Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Teflon Prime Minister

John Key, joint prime and tourism minister of 'Pure' New Zealand had for many weeks thought it a good look to be the only developed-country leader not be represented at the Copenhagen climate change conference. Hmmm. Not that the media in New Zealand had much to say about it.

Key gave a good impression that Greenpeace, Jim Salinger and Lucy Lawless's petitions for him to be there had absolutely no impact on his decision. Even if John does deny climate change, as has actions seem to imply, he might have had the good sense to see that not attending Copenhagen might put the lie to New Zealand's 'Pure' credentials. But he didn't, well not 'til today - a bit slow perhaps? Why wasn't The Green Party making more of fuss about of this, perhaps they just weren't getting media coverage...

Don't get me wrong though, I think Key's a good PM, especially for a National party PM, and I don't know that Kyoto (or similar) is the best way to go to resolve climate change. But I do wonder about his good-sense compass when it comes to the image of New Zealand overseas and his role as tourism minister/ambassador - surely New Zealand's leader being the first to step up to Copenhagen would have been better for the country's image than being the last... And sometimes perception is vital - a good leader knows this - it is their job to demonstrate and articulate what their country is about (the vision, the story, the culture, and so on). Obama knows this.


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