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Archive for June, 2008

John does a Don

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, June 30th, 2008 - 76 comments

Remember Noelle McCarthy’s 95bFM interview with Brash in which she got him to admit to knowledge of the Brethren pamphlets? Student radio has done it again. Hager’s weekend article in the Sunday Star Times detailed an ongoing advisory relationship between the National Party and political consultants Crosby Textor. But RDU’s Kate Gorgeous asked John Key back in November 2007, “Have you got […]

Hollow politics at work

Written By: - Date published: 2:14 pm, June 30th, 2008 - 22 comments

Brand Key on Waatea news: “A National government will be a lot more demanding about educational standards, a lot more demanding about under-performance in schools, a lot more demanding on failing schools” There is no ‘how we will fix things’ here, simply a statement of problems. If schools don’t perform would National cut their funding? […]

Nat response to C/T scandal right from C/T playbook

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, June 30th, 2008 - 33 comments

There’s a standard formula that Crosby/Textor has its clients use when damaging information comes out. a) refuse to engage. The most senior public response to the revelation that Brand Key has been created by exactly the same people who ran Brash’s divisive, racist campaign in 2005 has come from Key’s chief of staff. No politician […]

The cost of Crosby/Textor

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, June 30th, 2008 - 58 comments

So Crosby/Textor has been designing Brand Key from Day 1, isn’t this just what every party does? No, it isn’t – Crosby/Textor uses a particularly undemocratic, nasty form of political marketing (more on that in later posts) and the extent to which National uses Crosby/Textor is simply beyond the financial means of any other party. […]

Busted

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, June 29th, 2008 - 122 comments

Nicky Hager’s piece in today’s Sunday Star Times has confirmed what we all suspected: Crosby Textor are the creators of Brand Key. For those of you unfamiliar with CT, they’re known as the dirtiest and most driven political PR firm in the game. CT specialises in dog-whistle racism, attack politics and pretty much every aspect […]

Bait and switch

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, June 28th, 2008 - 79 comments

It strikes me there is a disconnect between what prospective National voters expect it to do in government and what it has actually promised it would do. Some examples: Tax Cuts How much larger do you expect the tax cut National will offer you will be compared to the ones Labour has announced? $5 a week? $10? […]

Geek’s view

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, June 28th, 2008 - 24 comments

On the odd occasion I have time to read outside of the confines of The Standard and its ever increasing brawl of entertaining comments. I noticed we don’t have a external reading list, and it is within the range of my writing skills, so here are my oddities for the slow weekends…. From quote of […]

March GDP figures

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, June 27th, 2008 - 37 comments

As expected, the economy contracted 0.3% in the March quarter. The drought brought activity in the agricultural sector down after a recent strong run, the housing sector continued to slow off the back of the boom, oil prices are dragging on the economy in general, and mining was down after a surge in the December […]

Misdirection

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, June 27th, 2008 - 66 comments

There’s a technique that sits at the heart of conjuring tricks called misdirection the act of drawing attention away from the trick itself. You all know how it works: the conjurer will flourish a brightly coloured handkerchief in one hand, while the trick is quietly taking place unnoticed in the other. The same thing happens […]

Roy puts Police informants at risk

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, June 27th, 2008 - 12 comments

ACT is turning to increasingly desperate attempts to win media attention. Raising Roger Douglas from the dead didn’t work (he only got 6 people to come to his latest speech). Now, Heather Roy has named a police informant in Parliament. This pathetic attempt to raise a petty scandal has put the life of the informant […]

Nandor’s valedictory

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, June 27th, 2008 - 19 comments

Great final speech by the Green MP. Good interview in the Dom here. Full speech at the Green Party website.

Key’s principled stand

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, June 27th, 2008 - 46 comments

A good cartoon by Mike Moreu this morning about Key’s confusing stance on the smacking referendum. Though of course, as a_y_b pointed out yesterday, this approach isn’t at all confusing if all you’re trying to do is to win an election by accentuating and exploiting negative perceptions of your opponent.

Standard Week: 20-27 June 2008

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 27th, 2008 - Comments Off on Standard Week: 20-27 June 2008

Three events this week epitomised the benefits of nine years of centre-left government: the continuing fall in benefit numbers, the Government’s moves to protect workers from being ripped off by labour-hire companies, and the ‘Treelord’ Treaty settlements. If the anti-Maori, anti-worker National party had won power in 2005, we would not have seen these achievements […]

Protecting ‘brand Key’

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 pm, June 26th, 2008 - 51 comments

For the first second third time, National is trying to shut down the reporting of things they feel don’t cast them in the glowing light they’d prefer. TV3 indicates that National is to make a formal complaint over the reporting of John Key’s ignorant and insulting comments in relation to the ‘peaceful’ settlement of New […]

Same thing?

