Editorial: 'Hot Hurley' comments unbecoming of a PM

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Prime Minister John Key. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister John Key. Photo / Mark Mitchell

John Key's political advisers could be excused for thinking he can do no wrong. Whatever the situation, the Prime Minister's ability to rub shoulders with people from all sides of the street has stood him in good stead.

Lately, however, there have been one or two jarring notes, not least his public revelation that he considers British actress Liz Hurley "hot". Well, good for him, the individual. But it could just be time for John Key, Prime Minister, to pull back a bit.

The description of Hurley and other female celebrities was made during a weekly spot on that bastion of blokiness, Radio Sport. Given that he has abandoned at least one other regular radio spot, it's difficult to follow the political rationale, the more so because the show's host is the contagious Tony Veitch.

And, as is now apparent, the Prime Minister can be dragged into things a bit too blokey, just as he became ensnared in Paul Henry's blundering over the Governor-General.

The reaction to Mr Key's opinion of Liz Hurley, including being labelled sexist in a British newspaper, may not concern him or his advisers, given his ongoing popularity here. But the utterance was picked up internationally solely because it's not one customarily associated with presidents and prime ministers.

It's pertinent to note that Helen Clark once enjoyed a similarly high poll rating. Over time, personal charms can wear thin; people decide they've had too much of a good thing. And at that point, raw comments and over-familiar behaviour have a habit of coming back to bite.

- NZ Herald

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