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A win to Goff on points

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 pm, October 31st, 2011 - 147 comments
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Goff was the big underdog going into the debate after Key bested Clark in 2008. Goff far exceeded expectations. Got his policies out, got the best hits in, and sounded like a PM. Key was under-prepared and complacent. After an aggressive start intended to knock Goff out, Key was on the backfoot throughout.

It was no knockout blow but Goff took Key on hard. He challenged Key, kept him on a leash and explained his own policies and values with brains and soul. Goff was the focal point of the debate, with Key sidelined, as evidenced by the Facebook comments they read out which were all about him, positive and negative.

Going in expected to lose and coming out ahead on points is a big victory for Goff and Labour. They keep the momentum in the campaign with National playing catch up.

147 comments on “A win to Goff on points”

  1. Anne 1

    Not according to ‘Lady’ Claire Robinson. To my knowledge (and I’ve been following her responses on Q&A for some time) she is always negative about Labour. My impression is she has virtually no practical knowledge of… or any real understanding of the world of politics. She parrots the Nat. Party memes and is allowed to get away with it.

    Goff showed himself as being more than equal to John Key. The claim by Robinson that Key was calm and relaxed while Goff was stiff and nervous… codswallop!

    Did anyone else hear Key say ‘dinamic’- twice?

    • Blighty 1.1

      Well, Clare Robinson worked in Jenny Shipley’s office when she was PM. What do you expect?

      • Deuto 1.1.1

        Aaah – have been trying to remember why I knew her name for some time, since she became “prominent” in the “opinion sought” stakes of the last few months, particularly on Radio NZ National. But haven’t been bothered enough to google her and her history. Only managed to see bits of the debate (youngies and Haloween, menagie to feed etc) but thought that Goff came across as the more capable, experienced and honest of the two but then I am biased! While Key held it together, keep hoping he would lose it so people could really see him for what he is – as per his usual performances in Question time in Parliament. But IMO he is definitely under pressure over the last few weeks and maybe with still almost four weeks to go…………

        • logie97

          Remember, the universities are under siege now and funding is in the NACT sights. She could lose her chair at Massey if she says anything but positive towards the Right.

          She didn’t, for example, see Key go into auto pilot, when discussing disasters and his sudden change of delivery. He came under a lot of criticism over the “read speeches” on several occasions (both on sight and in the House).

          • Colonial Viper

            Remember, the universities are under siege now and funding is in the NACT sights. She could lose her chair at Massey if she says anything but positive towards the Right.

            Bloody meek collaborator.

            If the Right are threatening your position, go all out and nail them, so they can no longer do that.

      • Peter 1.1.2

        Espiner’s body language, attitude and approach also favoured the Blue Team.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      I was really annoyed by the whole Johanssen/Robinson thing. What was their role? It seemed suspiciously like they were there to tell the TV audience what to think.

    • Claire Robinson – this is the woman who thought that Home and Away was contributing to the youth drinking culture.
      There’s a well researched, superbly reasoned piece of shit.
      Wrote her off after that.

    • Hami Shearlie 1.4

      Didn’t notice the dinamic word – too busy listening for the “ekchilly” word that was in virtually every sentence. Also too busy noticing the bad make-up job from TVNZ makeup dept who must have got carried away with halloween! Brown face with bright pink ears. Still, suits his moniker “Donkey”!
      Phil was really good!

  2. dan1 2

    I couldn’t believe she was watching the same debate!

  3. Sanctuary 3

    The only thing Claire Robinson pays any attention to is her own opinion, which is unfortunate because the woman is mostly completely wrong. Instead of just giving her view on something she gives what she thinks should be her view on it – the absolute gold standard measure of an air head.

    Personally, I think they fought out a draw. But remember, Goff is miles behind in the polls and written of by the media, so a draw for him is a big win just by forcing him up on level terms with Key.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1

      Goff only had to turn up to get some benefit. He got a bit more than that. Putting that Afganistan question at the end ws an absolute bonus. How many times did Key talk about Labour’s $17B black hole- shouldn’t he be the one who has to justify his made up figures?

  4. first time caller 4

    I’m sorry…what planet are you on?? Phil was not on form at all. He appeared rattled, his make up was blotchy and he was not at all relaxed compared to Key.
    The viewer poll said it all.

  5. Someone Else 5

    It was one of those debates like the Nixon/Kennedy debates where TV really showed more than just what they said. If you watch it again, look at Key’s body language. He was rattled.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Agreed, rattled, at times. But not to a huge or uncontrolled degree. It was there though.

  6. Tigger 6

    Husband thinks Goff attacking Key made him look weak. I enjoyed it.

    Espiner and Sainsbury were useless. Only one decent panel question all night about what would you protest about (still have no idea what the fuck Key meant but then again I imagine he’s never protested anything in his life). Viewer questions were a mixed bag (pro-mining, really?).

