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UK papers seize on Key's Beckham quip

If the Prime Minister John Key was hoping his "thick as batsh*t" David Beckham comment wouldn't make news in the footballer's home country, he's out of luck.

Multiple UK newspapers have seized on the quip, guaranteeing it will come to the footballer's attention.

During a visit to St Hilda’s Collegiate in Dunedin on Friday, Mr Key told pupils that Mr Beckham has spent 45 minutes with his son Max during the footballer's 2008 visit to Auckland.

Mr Key said Beckham was handsome and a really nice guy to spend that long with his son, but was also "thick as batsh*t," according to a Radio NZ report.

UK paper the Mirror put Mr Key's comments to Mr Beckham's agent, who refused to comment.

The Mirror, springing to the footballer's defence, quotes an un-named person close to Mr Beckham, who offers: "For someone supposedly thick, David has done pretty well to have become one of the world’s most successful footballers and to be part of the bid to bring the Olympics to London. That doesn’t sound like someone thick to me.”

The paper goes on to list Mr Beckham's various sporting and financial achievements.

"Stinging", "Cruel"
The Sun was less charitable, relating Mr Key's "stinging" and "cruel" remarks, then following it with a "greatest hits" of less-than-intelligent quotes by Mr Beckham.

Mr Key's comments also made ITV ("David Beckham called 'thick' by New Zealand Prime Minister") along with countless football blogs.
 
Aussie papers jump in
Across the Tasman, the story has been picked up by Melbourne's Herald Sun.

"He played in the country, for a fee admittedly, but does he deserve this?," the Aussie paper asks - before going on to have sport with Mr Beckham's past comments itself.

The Herald Sun's sister paper, the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, is leading its sports section with the same story, as is Brisbane's Courier Mail and the Canberra Times.

A second Murdoch paper, The Australian, has also highlighted the story under the headline "New Zealand PM busted for bagging Beckham."

Mr Key was asked about his comment at a Devonport event.

"I have nothing to say," the Herald quotes him. "It was a personal comment and I am not going to engage in talking about something that someone thought they heard me say."

Comments and questions
51

Beckham is smart.

He must do all sorts of trigonometry in his head before he bends a free kick.

But it must happen at a subconscious level, like when a bird plots a migration half way around the world with pin-point accuracy.

As well as being able to kick, Beckham is a smart footballer.

He's a midfield general who knows where to distribute the ball.

Beckham made a mint from his LA Galaxy visit. Auckland Council was left $1.8 million out of pocket. Who's thick?

Penny for the PM's thoughts on Anton Oliver

Seems like the PM made a - how would you say it? - *stupid* comment

Beckham is an intelligent player who's achieved a lot in business too.

Maybe the PM called him thick because his voice sounds a bit, well, thick.

If so, superficial.

beckham cockney were all smart

...but you don't know where to put an apostrophe

Ye's, I do.

How thick is John Keys?

Not as thick as you as his name is spelt Key, not Keys!

How thick is John Key's what? I'd prefer not to imagine.

Maybe John Key forgot who Beckham really is considering his continual amnesia lately.

Anyone else concerned that our PM makes comments like that?
He's a total embarrassment.

who gives a kate moss about knobbly knee's comments anyway?

If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all...oh wait, we're talking about a politician.

The pm is just jealous because the all whites will never have a player as good as Beckham in there team.

Is that you Becks? You spelt 'there' wrong.

A gutless remark from a spineless PM and incredibly rude given the time Beckham spent with his son. Painfully typical of a narrow minded Kiwi to slag off an overseas celebrity while happily staying silent on plenty of thick as a plank All Blacks. No point in being smart arsed about some thick headed locals when it could cost you a few votes, eh John?

Thanks Prime Minister - and what were you hoping to achieve for New Zealand in making these comments.

I am guessing that Becks will come back with a comment that he is surprised that John Key can recall his visit as he seems to forget a lot of rather more important and recent ministerial discussions with NZ Spy Agencies !

But maybe Becks is bright enough to know that he shouldn't respond to these comments and make a private protest by excluding all NZ products from Victoria's shopping trips. Thanks for nothing PM.

Beckham probably is thick compared to Key. But how many footballers are intelligent, especially English ones. All of the following people have been involved in criminal proceedings or disgusting scandals - Terry, Cole, Ferdinand, Rooney, Beckham, Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Crouch, Ashley Young, Lampard amongst others.

Smiling assassin stabs you in the back after you spend time with his son... what does that tell you about the mans character

Key is no statesman, just a rough and tumble trader with a better than average batting result.

Well, it doesn't seem a particularly smart comment from Key. Wonder what he was trying to achieve, if anything. Probably just name dropping to a bunch of school children, "i'm a big deal, I meet all these people"

But Beck's comment on wanting to have his son christened but didn't know what religion is one many people would fall into. I suppose he should have used the word denomination. But many people would consider, say, Baptists, Anglicans, Catholics and the like different religions.

