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The economy of hero worship

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 pm, September 24th, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: economy, john key, Media - Tags:

I wish that I got praise heaped on me at my job for exchanging a bit of small-talk with the popular dude. Don’t want to take away from Key’s achievement. I mean wow, he shook the Obama’s hand and didn’t muck it up.

I’m looking forward to the gushing accolades when he manages to crack a grin and not be a national embarrassment on Letterman. As long as Key doesn’t actually puke on Letterman’s desk, Watkins et al will be throwing the laurels. 

The one I really love is C Espiner: “‘NZ emerges from worst recession in 30 years’. Not bad publicity for John Key while he’s in New York.”

Publicity with whom? Us? We know who he is. We know his government has been asleep at the wheel. The other leaders? Yeah I can see it now. Sarkozy and Brown in hushed tones: ‘Look, there’s that guy whose economy grew by less than population growth. Do you think I can get his autograph?’

Speaking of the Nats’ record on the economy. The cycleway still isn’t underway. The ultra-fast broadband (which Joyce is now referring to as ‘fast’ broadband) is still at vague plan stage. They’re capping their already too small housing insulation programme. All they are doing well is stuffing our money in their pockets and dishing it out to their mates.

Key deserves no credit on the economy. The recession isn’t even really over. GDP per person fell another 0.2%. Unemployment is still going up.

All that’s ‘saved’ the GDP number being negative again is that our trade partners have stimulated their economies. Check out the Expenditure on GDP numbers – what’s making it positive is exports are up and imports are down.

But sober analysis doesn’t enter into it. When you love someone anything they do, no matter how mundane, is miraculous. And the Tory commentariat are still head over heels for their little Jonny.

30 comments on “The economy of hero worship ”

  1. nah, he’ll be fine on Letterman – while we’re cringing, the rest of the world (hopefully) will just think he’s doing a clever flight of the conchords act

  2. BLiP 2

    Never mind your arm – break a leg, Goober.

  3. sk 3

    The scuttlebut is that the only reason he got an invite is that the post popular Flight of the Conchords episode was when the NZ PM came to NY . . ..

    But hey, Tom Scott has identified him as a clown .. . and that is what he is. And his government is a circus.

    It was Tom Scott who made the first call on Muldoon when the rest of the press gallery were sucking up to him, and maybe the cartoon of last week is the thin edge of the wedge. Give them time. . . .. and when the Espiners and co finally turn the lack of anything but a cheesy grin and mangled syntax will be all too clear

  4. r0b 4

    Key deserves no credit on the economy. The recession isn’t even really over. GDP per person fell another 0.2%. Unemployment is still going up

    Now Zet, you’re being too mean. 0.1% growth man! In the quarter ending July, so that’s for the months May June July. National only did their first budget at the end of May, but it was obviously so brilliant that it instantly turned the economy round in June July! That’s pretty impressive! Isn’t it? Great work National? Errrrrmmm…..

    Ahh I’m being mean. I notice that National haven’t actually tried to claim credit for this “recovery”, which is very wise, because of course (a) that would be a stupid claim, and (b) it would leave them pretty much without defence if the economy goes on to tank again (as it well might).

    • Zetetic 4.1

      actually – April, May, June

    • ak 4.2

      And note Ryall brazenly claiming credit for the increase in elective surgeries thanks to Labour’s moves and increased budget last year – and the press lapping it up in typical fawning style.
      Johnny goes to Hollywood and the biggest boobs in the world – its bread and circuses a-go-go as the tory-owned media monopoly maintains its grip on the dufus middle voter who decides our fate.

  5. bobo 5

    Let Key have his tourist fun and put his pics up on bebo, lets hope he doesn’t yell out “OBAAMMAA !” “OBAMA!” from the back row of the group dignitary photo shoot.

    Hopefully any kiwi SAS lives lost weren’t just for a 3 minute Obama meet n greet.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Talking of hero worship, the top story on the Herald site at the moment is about how John’s hotel had a problem with the water and he had to go to Rudd’s hotel to have a shower:

    “I wandered over there in my jeans and T-shirt looking rather dishevelled with a suit and a shirt and some shaving gear,” Mr Key said.