    Very annoyed no one will take Key on about his ‘it’s my intention’ bs. Is he sending the SAS back to Afghanistan? Of course he will but now he can say ‘I didn’t intend to but…’ He was asked for a yes or no and didn’t give one.

    Also, when asking about stretching truth why didn’t Espiner bring up the Standard and Poors bs.

    Goff ended with a great line – he’s learned that selling assets is bad, Key hasn’t. Key’s final remark – that he handled the BMW issue badly, shows he’s not prepared to learn from his mistakes (got to admit you made them first).

    All in all the loser was us. Terrible format, facile questioning, non-existent chairing and a text poll that will clearly favour tories…very disappointing TVNZ.

    Runner up loser – Key’s hairpiece. Damn that thing is ugly.

    • Someone Else 6.1

      Hairpiece. ROFLOL!!!!

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      “He was asked for a yes or no and didn’t give one.”

      Goff did get him to admit that it was “unlikely” they would be sent back after they returned. Key has never said that before anywhere.

      I was disappointed (but not surprised) that the panellists didn’t pick up on hat.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.3

      Notice how Espiner suggested we ask Key what was happening to the SAS after they came home, then refused to press him when he gave an non-answer. What was the point of asking in the first place?

    • just saying 6.4

      I got a text from a friend saying she thought Key was wearing a toupee. I thought it was a bad (and greasy) comb-over.

      The debate itself left me feeling really low. Another three bloody years.

      And neither of them was remotely impressive imo, though Goff did improve over time. But I think only die-hard political junkies like me watched till the end because it was so facile and utterly boring.

    • Tarn 6.5

      Sure the SAS will be going back. Key is heavily tied up with Israel and the USA, there is no doubt he will be sending some cannon fodder to cement his allegiance.

  7. Bearded Git 7

    75 cents to text means a poll slanted to Key-Goff’s demographic can’t afford that. So 61% versus 39%, lets say 60-40, is a draw for Goff. He only has to draw to become PM cos he has better policies. Excellent result.

    • infused 7.1

      ah can’t stop laughing…

      • Tigger 7.1.1

        Actually, I was delighted when Key said he would protest in favour of ‘equality of opportunity’ (at least I think that’s what he said, his answer was so muddy I really couldn’t tell what the hell he meant). Here’s some equality stuff I want him to march with me on:
        Pay equity
        Gay marriage
        Minority representation in positions of power (including Cabinet)
        Banning youth pay rates (since it’s unequal pay for the same work)

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Key was rattled alright look in his eyes he was very nervous now he has a poor record to defend and he looked sick, if he could Im sure he would have hit Goff at times. Guyon always cutting Goff off but letting Key go on and on, as for Claire Robinson what electorate is she standing for National in?
    She is hardly neutral is she?

  9. Anne 9

    Husband thinks Goff attacking Key made him look weak. I enjoyed it.

    But that’s the role of the Opposition leader. Anyway, they were nothing compared to the vitriolic attacks on Helen Clark, but that was apparently okay by many voters. Because she was a woman?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      No. It was disgusting, and National have to own it and deal with it before they can ever claim to be a party of individual rights and freedoms.

  10. ianmac 10

    Tigger: “Runner up loser – Key’s hairpiece. Damn that thing is ugly.”
    Funny. Achsully I kept believing that I was seeing that great chap who does the youtube parodies about Key. Something about the hairstyle I think.

  11. gingercrush 11

    I thought Clark won 2 out of the three debates last election at least according to whoever the author was that did the debates last time. Now you’re changing history on us.

    I gotta say you’re not very convincing.

  12. queenstfarmer 12

    Both were well prepared, and both did fairly well. If I was being picky I would say John came across a bit too casual at times, and Phil came across a bit too uptight at times, although I don’t think Phil “attacked too much”.

    • Galeandra 12.1

      Have to agree. Sad lack of depth because of dumb format meant neither was able to sustain their case on points discussed. Goff seemed more genuine, and, dare I say it, trustworthy. At times Key looked quite insincere, though he pulled back into ‘Statesman John’ role when he remembered.Gave up at 8 pm so maybe it ended better? A 60-40 poll split seems out of whack.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      QtF I agree, and given how the media have been running Goff down these last three years, any debate where he comes out even is a big win for Labour.
      Game on.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.3

      Agree with all that. BTW- Key did as much attacking as Goff, so why pick on Goff for being too aggressive?

  13. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A win to Goff on points??????????

    • felix 13.1

      I KNOW, Brett!!!!!!

      There wasn’t even a SCOREBOARD!!!!!!!!!! How can there be POINTS????!!!!!!!

