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The emperor’s new clothes

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, April 20th, 2011 - 106 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags: ,

John Key will wear a bespoke New Zealand-made suit at the royal wedding woven from merino and washed with pounamu (greenstone)… Mr Biddick was coy about the details of the suit and said he could not reveal what colour tie Mr Key would wear or how much it cost – all he could say was that it was between $2500 and $6000.

“Though for luxury items like that, you’re more looking at the higher end of that scale… He will look very sartorially elegant, which is the look we were going for.”

In other news, the government is planning cuts to family court including introducing user-pays charges.

106 comments on “The emperor’s new clothes ”

  1. Hilary 1

    Some NZers survive (just) for a year on the cost of one John Key suit.

    • Zetetic 1.1

      cue rightwingers completely missing the point and accusing Hilary of envy.

    • Jum 1.2

      Get over it Hilary.  It will be a lot worse when NAct gets in again.  Tell your problems to the suit.  There’s no one else listening in New Zealand.  They’re too much in love with John Key.  Although, there is the small matter of every media outlet, including Radio New Zealand and TVNZ, supposedly objective organisations that spin Key as much as his suit and so making it rather difficult for people to actually know what is going on.
      Pity the ‘average’ NZers don’t care.  But they will.  It’ll be too late by then.

  2. Eddie 2

    “he could not reveal what colour tie Mr Key would wear”
    aww, but I really really want to know. It matters so fucken much.

    also, are they saying the tie will cost $2,500 to $6,000? I thought that was an outrageous price for a suit, but I guess, when you live in a different world from ordinary Kiwis, it’s not..

    • Tigger 2.1

      Traditionally it is the bride’s outfit thats a secret. No one gives a shit what tie the third guest in row 44 is wearing. Only Key would try to out do the bride in her wedding day.

    • ianmac 2.2

      Key wore a black and pink striped tie in his Breakfast interview. Luckily they matched his TV lipstick to the pink in his tie. Frankly I don’t give a damn.

    • J Mex 2.3

      also, are they saying the tie will cost $2,500 to $6,000?

      Settle down. They are talking about the entire outfit, not the tie.

      As a price gauge, Handmade Italian silk ties cost ~$250 euro.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Yes he should turn up to the do dressed as the Mahatma.

    • Zetetic 3.1

      Or the elitist prick could not slash access to family court while lavishing hundreds of millions on tax cuts for the rich like himself. A windfall which he is spending on invisible pounamu and other essentials of modern life while families go hungry.

      It’s a morally bankrupt system that has those at the top spending fortunes on silly tokens of elitism while those at the bottom are screwed.

      • higherstandard 3.1.1

        I agree we should tax everyone who earns over 100k at 90% and change the country’s name to Mintopia.

        Better still lets issue a decree to stink up the interwebs with our incessant bleating, that’ll solve the world’s ills for sure.

        • todd

          Let’s issue a decree to the trolls… Fuck off!

        • Kaplan

          No lets not. that would just be silly.
          How about we tax everyone under 100K 90% and use that money to subsidise the outrageously high cost of caviar and French champagne.

          I just know that’s what you are thinking so that’s what I’ll post here to illustrate to everyone what is on your mind.   This is such a great system.  We no longer have to guess what people think because someone else can tell us through sarcasm.  Lovely.

          Captcha – comparisons.

        • Bright Red

          The US’s top tax rate was over 90% in the 50s. It was an era of great prosperity and growth, especially for the working class.

          • Sonny Blount

            But the size of government as a proportion of GDP was less than today. Please explain?

          • Alwyn

            Indeed it was. The credit for the prosperity must, of course, go to the President of the time, who was a republican called Eisenhower.
            Unfortunately he was suceeded by a Democrat named Kennedy who insisted on cutting taxes. I blame the fall of Western civilisation on the misguided policy.
            Bring back the Republican party and no doubt we will return to an era of great prosperity and growth.
            No doubt you agree with this theory?

            • Colonial Viper

              Alwyn you are an idiot, the Republican party of the 1950’s and the National Party of the 1950’s bear no resemblance to the corpoprate hijacked free market neoliberal parties of today.

