Herald on Key and funerals

August 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

Busy people in high positions often pay lip service to the principle that their family comes first. has demonstrated that he means it.

His decision to miss the funerals of the two soldiers killed in Afghanistan last Saturday so that he can be in the United States for a sporting event involving his son would have been a difficult one.

A Prime Minister who sends men into danger has an obligation to honour their service and represent the nation’s sympathy to their families when the worst happens. This will be the first time Mr Key has not attended the funeral of a soldier killed on active duty since he took office.

He has spoken to the families of Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone and it is to be hoped that in grieving for their sons they are able to understand the importance to him of his.

An under-17 baseball world series in the United States might not sound more important but is a member of the first team from New Zealand to qualify for it and his father knows what it means to him.

Only a Prime Minister’s family know how much his responsibilities intrude on their life, interrupting times together and disrupting plans they have made.

This time Mr Key knows where he should be. He was a father before he was a Prime Minister and he will be a father afterwards. It is important that he is a father now.

The Herald also has an article on the issue:

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said she could understand the PM’s decision.”I think John Key has made the best decision he can for his family and children and I don’t underestimate the difficulties he had in making that particular decision.”

Political commentator Bryce Edwards called the decision “gutsy”, saying Mr Key had “followed his heart rather than his head”, but believed it could be slightly damaging for him.

“I found it refreshing in a sense that he didn’t feel straitjacketed by the need to go along with what’s expected of being the Prime Minister.”

Also kudos to Turei for her honesty.

Commentator Chris Trotter, who suspected the country was divided on the issue, said Mr Key was a “natural kind of a guy” and would have made a straightforward decision to go ahead with his plans. “I don’t think he’ll lose a hell of a lot of sleep over it.”

Political blogger Paul Buchanan was more scathing, slamming the decision as “a disgrace of the first order. This is a spit in the face of the [NZ Defence Force]. It is a dishonour to the fallen soldiers,” he wrote on his Kiwipolitico blog site.

New Zealanders reacting on social media sites and chat forums had mixed views, some decrying the call as “disgusting” and “despicable”.

Others backed Mr Key. One wrote on the TVNZ website: “Great to see we have a Prime Minister that is father first and foremost. That is his most important job in life and he obviously takes it seriously.”

I suspect reaction to the decision tends to be linked to whether people liked or disliked Key before this issue. However as Metiria Turei showed, that doesn’t apply to everyone.  I know that if a Labour PM had a similar choice, I would not bag them for doing the same.

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107 Responses to “Herald on Key and funerals”

  1. swan (651 comments) says:

    I think out of respect for the families, it would have been good of the media not to make a story out of it. Not that I think they will be upset by the PM’s decision, but because I dont think they want their sons’ funeral to be all about the PM. Oh well.

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  2. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    The two soldiers were in a job that had high danger and death was not a remote possibility. All those who think the country should come to a stop while we wail and blub in states of griefporn about their deaths need to get a grip on reality.
    We dont hear the same reaction to the people who get kiiled on the road regulary and those people are far more due thinking about – they arent in dangerous jobs where death is a daily probablility.

    Key should certainly go follow his son and the army needs to stop this glorification of death that they seem to get all excited about. Things like these silly ramp cermonies are just plain stupid. Sure the guys died young – but so do many people.

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    Yes David. Well done Metiria Turei, about whom from time to time I have commented unfavorably. Good on her.

    Contrast Mr Key’s impeccable behaviour with that of the coffin chasing Labour leader who demanded an apology from the power company when a grossly obese woman died from errrrrr….. gross obesity one day when, coincidentally, the power was turned off due to repeated non payment of overdue accounts but the absence of power did not contribute to her death.

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  4. mara (639 comments) says:

    I’m not bothered either way but wouldn’t you think Key’s son would be old enough to understand if only his mum turned up to watch him compete? Why must it be both parents?

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  5. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > I know that if a Labour PM had a similar choice, I would not bag them for doing the same.

    Thank God I had finished my coffee when reading that. My laptop would be covered. Thanks, David, for thre humour.

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  6. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > Why must it be both parents?

    Well quite. Key gets plenty of time away from politics to spend with his kids. Of course, if he finds it too onerous, he could give politics away, which is he likely to do before too long.

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  7. David Garrett (5,134 comments) says:

    Ross, your comment just shows how lacking in perception you are. One of the major differences between “the right” and you lot is most of us on this side of the divide have no problem commending good ideas from “the other side” – but for that other side, to say anything remotely positive about something the right says or thinks is akin to treason.

    Have you ever wondered why you can come here and say just about anything, but the Commissars at the Stranded ban anyone who says anything slightly disagreeable to them? Peter George FFS! Could there be a more mild mannered blog commentator in the country?

