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Players only love you when they’re playing

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, December 9th, 2009 - 52 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags:

O’Sullivan“[Key] indicated that one of the reasons why he had been loath to sign up earlier for the Copenhagen event was because it would clash with the Fleetwood Mac gig”. He went on to make some bad puns about Fleetwood Mac-based headlines.

Let me get this straight. Key wanted to skip the meeting to determine the most important treaty in generations on the most serious issue facing humanity so he could see Fleetwood Mac.

No wonder everyone thinks he’s a do nothing PM. He got us to make him PM. Now he’s more concerned with watching a concert than working for us.

He thinks Fleetwood Mac is more important than tackling climate change? Fleetwood Mac? Metallica, I could understand. But Fleetwood Mac?

52 comments on “Players only love you when they’re playing ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Perhaps Mr Key should just hold up a sign saying “JOKE COMING”, just so that humourless bloggers get the point. Maybe he can ask the foreign minister in the last government for a retread sign.

    • sk 1.1

      The problem, Mr Ellis, is that he is already perceived as a lightweight in global circles. At Apec no one wanted to have bilaterals with him, at CHOGM he was left with the Sri Lankan PM, who is a nobody even in Sri Lanka. If these are actually his lines, he is merely reinforcing the perception that he is the accidental PM, not someone of any substance. Google him on google.com, and all you get is his Letterman appearance. And now this story .. . .

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        Nonsense sk.

        • sk

          Specifically, what is nonsense? Come on, or are you a soft-track bully?

          • Tim Ellis

            Nonsense because you made it up sk.


            Or how about: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/trade/news/article.cfm?c_id=96&objectid=10609485&pnum=1

            “Prime Minister John Key will pay an official visit to Washington in the first few months of next year following a personal invitation to the White House from President Barack Obama.”

            Hong Kong’s CE had bilaterals with Mr Key at Apec. See http://7thspace.com/headlines/325389/ce_arrives_in_singapore_to_attend_apec_meeting.html

            That’s just from a quick google sk, maybe you should try it before making claims you can’t back up.

            • sk

              Look, he had time to take the NZ journo’s to the East Coast for crab. Donald Tsang hardly counts as a heavy hitter. SBY is good, but there a lot more people who he should be interacting with, and is not. .. .

              Why was Bill English not at the Minister of Finance’s meeting given currency issues were discussed, and that is very relevant to NZ?

              Stopping buying the spin. NZ is going backwards in Asia, and that is because they have seen through our Accidental PM.

              • Tim Ellis

                I don’t know if Mr English was at the Minister of Finance’s meeting sk, but you certainly seem to know a lot about Mr English’s whereabouts for a layperson.

                Mr Key also had a bilateral with the prime minister of canada. Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and an invite from the US president to attend the white house. He’s also made visits to China and Japan and had a bilateral with the Indian PM at Chogm. For a guy who isn’t taken seriously and can’t get meetings with world leaders, he sure seems to be getting a lot of meetings with them.

              • sk

                The point Mr Ellis, is that JK’s approach is all over the map (literally). Helen C was respected because they could see her toughness. That is absent with Mr Key. He is a quick study, but he can’t hide his lack of substance.

                (on the music bit, at the time when David Lange was going to a Billy Bragg concerts, JK was listening to Fleetwood mac, kind of sums it up).

                As for being a layperson, there are plenty of people in this country who know what goes on out there. You don’t have to be in Wellington for that

              • Tim Ellis

                So as far as your claim that Mr Key can’t get bilaterals with world leaders, sk, can you identify a single head of government that Mr Key should have met with in the last year, whom he hasn’t? It seems to me he’s met with all the important ones.

                So much for being a lightweight who can’t get access.

              • sk

                I made the point using bilaterals, but the broader point is that as PM of a small country he can network in a way leaders of larger countries cannot. He does not have to be a prisoner of protocol. But the evidence suggests he is. His NY trip was made up of photo opportunities (Letterman, NYSE), not substantive meetings away from the UN. Same in Singapore.

