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The politics of the Royal Tour

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, April 8th, 2014 - 85 comments
Categories: john key, national, same old national - Tags:

Key royal family

Don’t get me wrong.

I am a proud republican.  This position is based on a number of beliefs, that we are all born equal and should be treated equally, that historically the English Monarchy has much to be ashamed of, that the sort of wealth the modern Royal Family has is obscene, and that skill, talent, community commitment and contribution should be celebrated, not social order.

But I can’t help but feel sorry for William and Kate and George and I can’t help but thinking that John Key is politicising the royal tour in election year in a way that Liz and her whanau may be privately upset with.

The basic problem is Key’s habit of trying to be all things to all people.  And when you think about his various pronouncements on the Monarchy and on constitutional issues you can see a pattern where he says different things to different audiences.

It seems that the tour was in an advanced stage of planning in November of last year.  At the time Key could not say whether a visit would take place, or who might be coming, but that it did not matter that it was an election year.  Obviously he knew something was planned.

Then in January of this year a few days after David Cunliffe’s state of the Nation address Key announced the flag debate.  The concept is something most progressives would agree with.  The presence of the Union Jack in the top left hand corner of our flag is a historical oddity that annoys many of us.  We are an independent proud nation with a history and a world view that is distance.  We are firmly placed in the middle of Pacifica.  To be reminded of an apparent ongoing allegiance to a nation on the opposite side of the world is frankly weird.

Mirroring Helen Clark’s views Key is on record saying that New Zealand becoming a republic is inevitable but he seems to change his position regularly.  Back in 2008 for instance he said that he was “not convinced it [a republic] will be a big issue in the short term“.  In 2010 he said he loved the Royal Family.  In 2012 he said that NZ becoming a republic was off the agenda.  Last year he said this:

“I don’t think New Zealand should rush to become a republic. It may happen one day, but I can’t for the life of me see the benefits of it other than you get to spend a lot of money electing heads of state as opposed to the government appointing one.”

Then on Morning Report yesterday morning Key performed the sort of logical acrobatics that has to be witnessed to be believed.  He said that he had stated that New Zealand becoming a republic was inevitable and that in all probability that was right but there would be a long time scale.  Which is it? Is it inevitable or will it happen in all probability?  Gee the guy is loose with his language.

Yesterday afternoon Key said that the Royals tour had weakened the Republican cause.  From Radio NZ:

However, Prime Minister John Key has predicted that the Queen and members of her family will remain New Zealand’s head of state for years to come.

Mr Key acknowledged on New Zealand’s Morning Report programme he’d once predicted a move by New Zealand to a republic sooner rather than later. But he said on Monday public polling in the past had revealed robust support in this country for the royals and he believed that sentiment has strengthened.

“If you go back about … six or seven, eight years ago – maybe a decade – and asked the question whether New Zealanders want to become a republic then I think the numbers would have been sixty-forty opposed. If you asked that question today I think it would be eight-twenty opposed.”

It is hard to imagine why a visit by a couple of pleasant looking people and their cute baby should put back the cause of Republicanism.

And as Chris Trotter has noted Key should have talked to David Farrar first.  Curiablog has conducted a recent poll that suggests that support for a local head of state is at 44%.  Key’s political antenna are way off.

To cement the feel of politicisation of the tour yesterday afternoon Key has promised to raise the proposed change of flag in discussions with William.

National is heading into some really unchartered waters.  Former head of the Republican Movement Lewis Holden is National’s candidate for the Rimutaka seat.  He will not beat Chris Hipkins but it will be interesting to see if and where he is placed on the list.  And if he does make it to Parliament he will be alongside National MP and former Monarchy New Zealand spokesperson Simon O’Connor.

It is disturbing that it appears the New Zealand Republican Movement Website has removed content describing Key’s many and varying views on New Zealand becoming a republic.  An explanation is warranted.

National and Key clearly have a strategy of trying to be all things to all people.  They just hope that the electorate does not notice that they are being duplicitous in the extreme.

85 comments on “The politics of the Royal Tour ”

  1. Tracey 1

    If Key says it’s 80%, he has every reason to think the people will accept that. He doesn’t get challenged on such pronouncements.

    Did key make his money in currency trading by being all things to all people? Not on the shop floor I don’t think, but once he was in management? He speaks with forked tongue.

    When he sacked people he probably told them if it was up to him they would stay, but he has orders from above.

