It comes as no surprise that Brand Key has been a Crosby/Textor project from Day 1. The hit and run, the bait and switch, the cake and eat it, the shoot the messenger, the misdirection, the dog-whistle, wedge politics, the outright lie – these are all elements of the classic Crosby Textor strategy that have been used by Brand Key, and they show a contempt for Kiwis.
The entire premise of Crosby/Textor political marketing is that voters are easily manipulated, greedy fools. It is about making democracy dumber – spreading ‘feelings’ (that Key’s nice, Clark is tired and arrogant, it’s time for a change) rather than making an honest argument that National has the best policies for New Zealand and hoping an informed citizenry will choose National because its policies are best. It’s not about proving themselves deserving of governing it’s about finding voters’ weakness and exploiting them – pushing your buttons so you’ll tick their box.
It’s disrespectful to the media too. Crosby/Textor sees the media simply as a vehicle for disseminating its lines; there is no respect for critical journalism as a crucial part of a functioning democracy. They’re played for chumps and expected to buy into the ‘time for a change’ meme themselves. Any journos that breaks the rules by reporting Key when he goes off message or seriously challenging National on their competence to govern is shouted down, threatened, ostracised, and discredited.
National’s supporters are arguing we should just accept the dumbing down of democracy, so that parties rule not by the informed consent of their citizens but because they could fool enough of the people enough of the time. No thanks.