web analytics

A hard place

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, August 10th, 2008 - 13 comments
Categories: Media, same old national, spin - Tags:

Kudos to Crosby Textor for doing such a good job of changing the secret agenda debate to the issue of who taped the conversations (although whoever came up with the absurd idea of taking photos of John’s rubbish should probably be put on leave until the election is over) but they have a harder job ahead of them now the news has broken that there are more recordings out there.

It has been clear for some time that the Nats are playing a small target/brand Key/Labour plus* campaign game but they may have to rethink that now as every time they put out a “policy” document, write a speech or even release a basic media statement they are going to be doing so without knowing if there is something on a tape out there that contradicts what they say and, if so, whether it will be released.

Obviously the way to deal with this would be to pull the entire caucus together and find out exactly what they said at the cocktail party but to do that successfully the Nats would need a tight and collaborative caucus that felt safe admitting their errors openly and I don’t think they have that. Especially after the humiliating example that was made of Bill. Can you, for example, imagine Murray McCully or Gerry Brownlee fessing up to their colleagues that they mouthed off to a total stranger about using front groups to smear Labour politicians or their desire to flick off energy SOEs? And even if they did would they be trusted by their party to have told the whole story?

So how do they ensure they can campaign without setting themselves up for more secret agenda falls? I’ve thought long and hard about that and I don’t think they can without either coming clean with detailed policy (which they can’t afford to do politically but should for the sake of democracy) or by knowing everything that was recorded and working their spin around it. That means finding the guy/s that did it and explains why they are going to such great lengths to do so. Unless they do I expect we’ll see National’s PR machine being throttled back. And given that machine has been used to continually mislead the electorate, that may not be a bad thing at all.

*It was illuminating to hear Bill use the phrase “Labour Plus” as it seems very much the kind of cynical catchy shorthand C/T would use for the strategy they’re running.

13 comments on “A hard place ”

  1. deemac 1

    Chris Laidlaw did his bit for the Nats on radio NZ this morning (Sunday), reading out a daft email comparing the taping to the Watergate buggers and referring to “stolen emails” as another example of dirty tricks. If you keep repeating “stolen emails” often enough, no doubt it seeps into peoples’ minds that that’s what happened. And of course the Watergate conspirators had no intention of making any recordings available to the public.

  2. outofbed 2

    What I want to know is did the people in the foyer of the Michael Fowler Centre know they were being filmed and are they pleased that the video is being scoured over ?
    Strange that one secret recording is used to find evidence of another. Is it me or is that slightly hypocritical ?

  3. ghostwhowalks 3

    The people going into the cocktail party arent all that interesting.

    Its when they are leaving…. and with whom.

    Interesting in that nationals stasi wannabes can ‘view’ the tapes , but I doubt if the privacy laws allow them to publicise the person they maybe interested in ( who may be a grandson of some long forgotten NP cabinet minister).
    Since they dont allready connect the face with a name they would depend on wider public or party recognition
    .

    Thats flies slap bang into privacy laws.
    Wonder if the Tory media will be so outraged by underhand tactics as they were last week.

    Thats if they dont get 40 names for a pic !!
    I dont think they have really thought this all out

  4. coge 4

    What happened to Steve P’s alledged 10K evil tory reward, a rich fabrication I’d suggest. Pretty consistant with the whole affair. Some people seem very keen to protect the identity of the covert intruder. Karma does have the habit of biting ones arse.

  5. lprent 5

    coge: I believe that SP said it was a rumor – ie unsubstantiated. That puts it in much the same level than some of the stuff I’ve seen from the nats this last week.

    1. it was a young Nat
    2. no it wasn’t – person was too ‘hip’
    3. it was young labour
    4. it was labour
    5. young labour got ejected from the conference (it didn’t)
    6. no-one ever protested at the labour congress
    – except those anti-EFA people..
    7. it was an enemy of the nats (ok that one I’d guess was correct)

    etc etc

    As far as i can can tell almost all of these are all rumors, however they have all bee said by senior Nat’s publicly this week. It is amazing what a flurry of chaotic activity can happen when Nat’s are honest (and recorded).

    Talking about that, what happened to the famed ‘security tapes’ that would identify the taper? They must have been able to have found those and identified the bod by now. Or should I class their existence as another rumor.

    I saw in another blog that they’d heard that the security cams weren’t running. I suppose someone thought that seeing who was talking to whom might seem a bit too honest as well.

  6. coge 6

    Iprent, I guess when rumours start flying the story has captured peoples interest. Like you, I’m curious & keen to learn the facts.
    Rumours are best put to rest.

  7. lprent 7

    coge: As far as I can tell so far, the only facts are…

    One or more people got into the cocktail party at the start of the Nat’s conference – probably as an invited guest or they paid their $130 tab. They were wearing something that recorded at least some conversations.

    From what I’ve heard from the news media and the recordings, they talked to some senior National politicians about where they saw policy directions going.

    Legally if they were a participant in the conversations (ie not eavesdropping), then there is unlikely to be any legal remedy available to the Nat’s or the politicians, and no criminal charges could be laid.

    We don’t know if all of the taped conversations have been released yet.

    We also don’t know the identity of the taper(s). However bearing in mind the furor over the revelations about Nat’s private policy ideas, I’d suggest that the taper(s) keep his/her heads down.

    We now know that some senior Nat’s ‘personal’ policy preferences go beyond those expressed in public. That is something that was speculated on, and frequently avoided or denied.

    We also know that they have quite derogatory ways of describing voters. That was some rather interesting choices of words and phrases, essentially talking about voters as if they were dumb animals under training.

  8. coge 8

    Iprent, I agree with parts of you summary. Just to clear things up,
    who you are refering to when you say “we”. I take it is not the royal “we”! Cheers.

  9. lprent 9

    🙂 Yes, as in ‘we’ – the public. I’ve probably just sparked yet another conspiracy theory.

    The impact of all of this? That will be interesting to see, but the nett effect to date has been for people to see the Nat’s on a confused defensive. It hasn’t been an edifying experience. Most of what was actually said wasn’t new, it was obviously the direction of the Nat’s thrust.

    However what it will have done is to remove the blinkers that some people had that they could just change governments and expect few changes in direction. That will hurt national in the soft vote. No amount of smiling will get around that.

    captcha: girl Emperior

  10. Scribe 10

    Coge: What happened to Steve P’s alledged 10K evil tory reward, a rich fabrication I’d suggest.

    lprent: I believe that SP said it was a rumor – ie unsubstantiated.

    I see the post — http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2707 — now talks about it being a rumour, but I’m not sure that was how it was presented initially. I seem to recall it was presented as fact, because I went searching for a website reporting the story and didn’t find it.

    I may be wrong, but I will let Steve clear that up. I’d be disappointed if he just changed the original post to cover his derriere (without acknowleding it at least).

  11. r0b 11

    No, it hasn’t changed. It was originally reported as rumour.

  12. lprent 12

    Scribe: It said that it was a rumor when I saw it in the scheduled release queue.

    If it hadn’t then I’d have been the first asking where the link was.

    Besides the comments section would have been full of comments asking for the link, proof, whatever. There isn’t. Read the comments section.

    captcha: No subtarget

  13. Scribe 13

    rOb/lprent,

    Thanks for clearing that up.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Fast-tracked Northland water project will accelerate economic recovery
    The Government has welcomed the decision to approve a new water storage reservoir in Northland, the first of a number of infrastructure projects earmarked for a speedy consenting process that aims to accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19.  The Matawii Water Storage Reservoir will provide drinking water for Kaikohe, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago