The Dim-Post

April 23, 2015

On the deep significance of ponytail-gate

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 7:02 am

What really drives the opposition crazy about John Key is that there are two of him. There’s public John Key – always relaxed – famously so, compassionate but sensible, obviously smart and dignified, but not above making fun of himself a bit. All of these elements combine to make Key a phenomenally popular Prime Minister.

There’s also Parliamentary John Key, who is the opposite of all of these things. He’s a guy who – literally – roars with laughter when confronted with child poverty or sexual abuse statistics. Parliamentary John Key is a ridiculous hateful child, and he’d be un-electable if the general public ever saw him; but because nobody watches Question Time they don’t. (And the PM’s awfulness is diluted by a clutch of moronic Labour MPs screaming homophobic slurs at Chris Finlayson or jeering at Gerry Brownlee about his weight.)

So the opposition has spent the last seven years trying to convince the public that John Key is an awful child, and they’ve failed because Key just doesn’t behave like that in public. Only now – with the revelation that he runs around his local cafe pulling the waitress’s hair – they get a glimpse behind the curtain.

I don’t know what any of that means in terms of ongoing popularity, polls, etc, but it can only be good for the opposition that their narrative of Key as a creepy giggling man-child has some credibility with the public.


  1. It appears that the Herald got it’s “interview” with the waitress in question by sending well known John Key sycophant Rachel Glaucima into a phone conference between the waitresses employer, the waitress and a “Rachel”, introduced as a PR consultant. Now Glaucima knows this waitresses name, you can guarantee Farrar and Slater will be digging the dirt.

    According to the Guardian, “..RadioLive talkback host Sean Plunket said he would not be discussing the hair-pulling controversy because it appeared to him “absolutely propaganda hate speech rubbish” and a “cheap little scummy political set-up”…” Funny time for Plunket to discover some ethics.

    I don’t know about the print edition, but Stuff has completely buried the story onlne.

    You can guarantee the likes of Henry and Hoskings will be strenuously ignoring the story as much as they possibly can.

    So one other “deep significance” is a clearcut example of a corporate media moving into an actively pro-Key propaganda mode, in complete censor mode. Ask yourself – would Plunket be calling this ‘hate speech rubbish’ if it was Cunliffe? Or would he be doing his best Lord Haw Haw impression to heap scorn on him? Would Mike Hoskings ignore it if it was Cunliffe, or would he launch into one of his ridiculously pompous editorialising tirades?

    Next time you wonder about Key’s “extraordinary popularity” it would pay to remember he has an enormous corporate propaganda machine behind him.

    Comment by Sanctuary — April 23, 2015 @ 7:27 am

  2. John key doesn’t roar with laughter over child poverty ,sex abuse or is a hateful child in parliament
    It’s statements like that that keep helping national.

    Comment by Graham — April 23, 2015 @ 7:37 am

  3. Well said Sanc.

    Comment by pdogge — April 23, 2015 @ 7:38 am

  4. On cue, Glaucima’s piece is up. Pure, unadulterated, pro-Key drivel from a newspaper that is doing the governments dirty work for it and it’s damage control for free. I’ve never felt like firebombing a neswspaper before. Thanks NZ Herald, this is whole new feeling of angry disgust you’ve managed to conjure up in a normally mild mannered citizen.

    Comment by Sanctuary — April 23, 2015 @ 7:39 am

  5. Hello Graham. You should watch question time sometime. You will discover that John Key does, in fact, behave as Danyl described.

    Comment by Andrew R — April 23, 2015 @ 7:41 am

  6. Graham, this is for you:

    If you prefer written evidence, just search Hansard.

    All the evidence you could want (although obviously you don’t want).

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — April 23, 2015 @ 7:48 am

  7. But does this affect the most important metric – competence? Does this kind of thing make Key or his government look less competent? Because we’ve established that that’s the main thing the public care about.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — April 23, 2015 @ 7:59 am

  8. ” creepy giggling man-child..” Thank you Danyl, you have brightened my day.

    Comment by Lee Clark — April 23, 2015 @ 8:15 am

  9. Sanc: “I don’t know about the print edition, but Stuff has completely buried the story onlne.”

    It may have gone up more recently than your comment, but right now the story at the top of Stuff’s list on the front page, with a photo of JK, is titled (on the front page) ‘Duty to expose PM‘.

    Comment by izogi — April 23, 2015 @ 8:37 am

  10. Look, I’m not expecting politicians to live blameless lives of saintly asceticism, always putting others’ needs before their own and constantly acting for the public good (it would be nice though). I do however expect that politicians be able to act at least as well as your average kindergartner and not pull other people’s hair. Clearly I expect too much from our elected leaders.

    Comment by Conrad — April 23, 2015 @ 8:50 am

  11. The waitress should have turned around and told JK to grow up!

    Comment by A M Thom — April 23, 2015 @ 8:53 am

  12. “The waitress should have turned around and told JK to grow up!”

