As Irish predicted, the Nats continued their desperate smear campaign today with the revelation that David Cunliffe doesn’t actually have a qualification he never actually claimed to have. Honestly, you couldn’t make this shit up.
The irony is that this latest desperate spin came at the same time as Mathew Hooton’s kamikaze smear was proved to be fraudulent by timesheets showing Cunliffe worked on the Fonterra merger (before it was called Fonterra).
Just on the Hooton interview I’d recommend that all readers post a complaint to Radio New Zealand about this. Their complaints form is here, the radio broadcasting standards are here (PDF), and the BSA guide to the complaint process is here. I’d suggest that standard five (accuracy) and standard six (fairness) are the best grounds for complaint. You’ll need to list the date, time, and name of the programme (Monday 23rd September, 11:06am, Nine to Noon).
To be fair, Katherine Ryan gave her best shot at an immediate remedy before Hooton shouted her down however as a broadcaster they have a responsibility to avoid these situations. Not having Hooton on air would be about the only way to do so for sure.
But back to the Nat’s dirty tricks machine. To his credit Felix Marwick asked the nats about whether they were doing opposition research on Cunliffe today. Their answer?
Acting Prime Minister Bill English denies National has any involvement in the checking up on the New Lynn MPs background.
That’s right. Labour has a new leader who is already polling high enough to knock the government out of play and they’re not really interested in figuring out who he is at all. Not even a quick google. Either National’s dark arts team have got lazy to the point of total negligence or English is lying through his teeth. I think we all know which is the most plausible scenario.
As an aside, John Key’s Chief Press Sec, Kevin Taylor, stepped back into a more strategic role a few months ago. The word at the time was his new role included acting as a liaison for Crosby Textor contractors. If that’s true, National should be asking for their money back.