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Control group

Written By: - Date published: 5:04 pm, February 9th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: blogs, national/act government - Tags: ,

I’ve got to admit there are days I wonder whether the National Party really have swung leftward. I mean I know they are a party of spin and I know they have enacted some nasty rightwing legislation but when I see them putting the minimum wage up, dancing with drag queens and hobnobbing with iwi I start to think that old school reactionary right might finally be on the outs and “that nice man, Mr Key” might be the real face of National.

On days like this I pop over to David Farrar’s blog and have a read through their comments. It’s like my barometer of National and Act’s far right activist base. The way I figure it is that if Key really is dragging the National Party (and thus its coalition partner Act) left then the bigots that make up Kiwiblog’s comments section will be absolutely rabid.

But they’re not. Which makes me think that the signal to the base is “trust us, there is an agenda to come.”

Well, either that or the whole Kiwiblog Right have been suckered by their own side.

38 comments on “Control group ”

  1. As a committed leftie I must admit feeling somewhat confused and conflicted by this. If Key keeps this up I will still work for his removal next election but my worst fears will not have materialised.

    I also read Kiwiblog and I believe that at least some of the contributors are becoming more and more disturbed. Their hatred of Helen Clark is pathological and the suggestion that John is “Helen lite” really sets them off. There are obvious misgivings as John makes more and more decisions that they cannot approve of and the honeymoon may be short.

    He will strike a problem at some stage, possibly soon. When the honeymoon is over his supporters will expect him to revert to type. They will want Maori, gay and beneficiary bashing to become the norm otherwise many will question why they support National.

    And in climate change policy alone National’s decisions will mean that the left will continue to oppose.

    Straddling the centre is one thing but if Key is not careful he may achieve no more than to annoy both left and right. This could be an interesting time!

  2. Daveski 2

    Strange you should also mention this. I popped over there for a brief moment and then ended up back here pronto. This is not nirvana and the bulk are as opinionated but the opinions are more digestable here.

    I agree that KB is the far right of ACT/NP and as such expendable (in the way that the Greens were “expendable” to Labour).

    I think that *some* of the banning is over the top but yes I acknowledge that there is greater tolerance of other views and generally more of an attempt to debate views than at KB.

    Now, does that mean SP will agree he was wrong about Key and the minimum wage 🙂

  3. higherstandard 3

    I wonder which blog DPF visits to get a barometer for Labour and Green far left activist base ?

  4. Redbaiter 4

    Funny ain’t it, that DPF doesn’t show half the fixation with the Standard that the Standard shows with Kiwiblog. Really gets under the left’s skin that people are free to express opinions outside the bounds of your control doesn’t it?

    IrishBill: you’re banned for dissenting. That’s a joke by the way, Redbaiter.

  5. People on the right don’t see Key dancing with a transexual, we see him dancing with a New Zealander, its those on the left that has to label people.

  6. vto 6

    Irishbill, I think you slightly mis-read the situation. The nats have put no more harsh right wing policies in place than labour (recall rogernomics, recall even Clark not reversing the 91 benefit cuts). They are not some ‘reactionary right’. If you recall some history national has generally sat right smack in the middle most all of the time. That is partly why it was always called the natural party of govt etc. They have bent and flexed over the decades to give voice to what they see as ‘all NZers’.

    What is happenning now imo is that national is returning to that old position (which labour had muscled in on, outside of its historical postion, in recent times making national appear more right than it naturally is).

    So, what you see when you see Key hobnobbing with iwi, dancing with trannies and putting the minimum wage up a bit is what most all NZers would do with iwi, trannies, and the lowest paid. Hence the hobnob minimum trannie performance by nationals leader.

    It is entirely no surprise. What is the surprise (or not) is that political bloggers cannot see the bigger picture with regard to the national party.

  7. sweeetdisorder 7

    Sounds like the left is a bit pissed they Key has flanked them yet again. All dressed up and no place to use your prepared attack lines eh?

  8. mike 8

    “On days like this I pop over to David Farrar’s blog and have a read through their comments.”

    and on days like this I pop over to the standard to see if they still gripped by the same blind paranoia – and what do you know…

    IrishBill: mike, you pop over here and comment every single day. You must like our blind paranoia an awful lot.

  9. BLiP 9

    Is it just me and my tired old dial-up and tired old puter – or has someone taken KB offline for a while?