    “I opened the door and who was standing there but Kevin Rudd who rather gleefully said to me this was an extension of the Anzac spirit and welcomed me into his bathroom.”


    Yep, that’s their top story for the morning. What next? A two page spread on John’s new tie? Or what his favorite food is? The Herald has some serious Key-love going on.

    • BLiP 6.1

      Yikes! Check out the front page . . . one big sloppy kiss on the butt for The Goober from the foreign multi-national corporate owned New Zealand Fox News Herald!

      Sources say (The Goober) got more attention than many others Mr Obama met. “He’s gone out of his way to make me feel welcome,” Mr Key said.

      I’m sure the SAS grunts carrying out the dirty work of the >corporations in Afghanistan are thrilled.

      • Sam 6.1.1

        Its an aside but I’m sure the SAS are thrilled to be seeing some combat action and are well aware of the risks when they sign up to join the SAS.

        Its whether or not we believe New Zealand should have troops fighting and killing in an unjust perpetual war thats the real issue.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Cant you see the bleeding obvious.

          The sending of combat troops back after a 4 year break was part of the deal for Key for getting the high fives.

          Keys office was a bit like a self centered pop star on tour over this. Vogels bread in every suite, his own lolly water in the fridge, a fist bump with Obama, plus a face to face meeting . ( the better hotels must have booked out though)

          Im sure a ride in his helicopter was also promised so Kiwi soldiers can get blown up on a dusty road by the local muj in Afghanistan.

          One report said the locals in a remote part of the country , ( most of the place) still thought they were fighting the russians.

          ps Have the taxpayers paid for the Key family to go on this junket as well

        • RascallyRabbit

          Perhaps the best way to analogise it for BLiP is that the next time Labour’s MP’s (grunts) hold the treasury benches they will be thrilled to be carrying out the dirty work for (tounge firmly in cheek here) the unions.

          After all playing on the sidelines for your whole career wouldn’t be much fun!

          As I have the privelege?! of personally knowing several SAS nutters I can assure you that they are extremely happy to be deployed on any active service as they signed up voluntarily and it is their profession. Politics doesn’t come into their thinking to much they see it as a job and an opportunity.

          As for all the stuff regarding our mate Key – many average joe punters are just excited to see that A) Key is meeting Obama (yay New Zealand is being noticed!) and B) are happy to get fed all this media claptrap about showers not working as after 9 years of a PM that wasn’t easy to relate too they are lapping up hearing about one who is.

          Give it time it will pass

          • gobsmacked

            many average joe punters are just excited to see that A) Key is meeting Obama (yay New Zealand is being noticed!)

            Do you seriously believe NZ is being noticed? How naive are you?

            Name the President of Uruguay. Or tell us the last time Uruguay was mentioned in our media. Have you been “noticing” Uruguay? Ever?

            President Vazquez of Uruguay is in New York. He is meeting all the same bigwigs. He is speaking at the UN, he has even met John Key.


            Uruguay, and a hundred other countries, are as “noticed” as New Zealand. i.e. not at all. The international media coverage of John Key in New York is zero. Nobody cares. Why would they?

            The NZ media’s coverage is an insular, embarrassing joke, and the joke is on you.

            • RascallyRabbit


              I added the caveat that it was average joe punters that would believe that New Zealand was being noticed – not that I believed that NZed was being noticed – when was the last time you put the search words “John Key” into the NYT website or The Economist, the guardian or The Times of London?

              Well I can tell you that “John Key” brings back 0 hits on NYT for the past month and a similar amount for both the Times and The Economist and I can only assume that other international media outlets are the same. He is lucky enough to get a mention in the guardian regarding a pipe band at an opera – hardly earth shattering stuff although perhaps he could bring it up on Letterman?