          • SHG

            Truly, the 1950s were a time of great prosperity and growth for the USA. That may have had something to do with the fact that just about every other nation in the northern hemisphere had been reduced to smouldering rubble, some of it glowing in the dark.

            This then is the obvious way forward for New Zealand: physically destroy the manufacturing base of every other country in the world!

          • Draco T Bastard

            In the 50s the US got to print money for free as they were the “reserve currency” which basically meant that everyone had to buy US$ to trade with resulting in a massive wealth transfer from every other country to the US. Once it became obvious that the US could no longer maintain the gold standard upon which the Bretton Woods agreement was based they unilaterally dropped it and floated their currency. They’ve managed to remain as the “reserve currency” due to the “petrodollar” which maintains the transfer of wealth to the US.

            • Colonial Viper

              Other issues: in the 1950’s the US had superior education systems, rule of law, technology and industrial capability than almost every other country in the world. It built prosperity on those foundations.
              Now, US kids read worse than kids in Khazakstan.
              The US is rooted.

      • SHG 3.1.2

        Summary of the article: wealthy man orders expensive suit to wear to the wedding of the future King of England, milks the “made in New Zealand” angle.

        I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

        • felix

          Nah, it’s “wealthy man orders expensive suit to wear to the wedding of the future King of England, sends you the bill”

          • SHG

            Even if that were the case – and I haven’t seen anything to suggest that Key’s not paying for this out of his own pocket – I wouldn’t give a shit.

  4. Bright Red 4

    “The suit is made with merino wool fabric by Dormeuil, with greenstone “washed into the weave”.
    “You can’t see it [the greenstone]. It looks like a normal fabric. It’s their top of the range fabric produced out of New Zealand,” Mr Key said.”

    says it all. It’s like those cocktails with flecks of gold in them. Apparently, you can’t taste it and it just passes through you but it’s worth paying the extra just to say you are drinking gold.

    I wonder if they serve those cocktails on the Iroquois? Or in the new BMWs?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      It’s also really stupid as it means that the fabric won’t last as long due to all that fine abrasive stone in it. Of course, it’ll probably only be worn once which even more highlights the sheer stupidity of our “consumer culture”.

  5. JJ 5

    More envy and class war politics.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Class war Class war I have more class than Key would ever have enough money to buy.
    I just want what he promised Nationals brighter future, close the wage gap with Aussie and stop his Ministers lavish spending.
    Oh and one more thing if you want to give money to your mates give them your money not the NZ tax payers money.

  7. felix 7

    “You can’t see it [the greenstone]. It looks like a normal fabric”
    Bit weird when the Emperor admits he can’t it…
    Just to be clear, are we paying for this or is he?

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Of course it wouldn’t be a good idea to have Key supporting and show-casing NZ products overseas. Perhaps he should have just brought a cheap suit from China and supported their economy instead.

    • felix 8.1

      So we are paying or he is?

    • Blighty 8.2

      yeah I can see it now, ts:

      [Scene: Some British palace]

      English Toff 1: I say, Bertie, whose that funny looking wee fellow trying to get in the background of the all the photos?

      English Toff 2 (Bertie): You know, Reggie, I believe it’s the prime minsiter of one of the old colonies. New Zealand, unless I miss my mark. Named John Locke.

      Reggie: John Locke? Like the philosopher?

      Bertie: Well, something like that.

      Reggie: Hmm. Well, whatever the fellow’s name is, I do like the cut of his jib. A very smart suit indeed.

      Bertie: Quite. The invisible jade is absolutely spiffing.

      Reggie: Rather. New Zealand-made I suppose. Remind to get Edwards to call the High Commission. Perhaps they can put me on to the suitmaker. I quite fancy a few like that myself. One just can’t buy a decent suit in London any more.

      Bertie: Will do, Reggie… Oops, here comes Liz. Smarten up old boy, you’ve got pastry on your chin.

  9. Zorr 9

    Key has never been a leader that would perform through providing an example. He tells us that we need to tighten our belts so he lowers taxes for himself and buys an excessively expensive new suit for attending the royal wedding.

