PM’s idiocy goes global

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, May 14th, 2010 - 59 comments
Categories: International, john key, leadership, national, racism - Tags: , ,

Hey thanks John, you’ve really helped put New Zealand in the international spotlight yet again. First it was your clown act on Letterman, more recently your cringe-worthy fawning over Biden and attempts to be seen as another Obama, your valiant pro-whaling pandering while leaving a New Zealand hero to languish in a Japanese jail, then your eagerness to mine our national parks, your unwillingness to follow South Africa’s apology to our Maori All Blacks, and now it’s your witty comments about how Maori who don’t like you might be cannibals. What a marvellous job you’re doing as our premier ambassador!

It’s news in the UK here and here, in Australia, Taiwan, the Philipines, in the US here and here and here. Of course the list goes on and on, but you get the ugly picture.

All those years of New Zealand building up an international image of competent and principled statesmanship must be fading pretty quickly in the eyes of the international community.

FFS, this man might be talented at feathering his own nest, but a leader he is not.

hattip: gobsmacked

59 comments on “PM’s idiocy goes global”

  1. Joe Bloggs 1

    if Billy T James had made a similar quip as John Key you’d all be rolling in the aisles with laughter and patting him on the back…

    if Pete Bethune hadn’t illegally boarded the Japanese ship carrying a weapon he wouldn’t be in a Japanese prison …

    SARU apologised and now the NZRU has apologised – done deal…

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    • Tigger 1.1

      Are you a real person? Or a computer program that grabs random ignorant remarks and spits them into blog posts?

    • If Billy T James was our prime minister it would be an improvement.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        Ummm a dead comedian as PM. You could be right. Less shifting of policy and more enhancing what is already there?

    • Marty G 1.3

      Check out Zet’s piece.

      If you want the standard of behaviour of your hero while he is PM involved in Treaty talks to be a comedian from 30 years ago, that’s your problem.

    • Mike 1.4

      Let’s test this hypothesis.

      We take a Maori politician, let’s call him Hone Harawira and have him make ‘racist’ remarks in a private e-mail to a constituent. What would happen then?

      We would have a Pakeha PM, let’s call him John Key, come out and say that the remarks were “deeply offensive” and demand immediate disciplinary action.

      But of course the situations are completely different. One MP has brown skin and the other has white skin. One is a back-bencher and the other is Prime Minister. One is now characterised as a ‘racist’ and the other was ‘just telling a joke’.

      • the sprout 1.4.1

        one is a PM who is meant to represent the nation, another is a back bench MP who represents the views of some of his constituents. consequently different focuses and standard are expected. not to complicated for you follow i hope

  2. exbrethren 2

    “if Billy T James had made a similar quip as John Key you’d all be rolling in the aisles with laughter and patting him on the back ”

    Billy T was a comedian. Captain Beaky is meant to be PM. He does seem to think he’s a chilled out entertainer though.

    Bloody slave traders all have ideas above their stations.

    • Salsy 2.1

      Captain Beaky..! lol

      • Ministry of Justice 2.1.1

        Captain Beaky

        Is that an anti-semetic slur?

        I think that no one is particularly offended – jokes about cannibalism are part of our tourist industry.

        The fake offense taken is about political/financial gain – that’s why Tamati Kruger made his “poor taste” quip. Tuhoe will be laughing all the way to the bank.

        • exbrethren 2.1.1.1

          Is that an anti-semetic slur?

          Fuck off you arsehole.

          Its a dig at Keys big hooter pure and simple. Now piss off back to slave trading.

        • gobsmacked 2.1.1.2

          “jokes about cannibalism are part of our tourist industry.”

          Really? Please provide evidence, with reference to any NZ tourist organisations / companies.

          Thanks.

          • Ministry of Justice 2.1.1.2.1

            A cultural performance and dinner I attended had jokes about eating people – I’m not sure which organisation they were but I think it’s unlikely that I attended the only dinner where such jokes were made.

            Caution: The following video contains material that white liberals may find offensive.

            • felix 2.1.1.2.1.1

              I didn’t know someone had done a song about this back in the 60s.

              I guess that makes it ok then.

              Hey have you heard this one, MoJ?