              If you had read my earlier post and had been able to successfully appreciate the tone of the writing then you would’ve understood that I was poking fun at this whole situation – the fawining over John and Obama’s handshake – the breathless reporting about how amazing New York is – how exciting it is to be in the big apple with all the “big kids” , how kiwis and aussies revive the ANZAC spirit when faced with adversity overseas etc. etc.

              This immature commentary makes me embarrassed to be a New Zealander and it helps me to appreciate why I have spent a good proportion of my life away from here

              As for your analogy of Uruguay, its an interesting choice as due to New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay presence in Uruguay and other similar business propositions, Uruguay is mentioned relatively frequently in our media – perhaps just not in so many of the outlets that you typicaly keep an eye on. So I suggest you smack yourself in the gob – hard; as you wouldn’t want the joke to be on you….

          • felix

            It’s got nothing to do with the S.A.S. being “happy to be deployed” or otherwise.

            Nothing at all.

            They’ll be deployed when we require it whether they’re “happy” about it or not – we don’t deploy them so they can “get a bit of action”.

            That’s precisely why it’s so important that they’re only ever deployed with very good reason.

            • RascallyRabbit

              Totally agree – hence anytime I meet up with any of those nutters I put the same argument to them that you just have to me and all they can ramble on about is getting “over there” etc.

              But to paint them as a bunch of grunts struggling through adversity for their fat-cat corporate masters or lazy politicans is wrong as they will all be over the moon with the opportunity to “put their skills to the test” etc. etc.

              I think they sometimes forget that they are serving New Zealand and not the New Zealand Army…

            • bobo

              Well i’m sure the SAS would have been keen on Iraq action back in 2003 and under Key that would have happened but its besides the point I agree. The term Jarhead comes to mind.

          • BLiP

            I too have been in the company of SAS personnel and have heard them refer to themselves as “grunts” – its a classic Kiwi understatement – I don’t mean to use it in the perjorative sense. It just seems a shame to me that these New Zealanders are being sent to kill on behalf of corporate greed and for John Key to exploit for a moment’s greeting and front page photo op.

            Yet, there is an element of honour to whatever sacrifice will be paid. I believe its best we have some sort of force operating in Afghanistan because it will prevent the US from identifying New Zealand as an “unfriendly” and the likely interfering with our own democracy.

            Render unto Ceasar – and all that . . .

  7. Look for the Jonkeys slurping noise he makes at the end of each list point.

    captcha Boot

    • Zetetic 7.1

      ha, I know what you mean. That little intake of breath that makes a sucking sound after he says something he thinks is funny.

      Seriously though, he’ll do fine, it’s not hard, and he’ll get worshiped for it

    • felix 7.2

      I thought he was trying to suck the lies back in before anyone noticed.

  8. illuminatedtiger 8

    Just saw him ring the closing bell at the NYSE. They took a bit of a dive today – the man’s cursed. Honest.

  9. StephenR 9

    Don’t want to take away from Key’s achievement.

    I think they’re worshipping Obama, not Key. If the Malaysian prime minister pulled Key aside, no one would give a toss. They aren’t saying ‘good job Key’, they’re saying ‘wow, isn’t Key a lucky guy! Yay us!’.

  10. TightyRighty 10

    “All they are doing well is stuffing our money in their pockets and dishing it out to their mates”

    oh how i wish i could have a socialists selective memory too.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      You do have a selective memory. The last government paid down debt and saved money – lots of it. Now the RWNJ government that we have is giving our money away to themselves and their mates for no benefit to us and likely to be a severe negative to NZ.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Re- Flight of the Conchords and John Key

    Unlike the grovelling groupies in our media, at least the Aussies know a joke when they see it:


  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Don’t think people should be knocking him for going to the UN and talking about nuclear disarmanent and associating with Obama or Rudd. I’d encourage him to talk to those two- he could learn a lot from them. They are hardly right wing reactionaries.

    And Letterman dissed John McCain big time for not turning up on his show- a good reason for turning up on his show.

    If he could get a spot with John Stewart- that would be even better.

    I’d leave it to the right wingers to be worrying at the moment.

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