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Locking in the narrative

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, January 2nd, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2011, Media, Politics - Tags: ,

Having a read of Fairfax’s 2011 political predictions, and their self-grading of their 2010 predictions, two things jumped out.

The first is that Fairfax’s political staff have now wedded their reputations as political analysts to a National victory. The number 1 prediction is: “National will form a government after the November 26 election. (Note the dangerously specific date)”. So now the journos at one of our five leading political media outlets have a strong personal incentive to maintain the narrative that Key is a minor god and Goff is a sure-fire loser.

The poll gap is closing and will continue to close. There’s a natural story in that of the underdog, Phil Goff, rising to have a serious chance but will journos go there when it means overturning the narrative they decided on within weeks of the last election and have now set in stone?

It’s more likely that journos will (sub-consciously) slant their coverage to perpetuate their narrative and justify their earlier predictions. That means more blind praise of Key and dismissing of Labour. Sure enough, in today’s Dom Tracy Watkins has written yet another job application that praises Key’s handling of the Canterbury Earthquake. Ignored is the fact that on the Monday after the quake he was still planning to go to London to visit the Queen the next weekend until Captain Panic-pants finally talked him out of it.

The second is that they got their economic forecast for 2010 completely wrong – “The economic outlook and Budget deficit will keep improving, lowering the forecast debt mountain” – and don’t make one for 2011.

I don’t think you can ignore the impact of the economy on politics and expect to your predictions of the future to turn out right. Indeed, politics is mostly about the economy – how do we divide up the wealth we have, how do we make more wealth to share among us?

One thing to watch is the petrol price. Support for the governing party is strongly linked to the price of petrol – I’ve just been reading the draft of Marty’s next post, which will present some graphs on that link.

John Key and Bill English have already sleepwalked the country back into recession. With petrol prices trending up, support for the government of the day, National, is likely to continue to erode. Any set of political predictions that ignores the economy in general and petrol prices in particular is missing the real story.

One last note, this prediction – “Judith Collins will become defence minister after the retirement of Wayne Mapp. Without tanks she could be a useful addition to our arsenal.” – has got to be one of the prime examples of how National governs by myth, not action, and some in the media buy the myth. What has Judith Collins actually done? She promised to get tough on crime – crime is up. She promised to crush boy racers’ cars – not a single car has been crushed. She’s meant to be tough but she’s all talk.

61 comments on “Locking in the narrative ”

  1. Anne 1

    “One last note, this prediction – “Judith Collins will become defence minister after the retirement of Wayne Mapp.”

    I presume you mean there will be a re-shuffle in the next month or so, and Mapp will lose his Defence portfolio because he’s reitiring at the next election. It happened to Bob Tizard in 1989.

    She won’t do anything of course. Like the Police portfolio, she’ll just make a lot of noise.

    • Eddie 1.1

      Anne. not my prediction – Fairfax’s

      • Anne 1.1.1

        Oops… apologies Eddie. Teach me to comment before reading a post properly.

        Re- Bob Tizard. The year was 1990 of course.

        Interesting to speculate also on whether there will be a cabinet re-shuffle soon, or whether Key will ride out the year with the same crew. I think he will go for some tinkering with the portfolios but that’s all. Tolley should go but I bet she doesn’t.

    • lprent 1.2

      One of the advantages to a government in placing ministers of the police and defense portfolios is that there is relatively little for them to do in terms of screwing things up. They are only there to help with figuring out overall budgets and specific money for some specific programs. They have no operational control under the enabling acts except with the cooperation of the staff in those organisations.

      So they can only screw up policy up in the overall money supply, and specific allocations (where the staff agrees). This means that these two organisations can ride out the occasional incompetent minister like Judith Collins (or John Banks) who gets placed ‘in charge’ of them.