              So it’s cool to make jokes about beating women too eh? Tell John, won’t you?

  3. vto 3

    You know the really biggest dumb thing Key has done is allow himself to be photographed like that. Looking half boozed slugging back on a beer from the bottle with the future Kinf of England. The poms will love that ha ha ha ha… how crass

  4. illuminatedtiger 4

    John Key is an international embarrassment, a nation’s shame.

    • For a person of Jewish decent to make a racist joke about another race is
      unbelievable. The Jewish community of Aotearoa must be cringing in embarassment. He is an insult to the Jewish people a shmuck !.
      Enough said.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    I think he would be described by the conservative elite back in the home country as new money!

    If Billy T was still alive Key certainly would have given him a lot of material.

    It does make me think what would Billy Ts take on it all be?

  6. Hamish 6

    heh heh, some comments from Aussie:

    “Maoris have been in New Zealand for 700 years and are given indigenous status. Our peoples have inhabited parts of Europe and the British Isles for tens of thousands of years, and yet we are denied indigenous status. I say if we can’t have it, they shouldn’t be allowed it either.”

    “Who cares! The world has gone soft.”

    “well if they did eat people… who cares what he said. so sensitive nowadays arnt we… boohoo…”

    • vto 6.1

      Yes Hamish I have always wondered why the Brits and Germans and Chinese etc are never invited to such things as Indigenous Olympics or any other Indigienous Conference on Whatever…

      Anyone know?

    • Bright Red 6.2

      Hamish, you and your family are a bunch of murderers and rapists.

      ha ha, just joking!

      Anyway, it’s true that your ancestors’ people (no matter who they are) did just that. So don’t get up tight about it.

      • Lew 6.2.1

        And by the way, Hamish — that important contract we’ve been talking about? You can Golf Foxtrot Yankee. LOLZ!

        L

  7. Hamish 7

    Found this little gem:

    Yes, I can just see it now.

    Grace: Frank! Cancel that export order for $2m worth of beef! John Key just made what I perceive to be an off colour remark!”

    Frank: who’s John Key?

    Grace: You know….kiwi bloke…took over from whats her name?

    Frank: Helen Clarkson?

    Grace: Yes, that’s the one.

    This really is storm in a tea cup stuff. Good to see the softies are going to town. Got to keep them amused somehow. Meanwhile, back in the real world……..

    • Craig Glen Eden 7.1

      And Hamish goes wild laughing at his own attempted joke.

      Yeah good on ya Hamish have a good day wont you fella

      Kids who would have them aye?

  8. Hamish 8

    >>>Yes Hamish I have always wondered why the Brits and Germans and Chinese etc are never invited to such things as Indigenous Olympics or any other Indigienous Conference on Whatever

    Anyone know?

    [sigh]

    ‘Just watch – Keys popularity will rise because of it, and the left are already looking like humorless, opportunist fools who are out of touch with New Zealanders.

    No wonder Goff made no comment…..’ 😀

  9. gobsmacked 9

    John Key has struck gold: BBC World News …

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8681655.stm

    Now, you can’t have it both ways. Remember that comedy routine on Letterman? Remember how it was hailed as a coup for marketing NZ?

    Let’s be very generous and say John Key did a great job on Letterman (I don’t think that, but never mind – let’s pretend every American viewer thought he did).

    Letterman has an audience of 4 to 5 million, in one country (source: Tourism New Zealand).

    BBC World has an audience of 75 million, in countries across the globe.

    So to undo the damage from his “harmless joke”, all he needs is 15 more Lettermans.

    But here’s a better idea, for the sake of our image and our marketing, around the world. He could just shut up.

  10. tc 10

    Hamish has a point….most of the world have a more mature view with a media to match so Sideshow John’s bracketed with Little Johnny Howard/John Major/George Dubleyuh as good comedic value as they think they’re actually running a country…yeah right.

  11. joe bloggs 11

    All those years of New Zealand building up an international image of competent and principled statesmanship must be fading pretty quickly in the eyes of the international community.

