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National’s new strategy

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, July 22nd, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: greens, labour, national - Tags:

So National have begun a new strategy in their battle for power in 2014.  And it’s just blatant attack politics, no substance necessary.

They intend that if they’re becoming less popular, they’ll take Labour and the Greens down with them.  Vicious attacks that lower the tone – and show that they’re getting desperate already.

So we had John Key in the House in response to a serious question about National failing to improve exports or stop a housing bubble replying “Labour’s a joke”.  And when the Greens question Treaty “deals”, they drew stinging lines about being a disgrace.

The epitome was yesterday at the conference with a speaker going on and on about the Greens propping up Labour to continue in govt for 9 years, and we can expect more of that…  despite the Greens never even having confidence & supply…  and National being propped up by someone under investigation by the police and a hairpiece.

It’s nasty, it’s negative, it will do our whole political system no good, but it seems it’s the only strategy National can come up with as the tide of public opinion sweeps from them along with asset sales.

57 comments on “National’s new strategy”

  1. UpandComer 1

    Lol at anyone accusing National of ‘lowering tone’ they’d have to go pretty darn far to get to the tone of the Labour party. They’d also have to go pretty far to get to the Greens, spending taxpayers money hiring people to hand out political fliers. I think they are just sick of bad faith, lies, hypocrisy, & arrogance from the Labour party that still doesn’t get that they were wrong. National would have to go all the way to the level of their own version of the Electoral Finance Act to hit that particular tone. Cheers.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1


    • Georgecom 1.2

      So all the rhetoric about having a ‘higher standard’ of conduct was simply BS and political rhetoric huh. In other words, you agree that Keys big talk and sanctimonious bleatings about the previous government were just empty words. There are no ‘higher standards’, no points of principle, just what Key can get away with and what will get him re-elected.

    • ropata 1.3

      Well, upanddumber, that certainly raised the tone.

      I guess a good shitfight is more entertaining than a functioning democracy

    • fender 1.4

      You don’t need to end every (ridiculous) comment you make with “cheers” UpandComer.

      It’s obvious you are drinking heavily, and I’d be happy to share in a toast with you if I had not had to spend the weekend listening to the redneck comments coming from your beloved National party conference being held in the appropriate gambling den that sums them up perfectly.

    • Dr Terry 1.5

      Say what nasty things you can about Labour/Greens, they are not traitors to their country, they do not descend to the levels of unadulterated evil.Let’s not mince words any more.

      • Dr Terry 1.5.1

        I meant to add, this is no “new” depth for National, it is old methods being “renewed” but more vile than ever before.

      • Dr Terry 1.5.2

        Maybe my words are too strong and I withdraw “traitorous” and “evil”. I simply want to ensure that people “get my drift”. This entire matter stirs such strong emotions.

    • Tracey 1.6

      Actually they’re as bad as each other, I love how Nat supporters have had a complete memory fade from 2002 to pre election 2008.

  2. Leopold 2

    Very bad tactics, especially when you’re the governing party. By attacking the opposition parties directly and by name just helps remind people that they do have an alternative

  3. UpandComer 3

    National do have a higher standard of conduct.

    They have demonstrated this in myriad ways.

    The most salient I can think of is the transparency around parliamentary services. That was/is unique to this government.

    They have a speaker now who doesn’t make it their job in the house to bait the opposition and lubricate the mendaciousness of all the Parekura Horomias and Annette Kings of this world.

    John Key has upheld a higher standard for his Ministers – John Banks may be an exception I will agree with you there.

    They got rid of the electoral finance act even though it would have completely ruined Labour in opposition.

    They’ve depoliticized the public service, changing it from the atmosphere where if you slept with a national voter, you got fired. If you whistle-blew, you got fired. If you expressed an opinion against govt policy or the precious Minister, you got fired. If you were a well functioning, excellent service like Plunkett, that didn’t hold with Helen, you got disbanded. If you were the Labour party president, you got attached to three separate public boards, and you didn’t get fired. If you were Taito Phillip Field found guilty of actual corruption, you always got apologised for.

    You won’t see the nats president flying to the UN to dig dirt on Shearer.

    And @ Georgecom, note that the point of my post was that National would have to go very very low indeed to be at the level of Labour and the Greens. They can regress, and still be superior.

    The Greens have no credibility anymore with their taxpayer funded ‘citizens’ referendum. They also don’t have credibility on Maori issues given that their white MP’s are more Maori then Maori try-hards. Actual Maori laugh at the Greens.

    You don’t like it in your little bubbles, but these are all truths. Cheers.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      You don’t like it in your little bubbles, but these are all truths.

      No, they’re all lies.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      National do have a higher standard of conduct.

      They reward mates with handouts and nice positions better than Labour. Does that count? Anyone want a job in Westpac management?

