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Into hiding

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, August 13th, 2008 - 22 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags:

The secret agenda scandal has reminded many people that, behind John Key’s smile, National’s leaders are still the same bunch who were cutting benefits and flogging off assets in the 1990s, or people who came into Parliament hoping to continue those policies. That’s not good for National’s election hopes. So, what have they done? Remove the hardliners from the spotlight even further and make National even more the ‘smiling Johnny’ party.

National cancelled Tony Ryall’s scheduled interview on Agenda on Sunday and refused to offer a replacement spokesperson to speak. Presumably, National was scared Ryall would be asked if National has any hidden agenda on health, particularly considering last year he was all for abolishing the cap on GP fees and now he says National would keep them.

On Monday, National’s Welfare policy was released by the Welfare Spokesperson, Judith Collins, did not speak on it (at least, I’ve seen nothing of her at the launch). One wonders whether Collins, a renowned hardliner and champion beneficiary-basher, was satisfied with the policy or thought it didn’t go far enough. We don’t know, because John Key is the only one answering questions on the issue.

Last week there were only three, rather than the normal four, MPs on Back Benches because the Nat pulled out at the last minute. I see there’s no National MP on Back Benches tonight either.

By hiding everyone else from the public gaze, the Nats are putting all their eggs in one basket. Can Key carry the burden? We’ll soon see.

[And what will they do if there’s a Key tape?]

22 comments on “Into hiding”

  1. outofbed 1

    Oh I think you will find that there is definitely a “Key Tape”

    Timing of course, is everything

  2. higherstandard 2

    And what will they do if there’s a Key tape?

    I suspect there is one but that it is bland as bland can be.

  3. Crank 3

    I have heard that National have in their possesion secretly filmed and very damaging video footage of a prominent Labour minister. My usually reliable source tells me this is being kept back as a counter measure in case Labour has any more recordings.

    Could of course all be bollocks.

  4. r0b 4

    I don’t think there is a damning Key tape, that would be too much to hope for.

    But if there was such a thing, if I was the secret taper (tee heee!) I would make sure I had good backup copies (including an off site backup).

    Interesting post anyway Steve. Hard to notice things by their absence so to speak, but it does start to look like a deliberate Nat strategy. It must be just a little bit depressing for them that the more they say the less popular they get!

  5. forgetaboutthelastone 5

    John Key – the man who likes to tell people exactly what they want to hear. Given that he would have been asked some sort of leading question I imagine this would be the most devastating tape yet.

    Crank – Labour had nothing to do with any of the recordings.

  6. lprent 6

    Crank: That does sound like bollocks.

    r0b: It must be really really galling for the Nat’s that people really don’t like what they have to say. It has been noticeable how fast the steam has been cooling as the Nat’s actually release policy bullet points. All of a sudden the bitching about the ‘government’ has dropped markedly as the alternatives become clearer.

    oob: My bet that there isn’t a Key tape. I’d expect that they’re a lot like the NZLP conferences both in opposition and government. There is a lot of fending to make sure that the leader doesn’t get mobbed.

    Other shadow ministers maybe?

  7. randal 7

    you mean the …gasp…the uh uh ugh “KEY TAPE”? I dont think they will need one. so teeheehee too.

  8. r0b 8

    All of a sudden the bitching about the ‘government’ has dropped markedly as the alternatives become clearer.

    Yes indeed. Not that I would expect to see any sudden movement in opinion polls yet, but my guess is that National and Labour polling is going to converge gradually but steadily up until the election.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    I notice they’re now using this as part of a strategy. it goes like this: “Well we’d love to tell you what our policies are, but after this incident we have to be very careful in case things get taken out of context”.

    In reaity it means “we can’t be confident in continuing with our phoney & bullshit stage-managed campaign because the half-truths and omissions we have oh-so carefully (and expensively) prepared have been ruined by a joker with a cellphone asking the right questions. We’re not going to run with a genuine campaign, so we’ll shut up shop, and have a cry.”

  10. insider 10

    “On Monday, National’s Welfare policy was released by the Welfare Spokesperson, Judith Collins, did not speak on it (at least, I’ve seen nothing of her at the launch).”

    I seem to recall a month or so ago you guys were complaining that a policy was launched and John Key did not lead it….

  11. insider 11

    “National cancelled Tony Ryall’s scheduled interview on Agenda on Sunday and refused to offer a replacement spokesperson to speak. ”

    REally? That’s not what Agenda says. Certainly no mention of other spokespeople being approached. Maybe not everyone thinks Agenda is more important than other commitments. Or are you just making it up?

  12. randal 12

    they are beginning to look like mystery men…can they be trusted to look after my hard earned cash?

  13. Anita 13

    On Monday, National’s Welfare policy was released by the Welfare Spokesperson, Judith Collins, did not speak on it (at least, I’ve seen nothing of her at the launch).

    But Collins did stand next to Key at the launch.

    On another thread in response to a discussion about what National needs to do to attract women voters I (cynically) suggested that Key should make a point of being seen with high ranking women more often. I’m glad to see that they’re taking the cynical superficial approach to including women in welfare policy.

  14. forgetaboutthelastone 14

    Agenda said Ryall was asked on the Friday before the Sunday to appear on Agenda and they were told that they hadn’t given him enough notice. Also the Labour minister was given the same amount of notice and was able to appear.

    I must say it was a very informative Agenda for once. It was interesting to see the panelists hassling Labour’s tax-cuts as being irresponsible when the only realistic alternative are the recklessly irresponsible tax cuts of the National Party.

    When Cunliffe tried to make this point he was quickly shut-down by the interviewer – whats-his-name. Not sure why this couldn’t be discussed. Because there was no-one there to defend the Nats?

  15. highwayman 15

    Silent T is more than capable of defending himself re tax cuts. It’s probably more likely Labour had given the hard word that it was a no go subject.

  16. Draco TB 16

    they are beginning to look like mystery men…

    So, that would be Mysteriously Hollow Men?

  17. Razorlight 17

    If there is a Key Tape many of you people will gasp in horror no matter what he says.

    Key tells the the young taper that WFF is here for good and entitlements will be increased under National. You will all scream ‘he lies, he lies’

    However if the tape said National will scrap WFF for tax cuts within two years you will all scream, ‘secret agenda, secret agenda’.

    No matter what Key, or anyone else in National says, they are criticised for either lieing or apparently having a secret agenda. For some reason your criticism loses credibility with reasoning like this.

  18. r0b 18

    Key tells the the young taper that WFF is here for good and entitlements will be increased under National. You will all scream ‘he lies, he lies

    Don’t be daft RL. Of course we wouldn’t do that. We will all scream “he flip flops he flip flops he flip flops” (whatever happened to “WfF is communism by stealth”, we will cry!). Makes much more sense.

  19. Felix 19

    How do you righties forget all your own catchphrases so quickly?

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    Felix – righties have to have useless (or selective) memories by definition, or the hit and run tactics just wouldn’t work on them.

  21. Phil 21

    If only us ‘righties’ could all be as smug and condescending as Felix and Matthew, then we’d be perfect.

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Phil – brilliant parody. If only the rest were as good as you.

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