Highly principled statements

Written By: - Date published: 12:29 pm, October 21st, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: bill english, election 2008, john key, national - Tags:

Yesterday, Bill ‘do whatever it takes to win’ English was out trying to assuage Kiwis fears of National’s secret agenda (which his recorded remarks helped ignite). He praised Labour’s achievements but said it was time for more positive leadership. In other words, ‘don’t worry, we’re just like Labour but John smiles a lot, oh and while we’re just like Labour we’ll magically solve every problem in the country, for which we blame Labour’.

Which Labour programmes did English praise? Well, Kiwisaver for one. That’s Kiwisaver that National would cut in half to pay for tax-cuts for the rich.

And where is this supposed positive leadership? If you’ve ever read a speech from Key, you’ll have seen it is a litany of attacks on the government with a vague promise to make everything perfect. National appears to think that all they have to do is say their campaign is positive to make it so, even if the facts don’t match up.

They also seem to think positivity is all we need. Well, that’s very hippy-ish of them but the fact is Key and his mates are running for the most powerful positions in the country. Those roles, especially in these times, require serious-minded and competent people. Positivity is great but if it’s all you have, you’re not up to the job.

In reality though, we know that National is not just Blue Labour, it does have a secret agenda, parts of it are revealed by delving into their policies such as privatising ACC, cutting tax on the wealthy, gutting the RMA, building private toll roads. English and co just don’t want to talk about that because they know it’s unpopular. Instead, they want you to believe they’re Labour with smiles. It’s unprincipled but, then, we know what English thinks of principles.

16 comments on “Highly principled statements”

  1. Pat 1

    I caught the tail end of an interview on the radio. The jist of it was that Labour only needs to get to within 10% of National on election day, and then Labour will get first option to form a government.

    May have heard this wrong. Can someone please clarify the correct protocol please?

    Also, I suspect the Maori Party might be playing one of the great strategies – imply your support for National, so that a desperate Labour will bend over on many demands in post-election negotiations. So Maori Party end up with 3 or 4 Cabinet Ministers, to the detriment of the Greens front bench aspirations once again. Thoughts?

  2. Ianmac 2

    I suspect the on-going strategy is to keep agreeing with Labour, slip in a few “minor” changes, then should they become Govt. they can say we did show you we were going to make a few changes, here are some more and you people gave us the mandate to do so. Remember?

  3. Scribe 3


    The secret agenda, parts of which are revealed in their policies.

    Wow, National can’t even hide their secret agenda properly. You’re right; not fit to be the Government.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Scribe, agreed.

  5. Tim Ellis 5

    SP you may have missed that Michael Cullen refuses to disclose what will be in his “mini-budget” if he’s reelected in three weeks time. That sounds like a big secret agenda to me. Cancelling tax cuts? Well, it’s happened before, hasn’t it?

  6. bill brown 6

    The protocol is:

    The largest block of parties that agree to vote together on confidence and supply get to be the government.

    The other parties get to be the opposition.

  7. Daveski 7

    Sorry mate, this is a rehash of many of your posts over the past few months so I don’t need to rehash my responses 🙂

    In politics, your side is principled and the other side is unprincipled. Same for sports, religion, etc

    However, I think Pat could have a valid point. The undoubted winner out of all of this will be the Maori party. The biggest problem Labour has is trying to accommodate the Greens, MP, and potentially Winston First.

    I would happily argue that Labour seems stuck (as SP illustrates) on a head to head battle with National while bigger issue is what coalitions can be stitched together. The big play will be if National’s vote holds and whether they can build a constructive relationship with MP.

    This is the last thing that Labour wants which is why they are trying so hard to demonise Key.

  8. bobo 8

    Judging by the constant road toll talk of Williamson he doesn’t want to be in government just warming a nice cosy sheepskin covered backbench. The National party have a severe case of tourettes syndrome is comical to watch.

  9. Pat 9

    So Nov 8 will mean only one thing – we have to wait for the MP to conduct their series of hui before we know who the government is. How long is this likely to take?

  10. Chris G 10

    The reason the Nats and (in this case Bill) are doing this now is the result of them looking at a bit of history.

    I think the Nats strategists and party members observed: When English won the famous 20% of the vote, they realised people didnt want lack of enthusiasm tories with no ideas -eg. the traditional National party.. Change of Plan: Enter Brash. Recipe: stir up fear (Get the Rednecks flaring about Maori issues – Orewa speech), run an openly negative campagin (Blue and Red billboards), pick an old white guy because it will revive the disillusioned tories who want someone who ‘Looks like he knows what hes doin!’ Result: Lose election – people are thankfully becoming more liberal and wont fall for the aforementioned crap.

    Try again: Enter Johnny ‘Friendly’ Key, they realise people actually like Labour, so chuck a fresh face in front of a tired old party with the same members from the 90s and run this Labour Plus campaign. Get Johnny smiling and use empty change rhetoric, remind people at all times he came from a statehouse and that now hes a millionaire (Play on peoples prejudices) add a nice seasoning of the right wing media drumming up the soundbites pretending that the country is going down the shitter and it sucks. Maybe you’ll swing the voters who fall for this facade.

    Thats what I reckon and thats why English, Key are playing these cards. Oh so clever.

  11. Vanilla Eis 11

    Pat: They’ve said they’ll spend a month consulting various iwi.

  12. Pat 12

    Daveski wrote “The biggest problem Labour has is trying to accommodate the Greens, MP, and potentially Winston First”.

    If NZF doesn’t make it, then the bargaining power of a 5 or 6 MP Maori Party would have increased exponentially.

  13. r0b 13

    Cancelling tax cuts? Well, it’s happened before, hasn’t it?

    Tim, were you thinking of the time that National voted against Labour’s company tax cuts?

  14. Phil 14

    Daveski wrote “The biggest problem Labour has is trying to accommodate the Greens, MP, and potentially Winston First’.

    If NZF doesn’t make it, then the bargaining power of a 5 or 6 MP Maori Party would have increased exponentially.

    That’s an interesting dilemma for the Blue team… you want Winston gone, but you also want him in, to make a Labour-led coalition more complex. Best way result for National is NZF on 4.9%

  15. Daveski 15

    Yep Phil it’s the $64 question!

    Imagine if we have to go to a recount to see if Winston gets over the 5% threshold.

    I’m doing my best to dissuade the racing industry NOT to vote Winston.

    How about an option on the party vote “Anyone but Winston First”??

  16. Ianmac 16

    Sharples said that they had set up a system where they could canvas the Maori electorate inside a week.

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