Nats’ adman an objectivist fruitloop

Written By: - Date published: 3:28 pm, September 7th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

If you’ve caught yourself asking why the Nat’s billboards are so bad, then Jafa Pete has the answer. Their adman, Glenn Jameson, is an objectivist. For those of you not familiar with objectivism it’s kind of like a cross between neo-liberalism and Nietzschen fascism (as long as the Nietzsche is read without irony).

Here’s a choice quote from his rant about working for the Nats on solo passion:

In June this year Prime Minister Helen Clark issued a statement on the Mugabe regime in which she urged ‘the United Nations Security Council, regional organisations in Africa, and Zimbabwe’s neighbours to work for the holding of free and fair elections; and call on President Robert Mugabe to step down for the good of his country.’

That she said this without blushing demonstrates just how deep the corruption has seeped.

That’s right people, he thinks Helen Clark is Mugabe. I doubted the Nats would be employing anyone further right than “Iwi/Kiwi” Ansell. It seems I was wrong.

Anyone who has had the misfortune to have to deal with objectivists in their day to day lives will realise that one of their main traits is a desperately earnest belief they are smarter than everyone else which they express in a style that demonstrates the antithesis of this proposition. I guess that’s how “less bureaucrats” slipped through the net.

To be fair to the tories there must have been some vetting of Jameson’s ideas or it’s likely the first billboard would have been “say goodbye to Helen Clark, she’s worst than Hitler.”

I recommend you check out Jameson’s blog. There are some interesting views on ACT (they’re socialist nanny statists), Islam (moderates are more dangerous than terrorists) and of course Helen Clark.

Hat-tip JP

33 comments on “Nats’ adman an objectivist fruitloop”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Now this really is a low blow from me irish, and I’ll take the slap for being a troll when I say this, but since this is a fairly partisan rant from you I think it’s a fair cop.

    Lots of people have fruity ideas that are so far out of the mainstream view of the rest of New Zealand, yet otherwise seem quite capable of performing their job.

    Heavens, even our own Prime Minister has been known to have crazy, loopy ideas that stretch credibility, and defend them until the end. Why, just the other day she was saying she thought Winston Peters was an honourable man, whose word she trusted.

  2. haha, i just went to the guy’s blog and in the second post he writes: “Just announced on FOX, McCain has picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, the country’s first female candidate for VP.”

    um, Geraldine Ferraro? Beat Palin to it by 24 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldine_Ferraro

    based on that and the ‘less bureaucrats’ billboards, I’m guessing the guy makes a lot of mistakes and doesn’t bother much with checking for them.

  3. outofbed 3

    Well I for one am pleased they are using the “fruit loop” Glenn Jameson.
    I was kinda worried what the Nats were going to produce after the excellent campaign last time. But the latest Nats Billboards are too bad to be true. Do you think he is trying to sabotage the Nats campaign ?
    Also Chris Trotter said that the Green billboards were so good that
    they may add 2% to the Green Vote. I guess if that’s true the Nats ones should decrease their vote it by 2%

  4. IrishBill 4

    Tim, that’s not a low blow at all. When I started this post I considered whether or not it was fair to link Jameson’s loopy politics to his work and decided that, as he himself states he’s doing the work to “to help bring an end to the most corrupt government New Zealand has ever seen”, it was a fair call.

  5. bill brown 5

    I thought saying someone in parliament was an honourable member and taking their word was part of “the rules”.

    Isn’t it proper that the PM should follow them?

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    SP, in your last post about an hour ago, where you said that the Standard talks about the really substantial issues that really matter, are the personal views of party workers really very substantial? Does it actually matter what a party’s ad man thinks about Helen Clark? Isn’t it true that while some National Party supporters and activists think Helen Clark is evil incarnate, so do some Labour activists think in similar terms about John Key? And haven’t we seen vitriol from both sides about the various political leaders, from people who should know better?

    IrishBill: Tim, Steve doesn’t speak for me and we don’t have a hive mind. I think the fact that the Nat’s last two admen have been from the extreme right is an interesting fact and one that is salient to the current political discourse as it indicates just how far right National’s broad church runs. If you have any further comment on the uniformity of he standard’s approach I suggest you email us rather than try to take the issue up in our comments section.