      • Brett Dale 13.1.1

        I thought it was 60-40 to Key, no knock out punch, I thought Goff tried to play the hard man, but it didnt come across well, Key worked in Stats and Hard Data, there was nothing in that debate, that would make a Key supporter vote Labour, or vice versa.

  14. Nick C 14

    “Goff was the big underdog going into the debate after Key bested Clark in 2008”

    Oh nonsense you have Clark 2 of the 3 debates at the last election stop re-writing history.

    I bet the line in 2014 will be “Jones was the big underdog going into the debate after Key bested Goff in 2011”.

    • burt 14.1

      Exactly, many argued but that was the view of the standard.

      [lprent: Bullshit. Try the search and find out who actually wrote the posts. Banned for a two weeks for attributing an opinion to a machine (and reread the policy on how I view that). ]

  15. It’s fully out there now and Key as good as acknowledged it, so Labour can run the lines til election day.

    KEY IS A LIAR !!!

    Everytime Key skews stats and data to paint a rosier then real picture, Goff can just say ‘Oh that’s just another lie to go along with the many others he’s spouted’

    It’s the one thing that will resonate most with middle NZ. Fuck the ‘dinamic’ environment, we don’t like liars and we don’t trust them.

    • thejackal 15.1

      +1 Well said pollywog. Having a habitual liar in charge is pretty dumb! I think this election will be an indication of the intelligence of New Zealander’s as much as anything else.

      • pollywog 15.1.1

        It’ll also be interesting to note just how dumbed down we as a country have become by being spoonfed political weaksauce by the MSM over the last 3 years if Key and co get in again.

      • Terry 15.1.2

        Absolutely right, the low intelligence of New Zealanders is embarrassingly on show. Even those who have a modicum of intelligence are alarmingly short on accurate discernment. Kiwis are stubbornly adamant that Key, given time (God knows how much), will and must save them mind, money, and soul. Nothing ever compared to this implicit “trust” (regardless of all the menace of this government) placed in this man Key who engages in personality assassination (right, for ever in role, “the smiling assassin”).

  16. What’s the point Goofy and Johnboywee?

    What a waste of time bitch fight!

    Comment awaiting moderation.

    Big bruv has emailed Faggot Farrar and I get 2,000,000 demerits.

    What wimps!

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      Isn’t this troll supposed to be banned until after the election? Or for life? One or t’other doesn’t bother me.

      [lprent: r0b unbanned him after the ChCh earthquake in feb and he has never quite gone over the edge since. ]

  17. tornie 17

    i thought it was about 50-50

  18. McFlock 18

    I did love Goff’s king hit at the end, about what lessons they had learnt. Key did the job interview thing of something small. Goff combined a mea culpa with a swipe at key – something along the lines of “I learned that asset sales don’t work. John, you haven’t learnt that yet”. Last words of the night, too 🙂

    • hawk 18.1

      Good point however Key has not sold any assets so how can he learn from that ?

      Goff said he has learnt from his mistakes- he sold assets, key has not sold any. So therfore can not learn from seling them.

      To me Labour didnt perform that well, they said it will be on policy and not personality. So why did Goff accuse key often of lying and it was all John Key did this, John key did that.

      If it was on policy why did he not focus on policy and not on what Key has or hasnt done. If he was going to talk about that he should have said National and not John Key. If you had a look at how many times Keys name was meationed I think you will find that reference to him dominated the debate.

      I am not a advertising expert but if you here a name/brand often enough you remember it, so if your struggling to choose go with what you know.

      • McFlock 18.1.1

        I never sold public assets, but I learnt from the 80s and 90s that selling public assets is a bad idea.
        Goff mentioned a hell of a lot more policy than Key did, but the nature of opposition is that you have to also say what you would have done differently. And I’m not sure that any publicity = good publicity.
        Key did better than I expected, but I think Goff still won hands down and finished very strongly. Which is the ideal goal of a public debate – leave on a strong note.

      • pollywog 18.1.2

        To me Labour didnt perform that well, they said it will be on policy and not personality. So why did Goff accuse key often of lying and it was all John Key did this, John key did that.

        If it was on policy why did he not focus on policy and not on what Key has or hasnt done. If he was going to talk about that he should have said National and not John Key. If you had a look at how many times Keys name was meationed I think you will find that reference to him dominated the debate.

        Opening salvo. Brave stuff.

        Call Key out as liar often enough and to his face, prove it with examples, let that marinate into the NZ publics consciousness til the next debate to sow seeds of distrust and whittle away Key’s credibility when he next trots out stats and data to back up his gov’t’s supposed exempliary record of robust economic management.

        Then start nailing him on the real stats and data with braver policies to show how effective change would be for a larger section of society with Labour in gov’t.

        Key was just trying it on pulling selective figures out of his arse and expecting not be called bullshit on it cos he’s never been yet, at least not in the full public glare of state TV and without the MSM running interference.

