John Key is cunning. In announcing a US ship visit he has all the hard left now distracted fighting battles from the 1980s.
For decades we’ve had ship visits from plenty of other countries, like Vietnam and China, but never from the US. Every time it is brought up the old hippies get exercised, but they never say a word about China navy sending ships here.
That is all about to change.
The last remnant of the anti-nuclear standoff has been swept aside, with approval granted for a visit by a United States warship to a New Zealand port.
Prime Minister John Key announced the destroyer USS Sampson will take part in the navy’s 75th anniversary.celebrations in November.
It will be the first US warship to dock here since the ANZUS bust up over New Zealand’s anti-nuclear legislation in the mid-1980s.
“I am 100 per cent confident it meets New Zealand’s law and that means it’s neither nuclear powered nor carries nuclear weapons,” Key said.
And this time around peace protesters from the mid-1980s are far more relaxed about the visit.
The US Navy hasn’t carried nuclear weapons on anything other than submarines for some time. And the USS Sampson is conventionally powered.
That won’t stop nutters like Martyn Martin Bradbury from organising protests and screaming blue murder about John Key selling out New Zealand to the Americans. Their rage is quite pathological and quite mad.
Shame it isn’t a carrier, those are impressive. When I was working and living in Sydney two carriers visited Sydney. One was The Constellation, and I think the other was Kittyhawk. I went to the open days and was wowed by the size of the aircraft the the relatively small deck space they have to land on. A6 Intruders and F/A 18 jets are larger than you think.