Know your place Prime Minister

December 16th, 2011 at 3:48 pm by David Farrar

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It’s right that New Zealanders discuss and debate who should be conferred the top awards. The media should lead the discussion and the PM and his ministerial colleagues on the adjudicating committee ought to take heed.

Oh I see. It is the role of the media to lead the discussion on who gets knighted, and it is the role of the Prime Minister to tale heed.

I’m gob-smacked.

As to why Key mentioned Richie McCaw had indicated he thought a knighthood was premature, it’s simple.

If McCaw wasn’t included when the are announced, then the media focus would all be on him missing out, rather than on those who gained the . So Key gets it out early that Richie has said he doesn’t think it is appropriate while he is still playing (a stance I agree with), and that means when the come out, the focus will be on those who do get one.

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26 Responses to “Know your place Prime Minister”

  1. V (719 comments) says:

    Does anyone actually pay money for newspapers these days?

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  2. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Not me for +1, swmbo for +2.
    Don’t even need paper to light the bloody fire.

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  3. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    The media are there to report decisions not construct or manipulate them.

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  4. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “If McCaw wasn’t included when the honours are announced, then the media focus would all be on him missing out”

    What rubbish. Why would you expect McCaw to be knighted? David Kirk led the All Blacks to victory in 1987…and hasn’t been knighted. Plenty of top sportsmen and women in NZ have not been knighted. Talk about getting ahead of yourself.

    [DPF: You need to get out more. Its been discussed a lot. I even got invited to go on Paul Henry's radio show to advocate McCaw should not be knighted, but many disagreed.

    You may have also missed reading the fact that the PM had publicly joked with McCaw about a knighthood before the RWC of he wins (he also joked of dire punishments if he lost), so media interest in this issue is high so frankly you are the one talking rubbish]

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  5. Pongo (372 comments) says:

    Sums up the press galleries opinion of themselves, outside their closseted world most think they are a bunch of muppets and the tea gate saga confirmed that.

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  6. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    So the news media have got its nose out of joint because the Prime Minister has pre-empted speculation about the New Year’s Honours List. The arrogance is mind-boggling. Perhaps someone needs to remind the news media that it is not actually there to lead or influence anything. It is there to report facts. Some degree of interpretation and opinion is definitely appropriate (so long as it is clearly labelled opinion and not news) but it is not the media’s job to campaign for a knighthood, a new government or a new party leader.

    There has been plenty of speculation as to whether McCaw would get a knighthood. It started with a tongue in cheek comment by the Prime Minister to which nobody took offence at the time. Clearly there was going to be some speculation as to whether McCaw would receive an honour. If anyone has any doubt about the importance of winning the World Cup to New Zealand, perhaps I could just think back about four years to Cardiff.

    Ross points out that plenty of sports people have not been honoured. Plenty have been – and during their active days. Sir Richard Hadlee was honoured when still playing. Sir Russell Coutts is still sailing. Sir Peter Blake was still active.

    To my way of thinking, McCaw has just shown the sort of mettle that suggests that a knighthood is well deserved.

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  7. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    David Farrar says (incredulously):- “It is the role of the media to lead the discussion on who gets knighted, and it is the role of the Prime Minister to tale heed.”

    Yes. The media is a reflection of public opinion, and what’s more, John Key would be a fool to ignore it. And John Key is no fool.

    But why preempt the question? Wait for it to be asked.

    And really it was premature to announce that a victory would be rewarded with a knighthood. Key should learn to be more discreet. I thought conservatives were all into protocol.

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  8. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    ” The media should lead the discussion…”
    Strange indeed given I thought that people were nominated and after the headline on YahooXtra that ” McCaw Spurns knighthood ” When he infact in the article he clearly points out that it is not appropriate while he is still playing.

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  9. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    Sir John Hartevelt and Dame Tracy Watkins – I think not!

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  10. JeffW (326 comments) says:

    V @ 3:58 – it felt good this week to cancel my Herald subscription. I think the guy at the other end of the phone was surprised when I informed him it was owing to the huge left bias the Herald demonstrates. No need to get onto the rubbish way they cover (or rather don’t cover) issues, the left wing approach is way too much for me.

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  11. flipper (4,051 comments) says:

    So the wet behind the ears Fairfax mouthpiece, Hartevelt, thinks the media should lead debate. It would help if they dropped their “if it bleeds it leads” approach to all news. In other words, Fairfax would lead the media if they returned to reporting as opposed to seeking to make news.

    The Epsom tea pot is an example of the very poor 2011 journlistic standards now, regrettably, almost common place. And now Fairfax, the “paragon” of journalistic ethics, and its mouth piece the Dom Post, say they should set the standard. They do this by giving space to the silly comments by the inexperienced and immature Hartevelt, who is known to have strong Labour party connections – connections exposed during the recent campaign.

    The reality is that Key’s original comment was made in the context of encouraging New Zealand to get behind McCaw and the ABs. No one in their right mind thought he was serious. The examples of Hadlee, Coutts and Blake are not relevant. Different sports, different cultures. Just imagine the jibes in a test match ruck or a maul. Cooper’s razzing of McCaw would look like baby kissing.

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  12. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “Sir Richard Hadlee was honoured when still playing.”

    According to Wikipedia: “Hadlee did not have his knighthood conferred on him while still a test cricketer: Though the honour was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 16 June 1990, it was only conferred on 4 October 1990.” Hadlee continued playing cricket into his late 30s. He was 39 at the time his honour was conferred.

    “You may have also missed reading the fact that the PM had publicly joked with McCaw about a knighthood before the RWC…”

    Oh so when the PM makes a joke, we should all think he’s being serious? Great logic there DPF. This is just another of Key’s foot in mouth moments, reminscient of when he tried to shake McCaw’s hand after the final. What an embarrassment.

