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Mr Key, where is your ‘positive, ambitious campaign’?

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 am, July 4th, 2008 - 67 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, spin - Tags:

In four separate interviews this week, John Key used more or less exactly the same line to divert from questions on his use of Crosby/Textor: ‘I’m the Leader of the party and I’ll set the tone of the campaign. And it will be a positive, ambitious, outlooking campaign because that fits with my personality‘ OK, everyone can see that’s classic Crosby/Textor – hollow and misdirecting – but where is this supposed positivity?

For the entire remainder of those four interviews Key is entirely negative:

He calls the Government vindictive (again a pre-prepared line, identical language in each interview and Key doesn’t use words like vindictive)

He paints himself as a victim of smears, when people are only challenging him to represent himself honestly, rather than do what his Aussie handlers tell him to do.

He attacks the rail deal

He attacks SPARC, using figures that have been proven incorrect

In fact, when was the last time you can recall Key saying anything positive at all? All I can think of him doing is making dishonest attacks and never, ever offering a real solution, only vague promises that he will magically make everything better.

67 comments on “Mr Key, where is your ‘positive, ambitious campaign’? ”

  1. Dan 1

    Don’t let me hear him say “Ambitious” again! Please keep repeating the clip of Tony Blair saying it years ago. At least he said it as if he meant it!
    The NZ Sucks Party running a clean campaign? Forget it. Muldoon on Moyle, Shipley on Clark, the Crosby/Textor/Brethren push polling: the list is generations old.

  2. Flippin’ heck Steve, you’re scraping the barrel today. In case you hadn’t noticed, or are ignorant about these things, John Key is the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. That means, by definition, his job is to OPPOSE the government!

    Msny media commentators have commented on Key’s “grace under fire” when the PM launched her vitriolic and false attack on him on Wednesday. I have yet to see a post on The Standard condemning Clark for her behaviour, or that of Winston Peters. This was a planned attack, given the detail that Clark trotted out in her answers to the patsy questions from Peters and Tim Barnett.

    Methinks you guys are getting paranoid, but heck, I’m only a deluded rightie, so WTF would I know?

  3. I have to agree with Steve. Sorry Inventory2. Key is talking one line and walking another. I know the faithful like yourself aren’t inclined to see the gap between the talk and the walk, but its remains nonetheless.

    Worst / funniest of all was the finger pointing at Labour for “smearing” by pointing out National had been running a smear campaign for two years.

    If that didn’t underscore National’s cynical campaign of misdirection I don’t know what would do a better job.

  4. Steve W – calling Labour to account for corrupt electoral parctices is a smear campaign? Opposing the EFA is a smear campaign? Holding Ministers to account for their portfolios is a smear campaign? Get real buddy.

  5. Carol 5

    I agree with you Steve. Also, the Nats haven’t given us much policy to debate (unlike most other parties including Labour). And Key has set himself up as standing highest office on the basis of his personality and style of leadership. So he’s asking to be judged on his performance and style.

  6. lprent 6

    I2: Have to say that Key has not run a positive campaign since joining politics. What I see is positive waffle, and negative campaigns.

    What is he going to do if he wins? More of the same? Isolate scapegoats and target them?

    I seem to have seen that before under national administrations.

  7. [lprent: trolling isn’t something that I support. How about writing something that makes sense and that fits your name. Otherwise I’ll ban you as you are not ‘fair’, don’t give any ‘facts’, and abuse my ‘media’.]

    Where’s Dear Leader’s positive campaign.
    She seems intent on just smearing.
    Just like you guys.
    Is that all Liarbour has to offer.
    Negativity and yet more tax

  8. Steve P/Steve W – I stand by what I’ve written – do you?

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/07/key-derangement-syndrome.html

  9. r0b 9

    Steve W – calling Labour to account for corrupt electoral parctices is a smear campaign?

    Yes it is, when they haven’t committed any.

    After the 2005 election one party lost its leader because of their duplicitous, deceitful and corrupt electoral campaign. Here’s a hint for you. It wasn’t Labour.

  10. stan 10

    Can you explain how the EFA allows free speech during an election campaign.
    for example it now seems like cartoons criticising a Gvt are illegal?
    The cartoon or the website( wwww.dontvotelabourcartoons.com) didnt cost millions of dollars and the cartoonist is
    not a member of a secret sect like the Brethren?
    The cartoonist is not trying to buy an election result either.
    Nor is the cartoonist trying to americanise the electoral system as cartoons have
    been part of our media culture since the days of Minhinnick.
    The cartoonist is not trying to buy huge amounts of advertising and although the
    Labour party may seee the cartoons as being negative.
    Most National M.P.’s see them as positive.

