NZ Herald columnist says John Key and son Max are New Zealand’s new Trumps

Being the son of a famous person, and as a consequence finding oneself in the limelight, cannot be easy – especially if that famous person is the Prime Minister, who will inevitably attract approval and dissent in roughly equal measure and whose family and other relationships will always attract close scrutiny.

What are we to make, then, of the crass and coarse remarks made this week by Max Key? His father – himself no stranger to controversy when it comes to the treatment of women – (“pony tailgate” is still fresh in the memory) might have been expected to ensure that his son was especially careful when it comes to language and behaviour concerning the fairer sex.

It is not just the remarks themselves that have raised eyebrows but the fact that he was so keen to let us know that he had made them.

He went to considerable lengths, after all, to bring them to our attention. He not only took the trouble to wind down his window as he drove so as to shout what was no doubt intended as a gratuitous insult at some cyclists he was overtaking; he had also taken care to record what he did and said and then to post it in the social media.

His intention, in choosing his supposed bon mot, was presumably to impugn the masculinity of the cyclists.

He seems to have been unaware that it takes a good deal more grit and effort to push yourself round town on a bicycle than it does to drive round town in a fast car – and it is a good deal more socially and environmentally responsible as well.

And, if he had cared to make those same remarks to the same people while on foot, rather than from the safety of his car, he might have found his own manhood subjected to a rather unwelcome and daunting challenge.

But the real question is, why does a young man of Max Key’s age and upbringing think it appropriate, not only to shout insults at strangers but to refer to women in such demeaning terms? What is it about our society that spawns such offensive attitudes? It seems clear that the expensive schools responsible for the education of young Mr Key and his like have some way to go in preparing their pupils for adult membership of a decent and equal society.

I find it gobsmackingly sanctimonious of people to expect Max Key to be anything more than an 18 year old young man. ? But the opportunity to use him to get at his father is just too juicy for the media to leave alone.

Perhaps we should go hang around the families of major media personalities and record what they say. ?I’m sure that it won’t take long before we have something “outrageous”.

Grow the fuck up media.


– Bryan Gould, NZ Herald