3 more points on the secret agenda tapes

Written By: - Date published: 1:25 pm, August 11th, 2008 - 61 comments
Categories: national, privatisation, slippery - Tags: ,

1) A secret agenda is not something that people talk about in public or when they know the information will get to the public. Therefore, the only way to expose a secret agenda with definite proof is by recording that evidence when the target does not know they are being recorded. The Police can’t just ask a drug dealer to admit their crimes, they do sting operations; just as it took a sting to reveal National’s secret agenda.

2) See John run. Run, John, run. On Tuesday, John Key was accepting the recording as legitimate before in content and as a part of politics “we are on record 24/7” he said – it was Bill English who was being hurt after all, so that was OK.  But Key’s tone changed rather quickly when a member of his faction, Lockwood Smith was caught out – suddenly what had been legit was a ‘new low’, ‘dirty tactics’. But remember, those recordings could have been made yet there would have been no story if not for the fact that the senior Nats were talking about their secret agenda. If you are a politician and you make a statement as to your party’s policy in an area for which you are responsible, the public are entitled to take that statement as official policy.

3) The significance of the Nick Smith recording seems to have been missed by most media. Smith openly admits that National uses Crosby/Textor, the notorious political strategists known for using the dirtiest tricks in the book. When Nicky Hager revealed National was using C/T in June, National refused to confirm or deny. Nats have been amitting off the record to journos that they use C/T but Smith’s comments are the first public admission by a National MP.

61 comments on “3 more points on the secret agenda tapes”

  1. vto 1

    I don’t see any proof of a secret agenda. Where is the proof?

  2. umm. senior Nats, in what they thought were off the record remarks to an ally saying they’ll ‘sort out’ Working for Families, sell Kiwibank ‘eventually’, and are swallowing dead fish to win the people’s confidence so they can get into power and do more more interesting things.

  3. “Steve” – now that the public believes that this was a set-up, any value that you can derive from the so-called “secret” tapes has been eroded. That was last week’s story – there is, as the PM would say, hand on heart, “nothing to see here; move on”.

  4. vto 4

    SP, nup.

    not proof.

    just spin.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    I just don’t get the whole Crosby Textor dead horse being relentlessly flogged here (and virtually nowhere else, I note).

    They’re basically a fairly unimaginative lot whose idea of strategy happened to fortuitously coincide with what a sizeable proportion of the Australian electorate wanted to hear at one point in history.

    Then, like a piano player who knows only one tune, they tried riffing on that at other times and in other places, generally with poor results (i.e. a loss for those that employed them).

    As Winston has found, playing the same tune over and over again and adding nothing new to your repertoire eventually drives the audience from the auditorium, hands firmly over their ears.

    To argue otherwise is to assume that the NZ electorate are stupid. And they’re not. The polls show them favouring National, yes, but most do so with a feeling of great unease which is reinforced not ameliorated by Crosby Textor’s “strategy”.

    Heaven knows National don’t deserve to win this election, because – with Crosby Textor’s encouragement – they’re treating the electorate like children at a magic show. Just keep watching that nice Mr Key and his sequinned assistants and whatever you do don’t look too closely at how they’re sawing that beneficiary in half.

    Labour, however, do deserve to lose it, because they’ve treated the electorate like a bunch of slightly backward mouth breathers who need Helen Clark and Sue Bradford et al to tell them how to wipe their noses. Not to mention witnessing behaviour from some members of that same government that makes Winston Peters look like Mother Theresa.

    When they’re run out of office and replaced with the vacuum that is National, you can seethe at Crosby Textor all you like. Go ahead – they’ll be only too happy to claim credit for a win they had little real influence upon. But you won’t be fooling anyone.

  6. r0b 6

    SP, nup. not proof. just spin.

    And, once again, if it was just spin it would never have created the impact that it has. It’s been the top political story for over a week now because it’s true, and everyone knows it’s true.

    Labour, however, do deserve to lose it, because they’ve treated the electorate like a bunch of slightly backward mouth breathers who need Helen Clark and Sue Bradford et al to tell them how to wipe their noses.

