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Get ready for the spin

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, June 14th, 2009 - 64 comments
Categories: john key, mt albert, spin - Tags:

63% to 17%. That’s not a defeat. That’s a slaughter. An utter humiliation for the Tories.

How will the Tories and their fanboys (Armstrong, Ralston, Laws, Farrar etc) spin it?

Pretty obvious:

  • It was Lee’s fault for the gaffes.
  • It was Worth’s fault for the past fortnight.
  • Mt Albert people are dole-bludging darkies (see Kiwiblog threads)
  • The turn-out was low, so it doesn’t count.
  • It’s Labour’s fault for trying to hard to win.
  • It’s the media’s fault.
  • It doesn’t even matter.

The one thing it can’t be is Key’s fault. He’s the only asset National has. He’s the one person who needs to be protected above all.

  • Don’t mention that it was his policies that Mt Albert voted against.
  • Don’t vote mention that Key chose Lee personally.
  • Don’t mention that the Tories poured huge resources into winning.
  • Don’t mention that Key seriously expected to win until it went sour.

The spin won’t work. Even the best spin doctor can’t repair some injuries.

64 comments on “Get ready for the spin”

  1. Red Rosa 1

    Following the kiwblog threads is a bit like watching, in awed horror, some primeval monster rising from a slimy lake to look round for some fresh victims.

    This creature, cleverly portrayed as the sensitive, caring National Party, has been in temporary hibernation.

    But beware, it is stirring itself again. And the results will not be pretty.

  2. Agreed.

    National had its ass whipped yesterday.

    And Key not showing is so poor, although Melissa deserves credit for fronting to concede. I thought that the Labour crowd’s treatment of her was most civilised, something the Wingnuts would not understand.

    The other spin they have been running is that Shearer is a right winger. 20 years of humanitarian work is ignored in favour of something that he wrote 20 years ago in the context of trying to stop the massacre of innocent women and children.

    • Anita 2.1

      There are plenty of right-wingers involved in humanitarian work.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1


        Interesting comment and I do not doubt there are humanitarian right wingers. I am suggesting that having humanitarian tendencies will make you favourably consider helping those less fortunate than you which will make you incline to the left. There is not a perfect correlation but there is one.

        You only have to read a few kiwiblog posts where they decry dole bludgers and insist on their tax being minimised to realise that there is a dominant belief amongst the right that it should be every man for themself.

        • The Baron

          Tarring with a pretty thick brush there Micky…

          I think plenty of right-wing people, like myself, care a hell of a lot about those less fortunate than us. I would say that the majority of the right in parliament are like that too.

          The big difference is in the methods that the right and the left see as necessary to deliver to those less fortunate. Its an old saying, and hardly mine, but that difference is that the right focus on making a bigger “cake”, whereas the left tend to focus predominanty on slicing the current “cake” up.

          Its very simplistic to write off right wing people as being uncaring asses; just like it is very simplistic to write off left wing people as wooly headed redistributors. I tire of that crap just as much on Kiwiblog as I do here. But I guess the crass generalisation and demonisation of ones opponents is an old classic warrior mentality, huh.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Ummm, doesn’t this:

            Its an old saying, and hardly mine, but that difference is that the right focus on making a bigger “cake’, whereas the left tend to focus predominanty on slicing the current “cake’ up.

            amount to saying that the left are a bunch of wooly headed redistributors?

            I may be misunderstanding, but the first quote seems to be saying what you think the truth is, and the second what you think is simplistic nonsense. Or do you think, as I do that the first quote is also simplistic nonsense?

          • The Baron

            Fair comment, though the first quote wasn’t meant to be inflamatory.

            Merely a reflection that most (no, not all) left thinking tends to predominantly concern the division of wealth rather than the creation of more wealth as the best way to care about those less fortunate.

            The point was that the majority of people are after the same things – just differ in how to achieve them. I don’t think that that is too outrageous a point.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Oh heavens no. That’s not an unfair point at all, it’s one I agree with.

            A good part of the reason the left like redistribution is because they think it is the best way to grow the pie over the long term. It’s not just a social justice issue, though it is that too.

