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Key: Don’t join the conversation

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, August 5th, 2009 - 72 comments
Categories: climate change, john key - Tags:

By telling Keisha Castle-Hughes she should “stick to acting” and keep out of the climate change debate, Prime Minister John Key is signalling to young New Zealanders everywhere keep out of politics.

I guess he doesn’t want us to “join the conversation” after all. Speak up, get shot down. That’s the modus operandi of the Key Government.

72 comments on “Key: Don’t join the conversation ”

  1. Boris Klarkov 1

    Speak up, get shot down. That’s the modus operandi of the Key Government.

    Actually it’s;

    Speak up, get blown away by the facts.

    Just ask Phil Goff.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      No, it isn’t. JK and the rest of the NACTs wouldn’t recognise a fact if it hit them.

  2. Pat 2

    That is some bad advice from Key. She is a crap actor.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Damn it Pat, you beat me to it 😀

      Why do these “celebs” think we’ll give a damn? Oh, that’s right… because the media find it easier to ask them their opinion than to do some research.

      I’m surprised we haven’t had an in-depth analysis of the sociological implications of the Section 59 referendum from Jake the Muss.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    I think Mr Key’s suggestion was unwise.

    Still, it’s not like he called her a “hater and a wrecker”. It’s not like he said he would rather meet a woolly sheep than talk to her, is it?

    I think a lot of New Zealanders are sick of organisations using celebrities, rather than experts to manipulate public opinion in favour of their cause. Like it or not Keisha Castle Hughes is no expert on climate change. This cuts two ways. Labour activists didn’t like it when Inga the winger and Michael Jones publicly endorsed John Key.

    • Tigger 3.1

      Yes, but did Helen Clark tell Michael Jones to ‘stick to rugby’…? No.

      If Key wants to attack Greenpeace, then do that. He played the girl, not the ball – bad form.

    • Quoth the Raven 3.2

      Tim – Like it or not John Key is no expert on climate change either.

  4. There certainly is a clear signal lately from the government that everyone (but them) should shut up or suffer the consequences.

    Was rather appalled at that comment when I read the article in NZ Herald this morning. We should be encouraging our youth to speak out and wherever possible create change for the benefit of all.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    “Like it or not Keisha Castle Hughes is no expert on climate change.”

    Who said she is?

    “Labour activists didn’t like it when Inga the winger and Michael Jones publicly endorsed John Key.”

    John Key liked it though. And he’s the one telling Hughes to shut up.

    Perhaps you could point to an activist as prominant within Labour as Key is within the National party telling either of those two to shut up? Then you’ll have the hypocrisy you seek.

    • Tim Ellis 5.1

      PB, Helen Clark didn’t tell Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala to shut up, but neither did Mr Key say that to Keisha C-H in so many words. I don’t think I need to remind you that Eddie is paraphrasing here, using a far greater degree of liberty with his quote than r0b allowed of Mr Farrar. I vaguely remember you were defending r0b’s call for precision. You aren’t asking for the same degree of precision from Eddie here, just as you weren’t asking for the same degree of precision from Eddie when he claimed that Taito Philip Field had been “sacked”, or that this “sacking” occurred “as soon as the allegations first came out”.

      But Helen Clark was certainly dismissive of Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala, according to media reports. From Radio NZ:

      “Labour leader Helen Clark has dismissed Jones and Tuigamala’s endorsement of National.

      “If they want to line up with Lockwood Smith and his attitudes towards Pacific people good luck to them, but I think I know where the hearts and minds of the great majority of the Pacifica population lie.”

      • Quoth the Raven 5.1.1

        So did John Key say to Castle that if she wants to speak up about climate change good luck to her?

        Eddie unlike Farrar hasn’t altered the quote he has not changed the wording of it. Here’s the quote from the Herald article: “My advice to Keisha is this: Stick to acting.”

      • felix 5.1.2


        The quote you provided may well be dismissive of their ideas, but it’s certainly not dismissive of their right to voice them.

        To back up what you’re trying to say, the equivalent quote from Clark would be along the lines of “they should stick to sport”.

