New Zealand Herald journalist John Roughan has written a friendly biography of the Prime Minister - just in time for the general election.

IT IS A  important week for the Prime Minister. Tomorrow John Key: Portrait of A Prime Minister will appear in a bookshop near you. It will cost you, if you are at all interested and can afford it, about $40.

It is written by New Zealand Herald  journalist John Roughan. He is yet another journalist that John Key and the National Party have always been able to rely on to see 'the broad picture'. 

Roughan is 'a sound man' and being 'a sound man' he is a fan of the Prime Minister. He wrote in the NZ Herald a few days ago:  'In 40 years of watching New Zealand politics I have never seen a Prime Minister quite like Key.'

Apparently John Key is  not just  another frontperson for The Machine that oppresses us all. No, he is kinda magical...

It doesn't come as any surprise that Key did not have to be persuaded  to cooperate with the author in the writing of the book and he is, says Penguin (the publishers) liberally quoted throughout.

But Roughan was determined to draw definite boundaries. He says that at 'no stage' was Key  '...offered, nor did he seek, an opportunity to see the finished text or any part of it before publication.'

Roughan  claims this as a badge of honour, as evidence of his journalistic independence. If only that was so.

The blindingly obvious reason  why  Key was relaxed about this biography is because he, and his advisors, knew they had nothing to fear from Roughan.  He is no John Pilger. This book is everything that Chris Hitchen's classic demolition of Bill Clinton, No One Left To Lie To, isn't.

I don't imagine there will be any indictment of John Key as the Prime Minister of a country where 10 percent of the population own more of the country's wealth than the rest of us combined. I doubt too that Roughan will have anything to say about the fact that some 270,000 children  live in poverty. Will Roughan have anything to say about crony capitalism? I doubt it.

This is how Penguin frame the biography:

John Key’s confidence, instinct and will to win have served him well throughout his lifetime, and there are strong signs that he will serve another term as New Zealand’s Prime Minister. John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister provides new insights into what drives our Prime Minister, examining his thoughts and aspirations. John Roughan pays close attention to his rapid political rise and assesses John Key’s performance in power to date. He also describes the ease with which John Key moves on the world stage, recounting how he came to play that round of golf with President Obama, and spend a weekend at Balmoral Castle with the Royal Family.

Key says he has, so far, only read  89 pages  of his biography.

'It seems okay,' he said. As if he has anything to fear.


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