            In my view the reason governments, as opposed to individuals, should pay attention to those socio-economic justice issues, is that if they ignore them it leads, in the long view, to severe social unrest. Which is bad for growth, economic well being, and pie consumption. Not to mention all the crime, riots, and revolutionary pitchfork waving.

            Individuals should pay attention to them for other reasons, in this view.

          • lprent

            ….the right focus on making a bigger “cake’, whereas the left tend to focus predominanty on slicing the current “cake’ up.

            Wrong. You missed a key word. “short-term”.

            The left concentrates on building the cake in the long-term, whereas the right tries to extract more in the short-term, effectively foreclosing the future.

            The clearest examples show in relative support for education (the right approach is to support ‘our’ children whereas the left support ‘all’ children) and preventative health (the right always cuts it). In both cases the effect is too long-term for the average moron of the rights ROI. However it pays massive dividends over time in developing people infrastructure. That then increases growth.

            So far I see the Nats dismantling long-term programmes because they lack the imagination to see the future benefits for all.

          • Draco T Bastard

            making a bigger “cake’,

            How do you make the world bigger?

    • mike 2.2

      “And Key not showing is so poor”

      Key is on holiday. But apparently passed on his best to Shearer who he see’s as good centre right presence in Parliament

      • felix 2.2.1

        Holiday plans are really important. You set your dates 6 months in advance. You don’t fuck with holiday plans for some silly little by-election that you don’t even care about.

        I guess Mt Albert was never very important to him then.

        Oh hang on, up until a month ago it was hugely important to him. He personally sent his best “rising star” to win it for the nats. He couldn’t stop talking about how awesome it was gonna be.

        Oh well.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Yep it was pretty stupid of Key to schedule the by-election for when he was on holiday.

          Imagine if Lee had won. He would’ve missed out on reflecting in the glory.

  3. Anita 3

    * By-elections always swing against the government, this is completely expected

  4. gobsmacked 4

    If it was all about Lee, the voters had a simple alternative.

    There were two other candidates from the government coalition, one low profile but competent (Judy Turner) and one high profile, and to be fair, an energetic campaigner (Boscawen).

    The voters rejected them too.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    I have just read Rolstons piece. Yep he worked real hard to put that together. Rolstons summary Lee was terrible, Labour was always going to to win.

    Funny Bill that was not what you said a few weeks ago.

    Political commentator/ journalist, my arse! Rolston is a sick joke.

    Spin it how you like Shearer has a CV that most in the world could only dream of.

    Lee comes from a profession full of people with a steadily declining level of intelligence.

    Shearer 63% Labour Lee 17% National

    Enough said really!

  6. Redbaiter 6

    Tories- pffft.

    How detached from reality can you Progressives get???

    If there ever was a real Tory in National they might amount to something.

    • felix 6.1

      Redbaiter, I have this theory that Mt Albert is almost entirely populated by criminals, dole bludgers, drug addicts and union low-lifes who’ve never done a day’s work so naturally they voted for Shearer but everyone I say this to tells me I’m a moron. What should I do?

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      We mock the tories we have bait, not the tories you wish we had.

      If there ever was a real Tory in National they might amount to something.

      But of course.

      Instead of merely leading a govt, the Nat’s could take your advice and reset their electoral sights on hoping to get their deposits back.

      How detached from reality can you Progressives get???

      We are clearly out of your league in this respect, granted.

  7. See Granny Herald’s editorial today, warning National to rein in Hide and his agenda for local government. The grandees of the National Party will not admit openly that they are concerned about the Mt. Albert result, but you can be certain that they understand that they face a political problem that is far greater than Ms Lee’s handling and gaffes. The government is not yet badly damaged, but its lustre is significantly tarnished by this result and other recent gaffes.

  8. Redbaiter 8

    “See Granny Herald’s editorial today, warning National to rein in Hide and his agenda for local government.”

    That’s right. More scum left wing media pretending to objectivity whilst completely unable to think outside the left wing paradigm.

    Come the revolution, there’ll be some corrupt bastards from the Herald decorating a few lamp posts.

