Thursday, May 26, 2011

That nice Mr. Key

There’s long been a perception of Prime Minister John Key as “that nice Mr. Key”. He smiles in public, sometimes acts kind of goofy and seems so, well, nice.

But there’s another John Key, one who’s frequently on display in Parliament. Anyone who watches Question Time—and that’s hardly anyone at all—has seen this other John Key, and he’s frankly a bit of a jerk.

Question Time is all about partisan point-scoring, on behalf of one’s own party and especially against the others. It’s a game, filled with noise, distraction and little of substance. However, we can sometimes see another side of politicians, the side they don’t want voters to see.

One week earlier this year, the Speaker had to admonish Key for three days running because of Key’s bitchy, snarky comments that were clearly out of order. He does this quite often, actually—not that most people see that, since it doesn’t make the evening news.

But the distorted and, I would argue, wholly inaccurate image of John Key as “that nice Mr. Key” lets him get away with lying to the New Zealand public. Here are three examples:
  • Before the 2008 election, he said he wouldn’t raise GST. Then, in government, he did raise GST and claimed he never said he wouldn’t.
  • He said during the 2008 campaign and during government that there would be no sales of public assets until/unless National/Act were elected to a second term. But, it turns out that his government is already advertising for advisers to help with the asset sales.
  • Key said there would be no changes to KiwiSaver until after the election. But, in fact, the cuts to the government subsidy begin in July of THIS year, well before the election.
Key dismisses every criticism as a “smear” or “dirty campaign” from Labour, which figures—when cornered, politicians always lash out at their accusers. What’s incredible is that the mainstream media let him get away with it, thus reinforcing the myth of “that nice Mr. Key”.

If Key and what would be a hard-right National/Act government wins the next election, what they would do TO New Zealand and TO mainstream New Zealanders definitely would be even worse, with everyone seeing there’s no such thing as “that nice Mr. Key”. By then, though, it would be too late.


Louise said...

We refer to him in this house as "Shonky JohnKey" and sing it to the tune of "Wonky Donkey".

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I love that!!

Roger Owen Green said...

see also: Ronald Reagan.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Good point, Roger. And I wasn't fooled by him, either (voted against him twice).