    Yeah righto Rex. Oddly enough I see it as National who think the electorate (“punters”) are a bunch of thickos that can be lied to and distracted and tricked into voting for a bunch of Hollow Men with a pretty face (“nice Mr Key”).

  7. infused 7

    “Yeah righto Rex.”

    Deny it all you want, but that is the main reason I hear for everyone voting National. They have had enough of this crap from Labour.

  8. Felix 8

    “everyone voting national”

    You should get out more.

  9. infused 9

    Maybe that’s the problem. I talk to many people everyday. Strangely enough it corresponds with the polls.

  10. vto 10

    rOb, the impact it has had is not proof. That’s a pretty weak argument.

    It has had an impact because of the naughty goings-on of previous nat govts, esp. in the 1990s. There is nervousness out there that it may happen again. Hence the impact. But it is not proof that there is a secret agenda. As I said in another post, not even a stupid person would be so stupid to repeat the mistake of implementing policies that were not heavily disclosed during the election given recent history.

    Why do you think labour having been salivating and frantically spinning (another term for lying imo)? It is obvious that nervousness is out there and labour are exploiting it to the max.

    But there is no secret agenda that I can see.

    And certainly there has been no proof provided.

  11. higherstandard 11

    I still can’t see what everyone is so excited about ?

  12. coge 12

    “Secret agenda” is tabloid-speak, just like Helen Clark & her “Unspoken agenda” Even your PM wants us to move on.

    BTW, I smell karma Steve, can you?

  13. r0b 13

    rOb, the impact it has had is not proof. That’s a pretty weak argument.

    And simply denying what everyone else accepts is a pretty weak argument too. The proof is the words from their own mouths, the media / public reaction, and National’s own reaction to the reaction. It’s the big story because everyone knows it’s true.

    As I said in another post, not even a stupid person would be so stupid to repeat the mistake of implementing policies that were not heavily disclosed during the election given recent history.

    Prior to the incoming Labour administration of 1999 (which kept its word) the last several incoming administrations did exactly that. Politicians repeat their mistakes ad infinitum. It’s sweet that you have so much faith in them, but really, I see no sign that National have learned the lesson.

    But there is no secret agenda that I can see.

    You’re in a pretty small minority!

  14. vto 14

    rOb “The proof is the words from their own mouths, the media / public reaction, and National’s own reaction to the reaction.”

    The “words from their own mouths” did not prove a secret agenda. That is the spin. I’m sure you have read about the detail and what the situation was. Not going into it.

    Re the media / public/ nats own reactions – due to the public nervousness as already stated.

    rOb, I’m sure you are intelligent enough to make up your own mind on things without relying on the public/media/reactions. Eh? Trial by media? Surely that’s not you.

    I remain completely unconvinced that there is a secret agenda and that these tapes prove there is unless someone comes up with something new.

    btw, wasn’t bolger forced into the superann manouevre in 1990 due to the porkies told and actioned by the previous labour govt?

  15. higherstandard 15

    r0b

    Your support of Labour is touching ?

    What exactly are you referring to in relation to …”the incoming Labour administration of 1999 (which kept its word)”

    And what exactly do you think it is that everyone know’s is true.

    Just interested.

  16. r0b 16

    rOb, I’m sure you are intelligent enough to make up your own mind on things without relying on the public/media/reactions. Eh? Trial by media? Surely that’s not you.

    Ahh vto you flatter me. We are all influenced by the information that flows around us. But on this occasion no I didn’t need the taped words and the media reaction to convince me that National had a secret agenda if elected. I believed that already.

    What exactly are you referring to in relation to ‘the incoming Labour administration of 1999 (which kept its word)’

    Only that. In its 1999 election campaign Labour set out its policies (including tax increases) clearly (remember the first pledge card?). In office it delivered. It was the first new government in a long time that did what it said it would do. A breath of fresh air.

    And what exactly do you think it is that everyone know’s is true.

