- Date published:
8:00 am, October 27th, 2015 - 87 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: rugby, rugby world cup
Thirty four years ago the right insisted that we should keep politics out of sport and this as the justification for the then National Government overriding advice and agreeing to allow the Springboks to tour New Zealand even though this breached the Gleneagles agreement and caused a major international incident. I disagreed with the decision at the time because New Zealand was involved in sport with Apartheid South Africa and playing rugby with that nation meant that black South Africans were denigrated and lost their rights.
But Ad’s recent post struck a chord with readers of this blog and I agree with the premise of his argument. We should keep politics out of sport as much as we can and just enjoy sport for its inherent quality.
The current Government has politicised Rugby to an obscene level. Three way handshakes, Rugby News John Key covers during election periods and continuous John Key photo opportunities have really annoyed.
In my view from now on no politician (including you John Key) should ever seek political advantage from the All Blacks, especially after a test match. I like Rugby. I do not want to not like it because politicians get photo opportunities.
Good post. The NZRU would do well to recall how they nearly destroyed the game after the 1981 tour. Kiwis went to League in large numbers for the next two decades because rugby “union” had become a divisive force by allying itself with Muldoon and regressive politics.
At my local club after a game of union we all would gather and watch the Winfield Cup (league) and had money riding on the games. Soccer really took off in New Zealand as well.
Interesting … rugby was never my sport so it’s interesting to read the experience of those who were there.
I can understand the politician in Key wanting to associate his brand with the ‘winners’. His brand is all about a society of ‘winners and losers’ so to him it is a natural fit.
Yet for all the superficial winning and losing that goes on in sport, there was always an underlying sense that sportsmanship and mutual respect was the fundamental value.
Because in order for the All Blacks to win the RWC – there has to be a team who turns up willing to lose every game and come last. And do it again next time with their heads held high. Because without them – there is no tournament.
There is no stopping or shaming Key into not mixing sport and politics like this. He’ll keep on doing it as long as he thinks it’s a winning play. But the day will arrive when it will turn into a losing one.
Yep, we await FJK’s “dickhead” moment
Yeah that’s it … good catch.
Don’t drag elite sports down into the vote-grubbing gutter. Politicians are as toxic to athletes as bookies and steroids.
get a grip.
It’s a conflict of interest, something the political Right seems to struggle with at the best of times
I bet the opposition parties would love 80 minutes of free advertising every week. Disgusting
If he turns up after we win the final I …… actually I dont’ know what i’ll do, but it’s getting out of hand
34 years ago, not 24
[Right you are how time flies. Now corrected – MS]
I don’t think there is anything wrong with it for something so big like the rwc.
Then you probably haven’t considered how you’d react to Kim.com riding the All Blacks to electoral victory.
I know that the All Blacks are very large and very strong men, as the photo of Key and Whitelock illustrates, but I don’t think they are like Superman.
Do you really think they could carry Kim Dotcom?
(Actually you may mean the North Korean Kim the Com in which case it would be pretty easy).
Dear Leader does cult of personality even better than Dear Leader.
.. we can be amused watching him get his jollies in public
My family were talking about Key’s stalking of the AB’s in their changing rooms. Everybody knows that at the end of a day’s work we like to have some time to settle down quietly at home – even 15 minutes or so before we are bombarded with “what’s been happening all day” on the home front – everybody needs this even kids who come in from school – sports teams are no different after they have come in sweaty, knackered and wanting to quietly just come down from the adrenalin rush of playing a hard game. It must be infuriating for them to have Key come in immediately and smarm all over them. He obviously, so obviously has no consideration for anybody, nor any tact or sensitivity to know when he isn’t wanted. Management of the team should be setting rules and barring people from the changing rooms until the team have at least had showers, calmed down and then allow them to come out and chat to officials etc.
God knows how anybody puts up with the man, his wife has to be the most long suffering individual in the country – I pity her frankly. Key is nothing but a “big noter” and if the team can’t see this then they need to be frankly told so. Frankly the man is a creep.