    Interestingly his “dinner” with Campbell (and I only saw a snippet on the news ) seemed to be at a much smaller place than the mansion. I am sure that is no coincidence.

    He doesn’t stand for anything other than money. If he has principles he keeps them quiet.

    That is what we have seen under Key. A principle free stance on everything, except asset sales. The principle of privatisation has been unambiguous throughout his reign.

    Sir Keith Holyoake once described nash’s policy address in Invercargill as

    “A Guy Fawkes night bonfire of political principles”

    John Key promised transparency and honesty in 2008 while railing against Clark for Winston’s stoush with Glen. he proimmised higher standards than those he claimed labour were displaying… instead what we have witnessed is a Guy Fawkes bonfire of personal and political principles.”

    Sadly, other than privatising everything he could and still remain PM, he has no other principles than the key guiding principle of doing whatever is in his self interest. He has used the leadership of this country to create a celebrity circuit for him to travel on…

    • Chooky 1.1


    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      If Key says it’s 80%, he has every reason to think the people will accept that. He doesn’t get challenged on such pronouncements.

      Has any of the MSM actually pulled him up on that yet?

  2. Tracey 2

    That Key thinks he needs to get William’s permission is confirmation he is far from a Republican, he probably has delusions that he is a close friend of the royal family.

    • Chooky 2.1

      Queenie looks like she cant stand him…she is no fool…..and if there was money and a knighthood in being a Republican, Key would be a Republican

      • Enough is Enough 2.1.1

        What makes you say the Queen looks like that?

        She invited him and his family for a weekend at their bach!

        • Chooky

          well just judging from the photos in the newspapers where she wasnt smiling and in fact was looking down from the camera…neither of them looked like they were having much fun over a cup of tea…personally i am not a royal watcher but i do have a friend who is…and he knows quite a lot about royal protocol and snubs …much to both our amusement

  3. captain hook 3

    Dont get me wrong but I am a complete monarchist. I dont give a stuff what family of nincompoops is installed in bucking ham palace just as long as someone is. Our whole history is the story of the tension between the king and the commons. We have the rule of law and our version of democracy not because we theorised it into existence but because it arose organically in the fullness of time. I am not offended by the supposed privileges the royal family garners because we have to pay for someone to be the ostensible leader and it may as well be them. If shifty was king then things would be different. We could cut off his head. At the moment he is just basking in reflected glory because he is a fame pig, snob, social climber and wannabee but his tenure is getting shakier and shakier.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      But do we need someone chosen because they belong to a particular blood line at the opposite end of the world? What about a local version, preferably one who is elected?

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.1

        The interesting thing is going to be how long the monarchy survives because New Zealand can’t decide exactly what to replace it with (like Australia). Will people vote against an appointed Head of State (which seems to be the option talked about most in the media) in hope that further down the line a referendum for an elected Head of State (which seems to be the option talked about most by the public) will come around?

        Or will there actually be a sensible referendum offering both options and then pitting the more popular against the monarchy.

      • Chooky 3.1.2

        …was Amelda Macos elected?….seriously figure heads made from elected officials could be worse

        ….at least the royal family know their place and how to behave themselves …ie dont interfere in political democracy or appear too ostentatious and removed from the people…or you will get your head chopped off ( French royalty)….or face the firing squad( Russian cousin royalty)

        • Draco T Bastard

          ie dont interfere in political democracy…

          Don’t count on it.

        • alwyn

          I wouldn’t know about “Amelda” Marcos, whoever she might be, but Imelda actually was elected. As Wikipedia says.
          “Her return to the Philippines has since allowed her to restore her political dynasty and she was elected in the House of Representatives in 1995 for Leyte and again in 2010 for Ilocos Norte”.
          It’s irrelevant of course because she wasn’t, at any time, the Head of State in the Philippines.

          The real problem with changing to a New Zealand HOS is determining who it will be and how they will be selected. Politicians, of all stripes want them to be selected by the Government, or Parliament, in much the way the GG is. The public, as far as I can see, want to be able to elect the HOS. For the politicians this is a problem as they will have someone elected who can rightly claim that they have a mandate to override Parliament. They would be, after all, the only person in the country who was chosen by the whole populace and can claim an authority that exceeds that of the PM. They might not attempt to do it but politicians are afraid of things that “could” happen if it interferes with their desires.