    In my short time in parliament I quite often spoke approvingly of something a Labour member had said. The universal reaction was demostrations of displeasure and woe; Shane Jones once banged his head on his desk despairing that I had praised him. Dyson once loudly interjected ” Because Garrett supports it I’ve changed my mind” when I spoke agreeing with her on some issue.

    Have you ever read some of the major works on totalitarianism published last century? “Animal Farm” for instance or “Brave New World”? You guys are sad and pathetic.

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  8. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    I didn’t realise it was Hungary’s fault that the two soldiers had been killed. Maybe it’s best he does attend the baseball so he can’t make any further gaffes.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7433644/Keys-Hungarian-slur-causes-offence

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  9. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    Are you aware that a number of senior MP’s children have committed suicide ross69? The pressure on politicians’ kids is immense.

    And like Adolf, I generally have little time for Ms Turei. I applaud her stance on this issue and her unwillingness to make political capital. People like ross69 though, I have only contempt for.

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  10. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    My first instinct is to wonder why we are talking about this. He paid his personal respects to the families, beyond this the funeral is merely a public photo op for a politician. If anything it shows he is not looking to milk it for publicity. Surely that’s a good thing?

    However, being cynical for a second, he may have been advised that “being a good dad” would win over the suburban soccer mums more than “being a dutiful PM at a funeral (for men who work with guns that died over there in Whereveristan)”. By contrast Helen may have been more concerned with the male voters hence falling over herself to get to any military funeral photo-op.

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  11. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Key did not send them into danger. The Prime Minister has no power to make such a decision, in fact the PM is not in the chain of command. Instructions to defence are formed by cabinet and delivered by the Minister of Defence whi IS in the china of command and is accorded the ceremony of a senior officer.

    This is why Helen Clark hated visiting warships, the Minister of Defence was piped aboard while she got a cherry wave.

    As to whose mission these guys were on, well that was the Clark government which Phil Goff is backpeddling on when he became leader of the opposition.

    Funny really it was his name on it too. The Key government is just completing it.

    Also not many soliders wants stangers and politicans at their funerals.

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  12. Mech (3 comments) says:

    “Commentator Chris Trotter, who suspected the country was divided on the issue”.

    Myself and most people I know really just don’t give a fuck. But as long as no one debates politics..

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  13. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    barry#

    “….Key should certainly go follow his son and the army needs to stop this glorification of death that they seem to get all excited about. Things like these silly ramp cermonies are just plain stupid. Sure the guys died young – but so do many people……’

    Fuck your stupid.

    But it surprises me why.

    Because you see, all the books in all the worlds librarys were written under the protection of a millitary. To live outside of the protection that a millitary gives us – you will soon die.

    Afganistan and Ethiopia are just two examples.

    Other than police or firemen and the occasional hero, I can’t really think of any other young people that actually deserve our thanks and respect for dying. You really missed the point didn’t you Barry?

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  14. nasska (9,517 comments) says:

    Dear Ross69,

    Obviously you drew the short straw for troll duty on Kiwiblog again this weekend. Instead of trying to attack Mr Key you should be nicer about people and have feelings for their personal circumstances. You could always try thinking with your heart & show that really, deep down you like them.

    Try to somehow be famous, to get some money or get a job, because people will like you for your money. Don’t shout at people and don’t stop them from going over the rickety, rackety bridge. Let people go where they want to go & be who they are.

    I wish you good luck in finding a friend.

    Best wishes from nasska.

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  15. 3-coil (1,184 comments) says:

    “I know that if a Labour PM had a similar choice, I would not bag them for doing the same”

    Well obviously the last (in both senses of the word?) Labour PM can’t use the kids excuse – but does anyone remember why Helen Clark could make it to Mrs Muliaga’s funeral but not the 7 kids from Elim Christian School who died at the Ed Hillary Oudoor Pursuits Centre?

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  16. tom hunter (4,004 comments) says:

    Political blogger Paul Buchanan was more scathing, slamming the decision as “a disgrace of the first order. This is a spit in the face of the [NZ Defence Force]. It is a dishonour to the fallen soldiers,” he wrote on his Kiwipolitico blog site.

    Well, well, well.

    Something to remember the next time I’m supposed to be having a “polite” and “civil” debate on this blog with Mr Buchanan about matters political – or when he’s offered up on radio and TV as a supposedly non-hardline, non-extremist, non-hack, left-wing commentator.

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  17. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    What John Key has conveniently ignored is that the baseball tournament runs from August 12-16 (US time) with NZ playing on each of those days. Key could have attended the soldiers’ funeral AND watched his son play.

    http://worldseries.bangorinfo.com/the-schedule.htm

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  18. tvb (3,941 comments) says:

    The government is well represented at this funeral and John Key has personally paid his respects to the families. This matter is closed. Only JohnJeys enemies would try and score petty political points over the bodies of two dead soldiers.

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  19. gonzo (4 comments) says:

    Harriet…. “Because you see, all the books in all the worlds libraries were written under the protection of a millitary. To live outside of the protection that a millitary gives us – you will soon die.”