        If Goff had let him get away with it Key would have been off and running for the whole campaign on lies and mistruths.

  19. vto 19

    Well it sounded a lot better when I kept the pumpkin on my head. And gave everything a nice warm orangey glow.

  20. I thought the first question (or two) on Labour’s superannuation and Kiwisaver policy was a strange starting point for the ‘economy’ section and the start of the debate.

    Guyon Espiner also prefaced those questions with “A controversial question/policy for you Mr Goff …”

    I would have thought that a ‘neutral’ starting point for the debate would have been prefaced by current statistics on the economy – e.g., unemployment rate, credit downgrades, the PREFU, etc. – then asked each of them how their policies would deal with that situation.

    As it was, the debate started with what was styled as ‘controversial Labour policies’. Given that first impressions matter (not to mention providing a baptism of fire for Goff), I thought it was a very curious opening gambit from Espiner. 

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 20.1

      But not neccessarily bad for Labour- appears as though they are running the agenda. He balanced that by talking about SOE sell offs next- so I’m more charitable.

      BTW- the viewer question on the public service- what has that to do with economics? Couldn’t he have asked Key how Maritime NZ is coping now its top 2 guys have left for Australia?

      • Puddleglum 20.1.1

        Fair point.

        But it did take me by surprise.

        My eyebrows rose, more because I expected a general starting point – then burrow down into specific policies.

  21. Colonial Viper 21

    Goff did OK and held his own. Plenty of improvements possible however.

    All credit to Key. Key languages and frames very well. He is cool under hard questioning – evidence of his experience in the private sector and presenting in front of private sector boards.

    Ah yes Key really cares about the drop in incomes, the gap with Australia, about ordinary people, etc. Yeah right.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 21.1

      Maybe he frames the language well but he runs out of original lines pretty quickly. Maybe deliberate but he was starting to sound a little wooden and scripted by the end. The shorter the debate the better for him. Kept going back to the $17B black hole line when in trouble. Even Espiner seemed to be saying yeah..yeah.. whatever John.

      • McFlock 21.1.1

        He still wasn’t quite so bad as the opening address suggested he would be. Enough to maintain a level high enough to govern? Question still open.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    The biggest losers were the voters. I don’t support selling state assets, but in the case of TVNZ I might just be tempted. Get rid and give the money to Maori TV or Radio NZ or even some guy in his mum’s basement with a webcam, he couldn’t do much worse.

    Three journalists were on a “panel”. They asked one question each. They needn’t have bothered turning up. As for Claire Robinson, this is a verbatim quote from her in a recent Fairfax story:

    Key comes across as being relaxed and casual and everybody loves him.

    Yes, that’s our “independent” commentator, telling us what to think – love John Key, people!

    And here is TVNZ’s prime time coverage this week …

    Choosing the winner of Masterchef: 4 evenings, 6 hours in total.

    Choosing our Parliament: … er, that’s your lot. Nothing else all week.

    TVNZ has given up. It finally died tonight. Bury it.

  23. Bryan 23

    Pleasantly surprised to get real insight into Key’s real personna – the ACTUALLY man was not giving a subliminal message to vote ACT but showing that what makes you a good currency trader is not the ability to think quickly but to react. So brain says say something – does not find much original so throws in actually or but actually while it lines up the rote learned BS to tag along.
    Robot vs human – I hope the voters did not see the metal below the high tide fringe.
    Some real exposure for Phil Goff – a good start to make the election some sort of contest.

    • Ms M 23.1

      Bryan I would love to see a well thought out deconstruction of Key’s use of language and speech conditioning.

      • Rodel 23.1.1

        About Key’s language.
        There was a theory that George Bush mangled his linguistic presentations deliberately to get people’s attention.. e.g. “misunderestimation”

        John Keys ‘akshilys’ and ‘dinemics’ are not quite as spectacular but one wonders…given his original desire to send NZ troops to Iraq and refusal to say he won’t continue deployment of troops in Afghanistanian..(whoops, ) is he modeling himself on George?
        George got two terms remember.

  24. Graham 24

    John Key has developed into such a pragmatic opportunist, that he leaves you with the feeling he believes that as long as the narrative sounds plausible and he is saying what people want to hear, the actual truth doesn’t matter. In fact he said as much during the debate!

  25. DJL 25

    I get now what Keys opening address was about . Just a dress rehersal for tonight. Same questions, same bullshit answers. Phil Goff scored big when he talked about having courage to make the hard decisions.