      • Enough is Enough 3.1.3

        Meh, I think I would rather have Liz or Charlie in charge the John Key

        • Draco T Bastard

          The Head of State isn’t in charge. They’re actually there to represent NZ in inter-state affairs but not to make policy.

          • bad12

            Hell for what its worth we might as well select our Head of State on the Saturday night of the General election by way of Lotto draw,

            Pay ya ten bucks and get a ticket to go in the draw to be Governor General for 3 years, who could resist,

            All profits from the draw to go to a charity selected by the incumbent the week befor their term expires…

            • Draco T Bastard

              Well, It’s how Ancient Greeks did it.

              • s y d

                ahhh….imagine…sword in hand, bowed heads before you awaiting their reward…the temptation. Arise Sir…..

        • Anne

          Agree EisE

          I can’t say that presidents and heads of states (elected or otherwise) have covered themselves with glory down the ages. Quite the opposite. In fact God help us if we ‘elect’ such a person. Does anyone trust NZers in their present apparent state of mind to elect a suitable person? I don’t.

          At this point in time and until the masses come to their collective senses lets stick with the status quo.

          • McFlock

            occasionally we might elect a Mandela, or a Gandhi.

            Can’t think of any monarchs who would get that level of awesomeness.

            • Chooky

              Mandalas and Gandhis are not usually establishment people in fact quite the contrary…they rise to greatness through opposition….so i dont think this is very likely

              • McFlock

                rare. But more common than monarchs who renew my faith in humanity

                • Chooky

                  citation please and some statistics

                  • McFlock

                    Politicians with popular support who have given me some faith in humanity:

                    Monarchs who have given me some faith in humanity:
                    [empty set]

                • tinfoilhat

                  Unfortunately the Mandalas and Gandhis are probably less common throughout history than the Hitlers, Napoleons and other assorted despots.

                  In terms of monarchs these have been a very mixed bag historically but in recent times they have been IMO a better than passable bunch with a few standouts.


                  … and I must admit I always had a soft spot for the current Queen’s mother.

      • Huginn 3.1.4

        I disagree with you, MS.

        New Zealand has very complicated, and to a certain extent unresolved sovereignty issues. There is very little overlap between the assumptions that many Maori make about sovereignty and those of most Pakeha.

        You’re wrong when you say we’re getting ‘someone chosen because they belong to a particular blood line at the opposite end of the world’.
        The whole point is that we don’t choose them, and they don’t choose it either ( although they can opt out through abdication). But that same framework of highly ritualised formalisation of an inherited monarchy also underpins the inter-generational continuity of the Crown’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

        You don’t need to look far from Aotearoa to see that a ‘local version, . . . one who is elected’ might have a different agenda, certainly one with a much shorter time horizon.

        We get what we’re given and within a framework of highly ritualised formalisation, we make the best of it.

        • mickysavage

          True Huginn that the treaty is the issue that will require the most attention in moving to a republic. But I would prefer for head of state to be elected rather than ordained.

      • Populuxe1 3.1.5

        As opposed to some All Black or shudder President Key?

      • whatever next? 3.1.6

        Elected? like John Key you mean?
        Lets face it, more elections, and the phenomenal amount of money wasted on campaigns do not enhance democracy. We need a balance for the power we give government, and I don’t see republics or dictatorships doing any better by their people, in reality.

    • Chooky 3.2

      +100 captain hook….although I have to say every time i hear about the Royals visit on the radio i turn it off….i cant stand John Keys name mentioned in conjunction…or British commentators fawning …or the MSM fawning ….or even Mary Wilson reporting on it smartly….so something must be fermenting in my subconscious

      ……that said i have nothing against the young couple …and they do a hard job being diplomatic all the time

      ….if we didnt have them it would be some other figurehead(s) ….and probably worse ones…like multi billionaires who have made their money by ripping people off…..and their servile wives flaunting their fashion and jewellery and ‘style’……or Amelda Marcos’s shoes, which would be way worse

      • bad12 3.2.1

        ”A hard job” Chooky???, you are of course joking are you not…

        • Chooky

          …i cant see you being diplomatic enough for the job…ha ha…….nor me either for that matter ….it would be a fucking horrible job….can you see yourself sharing a sausage and a beer and being polite to John Key?!…when you felt like spitting or gagging or being slimey…

