Back in July of 2009 I wrote a post about John Key’s promises of a plan to stop job losses. At the time I pointed out his trail of empty and unfulfilled promises and predicted that the big plan to stop job losses would be one of them.
Unfortunately I was right. There was no plan and there has been no halt to job losses.
Today Key is promising a secret plan to stop whaling. As much as I’d like to see this happen I don’t think it will.
In fact I think this is like all his other plentiful promises: designed to get a quick PR fix on a hot-button topic and then to disappear by the next news cycle leaving only a residual non-specific good feeling about that nice man Mr Key.
I also doubt very much whether the headlines in a few weeks, or months, will be “Key fails to stop whaling” in fact I think that as soon as the whaling season is over the issue will be off the radar and there will be more hollow promises being made to create more sugar-rush headlines.
Back in June of 2008 I wrote a post about National’s use of these “hit and run” tactics. At the time I figured the technique was one that could only work in opposition. Surely, I thought, the inherent accountability that comes with government would render such a PR trick useless.
It turns out I misjudged the immense power of the memory hole.
The whole thing is starting to feel like that scene from the Wizard of Oz. You know, the one where the curtain is pulled open to reveal the wizard is nothing but a wee fella desperately working the levers of a big smoke and mirrors machine.
The only difference is that every time the curtain is drawn closed again the media get right back to pretending the Wizard still exists.
If only a sane reality was just a heel-tap away.