  7. Felix 7

    Jameson’s blog.

    Wow.

    That’s all.

  8. I read “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” when I was about 14. The sex was hot and the images of these hyper-talented, benevolent, respectful super-beings were intriguing.

    But then I’d look at the world outside the window of my house and realise it was all fantasy and potentially dangerous fantasy. After all, these super-beings were touted as being the most worthy, hard-working, maximising their potential. Rand held that in a world ruled by merit they would be the elite and all others would be ranked according to their ability and the extent to which they maximised their potential.

    Even at 14 I knew that “merit” was in he eye of the beholder and Objectivism represented just one more scheme with the potential to allow the self-serving to ignore what anyone else wanted if they could and do as they pleased. Jungle law.

    Yet Objectivism seemed to be a reaction to socialism…..the whole “lights going out all over Europe” thing. But the only outcome I could see for Objectivism was a sort of fascism where your “betters” ruled you and had an absolute moral imperative to respect you…..but not to feed you.

    I thought about it for a while and reckoned the great sex was all that ever going to be worth anything. The rest of it was drivel.

    35 years later I have seen no reason to revisit that conclusion.

  9. Felix 9

    Tim, it speaks to the character and judgment of the Nats that they think Jameson is someone they should have on the team.

  10. Rex Widerstrom 10

    Tim, I usually find myself in broad agreement with you but I think you’ve missed the mark here. What you say is probably true of the vast majority of jobs, but not that of politician, advisor, or political ad man.

    In a position like that you don’t just get asked to carry out the instructions of others, you’re asked for input yourself. And depending upon the other people in the room, and the personality of the advisor, you can sometimes control the outcome. So in this case I think IrishBill’s linking of Jameson’s views and his paid work to be extremely germane.

    If indeed he thinks Act are wishy-washy socialists, it’s possible that outofbed is right – he’s (perhaps subconsciously) cutting the Nats off at the knees with these laughable billboards. Goodness knows what’s to come when other media are released!

    As I’ve argued before, I think the way Crosby-Textor are played up by many on the left as some sort of evil geniuses is wrong. Evil they may be, depending on your perspective, but genuiuses they most certainly are not. And the fact that National appears to be bleeding away its lead in the polls supports my argument.

    So, what I’d like to know is… someone hired Crosby-Textor. Someone hired Jameson. Who? No doubt Key approved them, but that’s too simple. He hasn’t been round in politics long enough to have the measure of these people – someone would have recommended them. Wonder if it’s the same person who’s leaking to Duncan Garner?

  11. Tim Ellis 11

    IB, yes it is an interesting issue generally, isn’t it? I put it to you that if loopy, extreme ideas and motivations were a main disqualification from political activism, then the ranks of supporters, activists, and even MPs from both political parties would be seriously depleted.

    Mike Williams, from all accounts, loathes the National Party with real intensity. Is it a major issue for me that he’s very tribal and no doubt has loopy ideas about National? No. That goes with the territory. He has a big role in Labour’s election strategy. Crosby Textor are probably pretty strongly motivated against socialism as well. A lot of union members, likewise.

    Just a couple of weeks ago I was having a chat with a senior Labour Party activist, who began saying some pretty horrible, and frankly defamatory things about John Key. I objected to what he was saying, and said I wasn’t interested in hearing it, any more than he would be interested in hearing disgusting things about Helen Clark.

    My point is, activists tend to be tribal. It’s part of the fun. Where would politics be without the tribalism and extreme behaviour from the likes of Trevor Mallard, Maurice Williamson and Sue Bradford, to name just a few?

  12. bill brown 12

    Tim,

    There’s a whole bunch of differences between being an activist in a party and being the party’s ad-man.

    I’m sure all parties have fruit-loops as members, however only one has this guy doing their publicity.

    Also Trevor Mallard, Maurice Williamson and Sue Bradford were all voted in by the electorate. This guy wasn’t.

  13. IrishBill 13

    Tim, your first point was that Jameson’s politics are separate from his job. Your second point was that they are integral to his job but so what?

