Toby Manhire was brought into the NZ Herald as a new columnist to make the NZ Herald seem less fascist when it relaunched as a tabloid this year. His addition was alongside that of the far right Deborah Hill Cone who has thrilled us all with column after column after column about her divorce. Apparently the Devonport divorcee demographic is terribly important in the newspaper market, (the only joy in Deborah's columns is reading how a once well to do right winger is slowly realizing much of her dogma is false).
So when Toby Manhire has been seduced by John Key in his latest column, you know Mordor is on the march.
What Toby misses is the manufactured nature of Key's attraction.
While our country groans under the weight of 7.3% unemployment with 270 000 children living in poverty the Prime Minster dances Gangnam styles on breakfast morning radio.
John Key's ability to depoliticize himself into a pop culture youtube clip helps deflect any real scrutiny of his policies that punish the 99% while rewarding the 1%.
This year we have continued to see the state of the country get worse, not better as National implement more failed free market dogma to counter the global economic recession caused by the exact same failed free market dogma.
None of that impacts when the Prime Minister is marrying rock DJs live on air while discussing how often he uses the word cunt in jokes. Online news media are ruthless ratings followers now and if the PM dancing Gangnam styles gets 100 000 hits over a serious interview that only gets 5000 views, you know 'heeeeeey sexy lady' becomes the headline.
After watching firsthand the manufactured leadership coup at the Labour Party conference last month, I believe that you the citizen are getting manipulated perceptions as news rather than the facts and this explains in some measure why Key hasn't been dented in his popularity.
John Key is the vacant aspiration of a piece of cheese forever out of reach of the rat.
Key is our first cult of no personality and he ends 2012 smugger than ever. His baseless pop culture popularity while 1 in 5 children rot in poverty is to our collective shame.
Sleepy Hobbits get the leaders they deserve, and we deserve a leader as visionless and full of empty optimisms as John Key.