    What is wrong with his current wardrobe? Why must those that are in hardship be the only ones required to tighten up our belts? Isn’t buying such an expensive suit “washed with greenstone” an example of poor choices?

  10. felix 10

    I’m sure it’s a nice suit to have though.

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      I can smell the pounamu from here

      • ianmac 10.1.1

        Lange would love you Jim. 🙂

        • Jim Nald

          I personally prefer my latest, and original, designation of the 2011 campaign as being one to ‘kiss ass or kick ass’ (see below).
          Thanks to inspiration (*sniff sniff*) this morning from the donkey’s new clothes.

          • ianmac

            Yep. Laughed at that one too Jim. You could get a consultancy job with Labour to write their pithy one liners.

  11. felix 11

    It’s just so weird how the Nats can go line-by-line over public spending looking for fat to trim and savings to make…
    …yet somehow miss the entries for $6000 suits, helicopter rides to the V8s, and seat warmers for new beemers.
    So weird.

  12. Sonny Blount 12

    Reminds me of Lyndon Johnson ordering some suit pants.


  13. KevinH 13

    John Key’s suit is well made and appropriate for the occassion and is a good advertisement for the talents of Kiwi tailors. No doubt John will wear the suit with pride whilst representing New Zealand at this historic and happy occasion for the Royal couple.

    • Blighty 13.1

      “good advertisement for the talents of Kiwi tailors”


      see my comment above.

      I’m not sure how a prince getting married is a historic occasion. It happens all the time.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      It’s only an historic occasion to those imbeciles who think that aristocrats have meaning any more.

    • ianmac 13.3

      So Kev. John Key is going to walk up to other VIPs and say,”Like to have a feel of my fancy suit? Ya cood put ya hand in my pocket if you like and feel. Waddaya mean? You husband wouldn’t like it! He can have a feel too. Thats what us Kiwi blokes like. See? Elizabeth. Ooops your majesty. Silly old me.”

      • M 13.3.1

        ”Like to have a feel of my fancy suit?

        Bet he’d love to say that to Liz…Hurley of course.

  14. ianmac 14

    I have never been close to Key but without the suit and the BMW or the minders, would he be noticeable in the street? Er without a flash suit he would be wearing something though. John just in underpants would be too much.

  15. seeker 15

    What about the empress’s new clothes which the emperor himself  has to carry to England and is a “responsibility far greater than running the country to be perfectly honest” he stated on Breakfast tv on Monday this week.

    I am more than happy to be ranked secondary to a dress. Not. Such ‘jokes’ should not be uttered by the leader of a country going through some very hard times mostly caused by poor governance.

  16. RRM 16

    What I believe you (and Cunliffe) are trying to say:

    (1) John Key has a lot more money than common New Zealanders who earn around the average income.
    (2) Therefore, John Key cannot possibly be capable of empathising with common New Zealanders who earn around the average income.
    (3) Therefore, you cannot trust him to act in your best interests.
    (4) Therefore, you should not vote for him.
    What I believe a lot of the public actually thinks:
    (1) John Key has a lot more money than common New Zealanders who earn around the average income.
    (2) but he seems like a good bastard, not a yuppie, so who cares?!</p>

    • SHG 16.1

      ^^^ this

    • Blighty 16.2

      he doesn’t seem like a good bastard to me.

      what good bastard things has he done?

      The GST rise?

      Fire at Will?

      Dictatorship for Canterbury?

      Public service cuts?

      • infused 16.2.1

        All great things, what’s your problem?
        GST rise, who cares, got a tax cut. Nill effect
        Fire at will – great for my business
        Dictatorship? Bullshit, getting things done
        Public service cuts? Labour bloated them in the first place.

        • Bright Red

          Dictatorship? Bullshit, getting things done
          Yeah, I can see you goose-stepping already.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Public service cuts? Labour bloated them in the first place.

          If they were incapable of doing the job, which was true of several of the public services that NACT have cut, then they weren’t bloated. What they were was under resourced. Hell, National even complained about wait time on elective surgery – didn’t stop them cutting the health budget though did it?