    National is swallowing dead rats to make itself electable. It doesn’t like or believe in the things it has publicly signed up for – nuclear free NZ, Working for Families, Kiwi Bank, interest free student loans, etc etc. In their heart of hearts they would like to renege on all of these promises and implement a hard right social and economic agenda. If elected there is a high probability that they will find excuses to renege on at least some of them (e.g. if English rolls Key, he will claim he is not bound by Key’s promises). In short, National has a secret agenda behind the Labour Lite one that they have been forced to adopt, and they will implement as much of it as they can. As shown, for example, by the taped statements of their senior MPs. There, I think that about covers it.

  17. forgetaboutthelastone 17

    More evidence of a secret agenda:

    Nats releasing health policy while attempting to keep the secret that GP’s fees would go up under a national government.

    Nats plans to privatise ACC turning up in Australia.

    And since we only found about these things through the Nats mistakes – you’ve got to wonder – are there any other things that they don’t want us to know about?

    We may never have known about these things until the Nats got into government.

  18. Scribe 18

    Steve,

    On Tuesday, John Key was accepting the recording as legitimate before in content and as a part of politics “we are on record 24/7″ he said – it was Bill English who was being hurt after all, so that was OK. But Key’s tone changed rather quickly when a member of his faction, Lockwood Smith was caught out – suddenly what had been legit was a ‘new low’, ‘dirty tactics’.

    How about the fact the second recording saw the episode turn from a potentially isolated incident to a calculated effort by someone to infiltrate a gathering of party faithful? That might have ticked him off a bit.

    The significance of the Nick Smith recording seems to have been missed by most media. Smith openly admits that National uses Crosby/Textor, the notorious political strategists known for using the dirtiest tricks in the book.

    Yawn. Admitting something that everyone already knew was true is not news.

    And as far as how much impact this has had in the “real world”, I think we should wait for the first polls before we start saying “no one cares” or “this is HUGE”.

  19. r0b 19

    Yawn. Admitting something that everyone already knew was true is not news.

    So why does National continue to refuse to officially acknowledge it? I must admit I’m really puzzled by that – it seems so – pointless.

    And as far as how much impact this has had in the “real world’, I think we should wait for the first polls before we start saying “no one cares’ or “this is HUGE’.

    Although I think it will have had an impact on public perceptions I’m not expecting anything spectacular in the polls. I’m not a great believer in their accuracy or their relevance this far out in any case.

  20. sdm 20

    [Tane: And deleted for smearing us, without evidence, yet again.]

  21. Pascal's bookie 21

    What do the Nat’s mean by ‘sorting out’ WfF?

    Don’t know, it’s a secret.

    What do the Nat’s mean by “no asset sales in the first term’? Do they mean they are happy with the gov’t owning Kiwirail, a bank, some coal mines, and the electricity generators and that they will not be getting them ready for sale?

    Don’t know, it’s a secret.

    When John Key explains his ‘no asset sale policy’ by saying that we have a growth problem not a debt problem, and that he plans to increase debt as we head into a recession, what do you think that means down the line? Will the amount of debt that gets run up be kept to 22 percent? What happens to that number when revenue falls and taxes are cut? If a second term Nat gov’t faced an increasing debt would they raise taxes or sell assets? What’s the PLAN?

    Don’t know, it’s a secret.

    What was Locky on about when he was talking about discussion papers around things we’d like to do? What things? What sort of discussion papers? The sort that say: “examine the benefits of policy x”? Don’t know, it’s a secret.

    This isn’t spin vto, these are the actual questions raised by what was said by National front benchers.

    The spin is saying, “I could have chosen my words better”, without explaining what you meant. All Bill did was contradict himself.

    The spin is saying ‘No asset sales in our first term’, when your long term, but unpopular, agenda is asset sales.

    The spin is telling the ‘punters’ that National is Labour plus, when you actually disagree with all the labour rats you have had to swallow, and plan to get rid of them, or just wreck them in other ways.

    Glad you think that’s lying.

  22. r0b 22

    This is getting silly now.

    Is it?

    I think people have listened to the tapes and made their own judgement

    I certainly hope so. They’ve had a fair opportunity to do that now, thanks to all the publicity National has created which has kept the story alive.

    Here at the standard, a blog which has links to the beehive

    Frequently asserted, never proved, this kind of accusation does tend to make The Standard authors cross… See the about:

    About

    Its not a secret agenda.