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, June 26th, 2008 - 42 comments

In an attempt to cover for John Key’s ignorance of New Zealand history, National’s Gerry Brownlee has pulled out a quote from Michael Cullen that he asserts says the same thing as the Key quote. You compare: Key: “We’re not a country that’s come about as a result of civil war or where there’s been […]

More migration mythbusting

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, June 26th, 2008 - 7 comments

From Brian Fallow in The Herald on migration and immigration: …Statistics New Zealand has been comparing last year with previous peak gross outflows, allowing for changes in population size and age-structure. In unadjusted terms, permanent and long-term departures for Australia last year were just 7 per cent lower than the 1979 peak, but 20 per […]

Key denies Land Wars

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, June 26th, 2008 - 79 comments

Mr Key on NewstalkZB: “We’re not a country that’s come about as a result of civil war or where there’s been a lot of fighting internally, we’re, we’re a country which peacefully came together”. So, the numerous pre-Treaty battles, the Flagstaff War, the Land Wars, Parihaka. decades or warfare in which many tribes lost their entire territory and […]

Ministry advised against concurrent referendum/election

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, June 26th, 2008 - 44 comments

In line with Ministry of Justice advice, the Government has decided not to hold the child discipline referendum at the same time as the election. You can read the entire advice document here: Holding a referendum at the same time as the general election is not recommended because  “From 1999, we know that voters would […]

No consistency needed

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, June 26th, 2008 - 12 comments

Colin Espiner’s just posted an entry headed “National’s position on smacking confusing”. It is – but only if you’re expecting philosophical consistency. Key’s approach isn’t at all confusing if all you’re trying to do is to win an election by accentuating and exploiting negative perceptions of your opponent. For the time being, this is National’s […]

Calls for Police State ultimate admission of failure

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, June 26th, 2008 - 46 comments

Michael Laws has called for ‘draconian, central measures’ to fight gangs; he wants the army called out. He wants military force let loose on our streets to engage in combat with an undefined enemy. Where are we? Iraq? That way lies dictatorship, military rule, the end of our freedom. If we don’t want kids going […]

Leadership: What’s nice got to do with it?

Written By: - Date published: 5:03 pm, June 25th, 2008 - 18 comments

An interesting article in the Washington Post poses the question: “You thought our presidential candidates were nice guys, regular guys, guys with whom you’d like to sit down and have a beer? Guess what, lots of people are now telling me: They aren’t. But why on Earth should anyone expect them to be? In its […]

Johnny Key and the magic $500 million

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, June 25th, 2008 - 12 comments

Whenever John Key is asked to explain how he will fund some new spending or his still secret tax cuts, he says ‘we’ll cut waste/rein in spending’ and the only example he ever gives is ‘we’ll cap the core public service at 36,000′. This, he claims, will save ‘$500 million over 3 years’ or $166 […]

Cake and eat it

Written By: - Date published: 1:55 pm, June 25th, 2008 - 10 comments

I’ve noticed a new trend in the right’s spin lately (apart from their wholesale theft of campaign scripts) – the ‘have your cake and eat it’ trick. This tactic is basically a response to legislation or policy they don’t like but they know they can’t be seen to be against. So what they do is […]

Lost highway

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, June 25th, 2008 - 60 comments

Petrol is over $2.10 a litre. The price will keep rising both with the ever upward march of the price of crude and the falling NZ dollar. Already, motorists are responding. Road usage in Auckland has fallen 3%. It’s fair to believe it is falling elsewhere too. The only reasonable conclusion is that the number […]

Enlightening debate

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, June 25th, 2008 - 69 comments

In Parliament yesterday: Anderton: “Has the Minister received any reports on how many National Party members it takes to change a light bulb?” Cullen: “None. Because they like to keep us in the dark.”

Drinking Liberally – Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, June 25th, 2008 - 14 comments

You’re invited to the first Auckland Drinking Liberally event – 7.30pm next Wednesday night (2 July) at the London Bar with special guest speaker David Slack. Drinking Liberally brings together people from across the left-leaning wing of the political spectrum for discussion, debate and, well, drinking. The first Auckland event will take place from 7.30pm […]

Helen, stop critiquing polls

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, June 25th, 2008 - 318 comments

Everyone in the know is aware that Colmar Brunton is the worst polling company in New Zealand and constantly over-rates National. We also know Fairfax isn’t much better. There’s no use in going on about it. It’s not a good look. The fact is Labour is well behind National in the polls. There’s no point […]

Free Zimbabwe

Written By: - Date published: 6:36 am, June 25th, 2008 - 78 comments

There is no longer any hope the union-led Movement for Democratic Change can remove Mugabe from power peacefully. Now, his thugs are killing MDC supporters, union leaders have been arrested, and the regime is moving to break the organised labour. This is typical behaviour of a regime moving into totalitarianism the unions represent the largest […]

Bill to protect workers from labour-hire vultures

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, June 24th, 2008 - 105 comments

Labour, with the support of New Zealand First, has developed a bill based on Darien Fenton’s private members’ bill that will ensure tens of thousands of workers are no longer ripped off by ‘triangular employment’ situations, whereby their effective employer contracts out the actual employment of staff to a labour hire company. It works like […]

Neuro-Liberalism

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, June 24th, 2008 - 16 comments

George Lakoff has a new book out. You might remember him from such books as “Moral Politics” and “Don’t Think of an Elephant”. These books largely dealt with what he termed “reframing” of political metaphors – using belief structures to which voters already subscribe as supports for arguments for progressive policies. The NYT reviews his […]

How Obama reinvented campaign finance

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, June 24th, 2008 - 15 comments

Click for the full-res version. (an infographic by XPLANE)

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