@Whispering Kate. I so agree with what you have written. The photo of key chugging down a beer while the AB’s haven’t even had a chance to take their boots off is indicative of the lack of any thoughts at all of the AB’s who have just had a really tough 80 minutes. The man is absolutely oblivious to good manners and good social skills. But still he sits there, on the bench, not quite on Richie’s lap,grinning like a loon while pretty much being ignored by McCaw and co. He’s like the saddo that stalks the cool crowd, always in the background, laughing the loudest, being the meanest to the ‘not the cool crowd’ doing anything that’s demanded of him, no matter how bad or horrible so that he can say “I’m one of the cool crowd, I am a winner!”……… by default. Actually he is a sad figure of a man.
Looks like he got in before the wives & partners, or is the space ‘men only’? A few ppl at my work having a bit of a giggle about Keys wannabe status.
Is that why the AB’s have short hair, no pony tail tweeking? I have never seen a PM so uninterested in the Country he is representing. He really cannot comment on anything to do with politics and flusters his way around. He is socially inept when talking with people below his grade ($5.5 million) and he appears to have a passing touch of aspergers possibly terribly bulied as a child he craves attention of the famous to show the bullies he has made it! It is a rung both ways. The AB’s seem to adore him and worship him tweet his name at election time. Muldoon looks positively charming in comparison at least he had a vision for NZ!!!
There is a fairly high incidence of Asperger’s within my family (about one in 3). Most are high functioning, although we have one who received all of the bad and none of the good.
I’m curious as to why you think John Key may be touched with the gift and whether you think it is a positive or negative influence on his behaviour
…” passing touch of aspergers”
Also have aspergers in my family. Interestingly enough, it seems a high proportion of those on the Aspergers syndrome find it difficult to lie. Contributes to their perceived social clumsiness, but I find it fairly attractive myself.
In other ways, Key don’t fit any of the usual criteria.
You’ve never considered the idea that the All Blacks enjoy that the country’s PM takes such an avid interest in the game?
I played plenty of rugby at Prem and provincial B level, and congratulations in the changing room (not by any Prime Ministers though) were always appreciated by the team.
The other odd thing about this, is that his wife was with him at the rugby, so what happened to her while he went off to have a beer with the boys?
I’m thinking she is an afterthought…. I always remember watching his initial election victory in 2008, when he brought forward his daughter and son and left his wife in the background for a uncomfortably long period of time.
Apart from the fact his daughter looks very uncomfortable, it struck me that he did not even make the usual eye contact or gesture that exists with many long term couples.
If you have a strong stomach – there is a Youtube video – skip to the last few seconds for his disregard of marriage partner.
Molly, if you can find it – watch John Campbell’s interview with Key and his wife – it was part of a series of “Meet the Leaders” before the last election. I don’t have to explain anything to you – by body language, hogging the interview and having his poor wife looking like a hanger on not knowing what to do with herself – you will be able to see quite plainly how their situation is. John Campbell even spoke with her at one point, when Key was swoozing the crowd at Matakana Markets asking her “how do you get on with all this working the crowd thing Bronagh” or something to that effect and she just shrugged it off like a poor forlorn little after thought. Go figure, there isn’t anybody else in John Key’s life, his ego is sufficient for him in spades. I have never felt so sorry for someone in a long time. To be superfluous to needs must be the saddest place to be.
The King of the Hobbits congratulates the All Blacks on their win
Sigh. It’s hard to respond positively to posts where the duplicity is so obvious and indeed taken to almost hilarious levels.
By way of example:
Have just read the post again and I can see the legalese biting me on the bum. Yes, that was league, and yes the post was about rugby. Naturally it’s different when it’s rugby and it’s different when it’s Labour.
Good comment! Sad that people can stoop so low to make a point!
It may be different in this case due to Helen Clark’s history with Rugby League which started long before she became Prime Minister.
I.e. Her support was genuine and not just a craven attempt to bask in the AB’s success.
I’d also note that this is distinct from the PM’s (irrespective of who is PM) duties in supporting national teams when they represent at major sporting events.
I support the PM attending All Black matches at the world cup, and don’t mind footing the cost through my tax.