    I dont suppose that anything I’ve written will have the slightest impact on you in this matter.
    I am using this argument to point out that the EFA legislation actually impacts on the right of the individual
    to free speech and have come up with this as an example.
    I am trying to whip up a storm of public protest ( and the polls suggest that I and others have been successful)
    Unlike yourself I am not peddling misinformation about the EFA

    regards
    Stan Blanch

    [lprent: As far as I’m aware there haven’t had any legal challenges to that site. Have there been challenges to the electoral commission?
    Or more likely you are just link-whoring? Or spreading mis-information about the EFA?
    Speak or you may not get another chance to do so here. As far as I can see you haven’t made a valid statement anywhere in your comment.

    Interesting looking at previous comments it looks like the only reason you come here is to link-whore]

  11. r0b 11

    it now seems like cartoons criticising a Gvt are illegal

    Are they – why? Someone better tell Tom Scott etc at Stuff!
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/0a17216.html

    Have you had any legal challenge to your site?

    Or are you just link pushing?

  12. higherstandard 13

    The view of the authors on this site is that Key is inexperienced and not in the same league as the Prime Minister….. but how come he’s out-politicing her?

    Clearly a very fast learner that surrounds himself with good advisers and takes their advice when appropriate. I also note that recently he’s looking more confident and assured with the media perhaps horror of horrors he might just make a good Prime Minister.

    Clearly a large section of the public think so.

    Oh and I was under the impression campaigning hadn’t started yet … no election date the EFA etc sort of makes it a bit difficult.

  13. r0b 14

    So IV2 – all he had to do was add his name and address, which was already (or soon became) public knowledge anyway? And he refused, so that he could claim he was being bullied? Hmmmm.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, political cartooning criticising the government carries on as usual.

    There’s even some (horrors!) criticising that nice Mr Key:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/711117a17217.html

  14. higherstandard 15

    NJ

    Sometimes the software catches people out – most of the time the moderators here are very reasonable even if a bit snippy sometimes.

  15. higherstandard 16

    He he excellent cartoon…….. still think a return of McPhail and Gadsby for a couple of months would be warranted – there’s some superb material/characters they could use.

  16. Blar 17

    He calls the Government vindictive (again a pre-prepared line, identical language in each interview and Key doesn’t use words like vindictive)

    I like how you fail to engage with the substance of Key’s claim but rather choose to label it as negative because it is “pre-prepared” (and by Crosby Textor no less, rather than a National party staffer). I think it is fair to describe the Government as vindictive – they pursued a vindictive smear campaign against Don Brash, culminating in Trevor Mallard’s “speaking of affairs” line in the House. They pursued a vindictive campaign against Erin Leigh and their latest witch hunt against John Key for asking a single supplementary question referring to tranzrail while his family trust owned a few shares in it smacks of vindictiveness also.

    He paints himself as a victim of smears, when people are only challenging him to represent himself honestly, rather than do what his Aussie handlers tell him to do.

    How can the tranzrail attack be described as anything other than a smear? The Standard has been smearing John Key relentlessly over this Crosby Textor stuff – you’ve taken a single SST op-ed that showed National engaged Crosby Textor to do polling work and then used it to claim that everything John Key says is personally written by Crosby Textor rather than any of his staff.

    He attacks the rail deal

    The gist of this seems to be that it’s ‘negative’ for John Key to criticise Government policy. The implication of that is that the only way to run a positive campaign is to accept Government policy or ignore it. If he did the former you would accuse him of flip-flopping and eating dead rats, if he did the latter you would say he needs to ‘come clean’ on his position and stop distracting people with other issues.

    He attacks SPARC, using figures that have been proven incorrect

    You are blatantly misrepresenting the situation here sunshine. His ‘attack’ was in the context of promoting National’s policy to boost kids’ involvement in sport. His ‘incorrect’ figures are open to debate – only two-thirds of SPARC’s funding is spent on actually delivering services.

    SPARC claim the internal administration costs $6.940m a year – the amount under the heading “Sparc costs” in the annual report. This covers “those internal costs associated with running Sparc’. This does not include “personnel and other operating costs directly attributable to the delivery of Sparc’s programmes’.

    Key contends that another area – the “Programme support” category (total expenditure $27.607m) also covers internal administration costs. On page 38 of the last Sparc annual report says this category covers “those internal costs associated with running Sparc’.

