Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 20th, 2013 - 116 comments
Categories: crosby textor, david cunliffe, election 2014, hone harawira, john key, Metiria Turei, news, spin - Tags: royal tour
It’s looking like Team John Key is trying every PR media spin trick in the book to try to gain an advantage for the election next year. Does he have anything to offer Kiwis other than bash, spin and photos ops?
Show us the policies, John!
Ones that will make life easier for struggling Kiwis, improve the job prospects and social security for the least well-off, decrease the inequality gap, and deliver the conditions that will lead to thriving sustainable businesses and public services: ones that benefit all Kiwis.
Earlier this year questions arose about Key’s intentions to arrange a royal tour to NZ next year.
John Key says he can’t say whether a visit will take place, or who might be coming, but it doesn’t matter that it is an election year.
He says established protocols are in place and a visit would not happen close to a general election without support from both the main parties.
There is also a possibility that Mr Key will travel to the United States next year to meet with President Barack Obama.
Mr Key says there are established protocols about royal visits in election year, and he expects they would be followed.
He says if a visit was to happen around an election, bipartisan support for it would be sought.
“But if it happens well and truly outside of the election period – that sort of three months is broadly how I’d define it – then there’s nothing new about that taking place, and we wouldn’t need bipartisan support.
“For every election of the last five elections, we have had royal visitors to New Zealand.”
So, does that mean there won’t be an election before the end of August (given the royal tour may take a month)? There’s no mention of Key getting bi-partisan support for the tour, so it must mean an election after August.
I’m struggling to find evidence to fully support Key’s last claim. Was there a royal visit during the 2008 election year? Can’t see any mention of it here.
There was a royal visit during the election year of 2005 (July),
when Prince William represented the Queen of New Zealand at VE and VJ Day commemorations in 2005, as part of an 11-day tour …
– election September 2005. Then
as part of her global tour for her Golden Jubilee, Elizabeth was in New Zealand from 22 to 27 February 2002.
Election was July 2002. There was a royal visit in 1995, the year before the 1996 election.
So, it does look like Key isn’t doing that much different from some years when there was a Labour-led government.
However, I shouldn’t have had to look for this evidence. Why are the MSM articles today just reporting the planned visit in a celebratory way, without looking at the protocols and precedents around royal visits in election year, and Key’s motives for organising the visit?
Further, it surely is part of Key’s on-going MO of promoting himself and his government via photo ops, rather than through honest electioneering around clear and explicit policies.
And there was this challenge from David Cunliffe in early November at the last Labour Party conference.
Mr Cunliffe at his first Labour conference speech said Mr Key would want to invite the Royal couple to New Zealand “to bring its cutest member here for a long series of photo ops in an election year.”
He challenged Mr Key to take them to McGehan Close, a poor street in Auckland used by Mr Key in Opposition to illustrate what he described as a growing underclass in New Zealand.
Remember McGehan Close, John? And how 5 years later his electioneering poster child had left for Aussie after being bullied at school, taken in to CYFs care, and failed by key’s government?
So now, in 20013-4, Key cares more about being seen with royals than those continuing to struggle to survive under his watch. Meanwhile Hone has been out amongst those struggling on low incomes.
Opposition MPs do photo ops that are strongly related to their core policies and values.
And this month Metira Turei, coming from a low income background, has been talking about her commitment to improve the lot of people in poverty today in NZ.
To have every citizen be deeply free – our institutions, economic, political, social need to be purposefully built to deliver equality.
Just making little tweaks in a band aid response to inequality is not good enough for our kids.
So I, Metiria, grown up, accept responsibility for delivering a genuinely transformed world for our children, not for perpetuating one that embeds inequality.
What do Key’s photo ops show about his values this time round?