          • bad12

            Sure i could, IF i were born into a share of a fortune worth billions of dollars and had been shown my whole life that i was ‘above’ everyone else on the planet based upon a line of interbreeding which ludicrously started at the first German Hanoverian King of England being 51st in the line of succession based upon religious selection,

            Hell that would in such circumstances be no more difficult than me having a chat with the check-out operator down at the local supermarket,

            You can bet that once out of ear and eye shot these pair of ‘nobody reallies’ take great joy in making disparaging remarks about how stupid the fawning few must be to spend hours standing in the rain just to glimpse them as they flash by in the Beamer’s,(can you imagine the laughter the six oclock news must provoke them too especially viewing the siblings arguing whether or not they ‘got waved at’ or ‘eye contact was made’),

            It almost borders on child abuse to have whole classrooms of New Zealand school kids stood in the pouring fucking rain for hours waiting for these fucking sponges to whizz by firmly ensconced in the leather of the heated limo’s in what looked like a picture of the idiots guide to ‘rent-a-crowd’,

            How many of those kids will now be off school for a week with the flu simply because we have these wastes of space here to slurp at the trough for 10 days of freebies…

            • idlegus

              +100 bad12.

            • Chooky

              @ bad12 kids love getting out of the classroom to watch any old thing.. … and a week off with the flu would be a bonus

              you really think that having all that money is fantastic?…most of it belongs to Britain anyway …you cant take it with you to the grave…and do you really think living in a draughty old castle would be much fun?!…..together with all the servants watching your every move and some contemplating books about you or tittle tattling to the squalid British tabloids?

              …much more fun to cavort around in your state house and have a barbe out the back with no paparazzi watching over the fence

              ….mind you I do like Queenie’s broaches ….dont go much for the tiaras or the sequined satins or the flowery hats …but do like her broaches and pearls and diamonds …hate her shoes…dont like posies, corgis or horses much …and the hunts would be awful

              • karol

                I recall in 1963, during the Queen’s visit her motorcade was planned to travel past our school. Several times in the days before, we were taken out onto the street – the whole school – to practice waving at the Queen. Of course it was a great break from classes, and I participated unquestioningly.

                The big day came and I was in my best cheering mode as the Queen’s car drove past. She, in the car waving like a robot, turned to look directly at me. I stopped in mid cheer. Suddenly she was a flesh and blood woman – one I didn’t really know and I couldn’t figure out why i should be cheering her. Started me thinking, and pretty soon afterwards I became a republican.

                Why did they need to school us into unthinking “cheering” and appropriate behaviour for the queen? All is propaganda. What a farce.

                • Chooky

                  cant remember the Queen coming…but lots of things that adults do are a farce to kids

                  …and is it any worse than millions of adults and especially women worshipping the Pope?….and sitting for hours in a church and watching that “little man up there telling us what to do”….as my sister put it…..and watching while they all go up front like a line of sheep to kneel down to drink blood/wine and get patted on the head?

                  • karol

                    And it still seems a farce to me today.

                    I don’t see it as either the Brit monarchy or Pope worship. I’m not into either.

              • bad12

                Chooky, wall papering over cracks with bits of bog roll never hides them for long, so its perfectly fine in your world to have kids standing out in the pouring rain is it, i am sure if any of them, kids that is, were left out in the rain around here for any length of time their parents would suffer an exhaustive probing form both the Plods and CYFPs,

                The photo’s i have seen of the kids dragged outta their classrooms to stand in the rain yesterday didn’t show smiling kids enjoying a morning away from school, most of them simply looked cold and under-dressed for such weather,

                Right, while kids might enjoy a week off from their schooling it leaves them with a gap in their education where something crucial to their ongoing education might have been taught,along with that as most people with kids round here are families where both parents work exactly who is going to suffer the loss if one parent is off work to look after the sick kid, certainly not the Woyal bludgers that’s for sure,

                As far as i am concerned i am happy with my state House and the descendants of some minor German (51st in line)aristocrat who inherited the English throne on the basis that the fifty ahead of him in the line were Roman Catholic should have stayed home in theirs which has just had 2 million pound spent upon a ‘living quarters’ to suit their tastes rather than come here parading as the Royal Sponger’s,

                Thankfully the 3 of them last night got whisked away from Government House to hide out in a ‘private residence’, the less i see of these bludgers on my TV the better…

                • Chooky

                  i would probably agree with you but i dont watch tv…it is bad for the health

                  …i remember waiting for hours to watch the Queen of Thailand in my Brownie uniform and resenting waiting all bloody day on a weekend…but if it had been on a school day i think i would have relished it

  4. Lionel 4

    Your last sentence is right on the money Captain Hook

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    A while back I had a quick glance at the schedule.
    Now from memory tours have usually been full of public/quasi public events that are worthy, a bit staid and have maximum exposure to the general population, opening things, planting trees inspecting projects (like conservation efforts etc). but at least an attempt to interact widely across the community.