  17. JS 17

    NZ in 2011 is much like NZ in the early 1930s with growing unemployment and inequality. But once the left was united there was no stopping them and the 1935 election landslide started bringing power back to the people and led to the beginnings of the welfare state. Similarly, big changes are just around the corner.

  18. Tom Gould 18

    According to the NBR, Key’s personal wealth increases by $100,000 a week, net. So, that $6,000 suit only took him 10 hours to pay for. No wonder he stuggles with the notion of kids with not enough to eat?

    • Jim Nald 18.1

      That gives a new meaning to his new clothes.
      John Key: I am Dormeuil pounamu-washed Super 160 Merino
      NZ workers: We are lamb chops

  19. louie 19

    So this is the sort of thing the left is concerned about, a person spending $2500 on a suit !
    If you want to see what the average NZer thinks about it why don’t you run it past a focus group or two made up of the legendary ‘Waitakere (sp?) man’ type.
    With hundreds of thousands of kiwis spending this sort of money on recreation (boating, cars, travel, golf, photography ) I doubt you’ll get much traction.

    • Bright Red 19.1

      the suit, the Air Force Helicopter abuse, the BMWs. They’re all microcosm of what this government is about, just as the tax cuts for the rich, the service cuts, the ETS subsidies, and the rest are in macro:

      this is a government by the elite, for the elite, and the rest of us are just to be milked in the eyes of Key and his class.

  20. SHG 20

    I just hope Key is luckier than poor Clayton Cosgrove who had such terrible terrible luck during the last Labour government, losing his four-figure suits almost faster than his Ministerial credit card could replace them. And to lose the receipts as well, that poor fellow.

  21. Irascible 21

    The spin by the tailor sounds like he’s been reading too many fairy stories. Key becomes more like the fictional emperor every day. Of course this suit will be written off on his Govt expense account as being an essential expense as Minister of Tourism.
    Key’s arrogant sense of entitlement to rip the Taxpayer off at every donning of his silk underwear and toasting of the generous tax breaks he granted himself.
    He should demonstrate the lifestyle choice of garment his policies are imposing on real NZers as well as insisting that he only eats cockroaches in solidarity with his peasants.

  22. T 22

    …it still looks like a suit.

    I got one of those the other day from the second hand shop.  Perhaps I just don’t have an eye for expensive details, like whatever being washed with pounamu does to a suit.
    Not entirely relevant, but being a fan of David Mitchell, I’m going to link to this video about looking unusually smart.

  23. logie97 23

    Heard today that the merino wool cloth was woven in the UK. Used to be done in New Zealand, but the reforms of Douglas and his lot, saw the work go overseas. The greenstone effect, according to an expert, appears irrelevant except for the “nice-to-have” feelings that the MP coalition members may get from it.

    • felix 23.1

      I heard that too logie. I guess that’s what Key meant when he said it was made “out of New Zealand”.

  24. JonL 24

    If Key is paying for his own suit…I could give less than a shit!
    If the Taxpayer is paying for it – then it’s an issue!

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      And the 1st class flights over to the UK? Who’s paying for that?

      • SHG 24.1.1

        The Prime Minister has been invited by the Crown to attend the wedding of NZ’s future King and you think maybe he should… pay his own way…?

  25. Contrarian 25

    Aaargh .. leave John Key alone !
    I mean, what is a poor boy who has dragged himself up from an earthquake damaged state house in Christchurch – with a bit of help from his mates network from Christ’s College who now occupy prominent positions in the land – to do ?
    He has spent the most productive years of his life staring at flickering symbols at the end of a cathode ray tube or LCD and trained himself to react swiftly to the vagaries of increasingly erratic and low latency computer-driven markets with the alacrity of Pavlov’s dog – which comes across as decisiveness on TV.
    Unfortunately, it has deprived him of broader experience, critical analysis, or the ability to articulate complex concepts. But hey, this is NZ, where anyone can become PM .. even the Fred Dagg characters hanging out at the local.
    Give him a break.

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  • Speech to LGNZ Conference
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  • Christchurch Learning Community Hubs supporting ethnic families
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  • Hundreds more hands funded to work for nature
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  • Increased support for midwives
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  • Prime Minister's Speech to NZIIA Annual Conference
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