No amateur hour for real leaders

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, November 29th, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: climate change, leadership - Tags:

Among the breathless reporting of who John Key is having a meeting with (‘he’s talking to the Queen!’ ‘he’s going to talk to India’s PM), as if a meeting itself is an outcome, an achievement, I’ve seen one very interesting comment on CHOGM. On her blog, Audrey Young writes about French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s appearance to encourage Commonwealth leaders to turn up to Copenhagen next month and commit to making a good deal to tackle climate change. Young wrote:

Sarkozy ran the most impressive press conference I’ve ever seen – clear, focused, concise, committed, controversial, even combative without being rude. It’s no wonder Europe is leading the world on climate change with him and Gordon Brown driving it.

No one asked Sarkozy about the All Black test tonight. Somehow I get the feeling it is the last thing on his mind.

A New Zealand Prime Minister would certainly be asked by our media about the rugby. We don’t employ prime ministers to offer their amateur opinions on sport and we don’t consume political media to learn about those opinions but it seems to be part of how things run in New Zealand.

I can imagine Sarkozy’s expression if, after he had been discussing the global response to climate change at the highest level, some Kiwi reporter had pipped in to ask about the rugby. I like the idea of a leader who is actually too busy doing serious stuff on behalf of the people who elected them to concern themselves with offering their thoughts on a sports event.

Oh and Key says the chances of him going to Copenhagen have risen from 5% to 6%. God I wish that man would just grow some nads and make a decision.

14 comments on “No amateur hour for real leaders”

  1. outofbed 1

    In a special statement on climate change at the Commonwealth summit in Trinidad, they said they backed what they have termed the Copenhagen Launch Fund and wanted 10 per cent of it set aside for small island states.
    The statement said they support Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen’s efforts to deliver “a comprehensive, substantial and operationally binding agreement in Copenhagen leading towards a full legally binding outcome no later than 2010.”

    Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd led the group that produced the statement.

    in other news New Zealand’s John Key met the Queen

  2. gitmo 2

    “I can imagine Sarkozy’s expression if, after he had been discussing the global response to climate change at the highest level, some Kiwi reporter had pipped in to ask about the rugby. I like the idea of a leader who is actually too busy doing serious stuff on behalf of the people who elected them to concern themselves with offering their thoughts on a sports event.”


    “BRUSSELS, Nov 20 – French President Nicolas Sarkozy apologised to Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen for France’s controversial victory over Ireland in their World Cup play-off on Wednesday, but would not agree to a replay.

    Cowen raised the issue of replaying the match with his French counterpart at a European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday after French captain Thierry Henry admitted he handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas’s winning goal in Paris.

    Sarkozy said he was sympathetic to Ireland’s position, but could not support Cowen’s call for restaging the game.

    “I told Brian Cowen how sorry I was for them,” Sarkozy told reporters. “But don’t ask me to substitute myself for the referee, or the French football authorities, or the European football authorities: leave me right where I am.”

    • gobsmacked 2.1

      So gitmo attempts to rebut, and has just proved Marty’s point.

      Key words: “Cowen raised the issue …” (so Sarkozy politely responded) and “leave me right where I am.’

      That’s diplomat-speak for “couldn’t give a toss.”

      • QoT 2.1.1

        Not to even mention the fact that, Let’s Go Kiwis societal propaganda aside, soccer is a much bigger deal in France (not to mention the globe in general) than rugby.

  3. Bill 3

    From Nov 27 interview (Naomi Kline) on Democracy Now. full text

    “The World Bank for instance has estimated the cost faced by developing countries to simply adapt to a changing climate dealing with droughts, dealing with increased flooding, is $100 billion a year. The cost of leapfrogging over those dirty energies, as I was saying earlier, that’s $500 billion-$600 billion a year. That’s a figure from independent UN researchers. But now what we hearing from the UN is there hope for Copenhagen is that they can get developed countries, rich countries, to agree to $10 billion a year.”

    And today we got the Copenhagen Lunch Fund proposed to be set at 10 billion in the final year of its three year existence.

    The typo is quite deliberate. It sums up my utter disdain for all this ‘We are your leaders. For lead solutions. Follow your leaders.’….read that how you will.

    • Kruk 3.1

      I think you’ve grasped just why any progess on climate change is unlikely. The effects of climate change will hit the poor and developing countries hardest, and they will likely lose the ground they been making on the rich world. (And within the developed world, it’s likely the poorest who will get shafted the most.) Those who are rich and comfortable now will remain so for the rest of their lives, and possibly their children as well. The grandkids would probably have cause to complain, though.

  4. Kruk 4

    Sorry, I just realised that “I think you’ve just grasped…” sounded horribly patronising. “I think you’ve just put your finger on…” would have been better there.

    • Bill 4.1


      There will be no progress on climate change because it is being viewed as a business opportunity rather than as a disaster to be avoided. Yes, the poor will be hit hardest, but that’s a by-line. The carbon trading market is worth $100 billion

      Meanwhile, the $10 billion fund is just a piece of propaganda that ‘our leaders’ can use to help convince us that something was achieved.

  5. Janice 5

    Of course John boy will now go to Copenhagen, he has been intending to go ever since Barack Obama announced he was going. Watch the spin say that he is going because he got a lot of feedback from us nwzilders that we wanted him to go. After all he does have that lovely shiny new ETS to display for the wonder of the other world leaders.

  6. Janice 6

    Sorry that wonder should have been envy I think – perhaps not – amazement at what we have passed would probably be more appropriate. .

    • BLiP 6.1

      heh! Yeah, amazement, wonder and envy from the business world, stunned silence and tears from the rest of the planet.

  7. TF 7

    I guess appearing on the Danish Letterman equivalent doesn’t quite cut the mustard

  8. Noko 8

    Too bad Sarkozy is a sleazy a**hole. I don’t think we want Johnkey to emulate him. He’s almost on level with Berlusconi.

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