The Herald cartoon depicts the Prime Minister's plight

The Herald cartoon depicts the Prime Minister’s plight

by Don Franks

Media are abuzz with the story of the Prime Minister repeatedly pulling the ponytail of a waitress at his favorite cafe. Well, we’ve all had fun pulling down John Key and the guy had it coming, because you can’t molest people and expect to get away with it. But the kiwi way is to give everyone a fair go, even if they’ve been a prize prick on some occasion.  Face it, we all fuck up once in a while. That’s why the kiwi way is to assess people in their totality, not just on one incident. So, have we gone overboard in our condemnation?

Trying to look past the odd incident at the big picture, what will be John Key’s enduring legacy?
From what I see, Prime Minister John Key comes most strongly into focus as a faithful front man for capitalism.

Beneath its soft surface across so much of relatively peaceful relatively prosperous New Zealand, capitalism is a brutal inhuman social system based on ruthless exploitation.

A system which continually generates war, despoils the environment and taints our recreation, culture and sports with the stench of money. A system which offers most of our youth little hope.

I don’t subscribe to the view that Key is a rabid neo-liberal fascist. He’s just a pragmatic centrist politician with slightly less than average vision. That said, I believe the guy would not hesitate to call out the troops on strikers if the situation demanded it, because that’s what loyal capitalist politicians of all parties do.

Like Helen Clark before him, Key has  obediently called out the troops in support of the imperialist club he belongs to.

So, trying to look at the big picture, seeing the guy overall, in context, have we been too tough on John Key?


No way nearly tough enough.

Further reading: Key’s ‘vision’: managing the malaise of New Zealand capitalism

  1. O'Shay says:

    Listening to the discourse on Radio Live and Talk Back it seems that Key will manage this one. The majority of people calling in viewed it as a left-wing lynch mobbing. Such opinions show that these kind of things only galvanise the most reactionary and ignorant of Key supporters to stand behind the ‘Good bloke’. It shows that it’s pointless for the left to attack Key’s character. They should be attacking the characteristics of Capitalism instead.

    • O'Shay says:

      However such actions do need to be criticsed. It’s just my observation that attempts of character assination by the ‘left’ only strenghten Key.

  2. Don Franks says:

    “It’s just my observation that attempts of character assination by the ‘left’ only strenghten Key.”

    Mine too.

  3. Phil F says:

    The persistent nature of the ponytail pulling I found rather creepy. But, I agree, concentrating on it obscures the real critique which needs to be made. It’s capital we need replacing, not Key.