Jockeys change at National – Return of the Hollow Men

Written By: - Date published: 5:32 pm, November 8th, 2007 - 19 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

Chris Simpson has suddenly gone as manager of the National Party, and Steven Joyce and Jo de Joux are back. According to The Hollow Men they are the team who ran the hidden campaigns with the Exclusive Brethren and the racing industry in the 2005 election.

This is a strategic shift – it has McCully’s fingerprints all over it. Last year their talk was all about the return to the National Party of Holyoake and Bolger. Now that party’s been rolled, that talk is over, and the Hollow Men faction are back.

Colin James described Simpson as a “party man” in the Herald last year in an article about National’s ‘recovery phase.’

National’s first recovery phase, under Brash, relied heavily on marketing — that was Steven Joyce’s strong point. Brash also relied too often to people who either had no more political skill than he had or were not steeped in the party’s ethos. A party is an organism. Brash was an adjunct leader. National’s challenge now is to emulate Labour — to be more a political organism and less a marketing venture, to have a stronger sense of what to do with power and to fill the large gaps in its ranks (Maori, for example) and so make itself “national” — as it was in its post-1945 heyday.

New general manager Chris Simpson is of that more “party” ilk, old hands say. Peter Goodfellow’s replacement of Alan Tower on the board in July injected quiet professionalism. The next need, in good time, is a hard-edged president who builds on Judy Kirk’s restoration of harmony to make a grunty election machine.

It adds up to the politics not of radical change but of incremental improvement and adjustment. It is the politics of the centre, leaning to the right, solidly based in a broad and patient constituency.

Is Key the leader for that? His working life in a back-yourself, lone-ranger industry says no. His thin party background says no.

And now the return of Joyce and de Joux say no. We’re back to the National Party of Holland, Richardson and Brash, as John tries to hide the fact he’s a Don.

19 comments on “Jockeys change at National – Return of the Hollow Men”

  1. Santa Claws 1

    Meanwhile, Labour maintains the same party apparatchiks that ripped off the taxpayer for close to a million dollars last year.

    Here’s what John Roughan had to say at the time

    “She seems not to realise, even now, why the Auditor General, the press and the public find it outrageous that Labour financed election material as blatant as its highly effective pledge card from public funds intended for bona fide Government information.

    She has been unaware at every turn that her excuses have only made her party sound more like a bleating, pampered, presumptuous public beneficiary – about the worst image a Labour Government can give because it accords so closely with the general perception of the party’s social base.

    The Government’s first response to the Auditor General was to plead, “but we’ve always done it this way”, as if that made it right. Then it tried, “nobody told us we couldn’t any more”, as if it should ever have needed to be told.

    Then it tried to transfer responsibility to a body called Parliamentary Service, a supine bureaucracy that serves all parties in Parliament and routinely signs their chits. That body, it turns out, did query the pledge card claim but paid out after getting a strongly worded letter from the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Heather Simpson.

    When it became a public issue Labour sought safety in numbers, rounding up support from minor parties and attacking National as a scab for paying back the amount the Auditor said was due.

    Next Labour threatened retrospective legislation if the Auditor stuck to his guns, reminding the public that these presumptuous beneficiaries were in power.

    And finally, they said that whatever anyone decided, Labour would not pay the money back, a sure sign that this Government, like many before it, has succumbed to third term hubris.”

    Or Fran O’Sullivan?

    “Let’s be clear about this.

    It was Clark’s chief of staff Heather Simpson who authorised the use of parliamentary funds to the tune of more than $400,000 out of the leaders’ budget to pay for the PM’s pledge card and pamphleteering.

    Simpson denied to police that the exercise had anything to do with skewing voter support Labour’s way. Police found a prima facie case against her but chose to give her the benefit of the doubt and did not press charges.

    Labour Party General Secretary Mike Smith, who said he did not authorise the advertising spend, also escaped censure despite admitting to the Chief Electoral Officer that the pledge card should have been counted among Labours official advertising spend before changing his mind.”