    When I see someone shift their counter-argument that quickly I start to suspect they are simply being a contrarian.

    It should also be noted that the MPs you reference are all within the traditional NZ political spectrum. Your claim they are extreme doesn’t hold water.

  14. Tim Ellis 14

    Irish, those are interesting points and there are a couple of issues.

    The first question I would ask is, was this guy appointed because of his extreme personal views, or because National decided he was the most capable guy for the job? We’re talking about a paid professional here. If he doesn’t come up with the goods, then he gets sacked.

    The second issue is about the motivation of party activists. I think party activists tend to be motivated for reasons that are much more extreme than the ordinary public. Self-evidently they are obviously much more passionate about their causes than ordinary members of the public. That goes without saying.

    Thirdly, some of the campaign influencers throughout politics appear to be either passionate activists with strong views, pure professionals who are just there to do a job, or a mix of professionals with passionate views. That goes without saying also.

    Fourthly, which is the issue that Rex pointed out and bill brown pointed out I think, about who is accountable for those views. That’s my point exactly. I don’t care what the personal views of activists or advisors or campaign influencers are. In my view that is a sideshow. It is the political leaders themselves who choose to accept or decline advice. Those political leaders take responsibility for the advice they take on. Even Helen Clark said a while ago, that she is the Labour Party’s chief strategist. If I’m not wrong, what she’s saying is that the buck stops with her. That’s what leadership is about.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that all political parties have advisers, activists, and strategists with strong views. Which views are taken on and are adopted as strategy is something the political leadership should be held accountable for.

  15. I suggest people also check out Jameson’s personal profile page on the ad agency website. There he lists his special talent as: “Finding the truth amongst the bullshit.’

    Couldn’t make it up, could you?

    Tim, You are correct about party activists being more extreme in their views (amongst other things) than the ordinary “punter”. But that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about people who think that ACT are socialist!

  16. Tim Ellis 16

    JP, that is interesting. Like I say, I think that goes for all parties. Just recently I heard a Green Party activist, who is also a ministerial adviser to the Minister for the Environment, describe Labour’s environmental policy as inadequate and too beholden to economic interests, in a public forum. I would have thought that his professional role would exclude him from making those sorts of comments.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think that Jameson is entitled to his personal views, all he likes. He’s also entitled to hold a professional position as an ad-man. I think it creates problems when he’s expressing public views in a public forum that are contrary to National’s position, while he’s advising National on strategy.

    But I don’t know what the point of this particular objection is. From all reports, National’s billboards strategy is far more moderate, and far less divisive, than the billboard strategy from 2005. It appears to me that despite Glenn Jameson perhaps having more extreme private views than John Ansell, he appears to have less influence on National’s campaign strategy now, than Ansell had in 2005. Or perhaps it says that irrespective of people’s personal views, National pays its campaign professionals to do their professional jobs, and the political leadership takes responsibility for what that strategy should be.

  17. bill brown 17

    I don’t think their billboards are supposed to be more moderate, but they suck so much you can get past their mediocrity.

  18. Dan 18

    When you put together Australian Crosby Textor, British Tory private jet visitor, a tendency to be obsequious to Christian extremists, atendency to go wherever Dubya wants, and now the hiring of such extreme nutters on the right, is it any wonder that the moderate true-blue NZ Nats of the Holyoake style are leaking policies all over the place.
    The problem Key has in not declaring his hand early is that every right wing zealot thinks the Yellow Brick Road has arrived.

    Sorry guys, you are history. Take advantage of the cheap fares to Australia, or even further if you can.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    I’m guessing that National’s advertising maestro will be kept well away from their post-election negotiations with the Maori Party.

    Extracts from Glenn Jameson’s feedback, on Willie Jackson’s “Eye to Eye” website, commenting on Te Reo:

    Objectively speaking, Maori is, outside of their own communities, schools and Maori TV, completely and utterly useless. And these brown clowns want to make it compulsory?! … The moral inversion these debates create is sickening, with brown-nosing dimwits like Linda Ross-Smith bleating on about the “bigotry displayed by your two pakeha guests.” The only racists in that room, Hone, were the “Mordi” on the geographical and political left of that panel, who insist on shoving ethnic-based policies — which are by their very nature racist — down our throats.