    Bang on.

    Although many ignore it, societies of all types are always underpinned by (threat) of physical force. For both internal and external protection. Non-payment of a parking ticket can theoretically eventually lead to the boys in blue coming and taking you away (forcibly).

    Too many people forget (whilst leaving it to others to enforce on their behalf – police, military…).

    One reason I abhor unreasoned anti american bullshit.
    Not that I wake every day to the Star Spangled Banner – but you know – someone has to do the business.

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  20. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    Since my name has been brought up in vain, let me state my position clearly: I strongly disagree with the PMs decision because I believe that it shows misguided priorities, a lack of moral leadership and is disrespectful to the sacrifices made by the NZDF in Afghanistan. I do not do so out of ideological hatred or disregard for family values, nor do I want to score political points off of the dead. I simply believe that this was a very, very unfortunate decision. I used strong language to that effect in the blog post I wrote. For that I am vilified by Tom and assorted others.

    We can have strong disagreements about the subject but it is surprising how quickly things go ad hominem. Well, not that surprising, really.

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  21. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Paul,

    I agree with you. I was struck by your comment:

    “[Key] has already said , as if it was somehow better, that the dead soldiers either had little family or were childless.”

    So, if the soldiers had had wives and kids, Key might have reconsidered his decision?

    The fact remains that Key could have attended the funerals and also the baseball. I suggest there is an ulterior motive for his decision.

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  22. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    And who are you to speak for servicemen Paul?

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  23. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Paul G.Buchanan……………….I strongly disagree with the PMs decision because I believe that it shows misguided priorities, a lack of moral leadership and is disrespectful to the sacrifices made by the NZDF in Afghanistan.

    And you are entitled to strongly disagree, but I am bit taken aback by ..lack of moral leadership….??????

    Firstly I was under the impression that the funerals were to be private but even if elected committee men feel the need to intrude on a families grief, the government will be represented, it does not need to be the PM in person, afterall he would only be representing the people of NZ in an elected capacity rather than a family freind /relative anyway.

    The PM meeting with the families in private already would seem to be a much more personal thing to do rather just be another bum on a seat in the church for a free scone at the after match.

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  24. Than (371 comments) says:

    Ross69, yes just looking at the start times JK could (just barely) have attended both events. But only if there were flights exactly scheduled when he needed them. There would have needed to have been a convenient Auckland to LA flight late afternoon, then a couple of correctly timed connecting flights from LA to Bangor (which is literally on the far side of the continental US). It’s 20 hours flying time (minimum), plus customs and any delays between flights. And even if there were flights at all the right times, he would have arrived in Bangor ~2-3am, jetlagged and exhausted.

    Attending both was simply not a practical option.

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  25. joe bloggs (126 comments) says:

    @ Paul G. Buchanan

    I’m surprised you should play the “poor me” ad hom attack card when that’s what you did in your original comments.

    I’m also surprised that you have appointed yourself as some sort of opinion-leader to speak on behalf of the grieving families, and to politicise this.

    Oh, and I’m really surprised that you consider yourself to be the go-to authority on the PMs priorities, moral leadership and respect for the military

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  26. Battier (9 comments) says:

    As someone is very close friends with a senior minister’s son, I feel qualified to say that families of Minister’s make a lot of sacrifices as a result of their parent’s careers. And before Ross starts screaming, I know that a political career is a choice, freely entered and we don’t expect one to entered under some naive premise that the responsibilities and duties that come with it aren’t important and should take precedent in many cases.

    Regardless, I think this was a good decision by John Key. He has paid his respects to the families in private, which in my opinion would be far more appreciated by them than the obligatory presence at a funeral where he would merely be a symbol of the government. And if they feel he has paid his respects to them, who else is really important? Blind Labour supporters engaging in political opportunism to take a stab at Key? I don’t think so. I think the most important thing, as someone above has mentioned, is the families and the sacrifice their children have made. Unimpressed by the media ruining the sanctity of the funeral by focussing on whether a politician is attending.

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  27. Battier (9 comments) says:

    That should read – “…shouldn’t* take precedent in many cases.”

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  28. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    John Key has demonstrated that he is a human being (and a dad) first and a politician second. I thank that is the right set of priorities, not only for a human being, but also for a politician.

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  29. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > There would have needed to have been a convenient Auckland to LA flight late afternoon

    Actually, there are two flights still available from Auckland to LA later today. One leaves at 7.40pm and the other leaves at 9.30pm.

    Being the PM, it might be expected that he could have a few strings pulled for him. He might have missed his son’s first game but his son has got at least 4 games, maybe more if his team make the playoffs. The suggestion he had to miss his son’s baseball to attend the memorial service is nonsense. But it is typical of the man.

