David Farrar’s latest political campaign on behalf of the National Party has, like so many of them before, foundered on the sharp rocks of reality.
In an attempt reminiscent of the ramshackle PR fiasco that was the Free Speech Coalition, DPF tried to get the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s application for third party status declined, a move that to use the words of EPMU national secretary Andrew Little was:
a thinly-veiled attempt by a well-known National Party activist to suppress the views of the EPMU’s fifty thousand members
Today the judgment has come back that he is in fact wrong and the EPMU is free to represent its members’ views in political debate – something National will be very worried about given its policies on workers’ rights.
Now Davey may be down, but he’s not out (or at least he doesn’t think he is). Instead he’s claiming the decision is wrong and that it:
undermines one of the stated intentions of the Electoral Finance Act, which is to stop parallel campaigning
The only problem is the EFA was never about stopping “parallel campaigning” but about making it transparent and setting spending limits in order to preserve the integrity of the party spending cap.
Now Davey may rant on that:
National could start a group called “Wellington needs National’
I doubt that’s possible given it would be a wholly subsidiary group, but even so, under the EFA they would have to do so transparently.
And as Davey knows from the reaction to the FSC’s donor list and the outing of the Brethren last election, that sort of campaigning is viewed very cynically by the electorate and is certainly counter-productive.