                To name a few leaders, Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Myung-bak, Abhisit. But it is just not that. he could have met with Tharman, Korn .. . the list goes on. He is trapped in protocol, rather than reaching out in a more informal way, as historically people like Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore were able to .. .

                Getting back to the thread, it is the lack of substance that is so dispiriting

              • Tim Ellis

                Mr Key met with Lee Hsien Loong in a bilateral at APEC last year. He’s also met with SM Lee and others more recently, and has seen the Singapore PM at least three times in the last year. So you’re wrong on that point.

                As for the South Korean President, he made a state visit to New Zealand in March. So you’re wrong on that point too.

                Mr Key met with Mr Abhisit in a bilateral in October http://newshopper.sulekha.com/abhisit-vejjajiva-john-key_photo_1027259.htm , so you’re wrong on that as well.

                You haven’t got any evidence that Mr Key is going backwards in Asia. Every example you’ve given so far has been shot down, but please keep trying.

            • travellerev

              “I don’t know if Mr English was at the Minister of Finance’s meeting sk, but you certainly seem to know a lot about Mr English’s whereabouts for a layperson.”

              Tiditiditiditi (as in The Twilight Zone).

              Conspiracy and inuendo alert. LOL.

              You’re slipping Timmie. Weren’t you mr. Rational against our cospiracy nutters minds?

            • sk

              protocol, photo, protocol, photo, protocol, photo.

              Where’s the beef?

              • sk

                TE, the point is best illustrated by Li Keqiang’s recent visit to Wellington – which given his future role was very signficiant. Now, at press conference beforehand JK was unable to explain why Mr Li\s visit was significant, or why it mattered. No substance, and no reporting.

                Now go and google who Li Keqiang is, and why he matters. and we can continue this discussion.

                The point remains, JK is a lightweight who uses protocol as a crutch. No front-footing here . ..

              • Tim Ellis

                SK your story keeps changing. Firstly you said Mr Key wasn’t successful at securing bilaterals with world leaders. Then you list world leaders with whom Mr Key supposedly hasn’t met. Then when given evidence of actual meetings Mr Key has had with the world leaders you say he hasn’t met, you change your story again.

                Have you got any evidence that Mr Key’s meeting with Mr Li was unsuccessful or produced nothing, or that Mr Key wasn’t briefed in advance, or are you just making up that as well?

                There certainly doesn’t seem to be any criticism in the New Zealand media of Mr Key’s meetings with Mr Li. Perhaps despite your poor command of the facts in every other respect so far you might have struck it lucky with this latest claim, but on current form it’s unlikely.

              • sk

                TE, you twisted it into “who JK has met in the last 12 mths’. My intial comment was about a light schedule at APEC and CHOGM, which still stands.

                Your effort in shooting me down reflects that if you take away foreign policy from JK’s list of credits, not much is left for the first year.

                We elected a PM, not a Chief Foreign Minister. All your responses have been about protocol, not substance or leadership,

              • Tim Ellis

                No SK, you haven’t established that Mr Key had a light schedule at CHOGM or APEC at all. Every claim you’ve made about bilaterals has been shot down. Now complaining that I have ignored non-foreign policy issues is very weak, too, since it was on foreign policy issues that you were complaining about him, with little grasp of the facts.

              • sk

                Mr Ellis,

                You clearly like the last say, but on this occasion that is not appropriate. So here goes;

                My initial comment was that JK is perceived as a lightweight in global circles. This comment was based on feedback from Asia that in official meetings Mr Key is perceived as likeable, but with surprising gaps in his knowledge and understanding. Moreover, he is inclined to talk up things – such as the FTA with Japan – that he has no basis to do so from the content of the meetings. Mr Key relies on MFAT advice – which while doing an admirable job – is largely under-resourced.

                The light schedule at APEC and CHOGM is at it stands. The problem NZ faces is the advent of G20, which is given considerable import in Asia – and has effectively bifircated Asia. This gives India, Indonesia, and Korea greater import. JK can meet SM Lee as many times as he likes, but Singapore is not a member of G20.

