What An Idiot

John Key has once again impressed us all by his sheer lack of political nous by labelling David Cunliffe ‘an idiot’ for attacking him over the total lack of respect in Australia for New Zealand people and products.

Cunliffe has recently been holding Key to task on issues like entitlements that New Zealanders living in Australia are offered (eg. student loans and social security), and has also called for Key to get tough with Tony Abbott on the exclusion of New Zealand products from supermarkets in Australia. Given that New Zealand and Australia are right next to each other, and are supposedly partners in a number of international deals, you’d think that these comments were fair enough, and that Key should probably do what he was elected to – like maybe, I don’t know, try and work for the best interests of his country…

However, after a high profile meeting with Tony Abbott last week, Key has yet again not let us down on his track record of totally letting us down. After the meeting, Key emerged to announce that he and Abbott had developed some sort of weird man love, but no progress had been made on the serious issues facing New Zealanders. As he rightly should, Cunliffe questioned the lack of progress. Key’s reply:

“What an idiot. I’m sorry, but I mean, the guy goes in there and says ‘Why don’t you get better rights for New Zealanders?’ forgetting he was part of the government that signed New Zealand up for this.”

I think that this tells us several things about our Prime Minister. Firstly, as Cunliffe has pointed out, he wasn’t a Minister in the Labour Government when Australia stripped New Zealanders of entitlements. That’s not so important however.

Secondly, it tells us that after 5 years of government, the National Party are still obsessed with the Fifth Labour Government. The stock reply of most of the high ranking National ministers when questioned about a problem is something along the lines of ‘BLAME THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT’. In almost every speech that Bill English has ever made he has blamed Labour for the state of the economy, despite Michael Cullen producing surplus after surplus, and leaving a fund behind him that has made more this year than the whole asset sales programme. After nearly two terms in power, you’d think that National would have implemented some policies that go somewhere near fixing the so called ‘problems’ left by Labour, but judging by their continued tantrums about the last government, this evidently hasn’t happened. It is not a sign of good government that after 5 years they’re still complaining about their predecessors.

Thirdly, I think that this little incident demonstrates that John Key is tired of being Prime Minister. Calling your main political opponent ‘an idiot’ is not smart, nor particularly funny – it demonstrates an inability to actually engage with criticism. Given that Key’s popularity is built around his famous tendency to obliterate opponents with political savvy and polished performance, a slip like this may herald the end times for the Prime Minister.

Above all, this entire situation shows Key’s lack of regard for serious issues affecting New Zealand. He was more interested in his bromance with Tony Abbott than fighting for New Zealanders in Australia, or for our produce industry. No one can blame the ‘unidentified guest’ for wanting to boost his public profile a bit, but everyone should blame him for putting that above the needs of his country.

If John Key won’t get tough with issues that matter, then he shouldn’t be Prime Minister. I think that we’ve all seen that David Cunliffe knows where the problem lies, and will fight for New Zealanders abroad and at home, while our current government poses for flashy photos.


4 thoughts on “What An Idiot

  1. Quite why the mainstream media has let the PM off is a mystery. It is the duty of the government to provide protection of Kiwis everywhere. This is a human rights issue. If a quiet word in Abbott’s ear does no good then take it to the international court of human rights. My guess is the government would only have to threaten this and the problem would be resolved overnight. In the real world (which neither Key nor Abbott inhabits) migrants are frequently not entitled to access all elements of the welfare system in their host country for up to 2 years. After that you get treated as a citizen. Anything less is not acceptable. If Key had a backbone or was not so lazy this could be resolved by Friday. EU citizens are not treated this way in Aussie.

  2. I actually stand by him stating the idiocy of the remarks Cunliff made. Firstly entitlements for New Zealanders are stemmed by the Australian publics distaste for us occupying their country in droves (which actually is a pretty healthy occupation). Key can pressure, request or ask Australian officials to make amendments to their laws but why on earth would he. The long term scope is that kiwi separation by legislation can translate into a public class separation and distaste for New Zealanders, which if you read any poling or ask people living in Australia is actually an issue, so this then inspires people to come back home. Which we want.
    Second he has not only publicly but also privately shown the separation of kiwi goods is not a favourable occurence but it is a private entity performing under no legislative wrong doing. How do you expect a foreign state to immediately intervene without causing damage or reinforce the drivers that make such a policy effective. Key has shown himself to be strong in networking and diplomacy. He works the long game and is very successful at it. Currently he is brokering a free trade agreement with Europeans that would see us not reliant on any one market but instead have a strong trading ability between many.
    What is really idiotic is that Cunliff understand the places where he has failed to knowledge facts in order to influence the easily influenced. It is never in merit for a politician in my eyes to attempt to gather votes by tearing down where the opposition is standing instead of strengthening the position they hold with strong policy.

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