  26. Jan 26

    I thought that John Key’s half truths and effective but dishonest framing make him look like a school-yard bully or an embarrassing used car salesman. The debate format rewarded doesn’t reward cogency, analysis or integrity and Key’s words hung together in shentences and akshally, he didn’t flinsh. I guess that’s what counts as leadership these days……

    The assertions such as that asset sales being ring-fenced for operational spending or pension age not needing to be raised are hard to refute in the quick-fire format even though they are deeply, embarrassingly flawed surely even by Tory standards. To paraphrase my Dad “if we start from the premise that the moon is made of cheese then JohnKey made a plausible attempt to demonstrate that you could make fondue with it”.

    Phil was decent, honest, logical and sincere but not so well served by a format that required a sound-bite stream. (IMHO)

  27. The news coverage is interesting.  TV3 in a jokey way denigrated Key.  TV one filmed two members of the audience who thought Goff had clearly won.

    IMHO this is a win for Goff.  He did not lose and the policy differentiation was clear.

    Key’s supposed superiority was not showing.  Everything is invested in him.  The ants could be in trouble … 

  28. Christian 28

    Completely agree about TVNZ, the whole thing seemed about as biased as it could get. With Claire Robinson, the continuous cutting off of Phil Goff and again that stupid bitch Claire’s biased pieces of shit coming from the ass that is her mouth. I can’t believe that someone so biased is allowed on an independent panel; I enjoyed seeing the guy from back benches on the media panel though, he had the best question in my opinion too. The audience question that was pro mining was so clearly a hand out to Key, it was like handing him a little platter. It makes me sick how nobody can just look clearly at what’s in front of them and see that the media has an agenda and that everything is constructed.

    On a normal note, TVNZ is shit lately anyway, their coverage of the All Blacks parade pushed me to the edge and I used to like them. Bring back Judy Bailey and Richard Long

  29. Rain33 29

    I was nervous for Phil Goff tonight. As it turned out I had no reason to be. Phil Goff did appear nervous initially, but as he warmed up, so too did the viewing audience if my household is anything to go by. He came across as sincere and someone more than up to the job of leadership.

    I believe something is happening to the NZ public in regards to John Key, it might be that the Emperor has no clothes.

  30. Afewknowtheturth 30

    I was out when the circus was on, but have heard from a reliable source that the whole thing was an utter sham, just as expected when I posted this ealrier:

    ‘Anyone want to bet that the key issues of the times (pardon the pun) of:

    1. Peak Oil.

    2. Collapse of fiat currencies

    3. Abrupt Climate Change.

    4. Acidification of the oceans.

    5. Population overshoot

    6. Overconsumption.

    7. Collapse of industrial agriculture (and the mass starvation that must inevitably follow).

    8. Loss of biodiversity.

    won’t be mentioned by either of them?’

    Do let me know if some error occured during the ‘debate’ and somebody did mention something connected with reality.


    • Colonial Viper 30.1

      Oh come now, just for a minute sit back and enjoy the sight of the barn burning down.

    • r0b 30.2

      There was discussion of climate change, briefly, in the context of the time frame for bringing agriculture in to the ETS.

      • Afewknowtheturth 30.2.1

        Thanks r0b

        In other words there was no mention of reality, but was a short diversion into how soon the financial scam, which fails to address the fundamentals of climate change, will be extended to rip off peop[le a bit more.

  31. Blue 31

    I think Key didn’t start off that well. I thought he seemed really nervous. And the way he wouldn’t look at Goff was just awkward and weird.

    Another thing I didn’t like was how Key tried to play the emotive card on Christchurch and Pike River rather than answering about the nitty gritty of what is being/should be done.

    I laughed hard when Key was asked about what he would protest about. It’s so blindingly obvious that Key has never ever protested about anything in his life, and that he never would.

    One of those commentators called Key ‘relaxed’. It’s not that he’s relaxed, so much as he is arrogant. He was keeping it on a leash, so it wasn’t as bad as he is in Parliament, but it’s always there, that insidious little smugness that he is right, and it doesn’t really matter what anyone else says, because it goes in one ear and out the other for Key.

    I thought Phil did well. There were no knockout blows, it was a fairly even punch-up. I’m happy that he displayed the passion and energy for fairness that’s been his signature as Labour leader. To anyone that ever called him a robot, eat your words now.

    • rain33 31.1

      I think you are spot on. Also, it was always going to be difficult for Phil Goff when it came to the topics of Christchurch and Pike River. These are obviously sensitive issues, and it would not come across well if one was seen to be using either of these tragic events for political mileage. Therefore it is to Goff’s credit that he was able to present a point of difference and debate both these issues, all the while maintaining sincerity and empathy for those affected.

    • rain33 31.2

      I think you are spot on. Also, it was always going to be difficult for Phil Goff when it came to the topics of Christchurch and Pike River. These are obviously sensitive issues, and it would not come across well if one was seen to be using either of these tragic events for political mileage. Therefore it is to Goff’s credit that he was able to present a point of difference and debate both these issues, all the while maintaining sincerity and empathy for those affected.