    Here’s an exercise for you. Google the following: national 2008 “secret agenda” site:nz

    Whats going on here is that I think the collective public have woken up from its flirtation with labour and are going home.

    9 years is a pretty long flirtation!

    We are a fundamentally centre-right country.

    Bollocks. Apart from the current flirtation (a real one this time) with nice Mr Key the right hasn’t had a solid majority powerbase in this country for decades.

  23. higherstandard 23

    rob

    Nope I don’t remember the 1999 pledge card would appreciate a link if you’ve got one. I certainly don’t remember such things as the removal of the privy council, buying back rail, declaring AIA a strategic asset being discussed during previous elections – although I except I could be wrong.

    I certainly agree with you on the other issue that National are agreeing to things to make themselves more electable, however I don’t think they would go anywhere things such as Nuclear Free policy or Kiwibank … there’s just no point.

    As for the hard right agenda I think you’re letting your bias delude you …. in NZ there is as much chance of that as a hard left agenda from Labour, in my view any secret agenda that there may be in place for National or Labour would be incredibly bland as both parties are too busy appealing to everyone. Sadly I think this bodes poorly for the transformation that NZ needs to undergo to start moving forward more rapidly.

  24. r0b 24

    Nope I don’t remember the 1999 pledge card would appreciate a link if you’ve got one.

    Not a lot of online content for that election, but here’s a reference in a February 2002 speech.

    Labour’s little pre-election pledge card was much ridiculed by the National Party and by ACT especially, because of what it pledged. It stated: “We will deliver”, and it listed a set of commitments from Helen Clark and the Labour Party that a Labour-led Government would enact and do. If members look at those seven simple points, they will see that all of them are either in place or are well on the way towards that.

    I certainly don’t remember such things as the removal of the privy council, buying back rail, declaring AIA a strategic asset being discussed during previous election

    There is a difference between not being able to predict everything you will do in the future (Labour) and saying that you will do one thing with the full secret intention of doing the opposite (National).

    As for the hard right agenda I think you’re letting your bias delude you

    In 1983 I would have agreed with you. Since then, and post Hollow Men, clearly anything can happen.

  25. higherstandard 25

    r0b

    You’re off on a tangent again what is it you think the Nat’s have a full secret intention of doing ?

    The biggies from the publics perspective

    Kiwibank – they are stymied on this as Key’s on record saying no SOE sales in the first term and regardless I don’t think they’ll bother going there it wouldn’t be worth enough and the public seem to like having it.

    Nuclear Free – no political party will change NZ policy without putting it to the public.

    WFF – Won’t be changed initially – but they’d be mad if they didn’t just roll this back into the tax system proper at a later date.

    Rail – they’ve stymied themselves and can’t touch it during their first term.

    Not sure what else would be that exciting to have a ‘full secret intention of doing’ unless you subscribe to Eve’s ramblings.

  26. Rex Widerstrom 26

    r0b:

    Yeah righto Rex. Oddly enough I see it as National who think the electorate (‘punters’) are a bunch of thickos that can be lied to and distracted and tricked into voting for a bunch of Hollow Men with a pretty face (‘nice Mr Key’).

    Go back and read my original comment and you’ll see I agree with you on that point. Of course they’re not all “Hollow Men” any more than the Labour Party are all “Feminazis” but I’ve come to expect hyperbole from both sides of the spectrum.

    But they’re certainly following Crosby Textor’s “small target, don’t be any more honest with the electorate than you have to” strategy when I’d much prefer they were upfront about their beliefs – a call I note has been made on this blog more than once.

    But one of the points I was making – which you seem to have overlooked – is that that’s what the majority of people would prefer and they’re being made very uneasy by the National’s following of Crosby Textor’s strategy. Whether or National are trying to hide a dead rat down their trousers they look as though they are, and that’s bad politics.

    So either all this demonising of Crosby Textor by the left means their grasp of strategy isn’t as good as they think it is, or it’s a cunning plan to make National think they’re onto the best thing since Karl Rove and encourage them to slavishly follow the C/T game plan.