  17. BeShakey 18

    Interesting on the ‘positive ambitious campaign’ issue, that English is now attacking the government for criticising something (in this case the Reserve Banks framework) without having an alternative to offer. I can’t imagine the media will pick up on the hypocrisy from the man who will roll the man who will be our next prime minister.

  18. Blar. You know you got your figures wrong, the CEO of SPARC cleared it up, you got it wrong. It’s OK. I can’t be bothered reading the rest of your post.

    But, remember those are all negative statements, no matter whether they are defensible or not – and Key keeps telling us he’ll be positive and ambitious, more like pouty and bitchy if you ask me.

  19. r0b 20

    still think a return of McPhail and Gadsby for a couple of months would be warranted

    Agreed. Maybe in a short run they’d regain their mojo.

  20. Daveski 21

    The desperation continues.

    Pray tell, as has been pointed out, what the Opposition should do if they can’t oppose?

    Why is Key vindictive when it’s Labour that has chosen to play the man and not the ball?

    In terms of policy, it’s ironic that you demand policy from National yet the policy winner at the last election was a last minute grab for the student vote. Labour has excelled in doing what is necessary to keep power – surely National has the right to do what it can to get into Govt?

    In terms of skills and ability to do the job, let’s compare apples and apples until Key has had an opportunity. What experience had Helen Clark outside of academia before she was an MP? I’m happy to give HC credit for her achievements (BTW it’s called balance and objectivity ;)) but on her credentials before becoming PM you couldn’t judge her.

    Quite clearly, the co-ordinated attacks from Labour replicated here indicate how worried Labour is about the result and they should be. Labour has lost touch with voters but insists on blaming everyone but itself.

  21. higherstandard 22

    SP

    Blar does have a point regarding SPARC after reading this piece

    http://stuff.co.nz/blogs/showmethemoney/2008/07/02/id-jump-for-joy-too-if-i-was-paid-100k-to-give-away-money/

    and talking to some friends in high places in the sporting admin world I must admit to having some concerns about whether SPARC is doing a good job with the funding they are provided.

  22. vto 23

    All very interesting. Somebody said above that Key is looking more confident. I agree – I suspect he is now completely confident and Clark doesnt even scare him anymore (not that she probably ever did). Key appears to be a man with talent and confidence – the sort of person who could make a great prime minister (just as Clark used to be, despite many wrong policies.)

    Lets hope, if he gets in, that those perceived talents, abilities, confidence, etc do in fact transform into great prime minister material and consequently be good for NZ.

    And if I might repeat a previous comment of mine. Recall pre-1999 Clark’s poll ratings as preferred PM would ludicrously low. Nobody in the country thought she would be any good as PM (including me). However, when she became PM it became clear that she did in fact have many talents and made a superb PM (despite those silly policies still). Compare that to Key’s preferred PM ratings – highest ever for an opposition leader!

    My point is – experience shows that it is near impossible to evaluate someone’s PM abilities until they are PM.

    (was that an objective enough rant?)

  23. higherstandard 24

    Daveski

    Don’t wind yourself up it’s all part of the Labour plan as leaked by the greens.

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2008/07/02/formulaic-answers/

  24. djp 25

    A negative post about key being negative… I love it!

  25. Daveski. If you think opposition is only about opposing, you have no idea what democracy is.

    HS. Blar’s figures were wrong the first time the Nat’s used them, they’re no better now. And remember, National offered no plan to get more value out of the sports money – they just said ‘hey we should get more value for money’

  26. djp. We haven’t said we’ll run a positive blog – Key has said he’ll run a positive campaign.. I’m not the one telling lies here.

  27. Blar 28

    Steve, what on earth do you mean you can’t be bothered reading the rest of it? The SPARC thing was the last thing in the comment.

    The CEO of SPARC has come out and claimed only 12% of the budget goes on internal costs but at the same time acknowledged only 66% of their budget actually goes to the sport and recreation sector. In lieu of an the remainder goes, I think it’s fair to refer to SPARC’s annual report which – if you turn to page 38 – shows a total expenditure of about 34 million a year covering “internal costs associated with SPARC”.

    The CEO of SPARC has played a very clever semantic game by substituting “internal costs” – the term used in the report and used by Key – with “internal administration”. One is far larger and the fact that you have fallen for that spin does little for the reputation you are trying to cultivate as a spinbuster.

  28. r0b 29

    was that an objective enough rant?

    Yeah not bad!