      • Herodotus 1.2.1

        One of the advantages to a government in placing ministers of the police and defense portfolios is that there is relatively little for them to do in terms of screwing things up
        Lyn=- how about the LAV purchases a waste on tens of millions of dollars-We purchased more than we can use, many are in workshops in disrepair, and they are not that suitable for active deployment.
        Then there is the 9 frog wirleys (NH90) we have placed an order for amost a billions $, of which 1 is for spares, original cost about $0.5B, but increasing by the day. ETA 2010. But wait they have been deferred as Aussie is having issues with them, I have been told. Then there was the Charles Upham, 757 purchase and continual refitting and upgrading. So there is room for cockups within the defense portfolio. And who was the minister when some of the later day cockups were made ? Both Nat and Lab have skill in abundance to screw things up
        http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/military/read.main/118592/

        • lprent 1.2.1.1

          Did I ever say anything different? That is the budget allocation for new projects side. In a number of these cases the HQ staff should probably simply reject the budget as costing too much overall. But since those requests come from inside the staff of the organisations…

          What politicians can’t screw up as easily is the operational status and systems

          BTW: My first name is Lynn. My partners first name is Lyn. 😈 Confusing I know… Try lprent, it makes it all a lot safer

          • Vicky32 1.2.1.1.1

            “My first name is Lynn. My partners first name is Lyn. 😈 Confusing I know… ”
            Deeply confusing! Are you both Lindsay or is one Lynette? 😀 Or is one of you Lyndon? Or Lynda?
            It could be worse… You could both be called Chris!
            (Sorry for the OT… as a linguist, I am fascinated by names.)
            Deb

          • Herodotus 1.2.1.1.2

            My appologies- 2 days and I am already appologising haha, I am sure that before long there will be the requirement for me to add to this isolated case !!!
            But I agree there are some ministerial jobs that even some of us who would never put our hands up for central govt would like and can do min damage, min of Sport. There are more minsitial jobs than I thought just looking up. No wonder we have 120+ MP’s otherwise the leading party would not have enough MP’s to give each a job (That is with a one party majority !!)
            http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/cabinet/ministers/ministerial-list.html
            No one bothers questioning Def staff re their recommendations- From info I have heard the 757’s are a prime example- Buy a plane on the cheep then alter it to fit NZ’s intended use. Too bad if we have to widen the hold to accommodate cargo loading doors, strengthen the hold etc.
            http://www.3news.co.nz/First-modified-air-force-Boeing-757-back-in-New-Zealand/tabid/209/articleID/67189/Default.aspx
            On a slightly divergent issue- How come there has been no more info regarding Govt House renovantion costings. Last time I heard it was over $50m. that is about 1 days borrowing wasted ????

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Too bad if we have to widen the hold to accommodate cargo loading doors, strengthen the hold etc.

              And don’t forget the freighter gem which was the Charles Upham.

              Talk about crapping on an honourable family name with half assed buying decisions.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          All of which was asked for by the relevant defense staff. So, Who stuffed up?

          IMO, we’d be better off researching, developing and making our own defense gear anyway. That’s the biggest cock-up that’s happened in NZ as far as defense goes.

      • higherstandard 1.2.2

        You forgot that incompetent twat King as well. The only good thing about her being in charge of the police is that it removed her from the health portfolio where she was fecking useless.

        • Eddie 1.2.2.1

          crime dropped when King was in charge. It’s gone up under Collins.

          what other measures of a successful police minister do you have?

          • higherstandard 1.2.2.1.1

            Competence.

            • Eddie 1.2.2.1.1.1

              and what’s your measure of competence genius? Saying ‘Competence’ is your measure of success doesn’t tell us anything, it’s just another way of saying ‘successful’

              What is the outcome you’re measuring?

              The crime rate has to be your first measure of the competence of a police minister. By that measure Collins is an abject failure and King a success.

              Have you got another metric, or just braindead comments?

              • higherstandard

                How about public perception of the police, police numbers, case solution rate broken out by crime type, crime rate is a very raw and simplistic measure.

                Perhaps you should stop being such a partisan fucktard ed and learn to have a laugh now and again.

