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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Media sycophancy knows no bounds 

The fine tradition of New Zealand's sniffing at the royal pantaloons continues, I see. Led by the media, which blushes at the merest glance from William Wales Windsor or whatever his name his, before reaching for yet another handful of superlatives from the nearest thesaurus.

Other than wearing a woolen cardigan at a BBQ, and being hit in the bollocks by a rugby ball, he's basically just walked around and chatted amiably to people who want to talk to him. Hardly rocket science. Hardly a meaningful contribution to governance of the nation. And due in no way to any achievements on his part, but rather to the pure chance of being born an heir of Betty Windsor - English aristocrat and lifelong state beneficiary.

The Herald waxed lyrical about his crowd-pulling power at the opening of the Supreme Court. An example of "the royal magic", putting paid to "any suggestions the royal family had lost their allure," it gushed, meaninglessly.

The same article went on to note that just 3-4000 were in attendance. That'd be about 2% of the 180,000 residents of Wellington City, or at best 1% of the 400,000 residents of the Wellington Region. Stunning. Moreover, as the story also acknowledges, a substantial proportion of said thronging mass was made up of PSA members, and Republicans, there to protest. Yet we're led to believe the nation practically stood still.

Today, the Herald looks back wistfully on a visit from the "good guy" who - it is noted with approval - continually upstaged the Prime Minister. You know, the guy with a democratic mandate to actually lead the country, someone who is actually a New Zealander and makes decisions that actually affect New Zealanders, for better or worse. And he even lives here now.

If you want to know what's fundamentally wrong with Royalty, here's your answer - Key was apparently happy to be reduced to a lowly presence, and in the best National Party tradition enjoyed some good bowing and scraping in front of an aristocrat:
While Prince William has been the headline act, for Mr Key the prince's visit has meant two days of playing second fiddle.

He was barely noticed by many and had to put up with photographers and the public calling to him to move aside to give them a clear view of the Prince.

He took such treatment in good humour, saying he had no problems with such lowly status while in the presence of royalty.

Fuck that makes me sick. Be a man, John!

Thankfully, the Herald's front-page BS was counter-balanced by a suitably ascerbic contribution from Brian Rudman, who said what needed to be said: see the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and the All Black captain go all giggly over the weekend in the presence of a 27-year-old trainee helicopter pilot because he happens to be the first-born male child of the Queen's first-born male child, was rather demeaning for all involved - including those of us watching the 6pm news.

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