An Imperator Fish exclusive
He’s a fan of German philosophy and Voltaire, but doesn’t like the historical legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Prime Minister John Key took a couple of hours out of his busy schedule today to talk exclusively with Imperator Fish readers.
Key mixed talk of policy with some personal observations during his chat.
He confirmed that education would be at the centre of National’s policy platform in next year’s election. It is no secret that Key is an ardent admirer of the Neoplatonists, but it had been expected that National’s education policy would focus on the Middle Platonist period.
Instead, Key announced that the entire focus of National Standards would be on the teachings of Plotinus and Iamblichus, and other prominent members of the Neoplatonist group.
The Prime Minister also admitted that he had little time for television, but that when he watched television he wanted something “big and dumb” to turn his brain off. His favourites include the Arts Channel and his DVD collection of the works of Swedish filmmaker Vilgot Sjöman.
Key also revealed that most Cabinet meetings include discussions of wider philosophical issues, such as whether justified true belief is knowledge, whether government policy should take into account the difficult question of moral luck, and whether the spots on Paula Bennett’s leopard-skin outfit would still be the same colour next Monday.
He also confirmed that the three things he could not do without were his pocketbook of inspiring Jean-Paul Satre sayings, the good-luck charm given to him by a Tibetan monk during Key’s three-year meditative retreat in the Himalayas, and his case of 1787 Chateau Lafite.
Finally, Key revealed that he had no appetite for a political role after being Prime Minister.
“Obviously if there was a position of philosopher king available I’d take a look. But I think I’m much more likely to be interested in writing a thesis on the role of anti-Semitism in the collected works of Fyodor Dostoevsky.
“I’d also like to play more golf.”