    I could conclude by asking whether you truly detect not the slightest whiff of hubris from many in Labour and their support parties, but I suspect your answer is as predictable as a Crosby Textor strategy book.

  27. vto 27

    Still no proof of a secret agenda.

    Proof of lots of discussion about policies and what they think works, what they think the public likes and doesn’t like, and how they may be able to convince the public of their ideas.

    Sounds like politics per normal.

    Talk of taking on policies that go against their heart of hearts reminds me of…
    1. abandoning the fart tax.
    2. Cullen’s tax cuts.
    3. etc.

    ffs, how on earth do parties come up with policy and change their policy over the years to suit the electorate if they don’t discuss it? And are there not internal factions in all parties over policy direction?

    The salivating over this is drying up and all that’s left is a bit of dry goop at the corners of people’s mouths.

  28. forgetaboutthelastone 28

    vto –

    So what, in your opinion, would constitute proof of a secret agenda?

  29. Felix 29

    hs:

    “they are stymied on this as Key’s on record saying no SOE sales ”

    In case you’ve been living under a bridge for the last few years, Key is on record promising all sorts of things and turning around and promising he opposite.

  30. vto 30

    getyourselfanother –

    words like “we will sell kiwibank in the first term”

    or similar.

  31. r0b 31

    You’re off on a tangent again what is it you think the Nat’s have a full secret intention of doing ?

    No need to repeat myself from above HS, you’ve repeated some examples for me:

    they are stymied on this
    Won’t be changed initially
    they’ve stymied themselves

    How exactly do you “stymie yourself” without an intention that is being stymied?

    Still no proof of a secret agenda.

    Valiant rearguard vto, but this battle is long over, why try to fight it? Your side lost. The taped conversations would never had the resonance that they obviously have had unless they were so utterly and depressingly plausible.

    National’s underhand methods in the last election and much of their secret agenda that time round (“gone by lunchtime”), as exposed in part in The Hollow Men, arguably cost them the last election. They had to sacrifice their figurehead, poor old Don, but they found a new one, nice Mr Key. But the front bench remains the same, straight out of the 90’s. The political minders, Crosby and Textor, remain the same, straight out of the disgusting 2005 campaign. And they are still playing a C&T strategy, lying to the public, and trying to conceal their agenda. Only this time, in part, they got caught.

    The alternative, that vto and HS would have me believe, is that National have abandoned all their traditional policies and objectives, and now genuinely believe in “communism by stealth” (Working for Families), “irresponsible” “unaffordable” “fight to the bitter end” policies (interest free student loans) and all the rest. Well I’d like to believe it too folks I really really would, but I’m too busy dodging a squadron of flying pigs right now.

  32. higherstandard 32

    Felix

    The Prime Minister is also on record as saying something regarding

    ” ….it would be against against human nature…”

    Political pragmatism meant she had to go against what she had said previously. I would suggest that the Mats having stated that they won’t sell off and SOEs during the first term means that they won’t, if they do they’ll be taken to task.

    In terms of Key promising one thing and then turning around and promising the opposite I can’t say anything springs to mind did you have something in particular that’s perturbed you.

    PS I’m all for you suggestion of a debate between Randal and D4J …. televised with the worm and Paul Holmes as the adjudicator …. it would be far more entertaining than the leaders debates that we’ll have to put up with.

  33. vto 33

    rOb, had to giggle. Well put. “Why fight it?” Because I couldn’t be bothered with it when it first happenned but its gone on so long and seems like such a beat up I couldn’t resist throwing my true 2c in.

    Your description of the faults of the nats have some minor merit here and there. But what you forget, conveniently, is that so does labour. Both are covered in warts.

    Don did some dumb things. It will be interesting to see, over the longer term, how smart or silly Key is. Only problem is – this game of politics they indulge in has such a direct effect on people’s welfare etc.

    btw, still no proof. wouldn’t stand a shit show in court.

  34. higherstandard 34

    r0b

    I know you seem to be taken with spinning the same line over and over but pray tell.

    What lies have been told to the public by the Nats ?

    And r0b we know you wouldn’t like to believe it at all being entrenched rather firmly in one camp.