                For NZ to punch above its insignificant weight, it is going to take a multilayered approach, such as formal bilaterals, informal meetings, and other ministers such as Bill English travelling to APEC (but JK does not want to share the limelight). There is no sign that this is happening.

                Foreign policy is presented by the NZ media as a real success for JK, but the reality is a lot more complicated.

                I think this represents a reasonable grasp of the facts. Good day.

  2. Zetetic 2

    Don’t think he was joking. Read O’Sullivan’s piece.

    He makes jokes about Fleetwood Mac lyric headlines.

    He wasn’t joking about wanting to go.

    Post only up for two minutes before you commented. Impressive. You’ve been waiting for this post?

    • Tim Ellis 2.1

      Yes zetetic, I sit at my computer here in the national party research office pushing the refresh button every five seconds to see who has posted what, with my national party lines at the ready to cut and paste.

      David Lange once famously said that he could smell the uranium on his opponents’ breath. Just so you know zetetic, you shouldn’t have taken that literally either.

      • IrishBill 2.1.1

        Good lord, first I find out my taxes are paying for Bill English’s house cleaning and now I discover they’re funding Tim Ellis? One more shock like this and I’m converting to right-wing libertarianism.

        • Tim Ellis

          Even worse it’s not just me IB, Tim Ellis is fifty people sitting in Nationals research office just monitoring the standard. We have another identity who writes constantly at Red Alert, who takes up another fifty staff members all paid for by the taxpayer writing under a pseudonym and designed to make the Labour Party look bad. That identity’s name is Trevor Mallard.

      • travellerev 2.1.2

        See Tim,

        Here you go accusing people of paranoia again. You just come up with this shit as you go along don’t you?

  3. Scribe 3

    the most serious issue facing humanity

    Still haven’t convinced me, or hundreds of millions of others, that this is the case. Interesting how you state is as if it’s undeniable.

    He got us to make him PM.

    How’d he do that? Bribe us with free takeaways?

    Don’t think he was joking.

    I agree with Tim (not always the case). Many people in this country have no concept of a prime minister who cracks jokes and has fun.

    If anyone watched the cricket on the weekend when John Key was commentating, they heard a guy who was having fun and managed to even get a joke in at Tiger’s expense.

    Ian Smith said (roughly) “we’d been trying to get a Tiger joke in for three days and hadn’t been able to, and now you’ve done it”.

    • Zetetic 3.1

      Oh sweet. So he’s a funny amateur commentator. Well, that’s all I need in a PM. Sign him up for life I say.

      Actually. His commentary was crap. Like his entire career he imitated what he thought someone should say without actually understanding what was happening.

      • lukas 3.1.1

        my gosh man! take some angry pills… it was a cricket commentary!

        Can you only see evil in John Key? In one short year you have become worse than those on the right who thought Helen Clark was the anti-christ!

        • rainman

          Don’t think the problem is “evil”, lukas, but he certainly usually induces a severe cringe from this watcher. Just has no depth, no statesmanship. Fleetwood Mac and Letterman? Puhleeze – he’s such a lightweight. He’d be funny if we didn’t desperately need some real leadership now.

          Kinda reminds me of one of the big bosses at a place I used to work. He was an idiot, no-one had any respect for him at all, but he was fawned over and his pathetic witticisms smiled at – until he was around the corner and out of earshot. And he also achieved bugger all, until he was ejected by the board with a large golden handshake.

    • Marty G 3.2

      I think the issue of climate change has got to a point of such seriousness and the deniers are so implacable, so unwilling to see the truth in front of them that there’s no point in trying to convince them. The vast majority of us should just get on with dealing with it.

      And yeah, I agree Zet stated it as undeniable, that’s because it is by any rational standard.

      • Scribe 3.2.1

        So, Marty G, climate change is undeniably the most serious issue facing humanity.

        Hmmm, ask people in Africa if that’s the case. Ask people in Israel and Palestine. Ask people in Venezuela. Ask people in Iran and Burma and Tibet.

        Climate is A serious issue that must be addressed — but not necessarily by 17,000 flying from around the world to a fairly remote country.

