“Does not subservience and obsequiousness breed contempt?” I said this in a post a couple of days ago in reference to the sycophantic approach of successive New Zealand governments to their dealings with the US. The Key government has taken things to a new level and lo and behold news comes in of the NZ Navy being humiliated at the RIMPAC exercise off Hawaii by being the only nation from 22, including Russia, to not be allowed to dock with the other warships at Pearl Harbour because of lingering resentment over our nuclear free legislation. As John Armstrong of the NZ Herald quite rightly describes it – “Petty, petulant and pathetic.”
Key and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman try to spin it as “nothing new” and not a snub at all. Might want to check with Te Kaha’s sailors on that one minister. They are right in the sense that US arrogance towards us is not new and with good reason. We are so servile towards big brother, human nature being what it is, rather than receiving gratitude we get contempt. NZ looks like the faithful puppy who gets kicked but keeps coming back for more out of misguided devotion.
Still as the Prime Minister was eager to show on Letterman, better to be noticed and laughed at than not noticed at all. One hopes US negotiators at the secret TPP negotiations in San Diego are displaying a bit less hubris than their US Navy compatriots.