Friday, 20 June 2014

John Key and the Ordinary Kiwi Bloke

It occurred to me today, listening to Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint and yet another vile National cabinet member ejaculate smugness over whatever pointless bullshit has been deemed Important by the media this hour, that John Key makes me genuinely concerned for the emotional wellbeing of "ordinary" New Zealanders. You know, the only ones politicians care about.

The "ordinary" New Zealander, from what I can gather, is straight, white, male, aged between 25 and 50, follows the All Blacks and the America's Cup, drinks domestic beer and likes his meat to be quality cuts and barbecued. He might even let the missus man the grill, because he's a modern Kiwi Bloke.

He also, if I understand Big John correctly, suffers from dreadful self-esteem and has some horrible toxic relationships that should by rights result in therapy or at the very least an intervention.

John Key's popularity would appear to hinge on his "ordinariness", his "blokeyness". He's like a mate, isn't he? He doesn't waste time talking to those leftie eggheads on RadioNZ, he's talking to the Morning Rumble about how pleased he is that Dan Carter's coming off sabbatical! He pulls derpface in selfies with young voters! He plays beer pong with acceptable homos at their annual funfair! He even bought a samosa at the Diwali festival! Man of the people!

If his popularity stems from the notion that he's a mate you could have a beer with, then you can extrapolate the friendships the Ordinary Kiwi Bloke has. And they are horrible.

Apparently, it's fine to put stuff your mate owns already up for sale, sell it back to your mates, then pocket the profits (what DID happen to all that money from asset sales, anyway? It must have been important if you had to FIRE SALE AIR NEW ZEALAND), if you also appear on Coast FM mid-morning to talk about how well our boys played against Australia.

If my mate decided to take away my access to adult education classes, it'd take a bit more than joking about gay red shirts to make me invite them over to my house again.

The "Regular Kiwi Bloke" seems to have friends who think it's OK to shit all over their front gardens, or sell those front gardens off as parking space to the global equivalent of a biker gang and then pocket the money, and they'll forgive them as long as those friends can sympathise when a yacht (paid for with the profits from all those oil-leaking Harleys tearing up your cuttygrass, incidentally), loses out to a yacht paid for by a different millionaire who is evil because he DOESN'T watch Outrageous Fortune.

If your friends talk to you with the same level of contempt that's shown to the electorate by Key, English et al, then I have some bad news for you. THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. They are just hanging out with you to see what they can mooch off you.

I don't want my politicians to be my friends. I don't want to know their opinions of Game of Thrones, roller derby or where they are going for their summer holidays (especially if it's their fucking holiday home in Hawaii). I want to know their opinions on child poverty, education and healthcare. I can live with them not wanting to play beer pong with me if they will actively engage on issues a bit more pressing than Richie McCaw.

We need to stop being placated with trivial mateyness and start holding these people to account.

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