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Clown princes

Written By: - Date published: 3:28 pm, August 5th, 2008 - 27 comments
Categories: brand key, election 2008, International, Media - Tags:

The ‘Key-English secret recording followed by denial followed by excuse followed by apology’ debacle is, well, an utter debacle.

If these clowns ever win an election – which has to be questionable after this sort of political mismanagement – similar antics will make opposition rather more pleasant than it otherwise is for Labour.

There are not many basic political handbook rules which haven’t been broken, and they’ve provided enough ammunition for Labour to keep firing through to polling day. In 2005, National gifted Labour the ‘gone by lunchtime’ comment. This is now on a similar scale, thanks almost entirely to the inept handling of it. And the ignominious memory of having to grovel at the foot of his master, will keep Bill English’s Brutus-level ambitions alive for many years.

27 comments on “Clown princes”

  1. Patrick 1

    Ha! “Brutus-level ambitions” – well Sam you certainly know how to dramatise things, but I can’t say I disagree.

    The Nats have given Labour so much material over the past few days, I’m simply astounded.

    The Labour-lite tag probably would have won the election for National, having Nice Mr Keys keep everything the same but just figure out how to give us a bit extra. But no, they’ve really shown their cards.

    Bring on the campaign!

  2. BeShakey 2

    It’s also interesting to see them dredging up another C/T tactic – any legitimate questioning of them eg what is your policy, how would it work, how come you say one thing in private and another in public – is ‘dirty politics’. Huh, and there was me thinking finding out about what people would do if they were elected was a fundamental part of the democratic purpose.

  3. Tamaki Resident 3

    And prior to the w/e National support was at it’s lowest level since April, according to Roy Morgan. This latest poll hasn’t got a lot of air-time – even curiablog hasn’t managed to notice it.

  4. Phil 4

    I would advise the collective left to be very careful of stones and glass houses when/if Labour find themselves in opposition.

    For well over a decade some of the party have lived in the shadow of Helen Clark – I’ll bring the popcorn, you bring the chips on your shoulders and we’ll have a good laugh as the jesters and fools plot…

  5. Daveski 5

    Oh quelle surprise (is it feminine?? I can’t remember my French) .. another thread on the biggest scandal since Watergate.

    Phil’s comments are bang on – there’s a long way to go and this clearly will be the ugliest election yet.

    Mind you, it’s better to learn lessons during the pre season than when in really counts.

    It will be interesting to revisit this issue after the election. I expect it won’t be the defining moment which suggests the gloating today is a little early.

  6. randal 6

    and their conference song was piss weak as well!

  7. BeShakey 7

    “…there’s a long way to go and this clearly will be the ugliest election yet.”

    I agree about the first bit. But where does the second come from? What exactly has gone out that is so ugly? I assume it isn’t unauthorised taping at party conferences. Because that wasn’t that bad a few months back. I find it hard to think of much beyond interrogating a parties policies. I’d love to hear exactly what has happened that makes you think this is/will be ‘the ugliest election yet’.

  8. outofbed 8

    Because Katherine Rich and Nandor aren’t there perhaps ?

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    Espiner has his take up.

  10. gazzaj 10

    Meh. I’m not convinced it’s such a big deal. It’s just a gaffe, and a pretty minor one as they go.

    Everyone knows National wouldn’t have set up Kiwibank, so I doubt anyone will be surprised to find they’re thinking about selling it.

    If there’s any effect on the polls it’ll be a blip, or it’ll just take the edge off any positive effect National might have got from their conference.

    With Winston’s saga continuing it’ll be old news by the weekend. Except maybe on this site 😉

  11. vto 11

    clown princes, follow the clown princesses,

    to a true and honest answer, that not one ever confesses,

    especially the old nag winnie, even when everyone presses,

    among the neighing and breighing, in the class of 08 jesters..

  12. Phil,

    Collective left? Popcorn and chips? I’ll be the one laughing when all of you John Key voters are left footing the bill and complaining about the debt he’s left you in while he’s living the high life in Hawaii with his banking mates. You have no idea how lucky you are in this country with it’s beauty, it’s resources and Helen Clark who actually went out and fought the good fight for wankers like you and I’m not even voting for her. Go figure. You really have no idea.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    And now Lockwood Smith has joined in the fun (3 News tonight). Whoops.