    Most sense I’ve seen there in a long while. 🙂

  10. Quoth the Raven 10

    BLiP – Seems that way to me. Nothing but strings of symbols (long may it last) when I click on it. I just visited to get some of the loving non-sterotyped references from the Kiwiblog right of gays that I’ve read their before to help Brett out with that most erudite point he made and to see if anyone had made any kind remarks about transgendered people. I’m sure brett would’ve appreciated my efforts. Another time then. (note sarcasm I’ll pull you up on that one yet Brett)

  11. keith 11

    “Well, either that or the whole Kiwiblog Right have been suckered by their own side”

    you know what they say: there’s only two sorts of right-wingers, millionaires and suckers.

  12. Rex Widerstrom 12

    “The signal to the base….”?!

    Damn, you’ve discovered our mind implants!!! I’d better warn the other members of the VRWC before you lefties start trying to block the signal with your tinfoil hats!

    Oh, wait…

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    Brett Dale suggests:

    …its those on the left that has to label people.

    Brett, meet Redbaiter. Red, meet Brett.

    Oh, by the way… I think Brett once admitted that Helen Clark might possibly have made a good point about something, a long time ago mind…

    😈

    Popcorn, anyone?

  14. IrishBill 14

    Rex, you’ve been around too long to be such a literalist. Or do you really think political language works only on a single surface level?

  15. Rex Widerstrom 15

    No, IrishBill, I was being a smart aleck… but OTOH if Key has developed a successful way of doing one thing while convincing even the most extremist supporters to purr, believing without a doubt that the “real” agenda will be delivered in due course, then he’s better than any political leader I know of.

    I mean there are some people there who’d even switch their anti-abortion stance if there was a reliable test to identify left voters prior to birth 😀

    I think those expecting a radical agenda have been suckered. And that includes some writers here… sadly, from the perspective of real choice in politics, everyone just tacks to the centre line to try and hoover up the maximum number of undecided votes and Key strikes me as the type of pollie most likely to do so… the cautious type with no real ideology to hold them on course.

  16. Anita 16

    Rex,

    I think that Key has learnt that a right wing economic agenda can be separated from a right wing social agenda; but much of the analysis hasn’t. Key’s economic agenda is not centrist, but by high profile socially centrist acts he appears centrist.

    I just used “centrist” three times in 11 words, I’m going to stop now 🙂

  17. Rex Widerstrom 17

    Anita:

    I’ll see if I can beat your score, but with “conservative” 🙂

    Rather than a radical agenda Key seems to me to be pursuing a conservative one… albeit one that reinstates many policies that are far more to the right of the spectrum. But even the “new” stuff is conservative.

    It’s conservative to basically return to the ECA model for employment bargaining. It’s conservative to reach across the aisle to the Maori Party rather than going through with the abolition of the Maori seats.

    I guess I’d concede that the status quo to which Key is falling back was in large part produced by some radical right wing thinkers (by which I mean Douglas, Richardson et al) so I’d say we’re both right. It’s not centrist, but nor is it radical if one defines radical as new, untried, exciting (in a good or bad way) or even different.

    Hmmm… “National: Back to the Future”?

    IrishBill: the ECA is not in the least conservative. It removed the award system which was primarily about government arbitrating for employers and workers. If anything the ECA took governance of a very important part of the economy out of the hands of central government. That’s anything but conservatism.

  18. vibenna 18

    IrishBill – nice post, but I think the frothing Kiwiblog commentators are representative of nothing other than the frothing Kiwiblog commentators. There are plenty of good value commentators there too, but I agree the pathological hatred of Helen Clark from some is … disturbing.

    I was going to make a snarky remark about “lucky there are no bigots on the left.” But there’s no point. I just stand in awe of Brett Dale, for his “gotcha” of the week. Can’t you give him an award, or something?

  19. Felix 19

    Oh yes, Brett’s a special one alright.

  20. Rex Widerstrom 20

    IrishBill:

    With respect, I think you’ve misread my comment. The instinct to return to the previous status quo rather than seek new solutions is what I characterise as conservative. I didn’t… or didn’t intend to… claim the EFA itself was conservative.

    I admitted that the position to which he was returning was an extreme one… but it’s still a return to the past rather than a step toward the future and thus IMHO not strictly deserving of the term “radical” inasmuch as it tends to connote a change from previous forms.

    Incidentally, I’m against almost all measures which remove “governance of a very important part of the economy out of the hands of central government” on principle, regardless of intent, because it invariably empowers an unelected elite. Which is why I oppose the idea of an MPA.