        Me, I’d like to see Key stick to money trading.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.3

        Tim, keep changing the subject mate. Quotation marks are not evident around my use of shut up. That’s important. Paraphrase does not equal quote. I don’t have a problem with paraphrasing per se, but I do if someone pretends that it’s a quote.

        Interesting that you think Jones and Tuigamala’s endorsement of National is even in the same ball park as Climate Change in terms of the politicised nature of expected response.

      • Bright Red 5.1.4

        No, Clark says if they want to run with racists then let them run. She doesn’t tell them to shut up and leave it to the big boys, which is what Key said.

        The quote Eddie has made in the post is exactly what Key is quoted as saying. poor work Tim.

      • Tigger 5.1.5

        Thanks Tim. That proves to me that Key is being an ass while Clark at least could argue the point, not slam the people making the point. And anyone who thinks ‘stick to acting’ isn’t the same as ‘shut the fuck up’ is dreaming.

  6. ben 6

    Eddie: is this news real, or did you make this up as well?

  7. Zepher 7

    I wish Key would follow his own advice.

  8. Anthony Karinski 8

    I was reading the story and thought wot the hell. Key is Prime Minister of a democratic nation, not some dictator of a banana republic suppressing freedom of speech. He should be ashamed.

  9. Actors make REALLY good politicians – let’s see, there was Reagan and now Arnie. Winston was more an actor than an MP too!

    • felix 9.1

      How are you trying to tie this idea to what Key said about the young lady?

      • Daveski 9.1.1

        Frankly, I don’t care what actors say.

        Neither does Key.

        If you’re trying to have a rational debate about climate change, why rely on celebrities? I’m with Key on this one – the celebrity-sponsors-a-cause is so overdone that I’m amazed you aren’t supporting Key on this one.

        Surely we need to hear from the scientists than actors?

        Actually, I laughed because I imagined the post if Key actually supported KCH: “Key needs actor to tell him how to government”.

        • Bright Red

          If he doesn’t agree with her fine but he shouldn’t be telling her not to participate in the democratic process.

          • Daveski

            And in the democratic process, Key has every right to say what he did. If he sent the boyz round to have a word with her or threatened her in any way you’d be on to something.

            In any case, a few facts are useful even if they break convention here 🙂

            Castle-Hughes recently went to the Cook Islands to see the impact of climate change and returned saying she wanted to meet Mr Key to discuss it.

            When asked a few weeks ago if he would meet her, Mr Key said he would be willing but suggested she instead give a submission to Climate Change Minister Nick Smith.

            See here.

            Doesn’t sound undemocratic to me?

            • Pascal's bookie

              Except he just advised her that any submission she (and who else?) makes is a waste of time.

            • Anthony Karinski

              No that was a good reply. Key is under no obligation to meet with her and was diplomatic in referring her on to Smith on that occasion.

              What we’re discussing is the case of him later telling her to shut up and butt out of the issue. Has nothing to do with her meeting him or anyone else.

    • felix 9.2


      The reason I ask is that “actors being politicians” has nothing to do with what we’re talking about.

      Are you saying that actors are a special class of citizens who should be excluded from discussions on climate change?

      If so, why?

      Or are you saying that people who don’t have specific scientific training should be likewise excluded from public debate in the matter? (I’m pretty sure you’re not really saying this btw).

      Kinda sounds to me like you’d just like to talk about something other than Key.

  10. grumpy 10

    So is Keisha willing to go and shoot the cows?

  11. SHG 11

    Call me a NACT apologist but I’m not sure that teenage unwed mothers from Northland are high on my list to consult about climate change either…

    • Quoth the Raven 11.1

      Here come the conservatives. “Unwed teenage mother” who gives a fuck if she’s a good mother it doesn’t matter if she’s unwed or teenaged. I’d say she’s reasonably successful in her chosen profession (acting) and has just as much right to give her opinion on climate change as a reasonably successful bank employee.

    • MikeG 11.2

      What about money traders from overseas?

    • Zepher 11.3

      Oooh I want to play along! You’re a right-wing white selfish fascist. Tehehe I like this game.

