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Show pony

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, July 4th, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Fran O’Sullivan, who championed National most ardently in Opposition, has become disillusioned with Key as PM. She savages him today, saying he has a “deep need” to be “Mr Popularity”:

Prime Minister John Key’s practised inclination – crack a few jokes about daughter Steffie usurping his credit card and/or messing up her en suite and son Max telling dad there would have been more upside if he had been an All Black and/or how he has got a tad porky since entering politics – still gets laughs when he ventures about the country.

It worked also for Key this week when he pulled out the “Steffie and the chequebook” gag again at the launch of the new New Zealand Global Women network at the University of Auckland Business School…

Key’s rampant good humour suitably seduced those present that he was taking seriously their stated aims to increase the leadership opportunities for “their members” through building a diverse, supportive and well-connected network that extends from New Zealand on to a global stage…

Get real sisters. Key’s impromptu gushing was so notably light on commitment to what matters for most women that frankly little of a factual nature resonated…

Ministers in Key’s own Government have disestablished the Labour Department’s pay and employment equity unit and scrapped two other investigations aimed at improving the pay rates of female social workers at Child Youth and Family and female school support workers who are demonstrably getting less than male peers.

The rationale offered by State Services Minister Tony Ryall that such investigations would “generate an additional form of remuneration pressure that is unaffordable in the current economic and fiscal environment” is so deeply insulting to women that he should have been slapped down by his leader.

Where is the commitment from Key’s Government to eradicating the 12 per cent gender pay gap?

Key’s female appointments: Melissa Lee to challenge for Mount Albert; the Christine Rankin nonsense; and the increasing morass growing around Paula Bennett does not help the perception of women leaders…

All hat and no horse is the term they would use in Texas. Key talks a big game and ingratiates himself with people but doesn’t deliver. I’m reminded of another article I saw a while back in a business magazine describing a chamber of commerce breakfast with Key:

Have I told you the one about the tie Max bought me?

Have I told you the one about the tie Max bought me?

So, he soothed us, charmed us, and encouraged us, but he stopped short of inspiring us. Why? Because he didn’t even pretend to be interested in the views of the business people and government officials present. 10 to 15 minutes of Q+A would have Key a good sense of the ‘mood’ of our Wellington business community. How else does this man of the people, know the people?

Both audiences saw the same thing. Key’s good at the funny family guy schtick and people are prepared to be disarmed by that. Key’s even good at talking about the issues facing New Zealand, which is nice. But there’s nothing more. There’s no solutions from him. Despite the fact these are business audiennces, there’s absolutely no interest from him in learning about their concerns and ideas. It’s all show and no substance, and it’s not going to change.

25 comments on “Show pony”

  1. Ianmac 1

    Eddie: I thought that you had something new but realised that what was new was the quotes from Fran which were so amazing. She is astute but how long has it taken her to notice the lack of Key intellect? I wonder if Fran buys stuff from e-mails offering huge sums if only she will send money soon?

  2. Zaphod Beeblebrox 2

    Why wasn’t she asking about the quality of the Nats femal caucus last year? I still don’t know why Katherine Rich left, I always felt she was the most competant of the female Nats. Bennett, Tolley and Collins don’t seem to be big players- though might be worth asking them where thay stand on the gender pay gap and the wage freeze for teachers and nurses.
    Turia also seems silent on these issues- would be good to see someone in government standing up to the boys club.

  3. A. Akbar 3

    Well this is a surprise, coming from the steadfast cheerleader of the right-wing. One wonders why she has only picked up on this now, National haven’t exactly camouflaged their agenda in this respect.

    • r0b 3.1

      Sounds like she heard canned jokes once too often and snapped.

      Show pony – and to think we could have stuck with a war horse.

      • Weather Eye Of The North 3.1.1

        You put it perfectly rOb – somehow I’m dispositionally inclined to go for the warhorse. And daily Key gets more and more “soggy ice cream cone” than I ever thought he could be.

        It’s encouraging though…….let them now show some metal to follow the spin. The spin devised by…..forgot their name…..the antipodean Roves.

        Enough of this pathetic “stroll down Parnell on a sunny Saturday morning…..”

  4. gobsmacked 4

    In fairness, Fran has been one of the most coherent and consistent critics of Key as PM. I don’t always agree with her, but she is independently-minded, not a hack, and not easily fooled.

    I never really know whether (most of) the rest of the media genuinely can’t see through Key, or just don’t want to. I haven’t seen an Emperor this naked since Dan Quayle.

    • Weather Eye Of The North 4.1

      Gobsmacked – I’m shocked by your mouth girl !

      Dan Quayle……? No, not yet anyway, nor Palin The Peeper Of Russian Windows fame.

      Warning – Don’t watch Fox News….. honestly you’d think Charlton Heston had just died (the Old Nukester may well have come to think of it) Anyway, there is deep mourning over at Fox. Punctuated only by breathless anticipation of a Palin tilt at the presidency in 2012.

      Seriously though……Bill English will roll key, that’s the guts of it……that’s why Key stays with his only card – sweet blandness and “We’ll have a look at that…..”.

