National does a big sook

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, September 5th, 2023 - 51 comments
Categories: chris bishop, chris hipkins, Christopher Luxon, Dirty Politics, national, same old national, spin, taxpayers union, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

Recently National, which perfected the art of dirty politics, which has spent the past couple of years being relentlessly negative and which has had its sock puppets attack individual Labour MPs mercilessly is deeply, deeply, deeply upset that the fire has been returned recently.

Yesterday the CTU released a full blitz attack on Christopher Luxon.

One may ask why are they so upset about the prospect of a National Government.  How about these reasons?  From the CTU website:

  • Fair Pay Agreements would be abolished – these provide minimum protections for workers and prevent the race to the bottom, by cutting the wages of the most vulnerable workers.
  • 90-day trials for workers would be reinstated – there is no evidence these help businesses hire workers. In fact, it is the opposite, it will be easier to lay off workers for no reason.
  • Minimum wage rises would be restrained – National promises to raise the minimum wage every year, but we know National’s track record is poor. Under the current government minimum wages rises have increased the fortnightly income of those workers by $556 since 2017.
  • Tax breaks for landlords and speculators would make a comeback – these fuel the property market and simply enrich property investors, making it harder to buy a first home and pushing up rents.
  • Public transport costs for many low-paid workers would rise, along with prescription charges.
  • Welfare payments would be pegged to CPI inflation, meaning that many of the lowest-income New Zealanders will fall further behind.
  • The public service would be gutted – National would cut $8.5 billion of spending and savage frontline services up and down the country. Services working people depend on, and jobs that employ union members.
  • Climate Emergency Response Fund would be axed – $2.4 billion dollars committed to reducing our climate emissions to fund National’s landlord tax breaks. This will undermine New Zealand’s ability to tackle our climate crisis.

I guess it is a bit unfair quoting Luxon himself about what he thinks about poor people.  Saying that he is focussed on helping the wealthy, which he is, that he wants to scrap fair pay agreements and free prescriptions, which he does, and giving billions in tax cuts to landlords, a policy he is campaigning on, may be considered to be unfair if you think that you have a god given right to lead and want to win without people realising how unfair your policies actually are, but in a healthy democracy pointing these things out is considered to be standard campaigning.

The response by National is as heightened a display of pearl clutching as you can imagine.

Especially this from Chris Bishop.

And the Taxpayers Union, yes the Taxpayers Union chose to complain about the advertisements AND seek donations at the same time.

Chris Hipkins had a perfectly weighted response.

It is really rich for National to complain about negative campaigning and for Bishop to suggest that this could the most negative campaign ever.  Over the years National has made an art of negative campaigning.

Like in 1975.

And in 2005.

And in 2014 when dirty politics was weaponised and run out of John Key’s office.

This level of hysteria is an attempt to divert from the CTU’s message which is perfectly appropriate to raise in an election campaign.  Luxon would be a disaster, workers wages and conditions would be severely undermined, and the wealthy would benefit to the expense of the rest of us.

Well done CTU.  Good to see you representing the interests of your members.

51 comments on “National does a big sook ”

  1. Reality 1

    Good on the PM for cleverly highlighting all the nasty rubbish put out by the opposition and their hangers-on, which they have been doing for years. I thought he handled it excellently.

    For Chris Bishop to think it acceptable for them to attack and not expect a reaction shows that "born to rule" mentality is alive and thriving.

  2. Johnr 2

    I would donate serious money to the CTU to contribute to a similar ad portraying Seymour.

    A further concern is, what assests are they going to package up for sale. Kiwibank is ripe for the picking, as is Pharmac and the medical system in general.

    The brown skidmark in auck is leading the way, hocking off money earning assests.

    • Mike the Lefty 2.1

      ANZ will already be planning the closure of the few remaining Kiwibank branches because that's who will be buying it. Seymour has probably got a contract ready now just waiting for the day after the election to sign it.

      • Johnr 2.1.1

        Yes M the L,

        it's a pity that the commerce commissions incompetence borders on corruption.

        • Barfly 2.1.1.1

          Under resourcing makes it more likely that the CC won't get the urge to investigate anything too large or controversial without instruction.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.2

      yes Imho NAct MPs and supporters are in thrall to Mammon. A NAct govt means more privatisation, more tax breaks for the wealthy, more user pays and more inequality.
      I'll be casting my party vote for the Greens.