    But you also need to compare the record of public statements of PM contenders. Key has an impressive array of flip flops and – ahhhhhhmm – errrrrr – lies. I don’t really recall Clark’s public record in this respect as she stood for PM, but I doubt that it was quite so chequered.

    There – was that a partisan enough reply?

  29. Blar 30

    I don’t really recall Clark’s public record in this respect as she stood for PM, but I doubt that it was quite so chequered.

    Clark served in the most economically right-wing Government in New Zealand’s history. I think that is pretty chequered.

  30. Daveski 31

    SP – I am happy to agree it is a negative approach but in the circumstances you would agree that it is the sensible approach.

    Actually, I have to laugh – hasn’t NP been lambasted for being Labour lite on many issues so perhaps they haven’t opposed enough?? 🙂

    In any case, how on earth is it undemocratic?? You kid yourself. Labour has consistently shown the ability to change policy when it suits its electoral chances.

    That’s smart politics, it’s not undemocratic.

    Labour used to be smart politicians but no more.

  31. Carol 32

    Desperation? From where I’m sitting any desperation seems to be coming from Key supporters, now that his inadequacies for the role of PM are being highlighted and substantiated.

    Even with all the schooling from his “advisors” he still manages to make silly blinders (“I do support push polling”), and to not have a full grasp of the Nat line on things or many of the issues.

    Be careful what you wish for. Key as PM will more fully expose his inadequacies – and indeed I can see him being rolled by English. Troubling times ahead for the Nats.

  32. r0b 33

    Clark served in the most economically right-wing Government in New Zealand’s history. I think that is pretty chequered

    I agree about that, though I don’t recall her public statements about it.

    Note also that Key served in the party of the most morally corrupt electoral campaign in NZs history, the only one where the public outcry has ever (to my knowledge) cost a party its leader. I think that is pretty chequered too.

  33. vto 34

    Not bad rOb.

    That is a fair point, but I think it stems from their differences in experience. Key seems to be learning fast though.

    I sincerely hope though that if the nats get in they dont burn people by doing something different to what they promised (which is what is continually suggested on here). That would slut the people off big time.

  34. BeShakey 35

    Key was very senior in a very large corporation, with a large number of staff underneath him. I find it hard to believe that he could assume that anything that wasn’t spent on the frontline was being used for staff. Anyone with even a faint knowledge of how large organisations work would understand that there are more areas of spending than staff and providing frontline services.
    I’m still waiting for his positive and ambitious plan for sport in NZ (or much else for that matter – he did of course have the broadband plan which now seems to be morphing into something quite different now that business and others didn’t even like it).

  35. ‘I’m the Leader of the party and I’ll set the tone of the campaign. And it will be a positive, ambitious, outlooking campaign because that fits with my personality‘

    So not only is he a liar but a narcissist to boot. Oh joy.

  36. illegal cartoons? 37

    Are cartoons criticising John Key illegal?

    htttp://monstacartoons.wordpress.com/

    [lprent: Nope – but I don’t like non-relevant link-whoring, so I’ve adjusted your link]

  37. Matthew Pilott 38

    Blar, are you friggin’ kidding?

    I like how you fail to engage with the substance of Key’s claim but rather choose to label it as negative because it is “pre-prepared

    So you think there’s substance to Key’s claim that he won’t confirm he’s using spin-PR C/T because a ‘vindictive’ Labour government would refuse them business??

    Classic, what a joke! Please, for the love of humankind, tell me you don’t believe his line there…

    Pray tell, as has been pointed out, what the Opposition should do if they can’t oppose?

    daveski, they could give a few solutions and ideas, visions for the future. I guess if they can suck people like you in with warm fuzzy notions of being ‘ambitious’ they might not want to, but don’t criticise other people for calling them up on it – we’re not all as easily pacified!

  38. higherstandard 39

    IT

    What’s narcissistic about about being positive and ambitious ?

  39. hs

    It’s narcissistic because these are qualities he seems to lack yet he continues to talk them up like he is god’s gift to politics. Whatever happened to modesty?

  40. r0b 41

    What’s narcissistic about about being positive and ambitious ?

    I dunno – making a vanity piece DVD about it? C’mon – it’s just a teeny bit narcissistic don’t you think?

    vto: I sincerely hope though that if the nats get in they dont burn people by doing something different to what they promise

    So do I vto, so do I.

  41. BeShakey 42

    Pray tell, as has been pointed out, what the Opposition should do if they can’t oppose?