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  30. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Yep Ross he could have pulled a few strings, had his cops speed to the airport and then hang them out to dry in Court. He could have forged a painting on the go and donated the proceeds to the families

    Yep Ross he could have pulled a few strings and delayed the flight so he could have caught it.

    But he would’nt do any of those things because one, he’s not a labour PM and two, he has told the NZ public what he has done, and why he’s doing, its called honesty, no bullshit, ..”i’m doing this, thanks very much,” no arrogance just being human and thats why he’s so popular.

    You are the tiresome type that if he did go would be wanking on about political capitalizing when his photo was in a Sunday rag

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  31. thedavincimode (6,119 comments) says:

    Battier

    It’s not about Key. ross69 is simply uncomfortable confronting the reality of his life and the fact that he had the same opportunities as Key.

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  32. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > Yep Ross he could have pulled a few strings, had his cops speed to the airport

    Calm down, PEB, he didn’t need to sped to the airport. Check the times in my previous post. There are flights out of Chch which give him plenty of time to get to Chch aiprort (and Auckland) without speeding. Are you pissed because your beloved PM has pulled the wool over your eyes?

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  33. OneTrack (1,967 comments) says:

    ross69 @12:03 “Of course, if he finds it too onerous, he could give politics away, which is he likely to do before too long.”

    Keep hoping Ross – keep hoping. Blind belief is a wonderful thing. Is this all that the left now has to fight National with “Key is going to leave” FFS

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  34. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > he has told the NZ public what he has done, and why he’s doing, its called honesty, no bullshit

    Well, he’s certainly fooled you. But carry on shooting the messenger…

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  35. Battier (9 comments) says:

    What is your conspiracy theory Ross? What could possibly be the motive for missing the funeral beyond what he has stated?

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  36. OneTrack (1,967 comments) says:

    S.Russel @2:19 – “John Key has demonstrated that he is a human being (and a dad) first and a politician second”

    How does that compare to our previous Prime Minister, or our (probably) next one?

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  37. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    Buchanan you are a supercilious plonker.

    Explaining is losing

    You might think ramp scenes and corpse cuddling are political priorities, I for one do not.

    The generation that spawned me dreaded “the telegram” as that was all the official notification was for many long years.
    As for bringing the body home, often there was no body.

    Your employers and the poor excuse for media might consider your opinions as relevant, many of us do not.

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  38. kowtow (6,706 comments) says:

    I said at the outset ,when TV3 ran the story,that the media were making this tragedy to be all about Key. They are being mischievous.

    Nastier elements from the left have joined the chase.

    After PG’s comments about the Standard yesterday I had a look,there are some real scum there. Ross blowjob is another one.

    I like the comments yesterday from the ex military guys,they know what it’s about.

    The Buchanans and Trotters should take a leaf out of Tureis book and keep this thing dignified and leave partisan politics out of what is a terrible event in the lives of those 2 families.

    Also as I said already the PM will be there. It’s the office that counts ,not the man. Why don’t the naysayers demand HM the Queen turn up instead of her rep the GG?

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  39. UpandComer (496 comments) says:

    Lol Ross, your faux outrage is really amusing. Key is getting on with his life, you should too.

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  40. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > What is your conspiracy theory Ross?

    No conspiracy theory, Key has once again been economical with the truth. He could’ve attended the memorial service and his son’s baseball.

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  41. si_rangi (60 comments) says:

    I agree with TVB, Key has personally paid his repsects to the family. End of story. The families will understand better than the rest of us, as they had the PM convey his sympathy and respect to them in person. In fact they are probably the types of families that understand completely what the PMs priorities are and for all we know, gave him thier ‘blessings’ to support his son. It is a nothing but a shit stirring story IMO

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  42. Rightandleft (574 comments) says:

    While I voted for him, I’ve never really liked John Key. Nevertheless I agree that he made the right decision this time. The funeral should be about the men who died, not a chance for a politician to score points. It isn’t his fault they died, he has no obligation to attend. I maintain that most of the people so angry at him are really just angry at the Afghan War policy.

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  43. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Let’s see:

    Max Key’s first match at the World Baseball Championships is 2.30pm on August 12 (US time).

    Key leaves ChCh airport at 6.50pm (well after the memorial service) today and gets to Auckland at 8.10pm, in time for a 9.30pm flight to LA. He arrives in LA at 2.45pm on Aug 11 (US time). He catches a flight from LA to Bangor at 10pm the same day and arrives at 9.02am on Aug 12. This is the same day that the baseball begins, his son playing in the afternoon. So Key won’t miss any matches and has ample time to rest between flights and to get ready for the first baseball match.

    No speeding to airports is required, and no strings need to be pulled. I’m surprised the msm have failed to ask the PM why he chose to use his son’s baseball as an excuse for not attending today’s memorial service.

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  44. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > he has no obligation to attend

    I don’t necessarily agree, Rightandleft. But either way, surely the PM has an obligation to tell the truth. He’s suggested that he couldn’t attend because of his son’s baseball. As I’ve demonstrated, he could easily attend both. Why has Key been so deceptive?

