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C’mon National!

Written By: - Date published: 1:27 pm, May 17th, 2021 - 20 comments
Categories: crime, human rights, jacinda ardern, john key, Judith Collins, national, same old national, tax - Tags:

Forlorn for now though you may be, I’m going to give you National MPs all the advice you need right here.

Granted making inroads into a government that is gaining momentum by the day and has a charismatic leader with staggering popularity ain’t easy. Opposition is miserable but that’s your career choice so step up team!

Small-c conservative opposition is harder since the Government’s response to Covid19’s economic and social effects has re-written the entire role of government in society. Hitherto unimaginable structural and policy initiatives are being rolled out. But your traditional themes still ring true:

1. Freedom

Within the standard conservative conception of freedom as removing constraint, you can hammer home that loss of freedom of movement that we feel was our birthright as Kiwis. Build on that impatience to achieving our best beyond our shores.

Framing this government as one which has gained greater and greater control over our lives, constraining our choices, and controlling us more and more – get to that theme once national vaccination has reached a strong majority threshold.

Supporting more stories about families broken up in Covid19 travel disasters is an easy start and has lots of helpful televisual weeping.

Simply demand more freedom across all areas in which government has gained more executive power. Take up cigar smoking and get some RSA groove back.

2. Property

Within the upcoming Natural and Built Environments Bill (draft coming soon) we will see a massive shift from effects to outcomes: specific targets about environmental qualities to meet. Your friendly farmers, agribusiness, rural communities, local body leaders and the like will just hate this set of constraints and regulations no matter how it’s spun. Aim to take all South Island seats except Dunedin.

Further constraints against the use of property should orchestrate your friendly funders in the real estate industry and Aussie banks.

3. Self-Reliance

An individual performance framework applied to welfare recipients similar to that which Bill English started to apply would go down well if it were broadened out to health and justice and housing outcomes. Not too different to the legislated wellbeing framework but with sharper teeth. Proposing a whole-of-life investment approach between the state and the citizen is a gimme field for National since Labour have essentially not performed in this broad policy field. Bring back that Once Were Warriors welfare debate.

4. Getting Rich, and Tax

Reversing the Labour tax cuts on the rich would be a first-month job.

But there’s also an opportunity in the next year’s carbon debate to give a populist tinge to energy generation: for the state majority entities to build more generators and then sell them off to the benefit of New Zealand shareholders and our little sharemarket, and admit that a great percentage pf Kiwis did pretty well out of the 49% floats. Like an accelerated version of the 1990s. Setting up an energy-specific form of Kiwisaver to invest in would be an idea; build it, sell it off, and they will come.

Big cash bounties on innovative companies, going straight against the idea of not picking winners, would turn entrepeneurship into a national game show. National can and should own the entrepeneurship field, especially with Bayly’s experience.

Simply clips to Facebook of the whole caucus taking Vodka shots and tanking the vino would do wonders.

Make getting rich and having fun the preserve of National once again.

5. Crime

It’s a standard cry to “make gangs illegal”, but the pathway through the Bill of Rights Act hasn’t been tested since 2012. So they should make that case. The simplest place to start is with a large expansion of the remit of the Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Act: if they can do it for smoking, they can do it for gangs. Police under Labour have done the Proceeds of Crime Act proud, but there’s so much more scope to lock and load for the cameras. Plenty of good solid fear and loathing to be had here.

Once you’ve done all that, then and only then get to:

6. Leadership

The cruel quandary for National is that it doesn’t have a strong charismatic leader to best Ardern’s public radiance. They’ve seen the volatility and spectacular rise and fall of Donald Trump in the United States with an appeal based on the perception that he had unique gifts no politician ever had, a media image that made him synonymous with business success, and tireless verbal output that created an alternative reality for his followers.

Instead of sheer charismatic magic, the appropriate New Zealand National Party leadership model is well-attested by Holyoake, Bolger, and Key: a mixture of privilieged aspiration, longstanding patrician land ownership and elite networks, and sustained media courtship. Much more like Scott Morrison, John Howard, or Malcom Fraser.

As usual there’s no Labour replacement for Ardern and when she goes Labour will fall off a cliff … as usual.

Don’t rush it; it’s as inevitable as your victory.

20 comments on “C’mon National! ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    Collins reinventing herself good luck with that evilness exudes from her you can't act your way out of that.