    • BLiP 11.4

      You’re a NACT apologist.

  12. vto 12

    Keisha should take up arms (verbal) against Key. Take him on and fire some shots back at him along the lines of ‘am I not allowed to comment on my country and its running?’ and ‘please stop bullying me mr Key’. etc.

    Risky though – would draw the ire of certain quarters and draw her profile into the public arena more. But she seems to have ‘balls’ so could probably handle it.

  13. vto 13

    one other unrelated thing to the master of the standard (lprent?)

    The threads are coming thick and fast. Too fast. One about every two hours last day or so. Very hard to keep up with and potential squabbles and debates seem to get lost as the next one pops up. 2c.

    • Quoth the Raven 13.1

      I’m in agreement with you there vto.

    • The Voice of Reason 13.2

      With you on this, VTO.

      It’s been a great couple of day’s blogging though and events have been moving quite quickly, so I can understand the higher number of posts than usual. Still, better thick and fast at The Standard than just plain thick at the sewer, eh?

    • lprent 13.3

      As you know we don’t run any particular editorial direction about when and what people post on apart from what the moderators think is ‘tasteful’ (and we have broad tastes). So what you’re seeing is the posters adding the posts in and trying to finding a hole in the schedule.

      There were 9 posts yesterday and 7 so far today. Neither is that abnormal (I think that the record was something like 14 in a day).

      There are a lot of comments incoming and simultaneous conversations. I’d suggest picking the best conversations and sticking with them rather than trying to cover the field.

  14. MikeG 14

    What makes Key any more qualified than KK-C to talk about Climate Change? Perhaps Key should take his own advice and stick to politics.

    • lprent 14.1

      I suspect that almost ANYONE would have more nounce about climate change than Key. Sounds like a bit of an idiot scientifically speaking, and a slow reader.

    • BLiP 14.2

      Key is actually less qualified than KK-C. He is representing the interests of his business puppet-masters. In May 2005 Key said:

      “This (climate change) is a complete and utter hoax, if I may say so. The impact of the Kyoto Protocol, even if one believes in global warming – and I am somewhat suspicious of it – is that we will see billions and billions of dollars poured into fixing something that we are not even sure is a problem’

      Then, in March this year he said:

      “The important point here is that we have flexibility built into the system so that if the science either firms up considerably more or deteriorates, and the climate change sceptics are right, we have the ability to alter the impact on our economy’


  15. Richard 15

    I suspect Keisha won’t take John Key’s advice and stick to acting. She is an intelligent, confident young kiwi who won’t be put in her place by a fuckwit like John Key. Go Keisha!

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Breaking news: Latest celebrity endorsement …

    Well known TV comedian John Key has today publicly endorsed the National-led government. Speaking from Australia, where he’s currently doing stand-up, Key told reporters:

    “I don’t know much about politics, and I sure wouldn’t want to do it myself, with those boring meetings and bits of paper to read and making tough decisions and all that shit, but I reckon the Nats are the way to go. For hip and happening under 50’s like me, they’re kinda cool, especially that Bill English dude – he cracks me up! Er, you go bro (is that right?).

    So anyway, did you hear the one about Fill-in Phil? Get it? It’s a pun – Iike, it’s his name, and a verb too! I thought it up myself! Yeah, it’s part of my new act, catch me next Monday morning on TV One …”

  17. Relic 17

    It may be tempting to view the PM’s remark as “Muldoon lite’, but to publicly rebuke someone like KC-H is actually no less bullying or corrosive because of a smarmy delivery. It is usually the vulnerable that cop it from the Tories-Keisha is a classic profile-young, woman, mother, creative. Note the PM did not slag the ex 42 Below guy who has ‘signed on’. The Sign On people should grab this and run like hell to the scoreline.

  18. Actually it doesn’t help the climate change debate by having celebs be the spokespeople, it just comes off as stereotypical.

    To promote the cause, they should have the leading scientists arguing their point of view, but my guess is some lame NZ rapper will be on tv next promoting climate change.

