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ACC misdirection

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, November 18th, 2009 - 11 comments
Categories: ACC - Tags:

It looks like the government’s sleight of hand on ACC is about to pay off. Having put up a clearly outrageous proposal to hike motorbike levies and thus made it the focus of anger over the ACC changes the government is now signaling they will back off.

Thing is, they were never going to ramp those levies up. But by threatening to do so they’ve ensured the debate is all about bikes and not about privatising the work account and cutting cover. With the bike issue signaled to settle the Nats will be hoping the public think the whole thing is done and dusted so the project of gutting the scheme can be quietly continued.

The only thing that surprises me is that it wasn’t Key that stepped in and pulled the bike rise as it could have been very good for his brand in terms of being seen to listen to the people and pull his minister in line. God knows he’s currently in need of some PR making him look in touch and strong.

I guess his handlers decided the risk of the misdirection not working would be too great. God forbid Key has his brand sullied by something as grubby as the ACC changes.

11 comments on “ACC misdirection ”

  1. Clarke 1

    The only thing that surprises me is that it wasn’t Key that stepped in and pulled the bike rise as it could have been very good for his brand in terms of being seen to listen to the people and pull his minister in line.

    The other possibility is that Nick Smith desperately needs some good news in what has been a pretty disastrous couple of weeks. Staring down 6,000 angry bikers in Wellington is only the icing on the cake from the bad publicity over how much his ETS will cost taxpayers. And this is set to get worse in the next week as it becomes apparent that National will have to basically bribe the Maori Party to get the Bill passed, which won’t be a good look for National’s more iwi/kiwi orientated support base.

    So the new Minister for Unfunded Future Liabilities probably needs all the help he can get.

  2. Tigger 2

    I think they backed off a little too early to properly sell their misdirection here. It has ended up looking like they were running from danger rather than thinking about what the bikers were trying to get them to do. I mean, was the bikoi SO convincing that Smith suddenly saw the light? No, the back down has come off looking very ‘manufactured’ (a word my very non-political husband even said this morning when he saw the news).

  3. toad 3

    IB, I think there is still plenty of time to build debate about and opposition to privatising the work account (and other aspects of ACC that were put on the agenda for possible privatisation to get Act’s support).

    But agree with you the Nats have successfully used the motorcycle levies issue to distract attention from the proposed cuts to cover and entitlements.

    There are only 8 days left to make submissions on the Bill that will do that. The Greens have published a useful submission guide to assist anyone wanting to make a submission against the cuts.

  4. randal 4

    any body who saw the rabble rousing pictures in this mornings dimpost will recognise that national is right i n bed with these morons who believe that the roads have been put there so they can work out their own manifest destiny.
    I.e. going around making as much noise as possible so someone will take notice of them.

    • John 4.1

      The only people that National is ‘in bed with’ is the insurance industry they want to sell ACC to. Some people couldn’t smell the roses if they drowned in them.

  5. Brent Hutchison 5

    Hi all

    I am the man who got the BIKEOI organized in Wellington, Police, Parliamentary access, and all our public speakers arranged.

    Yesterday, Wellington got to witness democracy in action, and how!

    The delegation we took into the Big House to see Minister Smith regarding the levy’s was made up of some of our most contributing and responsible citizens that choose to ride motorcycles
    BRONZ, HOG, WIMA and Ulysses organizations (ensuring every walk of the biker lifestyle was represented) as well as industry representatives.

    We are always going to have different interpretations of the cause and effect’s of such protests, and I would like to explain the lengths this protest went to

    Riders left from deep south and far north as early as Friday to make this event
    They came from farms, factories, offices, warehouses, garages, ports, cities, and towns all over New Zealand to peacefully have their say to the minister of ACC

    A few journalistic organizations have obviously decided to report the event in the particular light their editorial team have seen this event, some have been negative, many more have taken the positive spin.
    The Standard has a very well balanced article here, I thank the editor for simply reporting the news impartially.

    I was the lead ‘rabble rouser’ but would like to note, the chant was started by none other than Rick Barker (I was 3 feet from him as it started) and the crowd took over
    There were (confirmed); 9000 voices, speaking as one

    Our riders pulled off a few National and possibly World First’s yesterday

    The longest singular motorcade in NZ history
    The largest group of motorcycle riders riding as a single group ever in NZ, possibly the southern hemisphere

    On the day we had NOT ONE accident (making Minister Smiths statistics look very suspect indeed) and we had only one ticket issued, and that was to a rider that was ‘hurrying’ to get to his departure point, he was 6kms over the limit.

    We came in peace, we rallied in peace (until Nick told us he had heard our plea and still carried on privatizing YOUR public asset)

    We did not act only for the Biker fraternity; our battle cry was ‘Who’s Next’
    We believe the raised levees on Truckies is also immoral and wrong, we see the cyclists, sexual abuse victims, and all the other targets awaiting in line as being the next to get hit

    Please do not think the 9000 strong rally was simply a bunch of ‘noisy bikers’ venting in anger

    a LOT of people made a lot of concessions to make this event happen, and we pulled it off safely and in good grace with the Wellington public

    There were school busses of kids in safe locations beside our highways, waving at us as we rode into the city
    Car drivers stopped, parked and cheered us on
    We did this for everyone, not JUST the bikers, although of course that’s the cause closest to our hearts

    We came in peace, we left in peace, we had support from all of the community, and we donated THOUSANDS of dollars to the Wellington Free Ambulance courtesy of Westpac Trust staff who ran the collection on Fran Wilde Walkway

    Wellington, thanks for allowing us our say, and for watching out for us on the roads yesterday

    New Zealand, do not forget
    We are the first….who’s next

    Brent Hutchison
    BIKEOI coordinator, Wellington

    • Kevin Welsh 5.1

      Hi Brent

      Loved the way you ‘owned’ Maggie Barry in the Radio Live interview. She came out with all the journalist lines and you put her in her place each time. I was laughing my ass off listening. Great work.

  6. ben 6

    God knows he’s currently in need of some PR making him look in touch and strong.

    I’m no fan of Key or any politician – but this line is just ludicrous. That is exactly the PR he has been getting for 12 months now – are you so out of touch as not to have noticed? Duh.

    • IrishBill 6.1

      Ben, politics is a week by week game. Especially the politics-as-marketing model Key subscribes to. Right now I’d lay money on the fact he is starting to focus test as do-nothing and weak. It won’t be the main theme but it will be surfacing often enough to concern them.

      I know that was starting to come through in some testing a few months ago and that’s why the “war on P” stunt was rolled out.

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