    The claim was that the job of the opposition was to oppose everything the government does. Instead, they can offer an alternative vision for the country, and hold the government to account for the things it does to realise its vision. It’d be a pretty poor opposition that opposed the government at every turn regardless of the merits of the proposal (and National hasn’t done this, although they have opposed for the sake of opposition a number of times).

  42. r0b said “I agree about that, though I don’t recall her public statements about it.”

    r0b – Did you recall Michael Bassett saying that both Helen Calrk and Michael Cullen voted IN FAVOUR of the privatisation of Telecom when in Cabinet?

  43. Matthew Pilott 44

    I sincerely hope though that if the nats get in they dont burn people by doing something different to what they promise

    So do I vto, so do I.

    vto, r0b, what you should really worry about is the fact that they’ve said nothing about what they’ll do. Many people seem content with this, and might end up paying a heavy toll for their mood for a ‘change’.

  44. gobsmacked 45

    I was hoping somebody would rebut the original post by telling us:

    “You’re wrong. John Key IS ambitious for New Zealand. He has the following plans for our future …”

    I guess the first two sentences would be easy – they are just assertions. But the third would require evidence.

    Damn.

  45. Matthew Pilott:

    We have heard a few things. Like ACC, doctors fees etc. Just the tip of the iceberg really. I honestly don’t trust him when he says he won’t privatize anything during his first term. He’s proven to be slippery and is always the first to cry fowl to the media claiming he was misquoted (not once, twice but thrice – perhaps freedom of the press isn’t something Key supports).

  46. Daveski 47

    BS (now that’s appropriate ;)) It’s semantics but I did say can’t oppose. By definition, the Opposition has the right to oppose which in itself is not negative, which is the criticism that is being levelled at National.

    Second, policy. I agree that in a perfect world, we would sit down and compare policies and make rational decisions based on a raft of analysis. Have you read Blink??

    The fundamental point is that this is politics not policies. The All Blacks didn’t win the RWC because of policies (we don’t win with drop goals, we want to win by playing the better rugby).

    There is a political analogy here that can be levelled at both Labour and National. Within reason, do what you can to get in power. Let’s call it realpolitiks to take it back to the 19C.

    A lot of the criticism of National appears to me criticism of the fact that they are currently playing the best politics, something that Labour has done remarkably well for some time. Hence, the calls for National to change tack when they are doing so well in the polls legitimately comes across as naive and desperate.

  47. Pascal's bookie 48

    I2 I’d really like Basset to release all his notes to another historian, or simply into the public record, so that someone a little less involved in the story could look at them.

    Obviously the notes he took are his property and he can do what he like with them. But to pretend that he is either objective or that he is telling the whole story would be naive.

    And we shouldn’t assume that his notes are the whole story in any case. They are the self selected notes of an interested participant, made with an eye to shaping the narrative.

    If he has released all those notes I’d like to see them, if any one knows where they might be seen.

  48. Hoolian 49

    Blar makes all the right points.

    Pierson obviously accepts that his position is flawed, thus the floundering in his response: I can’t be bothered reading the rest of your post.

    The hardest thing about lying, Pierson, is the scrutiny that shows it up for what it is. Tut tut

  49. mike 50

    Lol, another post dedicated to John Key.
    He’s got you guys in an absolute frenzy, like some of your supporters are even starting to say steve – concentrate on what labour is doing well – surely not a difficult task at present.

  50. My argument is Key says he will be positive but he isn’t. You can refute that claim by pointing to the many times when he has been positive and how these outweigh the times when he is negative, or you can admit that you can’t find one.

    No-one has shown that Key is positive and ambitious for New Zealand.

  51. mike. Yeah post scheduled to come up on the poverty numbers. Down 50% under Labour-led governments.

  52. lprent 53

    I2:

    lprent – this might refresh your memory

    What does that have to do with a site prompting cartoons with a similar name but offshore?

    dontvotelabourcartoons.com is not the same as dontvotelabour.org.nz

    Different country and a different name.

    I hate to say this (because I do value your comments) – but you’re as bad as Whale. He thinks that a domain I’ve owned since the early 90’s is the same domain as one owned by a political party.

    I could be a pedantic programmer (in fact I am – all programmers are pedantic), but they look completely different to me in both cases. They do to the domain registries and domain name servers as well.

  53. ants 54

    Carol – “Desperation? From where I’m sitting any desperation seems to be coming from Key supporters, now that his inadequacies for the role of PM are being highlighted and substantiated.”

    So what government department are you sitting in Carol?

    How can Key’s inadequacies for the role of PM be highlighted when he isn’t the PM and has never been one? He is the opposition leader.

