Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, November 14th, 2015 - 51 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, making shit up, Media, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: flag referendum
It is interesting that as this regime gets older the criticisms of the left, as has been painstakingly recorded in the Standard, are becoming more self evident.
This is a government of spin with the goal of privatising state assets, further attacking already marginalised workers rights and lessening environmental protection and enhancement all for the sake of corporate profit.
To achieve these goals it is willing to sacrifice other core tenets of the conservative world view. It is now much more multi cultural and until this week more respectful of women than it used to be. Although it appears that old habits die hard and Key’s display this week must have Crosby Textor scratching its collective head talk of dead cats notwithstanding.
And two recent examples show how it is completely obsessed with the handling of the PR related to issues rather than the issues themselves.
The first one relates to the flag process. The handling of the feedback from the consultation was done in a way that hid negative comments. From Matt Nippert at the Herald:
Nearly a third of public submissions to the Government’s flag consideration panel, all of them critical of the process and supporting the current ensign, were ignored in official reports and advertisements purporting to show public opinion.
Labour Party MP Trevor Mallard said the revelation showed the process was suffering from “total spin” and the panel was pushing to change the flag in breach of its mandate to be neutral.
The Herald Insights data website analysed the word cloud of submissions on standfor.co.nz and came to the conclusion that the word cloud had been manually filtered to remove negative terms. Again from the Herald:
While the official wordcloud put out by the panel claimed “equality” was the most prominent reply in submissions seeking to determine what New Zealand “stands for”, the analysis showed this was mentioned only 1272 times.
In comparison, 8315 submissions called for the current flag to be kept, and 5026 claimed the $26 million process was a waste of money. Neither of these opinions were recorded in the flag panel wordcloud.
Manipulation of data to remove opposing views by a Government entity charged with managing a referendum should not happen.
The second example involves the rewriting of a report by the Education Review Office to minimise political damage for the Minister. It was on the Herald website but has since mysteriously disappeared. Bomber posted this from the original article:
A damning report by an education watchdog about babies and toddlers was partially rewritten after high-level meetings about its “risk” to the Government.
Documents show Ministry of Education advisers also tried to mitigate the impact of the Education Review Office report by planting good-news stories to balance negative media coverage, and carefully crafting a communications “narrative” during “war-room” meetings before its release.
Politicians and sector experts say the behaviour is concerning, and have raised queries about potential political interference in an independent body, plus a lack of transparency at the agencies.
Idiot Savant posted this further passage from the article.
Its imminent release sparked a flurry of activity at the ministry, including meetings with ERO and internal “war rooms” about risks, after which a message was sent by a communications manager saying the report was being rewritten – one day before its intended release – to “put the onus of responsibility more firmly on providers”.
Sources say the ministry wanted the report “reframed” as it was seen as a threat to the Government and could have potentially embarrassed the minister, Hekia Parata.
Why has the article been removed? Was pressure bought to bear? Surely the conduct of the Ministry of Education is a valid matter to be reported on.
Both examples confirm what should be already apparent. This Government is more interested in PR and spin than in achieving good.