I understand John Key has a London flat, and although he does not need to use it, given the cost of accommodation in London this week it looks like he missed a trick – an opportunity to say, “See, I’m against profligate spending* and I prove it with my actions – look how much money I am saving the NZ taxpayer”. Negligible spend in the big scheme of things, but would have been the sort of political stunt that the press here value over actual journalism.
Instead we have him tell everyone not to be surprised when a massive bill comes in, and English telling us that everyone loves John Key spending their money attending football games.
I hope that every other MP who attends, whether in or out of govt, does not stick us with the bill. And if they do, are pilloried from pillar to post.
* which is demonstrably false
What a lame post! All countries have their PM’s/Presidents attending the world cup. I recall how Nelson Mandela handed over the Trophy to the Bok captain and then went and congratulated the team personally after the game. That was seen as a huge breakthrough in South African history, yet you want to slam Key for supporting the AB’s? Even by your standard that is low. Not mixing politics and sport is true, but that is the decisions made and management of sports teams etc. Why was nothing said when Key attended the Netball world championship? Just glad he did not go into the change rooms after the game! LOL
Are you comparing slimy Key to Nelson Mandela?
Oh dear, what a mess you have made
The problem isn’t a FEW photo ops it’s the ENDLESS STREAM of them
@ Mike Bond – Nelson Mandela was a statesman of the highest kind, dedicated to advancing his nation for the benefit of ALL the people.
Whereas FJK is the distinct opposite of everything Mandela was and represented!
I don’t think anyone has any problem with heads of states congratulating national sports teams.
That is not is what is being talked about here.
What is being talked about, is this sort of thing, that Key gets up to regularly: http://www.sportsfreak.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Team-Key.jpg
That cover was printed and on newsstands *during* the 2014 election campaign. Bizzarely it was ruled to not be an election advertisement, even though this clear piece of satire was ruled to be an advertisement: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11322726
In other countries, this blatant politicisation of sport would be howled about by the MSM. Here in NZ there’s barely a whimper.
I am slightly confused; is this post about NZ politics (John Key in particular?) and rugby or politics and sports in general?
In any case, I think it is based on the wrong assumption that politics and sports are separable; they are not IMO. If this is the case then it becomes a rather complicated if not impossible thought experiment.
Nelson Mandela once said:
”Sport has the power to change the world”
I think he was right and it means that politics and sports can be used to achieve amazing things.
“In any case, I think it is based on the wrong assumption that politics and sports are separable; they are not IMO.”
Can’t agree more. Sports are run by committees made up of human beings with biases and likes and dislikes. the notion that they all just put those aside cos it’s sport is laughable.
John Key is alike a few men I know including 1 of my brothers. He wasn’t good at sport at school, and wasn’t interested in it. But he grew a liking for watching it once in University and when he had children he embarked on living vicariously through them, and I suspect the All Blakcs. Loads of men do it, they idolise because deep down they wished they had done something like that, instead of the “books”.
John Key is positively giddy around All Blacks, but not them alone, he is giddy around Royalty and celebrities. Given how many of our fellow kiwis behave similarly (I point to the relatively quick change of focus in our online newspapers to celebrity-itus) its no wonder he is not seen negatively for it.
But, for me, it’s not good role modelling, placing your delight for life and enjoyment outside yourself and projecting onto and through the lives of others is almost never the way to fulfillment.
People won’t criticise in others what they recognise in themselves.
@ Incognito – ”Sport has the power to change the world”
Yes, sport might.
But definitely not FJK! Well not for the better!
It’s about brand marketing. It is just Brand Key, it works too, for enough voters in NZ to keep him pm. Nelson Mandela was about integrity and cultural social political revolution….. Nothing to do with Brands or Key….you can’t compare, apart from the fact it’s Rugby.
J Key is a buffoon so let him continue to make a fool of himself.
You can bet your bottom dollar that not all the AB’s will be a fan of his and behind Keys back some of them will be laughing at the silly little man.
Funny how Key was apparently ignorant of the All Blacks in 81 when keeping politics out of sport was the call. And now Key works hard to get his politics and his All Blacks joined at the wrist or hip.
+1 – and txting them too!
Like the ponytail waitress the All Blacks can’t really say no.
