Key to miss soldiers' military service
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 3:10p.m.
Prime Minister John Key won't be attending Saturday's military service for the two soldiers killed in Afghanistan because he will be in the United States watching his son play baseball.
Max Key is a member of the under-17 team representing New Zealand at the Senior Little League World Series in Maine and Mr Key is leaving on Thursday night.
A spokeswoman for Mr Key told NZ Newswire the Prime Minister had visited the families of Lance Corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, both 26, who were killed in action in Afghanistan on Saturday.
The spokesman said Mr Key extended his condolences and explained to the families why he wouldn't be at the service.
The Government will be represented by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.
The bodies of two soldiers will arrive in Christchurch late on Thursday where they will be honoured with a military ceremony.
They were shot by insurgents in Bamiyan province where they were serving with New Zealand's Provincial Reconstruction Team.
A US Air Force C-17 is flying the men to their home base of Burnham, a Defence Force spokesman said.
A ramp ceremony will be held when the men's caskets are taken off the aircraft.
The ceremony was a military one and would not be open to public or the media, the spokesman said.
Details of Saturday's service are still to be announced.
Five New Zealand soldiers wounded in the attack have been transferred to a military hospital in Germany for further treatment and one remains in Afghanistan in a serious but stable condition.
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16/08/2012 6:50:16 p.m.
Man oh man, well what can you say about him, bloody plenty what a let down for our country he is our PM and duty to the people first, he dam well knows that he has to put his interest's aside for our country. I wonder if his son appreciates his father for letting down the country for his selfish needs. Goes to show what New Zealand is all about with the PM at the helm, but then and again John Keys does not care as it is the English way of course.
12/08/2012 12:14:45 p.m.
On the other hand.... wrote:
What John Key was trying to point out was that it is better to have young people fight it out on a baseball pitch than in the deserts of Afghanistan. I'm sure that his next move will be to relocated NZDF personnel to the US so they can upskill in the techniques of professional baseball, no doubt supported by his own son, who is obviously some kind of baseball star. Good on you John Key for understanding the real issues. You have my full support.
12/08/2012 7:47:25 a.m.
What is truly embarrassing is that the PM has misled the families of the slain soldiers. The baseball tournament in the US doesn't begin until August 13 (NZT). He had plenty of time to attend the memorial service and then fly to the US to watch his son play baseball. Obviously the PM would have needed to reschedule some flights. It seems the inconvenience of rescheduling flights - and the cost involved - was greater than doing his duty and attending the service. What an absolute disgrace!!
11/08/2012 4:05:22 p.m.
Often, in these types of situations I think, how I would feel if it was my boy who had lost his life serving his country.Personally, I would be comforted by the PM visiting us personally...and then I would want him to go support his boy.He,and his family are human, and his children need him as much as mine., or anyone's..go support your boy John...he needs you to be there for him and be proud of his achievements like any parent.Some people here are forgetting that this young man is a teenager and he already makes huge sacrifices for our country.
11/08/2012 1:25:08 p.m.
I have never in my life been more embarrassed to be a New Zealander. To think that the man who has agreed to represent us as a nation would even spend a moment contemplating whether or not he should be here to welcome home two brave young men who gave up their lives in order to keep New Zealanders, our country and the world safe is disgusting. As harsh as it may seem when he accepted the job of Prime Minister he also accepted that for a time the nation would have to come first and his family second. I am sure his son will have many more wonderful moments in his life such as high school graduation, university graduation etc whereas these men will never see their families again. These men gave their lives to keep us safe and it was Mr Key's job to represent us, to be standing on that air strip when they landed in order to say from all of us, thank you and welcome home.
11/08/2012 1:19:27 a.m.
Of course he should do his utmost to attend the funeral. if there had ahve been a summit meeting, or a death in Key's own family, or he had been overseas on other important business at the time, it would have been excuseable. To be in the country and to fly out before the funeral in order to see his son play in a junior baseball match is an insenitive slap in the face for the poor families of those soldiers. That Key couldn't see that most certainly implies that he has very little empathy and much less tact in dealing with sensitive issues. As Prime minister for New Zealand, his actions verge on insanity. If this is how he manages his own trusting and loving electorate, I shudder to think how he would negociate sensitive political issues on the international forum. He is most certainly NOT a statesman, and he is not worht the 400k that we taxpayers cough up for him. Time for a trade in.
11/08/2012 12:42:44 a.m.
Sack John Key. Our soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice. Now all the prime minister has to do is miss his sons baseball game. No comparison. Pay your respects to the fallen soldiers and the Defence force Key. Otherwise shut up and stay in America. NZ doesn't need cowards like you. Show some Leadership.
11/08/2012 12:19:06 a.m.
I commented very negativly on Key's actions before reading the background to his decision. Unfortunately for Mr Key I still think that as PM, the country should come before a junior international baseball game. Maybe Mrs Key should go and watch her son play while Mr Key attends the duties he is committed to.Key talks a lot about 'mums and dads' and you would have thought he would have shown greater respect for the mums and dads who lost their sons. Once again, shame on John Key, where are his ethics?
10/08/2012 6:08:25 p.m.
Leave the man alone! He has already taken the time to visit them privately and individually. I'm sure the dead soldiers parents would advise him to spend as much time with his children as he can, while he can...
10/08/2012 5:01:09 p.m.
@Tones & Aiden you do know that he could do both. His sons baseball games take place over one week where he is playing several games. As PM he has approved their deployment to Afghanistan he should now show the respect and honor their sacrifice they have given for him and our Nation. It is a slap in the face where he is saying you are not worthy of my public attendance. For you to support and agree with such disgraceful conduct puts you lower than him. If you agree with his actions then why even have Bill English attend?? Whats the point?? Wait a minute - this is not Mike dressed up as Tones is it???
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