        That’s like having a summit on ending hunger in Africa and giving the delegates eight-course degustation menus.

        We know these climate change guys use computers. Don’t they have Skype?

        • Marty G

          You can’t skype hundreds of whole day meetings each involving dozens or hundreds of participants. Don’t be silly scribe.

          And climate change may not be the most important issue at the moment to an individual with a gun to their head but to the species as a whole it clearly is.

          • Scribe

            And climate change may not be the most important issue at the moment to an individual with a gun to their head but to the species as a whole it clearly is.

            Hunger. Nuclear weapons. Just two non-gun-to-the-head issues that I would say are much more pressing than climate change (don’t call it global warming).

            The first of those two could be improved drastically if some of the people gathering in Copenhagen weren’t so corrupt.

            • lprent

              Surprisingly you are correct on one point (for a change).

              …climate change (don’t call it global warming).

              The biggest problem is that there isn’t any way to figure out what the effect of pumping all that extra energy into the climate systems will do. The only thing that you can be absolutely sure of is that it will change the climate drastically – at least as far as humans are concerned.

              The most likely effect is that we will have an average increase in world tempature. Regionally this can mean everything from rains failing, rains increasing, temperature rising dramatically, temperatures falling, plus seasonal variations moving.

              We’ve developed our entire technology and civilization based on a relatively unchanging climate for the last 10k years. Now we will have to see how it will survive dramatic shifts in weather patterns.

              When we have had comparatively minor shifts in weather patterns in the last couple of hundred years, we’ve had famines and the consequent wars that rise out of starvation and the breakdown of civilization.

              Now scribe – consider what major shifts are likely to do to the two factors you named.

              Hunger. Crop failures cause famines. The most common reason for crop failures is changing weather patterns.

              Nuclear weapons. One of the common reasons for war and civil disorder is starvation or the fear of starvation. In a world where nuclear weapons are proliferating, we can expect them to participate in these conflicts. Especially when a very likely effect is on the monsoons and glacial water supplies in the Indian sub-continent where some of those nuclear weapons are in less than secure hands.

              So scribe. Why aren’t you worried about climate change? Because you think that other things are more important? It just shows you haven’t bothered to think about the consequences of climate change if the first few that pop in your head are ones that climate change will affect.

              You really are a bit shallow….

              • Scribe


                Why aren’t you worried about climate change?

                I didn’t say I wasn’t worried about climate change. I said it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

                You really are a bit thick….

                There is plenty of food in the world, but corrupt world leaders who should be feeding their people are using it instead to trade for weapons etc.

                And on nuclear weapons, I don’t think the most dangerous threats in terms of nuclear weapons — Iran, North Korea, Pakistan — are checking their barometers for advice on when to detonate.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Why are they the most dangerous?

                None of them have the capacity to do much more than deliver handful of bombs a short distance. That’s Pakistan. The others would stuggel to do that much. And that’s just capability, you’d need to show intent.

                While horrid obviously, a threat to humanity, it isn’t.

              • Which is why it’s so strange that weather modification as practiced by Russia, China and the US (and other countries) is not included in the Copenhagen conference.

                It should be clear that if China decides to cause snowstorms in areas hit by droughts to stock up on water, it takes that water away from other areas causing unexplained draughts.

                Alternatively if it modifies the weather to not rain on it’s Olympic parade this will cause rain elsewere.

                To give just one example. Another one would be HAARP.

        • Lanthanide

          “Hmmm, ask people in Africa if that’s the case. Ask people in Israel and Palestine. Ask people in Venezuela. Ask people in Iran and Burma and Tibet.”

          Ok, now ask those same people if the want all the problems they have right now, plus all the additional problems created by climate change. Also add in that when climate change affects all the first world countries, they will consequently give out less humanitarian aid, meaning organisations such as the red cross will have many more people to serve while attempting to do so with reduced budget…

  4. lprent 4

    TE does seem to have a lot of time. And he knows all of the lines.

    But it is on Keys usual skewed sense of priorities. You get the impression that he really doesn’t take running the country seriously.