                • Eddie

                  “Perhaps you should stop being such a partisan fucktard ed and learn to have a laugh now and again.”

                  well, I know Collins is a joke, but I didn’t realise you were just taking the micky.

                  as for your measures:

                  “public perception” – basically, you’re saying that people should judge a minister a success based on whether people think a minister is a success. Circular logic.

                  “police numbers” – yeah. I would take that fight. Labour funded big increases in police numbers, Collins spends most of her time trying to take credit for increases Labour funded.

                  “case resolution rate” – problem with just looking at the rate is that it can ‘improve’ even if actual crim and unsolved crime is increasing. resolution doesn’t stop the crime happening. 15,000 more crimes, 3,000 more unsolved, in 2010 than 2008. http://police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/services/statistics/00-national-09-10-official-stats_asoc.pdf

                • Herodotus

                  Many outcomes are not because of govt initiatives but inspite of them. Some could say in defense of how well Nat has managed the current world wide mis-management of the financial system, that we now have experienced a positive balance of payments, after 9 years of negative current account deficits.
                  Crime rate decreases had little to do with govt initiatives more based on un reported or mis reporting of “events”. I can point to 20 breakins that were reported and accounted for 5 break ins statistically. the other 15 were “grouped” with the reported events.
                  The govt (be it Nat or Lab led) only has to manage the release of infomation, good news followed by more good news, then more good news, and then more good news. Then one day the govt realises that it has lost touch(election loss normally signals this to the govt (Lab in 05 were given a major wakeup call- but did not listen), being out of touch) with the voter when “we”continually experience the crap that the govt and media cannot see.

            • Anne 1.2.2.1.1.2

              You clearly don’t understand what competence actually is higherstandard – your pseudonym being a misnomer if ever there was one!

              • george

                Or as Labour were saying when they were in when explaining crime rates appearing to rise, the reporting of crime is on the rise. It’s an equally valid argument, the Police love their Minister, she is a real advocate for the police.

              • higherstandard

                Anne is this you ?

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Oil @ US$91.45 ATM but the NZ$ has risen against the US$ again and is back up to 0.78. This will help keep petrol prices down in the short term but with Peak Oil here oil prices must continue to rise as demand increases beyond supply.

    John Key and Bill English have already sleepwalked the country back into recession.

    The economy under NACT never really got out of recession and it’s likely to dip into depression.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Oh, and with Petrol going up it puts another huge dent in the B/C ratio of their Roads of National Party Significance.

  3. Frederick 3

    I always thought that the predictions and post prediction sum up were a bit of light fun e.g speculation on Peter Dunnes hair,and not to be taken too seriously.

    Are you really suggesting that their coverage will be skewered re a National win in the election so that they can give themselves a chance of scoring a perfect 10/10 in one category out of twenty i.e. 1/20 of total points available. Gee thats bordering on paranoia.

    I think that most people (like me) have forgotten their predictions by this time next week and only recall them when they sum up by year end and the Fairfax staff are similarly inclined.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Gee thats bordering on paranoia.

      Are you serious? Or don’t you get that no one likes to be proven wrong? 🙄

    • Eddie 3.2

      “Are you really suggesting that their coverage will be skewered re a National win in the election so that they can give themselves a chance of scoring a perfect 10/10 in one category out of twenty i.e. 1/20 of total points available.”

      No. I’m saying that this is a continuation of the media locking in its narrative for the 2011 election (clue’s in the title). And that people tend to try to validate their narratives

      As humans, we tend to tell ourselves stories that validate our past actions and interpret events in a way that makes ourselves feel wise. We have a hard time admitting we’re wrong and will go to some extreme lengths to try to make things turn out the way we predicted they would, at least in our own perception. There’s some quite interesting studies on this but the most obvious example is how we often invalidate results in sports that go against our team by claiming some kind of unfair interference (biased ref, etc).

      So, we create narratives and then we try to realise them to make ourselves feel good and look good to others. That much, I would think, you can’t dispute.

