Monday, February 14, 2011


Yesterday was the Big Gay Out in Auckland, an annual celebration of Auckland's gay community. This being an election year, the politicians were out in force - which led to this odd exchange:

Radio host Steven Oats invited [Prime Minister John] Key to his stall and asked him whether he would support civil unions if a conscience vote were held tomorrow.

"I voted against it last time. It was a very marginal call. But we're not going to face that again, so ..."

Mr Oats persisted, but Mr Key would not reveal his cards.

"I'm leaving it until my book. I know the answer, but just wait until my book," he said.

Come on John, tell us what you really think!

This is utterly, absolutely spineless. Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand. He's accountable to us for his political views. And yet he's too chickenshit to say what they actually are for fear of offending someone (either his wealthy donors, who tend to be old and bigoted, or ordinary decent members of the public, who think homophobia just isn't acceptable anymore). And then to add insult to injury, he effectively demands to be paid at some stage in the future for information he should be giving out as part of basic, democratic accountability.

But then, this has been Key's problem all along: no principles. A desire to be everyone's mate, and to achieve that by telling everyone exactly what they want to hear. But this is not an issue he can be everyone's mate on. He can either do what is right, or what is wrong. Us or the bigots, Mr Key - pick a side.