      Take any serious step with the risk of wide, including internecine unrest…..well, you’re back’s exposed. Better simply to idle, smile, and sometimes look hen-pecked. What a con !

  5. Dame O”Sullivan has been intimating concerns about the performance of the Government and the PM for some time, mainly tangentially, but consistently. One channel has been her obvious distaste for Young Master Weldon. She is, I understand, for all her politics, a firm supporter of equal opportunity, and Ms Wilkinson’s canning of the Pay and Employment Equity Unit (and, perhaps, the Government’s scandalous use of that Unit’s work in the ILO to paint a positive picture of equity issues here in NZ) may well have riled her.

    There are, I think, several things happening here. One is the expression of concern about a government that won a convincing victory, but which is now performing such that one could legitimately begin to fancy Labour’s chances in two years or so. Second, I think it’s a question of internal power struggles within the National Parfty around future leaderships, ideology and between Auckland and Wellington party bases (in particular).

    It is early days, but Mr Goff must be quietly happy at the moment. I also note that the Right blogs are becoming nastier, presumably a sign that they are upset about their hero’s performance.

  6. Chris 6

    I dun gedit. Fran wasn’t aware that the National party view women as good for making and serving the tea and scones, and not much else?? What planet is Fran on?

    I’m not even going to aswer my own question…

  7. Ron 7

    Couldn’t agree more with Zaphod about why it takes so long for “commentators” to get with the programme. In Fran’s case probably because she had to ease herself out of the Nats nether regions first.
    Reminds me of when United Future first took the stage and AFTER the election the papers were full of “shock horror did you know they’re all fundies?!”

    NZ got what it deserved. If I had a cent for every “at least we’ve got that nice John Key instead of he horrible Helen Clarke” that I’ve heard since the bloody election I could sort the national debt.

    House of cards, all hat and no horse, feet of clay. They all apply and I hope sycophants like O’Sullivan start doing their job and stay on these guys. If we play our cards right we might roll JK before the next election.

    BTW – Katherine Rich was just as pants as the rest of them. She got the nod because she lived in Dunedin, was pretty and young and married to a footy player (I tell no lie – a close associate was approached first and turned it down. The reason for the offer was explicit. Let’s not forget it was Rich who opposed a half way house for mental health patients in her community because mentally ill people are child molestors.

  8. These people

    Tell me I looked at the list for National, Which group do you think have the most talent:

    [lprent: provide a link – don’t be a fuckwit. ]

  9. Ron 9

    re: Anthony Blomfield – can you just ban him for being a dick?

  10. Ron.

    Could you tell me why.

  11. Tom Semmens 11

    Whilst O’Sullivan must have been living under a rock for the last twenty years not to have worked out the reactionary attitude to women that pervades conservative political parties in New Zealand, I think people ought to be more circumspect in endorsing her attacks on John Key.

    Fran O’Sullivan, like it seems most of the business journalists in New Zealand, still clings to the stale and failed ideas of the 3.6% Mussolini’s party. ACT is her true home. Fran just wants Key to play the “moral obligation to lie” card and proceed with a neo-liberal palace coup a la 1984 – which of course her and all the other business cronies would report in adoring tones as a TINA.

    Remember, she works for the Herald – the mouthpiece of the Auckland kelptocratic elite, who just want to be able to get on with looting the state, so they can join Mssrs. Faye, Richwhite, and Meyers and play at being two-bit Russian Oligarchs in their London and Geneva hideouts.

  12. PS: National are like people on lift rafts while the Titanic Sank wait till everyone’s dead until they go back and check for survivors

  13. Ron

    By the way. LOLL mate guess what. Your at the end.

    Your rock may cover your for a bit. LOL but when your weak and disgusting character comes out and your embarrassment for human kind. And your pathetic contribution to NZ.

    Your such a no one. Enjoy your side line comments.

    [lprent: Read the policy. It may prevent me from taking preemptive action over your self-evident narcissism and inability to have intelligent dialogue with others. In the meantime, I’ll reserve your comments for some personal embellishment.]

  14. Ron 14

    Because you’re behaving like a dick, Anthony. You posted a nonsensical post and then when someone good naturedly questioned your motives you had a go – again without much sense in the comment. If you have a point, please just make it. Preferably in English.

  15. jarbury 15

    Anthony has a life long ambition for getting banned from every forum and blog in the country.

  16. Anthony 16

    Oh Hi Jarbury,
    Hows things lol.

    Thats cause I have a brain.
    But anyway nice work with some of your stuff. What you think about the Queens wharf ideas, may build over the whole lot with a big building nice.

    Yes I should stop giving a dam I suppose.

    [lprent: I’d agree you have a brain. The question is if you have anything much above autonomic functions running on it. So far it appears to be a wasted asset based on the evidence of your comments here. ]

  17. Pascal's bookie 17

    “Thats cause I have a brain.”

    Cite? 🙂

  18. Anthony 18

    Well I disagree lprent.

  19. lprent 19

    I can only look at the evidence of your comments. I don’t like people trying to start flamewars and who don’t contribute anything of value. They look like badly written code.

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  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
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  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
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  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
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  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
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