    The economy is going well under labour much better than National did in the 2008 GFC.

    National have got no where to go racial divisiveness is the last role of the Dice.

    National have screwed it's only potential coalition partner the Maori Party.ACT is stealing National far right votes.John Key had the Maori Party and even the greens in a memorandum. Collins is making enemies when excuse the pun she should be building Bridges.

    National needs someone who can communicate with out offending like John Key .Key showed he was a pragmatist putting Don Brash in his place and the ACT party in its place as well.

    With a more popular leader ACT's support would drift back to National giving National the ability to call the shots with ACT's Epsom lifeline.Now Seymour has a free reign to undermine Nationals ability to be moderate pragmatic to appeal to a wider audience.

    While Collins remains National's leader she is only appealing to a small base of rednecks and the very wealthy.

    • woodart 1.1

      the fact that act even still exist is down to rorting the electoral system(and all of us!) ,so to see a parasite causing so much damage re; target market takeover, is very sweet revenge. I look forward to another cup of tea some yrs down the track, when the nat party leader(whoever he may be,old white guy) , hands over control of all the urban right wing vote, to whatever nutcase is running act at that time. in return, the actoid will hand over all of the gun nut vote to the nats.

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Thanks, I needed a laugh!


  3. Louis 3

    Freedom. National and Act have already done that one and failed.

  4. Anne 4

    Had a look at 'categories' expecting to see the word "satire". It ain't there. 😮

    I've never felt so free in my life. Free from Covid. Free to travel anywhere in NZ and Australia. Free to go to cafés, restaurants, concerts, sport arenas and public places. Free to consort with as many people as I like. And free to talk about anything I like provided it isn't obscene or profane – or representing a danger to the community. Eg. planning a terrorist attack.

    Thanks Labour and the Greens. Not many countries in the world are as free as we are.

    • Incognito 4.1

      I feel cocooned in my bubble with retrograde angst blanketing me in a fine mist of misery and melancholy, hunkering for the good old times that never were and never will.

      • Gabby 4.1.1

        You should see someone about that.

      • Ad 4.1.2

        You're suffering from a bad case of Left Melancholia.


        The symptoms are as you described, and the only mitigation is once a year by a massive blood infusion called the budget, which you only get in Labour governments.

        • Incognito

          I do look forward to the Budget like a little kid to Christmas.

          • Muttonbird

            Really? I can tell you ordinary people have zero interest in the budget. For people who are struggling it sails way above their head. It is just authority people making shitty decisions for them. Something to be ignored because you'll never be able to change it.

            • Incognito

              As a kid I didn’t think I could change anything about Christmas either, it didn’t even occur to me. I’m no kid anymore.

    • Louis 4.2

      +1 Anne.

      • Muttonbird 4.2.1

        +1 to that.

        Anne's comment is the best comment on this thread, specifically including the extremely strange OP. An OP which seems to beg for praise because of the controversy of post rather than content. As it always was…

        Fact is we are as free a nation as you could hope to expect in these times. Only conspiracy theorists see otherwise.

        The whys and wherefores of this post are a mystery to me, and I'm sure a lot of others.

        • mac1

          I read it as satire. That it might need to be thought to be labelled as satire is in itself satirical………

    • Patricia Bremner 4.3

      We don't know how lucky …………we are!!!

  5. roy cartland 5

    Why don't they just outflank Labour by:

    Raising benefits and taxes

    Making school, childcare, parental leave, denistry, doctors, hospital etc free and extremely high quality

    converting farmland into forest (native)

    strengthening the RMA and environmental protections

    etc etc etc

    It's not as if their supporters actually vote for policies any more, is it? Just stick a blue t-shirt up and they'll all vote for that. (Besides, they can always just renege.)

  6. The nats are reaping the benefits of rogernomics (which they initially abhorred. They changed their stance very quickly when their very wealthy business and farmer supporters said this is excellent. Enter jenny shipley, ruth richardson.. NIRVANA (NOT)..

    Economists, if laid end to end would never reach a conclusion.

    The nats are a party that are slaves of the wealthy landed entitled and very greedy elite tha cannot bear to share with the luckless..

    If big business, fed farmers keep supporting poverty and homelesness an hungry children they must just LOVE the nats.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    I think the only piece of advice is be patient, because you are going to be in opposition until 2026 at the earliest.

    Politics is cylical, and political parties go in and out of fashion.

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