    • QoT 8.1

      More scum left wing media pretending to objectivity whilst completely unable to think outside the left wing paradigm.

      With your permission, Red, I’ll be using this comment to keep me warm on cold Wellington nights, until that noted Commie agitator Garth George’s next column is out.

  9. Red Rosa 9

    As a non-Aucklander, but one who wishes the city well and recognizes its crucial part in the NZ economy, I think the SuperCity idea is long overdue.

    Auckland simply does not need 8 TLAs, with all the associated costs, overlap and competition among them.

    But for this to be rammed through as a vehicle for privatization, and cover for looting of the various public assets, is something else again.

    My recipe would be an Auckland Council of 12 (14 at most), elected from wards of roughly equal size, on top of 30 odd properly resourced community boards for genuine democratic representation at local level.

    If these boards got full-scale staffing support, they could channel grass roots messages upwards in a structured manner. This will be vital for real democracy in the bigger city setup. Also the boards will provide a good source of aspiring Council candidates.

    Any good, Aucklanders?

    • It is a good start Red Rosa.

      The main problem is that there needs to be a genuine discussion on what form Auckland should take with its citizens and the nats are not doing this. They are ramming it down our throats. The 8 members at large is a right wing gerrymander and privatisation of public assets looms as a distinct possibility.

      The process should be slowed down.

      I thought that a start would be to get the computer systems integrated and run various services including libraries, rates billing, and rubbish collection on a regional basis with the rest to follow gradually.

      Instead of this we are having what looks like a deeply flawed model being rammed down our necks.

      The Government ought to realise that its support is shallow and issues like this can easily dissipate this.

      • The Baron 9.1.1

        Again, too simplistic Micky.

        The rationale behind the large seats is to reduce the “pork barrell” tendencies of local ward representatives – people who are there to think on a regional basis.

        I share your concern that running for such positions will be difficult – they will need to be big campaigns, and the sheer number of contenders in such an election may make many voters just go for the first name on the list.

        (As an aside, any ballots for these roles should be printed on a randomised basis, rather than alphabetical. I remember reading (no link sorry) that having a surname that started with A increased yout chances of election by about 30%.)

        But this idea that it is all a rightwing gerrymander is a bit hysterical. Some supporting evidence:
        – ARC councillors are elected on large (not as large as this, but still) franchises, based on current TLA boundaries. And yet plenty of people from the left have been successfully elected.
        – Labour seems to do alright on a nationwide basis, don’t they? 3/4 since I started voting is a pretty good record!

        I trust the voters of Auckland to be able to select a candidate that matches their interests appropriately. Given that other large candidate models seem to work fine, I reject the idea that this will lead to a plethora of Remmers businessmen. Plus, such seats may enforce a regional focus, which is sorely required.

        • The Baron

          Pity i can’t retract this. Thoroughly off topic. My apologies.

          [lprent: thats ok. It is deliberate topic drift ie threadnapping that we frown on) ]

  10. coolas 10

    Here’s hoping Key doesn’t get the message from Mt Albert & continues his dangerous alliance with Hide and Act. Rodney has way too much power in proportion to his support, and he’s abusing his position as Minister of Local Government to make radical changes. Like his performance in Dancing with the Stars he’s a flat foot and will fall over sooner or later taking Key with him. Bring it on!

  11. IrishBill 11

    It seems the spin is more like “by-election? What by-election? But look! Over there! new dirt on Worth’s second accuser!”

    • felix 11.1

      Today’s kbr winner (so far) is chrisw76 with this little gem:

      I must admit that I have been very surprised that we have been obsessed with what frankly was a pissant by-election in Mt. Albert, when a far more interesting democratic election has been taking place in Iran.

      I wonder when he realised he was wrong to be obsessed? Probably around 6:30 last night.

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Red Rosa
    Your thoughts make sense, I thought most people had agreed with your exact model.
    For some reason the lure of a power grab on behalf of their mates seems to have got the better of the ‘Remeura gang’.
    Thr rest of NZ will be hoping that they will not next.