Key loves the story to be about himself and using his position to try to bask in the limelight.
He is damaging the All Blacks brand.
Given half a chance, Collins will be in there picking them up in her 2nd hand sponsored car!
It’s called cross branding!
And since they are PM’s what can the All Blacks do?
We know you can’t say NO in this country.
Squealing every time John Key does anything feeds right into the narrative that the left opposes everything. It becomes the boy who cried wolf and makes arguing the real issues that much more difficult because we are dismissed as simply being negative again when the Nats do something which actually is important and damaging to our country.
This can hardly be compared to the tour of a racist team into New Zealand.
There is nothing political about the current world cup (other than you trying to make an issue out of it)
The Prime Minister attending a world cup semi final of his country’s national game and congratulating his team after the win is understandable. I can’t think of any PM, whatever side of the fence, not doing that.
What is remarkable about the three way hand shake (other than the awkwardness)? I think every world cup has had the leader of the host country on stage at the final.
What is off about it, is that Key is in the All Black changing room. It is not some “official ” picture of the PM congratulating them when they receive a trophy or whatever.
It looks more like a picture of JK harassing them.
You get invited to the changing room, you don’t just rock on up, you ignoramus.
As I keep saying, the NZRFU isn’t doing enough to shield athletes from this kind of exploitation. in fact they seem to be encouraging it.
Yes, I know you can’t see anything wrong with it.
Oh, so now the players aren’t bright enough to see that they’re being manipulated and too scared to say anything if they wanted to?
Yes, they aren’t bright enough to realise they’re being manipulated. Key has made this ‘natural’. That’s kind of the point.
Would the NZRFU allow Kim Dotcom down there? How about James Shaw or Peter Dunne?
How about Helen Clark?
That’s a big hug about to go down, right there.
Oh that’s right, it’s only bad when John Key does it…
So it must be ok because Labour did it too. Erm, nope, that’s another logic fail, not to mention a denial of personal responsibility. Oops.
Yeah it is OK now, and was OK when Labour did it… it’s one part of what the Leader of the country does… supports those that excel in sports, not sit as a bitter, twisted prune in a corner like you.
As I said, you can’t see anything wrong with it. So you defend it with name-calling.
I have NO problem with PM’s going to dressing rooms.
I don’t want our money spen ton lavish team announcements (Rugby cana nd shold pay for this, whoever is in Govt).
I do have a probblem with our PM involving the AB team captain directly in a political policy he (the pM) is pushing.
I have a problem with that whoever is PM.
I think Roflcopter was responding the Lanth’s inference that the NZRFU would only allow Key (or the right) to be photographed with the All Blacks. It quite clear that any PM would be welcome.
Jacob Zuma was on stage when the Springboks were awarded the 2007 world cup.
The England team of 2003 that won the world cup in Australia visited 10 Downing St on their return home.
Every Superbowl winning team gets an invite to the Whitehouse.
Are you getting a theme here. Leaders honour their national teams that succeed.
It is hardly remarkable or something to be concerned with
So that’s all very exciting, and all that, and why can’t you address the point?
In your example, the leader supports the team. In this case, the team supports the leader. Literally, with messages of support on election day. And magazine covers.
Yes, I know you can’t see anything wrong with that.
Er, no, I made no such inference.
It is appropriate for the PM to be involved – in their capacity as prime minister.
It is not appropriate for a politician to be involved – hence why James Shaw or Peter Dunne would not get such an invite. John Key appearing on magazine covers as the ‘leader of the pack’ during an election campaign is about him as a politician, not about him as PM.
John Key can’t separate his hat of PM from his hat of National Party MP. That is the problem.
Going straight to a logic fail Roflcopter? Would you like a white flag with that spade?
I note you conceded the point about exploitation. Thanks for that.
You get invited to the changing room, you don’t just rock on up…
Presumably the photographer and the reporter were also invited. It is completely appropriate for PM’s to support the national team, but Key tends to go further and draw the All Blacks into his own branding operation. That’s where the problem lies. If you are a PM of left or right, you affirm and support the things that the country loves, but you don’t try to make them your own. There’s a fine line between the two and Key crosses it.
but Key tends to go further and draw the All Blacks into his own branding operation
Really? You worked that all out from a photo in the changing rooms? You are so awesome!