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  45. Than (371 comments) says:

    No ross, you have demonstrated he could have gone to the funeral then attended some of his son’s baseball in an exhausted and sleep deprived state. For practical purposes it was one event or the other.

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  46. Rightandleft (574 comments) says:

    I don’t know why he would lie about it. I’d think that by attending he would score political points. US Presidents always try to surround themselves with military props and be seen comforting war widows and such, the same way they love to be seen with their sleeves rolled up in a disaster zone. It makes them look comforting and in charge.

    I think Key wanted to travel to the US with his son and his team, to be there giving him support in the lead-up to the game.

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  47. David Garrett (5,134 comments) says:

    Ross69: the new Phool….

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  48. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I think this issue is just a lightning rod for peoples’ opinions about Key.

    Those same people at the Standard for example, who dislike Key would probably be frothing about his ‘shameless political hypocrisy and opportunism’ if he had attended the funeral.

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  49. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Than,

    What nonsense…he would have had time to sleep on the flights and between flights. And of course he is a seasoned traveller. He would have been able to attend all of the baseball, not some of it. I guess it’s no surprise you make pathetic excuses.

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  50. Pongo (356 comments) says:

    Is this the Paul Buchanan that wanks on on the radio and TV, fuck me I thought he was some sort of expert rather than another left wing hate filled Labourite. Puts a different sort of a spin on what he pontificates, thanks to a bit of sunlight I can now safely put his opinions alongside Sue Bradford and Doug Sellma.

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  51. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Lee C

    Hmmm Key has attended every funeral of every slain soldier. This is the only exception. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good yarn.

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  52. hmmokrightitis (1,458 comments) says:

    ross, so as to give morons like you the ability to start talking about conspiracy theories. When you did you last take a decent dump?

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  53. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I agree with the sentiment that the behaviour of some commentators shows gross disrespect to the slain soldiers too – I suspect that despite their sanctimonious attitudes towards the PM, they are not above capitalising on these deaths for political gain. Sometime in the future, perhaps they will find themselves lying awake at night and feel themselves burning with shame in the night as they recollect how their warped sense of moral superiority managed to subjugate their inner decency, and turn them into jackals.

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  54. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    I’m going to be a little cynical and suggest that one of the reasons Metiria Turei has come down on the side of the PM is that she and her party aren’t much bothered about the military and would probably prefer we didn’t have one anyway. But I think the PM made a very difficult choice, and it’s clear that he cares about his son, and the killed soldiers, but can’t be in two places at once. I’m sure the families of the soldiers, (and most mums and dads around the country) understand his choice.

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  55. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (552 comments) says:

    That flight to the west and then onto the east coast of the US is a pain and is very tiring. I’ve done it a number of times when flying to Orlando. Once again Ross you’re talking your usual shit, no surprise there though.

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  56. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    SGH

    Yeah watching baseball is tiring too. LMAO

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  57. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > he cares about his son, and the killed soldiers, but can’t be in two places at once

    He didn’t need to be in two places at once. He could’ve attended the memorial service, had a 3 course meal at his favourite restaurant, ambled to the airport, relaxed with first class in-flight service, watched a movie or two, slept, and taken in all of Max’s baseball games.

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  58. hmmokrightitis (1,458 comments) says:

    First class to LAX? You don’t get out much do you ross?

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  59. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    you want a good yarn Ross how about the one you are spinning?

    Yes, let’s face it it makes so much sense for us to conclude that Key just doesn’t give a fuck about the deaths of the two soldiers.

    But clearly dissastisfied that this snub is going to go unobserved by the vigilant, he’s decided to prove it further.

    So it’s hardly a logical leap to prove this by observing that on top of the above, Key he has gone so much out of his way to shout this fact out to anyone who will listen, he’s cynically made sure that his agenda is transparently flexible and shows that he could really have gone to the funerals.

    Then any objective observer can only come to the logical conclusion that he has decided to publish that too just in case any one is in any doubt that he really can’t be arsed to attend these two funerals, is desperate to score some kind of point by being seen to snub the families of the deceased, he’s gone and announced a plain falsehood, so that the objective observers can ‘see through’ the lie.

    Ross, you are wasted here, you should be writing Dan Brown type stuff.

    Thanks for the laugh though.

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  60. Ross12 (927 comments) says:

    Pete George summed this issue up the best yesterday by saying who have tried to politicise this matter are the ones that dishonour the two soldiers who lost their lives.

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  61. hmmokrightitis (1,458 comments) says:

    The thing I find hilarious about all of this is the left constantly banging on about JK being ‘smile and wave’ to the crowds and the camera. And this time, when he quietly avoids doing that, but offers his condolences to the families, and shows us what a good Dad should do, the left go mental.

    Too fucking hilarious.