  35. randal 35

    when have they ever told the truth?

  36. higherstandard 36

    r0b

    I’m a bit concerned that you’ve tagged the current government’s agenda as communism by stealth – if that’s the case we certainly do need to remove them forthwith

  37. r0b 37

    The Prime Minister is also on record as saying something regarding

    I see that quote around sometimes. I’ll look into the context one day, but not tonight.

    In terms of Key promising one thing and then turning around and promising the opposite

    Do please check out this link. But in any case promising the opposite is precisely what a secret agenda isn’t. A secret agenda is doing the opposite.

    Both are covered in warts.

    Some, I put it to you, more than others.

    btw, still no proof. wouldn’t stand a shit show in court.

    There’s no proof that the sun will come up in the morning either. And as for court, the only relevant one is the court of public opinion. I guess we get to find out in about 3 months.

    Anyway folks, always fun to chat, but must wander off now.

  38. r0b 38

    I’m a bit concerned that you’ve tagged the current government’s agenda as communism by stealth

    Not me that was Key on WfF. The programme that he now supports completely. (Only, Bill wants to “sort it out”). Hmmmm.

    Byee

  39. Matthew Pilott 39

    (Only, Bill wants to “sort it out’). Hmmmm.

    Coz that nice Mr Key didn’t get it, just like ol’ Brashie. Must be tough, being a pretty face and knowing the real brains are laughing behind your back.

    vto:

    Talk of taking on policies that go against their heart of hearts reminds me of
    1. abandoning the fart tax.
    2. Cullen’s tax cuts.
    3. etc.

    1 – still pushing for an ETS, even though MMP is making it difficult
    2 – been over this repeatedly, search ‘keynseian’ on this blog and you’ll get it explained to you by about six different people
    3 – that was a short list

  40. higherstandard 40

    r0b

    “There’s no proof that the sun will come up in the morning either.”

    Ahhhhh, might just be me but I think there’s plenty of proof that the sun will come up in the morning .. it concerns me that someone educating the young and impressionable would make such a comment.

    “And as for court, the only relevant one is the court of public opinion. I guess we get to find out in about 3 months.”

    Aye, no argument from me on that.

  41. forgetaboutthelastone 41

    ‘words like “we will sell kiwibank in the first term’ or similar.’

    how about

    “we would love to see wages drop”

    ?

  42. r0b 42

    Ahhhhh, might just be me but I think there’s plenty of proof that the sun will come up in the morning ..

    Well HS, it turns out that notions of proof and causality are rather slippery things to pin down. Outside of closed formal systems like mathematics, or godlike omniscience, you can pretty much go on denying that anything is “proved” ad infinitum. As for example the tobacco companies denied for decades that there was a proven link between smoking and cancer risk, or vto above is claiming that there is no proof of National’s secret agenda.

    it concerns me that someone educating the young and impressionable would make such a comment.

    Good thing I don’t do that then isn’t it.

    And Rex, I missed your comment in the rush today: I could conclude by asking whether you truly detect not the slightest whiff of hubris from many in Labour and their support parties . Ahh – hubris? With our poll ratings? Truly, truly, truly, in my experience, hubris is the last thing on any Labour Party member’s mind at the moment. I suspect you will find the whiff of hubris rather stronger around the National Party campfire these days…

  43. sdm 43

    [lprent: Obviously you have had a brain disfunction because you usually aren’t this thick.

    Try reading the About and Policy during your one week ban. We do not appreciate having people smearing us on our own site. Do that at Whales if you want to become a sewer rat.

    BTW: I’m a active NZLP member (and proud of it), but I’m also one of the few amongst the writers and moderators who is.]

  44. higherstandard 44

    r0b

    Sad to disappoint you but there is no proof (viz A rigorous, compelling argument) of the Nat’s secret agenda.

    There is plenty of proof that the sun will come up in the morning.

    Sorry for the education comment I must have confused you with someone else on the back of a comment somewhere.

  45. r0b 45

    Sad to disappoint you but there is no proof (viz A rigorous, compelling argument) of the Nat’s secret agenda.

    No just their ideology, their history, and their words.

