goes right to the heart of our Prime Minister’s capability to be a Prime Minister
        It goes right to the heart of the sexism/domestic violence issues in this land
        It goes right to the heart of one-half of our population’s values and judgments.”

        some things are worth repeating. well said brother!

        • mac1 16.1.1.1

          Absolutely on the money, vto.

          I’ve been arguing the first two propositions in Facebook.

          The negative response from many is down to the third.

    • Murray Rawshark 16.2

      I sort of agree, Rolf. It is an indictment of the Kiwi psyche, but if it helps get rid of Key, I can see a silver lining. There will be slightly more chance of controlling the US spies whose salries we pay once the Hawaiian has gone.

  16. Kay 17

    I can report that my Danish friend is aware of said scandal via her local media, as well as BBC World.
    But she is also very upset that her local media seem more concerned with that sort of news story when there are worse things going on in the world (Sound familiar?) Specifically, the situation with African refugees drowning in their attempt to get to Europe.

    I had to assure her that we do know what’s going on in the Mediterranean, and most of us do care, but for the many NZers who have been screwed over so badly by JK, this is our opportunity to see a narssicistic psychopath be totally humiliated on a global scale, so let us have our time of laughing hysterically. In the event that somehow he wriggles his way out of this, at least I’ve enjoyed a few days of karma.

  17. emergency mike 18

    John Key is now the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to New Zealand. Nothing else comes close.

    He is an international and national laughing stock.

    • rawshark-yeshe 18.1

      Dannevirke boy Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen came a close second as premier of Queensland .. a real crook.

      Columnist Phillip Adams, comparing Sir Joh with Peter Sellers’ character, the moronic Chance, in the movie, Being There: “Both (Joh and Ronald Reagan) have visions as limited as their vocabularies, yet both these grotesque garden gnomes are seen as colossi by their deluded followers. The louder we laughed at them, the more powerful they became. The more improbable their careers, the more certain their ascendancy.”

      Former ALP national president Barry Jones: “He is the Ayatollah of the north: How can you have an open debate in the Kafka-like atmosphere of secrecy and cronyism of Joh-style politics?”

      http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Quotable-quotes/2005/04/23/1114152360479.html

      Bjelke-Petersen was a divisive Queensland premier and earned himself a reputation as a “law and order” politician with his repeated use of police force against street demonstrators[4] and strongarm tactics with trade unions, leading to frequent descriptions of Queensland under his leadership as a police state. From 1987 his administration came under the scrutiny of a royal commission into police corruption and its links with state government ministers; Bjelke-Petersen was unable to recover from the series of damaging findings and after initially resisting a party vote that replaced him as leader, resigned from politics on 1 December 1987. Two of his state ministers, as well as the police commissioner Bjelke-Petersen had appointed and later knighted, were jailed for corruption offences and in 1991 Bjelke-Petersen, too, was tried for perjury over his evidence to the royal commission; the jury failed to reach a verdict and Bjelke-Petersen was deemed too old to face a second trial.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh_Bjelke-Petersen

  18. Gerald 19

    Well she was only a serving wench in JKs eyes.

  19. At least news hasn’t reached China yet. I would hate my Chinese students to think all middle aged New Zealand men in positions of power are bullying sleazes.

  20. emergency mike 21

    I have previously commented that if and when Paula Bennett became PM of NZ we would reclaim the ‘Bledisloe Stupidity Trophy’ that Australia won from us when they elected Tony Abbott.

    But John Key has pounced and taken it back. Big time. Your move Tony.

  21. Reddelusion 22

    Big deal all fish and chip paper tomorrow, seen far worse from many world leaders, You lefties really are a precious sanctimonious lot. For god sake he pulled a pony tail and apologies, far less than Gareth Hughes did who just ran away and hid, protected by his lefties mate

    • Paul 22.1

      What would Key have to do for you to stop defending him?
      I dread to think….

    • vto 22.2

      ” For god sake he pulled a pony tail ”

      No he didn’t

      idiot

      stupid idiot

      intentionally stupid idiot

    • idlegus 22.3

      ‘gareth’ hughes? you sure about that? do all ‘lefties’ look alike to you or something?

    • sabine 22.4

      every week Fridays and Saturdays, while I come whith my husband for a coffee, I follow you up to the counter and then when you can’t back out, I grab your balls and twist n squeeze cause I am just horsing around. And when you tell my husband that I should stop, I shall do it againt, just because….and when you speak to your manager, i shall twist n squeeze a bit harder, you know just horsing around.
      what you are trying to get a way from me when I come for coffee….? Oh, come one its not like your the guy i call prince? I just cop a little twist n squeeze, your just a waiter in my local, and hey….whos gonna give ya credit.
      Oh okai then, you really don’t like me fondling your balls with a wee twist n squeeze? Here have two bottles cheap as piss from my Trust Fund Vineyard. That should help you when ya get home to come to grips with me twisnt n squeezin yer balls. As Mike hoskins already said…yer just a selfish waiter, what is so wrong about horsing around, just a wee twist n squeeze yer balls every now and then, mate it’s normal office behaviour. The minister for Men just said that.
      Oh ….that thing with the pictures of me squeezing n twisting the privates of little boys under 13….nah that too is just horsing around.

      You are a pathetic lickspittle

  22. Reddelusion 23

    Strange fantasy Sabine, get some help

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.1

      It’s John Key who’s been acting out his strange fantasies mate, please keep up

  23. sabine 24

    Red delusion, it is a strange fantasy indeed.
    Let’s change the story back to the little girls in school nuniforms having their hair fondled and tugged by the PM (and there is ample photographic evidence of him doing it) , and the confirmed story about the PM fondling and tugging the Ponytail of a young waitress – even while in company with his wife and security detail, even after complaints were made to the wife, the security detail and the manager, and I would agree with you, that this tugging of the hair is a strage fantasy or fetish indeed.
    And it would not even be an issue, if the Prime Minister of New Zealand would have hired someone to let him fondle their Ponytail, or if he would have soughtt consent of the young waitress, or the little girls in school uniforms. But he did not. And I agree with you, that John Key the Prime Minister of New Zealand or anyone else should indeed seek medical help to help him or them controll his or their urges when in public dealing with people that are too young to consent, or that are in a postion where laudly refusing or slapping someone away might not be possible. – Abuse of power you see?

    Anyways, You have finally said something that is human. But then you might not like the idea that someone would just come up and touch you in inapropriate ways without your consent.

  24. Reddelusion 25

    Sabine You sure have read a lot into This event , Interesting, I think it may say more about you than jk, possibly any way that you can portray jk traits ie been successful, been easy going etc as been bad helps lift your self esteem or lack of. Even better a nice bit of transference, it’s not about me it’s the poor kiddies and the powerless I stand up for, how pathetic. Maybe just maybe jk just pulled her pony tail with no evil intent or malice beyond niavity of all the sickos out their like you who are desperate to read more into it for their own gratification or self esteem

    • Colonial Rawshark 25.1

      Sabine You sure have read a lot into This event

      John Key has a fetish for girls hair. Its been seen many times on the record. This is not a one off event. Why are you protecting him?

  25. Reddelusion 26

    If true, so what, can think of a lot worth fetishers or traits, ie pathological, irrational hate of one man for one is a goody

  26. veutoviper 27

    Another overseas newspaper article/headline to add to the list. Ouch!

    Swiss paper NZZ headlined their article with a picture of Key with Kate Middleton last year captioned “He did not dare do it here”

    https://twitter.com/GeoffMillerNZ/status/590899300210765825

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