    How short the memories are…

    Anyone remember that international image of competent and principled statesmanship created by Helen Clark when she “autographed” a local artist’s painting? Here’s a couple of reminders:
    http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/RN/2002-03/03rn09.pdf
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/new-zealand-leader-fails-to-brush-off-paintergate-fiasco-649586.html

    IMHO a prima facie case of forgery is way more damaging to our international reputation than a mere throw-away line …

    Thou hypocrites, cast out first the beams out of thine own eyes, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

    • zonk 11.2

      Yes I see the point you are making there…One leader leads quite a busy schedule apologising to the Samoans for our administration of their country, to the Chinese for our treatment of them with the poll tax, to the Vietnam vets (I think?) for the way they were treated on their return from service and signs a picture for charity that isn’t her own- though the profits benefit a charitable cause.

      Another leader arbitrarily scuttles two years of negotiation to prop up his poll rating, and calls the tribe he has already inulted (on top of the century or so of abysmal treatment by the crown ) by this cannibals.

      • joe bloggs 11.2.1

        …One leader leads quite a busy schedule apologising to the Samoans for our administration of their country…

        that would be the same leader who provided all the impetus in the world for the Maori MPs to break away from Labour and form the Maori party. Pretty strategic blunder that one…

        and that would also be the same leader who took the Greens for granted and locked them out of government for three elections…

        and the same leader who described Don Brash as cancerous and corrosive…. who described foreshore and seabed protesters as “haters and wreckers’…who hung her DPS staff out to dry by ‘not noticing they were travelling at 180km/hr’…

        Oh and Helen apologised but never said sorry to the Vietnam Vets – that was John Key.

        http://www.w3vietnam.org.nz/story_27.htm

        • the sprout 11.2.1.1

          irrelevant, ancient history. nobody cares.
          lots of people care about Key making a laughing stock of us with the international community though.
          Key has screwed up big time.
          get used to it, there’s lots more to come

    • I was amazed then and still are at the continued references to a painting signed on the back by Helen Clark. Never once did the critics mention that it raised a lot of money for child cancer!
      The whole episode was from the same creppy lot who reported that the PM was speeding. Its know as Crosby/Textor in other words the National Party dirty Tricks brigade ,

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Ah, there’s just too much media coverage to keep up with …

    National Public Radio in the USA has around 20 million listeners, and – crucially for our tourism industry – they tend to be older and richer and more interested in the world, the kind of people that like to go overseas to … guess where.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/05/new_zealand_leader_sorry_for_c.html

    The quote is from AP – Associated Press. That’s the agency who provide your local paper with international news, every day. It’s impossible to know how many newspapers have picked up AP reports on “NZ cannibal gaffe”, but it’s probably hundreds.

    New Zealand very rarely makes international headlines. You’d have to go back to the death of Sir Edmund Hillary, to find a really big global story. Key’s idiocy hasn’t made it that big (yet), but he’s doing his best.

  13. vto 13

    Regarding the so-called going global damage… have you not heard the one about any publicity being good publicity (well, within reason).

    It gets NZ onto the front page at least. And when it comes to industry and business that is bloody great.

    Any potential Americans, europeans or anyone thinking of going distant holidaying will now have had NZ thrown smack in their faces. Will definitely have an effect of getting those people to consider, however briefly, coming to NZ…

    • Armchair Critic 13.2

      Hmm, no. I don’t think I want to encourage the kind of tourist who thinks the highlights of NZ would be a tour the mines in the National Parks, going one one of those Japanese-lead whaling cruises and having a tradition Maori feast of roast speculator.
      I’d prefer the type who want to cycle around the country – all we need is a cycleway.

    • gobsmacked 13.3

      “It gets NZ onto the front page at least.”

      World News Latest: VTO runs down Queen St with sub-machine gun, takes out twenty-three Japanese tourists and a pigeon. “This is publicity you can’t buy” says Prime Minister, while expressing his sincere condolences to the families.

    • Bright Red 13.4

      (well, within reason).

      you answered yourself.

      ‘racist PM cracks about cannibal savages’ is not good publicity.

  14. coolas 14

    Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe doesn’t suffer from Key’s ‘bad taste’ remark.