    There is plenty of proof that the sun will come up in the morning.

    I’ll resist the temptation!

    Sorry for the education comment I must have confused you with someone else on the back of a comment somewhere.

    I’m not offended. Yay educators I say. But I have made no claims about my profession or personal details (other than that I’m a grumpy old cyclist), and they aren’t relevant to discussions on a blog.

  46. vto 46

    I’ll pay 100 to 1 that the sun will come up in the morning. Any takers?

    how scary is this captcha?… mountains eastbound

  47. Quoth the Raven 47

    vto – words like “we will sell kiwibank in the first term’ How is this different then what we were discussing in the other thread. Key says about WfF “we intend making no change to it.’ English says a few days later: “So later on we’re gonna have to have a bit of a sort out. Yeah, we’re gonna do something, but we can’t do it now.’ I know public consultation or mandate like you were saying. But it’s still campaigning on one thing and planning another. Do really expect National to seek a public mandate on everything they do in office which they haven’t campaigned on? They have told the public very little about what they’ll do anyway. And how are they going to do it? Are we going to have refernda on every bit of legislation? Public consultation from the party that wants to gut the RMA? To me I’ve seen nothing from National yet that would convince that there will be more public consultation or mandate seeking if they get elected. If they want to seek a public mandate why don’t they release more policy now and let the public give them a mandate in the polls?

  48. Show me the science, the stats and hard data and also the proof that they have a secret agenda, this “Politics of Fear” that those who support Aunty Helen is up their with Karl Rove and the republicans.

  49. forgetaboutthelastone 49

    “Show me the science, the stats and hard data and also the proof that they have a secret agenda.”

    Show me the science, the stats and hard data and also the proof that they _don’t_ have a secret agenda.

  50. RedLogix 50

    vto

    I’ll pay 100 to 1 that the sun will come up in the morning. Any takers?

    That is a probability, not a proof.

    Brett,

    Consider.

    1. The Nats have spent years spewing all the manic vitriol they could muster opposing various Labour policies, policies they now claim to support.

    2. The ONLY Labour policies they have committed to support are the apparently popular ones like KiwiBank, WfF and KiwiSaver.

    3. Other less popular ones like the EFA and the repeal of S59, they have either committed to repeal or been entirely ambivalent about.

    4. It is fair to conclude that National is being selective about which Labour policies it supports, entirely on the basis of what is popular with the electorate or not, and not on what they actually believe.

    5. What policy we do have is either consistent with their long-term neo-liberal positions, or so intentionally vague and undetailed as to be effectively meaningless.

    6. A lack of detail in a declared position or policy creates the space creates wriggle room; the essential ‘plausible deniability’ that allows a party to convey one impression before an election, and then implement something with an entirely different effect afterwards.

    7. Internal evidence that when they are only talking among themselves, the Nats say distinctly different things that are consistent with their historic hard-right positions, than what they tell the public. (ie the Hollow Men and the recordings from this last weekend.)

    Now all this is rather tedious to type out all the time, so we use a bit of jargon and short-hand it down to ‘secret agenda’.

  51. Pascal's bookie 51

    So what, in your opinion, would constitute proof of a secret agenda?

    words like “we will sell kiwibank in the first term’

    That’s just silly. You don’t need to have the details of the agenda to prove that it exists.

    What if they said something like:

    “There are lot’s of things that we have to promise not to change, but we intend to change those things as soon as it’s politically possible. Once we are on the gov’t benches of course, what’s politically possible is different from what we can talk about now because we will be controlling the agenda. There are, also, other things we have planned that we know won’t be popular, so we will not be talking about them before the election.”

    That’s explicit proof of an unspecified hidden agenda. It’s also pretty close to what they said on the tapes.

  52. Anita 52

    hs,

    Nope I don’t remember the 1999 pledge card would appreciate a link if you’ve got one. I certainly don’t remember such things as the removal of the privy council

    Labour included the abolition of appeal to the Privy Council in its 2002 manifesto, then passed the legislation after winning that election.

    I’m a bit rushed so you’ll need to put up with references from Wikipedia and the Republicans.