      • UpandComer 3.2.1

        See Mike Williams attached to three separate lucrative boards while or very close to his being the Labour party President.

        See the Madeline Setchell affair.

        I’ll admit that National has appointed different people to Labour. I’ll also note they found a job for Micheal Cullen of all people, sorry, Sir Micheal Cullen.

        • Colonial Viper

          UAC: The Tories have access to a large number of corporate/banking boards. That’s because National is the party representing big corporate capital. But you know that.

          See Mike Williams attached to three separate lucrative boards while or very close to his being the Labour party President.

          You made this shit up and then didn’t attach anything.

          • UpandComer

            Ah well here’s just a few that came after like a few seconds of searching of stuff Mr Williams has been appointed too.

            Mr Williams is/was a board member of:

            1. The NZTA (NZ Transport Agency Board)
            2. Auckland Regional Transport Authority
            3. Rail agency Ontrack
            4. Genesis Energy and
            5. The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.


            That was a story from July 2008, when I believe he was still or had just been the Labour party president.

            Those are just the ones that were public. The Sunday News in 2009 showed he was appointed to a 100 thousand dollar a year job with the anti-P stellar trust, although the link has expired. Don’t worry about this one, it’s fine for him to have wanted to combat P, notwithstanding concerns about his parties approach to it as a public health as opposed to public order matter.

            But I think that those 5 appointments are pretty interesting aren’t they? Guess not.

            • Colonial Viper

              Lucrative boards?

              You gotta be kidding me.

              Not one of those public Boards pays like a Westpac board seat does.

              You’re a liar and a con artist. WTF publication is “The Sunday News” anyway?

              Covering for John Key and his bankster cronies. Get a life.

              • alwyn

                What on earth would the payments made to Westpac board members have to do with this discussion?
                Perhaps you could explain who on the Westpac Board was appointed by the New Zealand government? At a casual glance I can’t see any New Zealanders who are on the Board, much less any appointed by the NZ government.

              • UpandComer

                Lol one of your own posts attacks Jenny Shipley as the current board head member at Genesis for earning $100k per year on the board.


                Mike Williams wasn’t the head, but he would have been earning at least $50k on that board. That was just one of five boards that we actually know about.

                Note that the NZTA is notorious for having the highest paid Chief executive in NZ institutions as you point out in one of your own posts.

                Transport and Energy are the most lucrative board memberships – Mike got 4 out of 5. My god – ‘five’ separate boards – all remunerated boards, all the most remunerated industries bar one.

                What was an acting party president of the government, doing on five different important boards for which he had no expertise, getting paid on my best guest at least $250k?

                Is that rampant cronyism or is that just, well, what you say it is. Five separate boards. I might give up honesty and principle and become the Labour party president at this rate. I could do a better job then your current one. I wouldn’t mind being on five boards.

                • Bunji

                  You talk utter shite.

                  Your claim of him having no expertise borders on slander (check out his business record), and you pick numbers out of the air for what he was paid. You have no idea whether they were lucrative or not.

                  (Btw I’m not sure who you’re talking to with “one of your own posts” – that post was by James Henderson, and criticises Shipley for not scrutinising closely enough the expenses of Genesis’ boss – on $1.2million/year. CV doesn’t directly attack Shipley’s pay in his/her comments either – just asks how she has the time to be on 12 boards. I’m not sure why you’re presuming cv/james is Labour in the “your” current president either)

                • David

                  “I could do a better job than your present one”. Love people who, left largely to their own devices (though given a platform), spontaneously destroy their own credibility with delusional, fatuous statements like this one.

        • David

          and a job for Katherine Rich: how sanctimonious! Plenty others out there too (though few as clear a conflict of interest as that nasty one: please, comma, defend it!!): I’d pull your head in on this one mate.

    • Dr Terry 3.3

      UpandComer. Maybe all this will ease your own conscience – you may even manage to convince yourself! “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time” (attr. to Abraham Lincoln). The situation is perilously close to that last phrase.

      • UpandComer 3.3.1

        Great quote, apply it to the other side of the argument and it’s spot on.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.4

      “John Key has upheld a higher standard for his Ministers – John Banks may be an exception I will agree with you there.”

      What went on the ACC head office? The PM doesn’t seem to care, and he is just taking his Minister’s word for it, he isn’t interested in finding out himself, so other people laid complaints and he’ll act only if they find anything. He himself just doesn’t seemt to care.

      He didn’t care when Richard Worth was using his status as a minister to tout his private business in India. Nothing to worry about there. What was he finally sacked for? Key wouldn’t say. He only said what he wasn’t sacked for, which is odd.

      And Bennett, how is that privacy complaint going? It’s a pretty open and shut case if you look at the act. But it seems to be held up in the office of the Human rights review tribunal. Brian Neeson is doing a great job there, well suited to the appointment.