      NZCTU launches election campaign: Christopher Luxon is out of touch, there is too much risk with National [edited for brevity]

      • Fair Pay Agreements would be abolished.
      • 90-day trials for workers would be reinstated.
      • Minimum wage rises would be restrained.
      • Tax breaks for landlords and speculators would make a comeback.
      • Public transport costs for many low-paid workers would rise, along with prescription charges.
      • Welfare payments would be pegged to CPI inflation, meaning that many of the lowest-income New Zealanders will fall further behind.
      • The public service would be gutted.
      • Climate Emergency Response Fund would be axed.

      “October’s election is the most significant election for working people in a generation. It’s essential that going into this election, people understand what is at risk for not just working people, but all New Zealanders.”

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.3

      A further concern is, what assests are they going to package up for sale. Kiwibank is ripe for the picking, as is Pharmac and the medical system in general.

      My fear…is those ACT slime getting control..and doing all of that…and more !

  3. Mike the Lefty 3

    Absolutely!

    The party that invented dirty politics in New Zealand now whimpering when someone else does the same back to them, and actually it doesn't even come close to some of the outright libel and racial provocation that have been standard in previous National Party ads and billboards.

    The ad itself was calculated, using a photo of Luxon that didn't exactly portray his most photogenic qualities, but that is no different from some of the National ads of previous elections portraying Helen Clark, and Jacinda Adern, in particular.

    Already the accusations of the CTU being a front for Labour are circulating around the right-wing blogs. Is the CTU a front for Labour? There is a historical connection between unions and Labour but the CTU have not hesitated to criticize Labour when they feel it is justified and your can read a lot of that on Martyn Bradbury's The Daily Blog.

    If you think the CTU is a front for Labour, then you could equally accuse the following organisations of being fronts for National: Groundswell, NZ Initiative (formerly Business Roundtable), NZ Taxpayer's Union, Hobson's Pledge, The Wellesley Club, Property Council of NZ, Federated Farmers and of course good old ZB Newstalk. There are a few others like Save our Shops to whom I will give the benefit of the doubt.

    We will very likely see ads that are much filthier than the CTU ad from these organisations. Right wingers have the tendency to demand the truth from their opponents whilst slinging their own lies and deceit.

    And my last point: billboard vandalism. The political right always start huffing and puffing about Labour vandals as soon as their own billboards get vandalised. In fact it is happening to billboards of every party. In my driving job I go to many different areas of the North Island and I have seen vandalised billboards everywhere belonging to all parties. I suspect much of it is the work of conspiracy theorists and people who thought the parliamentary riots of 2022 were a heap of fun. No party (apart from Democracy NZ perhaps) condones their supporters vandalising opposing parties' billboards.

    If people think the election is off to a dirty start, they ain't seen nothing yet.

    • Craig H 3.1

      There are CTU-affiliated unions which are also affiliated to Labour e.g. E Tu, but CTU itself is not affiliated to any political party and its constitution does not permit it to be affiliated to a political party (https://union.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/NZCTU-Constitution-2021-final.pdf – rule 2.3.1). To quote:

      2.3. Political Affiliations

      2.3.1. The question of affiliation to political parties is a matter for individual unions themselves to determine. The NZCTU shall not affiliate to or make financial contributions to any political party.

  4. ianmac 4

    Chris Bishop looks frazzled. Is he aware that all is not done and dusted for National? To be testy now with weeks to go the whole campaign rests on his shoulders and he may be mis-stepping.

    Poor old Chrissy. Don't you feel sorry for poor old chap? He has to defend their tax fraud. Snap. Snap.

  5. mikesh 5

    I think National are being a little precious in complaining about this advertisement. The rhetoric of calling a party leader "out of touch" and "too much of a risk" doesn't seem to me to be in any way unusual in an election campaign, and the comment about "bottom feeders" is probably true.

    • SPC 5.1

      The first was based on a poll result, sample of public opinion (and given he pays neither rent nor mortgage is one reason why).

      The second was based on his low polling as preferred PM

  6. Anne 6

    Why do New Zealand people think Jacinda Ardern is beautiful? - Quora

    Don't know who produced this but caption reads "Why do people think Jacinda is beautiful". Now that is what I call personal and nasty.

    And remember this:

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/489393/auckland-rotary-club-apologises-over-images-of-former-pm-jacinda-ardern-s-face-on-toilet-seat

    Yes. an Auckland Rotary Club- bastion of NAct members and supporters.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 6.1

      Yea there was, and still is, plenty of hate-on for Jacinda and Labour.