      And the Fairfax them have very publicly nailed their colours to a narrative of a National victory, not just in this one article. Is their coverage going to tend to further that narrative – using the significant power that political editors have to shape the national discourse, or will they make their own predictions look stupid? Which do you think?

      I’m not saying its conscious, I’m saying journos are only human. Which is why, if they were committed to objectivity as they claim, they wouldn’t engage in soothsaying in the first place.

      • andy (the other one) 3.2.1

        Kind of like how race car drivers are trained to focus on the track when they lose traction, if they look at the wall they always end up hitting it.

        They have set the target for their coverage for 2011, with the focus on a National win with 1000 word tongue baths every few days along the way to the end goal. Our failed liberal media in action.

      • eszett 3.2.2

        “So, we create narratives and then we try to realise them to make ourselves feel good and look good to others. That much, I would think, you can’t dispute.”

        The same way you are creating a narrative of how useless Key and National are, despite having highest approval ratings, or how Phil Goff can win, despite having a preferred PM rating in the single digits?

        Even to me as a leftie I can find nothing other than stating the obvious in the Fairfax prediction. The fact that National and John Key enjoys an unprecendent support and Labour hasn’t been able to inflict any significant impact on the government in the last two years makes any other prediction at this point nothing but wishful thinking.

        • Eddie 3.2.2.1

          “The same way you are creating a narrative of how useless Key and National are, despite having highest approval ratings, or how Phil Goff can win, despite having a preferred PM rating in the single digits?”

          yup.

          “The fact that National and John Key enjoys an unprecendent support and Labour hasn’t been able to inflict any significant impact on the government in the last two years makes any other prediction at this point nothing but wishful thinking.”

          but here your facts are wrong. National’s support is not unprecedented. It’s lower than Labour’s at the same point in its first term and its declining. And, unlike Labour in 2002, national has no significant allies. After 2002, Labour could govern comfortably with 41% of the vote without even needing the greens. If National gets less than 45%, they’ll be in deep deep trouble needing the support of all of whichever of ACT, UF, NZF and the Maori Party are in Parliament to pass any legislation.

          • Eddie 3.2.2.1.1

            I’m engaged in narrative-creation as much as fairfax, the difference is I admit my bias. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out someone else’s narrative/bias/whatever if you’re honest about your own.

          • eszett 3.2.2.1.2

            And Labour went and won the next election. I would love to see the old polls, but couldn’t find them anywhere.

            The latest TV3 poll shows National at 55%. It’s a long way from the election, but that’s a pretty high number. Comfortably sitting above the 45% you mentioned. And that of course depends very much on NZF and ACT making it back.

            I think the real danger is that National may win an outright majority.

  4. Marjorie Dawe 4

    I came to the conclusion long ago that the media don’t actually know what they are doing and are trying to make history rather than report it. They have so much power but abuse that power by printing incredibly biased opinions, while ignoring the news. You can certainly tell that many reporters are lazy and print what their bosses tell them to print without doing responsible analysis.

  5. Marjorie Dawe 5

    I think Bernard Hickeys comments hit the mark today and that more people will start questioning when the recovery will happen. There certainly will be pain for many and many will not have expected it. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=466

    • Deadly_NZ 5.1

      Soi we finally and maybe we see a stirring in the Journo area, have they finally worked out they have been spun for 2 years??? Naaa I doubt it.

  6. MSM are conduits for capitalist ideology and propaganda. Why should that surprise you unless you have illusions in changing that. They have a direct interest in saving capitalism and pinning the blame for the crisis on everyone other than those responsible. Read the MSM only to find out what the bosses what us to think. Inevitably its attempts to patch the cracks in bourgeois hegemony are breaking open as the result of ongoing global crisis. Spin and reality are impossible to reconcile and that includes social democratic attempts to give deathbed capitalism a heart bypass. Meanwhile use all new media with max freedom to tell what is really happening in the world.