    This one looks more like an upmarket holiday sailing, visits to private estates etc.

    The welcome was on government house grounds which I assume wasn’t open to the general public. Most of it looks like is taking place out of sight of the general public, apart from the car arrival and departures, so that it shows up as a series of photo ops with JK’s face in most of them. Is JK frightened of what people will say if he actually appears in public? Frightened he loses control of the publicity?

    • idlegus 5.1

      on rnz yesterday morning they were talking to their ‘man on the ground’ at govt house waiting for the couple & they asked him how many ppl were there waiting, & he said something like ‘heaps, a lot of media’, & rnz asked ‘how many of the public are there?’ & the guy said ‘well, theres only media here’. yep, its like a peter cook sketch.

  6. Olwyn 6

    While I am agnostic about republicanism overall, I think this would be a terrible time in history to become a republic – we are close enough to a corporate tyranny as it is. At least the royals personify a competing authority, however weak, to the dominant corporate model.

  7. captain hook 7

    Thank you Lionel.
    That is the whole crux of the matter.
    shifty is just using the royals to put himself above the common herd because he cant handle his own obscure origins and because all tories are puffed up pieces of crap anyway.

  8. Tanz 8

    It’s just more photo ops, of course. Anything to be seen, anything for the limelight.
    That is always his motivation.
    He is not there to better NZ, and never was.

  9. shorts 9

    We the taxpayers have funded this family to visit our shores…. meanwhile we vilify those from here whom through whatever circumstance find themselves travelling whilst supported by the taxpayer dollar – wonder what Paula thinks of the royal bludgers

    Couldn’t care less about the Royals and the news cycle will make this a very very long ten days for those not concerned about dresses, shoes and what a baby (key) is thinking…

    • Rodel 9.1

      Maori guy on talkback yesterday..think he was talking to Willie, said the’ve got a cheek coming here after their ancestors murdered so many of my people.

    • Rodel 9.2

      Maori guy on talk-back yesterday..think he was talking to Willie said,
      “they’ve got a cheek coming here expecting us to welcome them after their ancestors murdered so many of my people. If I see them I’m going to do a Mihaka haka.”

  10. felix 10

    In other contradictory Republicanisms, Key announced to NZ the birth of the royal baby by saying “KNEEL BEFORE YOUR FUTURE KING, PEASANTS*”.

    *or something like that.

    • Tracey 10.1

      never forget, Key considers one of NZ’s greatest living NZers is Prince Phillip… THAT’s how much a desire Key has to remove the Queen as our Head of State.

      “A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Prince Philip was born in Greece into the Greek and Danish royal families, but his family was exiled from Greece when he was a baby. After being educated in France, England, Germany, and Scotland, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, at the age of 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth (his third cousin through Queen Victoria and the elder daughter and heiress presumptive of King George VI) whom he had first met in 1934. During World War II he served with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets…

      The House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (Danish: Slesvig-Holsten-Sønderborg-Lyksborg, also spelled -Glücksborg), also known as the House of Glücksburg, is a German ducal house.

      Junior branches of the House include the royal houses of Denmark, Norway, and Greece. The Prince of Wales, who is the heir apparent to the thrones of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms,[1][2] belongs officially to the House of Windsor,[3] but also belongs to a cadet branch of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

      The House is named after Glücksburg in northernmost Germany. It is itself a cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg, that is descended from Count Christian of Oldenburg, who became King of Denmark in 1448 and King of Norway in 1450. As the original House of Oldenburg and the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg became extinct in 1863 and 1931, respectively, the House of Glücksburg is now the senior surviving branch of the House of Oldenburg.

      The House descends patrilineally from the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. The last of them became Duke of Glücksburg and changed his title accordingly to Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. He was married to Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel, a granddaughter of King Frederick V of Denmark.