  13. Jared 13

    Interesting, Labour increased its % of the vote by 3.8% from 59.29% of the vote to 63.09% and this is apparently a “slaughter”. Labour was always expected to win regardless of the candidate it ran. You can spin it however you want, but looking at the results paints a different picture. The Greens managed to up their proportion of the votes from 5.94% to 12.09%, a big leap, probably down to the fact they ran Norman than anything else, although you could attribute this as a changing perception of Green values. Likewise with Act coming in with 4.72% of the vote, up from 4.09%, again, probably down to Act running a higher profile candidate, but possibly down to a shift in voter values. Lee’s decrease is far more dramatic with a decrease of 11.71% from the 2008 election, though I wouldn’t put that solely down to anti national sentiment, more her campaign failure. I would also hasten to extrapolate the Mt Albert polling as indicative of voter opinion nationwide considering the relatively lower voter turnout (2/3rds of those in 2008), though I will reserve that for the next opinion poll.

    • gobsmacked 13.1

      Jared, FYI:

      Mt Albert Party Vote 2002

      Labour 52.09%

      National 13.10%

      Greens 10.68%

      And if it was all about Lee, why did voters not pick another right-of-centre candidate? There were several to choose from.

    • lprent 13.2

      Always interesting looking at numbers in percentages. It is the easiest known way to lie with numbers.

  14. Just to note the sudden fascination with the Iranian elections on the part of Mr Farrar, and Mr Slater’s endorsement of Bill Ralston as the only pundit worth quoting on, pretty much, anything.

    Ms Lee’s meltdown, Mr. Shearer’s overwhelming victory, and the general chaos surrounding Mr Key’s leadership do seem to have upset National’s blog vanguard.

    I wonder what policy announcement is in preparation to divert attention from National’s disastrous last few weeks. Party Central in Auckland fell very, very flat. The cycleway has all the hallmarks of an albatross – Key’s Cycleway to Nowhere looks like an election slogan in a year or so. I expect the Great Porcine Pandemic to become a major focus as Mr Ryall is given the role of ‘Diverter-in-Chief’.

  15. Ianmac 15

    But it is Great to have the wisdom of Tony Ryall. After all in the space of a few weeks he managed single-handedly to set up systems to manage the flu threat. (Of course some lefty idiots suggest that it was a system established by the Health Dep under Labour watch. Huh. Why do they think the Minister of Health is given such good air time?)
    Sure the cost of the extra efforts will have to come from somewhere. Scalpel?

  16. Greg 16

    “How will the Tories and their fanboys (Armstrong, Ralston, Laws, Farrar etc) spin it?

    Pretty obvious:

    * It was Lee’s fault for the gaffes.
    * It was Worth’s fault for the past fortnight.
    * Mt Albert people are dole-bludging darkies (see Kiwiblog threads)
    * The turn-out was low, so it doesn’t count.
    * It’s Labour’s fault for trying to hard to win.
    * It’s the media’s fault.
    * It doesn’t even matter.”

    Exactly right. While these may have had an impact around the edges one factor ensured it was always going to be a landslide for Labour. Waterview. However, obviously the rest of the country isn’t so caught up in this. Mt Albert did not vote against National’s policies. They voted against one policy. To state this is a trend for the rest of New Zealand is misleading, Waterview ensured this buy election (pun intended) was always going to severely buck the trend.

    • gobsmacked 16.1


      “To state this is a trend for the rest of New Zealand is misleading”

      New Zealand, perhaps. But not Auckland (which, for better or worse, has a huge influence on the election, under MMP).

      The well-attended (and unhappy) public meetings on the Super-City suggest this is about much more than Mt Albert. National/ACT will ignore that at their peril.

    • lprent 16.2

      Wrong. Most of the electorate don’t care one way or another about SH20 personally. It was the attitude by the self-entitlement attitude by the NACT government that pissed them off.

      However it is an electorate that doesn’t take kindly to fuckwits trying to push them around. The super-city proposal by NACT was far more of a factor than the Waterview connection.

      • Ianmac 16.2.1

        Tis true those of us in the deep south do not really care about SH20 either. But what interests me is the actions of the Key Govt. Consistent? On message? Honest? Confident? Does John Key get muddled because of the conflicting advice from his minders? Is he therefore sure of his own mind?