      Speaking of appointments, this govt seems pretty lax about following the process there. My favorite was when Brownlee just picked a bunch of lackies and decided they deserved more money that the regs allowed, so bumped it up a bit saying they wouldn’t be able to get anyone for the usual fees. Did he try? Did he fuck; he didn’t even ask.

      And the Chief exec at Foreign Affairs, he was treated well by the Minister, who apparently has all bucks stop at the door to his office.

      • UpandComer 3.4.1

        I don’t think anyone knows what went on at ACC. I don’t like Boag – we can agree on that, silly woman.

        Worth got stood down in the end, as he should have been – the idiot.

        Pansy Wong shouldn’t have been sacked.

        I have some sympathy with Bennett. The woman in question got all kinds of taxpayer dollars and Bennet provided the context to what she released. I admit there is a case Bennett breached privacy – will be interesting to see what happens there however.

        I have to admit I’m not sure what Brownlee appointments you’re referring to. If it was related to Christchurch, maybe he was responding to the pressure from Clayton Cosgrove to ‘hurry up and do something’. But I can’t give an informed opinion like that. Given it’s Gerry, you’re probably right.

        I also am not sure what happened with foreign affairs, although I suspect whatever it was didn’t have a show on Winston’s tenure.

        • Pascal's bookie

          What did Boag have to do with what went on in ACC? She isn’t an official and Key isn’t responsible for her. Though I agree that she is a piece of work.

          What we do know is that there were leaks, some of them political. An email sent to Collins was leaked in order to discredit a complainant about other privacy breaches. Key doesn’tseem to care about how that leak occured.

          Worth wasn’t stood down for misusing his status as Minister in India. he was stood down sometime later and driven from parliament. We still do not know why. We do not know what he did to cause Key to lose confidence in him. That’s bad because we don’t know if anything further should have been done. There was no transparency there. I’m not saying it was a coverup, but we cannot be at all sure. I certainly can’t think of any reason that we shouldn’t be told why an elected MP should have been driven from the house.

          Bennet released misleading and partial info illegally. She invented a category of’ implied consent’ that goes counter to the whole principle of the act. She basically said that if you get political as a citizen, watch out. You might have sympathy for that, but consider the precedent.

          Some people like to say that they feel they are being taxed rather more than they feel they should be. Should a future Minister of revenue be free to release all their tax details along with how much the crown has spent on the education and health of their family?

          Give the amount of time that has passed, I suspect that the Minister has actually already settled this matter either (whether or not taxpayers paid, I won’t guess). If so, that’s all well and good, but the matter of Key’s standards for his ministers remains. That was a serious and deliberate breach of the privacy act for political gain. Fucking outragious quite frankly.

          Overpaying cronies doesn’t speed things up, it’s just overpaying cronies. Blaming it on the opposition is just weird.

          And you missed the MFAT story? It was quite the to do. Why should anyone think you are in a position to compare this government to the last, if you aren’t paying attention to what this one is doing?

      • georgecom 3.4.2

        Lets drop the name Pansy Wong in here somewhere.

        Lets also add to it Keys decisive action to get rid of Wong.

        Oh, whoops, can’t.

        No higher standards, just what Key can get away with.

        • mike e

          Geogecom Shipley and Wongs husband were involved as well.
          Wongs husband colluded to also defraud a New Zealand hovercraft maker as well.

    • xtasy 3.5

      This qualifies as a good entrant to the Guiness Book of Records – for best joke ever made!

    • xtasy 3.6

      “They’ve depoliticized the public service, changing it from the atmosphere where if you slept with a national voter, you got fired. If you whistle-blew, you got fired. If you expressed an opinion against govt policy or the precious Minister, you got fired. If you were a well functioning, excellent service like Plunkett, that didn’t hold with Helen, you got disbanded. If you were the Labour party president, you got attached to three separate public boards, and you didn’t get fired. If you were Taito Phillip Field found guilty of actual corruption, you always got apologised for.”

      Strange that, looking at all recent appointments for CEO positions in health and other departments or ministries, also for the Health and Disability Commissioner, Social Welfare Board appointees, ACC and so forth.

      I am afraid you are very blind on one eye, or are wearing very prominent blinkers 24/7.

      • UpandComer 3.6.1

        What’s wrong with Anthony Hill (Health and disability)

        What’s wrong with the social welfare board? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10806251 are they all acting or former national party presidents? I guess they aren’t all former beneficiaries or Sue Bradford, so naturally they must have no sympathy with people. They also consider the money in the 40 billion dollar welfare sector – so naturally they must be part of the great right wing conspiracy?

        Nick smiths ACC board seemed pretty good – i.e. the 6 year head of the Commerce Commission http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4882471/ACC-announces-board-appointments

        Are you referring to Jon Judge, Murray Hilder etc? I’m not sure if what they did constitutes cronyism, given they acted against the interests of the govt…

        Ah bah. Time for bed finally I think. Good luck Mr Argentina and company, with all your facts and theories.

