The PM has got himself in trouble after using the word “gay” to mock a radio host, only days after calling football star David Beckham “thick as batshit”.
Neither of these statements are particularly harmful politically The “gay red top” remark will offend many people, but probably not the average National voter.
And many folk will agree with Key’s assessment of Beckham’s intellectual talents.
However, we shouldn’t allow our politicians to make dickish or hurtful remarks just because they can get away with doing so. John Key’s banter may be the sort that goes down well in the “heartland”, where support for National is strong, but his ”gay red top” remark will cause hurt to many people already experiencing discrimination because of their sexuality.
Moreover, David Beckham is a superstar, and is loved by millions around the world. It doesn’t seem smart for our Minister for Tourism to be insulting him in public.
I don’t believe John Key makes these sorts of remarks in any cynical or calculated way. One commentator has suggested he gets told by advisers to say outrageous things in order to offend liberals, but such theories are far-fetched and assume a level of calculation that I suspect just doesn’t exist. It’s far more likely that Key just gets careless and says dumb things.