Down with the kids or a bit batshit? John Key mocks "gay red top"

by Toby Manhire / 05 November, 2012
The prime minister again attracts controversy with remarks on The Farming Show.
Busy man he might be, but John Key found time at the end of last week to co-host radio’s Farming Show.

Perhaps he was feeling a release of pressure – this was the same morning I think as the “thick as batshit” remark about David Beckham – because he was loose-lipped in his jocular jibing at The Farming Show’s red-jersey wearing Jamie Mackay.

Following a bit of air guitar, Key chuckles: “What you’re wearing is an absolute disgrace. You parade yourself as some sort of centre-right invested community leader, but you're in the red!”

A few minutes later, in reference to a challenge to Mackay’s chances in the charity golf tournament they were to take part in later that day: “You are munted mate, you’re never going to make it – you’ve got that gay red top on there.”

Listen to the clip here.

Maybe the prime minister is simply showing his familiarity with the way the kids talk. Such a pejorative use of “gay” is hardly unusual in the schoolyard. It’s hardly unusual, either, in shows such as 7 Days.

Or maybe it’s another example of Key failing to engage his brain before his mouth, a tendency alighted on by the rightwing commentator Matthew Hooton on RNZ’s Nine to Noon this morning. In relation to the Beckham remark, Hooton said: “These missteps start to add up over time.”

Key, of course, has announced his intention to support Louisa Wall's marriage equality bill. And he dismissed Conservative Party leader's suggestion that he was "too gay" for his Helensville electorate.

Just by the way, look at the picture Stuff chose to use to illustrate that story a couple of months back:

One more thing. When parliament returns tomorrow (Tuesday), opposition MPs might want to consider the following wardrobe:

Update: Here's the PM answering questions on the subject in his press conference this afternoon.

h/t @mj_oliver
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