Mr Key says that, from an overall perspective, the talks fell well short of the hopes and aspirations that people went there with - but New Zealand's negotiators were seeking changes to forestry rules, and good progress was made in that regard.Oh well, it could have been worse: the Copenhagen talks failed to produce a Carly Binding result, but at least we made some progress on escaping our obligations. It is just me, or is that nice Mr Key quite parochial?
"We want to have the rules altered that would allow us to harvest forests that are pre-1990 and replant them in other parts of the country," Mr Key says. "We'd also want to have the position where we can lock up emissions where wood is harvested but used for the production of furniture and the like."
No, it is not just me. Look at what Mr Key has lined up for the visit of the Prince William: a harbour cruise on a yacht, some rugger, a barbecue. In short, Virginia is for lovers; New Zealand is for dullards. In return the Prince William gets to open our new Supreme Court building. The establishment of our own final court of appeal is almost our final release from colonial bonds, so giving the job of opening the building to the future King of New Zealand is both singularly tasteless and utterly appropriate for Mr Key's vision of a New Zealand society of the spectacle.
It is to be hoped that the Prince will be provided with a ridiculous uniform and a pith helmet, of the kind that Lord Mountbatten wore when he declared India open for business or Chris Patten wore for the handover of Hong Kong to tyranny. The Prince William (whom nobody any longer describes as having his mother's alleged beauty, now that the genetic traits of his Saxe-Coburg-Gotha ancestry are making themselves apparent) will fix the locals with his empty eyes and say something vapid. He will then go to Australia. It is to be noted that the Prince wanted to go there, but is coming here at the request of our Government, which really wanted HMQ to do the job.
It is all rather sad. The next-but-one to the faded throne comes here because his granny told him to do the job. Nobody in Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace or Clarence House would have had so much as a thought about New Zealand, were it not for our Minister for Tourism, who doubles as Prime Minister in the same way that the cashier at a provincial cinema will also be the projectionist and the usherette. For reasons of his own, our over-friendly concierge thinks that having a Royal Visit would be a grand thing, in fact so grand that it is worth both Facebook and Bebo pages.
Incidentally, what is it with Mr Key and Bebo? Does he not know that if you are over 15, male and have a Bebo account, you fit a profile, that you are probably the sort of person whom the Sensible Sentencing Trust would like to have castrated?
Anyway, that is about it for New Zealand this year. We will be closing down for the Summer, just as we always do. Not much happens here at the best of times - that is why we live here; but in the Summer months, news stories are inconsequential and just tail off without any real ending or even proper punctuation