  21. django 21

    Your “nasty rightwing legislation” I see as tax cuts meaning more money for hardworking Kiwis, your “putting the minimum wage up”likewise. “Dancing with transexuals” is typical National inclusiveness and “hobnobbing with iwi” is just National doing what it does better than Labour, and that is delivering real and tangible outcome for Tangata Whenua commensurate with their overarching spirit of people delivering for themselves. We’ve heard Labour yapping about that one, but their “last cab off the rank”, PM not even bothering to turn up at Te Ti Marae was nothing more than their usual “if you’re not with Labour you’re against us” mentality that personified their entire reign.

    As I go about the trappings I find, as you must be, that Kiwis are embracing this new government. Contrary to what you say, it is not a government moving left, it is a government who has cast off the ruthless labelling that successive left wing governments and clever media interests like Edwards have foist upon them. Labour is not the natural government of the people despite their efforts to foster it, and people now know it.

    National never were more than a whisker right of Labour, National cares as much for Kiwis ( in my books more) as does Labour; and I say that Key has shown more respect from to all Kiwis in three months than Clark showed in three terms.

    It feels good out there despite the recession and Kiwis know it and say it. Look at Waitangi Day, look at the flag on the Harbour bridge issue – under Key’s healing words and actions, Waitangi 2009 actually became our default National Day, a day to celebrate. You should put your ear to the ground and take the pulse of the Nation, left and right like this government are sick of the “them and us” Labour way,and most want to build on what positives we can take out of this recession, not bleat on about the divisive and scandal ridden Labour years with cloth-capped fury.

    He aha te mea nui?
    He tangata.
    He Tangata.
    He Tangata

  22. Christopher 22

    where are these transexuals?

    I had a good look at the video, but could only see drag queens, which are in a different field altogether from transexuals.

  23. Tigger 23

    Bill – those are drag queens (‘transvestites’ I guess rather than ‘transexuals’)…I’d also take issue with calling what Key is doing ‘dancing’! 🙂

    Kiwiblog is a misogynisitic, homophobic cesspool. I try to stay away from it whenever I can.

  24. @ work 24

    “Brett Dale

    People on the right don’t see Key dancing with a transexual, we see him dancing with a New Zealander, its those on the left that has to label people.”

    No, but they did feel the need to have a discussion about making sure your son doesnt grow up a ‘homo’, and compare it to picking your nose.

  25. Billy 25

    I wasn’t aware that dancing with transexuals was the exclusive preserve of the left.

  26. higherstandard 26

    Well said django

  27. IrishBill 27

    django, the tax cuts focus 80% of the cash to the top 30% of taxpayers and increase the tax rates for anyone under $41k with kids.

    Christopher/Tigger, Thanks, you’re right. So much for my PC cred. I’ll change the post.

  28. Felix 28

    I’d also take issue with calling what Key is doing ‘dancing’!

    Yeah, well I tried to warn NZ that they were about to elect David Brent, but did they listen?

    Billy every time we find something we enjoy…

  29. Tigger 29

    Billy – no the Left tend to dance with transexuals. The Right just beat them up, literally and figuratively…

  30. lukas 30

    Darn, I must be letting the team down then as I have beaten any in the last 22 years, literally or figuratively.

    Tigger, how can you make such broad sweeping generalisations?

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    Lukas, JFTR, how old are you? 😉

  32. lukas 32

    22 in two weeks 😀

  33. Pascal's bookie 33

    That’s all right then. Carry on.

  34. Draco T Bastard 34

    That is partly why it was always called the natural party of govt etc.

    Nope, they had the largest base of people enrolled in the party which is why that particular phrase came about. Pity a lot of that membership was from fathers enrolling their wives and children (in other words, it was a load of BS)

    They have bent and flexed over the decades to give voice to what they see as ‘all NZers’.

    You’re deluding yourself – National has never considered anyone but the well off (ie, themselves).

  35. Georgebolwing 35

    I’m with Rex: Key and National are turning into classic conservatives: conserve whatever the status quo is, rather than being true liberals.

  36. You really have a distorted view of the right. I mean really. None of my ACT friends or Nats are anti gay, trannies, Maori or the poor and yet you seem to have a fixation on putting us into some intolerant group so you can throw stones at us.

    Key is a representative of the right and you may as well get over it and try harder next time. 🙂

  37. Felix 37

    That’s an interesting new twist on the time-honoured bigot’s fallback “some of my best friends are…”

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