  53. GPT 53

    Your analogy with a police sting is ridiculous. Any evidence obtained by police involving obvious entrapment would be inadmissible. Any “evidence” as flimsy as that which you try to claim is proof of some sort of secret agenda wouldn’t even make a jury.

  54. forgetaboutthelastone 54

    I’d say there is more evidence that they do than they don’t. They don’t have a secret agenda coz john key sez so?!

    As i read somewhere recently – it used to be that Labour had to convince us that National _do_ have a secret agenda. Now, thanks to the tapes – National need to convince us that they _don’t_ have a secret agenda.

    So come on guys – please provide proof that National _do not_ have a secret agenda.

  55. Quoth the Raven 55

    What happened to all the righties who were hoping that National has a secret hard right agenda?

  56. Savage 56

    Lets all stop kidding ourselves. National want to sell state assets. The majority of the public don’t like this. Who can blame them? Where is that guy Max Bradford? I’d like to find him and shake him by the throat.

    One company owns the power station. One company owns the lines. One company sells us the power – truly inspirational.

    Telecom – Hmmm yeah. Its suspicious how there are no synonyms for the word monopoly.

    Why are National doing some kind of bizarre drag act to convince the public that they aren’t for asset sales? Be proud of being big-business brown-nosing tories and reclaim your rightful place.

  57. Razorlight 57

    “So come on guys – please provide proof that National _do not_ have a secret agenda.”

    The only way to prove that negative is elect them and wait and see.

    How else can anyone prove that.

    Can you prove Labour will not legalise dwarf throwing if they are voted back in. Of course you can’t prove this.

  58. forgetaboutthelastone 58

    “elect them and wait and see.”

    wow – Is that all you’ve got? Good luck with that, you’re gonna need it.

    “How else can anyone prove that[?]”

    The same way you prove any other point – provide evidence. See above.

  59. Jasper 59

    I took this from Wikipedia. Looks like very little has changed from 2005 election, and look at what Labour has delivered, and how much nothing has changed from National.

    I’ve got the 1999 Pledge Card around (thank goodness for being a hoarder) so I will find the campaign platform on that and post those points up seeing as some dissidents here tend to have a thing about the 1999 card.

    Labour Party
    The Labour Party platform included:

    student loans: writing off interest if the recipient stays in New Zealand – achieved

    health: a pledge of extra public-hospital operations – achieved

    Treaty of Waitangi: accepting no lodgements for Treaty-claims after September 1, 2008 – close out date is going to be achieved
    increasing rates-rebates

    a “KiwiSaver” program, aimed at getting first homeowners into their own homes – achieved

    sponsoring 5,000 new apprenticeships – achieved

    increasing community police-force numbers by 250. – not achieved due to the “natural attrition” being far higher than the number of recruits going through Police College. The rate is 8 new members for every 10 that leave.

    a “Working for Families” tax-relief/benefit programme aimed at lower to middle-income families – achieved, with concessions.

    National Party

    The National Party campaigned on the platform of

    taxation: lowering income-tax rates – still the same

    removing references to the Treaty of Waitangi from existing legislation; and resolving all treaty claims amicably by 2010 – haven’t heard on this yet

    making student-loan repayments and $5000 of pre-school childcare costs tax-deductable – haven’t heard on this yet, but sounds like the lump sum reward is a variation of this.

    “reworking” the New Zealand Resource Management Act to make development easier – still the same

    “removing excessive bureaucracy” in the education system, in particular by overhauling the NCEA, and by re-introducing “bulk funding” of schools – still the same

    abolishing early parole for violent criminals. (As of 2005 most prisoners became eligible for parole after serving one-third of their sentence) – most prisoners are now only eligible for Parole after serving 75% of their sentence

    a return to “market rents” for state-housing tenants, including a system of paying housing-subsidies (for the poorest tenants) directly to private landlords – most likely to happen

    part public/private ownership of the public health system – still the same

    a “work-for-the-dole” scheme – still the same

    abolishing the Maori electorates – still the same, as evidenced by JK’s speech at Waitangi.

  60. r0b 60

    Thanks Jasper!

  61. Jasper 61

    Nau Mai r0b.

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  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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