Is Kelvin Davis' election night speech the world's worst political speech?

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 18 Oct 2020, 11:06AM

Is Kelvin Davis' election night speech the world's worst political speech?

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 18 Oct 2020, 11:06AM

Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis' rhyming speech last night did not go down well, with Kiwis online describing it as "despicable", "ungracious" and "disgusting".

Speaking at the Labour election headquarters, minutes before Jacinda Ardern took the stage, Davis recited a confusing, nursery-rhyme type speech, hailing "whaea Jacinda" and slamming defeated National leader Judith Collins.

Whereas politicians usually try to stay gracious, in victory and in defeat, Davis - who will likely take up the role of deputy Prime Minister, chose to go down a slightly different route, by ridiculing his opponent.

"Then someone yelled my husband's from Samoa so 'Talofa'," Davis recited to the crowd at the party.

"Oh I'll be the leader, old Judy from the back, I've waited twenty years for this moment, I'll get us back on track," he continued.

Referring to the "blue taniwha", he credited "whaea Jacinda" for bringing the country back to light, after spending a few verses mocking the National Party's tumultuous few months and changes in leadership.

While the speech was received with applause in the house, online the reception wasn't as warm.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who last night secured another term, has hinted that, as deputy leader of the Labour Party, Kelvin Davis is likely to become deputy Prime Minister.

New Zealanders from all sides of the political spectrum criticised Davis for being "unkind" and called his poem "dopey" and "ill-advised", with "no humility, no mana".

Reaction to Davis' speech was fairly unanimous in that he forgot Ardern's request for people to "be kind" - or he just couldn't think of something that rhymed with it.

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