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  13. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    so media interest in this issue is high

    really ?…sounds like a beat up to me

    cheap way to associate Key with the winning McCaw brand while his minions announce the state asset sales ripoff.

    …distraction and deflection much ?

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  14. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    Seeing one Rugby Knighthood is now free perhaps the Great Redeemer will pick it up?

    Full credit to Ted! :)

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  15. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    I’m un-gobsmacked. I would have more confidence in the media, properly mandated and structured, to award honours impartially, than in politicians who are inherently biased and proven to favour their insiders and supporters. Its a good idea worthy of exploration.

    But in the end I’ll support anyone who can come up with a list that is not dominated by boring, 20th century judges who nobody – crims excepted – has ever heard of.

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  16. tvb (4,417 comments) says:

    Key has done the correct thing get this news out now so that the media do not dominate the stories on the Honours about the fact that Richie did not get a knighthood. Key understands the utter trivia of the media very well.

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  17. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    No one expected Richie to get a knighthood to start with.

    It’s just a distraction for the asset sales ripoff announcements.

    Key plays good cop to English and Ryalls bad cop.

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  18. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    Was it Hartevelt that instructed John Key to bring the Honours List back?

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  19. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    Ross

    I wasn’t saying that he should get a knighthood now – I was pointing out the precedent for sporting knighthoods because you did not acknowledge them. My view is that he should get one – when the time is right – and that this public discussion shows what sort of guy he is. It also gives people the opportunity to give feedback on a matter from which, historically, they have been excluded.

    If I remember rightly, Key also said he might get tasered if he lost. If you havent got a sense of whimsy then you must have a real problem with ulcers and boils. We all accept that if Key or Bennett are in the mix of any issue, your bile levels rise and any prospect of objectivity goes out the window.

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  20. Ricardo (54 comments) says:

    Henry will get one.

    It was a career of two halves, but the best half won on the day.
    Full credit to the opposition, it was a tough contest. And thanks to the Mums for the spread.

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  21. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    @ross “What rubbish. Why would you expect McCaw to be knighted? David Kirk led the All Blacks to victory in 1987…and hasn’t been knighted. Plenty of top sportsmen and women in NZ have not been knighted. Talk about getting ahead of yourself.”

    Ross – you either have been hiding under a rock or you don’t get out much, if you don’t realise what is going on here.

    David Kirk played 17 games for All Blacks, 11 as captain – the World Cup is all he won of significance – he received an MBE after the 87 World Cup, while still playing.

    Ritchie McCaw – the most capped All Black ever, has captained the All Blacks more than any other player in history, has won more test matches than any other All Black captain in history, has captained the All Blacks to a record 2 Grand Slams, has captained the All Blacks to the winning of the Bledisloe cup for 6 years in a row. On top of that he has captained the Crusaders to 3 Super Rugby titles, and played 140-odd games for Canterbury and the Crusaders (winning 4 Super Rugby titles in the process).

    Oh, and he won the World Cup while playing on one leg.

    And you are comparing him to David Kirk? Either you are a troll or a dumbass, who doesn’t know what he is talking about. Which is it?

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  22. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    “Either you are a troll or a dumbass, who doesn’t know what he is talking about. Which is it?”

    Well said, Sean. While the RWC is significant and demands some recognition (Kirk’s MBE illustrates that), all of the other factors that you point out identify McCaw as something special and it is entirely appropriate that his contribution be acknowledged.

    Given that much of the recognition relates to his career, it would probably be appropriate to confer the one at the end of his career. It is a bit like giving the man of the match award with 10 min to run (as seems to be the practice in some sports).

    As to your question of Ross, the overriding criterion for his condemnation of anything in this world is relatively straightforward. If National, John Key in particular or Paula Bennett are involved in any way shape or form, any proposition is evil and is to be scorned. Ross is a troll. He very rarely writes anything of any length and his comments are generally of a sarcastic, derogatory or negative nature.

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  23. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    has won more test matches than any other All Black captain in history, has captained the All Blacks to a record 2 Grand Slams, has captained the All Blacks to the winning of the Bledisloe cup for 6 years in a row.

    …which is what you’d expect if has captained the All Blacks more than any other player in history.

    Dudes a good rugby player but still, that’s hardly deserving of a knighthood in my books.

    I’m hoping the next Labour gov’t eliminate them again cos as is, it’s just an excuse for Key to give himself one at the end of his reign.

    Made a shitload of money…tick
    Became prime minister…tick
    Knighthood ?…better reinstate them…tick

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  24. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    “And you are comparing him to David Kirk?”

    Yes I am…both have won World Cups as captain. No other player has. But the fact remains that Kirk has never been knighted.

    Sean Fitzpatrick had a pretty impressive career as a player and All Black captain and was captain of the side that beat the Sprinboks for the first time in SA…so he’ll be getting knighted soon?

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  25. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    I think McCaw has already received enough reward for his efforts, He got to captain the ABs to win the World Cup. An archaic award from a bygone era on the other side of the world that is handed out to many is no comparison.

    I wouldn’t think any more of McCaw if he was given a gong, he would just be joining the ‘look at me in perpetuity’ crowd.

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  26. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    @ross “Yes I am…both have won World Cups as captain. No other player has. But the fact remains that Kirk has never been knighted. ”

    You are dealing in strawman arguments now. A far more apt comparison is to Colin Meads, who along with Ritchie McCaw can be considered one of the two greatest All Blacks ever – and you guessed it he is a Knight.

    We are comparing rugby careers – not a 1 month tournament.

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