  54. Dilip 55

    I don’t think Ms Clark is very positive this week, she is very negative in parliament this week with Mr Key. On television last night on tv3 the reporter said Labour is running a secret internet attack campaign against John Key, that is a very negative campaign and I think New Zealanders are sick of it.

    [lprent: The reporter is welcome to talk to me or Steve. I find it hard to conceive of a ‘secret’ internet campaign though. The whole point of this site is not to be ‘secret’ but to be visible on the web all of the time. Personally I think that the Nat’s just don’t like people pointing out how stupid they look after you get past the flim-flam. Just my opinion]

  55. Dilip:

    While conveniently ignoring the Clark hate-videos which out number those critical of Key 2:1.

  56. bill brown 57

    …a secret internet attack campaign

    1) How can it be secret if it’s been on TV?

    2) I can’t believe that you would be worried by a secret campaign – after all if it’s secret it’s not gonna be very effective is it?

    Oh sorry about your mate John, maybe he’ll buy you a beer one day – that is if he really give a flying f about you.

  57. gobsmacked 58

    Dilip

    Read this linked blog post, and the first comment, with examples of videos pouring abuse on Helen Clark.

    http://stuff.co.nz/blogs/insidethebeltway/2008/07/03/the-new-front-in-political-warfare

    As you claim to detest sewer politics and nasty attacks, you will of course condemn these, and the people who are spreading them. Then you will want to ask who these people are.

    Won’t you?

  58. Dilip 59

    Everybody is knowing who whale is gobsmacked, they don’t know who are putting together the anti john key videos. I did not like what the exclusive brethren did in two thousand and five because they lied about their identity and were not honest about them being involved in campaign. It is now ms prime ministers friends who are lying about their identity and that is wrong.

  59. r0b 60

    Everybody is knowing who whale is gobsmacked

    So Dillip – do you approve of whale’s videos and pictures?

  60. Matthew Pilott 61

    It is now ms prime ministers friends who are lying about their identity and that is wrong.

    back that wee gem up, will you?

    And stop blustering about the filth from the right – I’m going to call for a good old fashioned denouncement here, or assume you’re a wholehearted supporter of it all. I doubt it’s all whale…

  61. fraser 62

    Dilip “On television last night on tv3 the reporter said Labour is running a secret internet attack campaign against John Key”

    actually (if i remember correctly) the story said that there were suspicions that it was orchastrated by labour.

    key word there – “suspicions”.

    The best the news story got to as far as explaining its source was that it was made by someone with a knowledge of modern media and editing software.

    That narrows it down to 100thou or so people

  62. higherstandard 63

    GS

    Regarding your link – the journalist comments sagely that…

    “Some of the clips are extremely clever; some very funny; and some are downright sad. The sad ones – and by sad I mean ugly and bile-filled – I’m assuming to be the work of those who are particularly tribal, and therefore mostly of interest to other tribal types. I’m not sure whether they’d exert much of a subterranean influence on the outcome of the election, other than to reaffirm the views that people already hold.”

    And as for Pete Hodgson and Trevor Mallard ‘krumping’ in their defence most of us middle aged whities have had similar sad experiences when chaperoning kids at discoes ……. no wonder the kids think we’re all a bit odd !

  63. Inventory2: The ‘slur points’ used against Labour are either unfounded or highly debatable. I have looked into each as they arose and decided they weren’t up to much and certainly nothing there to base my vote on one way or the other.

    In contrast, National has avoided anything resembling substantive policy. National has repeatedly misdirected debate and / or misrepresented current policy – as with SPARC.

    On top of that, National’s plans to involve the private sector in public services has lead, under other conservative governments, to a “biddable” pool of contractors beholden to the governing party to win contracts. No big *exclusive* donations? Go to the back of the queue. Transparency dies due to “commercial sensitivity”. Profit is guaranteed while service provision is not.

    I’ve been there and seen this PPP approach in other jurisdictions…and the results have been more cost, loss of accountability and reduced levels of service. Labour has the good sense to avoid this sort of nonsense. National is chafing at the bit to bring this about.

    Your issues with labour are trivial compared to what I’ve seen as a consequence of PPPs elsewhere. Don’t even get me STARTED on drivers license testing in the province of Ontario, in Canada!!!

    The REAL corruption is about to get underway if National wins the election with an outright majority.

    Labour will look like saints.

  64. forgetaboutthelastone 65

    John Key misleads public over shares sale:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0807/S00108.htm

    No smear from HC, more lies from JK.

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