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  62. David Garrett (5,134 comments) says:

    hmmo: You’re a card sir, and no mistake…the little fella’s probably not been beyond Australia….in cattle…

    Still, at least he can write English…sort of….

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  63. hmmokrightitis (1,458 comments) says:

    Even AirNZ Business Class these days is losing its edge. Last time I went to LAX on AirNZ, a month ago, they didn’t even bother with the pre-flight drink. I mean, come on :)

    Give me Cathy or Singapore any day – unless you can get on first on Emirates. The A380 First class isnt too shabby. But then theres no direct to LAX sadly.

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  64. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    I wonder if Key would’ve turned down attending the Pike River memorial if his son had been playing baseball on that day?

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  65. David Garrett (5,134 comments) says:

    hmmo: At the risk of sounding like one of the four Yorkshiremen…nothing like t’old days in the US…I remember my first trip there in ’78…they were serving free Calif champagne to everyone..while we were parked on the taxi way waiting for a take off slot!

    Now some pinched face old biddy tut tuts if you want more than three 250 ml chardys on a 3 hour flight…

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  66. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    ross69 – at the risk of being accused of being personally abusive, you are being a pillock. The PM has PERSONALLY paid his respects to the parents of both deceased soldiers. That probably means far more to them than him attending a funeral service that turns into a three-ring circus as media representatives fall over themselves to take the most unflattering photo of John Key.

    But furthermore, both families have lost a son forever. They are probably right now full of regrets for things that were left undone, left unsaid, and for opportunities that were not taken; that’s only natural after a sudden death. But I’m willing to wager that both families have told Key to go for it and spend some precious time with his son; an opportunity that they have now been deprived of.

    PS: Are you a parent ross69?

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  67. big bruv (12,354 comments) says:

    When you have the top job (and know what that job entails when you apply) then you have certain obligations.

    Key should be at the funerals.

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  68. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Ross69
    You clearly have never or rarely flown trans Pacific. The schedule you propose is technically possible but would be a brutal schedule forcing the PM to effectively step off an overnight trans Pacifc flight then a red eye west to east coast flght and walk off the last flight and without a decent nights sleep go pretty much straight to the tournament. Only partisan hacks like you (and Paul Buchanan) see anything worth criticizing in this decision.

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  69. hmmokrightitis (1,458 comments) says:

    A long long time ago – when working for Large Global Consulting Inc – I was running a project in KL. Was entitled to a flight home to NZ every two weeks, but rang my Managing Partner in Welly, and told him about this really hot woman in London – the tickets were waiting at the airport for me an hour later. Quick hop to Singapore, and into BA first class for the flight to London.

    Told the male cabin staff what I was doing – flying to London for three days of sex – and they tucked a bottle of vintage Krug in my bag. Now that was service :) And a bloody great three days :)

    But I digress. Let me finish. Ross, you’re a prat.

    There, done :)

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  70. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitus – Ernst & Young? EY did quite a bit of work up in KL back in the 90s. Oh, and good on Key. Family First :)

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  71. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > flying to London for three days of sex

    Surprised you weren’t too tired…long flight and all. :)

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  72. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > The schedule you propose is technically possible

    Not only technically possible but easily achievable and interspersed with fine dining, movies and lots of sleep. I’m surprised Key attended the Pike River memorial – Max must’ve been able to keep himself amused that day.

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  73. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > I’m willing to wager that both families have told Key to go for it and spend some precious time with his son

    I’m willing to wager that if they knew he could have attended his son’s baseball tournament AND the memorial service, they’d be somewhat aggrieved at the PM’s lack of honour and duplicity. Still, what’s the death of a soldier or two? Next week when Max is hitting a home run, all will be forgotten.

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  74. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    The man is not a proper leader like Helen was.

    She would never have let her children’s welfare get in the way of her obligation to the military. :)

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  75. slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:

    We have not been privy to any discussions between John Key and his son, nor between John Key and the families of these two fallen soldiers, but what I do know is that the responsibilities of the Prime Minister can be delegated, but the job of Max Key’s father can only be done by John Key.

    The PM, Bill English (acting) was present at this solemn event, as was the Governor General. But that is besides the point.

    2 families are grieving, and that grief would not be any less had John Key attended. This event should not be used for scoring points. If Key had promised his son that he would attend, how much weight should we give a fathers promise to a son, over the responsibilities of a job which can be delegated?

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  76. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    Jeeze slightlyrighty. Never let a fathers obligation to his family ever get in the way of a good lefty beat up.