    • fmacskasy 31.3

      Fairly much my thoughts, Blue.

  32. logie97 32

    Johannsen had the last laugh with Robinson in the summing up with Greg Boyd on late news. He had to remind her exactly what certain polling actually means. She is an airhead. Come back Arseneau, all is forgiven.

  33. Ghost Chips 33

    I’ve been internalizing a really complicated situation in my head and realized that Key was wasted! 😉

  34. Anaia 34

    I must say Goff did really well and only hope that it will open more eyes to the real reality of our situation and vote labour in. Go Goff

  35. I couldn’t believe what the political commentators were saying.It’s like Johanssen and Robinson were watching something completely different.

  36. Anaia 36

    Everything else tonight seemed stacked against Goff from the commentators to the moderator and with a really unbelievable 61-39 poll.  All seemed set up against Goff.

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      A 61% Key vs 39% Goff poll.

      I’d say Goff just managed to increase by over 5 times the 7% preferred PM rating that he has held most of the year.

      Now, its not quite apples with apples, but we can see how in a one on one setting, a lot more people like Goff than those polls say.

    • It was using the .75 c a text texting support measure. Guaranteed to favor the wealthy.

      • Pete George 36.2.1

        Many poor people stay poor because they waste all their money on things like TV txt polls, thinking it might buy them a sliver of attention.

        • Colonial Viper

          Pete George the saviour socialist, speaking for the poor on our streets!

          Maybe many more stay poor because of National’s policies of active wage and employment suppression, rather than the evil of paid txts.

        • felix

          Pete makes a valid point.

          The txt poll sample is likely to be weighted toward the rich and the stupid.

        • just saying

          Citation please Pete.

          Also, poverty is about inadequacy of income. That is how it is measured. What an income is spent on is irrelevant to that.

          You really are a nasty, victim-blaming piece of work, Pete-who-claims-to-be-not-money-driven.

        • Pete George

          I was taking the piss.

          I don’t understand why anyone would pay money to participate in a poll that by it’s very nature is about as unreliable as you could get, no matter which way it could be slanted – no one knows which if any way it might favour one side or the other.

          It could simply be a measure of the most desperate party with stupid budget priorities. Or the party with the most supporters that are easily sucked into wasting their money. Or anything.

          • felix

            “I don’t understand why anyone would pay money to participate in a poll that by it’s very nature is about as unreliable as you could get…”

            I think, like “Idol” shows which offer the same meaningless illusion of participation in a largely pre-determined process, it points to a deep malaise in our society.

            I think it appeals to people who have no sense of purpose, no sense of autonomy, and feel they have nothing substantial to contribute and no meaningful way to participate in decision making.

    • Text polling is useless and just a away for the TV station to give the illusion of interaction so that they don’t switch over to America’s Next Top Coked Out Waif – Extreme Makeover Edition.
      They are easy to stack by one party or the other.
      My guess is that National had teams of people around tables at some $5000 dollar a plate dinner for Facelift Awareness Week all texting the show.
      The unfortunate thing is that such stacked polls can give the impression of where The Herd is moving and influence others to go in that direction.
      They should be banned.
      Ps – didn’t Campbell live run a poll last night that only cost 50 cents a minute? Why the difference?

      • Colonial Viper 36.3.1

        The difference is due to someone pocketing an extra $2500 from last nights txts.

  37. A TV show is probably one of the worst ways to decide a government. But many people seem to get sucked into the charade.

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      Its not a TV show, its a political leaders debate. Although the format and the panel left much to be desired.

      • Afewknowtheturth 37.1.1


        Everything is rigged. Everything is manipulated. Everything is a set up. When it comes to elections the rigging and manipulation go into overdrive.

        To believe otherwise is to be incredibky naive.

    • I’m with CV – it was a debate (flawed though it is). A TV Show would be where you take a washed out, promiscuous, career politician who just doesn’t get that he is a national joke, lacking in a spine, dress sense and a decent hairdresser and give them an extreme make over. Now that would be a TV show.

      • just saying 37.2.1

        Pete is just a wannna-be politician, William, and as such, is primarily a local joke.

        • Pete George

          Do you think that being a blog bitcher is so much more rewarding for you?

          • just saying

            Pete, you are a candidate in the upcoming election, not just another poster here.

            If you can’t stand the heat, I’m sure most here would be delighted if you’d vacate the kitchen.

    • fmacskasy 37.3

      Pete: Alternatives?

      • Pete George 37.3.1

        The Bryce Edwards Vote Chat format is only one on one (to date) but it gives a much better insight into how people are and think than a contrived contest.

        Parliament and government should be more about how MPs can work together with the good of the country and people foremost, not who gets the best PR out of a verbal and image contest.