And the announcing of the world cup team from parliament. And his soliciting McCaw’s opinion on the flag. And his taking a boys-will-be-boys attitude to All Blacks’ encouraging tweets on election day, etc, etc.
Key has crossed a line here.
All the way from lying weasel to greasy creep.
It’s not just about a single photo from the changing rooms. It’s about a continued pattern of behaviour by Key.
That’s the problem right there.
The tories have consistently shown a complete inability to see lines between normal and abnormal behaviour: the line between “visibility” and “a partisan bond between the PM and the ABs”, the line between “in line with the cabinet manual” and “breaching the cabinet manual”, the line between “respected Speaker of the House” and “outright partisan Speaker, to the point of corruption”…
The only line they see is the 60-seat hurdle. Everything else is negotiable, sold, atrophied, or corrupted.
@Rofllcopter – yep and do all of the players look impressed by Key? Nope. Are the All Blacks expected to glad hand like trained seals to the PM for photo ops!
On the field – in the changing rooms?
Maybe a reality TV show next…. With the GCSB getting on board with reality TV shows while NSA take over our security, maybe Julie Christie could be onto a new All Blacks/Natz TV show, The All NatBlacks, a sure fire winner now ratings are so low on TV3!
Steven Joyce get your check book our for some more corporate welfare for TV3! Ching ching.
The ongoing commercialisation of our country’s identity…
@Enough is Enough. So glad someone else can see just how short sighted most of Labour and Labour supporters are. If National/Key say or do anything, it is wrong! This negativity is turning voters and supporters away. Only the very pig-headed think this is a good strategy. Key must be loving having Little as the opposition leader. He can stuff up time after time and get away with it because everyone just says it is Labour being negative again when they point out real stuff ups. The way things are right now, John Key can unfortunately choose just how long he wants to be PM as there is no opposition worth worrying about.
Your concern is so sincere, and has no weasel words or outright lies in it whatsoever. It doesn’t reveal anything about you at all. Everyone waits avidly for your advice. No-one notices when you fail to demonstrate the slightest understanding of the issue. Your pretence that you are addressing “Labour” is a clever and subtle strategy.
yeah but he’s a nonce. so even when he does normal stuff it has a funny pong about it.
National have always used sport (rugby) to further their aims…. they choose to allow the springbok tour because it made political sense to them – it was a calculated political action…
To think sport and politics are not joined at the neck is really really niave and foolhardy, sport is just a game, there is nothing whatsoever to suggest it has some higher purpose
If you think key and co ( and little et al) wouldn’t be all over the all blacks this and every RWC then you really don’t know anything about this country
What makes it embarrassing is how badly Key does these things… we would at the least like a Prime Minister who was slightly statesmanlike… not a gibbering buffoon
The modern All Blacks top brass though personify the right.
They sell the All Blacks brand to companies outside of New Zealand so that little of the benefit of all the cash they make is seen here in their home country.
They dumped a local manufacturer of clothing in order to send jobs over seas.
How can a New Zealand manufacturer that made it cloths here compete with one that has its clothing all made in low wage countries with even less worker protection than what is left to our own workers under this current National government.
Was Helen Clark ever on the front page of the RugbyNews as team leader?
Just up on the NZ Herald site –
Rugby World Cup 2015: Taxpayers won’t mind footing finals bill for ministers, says Bill English
What a bloody arrogant thing to say.
Has he actually asked the taxpayers of NZ ?
If they wish to be at the WC, pay their own way like the rest of us do.
The airfares are already free as a perk, aren’t they, so they can pay their own food and accomodation, yes?
While we are amidst this fixation with the All Blacks, in ALL our media, almost to the exclusion of all else, can we spare a thought for those homes where an impending rugby match is met with a sense of fear and trepidation.
The good news for those victims of the aftermath of an All Black loss is that the All Blacks have an over 85% winning record. However if you have been beaten as a result of a loss, you don’t know in advance whether the match will be a win or a loss. Imagine that fear in children and partners between matches and until the final whistle.