      You prob remember those Tremain "funny" cartoons of Jacinda and Nanaia Mahuta…being run by groundswill and the "taxpayers union".

      And…as a Worker and Left, I support Labour and the CTU. Not just for myself..but for all of us at the other end of the table.

  7. Blazer 7

    The Natz need to be hit hard on their plans for our country.

    Their policies are embarrassing.

    Nicola Willis has a great, gaping hole……. her fantastic projections for their new taxes are ludicrous and have been panned by respected economists.

    Keys former 'girl Friday' wants to be the next finance minister,but is clearly …out of her…depth.

    • Tricledrown 7.1

      She is suffering imposter syndrome. Not able to add up basic numbers ,caught out by her own lack of research on her own Policy unbelievable! The gun lobby won't like it either shooting herself in the foot.to $100s of millions out on a new tax policy several $billion out on roading cost's .Then the lack of Charisma from the 2 stuffed dummies they have the body language of a couple of escaped prisoner's.

    • Clive Macann 7.2

      John Key has trashed her Tax plan.

  8. SPC 8

    One can observe already the narrative being spoon fed to media.

    One journalist

    Day one

    Election 2023: National has Labour in a corner, but Hipkins has nothing to lose

    https://www.thepost.co.nz/a/politics/350066461/election-2023-national-has-labour-corner-hipkins-has-nothing-lose?utm_source=stuff_website&utm_medium=stuff_referral&utm_campaign=stuff_skybox&utm_id=stuff_skybox

    Day two

    Election 2023: One day in and the campaign has already turned negative and the politics of kindness is gone

    https://www.thepost.co.nz/a/politics/350067023/election-2023-forget-jacinda-one-day-politics-kindness-are-gone.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Actually, I think the ad is hilarious, and likely to backfire.

    The reason is due to a cognitive bias known as the contrast effect.

    This effect explains why a person may appear more or less attractive depending on a comparator individual. For instance, an average candidate for a job may be perceived as better if preceded by a poor candidate, or worse it than if preceded by a stronger candidate than if they had been assessed without any preceding candidate.

    Applying the logic to this ad, if Luxon presents as better than the image being portrayed in the ad, the public may perceive him more positively than if the ad hadn't been run at all.

    So, the effect of the ad may end up being the opposite to what it intended to achieve.

    • gsays 9.1

      All that, and; Instead of Hipkins firing off soundbites about Free Public Transport under threat, Fair Pay Agreements gone, tax breaks for landlords… we've got him shuffling through his homework showing where 'they were mean to us'.

      More mis-steps than me dancing.

      • Jack 9.1.1

        Yep, also cut short any critique of Nationals tax policy, adds to the narrative of a negative campaign from the left etc. All in all something of an own goal.

    • Blazer 9.2

      Tell Bishop that.laugh

    • Christopher 9.3

      According to the linked Wikipedia page the contrast effect applied to people occurs when one person is immediately appraised following another who was worse or better appraised.

      It doesn't say it applies to a person acting one way and then the same individual acting a different way. Such a person could well appear two faced and hypocritical.

  10. Patricia Bremner 10

    If they don't fight back against the nasty names and memes running for ever, Labour will be thought weak.

    Show what is at risk. Ask "Will this affect you?"

    An untried Politician wanting to remove worker protections, sell off houses be PM, and his mate in Act wanting to sell down our assets.

    This is a class war, and we need to come out with definite bottom lines.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 10.1

      Aye Patricia. Some Fight was needed. And.. I reckon the battle is on.

      Some few on here been, IMO white flag flying…

      One, Ol' Mickey Boyle flew his final one..altho I reckon it was always more….Nat blue.

      Anyway…Walk Tall, P B.

      • Patricia Bremner 10.1.1

        Yep " In it for you!!!" Means we all need to unite to fight the big end of town, and help them be less greedy.

  11. Kat 11

    Ha!….Luxon Inc will hate this ditty….

  12. adam 12

    Tory default = snowflake.

  13. newsense 13

    Imagine the outcry if the former number 3 on the Labour list had received a million dollars for something as ethereal as brand focusing, and then the public CEO ( which is obviously how we sees himself) was exchanging chummy partisan emails while helping them develop policy.

    There’s a word beginning with c…

    And there’s political access and closeness and there’s cash- incidentally coming out of a University budget at a time when a lot of staff have been let go and there have been tertiary cut backs across the country.