    Have the experts lead the way! Not celebs!!!

    By the way I believe in climate change, and believe its man made.

    If all the Ralph Nader supporters in 2000 had of voted for Gore, it would of been harder for them to steal it, and we might be better off than we are now.

  19. The whole Keisha debate reminds of a debate on CNN over a decade ago, on one side they had a scientist telling people that cows milk is okay to drink, this scientist was at the top of his field and have lead numerous studies.

    The other side was saying cows milk is bad for you, and we should drink goats milk, the person arguing this was Alicia Sliverstone.

    Im guessing most people took her side, well they did until it came out she had bought a goat milk company.

    Seriously if you want people to take your side seriously, call in the experts.

    • BLiP 19.1

      Unfortunately Dr Salinger has been silenced by National Inc.

    • Relic 19.2

      The point is the PM should not denigrate individuals in the personal sense as he has done here, for speaking up. This is different from saying all celebrities or all actors should butt out. It is designed to intimidate.

  20. torydog 20

    tis sad that we now have a PM so out of his depth…it really shows in his inability to debate an issue.
    Hes like most right wingers who have no decent response to anything and trot out the oldie “Well Labour did it”!

  21. Zorr 21

    I have seen a lot of comments in this thread of “celebrities shouldn’t be fronting the Climate Change argument… give us a real scientist”. Truth of the matter here is, it doesn’t work. There are many wonderful scientists out there ranging from the shy and reserved types to extroverted public speakers. However, the world doesn’t tend to pay much attention to them and they tend to get quickly mired in the personal politics of standing up for a cause outside of the scientific communitys discourse.

    This is where real celebrities and politicians come in. They are the fronts people for such organisations/causes because they already have a significant public presence and are known to the media and (hopefully) know how to handle them as well.

    Just a couple of clarifications as to why people with public lives are important in the larger conversation that our community as a whole has.

  22. exbrethren 22

    My advice to Captain Beaky – stick to your holiday home in Hawaii

  23. Zorr:

    Disagree, there is a backlash now with celebs fronting causes, I think people want to here from a scientist instead of celeb.

    Take a look at Jon Stewart’s guests, its great to see interviews with intelligent people, unlike the guests CNN and Faux have on.

    • Zorr 23.1

      To be honest Brett, I watch a lot of the Daily Show and he does have on some of the more mainstream scientists out there like Richard Dawkins and Paul Krugman. However, the reason these people are able to get air time is not because of the fact that they are scientists per se, but that they are celebrities in their own right. Yes, you do have to worry about some of the celebrities that come out to front for various organizations but they are there to draw people in, to get them investigating further and questioning.

  24. Tom Semmens 24

    Keisha might not be able to act, but the John Key is no good at currency speculation either – didn’t he predict the dollar to fall to 42c against the US Dollar? Where is it now? 66-68c?

  25. Tom Semmens:

    Well Key has done something right to earn himself 50 million dollars.

    • BLiP 25.1

      Nope. He’s done a lot of very dubious things. And how can earning $50 million without creating one new thing, not a single widget, be “right”. Man, you get weirder and weirder by the day.

  26. TC 26

    The AGW mob use celebs to publicise their religion because it’s not about the facts.

  27. Blip:

    What do you know about his charity work?

    How do you know his wealth hasn’t created jobs?

    You just hate him because he is white and a member of the national Party.

  28. “When the last thing we see is the colour of skin, and the first thing we look for is the beauty within then we shall be free” Garth Brooks.

    That is a line from one of my favorite songs. I dont see race in anything.

    • felix 28.1

      You just like Brooks because he’s white.

    • BLiP 28.2

      Garth Brooks on drink driving:

      Twenty-five minutes past quitting time
      Seven of us crammed into that truck of mine
      Paying no attention to them highway signs
      Doing ninety miles an hour toward the county line
      Quick sack, twelve pack, back agian
      It’s a B double – E double – R U N.

  29. FELIX:

    Garth Brooks songs touch people of all races, that is why he was the first artist to be asked to sing at Obama’s inauguration.


    Beer Run is a great song.

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