Trade trumps human rights for Key

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 pm, November 21st, 2009 - 15 comments
Categories: john key, Media, spin - Tags: ,

granny on head of pinWhat a strange little editorial in the Herald today. It’s a typical spin piece that tries to frame John Key’s shoddy behaviour in not meeting the Dalai Lama, despite his promise that he would, as a good thing. The title shows just how willing, desperate even, some are to interpret everything Key does positively – “At least Key is being upfront over Dalai Lama”.

The funny thing is that in dancing on the head of a pin to try to make John Key look good, Granny Herald ends up tripping over her own feet.

We said Helen Clark should have met the Dalai Lama formally [rather than informally in Brisbane] for the sake of free expression, human rights and common courtesy. Those principles demand no less from Mr Key.

But if he has different priorities… the Prime Minister is making no pretence that he is considering anything other than [trade with] China … he is at least being upfront about it, so far.

So, for Key cozying up to Chinese business comes ahead of human rights and “common courtesy”. Nice.

15 comments on “Trade trumps human rights for Key”

  1. Bill 1

    So John Key scored some cheap and easy political points when he was in opposition over Helen Clark not meeting with the Dalai Lama and is now flip flopping. Big deal.

    Lengthy, footnoted and informative piece by Michael Parenti Friendly Feudalism: The Tibetan Myth …very much a must read for anyone who thinks the Dalai Lama should be met….well, by anyone really.

    Here’s a wee taster.

    For the rich lamas and secular lords, the Communist intervention was an unmitigated calamity. Most of them fled abroad, as did the Dalai Lama himself, who was assisted in his flight by the CIA. Some discovered to their horror that they would have to work for a living. Many, however, escaped that fate. Throughout the 1960s, the Tibetan exile community was secretly pocketing $1.7 million a year from the CIA, according to documents released by the State Department in 1998. Once this fact was publicized, the Dalai Lama’s organization itself issued a statement admitting that it had received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s to send armed squads of exiles into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution. The Dalai Lama’s annual payment from the CIA was $186,000. Indian intelligence also financed both him and other Tibetan exiles. He has refused to say whether he or his brothers worked for the CIA. The agency has also declined to comment.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      The promise to Meet the Dalai Lama, who he described as a “significant figure” was made in April THIS year.
      Now of course the DL is just another religious leader.
      Any body else would say
      Flip Flop

      • bill 1.1.1

        A religious leader in flip flops?

        April. April 1?

        JK as the leading political exponent of flip flops….for export?


        Not sure I understand the point you are trying to make

  2. Tigger 2

    Actually Bill that ‘big deal’ is the whole deal. Forget who the Lama is, it’s Key’s dishonesty and lack of integrity and the bizarre piece of spin run in this editorial that is the issue here.

    If being ‘upfront’ is so crucial to the Herald then let’s see them push Key on not being upfront over ACC and climate change…

    • Bill 2.1

      Hmm. So Key is dishonest and lacks integrity? He’s a fucking politician!

      On the Herald and their ‘upfront’ shit? Yep. Agree.

      But the post positions trade opposite human rights thereby conjuring up all that Tibetan shang-ri-la bullshit so popular here in NZ as well as elsewhere. So it does matter very much who or what the Dalai Lama is; the culture he came from and the views he espouses. Or are you of the opinion that it doesn’t matter if a PM of NZ meets with a slave master? ( One with excellent PR and no slaves left to lord it over any more mind.)

      • felix 2.1.1

        But the post positions trade opposite human rights …

        Um no, the Herald does that. The post is about Key breaking his word yet again.

        This is nothing to do with any Lamas.

        • Bill

          Dunno Felix. Yes there is an element there about Key breaking his word. Again. And the Herald editorial provides a convenient stick with which to clout him over that…which is worthy ’cause, like, you know politicians don’t usually break their word.

          But additionally, the post is headed”Trade trumps human rights for Key” and concludes “So, for Key cozying up to Chinese business comes ahead of human rights”

          In other words the whole wrong headed and simplistic white hat, black hat morality of China /Tibet is wheeled out to add add a whole lot of extra weight/ moral authority to the stick.

          Had Key said he would meet (insert person) and then didn’t, there probably wouldn’t be too much said about it all. But the Dalai? Unconscionable!

          I just wish people would read a wee bit about Tibet instead of being so easily dog-whistled every time Tibet is brought up in relation to trade or human rights or whatever.

          • felix

            Fair point re the heading, sometimes I miss the big print but I think you’re missing something here too.

            Had Key said he would meet (insert person) and then didn’t, there probably wouldn’t be too much said about it all. But the Dalai? Unconscionable!

            Try it like this:

            Had Key made a big deal about Clark not meeting (insert person) and promised that if in such a position he would do the opposite, and then when in such a position went back on his promise and behaved exactly as he had criticized Clark for doing, would there be much said?

      • sk 2.1.2


        Your comments are pathetic. His family had no say as to whether he became the Dalai Lamma. His family are no slave masters. How dare you you say that. I know some of his family, and to this day they work for the Tibetan people, going to the length of speaking Potunghua fluently. They want freedom, not independence. So don’t you call the Dalai Lamma a slave master, it is like calling the pope a p. . . . . . . e but you never would because he is white.

        JK has wimped out. We can stand for the cultural independence of Tibet, and claim the invasion by Deng Xiaoping’s Army was wrong, and still trade with China.

        JK should proudly meet with Dalai Lamma, and explain to the Hu Jintao why he did so, but his grasp of the both the English or Chinese language is beyond him to do so . .. .

        • Bill

          You haven’t read the link I provided have you? You really should.

          Oh, and as a p.s. What is a p……..e? And what has whiteness got to do with my point of view/argument…..apart from nothing?

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            So Bill you are saying lets reject one Fuedal religion and its spiritual leader ( actually there are a number of different leaders of Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism of which the Dalai Lama is One) but accept the brutal Chinese corrupt government because its …. better

            • Bill


              I’m saying that Tibet was a real nasty nightmare of a place for the peasants and would still be if the monks and their Lamas had been allowed to continue on their way.

              Why don’t you read the link?

              How brutal have the Chinese really been? I’m not suggesting they have been angels, but the Dalai’s numbers just don’t stack up and the society he headed was apparently much, much more brutal than the Chinese have been.

              And how corrupt are they really when compared to other occupying entities around the world? You’d prefer living in occupied Iraq or Afghanistan over Tibet if given the choice? You get my point?

        • felix

          Could it be a porpoise? You do get white ones but they’re pretty rare.

          Not that it makes any sense though.

  3. rave 3

    NZH is a media whore
    you get what you pay for
    China is bailing out NZ’s boat
    keeping Key’s mates afloat
    So off to China with Obama
    and go fuck the Dalai Lama

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