    Still I’m sure classes on rorting the state will soon be available and will be measured in how they’ve increased productivity…

  14. tsmithfield 14

    I would have thought that the lesson would have already been learned when a similar strategy was used against Key a few elections ago. I remember that ad with that woman saying in a grim voice "we don't trust you mister Key". That style of campaigning didn't work then, and I doubt it will work now.

    If National is engaging in similar tactics, I would advise them to stop. Because, I just don't think it works for a number of reasons including the reason I mentioned above. But, also, I think kiwis don't like that style of marketing. And, I think it just detracts from messaging that might encourage someone to vote for a particular party.

    I think the unions would have been much better to devote a full page ad promoting free dental visits or something similar.

  15. The role of unions is to point out the dangers of a change of government. There IS much at risk and in case people forget, I put together this nonexhaustive list of what Labour has changed for the better for working people. Almost of these were opposed by National and Business in the kind of "It's going to ruin us" hysteria.

    Did you know that these things came from a Labour-led government?

    4 weeks annual leave

    Time and a half and a day in lieu for working public holidays

    Ten days statutory sick leave

    Matariki Public Holiday

    Mondayisation of Anzac and Waitangi Day

    Family violence leave (Greens)

    Meals and rest breaks

    26 weeks paid parental leave

    Fair Pay Agreements

    Right for screen workers to bargain collectively, even as contractors

    Protection for vulnerable contract workers when employer changes hands

    Labour hire workers can take pg against both primary and secondary employer

    Abolishing youth rates for over 16 – 18yos minimum wage (Greens)

    Pay Equity legislation opening up process to all workers.

    Birth injuries covered by ACC

    Access rights for union organisers to visit workers and recruit

    Recognition of unions and ILO conventions around right to organise and bargain collectively.

    There is so much more.

    <

    p style=”text-align:start”>

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 15.1

      Thankyou Darien. There seem some who in their dislike (hate?) of Labour, are only too willing to blow all that off.

      I certainly appreciate what has been done. And what we would lose if NAct get their claws in.

      Keep up the Fight !

  16. newsense 16

    Day 3 of waiting:

    for journalists to put the points of the CTU’s protest to the Nats to answer which part is nasty.

  17. tsmithfield 17

    I don't see the ad as nasty. But it certainly is negative, hyperbolic, and does nothing to promote left-leaning policy.

    I think a more effective way of doing it would be to promote the different worker-positive things that Labour has implimented, with an encouragement to vote Labour to ensure those things are retained.

    Another issue with a scare campaign against National is that, even if it works, it doesn't mean voters will vote Labour or Greens as a result. They could vote for NZ First for instance.

  18. Reality 18

    So many of those improvements for workers have faded into the background now. A list of them should be somehow publicised as a reminder.

    Poor wee Chris Bishop is still upset and having a cry at the CTU, even though he was reminded about his negative Facebook stuff. Of course that's ok in his world. Likes to dish it out but has a cry when the boot is on the other foot.

    • tsmithfield 18.1

      I don't think whining about it is the way to go. So I would agree with you there.

      I quite liked what Chippie did the other day about the ad he was in where he was portrayed as a Cossack on a horse or whatever it was. He poked fun at it. I think that is the right way to go. Laugh and the ad and ridicule it. But don't whine about it.

      • AB 18.1.1

        If we gloss everything over with humour, it gets easy to overlook the underlying dynamics of how society actually functions and how various interests are in fundamental conflict and how evil exists. Politics gets to seem like a bit of a laugh, a sideshow to important stuff like the rugby, because (nudge, nudge) the politics is really settled and the way things are now is how it has to be forever.

  19. Heather 19

    Thing that is scary for us , the most, is the number of people who we meet who are saying 'I am not going to bother voting.'

    This is the worst possible outcome, will ensure Nat/Act/NZ First are returned.

    The left will only win if everyone who has benefited from this government teachers, nurses , workers, apprentices, students , Seniors, police , people in new homes, businesses who were helped during covid. The list goes on and on.

    Apathy will be what returns a National/Act government.

  20. Thinker 20

    Nevertheless, there is a lesson for Labour here.

    This response is what Labour should have been doing to tell the nation about Nationals dirty tactics.

    Instead, it said nothing and let them do their worst, like innocent school kids taking the blame on behalf of the school bully.

    There's still time, Labour. Start taking the fight back to National.

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