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Thursday, April 21, 2011

High fliers

Talk about aloof. He's so aloof,
he's aloft, more often than not. Floating in helicopters above the jandal-wearing Hobbiton peasants and off to state engagements where his presence is demanded. Important functions, like drinks at the golf club:

A spokesman for Mr Key said the decision to use the helicopter was made because of concerns about traffic issues at the V8s which may have meant Mr Key would have been late for his next appointment - a black tie dinner at the Royal Auckland Golf Club in Otahuhu where the club was celebrating getting its royal status.

Mr Key's office says it would have been unacceptable for him to be late as the Governor-General was also attending and protocol requires the Prime Minister cannot arrive later than the Queen's representative.

Well why not instruct the G-G beforehand that he's running a bit late and to hang back for an hour or so at Government House so he can arrive later? As if! Not if you have the RNZAF at your disposal, eh. Maybe Anne Tolley's infamous misunderstanding of what the term "helicopter view" means (when she interpreted it literally) was just a reflection of how Key and his National government do business?

These helicopter jaunts will become to John Key what the speeding limo was to Helen Clark. Just as National's portrayal of Clark's personality and management as detached and brusque, so Labour's "rich prick" framing of Key is gaining more and more credibility with the public as the evidence starts to stack up. To date Key has been let off lightly with the "smile and wave" criticism of the opposition parties. The grinning face of austerity Toryism will now be painted in darker colours - as the smirking out-of-touch PM, back-slapping the plutocratic elite and ignoring the common folk.

The reason this story has the traction to bite is because this is not the occasional and necessary use of defence resources in an emergency, it is so he can patronise his plutocratic mates at private soirées.

Mr Key has been criticised in the past for his use of Air Force helicopters. In 2009 he used two Iroquois to fly from Blenheim to Kaikoura, where he was launching a new Whale Watch boat.

Labour MP Pete Hodgson questioned the Prime Minister in the House in November in 2009 about his use of military aircraft.

Mr Key's response included the use of Air Force planes to visit the Pacific Islands, including Samoa after the tsunami, and an Iroquois flight from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula for the opening of the Whangamata Marina.

The Whale Watch launch I suppose will be a Maori enterprise, so he can't be accused of racial favouratism, but let's call these junkets out for what they are: the PM has used the Air Force to celebrate with the Pakeha elite their confiscation and privatisation of the foreshore and seabed at Whangamata and to celebrate with the Auckland Pakeha elite their cringe-worthy retrogressive monarchism.


At 21/4/11 3:03 pm, Blogger Alex said...

Serious question.
Is having the RNZAF ferrying you from a sports event to a dinner a necessity or a "Nice to have.."

At 21/4/11 11:38 pm, Blogger AAMC said...

It's a "this is quite nice, but I wish I had airforce one!"


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