        • Colonial Viper

          Argentina got fucked by the IMF and the rest of the banksters. Countries always do well when they shake themselves loose of the bankster mob.

        • David

          I think Bob Browne on the motorways commission in the 90s was the Nat’s best crony appointment: know much about that one, comma?

    • Murray Olsen 3.7

      Key sends out party political material all the time using taxpayer funds. Some people I know open the envelopes to fill them with something relatively heavy and send them back with “not at this address.” Is that ethical use of funding, U&C? Or what about the blue wall around the convention at pokies central? What are they scared of?

    • Tracey 3.8

      I notice you didnt release the stats in relation to their conduct and the OIA????

    • Tracey 3.9

      “actual maori”? Are you going to tell us next that some of your best friends are maori and they hate the greens?

  4. Carol 4

    John Key, January 2011:


    He also said he had made it reasonably clear that he did not want to revert to being Opposition leader.

    “I don’t think it suits me as a person. I’m not a negative person and a lot of Opposition is negative.”

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      Is this a threat or a promise? (Or just maybe a little fib?)

      • Carol 4.1.1

        All of that. He’s often been negative in the House – seems to come quite easily to him…. so partly a fib. I was looking for his original comment about the “nasty party” during last election, and for his/Nats criticisms of Labour’s negativity, but mostly all I got was links to the s3wer & to the crustaceous one.

  5. infused 5

    This didn’t work last time guys… you really don’t learn.

  6. Populuxe1 6

    With Labour’s Tory-Lite wing in charge of the party, I really don’t think they need any help in covering themselves in ordure – anything National says is unlikely to make them look worse than basically admitting that they have no intention of stopping National from selling electricity generation and telecoms.

    • Ben Clark 6.1

      Labour “have no intention of stopping National from selling electricity generation and telecoms”?

      Seriously? Hundreds of hours collecting tens of thousands of signatures and an entire election campaign fought on the premise of stopping asset sales obviously means nothing.

      You’re just referring to Trotter’s complete misrepresentation of Parker’s speech again I presume. The speech was outlining what would be barred from foreign ownership. Would they bar foreign-owned Contact Energy shares to be sold to other foreign owners / would they bar Vodafone from buying Telstra.

      Labour are doing everything in their power to stop the sales. Like the Greens they can’t guarantee they’ll be able to afford to buy them back after National’s emptied the piggy-bank with tax-cuts for the rich. But that’s a very different story from agreeing with the sale, unless you buy Blinglish’s line…

      • alex 6.1.1

        Most people in Labour have been doing an excellent job on the petition. Others have been undermining it.

      • Populuxe1 6.1.2

        Ben, I am quite capable of reading a speech without having it interpreted for me by a fossil like Chris Trotter.

        Labour published a closed list of assets that we believe ought to be run in the New Zealand interest because they have monopoly characteristics – assets such as electricity line networks, water and airports.
        The list excludes telecommunications and electricity generation
        What we need to do instead is save more.

        It is unequivocal – there is no possibility of misinterpretation. Pull your head out of your arse.

        • QoT

          You really have to love the cognitive dissonance involved in saying “electricity line networks ought to be run in the New Zealand interest. Generating the electricity that runs on said networks? Not so much.”

      • UpandComer 6.1.3

        You might have, you might even believe what you say. But your seniors were quite happy to do it before. Your younger seniors don’t actually care, they just want to get back in. The Davids can’t say they’ll buy them back even though all the agony suggests it should be an easy decision. You could stop the sales maybe if you just said you will confiscate them, why don’t you suggest strongly to your wonderful seniors that they do so?

        • Colonial Viper


          Thanks for pointing out the problems of a centre-right neoliberal Labour Party.

          Now please tell us something new.

          • ropata

            up.and.dumber i agree that sales of public assets are immoral.
            you ought to join the lab/green campaign to stop it.
            stop living in the past.
            anger leads to hatred, and hatred leads to the dark side.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.4

        Like the Greens they can’t guarantee they’ll be able to afford to buy them back after National’s emptied the piggy-bank with tax-cuts for the rich.

        Only because they’re either too scared to do what needs to be done or they still believe in the neo-liberal paradigm that they installed three decades ago despite the fact that all the evidence shows that it doesn’t work. The silly thing about those points is that if you did say you would do what needs to be done is that Labour would probably get back in in a landslide victory.

  7. Dr Terry 7

    Populuxe1. I fear you might just be right. I am more interested in what the Greens will have to say.

  8. PunditX 8

    No problem Ben Clark. Reverse the tax cuts..

  9. I am still really concerned as to what price our policy decisions are going to have to pay for Coalition with the Greens.
    The Greens appear still to be holding the whip hand – the MSM still think so too.
    Shearer, stand up now please.

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