There is indeed a very dark side to our fixations as a nation.
And potentially raped for a win.
I wouldn’t be surprised if one of his minders is carrying a towel, ‘just in case’.
Although with his recent revelations I am not sure if they would want him in there doing his thing.
That first photograph is absolutely disgusting.
I clearly implies that the All Blacks, and by implication the then Prime Minister approve of the consumption of sugar laced drinks.
Look at them, holding containers of that appalling liquid Coca Cola.
Have none of them any shame at all?
Clark should have her Labour Party membership cancelled for cosying up to those nasty multinational fizzy drink manufacturers…. won’t someone think of the children?
Oh wait Alwyn, it’s only from this point forward, becuase according to Mickey … “In my view from now on no politician”
As you were.
The most notable thing about those photos of Helen Clark is the reminder that we once had a PM who didn’t look like a complete and utter dick all the time, as if looking like that were their full-time job or something.
I have no issue with Keys behaviour (in this instance). He is a politician after all.
It’s the NZRFU and its eagerness to be used in this manner that is the problem.
I am curious to find out why they seem so ignorant of the risk to their (and by extension the game itself) reputation by associating with someone who is the diametric pposite of the values the All Blacks strive to represent.
by associating with someone who is the diametric pposite of the values the All Blacks strive to represent.
Thats a matter of opinion, if a survey was done of all blacks voting habits I’d be very surprised if National wern’t the most popular choice, even more so then the general public
These things happened:
Transrail insider trading
Skycity Convention Centre Corruption
Not sure how you can square those actions by John Key with these key values of the All Blacks:
– Personal Humility – Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done
– Philosophy and focus on continual improvement and continuous learning environment
– Better people make better All Blacks
– Leaders are teachers
– Care of whanau and no dickheads policy
– Ownership, accountability and trust
Remember the team that John Key now leads is New Zealand, every citizen and resident is part of his team.
And then there are cases where he and ministers within our govt have used organs of the state for partisan political purposes – otherwise known as abuse of power and corruption
Btw, your “perception” argument is known as argumentum ad populum. I.e. It’s not an actual argument. “The world is flat” was once a popular belief, though never an actual fact.
Also, your assertion that the majority of All Blacks would vote for him is certainly something that John Key wants people to think.
But without actually asking a representative number of them, your argument becomes “proof by assertion”. Which is also not an argument.
None of your arguments address the fact that John Key and ministers have engaged in corruption and abuse of power.
Nor do they address the conflict between the high ideals of the All Blacks culture and the demonstrably abusive, manipulative and dishonest behaviour of our PM.
Rugby world cup still going on
Rather than keep politics out of rugby, wouldn’t it be better to keep Creepy out of politics? I’d vote for that!
FJK has brought the office of PM, and thus the entire nation of New Zealand, into disrepute and embarrassment.
PS: must read some Culture again… Mistake Not… was a cool Ship
John Key is so much of an attention seeker that he must gate-crash the All Blacks after match celebration. And all because he needs the photo opportunities for political reasons.
I get the impression Key is an insecure little person who is always seeking attention(with beer bottle in hand as per usual)at each and every opportunity.If it’s not his Monday ‘pearls of wisdom’ on the Paul Henry show it’s some other way of being in the news ALL the time.
Perhaps Key views NZ media as his security blanket.
I am so over this attention seeking oaf and hope, if the ABs win the final, they(the ABs)tell Key to bugger off and let them celebrate their win in their way.Not having to put up with some beer swilling PM who MUST be photographed sitting close to Richie McCaw.
I am sure if the ABs lose the final Key will drop them like a hot potato. Just like he dropped the usefulness of the families of the Pike River 29 ended once the last votes were counted in the 2011 general election. And whilst on the matter just like Key reneged on a promise to pay those very families $3million in compensation.
I bet Key has spent that amount in his luxurious accommodation whether it be in London or somewhere in Europe. Either that or on the usual baubles of vanity and ego that the insecure guy regularly searches for i.e spend NZ taxpayers money on baubles of ego and vanity but it’s all for himself(Key).