  38. Tiger Mountain 38

    I thought Phil did really well, yes room for improvement, a bit more pointed humour perhaps required from him in the right spot. It was Phil versus not just ShonKey but the tory leaning TV presenters, studio and break format, commentators Clare “Tory Bitch” Robinson–joke, and a slanted higher charge phone poll. So it was a pretty effective opener.

    The Nats latest beneficiary bash is launched today, there is little milage for Labour in attacking that more than briefly in the next debate. Benny bashing unfortunately is kiwis second favourite pastime. Just hammer the “where are the jobs” line, sure Rebstock and Mama Bennett can intimidate, “move” and cut people off benefits but that is way different to putting them into proper sustainable jobs not on youth rates.

    ShonKey’s “rug” definitely needs some paparazzi attention–toupee or comb-over?

  39. Uturn 39

    I’m left with is that it wasn’t a debate so much as an introduction to the philosophy behind the parties. So the definition of “win” is closer to who presented their ideas in a widely acessible way.

    Key’s opening statement was that Goff couldn’t supply costing and thoughout the following “debate” he presented the idea that cheap + fast = morally right. When he launched onto sets of figures, he cemented his voter base: those who think fast in numbers for profit. There was no human warmth to his words. If someone was on the outside of that demographic, there was no line into the information he offered; there was no explanation how the sets of figures proved his ideas were right in any format outside an accounting ledger .

    The next alignment National made was with a style of thinking. People had to choose, Key said, between low wages or the dole. No liveable wage was possible, he said. This binary, yes/no, either/or thinking became his fall back position. He denied his own pragmatism. Fast comfort for a few, at any cost to the future, with a tax-payer subsidised chaser was what National sold the viewer.

    Goff didn’t often use figures, he spoke in concepts of what he thought was right, even if those solutions would take longer or cost more. Where Key couldn’t connect to a wider audience, Goff was in his element. Repeatedly, that was Labour’s message: fairness, time, caution and that cheap and fast may equal efficiency, but it does not always = morally right.

    If there was a failure in his message, it was that Goff wouldn’t be able to reach National voter base. None of our political parties offer a unifying philosophy. Someone or something is always the enemy. Like every other election, the result will reflect the mood of the Nation: are we feeling compassionate, positive and optimistic or under siege, scared and in a survival mode of self-interest.

    • Puddleglum 39.1

      Very thoughtful analysis, Uturn.

      The last sentence sums it up – as a nation, where are we ‘at’ at the moment?

      What is the prevailing sense of things? 

  40. Carol 40

    Stuff gives the debate on points to the underdog:

    Phil Goff gave his campaign a lift by holding his own against Prime Minister John Key in their first widely anticipated head-to-head clash.

    Mr Goff headed into the One News debate the underdog, given that Mr Key was the standout winner in 2008 up against seasoned campaigner Helen Clark.

    The two men are set to square off again tomorrow night in the Christchurch Press leaders debate which will stream live on Press.co.nz and Stuff.co.nz.

    Goff doesn’t need to win over loads of righties, he just needs to reconnect with a lot of Labour voters who didn’t vote in last election, and pick up a few new and undecided voters along the way.

    • Uturn 40.1

      That is true, the wavering and undecided voters will make or break Labour this election. Labour have been doing an excellent job of reconnecting. National’s welfare reform will help to push some back towards Labour. Just like asset sales, asking more from those who have nothing and punishing those who cannot fight back has been done so often that people know what it means however it is spun.

    • Afewknowtheturth 40.2


      Anyone still alive 15 years from now will not care who won so-called debates. They will only care that none of the key issues of the times were even mentioned, let alone dealt with when there was still time to deal with them.

      Tweedledum and Tweedledee

      ‘They agree to have a battle, but never have one. When they see a monstrous black crow swooping down, they take to their heels. The Tweedle brothers never contradict each other, even when one of them, according to the rhyme, “agrees to have a battle”. Rather, they complement each other’s words.’

      (black crow = peak oil, unravelling of fiat currencies based on fractional reserve banking, runaway climate change, environmental collapse etc.)


      For the moment, a large sector of the NZ population is happy to be entertained by the two clowns Key and Goff, which is indicative of how empty their lives are and how empty their brains are..

      • higherstandard 40.2.1

        These words he speaks are true.
        We’re all humanery stew.
        Unless we pledge allegiance too
        The black widow.

  41. felix 41

    Can someone please explain to me what purpose was served by veteran Australasian stunt coordinator Dick Johansonson and his pet vulture?

    They didn’t do any analysis or interpretation of policy so it can’t be that.

    And we’d all just watched the same debate that they had, so if they had some special insight into political debates that regular people don’t possess, then maybe they’d have had something to offer.

    But apparently they don’t, ‘cos they didn’t.