  17. gobsmacked 17

    Spin update: Jonathan Coleman (Cabinet Minister, and Melissa Lee’s minder), speaking on TVNZ’s Q & A this morning, described the by-election as a “sideshow”. In fact, he said it twice, so it wasn’t a slip of the tongue.

    So that’s National’s view of people voting in an election: it’s a sideshow.

    Which begs the question: why has a Cabinet Minister, on his sizeable salary, paid from our taxes, been wasting so much time on a sideshow?

    Why didn’t he stay in Wellington?

  18. So Bored 18

    Wow, that woke me up, what a result, should put the fear of God into Jonkey and crew, beware a slighted Westie and a piised off Polynesian. Rodders and Melissa sure know how to wind these people up. Should be fun to watch the next general election, this encourages me to snooze off and to dream of polling day 2011 as Henderson and Manakau block vote Jonkeys donkeys out, sweet dreams foor me, nightmares for the Nats.

  19. exbrethren 19

    Good to see United Future get 8th place. Dunne will be gone next election. With Worth gone as well ACT might struggle in Epsom and the MP will need to do something to justify their presence as well.

    The future looks bright.

    • felix 19.1

      Getting rid of Dunne largely depends on the left voters in Ohariu getting their shit together and playing on the same team.

      Dunne won it in 2008 with a total of 12,303.
      The combined Labour/Green vote? 13,692.

      Green voters in Ohariu cast 2,665 votes for Gareth Hughes – all of them wasted (the votes I mean).

      MMP, Greens. Learn it.

      edit: There were 3488 party votes for the Greens in Ohariu. This means that there are 823 Green voters in the electorate who understand MMP – surely that’s enough of you to educate the others?

      • Jasper 19.1.1

        8th most marginal seat.

        Chauvel had 1004 votes less than Dunne – if Hughes voters had gone Chauvel, Dunne Future would be gone.

        It’s highly likely that in 2011, Dunne will get a list placing on National, as he does what’s best for his pay packet.
        Losing Ohariu to Chauvel ensures the end of Dunne Future. Can’t see Dunne laying down without having a backup plan.

        A lot of Labour party voters gave their electorate to Shanks, as they thought she would more likely win. How wrong they were.
        Chauvel for 2011. Gets rid of Dunne Future, but Dunne will most likely pop up on the National list. Guarantee it.

  20. Greg 20

    “Wrong. Most of the electorate don’t care one way or another about SH20 personally. It was the attitude by the self-entitlement attitude by the NACT government that pissed them off.

    However it is an electorate that doesn’t take kindly to fuckwits trying to push them around. The super-city proposal by NACT was far more of a factor than the Waterview connection.”

    Don’t confuse your opinions with those of the electorate as a whole. Those of us who live inside the beltway care about the electoral finance act, the Auckland supercity and the like. Most of the general public do not. They identify much more with a policy that will have a direct impact on their lives, Ie Waterview. Those of us who are politically inclined keep forgetting this.

    Also, I don’t see what impact Mt Albert has on Dunne’s chances of survival (not that I’m his biggest fan). The only voters that matter to Dunne’s survival are those in Ohariu-Belmont, not those in Mt Albert.

    • felix 20.1

      I think you’re overlooking the fact that the supercity is a local issue in Mt Albert.

  21. dw 21

    at the risk of being called out for link-whoring I thought I’d point out just how far from true the “Mt Albert people are dole-bludging darkies” line is:

  22. Redbaiter 22

    “Mt Albert people are dole-bludging darkies’

    Maybe you can link to this line on Kiwiblog so that I know it isn’t just another cowardly false allegation and smear.

    So far I’ve only read it on The Standard.

    • felix 22.1

      Is someone trying to smear you, baiter?

      What are they trying to do – make you look like a blinkered, unhinged idiot with extreme f@scist views and no grip on reality?

      The cowardly scum.

  23. Redbaiter 23

    “Members and front organizations must continually embarrass, discredit and degrade our critics. When obstructionists become too irritating, label them as fascist, or Na*i or insane …. The association will, after enough repetition, become “fact” in the public mind.”