    Some Guardian readers will go to their libraries, and others all over will ‘google’ Tuhoe, and read the history. Judith Binney’s excellent book “Encircled Lands” deserves more sales. It tells a story of betrayal and genocide. Anyone reading it will sympathise with Tuhoe, and many will support Tuhoe’s claim to Urewera.

    The unintended consequence of Key’s ‘bad taste’ joke is international publicity for Tuhoe’s struggle to re-claim Urewera. And he’s played the part of Crown, once again, betraying Tuhoe.

  15. toad 15

    Remember that Key is Minister of Tourism, as well as PM. A stunningly cunning plan by Key.

    Should have the tourists flocking here in their millions to see our quaint cannibal tribes you know, the ones who tried to cook and eat the Prime Minister.

    • Alexandra 15.1

      Oh yeah right, the maori are gunna eat me will have tourist flocking here in droves…so cunning you can stick a tail on it!

  16. sweetd 16

    yeah, it is flooding the comment pages on the standard.co.uk. One single comment!!!!!!!

    “They WERE cannibals, or they weren’t. If they were, then complaining about it is stupid. Are the campaigners too shy to bring up the faults of the settlers in the same time period? Obviously not, with their complaints about what was ‘stolen’ from them. It ain’t a one-way street.”

  17. Bill 17

    So John Boy claims self deprecating humour. And with a single masterful and remarkable stroke of arrogance obliterates the credence of the sensibilities of those he targeted with his quip. According to John Boy he, as a piece of dead and boiled meat, retains more importance than any would be diners…that’s the only possible interpretation of his strange ‘self deprecating’ claim.

    Which leads on to the fact that I care less for the quip, delivered with a certain degree of bitterness as it was, than the aftermath which has John Boy flying his ‘utterly selfish prick with little or no capacity for empathy’ colours high and proud.

    That aside. Surely it goes without saying that when you the premier of a former white colony, that you acknowledge the fact that stupid statements revolving around race and/or culture can carry fairly weighty emotional baggage and act and speak accordingly?

  18. kerry 18

    The mans a god……a saint……savour of mankind…….healing hands…….simply placing his hands on you can cure any ill…….well so says Mathew Hoooten on breakfast this morning!!!

    Personally I wish he was a duck!

  19. Rharn 19

    No half decent beer aficionado would dare drink beer from a bottle. Like wine, beer needs a little aeration to bring out the full flavour. Key’s pathetic attempt to portray himself as the ‘typical’ kiwi bloke is about as crass as his tasteless joke.

  20. Fisiani 20

    We no longer live in Helengrad.
    We no longer have to watch out for the humour police.
    Whats that smell? Its the sweet smell of freedom
    Freedom of speech. Freedom to have fun.

    The freedom to be stupid, and it goes right to the top

    [lprent: If you want to be free around here, you should avoid words that activate the spam trap (and give me reason to enhance your comment). I guess the wordpress anti-spam checker has finally learnt some of the standard troll lines. ]

    • Armchair Critic 20.1

      The freedom to wear whatever you want in Whanganui – oh, no, scrub that, National legislated out the freedom to wear certain clothes.
      The freedom to drive where you want, when you want – oh, no, scrub that, National legislated away the freedom to drive up and down the main street of every town and city in the country.
      The freedom to speak out against the government – oh, no, scrub that, Paula Bennett squashed that.
      The freedom to vote for whoever you want in Canterbury – oh, no, scrub that, National legislated that away until at least 2013.
      Thanks National, you guys really support freedom. Not.

  21. Irascible 21

    The joke is certainly doing NZ well.. his self serving abandonment of an important trade mission in the ME and now his cannibal “joke” demonstrate the child that is John Key. We are seeing, all the more starkly, that the “emperor” has no clothes.

  22. Irascible 22

    Key’s gaffe has made the news in the Gulf States… as news of the weird!
    Suitable classification really after Key scuttled back to NZ during the Trade Delegation to the ME. Really like the statesmanlike behaviour displayed by Key… it’s impressive!!!

  23. SHG 23

    And with one small slip of the tongue, Key defuses all the right-wing critics who have been accusing him of “going native” and of pandering to Maori concerns and issues.

    Yep, that sure was one convenient spontaneous little accident. Did I mention that it was spontaneous? And an accident?

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