    Who needs a jockey change really?

  2. Santa Claws 2

    Colin James
    “parliamentary funds disgrace”

    Andrew Little
    “Labour needs to show contrition at its conference over the election spending saga, says union leader Andrew Little, among a group of potential candidates who are expected to rejuvenate the party’s ranks in the 2008 election.”

    Chris Trotter
    “Social peace for a paltry half million dollars? Strikes me as the most courageous and forgivable kind of corruption.”

    And don’t forget how slow the party was to deal with TPF:

    “Labour is unlikely to take any internal disciplinary action against Taito Phillip Field for some time yet, with the party’s president arguing such a move might pre-judge a police inquiry into the MP’s dealings.

    The ongoing Field affair is expected to be a topic of robust discussion at this weekend’s meeting of Labour’s ruling council in Auckland.

    Labour Party president Mike Williams yesterday said that, although he could not predict what would be decided at the meeting, he thought that starting action against Mr Field would not be appropriate.”

    Same Leader, Same President, Same Secretary as now.

    Hollow post John.

  3. Robinsod 3

    Jeez DPF Claws – you’ve had the research unit going hard on this one. The old standard must be shaking the tories a bit eh?

    Let’s see though:

    Pledge card: They paid it back


    Hollow men: they dropped Brash like a hotcake misdirected about “stolen” emails without laying a complaint until it was starting to make them look silly and then claimed it was all fiction but never sued Hagar. Hmmm.

    Fan O’Sullivan: she gets the figures wrong (in the piece you quote!) and has made claims that the sick and elderly should be allowed to die rather than become a financial burden. Well done here DPF…

    Andrew Little: Source please. I don’t think I’ve ever read that.

    Chris Trotter: I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at here?

    TPF: Isn’t he being charged at the moment?

    Y’see Santa – what you’ve done here is throw a lot of shit up on the page in the hope that even though it makes no argument it’ll give a sense of unease and not be challenged because its moves across a lot of ground quickly. It’s a pretty standard smear technique and I’ve gotta say DPF Claws, you’re quite good at it. In fact I’m starting to think that such a competent dissembler couldn’t really be DPF. Nah, you’re DPF alright (and you’re getting back on your game mate). Fuck off.

  4. Policy Parrot 4

    Santa: When are National going to pay back the money the Exclusive Brethren contributed to their campaign in 2005?

  5. illuminatedtiger 5

    What a wuss David! If you have something extreme to say don’t make up some lame ass handle to do it. Put your name to it like a real man!

  6. illuminatedtiger 6

    Will they be hiring that Aussie PR company again? They were the ones that smeared an Australian electoral candidate by calling up conservative Christians and making false accusations that she supported Partial birth abortions.

  7. thomas 7

    Mind you Chris Simpson was a dick
    surprised he lasted so long

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    God this blog needs a new troll. Either that or Claws needs to lift his game.

    As a public service here is some gratis trolling advice for Claws:

    If you plan on changing the subject in order to threadjack you actually have to pretend to be interested in linking it to the initial post. You are too obvious and most people just think you can’t respond to the subject at hand. You should make a passing reference to the actual subject before you change it. This causes people to be distracted. Ideally you should wait till about your third post in a thread before changing the subject, it fools people into thinking you are acting in good faith.

    Think of it as leading people up a garden path, you actually have to start off at the same point as them and make them follow you over to where it is that you would rather be having the discussion.

    Doing it your way is more like standing in an adjacent paddock shouting “look at this, over here, guys, guys, come at look at this, I am not a wanker, no look at this really, why do keep saying I’m a wanker?” Not very effective, and to segue into my next point, really boring.

    Get some new material. Seriously. If all you’ve got to talk about is the same old crap about “stolen money” or “EFB” people start to tune you out. Without variation and novelty your posts become nothing more than the puss flecked dribblings from the cock of a syphalitic dog, and no-one wants to look at that. They just scream at the dog to get the fuck off out of my yard. And you know what? They have a point, and the dog is lucky if that’s all he gets. By rights he should be put out of his misery. So get some new material.