    But I have to say that both jk and z have appalling taste in music. Try Bush

    • Zetetic 4.1

      Yeah. Bush is good. The early stuff.

      • Jeremy 4.1.1

        If JK was staying behind for the B52s, I might even consider voting for him, but Fleetwood Mac? Are you serious? Didn’t they play for Clinton back in the 1990’s?

    • Tim Ellis 4.2

      Pardon my ignorance, but are we talking Kate Bush?

    • rocky 4.3

      But I have to say that both jk and z have appalling taste in music.

      If that’s true then why do you have both Fleetwood Mac and Metallica in your music collection? 😉

      • lprent 4.3.1

        It is a *large* music collection. I’ve been collecting from long before I had to change your nappies. It has good music and bad music – I even have The Sex Pistols in there.

        But it also has mediocre music as well. 😈

        • rocky

          I’ve been collecting from long before I had to change your nappies.

          Maybe I should ask mother if you actually ever changed my nappies? Not really a you thing to do!

          It has good music and bad music I even have The Sex Pistols in there.

          The Sex Pistols are in your music collection because I put them there. So was Bush originally.

          • lprent

            Pulled some Sex Pistols off the old vinyl at a high bitrate before I consigned them to storage – authentic scratching and all they’re on low priority and tend to get next’ed fast. Picked up more Bush CDs from Amazon to get the complete set because of their frequent playing. It is great for programming. Thanks for pointing them out. But I think that giving you the complete Patti Smith immersion experience probably balanced it out.

            I did change your nappies. Did disturbing things to my stomach. True it is something that I avoid. However I was a lot better with you than I was with your sister – practice makes it more tolerable over time.

  5. lprent 5

    TE http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_(band)

    I was listening to them on the bus while commenting

  6. Perhaps Key is being realistic – New Zealand is a nothing at this level. Even if we as a country voluntarily reverted to the stone-age it would have zero impact on global warming. All we need in Copenhagen is a minion among the chorus singing to the tune laid down by China, the USA, India, Russia and the EU. Key’s going merely pumps more CO2 into the atmosphere and costs us the tax-payer a few more $K.

    Of course if Key was prepared to punch above his weight and cut through the politics and the self-interest to remind all the other players that we are all in the same boat and will float or sink together, it might be worth his going but I see no evidence that he has the inclination, vision or the ability to do so.

    • Stacktwo 6.1

      “We’re all in the same boat” – I agree. Far too many cling to this “New Zealand is a nothing” mantra to excuse them from taking responsibility.

      It’s like saying that because the West Coast has only 1% of NZ’s population they ought to be allowed to exempt themselves from paying income tax.

  7. Maggie 7

    Problem is Key is such a lightweight. Internationally he is an embarrassment and internally he is a joke. When even Fran can’t stick his corn any more the Nats have a problem on their hands.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Those refered to as denialists generally do not disagree with the concept of climate change or that human-emitted C02 has an effect, or that the temperature has been warming. This is fairly clear science that most would agree with.

    However, where there is considerable disagreement and skepticism is in the area of climate sensitivity to secondary forcings arising from clouds etc. Thus, the angst thrown at skeptics IMO is misplaced, as the areas in which there is disagreement is where, even strong AGW proponents would agree that there is a lot of unknowns and uncertainty.

    I am neutral on the above as I don’t consider myself qualified to form an opinion.

    IMO, however, given the uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness or otherwise of an ETS, and the large gaps in knowledge that exist with respect to secondary forcings, it is better to focus on immediate problems that will also have major impacts on C02 emissions rather than waste resources on costly schemes that may not work anyway..

    For instance, peak oil will probably address the emissions problem fairly quickly due to the forced necessity for green technologies. Focusing on initiatives such as enabling poor farmers to develop nature reserves to earn money from tourism rather than cutting down forests for farming (as has been done successfully in Africa for instance) will simultaneously help save endangered species and increase the amount of green biomass to absorb C02.

    The big advantage of this approach is that it will be much easier to get by-in to solving immediate, obvious problems rather than more uncertain, longterm ones.

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