    –Com*un*st Party, Mosc*w Central Committee 1943

    That aside, I guess you approve entirely of cowardly false allegations as long as in your tiny mind, the person who is maligned disagrees with your extreme left politics.

    I mean, that gives you open slather for any kind of denigration, personal attack, and going back in history not all that far, the right to sic the secret police on them and haul them off to the gul*g. Right?

    Always the same. Scratch the skin of a leftist, and underneath lurks the drooling totalitarian beast. So repellent.

    If the person who wrote the subject slur cannot point the subject phrase out on Kiwiblog they should apologise, for otherwise it is nothing but a cowardly lie.

    • Zetetic 23.1

      Christ, Redbaiter. You’re a PC little cry baby aren’t you? Do you need a hug? I can hear you sniffling from here.

      • Redbaiter 23.1.1

        I merely seek to protect the democratic right to hold alternative veiwpoints. Just because someone might not agree with socialism should not make them automatically subject to ridicule and smears and false allegations.

        You might approve of lies directed at blogs that hold different political viewpoints. I don’t and if I observed a similar lie about The Standard I would complain of that as well.

        (I do not actually mind traditional leftists too much, its Progressives I despise)

        • felix

          Yep, you get ridiculed because you might not agree with socialism.

          And Jeffrey Dahmer is thought poorly of for his table manners.

    • lprent 23.2

      Actually when I first read the quote I was thinking that it was obviously from one of the wingnut totalitarian groups in the States. You know the ones – libertarians or religionists who say that the state should not interfere with their right to abuse people. However it simply came from a totalitarian regime that used different labels and similar tactics.

      But I suppose extremists left, right, religious, capitalist, worker, etc etc all tend to go together in my mind after a while. Same with all extreme sales pitches, and other self-righteous indignation.

      Incidentally, the quote describes exactly your initial behaviour on this site. Looked like there is simply a name shift. Except I got annoyed and removed a lot of the language to auto-moderation.

      As far as I’m aware, we’ve never had to ban you off the site as we have with others. You might have opinions that people here find crazy. But at least yoiu can articulate the arguments.

  24. TV3 tonight: the National view of Mt Albert – the Coleman version: it’s all Ms Lee’s fault and Mr Key is busy (so couldn’t make time to be there last night). Political analysis gives way to blaming the individual.

    National does not forgive failure easily. And it’s no-one else’s fault – not her minders (Coleman included), not the experienced cadres of the party, not he who chose her.

    Ms Lee faces a career on the far distant, colder benches in parliament.

    • lprent 24.1

      She was a green MP. All of this was foreseeable by any competent party.

      Hell we (the LEC) knew that Shearer or Bates or whomever got picked wouldn’t know the ropes. So there was a lot of support planned both directly to the candidate and to the campaign. Because it was a by-election we could get the best people. Something that the party participated in with enthusiasm.

      It did help the Shearer listens to what people say and naturally has a diplomatic demeanor

  25. Maggie 25

    Rules of the John Key “Learn to Swim” Club:

    1. Choose young, attractive female non-swimmer who looks good in a bikini. Alert the media for photo ops.
    2.Throw her in the deep end
    3. Hurl large rocks at her head (the rocks can be labelled Waterview motorway, Auckland Super City, Worth Sex Scandal for purposes of identification)
    4. When she is bleeding and going down for the third time suddenly remember you need a holiday
    5. Skulk away and don’t look back. Avoid the media

  26. Greg 26

    Your missing my point Felix. The pro’s and con’s of a different kind of local governance simply does not excite the majority of New Zealanders. A motorway through their backyard will though

    • felix 26.1

      I’m not sure how familiar you are with the geography of suburban Auckland, but the amount of people directly affected by the new motorway is pretty small relative to the Mt Albert electorate. Lynn is right, it’s the attitude of the govt in pushing this stuff through that grates people more than the substance of the changes themselves.

      The motorway issue serves as a metaphor for the supercity issue – Auckland is getting bulldozed into it whether they like it or not. The two issues are forever linked in the minds of Aucklanders thanks to Key and Hide.

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