      Neither the Dukes of Beck nor of Glücksburg were sovereign rulers; they held their lands in fief to the sovereign Dukes of Schleswig and Holstein, i.e. the Kings of Denmark and, before 1773, the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp.”

      • felix 10.1.1

        “Key considers one of NZ’s greatest living NZers is Prince Phillip”


  11. Enough is Enough 11

    In reality the Royals are Head of our State because we allow them to. It is back door democracy in that Parliament could replace them with whatever kind of system it chooses at any time.

    We know that and they know that. That is why it is inevitable that at some stage they will be replaced.

    If Liz, Charlie or any other foreigner pisses New Zealand off to any kind of degree we will simply say thanks for the good times, but you are no longer our head of state.

    So the argument that they are unelected is technically true, they still serve at the discretion of the New Zealand electorate.

  12. fisiani 12

    Be careful what you wish for. After 4 terms as PM which he said last night that he wanted and would serve we could easily have President Sir John Key.

    • framu 12.1

      Hows life over there in fisitania? Managed to make water run uphill yet?

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      I think Helen has pretty high odds of being the first president. Will have to be after her upcoming appointment as United Nations Secretary General, though.

  13. captain hook 13

    shifty key made his money selling dead cows. i.e. selling off junk bonds from the firms inventory. wadda guy. He wont make four terms let alone three. the pace is starting to tell and if he has any brains at all he will be thank full for the turn he has had. all change please.

  14. But I can’t help but feel sorry for William and Kate and George and I can’t help but thinking that John Key is politicising the royal tour in election year in a way that Liz and her whanau may be privately upset with.

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    When John Key visited the Firm’s batch they discussed how John Key was going to convince the other states of the common wealth to accept Queenie and the Firm for ever and ever as their rightful heads of states.

    John Key made sure we donated $ 30 million to Rio Tinto to which she holds the majority of shares. She may not like him but he is a good little footsoldier selling the sheeple here the royal Firm.

    No need to feel sorry for them. They know when they need to show up to promote a one of their own sleazebag servants to keep getting what they want: More for them and less for us!

  15. Lez Howard 15

    Key is acting like Baldrick the groveling serf Its Sickening

  16. Cancerman 16

    I feel that the royal family are completely irrelevant and should and will go but also worry that any move to get rid off them and become a republic will become a, … how do I say this, quick decision without being throughly thought out. Lets face it the fact that the Queen of England is our “head of state” is a joke but our political system actually works well. I worry a quick change could be potentially politically gerrymandered by the political power of the day. Wow I really can’t write but I’m sure you get my drift.

    I think cross party agreement should occur with a date named, say 10 years, in the future, that we will become a republic and that a timeline of public consultation and education happen in that period to be end in a referendum on different scenarios.

    Lets face it we may end up with some McFlag because Key suddenly wants a political distraction. That’s bearable but a crap political system would be horrible. Look at the Supercity where a mayor can’t be removed? Not that he should on current evidence but imagine if he was Rob Fordish.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      how do I say this, quick decision without being throughly thought out.

      That’s the big worry. That we won’t have a discussion about it or, more likely, that it will be a backroom deal similar to the TPPA.

  17. alwyn 17

    Ah, Comrade Savage.
    You should have a word in Comrade Cunliffe’s ear.
    He appears to be falling off the staunch Republican path.
    Isn’t he complaining that he doesn’t have as much time with the Duke and Duchess as does the Prime Minister?
    Why is he wishing to put himself into the bowing, scraping, forelock tugging state that all good members of the proletariat would despise?
    Surely he doesn’t enjoy kow-towing before his aristocratic superiors?

  18. Rodel 18

    What specifically does a head of state actually do?
    Don’t we elect people to govern our country and have ministries to manage our affairs?

  19. poem 19

    The royals, who are breaking protocol for no other reason are here at the behest of their currency trader mate, john key is nothing more than a PR stunt, and one that will cost NZ a million PLUS that this country can ill afford and that john key will have to borrow for, while hundreds of thousands of NZers are struggling in poverty, to influence the election and garner votes for national at the ballot box. Before I didn’t give a stuff about the royals either way, now I feel nothing but contempt, and I hope it all back fires on john key.

  20. captain hook 20

    the politics of the royal tour is that key is a kiss arse double dealer. on one hand he wants to ditch the union jack but on the other hand he fawns over the royals like a dopey dog that wants a PAT . Only schizoids can hold two opposing positions at the same time!
    and the royals must be pretty thick if they cant they see through him?