    Helen and Charles and Louisa would always opt for their children in this circumstance! :)

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  77. Bottlerboy (7 comments) says:

    I absolutely applaud John Key for the way in which he has handled this matter. As an older man with seven grandchildren I can share with you the absolutely bleeding obvious but often overlooked simple truth . . . . John Keys son will NEVER be seventeen again, John Key will NEVER as a father have this exact same opportunity to support his son again in his lifetime, it is a once in a life time event that will NEVER be repeated in the same way again. And his son will remember his fathers support for the rest of his lifetime. Frankly anyone who doesn’t understand this basic human tenant either doesn’t have any children or is simply a fuckwit.
    Mr Key has showed his respect with personal visits to each family (completely out of the lime light, no political point making) and the Government will be still be fully represented at the funerals by deputy PM Bill English.
    And finally I really appreciate a person who is obviously a well balanced and a decent family man as our PM.

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  78. nasska (9,517 comments) says:

    Bottlerboy

    Well put.

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  79. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    I take it you won’t be voting Labour next election then Bottlerboy? :)

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  80. MT_Tinman (2,791 comments) says:

    big bruv (10,601) Says:
    August 11th, 2012 at 6:53 pm
    When you have the top job (and know what that job entails when you apply) then you have certain obligations.

    Key should be at the funerals.

    Balls!

    Refer Bottlerboy, 20:37. He put it better than I would have.

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  81. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    Big Bruv will be at Hutt Rec for the funeral tomorrow at 2.30! :)

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  82. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    Milkey won’t. He has already committed suicide! :)

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  83. big bruv (12,354 comments) says:

    Johnboy

    The only funeral at the hutt rec tomorrow will be for the fucking catholics.

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  84. big bruv (12,354 comments) says:

    MT Tinman

    I am surprised that you agree with a moron like Bottlerboy, you are far smarter than he is and I would have thought that you could appreciate that being PM makes a difference.

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  85. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    I’ll spot you there then BB.

    I take it that you will be a very large angry chap whacking anybody praying to Pope Benedict.
    Particularly in the second half?

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  86. big bruv (12,354 comments) says:

    Johnboy

    I would love to be there, if it were possible I would even seek you out to buy you an ale or two to celebrate the mighty Ories win.

    Alas I will be in the north keeping the wheels of industry turning.

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  87. Johnboy (13,386 comments) says:

    Funny way to describe driving a Taxi.

    Still someone has to show a happy smiling face to the Asian invasion and relieve them of the contents of their wallets. :)

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  88. seanmaitland (402 comments) says:

    @ross69 – had a read of the comments you made here, and you are a right piece of work. Jeepers….absolutely unbelievable – the amusing thing is you don’t seem to have a clue what you’re talking about most of the time.

    Try getting out in the real world sometime – it might take that massive chip off your shoulder!

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  89. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    DPF:
    I suspect reaction to the decision tends to be linked to whether people liked or disliked Key before this issue. However as Metiria Turei showed, that doesn’t apply to everyone.

    Yeah I get that too.
    It is absolutely disgusting that some people are attempting to score political points over this. Especially after the PM visited the families beforehand and explained himself.

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  90. UpandComer (496 comments) says:

    Hey Ross would you be in a relationship with a girl (or guy for that matter) who voted national and overtly supported their policies?

    Would you be friends with an Act supporter?

    Would you be friends with a strong Christian?

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  91. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > John Keys son will NEVER be seventeen again,

    Bottlerboy, you conveniently miss two key points:

    The family of the slain soldiers will NEVER see them again. Key will see his son again, again, and again. Max Key accompanied his father to the World Soccer Cup in South Afirca – not many kids would have experienced that.

    Key could’ve attended the memorial service AND the baseball. Key could’ve watched all 4 of his son’s games. It wasn’t a case of choosing one or the other. Your argument has no merit, and you’ve failed to properly look at the issue.

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  92. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    > the job of Max Key’s father can only be done by John Key.

    Another who misses the point.

    I think you’ll find that Max also has a mother!!

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  93. David Garrett (5,134 comments) says:

    Guys, I have worked it out…While he may not physically be the Phool, Ross has learned his technique – to post endless screeds of bullshit to wind people up. – from the Master of the art. And it works!

    I at least find it easier to skip over him than the King of the Ellipsis…but perhaps that’s just me. I am really hoping that the “69″ in his handle refers to something other than his birth date…because if it is, he is well old enough to know better…

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  94. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Ask yourself – would have I gone to the funeral as PM?

    I am sure the answer for most people would be “yes”.

    There are certain things you must do as PM and this was one of them.

    RIP heroes.

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  95. sparky (235 comments) says:

    The next crazy statement here will be that a pre-requiste to be Prime Minister will be you have to be childless, like Mr Clarke. What a load of tosh about John Key. He spoke with the fallen soldiers famillies and supported his son, good on him.Makes us even more want to vote for National, the realists.

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  96. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    @ross69 – the last words of your 7.47pm comment illustrate just how low the Left will stoop to discredit John Key. They also partially explain why Key’s popularity remains at a record high; people are over the hatred and the lowlife personal abuse.

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  97. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    KS,

    You have a short memory. What did Key say about this matter?