    So what are they there for?

    • Carol 41.1

      It’s just a standard part of the Pop Idol format. But they forgot this also includes the panel being entertaining, with at least one panelist who gets really nasty so they make at least one of the contestants cry.

      • Afewknowtheturth 41.1.1

        In other words it was all a set up, just as everything is these days, which some of us knew from the outset.

        The REAL powers that be are very happy for the silly chirade of elections to be presented to the dumbed-down masses as having validity and for the clowns who substitute as leaders to be given credibility when they have none.

        However, it is perfectly obvious to those who think for themselves that it is all a rigged game, designed to deliver compliant yes-men (or yes-women) into office, so that the money-lenders and corporations can continue to manipulate society and profit from destruction of the planet we live on.

        Hence, whoever wins this so-called election will just carry on destroying society and the destroying environment until they can’t.

        That’s been the system for the past 170 years in NZ (and longer elsewhere).

    • Hami Shearlie 41.2

      Pet vulture? I thought it was a meerkat!!!

    • higherstandard 41.3

      “So what are they there for?”

      Sucking off the taxpayer tit, they probably made a cool 5k each.

  42. chris73 42

    It was good that Goff was fired up (for entertainment value) but I felt that he spent too much time attacking Key at the expense of pushing his own ideas.

    Also the work (eye lift? botox?) Goffs had done is just too much (go look at the space between Goffs eyebrows and how they don’t move as an example)

    I hope Keys stylist sorts his hair out for the next debate.

    Where Key won is that he would dig at Goff and Goff would respond angrily and in response Key would just stand there smiling away. Not a good look for Goff to be losing it while Key stands there confidently.

    I expected better from Goff (30 years of experience in politics should stand you in good stead in a debate I’d have thought) because while Key didn’t do much he didn’t have to do much.

    55-45 points decision to Key.

    • gnomic 42.1

      Er, have you got any actual evidence that Goff has had cosmetic surgery, or is using botox, or are you just making this up as you go along?

      • chris73 42.1.1

        Admittidly its opinion but Goff is 8 years older then Key yet last night it seemed that Goff had far less wrinkles (especially the forehead) then Key

        Also it explains why Goff had a permanent frown and why the space between his eyebrows were hardly moving.

        I don’t think its a bad thing but I think hes had too much work done

        (and yes I wondered if Key was wearing a rug)

      • lprent 42.1.2

        The latter. He hasn’t had anything that I’ve seen and more importantly nor did Lyn. The first appearance of someone on the idiot box who has is invariably accompanied with the phrase “he/she has had some work done”, and almost as invariably she is correct. Must be something to do with a film eye, because I never see it.

        Anyway she filmed Phil Goff for a campaign video prior to the 2008 election so she knows how that face looks under camera. She would have been going on about it ad nauseum last night if he had been doing any facework.

      • insider 42.1.3

        Probably as much evidence of that as there is of Key variously being a drunk, a psychopath, and a sociopath, all of which seem to be accepted wisdom round here based on expert opinions of what he looks and sounds like. So that probably makes the Botox a proven fact

        • Colonial Viper

          Key is a sociopath. He claims to care about the underpriviliged, uses them for PR purposes in front of the camera, spins a few caring lines, then dumps them on the side of the road, leaving their pockets empty.

  43. Quasimodo 43

    “ACTUALLY, you are wrong ! The truth is ….”

    Key used that tactic so frequently it had to be scripted by whoever prepared him for it.

    Delivered – in what sounded like his version of a Chch working class accent – it had the effect of regaining the initiative, confusing the opponent, and allowing him to dictate the terms of the debate.

    Goff was put off but persevered and later scored a few points.

    Ethical ? Nah .. Effective ? Well, it is the sort of thing the military refers to as ‘taking out the legs of your opponent’. Thatcher used it very effectively.

    Technically, it is known as a ‘thought-stopper’ – trumping thought process with an emotional response.

    In this instance it is a put-down by someone convinced they are right who is refusing reasoned debate.

    An effective rejoinder by someone thinking on their feet might have been

    “Actually, YOU are wrong ! Let me tell you why .. “.

  44. KJT 44

    I like it that Goff was getting angry. At Espiner trying to prevent him making points and at Key’s lies.

    Shows he gives a damn.

    And, There is actually, Balls, Guts, Chutzpah. (Pick what you like QOT) under the normally a bit too wooden delivery.

    Key looked just like someone who is paid to give the news to a work force that. “sorry, but we are outsourcing all your jobs”. The same degree of sincerity and fake concern.
    You can see behind their eyes. “Tough titty, but my million dollar pay rise is in the bag”.
    Note the agitation we he found it wasn’t as easy as he thought.

    Close, But Goff acted like he believes in what he is doing. 100 Points.

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