  7. BLiP 7

    It should also be remembered that we are at the height of the silly season . . . there is just not enough news to go around and much of what appears in our media between mid-December and mid-February is just pap pumped out to fill space left behind by the advertising sales department. Having said that, this is also the time when major news items that, under normal circumstances, would be given a thorough going over are dropped in. I hope The Standard follows up on many of the almost single-paragraph stories which have been slipped into the middle-pages over recent weeks . . .

    • lprent 7.1

      I’m intending to, and I suspect that some of the other authors will as well. But not a lot of point to waste some of these on the silly season.

      In late Jan/Feb it is time to repeatably go over and over and over again each of those bad news stories that they tried to conceal.

    • Carol 7.2

      Actually, it;s just NZ news media tthat goes on holiday, not the potential content of news. That’s why I tend to listen to Aussie ABC newsRadio online at this time of year, rather that bother too much with RNZ. There was plenty of news for the ABC to report this morning… ditto on AlJazeera NewsHour.

      • Vicky32 7.2.1

        In my case, I listen to the BBC World Service, and there’s plenty of horror going on in Ivory Coast and Nigeria at the minute…
        We have no way of knowing (at least I don’t) what will turn out to be horribly relevant to us this year…
        Deb

  8. What has Judith Collins actually done? She promised to get tough on crime – crime is up. She promised to crush boy racers’ cars – not a single car has been crushed. She’s meant to be tough but she’s all talk.

    Collins is a good jumping off point to talk about one of the (many) reasons Labour will certainly get annihilated in the next election.

    I think Collins is evil. But I sit far to the left of most of the population when it comes to law and order issues – a lot of the population likes her authoritarian stance, even if it’s mostly just talk.

    But even if you don’t like her, everyone in the country that takes any interest in politics knows who Judith Collins is and what she stands for. By way of contrast, who is Labour’s spokesperson on Police and Corrections? I have no idea, even though I follow politics more closely than 99% of the population.

    Turns out it’s Clayton Cosgrove. Huh. So what does he stand for? What are his policies? Again, I have no idea, even though he’s been an MP since 1999 and was a Cabinet Minister for 9 years.

    You can run through most of the top portfolios in the opposition and play the same game. I know that Mallard has Education and Cunliffe has Finance, and they’re both high profile MPs with strong personalities. But who speaks for Labour on Health? Turns out it’s Ruth Dyson. Huh. What does she ‘stand for’? Beats me. What’s her policy agenda? As far as I can see she doesn’t have one. Who is she as a person? No idea. How about their foreign affairs spokesperson? Hey, it’s Maryan Street! Her public profile is so low I didn’t even know what she looked like before I saw her picture on the Labour web site a few seconds ago, but if Labour somehow wins the election she’d be our Foreign Secretary!

    Now look over the National Party front bench – you may not like the people you see in it, you might disagree with what they’re doing, but you have a strong sense of the personalities and their agendas, and what their nominal goals are as Ministers. Look at the Labour front bench and it’s mostly a row of faceless career politicians who represent nothing, except their own ambition to be Cabinet Ministers again. Why would anyone who isn’t a Labour activist vote for these people?

    • lprent 8.1

      There is the obvious rejoinder to that. Prior to the 2008 election who knew more than a handful of the National MP’s names or policies prior to them assuming ministerial office.

      I sure as hell didn’t and I’m far more aware of these people than 99% of the population. Ministers get press because they have staff to do it.

      Lets go through your list from the 2008 perspective.

      Judith Collins was just a name and I had no idea
      Bill English I knew and I knew what to expect from him from the 1990’s.
      I had absolutely no idea of Anne Tolleys name (I expected Peachy to be around education) or that Anne Tolley was such a dingbat.
      Tony Ryall I was aware of his back-stabbing weasel tendencies from the 1990’s. Turns out he doesn’t have a policy. It looks more like empire building.
      I still have absolutely no idea of what Murray McCully thinks in foreign affairs. I’m also pretty sure that he didn’t in 2008, and doesn’t know know now either.

      Now look over the National Party front bench – you may not like the people you see in it, you might disagree with what they’re doing, but you have a strong sense of the personalities and their agendas, and what their nominal goals are as Ministers.