    “In the end it’s a very, very difficult decision. I’ve got to let somebody down”

    You obviously don’t care about being lied to. In your eyes, of course, Key can do no wrong.

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  98. Right of way is Way of Right (1,125 comments) says:

    @ Ross69,

    I have been a serving member of the NZDF for over 25 years. John Key has visited the families, and has been up front and honest with all concerned, including the families of the soldiers. I have no problems with his decision, in fact, I applaud the man for his standing up to explain what is happening.

    And you, Sir, are blinded by your own personal dislike of John Key and the National Government. You are intellectualy dishonest, and, to put it bluntly, you are a f**kwit!

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  99. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Right of way,

    No, Key hasn’t been upfront and honest. In fact, he has been totally dishonest But as someone with their head up Key’s arse, you won’t be able to see that.

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  100. Pete George (21,811 comments) says:

    ross69, you’re the dishonest one here, I can’t believe anyone would be ignorant enough to make the claims you do without knowing they are simply crap attacks.

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  101. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    Pete

    Instead of being ill-informed, why don’t you acquaint yourself with the facts. You know full well that Key could’ve attended both events. Key misled the public into thinking he couldn’t attend one event and therefore had to make a “very, very difficult decision”. The fact is, he didn’t.

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  102. cubit (356 comments) says:

    Mr Ross,

    Your advice to be well informed and acquainted with the facts, is your best post to date. Now why don’t you. What is your motivation for such a persistent drawn out tirade? There aresome facts that you haven’t really cosidered in your well informed acquaintance of the facts.

    1. The Governor General was present in his capacity as representative of the head of state and as Commander in chief of the Defence Force.

    2. The Government was represented by the Depuy Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and MP’s

    3. The oppopsition was represented

    4. Local government was represented.
    5. Most importantly the comrades of the dead were there in force and as a collective group probably understand and accept that the PM was not going to be there. they were very happy to know that the PM had made a persoanl private and sincere visit to the families.

    Now will you let it go.

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  103. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    ross69 said

    Instead of being ill-informed, why don’t you acquaint yourself with the facts. You know full well that Key could’ve attended both events. Key misled the public into thinking he couldn’t attend one event and therefore had to make a “very, very difficult decision”. The fact is, he didn’t.

    ross; the “facts” you refer to are simply your slanted version of the facts. Any similarity between them and actual facts would appear to be conincidental.

    You clearly detest John Key. That renders your comments about him significantly less than objective. But the way that you have quite wilfully cracked off at Max Key borders on gutless. Max Key did not choose his father’s occupation. For you to use him as a weapon with which to attack the PM is as low as it gets, and this comment of yours bears repeating:

    Not only technically possible but easily achievable and interspersed with fine dining, movies and lots of sleep. I’m surprised Key attended the Pike River memorial – Max must’ve been able to keep himself amused that day.

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  104. MH (558 comments) says:

    just as the former Gov Gen could have avoided the hoo ha over Paul Henry’s comments re his being not one of us-even if it meant stepping out from the umbrella of protocol- as any other Kiwi would have done. then the family should perhaps step in and put this matter to rest. Put an arm band on and hopefully if the Yanks had any sense they could somehow express solidarity with NZers at this time by acknowledging PM Key at the game. Virtually every day a coalition soldier is murdered by insurgants with no other political or moral goal than to kill for the sake of killing. The US President cannot go to every funeral. It is time to cut and run as we did in Viet-nam and leave the poor women and children of Afghanistan to their own de-vices,and then pick up the odd 100.000 refugee. Our troops lives are not worth fighting for these people,until the ordinary Afghanni is prepared not to be intimidated or remain silent.

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  105. OneTrack (1,967 comments) says:

    KS – I am sure you know by now that left wingers only know how to play the man instead of the ball. It must be the first thing they learn in lefty-school because they all seem to do it. Maybe it’s because it’s easier to do that than actually think up some realistic policies.

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  106. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    @ OneTrack – playing the man is one thing. Playing the man’s son as ross69 did is cowardice.

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  107. Lucy (32 comments) says:

    Paul B is right.

    It is absolutely disgusting that John Key is turning his back on these families and opting to go and watch a baseball game. Paul is right that JK has made a decision that lacks moral leadership. He has made the wrong call. He’s made a selfish, indulgent emotional decision – rather than a rational, sensible decision for the country. It’s a slap in the face. He is saying that a mere baseball game is more important. John Key’s government agreed for our men to be in a war zone. Their deaths are a direct result of a government decision. By not turning up, he is saying that their deaths don’t matter and that NZ shouldn’t be there. So why the hell are we in Afganistan then? John Key’s son is alive. He will play other games, there will be other opportunities. He will understand that his dad has to put the country first. His mother will be there. These men are dead because of a government policy decision. There is no other place that John Key should be except at that funeral. It doesn’t matter that he gave the family a call. He should be at that funeral. End of story.

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