    As a suggestion for said new material, how about you address the topic of this blog post? Or maybe you could tell us when the anti-business Nats going to pay the money they owe to media outlets who ran their ads during the last campaign? They short changed them 12.5%.

  9. Sigh you people really are sad with your obsession. I have no idea who Santa is, and unless the site administrator is totally incompetent they should be able to easily tell that I presumably have a different IP address from Santa, unless that person is also on Ihug.

    Yes the paranoid amongst you might think I actually have multiple ISP subscriptions just so I can pose as someone else. If so, I suggest you see a doctor.

    For the record I have never posted on any political blog under any name but my own. Apart from the ethics involved, my writing style is distinctive enough that I am sure people would guess who I was after a while.

  10. r0b 10

    G’day David (and let’s assume that you really are DPF). Welcome to The Standard.

    It would be good if you chose to stay a while an post here. I’m sure there are others, like me, who’d be interested to discuss things with you, but really can’t face the tone over at your blog. (It’s a pity what has happened there – the attempt to sort it out with moderation is intersting, but seems to be fatally flawed in practice).

    So – What do you make of the disappearance of Chris Simpson?

  11. Robinsod (moderator) 11

    Welcome DPF (first time commenter, long time reader?) – It’s good to see you posting under your own name at the standard, you might enjoy the level of debate here as there’s no Dad or Bait and we tend to have a pretty high standard of analysis. Oh and spin analysis is definitely not off the table.

    I wouldn’t say there’s an obsession with you here though as currently the standard is mentioned at KB a lot more than viceversa. And you’re being a little disingenuous with the IP address thing – you know how easy it is to operate multiple IP addresses without multiple provider subscriptions. Do you think others don’t?

  12. Robinsod (moderator) 12

    Oh and DPF – please try to stay on topic.

  13. I’ve actually commented here previously. I just thought I would set the record straight over the Santa = DPF delusion. But you are free to carry on ignoring my word and call me a liar with no evidence.

  14. all_your_base 14

    “Distinctive” 🙂

  15. r0b 15

    “I’ve actually commented here previously.”

    Well, in that case, welcome back. (Your previous visit(s) must have been in the very early days!).

    “But you are free to carry on ignoring my word and call me a liar with no evidence”

    Well robinsod is having you on a bit, but I don’t think its fair to say anyone has called you a liar. I for one am fully prepared to accept your word that DPF /= santa.

    Now, since this is the thread we’re in, what do you make of the disappearance of Chris Simpson?

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Perhaps Steven Joyce has been appointed to turn around National’s sliding support, as shown in the latest Morgan poll out today. Assuming all minor party electorate MPs hold their seats, there would be 123 seats in Parliament:

    Act 1
    Green Party 8
    Jim Anderton’s Progressive 1
    Labour Party 51
    Maori Party 4
    National Party 57
    United Future New Zealand 1

    (123 seats, plus any further electorates gained by Maori Party)

    Of course National could still govern, but only if the Maori Party vote for them – even abstaining would not be enough.

    Splish! Splash! … the sound of right-wing policies going overboard, as John Key begs for Hone Harawira’s permission to become Prime Minister. The reaction on Kiwiblog would be hilarious.

    (And for those who say “it’s just one poll”, where are the polls that show National’s preferred partners getting any support at all? How are they NOT going to need the Maori Party?)

  17. Santa Claws 17

    Kookie – “Get some new material. ”

    Yeah, we’d all like to see a change from wittering on about Hollow men and Exclusive Brethren eh?

    If Labour want to re-run the 2005 campaign against National, then they need to expect a continuing re-examination of their illegal behaviour.

    DPF – I’m glad to see that you don’t believe Tane’s claim that IP addresses aren’t logged here.

  18. Robinsod (moderator) 18

    But you are free to carry on ignoring my word and call me a liar with no evidence

    Ok, Liar.

  19. Catwoman 19

    Trailer Trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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