The Rugby News’s latest cover features John Key wearing an All Black jersey and being proclaimed as the All Black’s number one supporter. My first response was amazement at the lengths National will go to win this election. The timing is extraordinary. I wondered at the cooperation of the New Zealand Rugby Union and the publishers of the magazine. The Rugby Union in particular should not be picking sides during an election campaign.
The more I thought about it the more I thought it was a bit weird. It is very pretentious. Key has never been an All Black and the All Black jersey is something that holds mystical powers in New Zealand culture. Using it for political purposes seems wrong.
Then I thought about the hysteria whipped up by the right about Helen Clark’s signing of a painting. Clearly she had not painted it but the scandal went on for months and months. Even now it is used to denigrate her.
Pretending to be an All Black should be just as bad as pretending to be the painter of a picture.
It is a shame that the cost of the magazine will not be counted towards National’s election spend. Because a clearer example of party propaganda you will never see.