Thursday, November 05, 2009

Organ of the State

In the margins of last night's filming of Media7, someone used the phrase Herald handshake, in obvious allusion to Auckland's national newspaper and to a service that can be purchased on the streets adjoining K Road. Reading Garth George's column We should all salute our wonderful PM, one can see that the phrase has great potency. Here Garth has produced an essay which is beyond parody; one can do no more than snippets from it, to save you the trouble of reading it and the consequent nausea:
He is a man of the people, as yet unspoiled by the poisonous atmosphere of power politics, and in spite of his position and spectacular wealth remains one of us.
He is amiable, engaging, good-natured, highly intelligent, humorous and, most of all, unaffected.
Multi-millionaire he might be, but the perception of the public - reflected in his high poll ratings - is of a fatherless state house kid made good, and, in typical Kiwi fashion, we say good on him for it.
As our principal face to the world, he should always travel in style, first class all the way, and should be able to take his wife, and even family, with him if he chooses - all at the Government's expense.
This last was used by the Herald's sub for what, in the art, is called a pull-quote; never has the phrase been so apposite. But last and loveliest of them all is Garth's closing thought:
Mr Key is an avid fan of the All Blacks, a frequent attendee at their games and a regular, potently encouraging presence in their dressing room.

This is a political stratagem of astounding brilliance. For if the All Blacks win the World Cup on October 20, 2011, New Zealanders will be in such a state of euphoria that National will stroll over the line in early in November.
We learn that Mr Key hangs around in dressing rooms with rugby players; someone should tell the Speaker. We also learn that this is a political strategem. We conclude that Mr Key not only is cynical but also is foolhardy: that National's electoral success depends on that of the All Blacks.

Mr Goff must be feeling better already.

5 comments:

Russell Brown said...

Withut wishing to nitpick, I believe the actual phrase was the rather more pithy "Herald handjob" ...

Paul said...

Pithy, yes, but not suitable for a family audience. Still, I stand corrected. Even so, I would like the phrase Herald handshake to become a euphemism for what is known as relief.

Giovanni said...

This last was used by the Herald's sub for what, in the art, is called a pull-quote

Wild applause.

Giovanni said...

Also: can we lobby for George to go back to plagiarism? It seemed less offensive somehow.

Kei Islander said...

What century are jonkey's advisors living in?
Most people in ANZ dont really care about rugby football any more.