Editorial: Not his place to be normal

This was really an editorial for yesterday. But then Pike River came along.

Which would have been a relief for Prime Minister John Key.

Because it stopped people talking about another issue.

Which was him making a bit of a prat of himself with some offhand comments.

If we're allowed to use the word "prat" in respect of the PM that is. But, if he's allowed to use "thick as batshit" and "David Beckham" in the same sentence; and "gay red top" in describing a radio DJ's choice of clothing . . .

Or do we stick with "ill-advised".

An ill-advised prime minister then.

The Beckham comment was supposedly made to some Dunedin high school students. Mr Key says he was mis-overheard, but doesn't deny outright that he called Beckham thick. Hmm. "Thick as batshit" . . . sounds like? I give up.

And on the gay red top, he says what he really meant was "weird". Ooo-kaay.

Let's be honest. What he was really doing was being human.

Human in chatting with a group of schoolkids. And ill-advised at the same time. What's the first thing they are going to say about the conversation to their mates? Let me rephrase that. What's the first thing they are going to text . . .

And while he might have been simply reflecting the vibe of the chatty radio studio in discussing gay red tops it doesn't mean he's being homophobic. He's merely reflecting the language of his teenage kids.

Except he's not a teenage kid. He's our prime minister, and because the Beckham comment has gone around the world, it's a tad embarrassing for us all. I feel for David Beckham actually, who, also being human, has feelings.

Neither man though classifies as being a normal human, and while Mr Key might just love to be one of us, at the moment he isn't, and his behaviour has to reflect that.

Heavens above, keep this up and he'll be signing paintings he didn't paint next.

The Timaru Herald