    Aside from the obvious power difference between the two of them, I bet that would have gone down great for her job prospects when you have an employer who makes statements like this in response: “The Prime Minister is a regular at Rosie and he’s well loved amongst the staff. He always comes in with his wife Bronagh and his security detail, and the staff are always happy to accommodate them.”

    Comment by izogi — April 23, 2015 @ 9:02 am

  13. Hey Sammy, is it possible you could point us to where John Key laughs at child abuse stats. Personally I think its likely he does but giving us the entire parliamentary record to search through doesn’t get us very far toward confirming the claim.

    Comment by Aaron — April 23, 2015 @ 9:22 am

  14. Yesterday I had somewhat sympathies with her employers as they are unwittingly caught up in such a shit-storm. All that is gone out of the window as well with this stunt.

    Comment by eszett — April 23, 2015 @ 9:39 am

  15. So our PM is that creepy uncle all the girls avoid at family gatherings.

    Comment by northshoreguynz — April 23, 2015 @ 9:47 am

  16. It’s one of the great ironies of Right-Wing-Think that “take responsibility for your own actions” is a mantra to be chanted at those struggling at the margins of society, but never directed at the privileged Prime Minister. He can’t be blamed, the waitress should have helped him out, he’s just John!

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — April 23, 2015 @ 9:53 am

  17. sammy 3.0 – even DPF is saying about Key “regardless you should be able to read a situation better than it appears he did” and ” he appears to have seriously misjudged how what he saw as mucking around, was received, and he failed to pick up on the discomfort caused”

    “take responsibility for your own actions” *is* being applied to the PM by the VRWC.

    Comment by rickrowling — April 23, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

  18. @rickrowling – those aren’t ‘being held to account’ statements.

    They are standard post-facto whitewash – to whit, the error was in the process, not the act.

    Comment by Gregor W — April 23, 2015 @ 2:23 pm

  19. Key just doesn’t behave like that in public
    Well, there’s his mateship with that egregious skinbag Cameron Slater.

    Comment by herr doktor bimler — April 23, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

  20. This pattern of his – of hairpulling and touching – is rightly creeping people out. They’re going to be unsure how to think about him, and though Glucina’s Herald hit-job has probably been successful, the other young women and girls whose hair he’s fondled are going to appear entirely innocent.

    Comment by Fraud — April 23, 2015 @ 5:48 pm

  21. @ AM Thorn: “The waitress should have turned around and told JK to grow up!”

    Nice bit of victim-blaming there; it should never be necessary for a member of the voting public to have to tell a PM to grow up. Don’t blame women for the things that men do – or this woman for the things that man did. He’s the one doing it. Repeatedly…… and with children as well! Look at the expression on his face in those clips. Good grief…..

    Were this a member of the great unwashed, the polis would about now be seizing their computer and searching the hard drive…

    It seems that nobody close to him has yet called him out on this behaviour. And it’s a great pity, because now he’s overseas representing us and he’s a laughingstock. God, how embarrassing!

    I hope there aren’t any horses at Gallipoli…. or is it human hair only that attracts him?

    Comment by D'Esterre — April 23, 2015 @ 10:47 pm

  22. Key Finds Locks Irresistible

    A kiwi prime minister called Key
    Tugged a waitress’s ponytail repeatedly
    He claimed it was just horseplay
    Not trichophilia or foreplay
    But it seems quite kinky to me.

    PS I’m the author of “The Fetish Collection”, an anthology of short stories featuring a range of paraphilias.

    Comment by Paul Burns — April 23, 2015 @ 11:38 pm

  23. @rickrowling – by any reasonable reckoning, David Farrar appears to be incorrect in those statements you quote.

    So far I have heard no correction or challenge made to the waitress’ comments to the effect that Key had indeed “read [the] situation” correctly and fully understood that he was creating discomfort. That means that Farrar’s claims that Key “seriously misjudged how what he saw as mucking around, was received, and he failed to pick up on the discomfort caused” are simply false.

    Key knew that he was causing discomfort – and continued. If Farrar disagrees then he is calling the waitress a liar or, at best, inexplicably incorrect. And he is implying that with regards to a situation to which he (Farrar) was not a party and so, presumably, about which he has no special knowledge.

    The behaviours of Key described in the waitress’ account make it clear that the Prime Minister knew of the harm he was causing her (e.g., the ‘scary sound effects’ episode).

    Are you saying that such events and behaviours did not occur? If so, why would you say that given that the only detailed – and unchallenged – eye-witness account we have of the events claims they did occur?

    Comment by puddleglum12 — April 24, 2015 @ 10:43 pm

  24. I watch question time often. Key’s general approach is mocking and abusive. He is indulged by a sycophantic Speaker who cannot hide his national party sympathies. Key put him there and having done him that favour completely ignores any of the Speaker’s attempts to rein him in. Key laughs at and derides other speakers in a bullying way and always has a pack of ‘cheerleaders’ egging him on. He is a name caller extraordinaire. His behaviour there is certainly very different from how he behaves in public.

    Comment by Barbara Matthews — April 27, 2015 @ 3:47 pm

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