      That is sheer bullshit. Explain Tony Ryall and Murray McCully’s objectives in health and foreign affairs respectively? I can’t see anything coherent apart from sucking up closer to the USA (but not too far because they might run into John Key wanting to get reelected). As far as I can see it is empire building as faceless professional politicians in both cases.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Yeah, and empire building in service of the USA.

      • QoT 8.1.2

        lprent, you forgot the complete pre-election whodat, Joyce. Not that a complete unknown first-termer got any of the important portfolios …

      • There is the obvious rejoinder to that. Prior to the 2008 election who knew more than a handful of the National MP’s names or policies prior to them assuming ministerial office.

        I sure as hell didn’t and I’m far more aware of these people than 99% of the population. Ministers get press because they have staff to do it.

        Collins was an effective, high profile opposition MP. And Labour has some effective, high profile opposition MPs: Charles Chauvel. Grant Robertson. And if you follow politics closely you hear that David Parker plays a crucial behind-the-scenes role in policy development. But most of Labour’s front bench appears to be zero-profile, despite the fact that they were senior Cabinet Ministers in the previous government and had almost a decade to build their public profile.

        The lack of personality and values in Labour’s officer class makes the general party deeply unelectable. No matter what we think of Bill English, Judith Collins or Paula Bennett, there are huge sections of the population who identify with them and feel that these people share their values and will represent them in. Who does Maryan Street represent? How many votes is she worth?

        you forgot the complete pre-election whodat, Joyce. Not that a complete unknown first-termer got any of the important portfolios …

        Ask anyone who follows politics who Joyce is and they’ll tell you he’s a successful, self-made businessman. Well, a huge section of the population admires that kind of success, feels we need more of it in government and will vote for a party with such people in it. Now ask yourself who Ruth Dyson is, and how many swing voters she’ll attract in the next election.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.2

      I think your point could be- Labour won’t argue for anything unpopular. They are more PC these days than National. Sad but true.

  9. Irascible 9

    I notice that Findlay McDonald is repeating the statistically discredited journalists’ theory that the election results inNZ are governed by decisions made by Graham Henry on the rugby paddock to support the contention that this muddling stumbling government will win the general election.
    I predict that if Labour increases its vote % in the Botany by election and the NACT support falls markedly their tune will change.
    After all most journalists operate on the same speculative bases as the money speculators and gamblers who have taken the NZ economy from a surplus to a deficit in two years of tax cutting and liberal borrowing while ordering the public to save to support their economic model.

  10. Matt’s comments over at the Herald are on the mark. Why?

    1. Labour doesn’t need to win a plurality, it just needs to bring all of the anti-National votes under its leadership.

    2. It is very unlikely that people who did not vote for National in 2008, will vote for them this time. They consolidated virtually all of the centre-right and right vote, so they will only go down. In 2002, Labour gained in percentage terms because of defections amongst 1999 Alliance voters and low turnout. National can only really gain from Act – and there isn’t much there to gain.

    3. Only on one occasion has a single party won a majority of voters – National – held during the 1951 lockout. So it needs to perform a historically oddity or get within range enough so that its rag-tag allies can prop it up, and hope that there is a high wasted vote.

    4. Undecided voters tend to break for the opposition.

    However, apart from a few key policy repeals and implementations, such a broad Labour-led coalition may presents problems in presenting a coherent and practical policy platform. The narrower the coalition required, the better.

    – N.B. If the Maori Party decide to back a National-led government so that Tari and Pita can continue to have their mortgages paid off – then the Opposition should simply put up numerous member’s bills that support Maori Party policies that no amount of Tory quaffing can remove the dead rat taste.

    • Eddie 10.1

      problem is, most political journos don’t even know what a plurality is, let alone understand that you don’t need one to lead a government under MMP. All they will cover is that Nat v Lab gap, as if this is an FPP election.