    National should just keep a permanent press release from their MPs on file, and fill in the blanks, between now and the election:

    “My comments … taken out of context … I support John Key … error of judgement … I love John Key … comments misconstrued … party policy is clear … regret any embarrassment caused … fellate John Key … will sell – not sell, keep, I said keep, sorry, I am quoting myself out of context … don’t listen to me, I’m full of shit … I wish I was John Key … can I go now?”

  14. randal 14

    looks like john finally got the bill?

  15. forgetaboutthelastone 15

    Oh wow!

    Smith was recorded as saying:

    “There’s some bloody dead fish you have to swallow… to get into Government to do the kinds of things you want to do… and you have to balance up what really matters.”

    “If you try to do everything differently you’ll scare the horses and under MMP it’s very hard to win.”

    “Once we have gained the confidence of the people, we’ve got more chance of doing more things.”

    He went on to talk about doing things in government that you could not talk about before an election.

    They’re screwed now, surely. They can’t use the “loose language” excuse again can they?

  16. “looks like john finally got the bill?”

    Looks like randal is still on the Helen and Heather pill.The ultimate meltdown mayhem, go pill popping girls and give Ruth the bottle.

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    Now Key’s come out and said they have no plans to sell kiwibank, all those righties who were defending a sale of kiwibank saying things like governments shouldn’t own banks, must be pretty disappointed. Otherwise they’re just being partisan hacks again.

  18. RedLogix 18

    Isn’t it amazing what a few drinkies and a sycophantic audience will do.

    All those months of stonewalling and within a few short hours National have been more honest about their real intentions than we could have ever hoped for.

  19. randal 19

    ha d4juice…randal the barbarian fights for his own kingdom and little prawns like yourself who get in the way will be crushed like a bug. is so much more fun being a hun….fleeeee now before armageddon arrives!!!!!

  20. gobsmacked 20

    Isn’t it amazing what a few drinkies and a sycophantic audience will do.

    Well, if you’d seen the dress I was wearing …

    (although the microphone in the bra was a bit uncomfortable)

  21. gazzaj 21

    “Once we have gained the confidence of the people, we’ve got more chance of doing more things.”

    “We may be able to do some things we believe we need to do, perhaps go through a discussion document process… you wouldn’t be able to do them straight off. … I’m hoping that we’ll do some useful things that way, that may not be policy right now.”

    So, let me get this straight. According to Lockwood Smith, National intends on getting elected based on outlining a certain number of policies.

    Then, when in government, they plan to develop some more policies. Which will of course be a matter of public record and be judged by the voters come the next election.

    They’re hoping that people will gain confidence in what they’re doing and see these new policies in a more positive light than they might right now. So they’re putting off the difficult stuff until they feel that they can make their case for it to the public more successfully.

    Sounds like good politics… much in the same way that Labour’s 1999 manifesto didn’t include Working for Families, Kiwibank, Kiwirail, Section 59, etc, etc…

    Come to think of it I don’t remember seeing either of the last two in their 2005 manifesto either – does this mean Labour has a secret agenda too? Unpopular policies they didn’t campaign on?

    Damn, if you can’t trust National then you can’t trust Labour either.

  22. “is so much more fun being a hun ”

    Yes randal my grand mother was German . Bring it on wanker.

  23. RedLogix 23

    Come to think of it I don’t remember seeing either of the last two in their 2005 manifesto either – does this mean Labour has a secret agenda too?

    Oh I can’t help it.

    The repeal of S59 was a Green Party Private Members Bill.

    The buyback of KiwiRail, came after almost several years of fruitless negotiations with Toll, after which it became apparent that it was going to be a better deal to buy the whole thing back than go on subsidising a private company with public monies.

  24. forgetaboutthelastone 24


    According to Lockwood Smith, National intends on getting elected based on _not_ outlining a certain number of policies.


  25. Felix 25

    “Unpopular policies they didn’t campaign on? ”

    Why did you list Working for Families, Kiwibank and Kiwirail then? Those are all very popular in the real world.

  26. RedLogix 26

    KiwiBank was Jim Anderton’s baby.

    And WfF was a major extension of an existing somewhat limited tax credit scheme that National had initiated.

    Both of which according to Mr English were going rather well.

  27. vto 27

    I’m just glad there is somewhere government guaranteed like Kiwibank to put my money.

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