    • Tracey 20.1

      cunliffe seems to want to kiss some of the same arse… not impressed with his whining yesterday, but then I vote Green, so what do I care.

      • karol 20.1.1

        That’s the way the MSM spun it. But I understood Cunliffe’s comments to be more of a public alert to the way Key is using celebrity photo ops to his electoral advantage. Good to point this out early on in the year, then move on.

        • Tracey

          Cool, but do you think that’s how people will have taken it?

          I would have used Shane Jones to say it… in his inimitable way, but he is probably queuing up to hongi Kate.

          I was shocked at the very deliberate editting on Prime news last night to make Key’s meeting with William seem more interesting than Cunliffe’s.

          A VERY conscious decision had to be made to cut the sentence where SKY did.

          SKY’s Prime news started the audio at “the deeper economic issues, such as the problems with the balance of payments”

          “Cunliffe expected to discuss those issues the visitor wanted to raise. He would also be happy to brief him on things Labour thought were important such as building a fairer and more decent country and including everybody in the opportunities.

          “I’m sure that he would agree with that.”

          He would also talk about the deeper economic issues, such as the problems with the balance of payments.

          “He’s a very well read and a very substantive person and a very charming person so I am looking forward to the meeting.”

          • karol

            It’s been put into the public consciousness, reinforced by Peters saying there shouldn’t have been a royal tour in election year. I think many Kiwis are a bit ho hum about the royal tour. It’s just the MSM that keeps talking it up.

            • Enough is Enough

              If Kiwi’s are ho hum about it then why is Cunliffe concerned about the photo ops.

              Quite the contrary, Cunliffe is rightly concerned with the interest in this tour, the good vibes it will create, and the fact the scum bag will be there smiling and waving at every opportunity.

        • poem

          Agree Karol.

      • poem 20.1.2

        And if you want The Greens in government you need Labour to cross that line and win the election Tracey.

  21. Tracey 21

    Is Key going to take the Prince to his favourite street in NZ to talk to his favourite little example of the brighter future?

    McGehan Close

    “”I’m talking about places where rungs on the ladder of opportunity have been broken. ” J Key 2008

    Will he ask the Prince to meet Aroha Ireland, his symbol of the brighter future in NZ?

    Miss Ireland left NZ for Melbourne when she was 17, has a job and aint coming back.

  22. The Baron 22

    Good golly look at the papers. KEY ABDUCTS BABY TO CRASH PLUNKET EVENT.

    Does anyone give a sh*t? Apart from you, overreacting and wrongly analysing the situation yet again Greggles? The only person who won’t shut up about the political impact of this is Cunliffe for christ’s sake.

    The amount of impact that this tour will have on the election is next to ZERO. And that you assume it will be important speaks volumes about your (near zero anyway after your “trust” advice ;)) credibility as a commentator, and your opinions of the voting public.

    Of all your numptiness, this is one of your most numpty moments.

    • Tracey 22.1

      yes lets talk about the 1 billion dollar shortfall in the tax take for the last 8 months. better still, why wont key talk about it?

  23. Savage 23

    Kia ora all, Just to be clear: The Republic Movement is now called New Zealand Republic. This name change has involved launching a new streamlined website. A lot of the material from our old website has not been transferred over to the new site in order to avoid clutter. We will however look at providing an archive of material at some future date as time and campaign priorities allow. Visit the site http://www.republic.org.nz and you will see what we mean.

    Our polling has always showed consistently high support for change and we will carry on campaigning to make sure more NZers know what we stand for and support us. Thanks, Savage, Chair of New Zealand Republic.

    • mickysavage 23.1

      Thanks Savage. I made the comment because I believe the Republican Movement has a proud history and that it is important to preserve it. Websites are becoming a very good repository of history and it should be preserved. I am also interested that your predecessor should become a National Party candidate as historically National has been the least sympathetic to the Republican movement.

      • Savage 23.1.1

        We have always had support from across the parties but yes you are right. Labour supporters tend to support more. On current polling NZ First supporters are the least likely to want a New Zealander as their head of state.

        Greens have a clear policy to support a referendum and Labour does now as well. United Future is in agreement but we’ll keep on working to get all parties to adopt a clear policy one way or the other. We are sometimes criticised for having a bias to the left or right but from day one we have always understood that consitutional change has to work wider than that if its going to be effective.

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