Everyone knows that it's pigsh*t that is thick. Batsh*t is crazy. How embarrassing.

John Key, being the PM, could have been more tactful and polite, and just said ".. as thick as bat turd". The language he used, is unbecoming of a statesman.

Had, John Key, been real statesman-like, he woulda couched his sentiments in a more genteel fashion. As in:

"David Beckham's intellectual acuity has the impressive dimensional breadth of the chiroptera's fecal matter".

Man, hadde made that utterance, the Brit. gutter press woulda be fawning all over him.

Wonder how John donKey is going to live this one down and how he is going to be able to face all those celebs he loves to hang around with.

By Monday he won't remember saying it.

Geez, has the PM lost his marbles ? How embarassing ! Has he had a close look lately at some of his Cabinet Ministers and the other NZ politicians in the Parliament ?Pot kettle black !

You can only lose what you've got and Key is deficient in the ball department.

Beckham and balls go hand in hand.

This is such a dumb thing to say you really have to question John Key's judgement. What on earth was he trying to do? Impress a bunch of school kids?

Why pick on Beckham? It's not his fault he's a nice guy, extremely popular throughout the world , and a very talented footballer who has made tons of money.

Just wait til the English tabloids get going on this. They are probably planning a series on NZ sportsmen (or politicians) who are "even thicker than batsh!t" - it's not as if there is a shortage of them, to say nothing of a few digs about the power and global importance of NZ and its Prime Minister.

As a Nat through and through and having voted for them at all bar one election (when I tactically voted for Act) I am getting pretty disillusioned with Key who just keeps putting his foot in it. Time for a change - but not interested in Joyce - way too smug - any ideas on who else would be good ?

National and Labour are the parties of the past. They have both betrayed the people they are supposed to serve and exude the arrogance, entitlement and incompetence that indicates their time is over. They haven't been able to win a majority for ages for these very reasons and will soon be minor players on the stage. Just watch.

As long as the new party or parties are non-communitarian, support freedom of thought and private property rights, do not advance the cause of totalitarianism through Hegelian dialectical incrementalism and wish to advance Western Civilisation...then you have my vote.

The media are clearly taking this out of context. What he said in full was

"Beckham's thick as batshit, and I know stupid when I see it, I have to deal with Gerry Brownlee and Murray McCully on a regular basis"

OK ,OK , so he made a slip up of a comment. Time to get back to bagging to Labour party.

Hey, at least it diverts the media away from Dotcom problem. Now all John has to do is say he can't remember saying that.

You are not thick if you are able to maintain a highly regarded and reputable global profile plus a net worth of over 200 million dollars.Key is only worth a quater of that.

Dumb ass politician makes stoooopid remark, whats news??!! The man is a complete Kate Mosser. Key that is.

must be smart the most overrated footballer who chokes under pressure and hes still made a fortune

Chokes? You are mistaken.
e.g. That pen against Greece. Hardly choking!

Why does the PM think that sort of comment is appropriate in front of a school audience? I expect a little gravitas of a PM. The role demands that does it not?
I understand that in front of scholl audiences the PM often goes for the 'jokey laddy' front.

Maybe, Key's remark was meant as a back door compliment.

"Batsh*t", afterall, is not too unlike rats' droppings. You'd need a micrometer to measure the diameter of one.

What Key is saying, is that Becks isn't "thick" at all. Inverted praise, so to speak.

Key wants to be everybody's mate. Clearly he was just trying to show a group of teenagers that he 's 'a cool dude'. Instead he has shown - again - that he is badly lacking in judgement and not nearly as clever as he obviously thinks he is. He is also an embarrassment.

Great promotion in the UK courtesy of our tourism minister... OMG

It probably is, most educated Brits thinks the same about Beckham.

Personally, I think this is nothing more than a Labour party beat-up!
Until such time as Grant Robinson can convince David Shearer that he has a friend with a video of the whole thing, and Shearer appears on Campbell Live to confirm it, there's no way this story should be given any credence.

When you're nicknamed an "assassin" in an industry full of ferociously ambitious and money hungry sharks and back stabbers take note. It seems that the NZ media didn't want to know this side of the man who would be PM and nor did they question the ethics of how he knifed the incumbent National MP for Helensville in order to be fast-tracked to the top. That was left to Nicky Hager. As usual the NZ public was fooled by appearances. How different things are a few years later.

Frankly I've never thought the hugely ambitious John Key has much between his ears except dollar signs - and an eye for the main chance. But perhaps I've been doing an essentially humble and self effacing man an injustice, and Key has single-mindedly pursued his own interests for the sheer love of this country - now unfortunately doing so very badly under his rule. Just as well his first action was to reinstate knighthoods. At least he will be able to claim his reward for sheer perseverance as soon as he passes on to greater things.

Interesting John Key not directly admitting he made the remark. Wouldn't be better to say "I can't remember making the remark" !!!!!