We've got a few contacts and whanau in the NZ Defence Forces, and without exception, they sing the praises of John Key. So we have no doubt that the NZ troops in Afghanistan will have got a big fillip from his "top-secret" visit there - the Herald reports:
Wearing body armour and a helmet, Prime Minister John Key has spent the past three days in war-torn Afghanistan on a top-secret visit to New Zealand troops.
"This is a dangerous place and I am asking New Zealanders to come here and represent New Zealand but in doing that, to put their own lives on the line. I am not prepared to send people to a destination I am not prepared to come to myself," Mr Key said.
Doubtless there will be howls of outrage from the left, especially our "friends" at The Standard. They of course are still pretending that ONLY National has sent combat troops to Afghanistan, but we know differently.
But anyone wondering why Key is so popular just needs to ask someone connected to the NZDF. In the lead-up to the funeral at Ohakea last week, we were told of a previous visit that Key had made to 3 Squadron for another less-pulblic funeral. We were told that the PM was genuine in his concern for the whanau of the deceased and his 3 Squadron whanau; that he wasn't time pressured, and that he had "arranged" for the media to stay away and allow people to mourn away from the glare of cameras and microphones. We know how much this was appreciated by all concerned. John Key has real mana within the NZDF.
Afghanistan is a dangerous place, and it would have been foolish to pre-publicise Key's visit there, so we'll cut him some slack on the "secret" part. Our troops are doing the "hard yards" in a very inhospitable place, and we applaud the PM's support for them.