      I think the major barrier to victory is that slant on the coverage, which is so persistently negative for Labour and pro-National – to the point where John Armstrong even lies (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10693527) and says the gap hasn’t closed.

      • Deadly_NZ 10.1.1

        Hell Man if you are going to put up links to stuff like this PLEASE put a warning on it like Not before Breakfast I near spat my ricies all over my keyboard and Laptops dont like milk!!!

        Apart from that yes I agree the journo’s are on the nacts side

    • DS 10.2

      >>>Only on one occasion has a single party won a majority of voters – National – held during the >>>1951 lockout.

      Not actually true. Labour managed it in 1938 (56% of the vote), and the Nats managed it in 1949 (51%) as well as 1951 (54%).

      That said, it is worth remembering that National has only exceeded 45% of the vote once in the last 35 years (1990), and even then it only got a tad under 48%.

  11. seeker 11

    “So now the journos at one of our five leading political media outlets have a strong personal incentive to maintain the narrative that Key is a minor god….”

    Has anyone noticed, over the holiday period,the newly styled selection of photos of JK. to illustrate the “minor god narrative… .” Lately he has been portrayed (Herald) as a) reliably rugged (i.e.opentop shirt and navy outdoorsy donkey (UK term) ‘worn by road workers’jacket), then with b)Tracy Watkins “job application” blurb , as a deeply pensive (great thinker?!) reliably, solid pm and with the Fair (unfortunate term in this two syllable name)fax 2011 prediction article he appears as an airbrushed “matinee idol” -earnestly working his way into the hearts of his adoring fans (autographed copies are available on request–cutprice for nacts, double price for ‘less-thans’ like fellow human beings and beneficieries). An extra nauseating way for this ‘media in cahoots with the govt.’ run ‘manipyou state’ to fool the minds of gullible NZers. Dreading the next Brand Key images- watch out! Does the govt. pay/tell the papers to print these images or do the papers pay /ask JK for a nice “photo of you ” to print??

    • Eddie 11.1

      the choice of picture is very telling. you can find a pic of any public figure to portray them in almost any light, so the one chosen reflects how the newspaper wishes them to be seen.

    • M 11.2

      Mussolini had the same bullshit gallery of pictures to portray him as a gifted musician, able horseman and deep thinker and used to leave the light burning all night in his office to make it appear he burned the midnight oil for anyone who might have happened to be passing by. Benito missed the brains train but propaganda saved his arse.

      I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but even if Key does not set the world on fire with his looks he could at least redeem himself by boning up on the REAL state of the world and the resultant effect it will have on all NZers thus appearing to exercise his intellect instead of just turning up for his next photo shoot.

      • Robert Atack 11.2.1

        M ‘redeem himself by boning up on the REAL state of the world’
        At the moment he is living a stones throw away from one of the most informed people in the world, wonder if it would be worth introducing him to Jay Hanson – http://www.dieoff.org
        What a Fing waste of Jay’s time that would be.

  12. illuminatedtiger 12

    Tell a lie long enough and it eventually becomes the truth. I’m sure Fairfax and their friends on the ninth floor were well aware of this when they started writing Goff off shortly after the 2008 election.

  13. Logie97 13

    The right has a very successful weapon (used many times in elections) – it is called fomenting confrontation with the unions. Watch for it to develop first in the professions where there is scant public support – the public services – over issues that the average punter will not understand or have any sympathy for.

    They will go for the secondary teachers and then there will be further confrontation over National Standards. Tolley does not actually understand what they are and from comments from the media pundits neither do they so what chance the public (notwithstanding the schools and teachers who have to implement them).

    Nact has carefully clouded the issue by mixing the standard of teaching with measurable achievement standards dealing in prejudice and without actually defining either.

  14. ak 14

    Anominieni myinie mo

    catch a narrative by the toe

    lock it?

    with a rubber Key?

    or lose it

    anything can happen in the next 24 fortnights

    but only

    if good people sleep

    Arise.

    and write

    and march

    and leaflet

    and petition

    Or weep.

    Arise.

    your kids are worth it.

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