    Now that’s what you call off-message!

  20. Lew 20

    I think this is a sauce for the goose sort of thing. If Helen Clark’s selection of and defence of Winston Peters as Foreign Minister reflects poorly upon her and Labour (and it does), and if it’s ok for Trevor Loudon to call attention to Andrew Geddis’ communist affiliations in and possibly after university, linking them to a supposed conspiracy to stack the electoral reform deck in favour of the left (and it is), then there’s no smear at all in bringing up National’s adman’s political-philosophical opinions (freely and publicly admitted) as an indication of the sort of conceptual and talent pool from which they’re drawing inspiration. Like it or not, the people with whom political parties and public figures associate do cast a reflection upon them – though I certainly think it’s easy to make too much of this.

    Seems to be a shallower pool than I first thought.

    Anyone with a SOLO account want to ask him whether `less’ was intentional or not?

    L

  21. Phil 21

    The advertising industry is full of stange individuals with extreemist ideals. It seems dangerous territory to start digging into the personal lives and beliefs of the Nat’s (or indeed any other party’s) advertisers.

    In effect, you are implying that one cannot separate their personal view from their professional occupation.

  22. forgetaboutthelastone 22

    “solo passion” – nice euphemism for “wanker”.

  23. Pascal's bookie 23

    “In effect, you are implying that one cannot separate their personal view from their professional occupation.”

    Fair enough, but isn’t that inseparability business the whole point of objectivism?

    A either equals A’ or it doesn’t Phil.

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Does anyone remember that Jameson fella who came on here a while ago? He sure was a libertarian type. Just wondering…

  25. Their adman, Glenn Jameson, is an Objectivist. For those of you not familiar with Objectivism it’s kind of like a cross between neo-liberalism and Nietzschean fascism…”

    Actually, I’d just call Objectivism common sense on steroids. See.

    And I wouldn’t call Jameson an Objectivist. Just an arsehole with bad grammar.

  26. Tane 26

    I hear Cresswell’s been angry ever since Jameson crossed over from the Judean People’s Front to the People’s Front of Judea. 🙂

  27. Lew 27

    Ah, the Objectivist Wars come to The Standard. It’s like deja vu all over again: Official Objectivist Schism form letter.

    L

  28. Felix 28

    “common sense on steroids”

    If by that you mean…

    “common sense blown out of all proportion by artificial devices until it doesn’t resemble common sense at all”

    …then it’s actually a pretty good metaphor.

  29. Ruth 29

    This is a bit of a dog whistle Irish Bill…the vast majority of people don’t know who Ayn Rand is, and they care even less. And they wouldn’t know Glenn Jameson if they ran over him.

    Politics has long been an option for career advancement. I do not see why Jameson, or anyone for that matter, should have to pass an Ideological Purity Test.

  30. IrishBill 30

    Ruth, explain to me where I’ve claimed National shouldn’t employ Jameson because of his nutty politics and I may give your comment some credence. Otherwise I’ll assume you’ve either misinterpreted my post or you are deliberately setting up a strawman argument.

  31. Tim Ellis 31

    Tane said:

    I hear Cresswell’s been angry ever since Jameson crossed over from the Judean People’s Front to the People’s Front of Judea.

    It does puzzle me, the strange goings on in small parties. I gave up on the kiwiblog comments section when I saw a couple of Act party supporters agonising over who would be number 12 on their party list.

  32. See, the thing I can’t work out is how that quote makes him an Objectivist rather than just a guy with gratuitous powers of self-delusion regarding his own greatness..

    Kinda like Rand seems, from what little I know of her – Randian Objectivism just takes philosophical objectivism (the fairly common sense belief that there’s a reality external to our minds that we’re experiencing semi-accurately through our senses)**, then races screaming of a cliff with it (somehow taking it to imply that we should then be empowered to do whatever we want in a laissez-faire utopia).

    It seems to me that many seriously nutty philosophies come when someone takes simple, commonly held beliefs, then grafts their own particular piece of crazy on top and claims it to be a special philosophy that is both provable, insightful, and unique. So, apparently you’re meant to capitalize Rand’s version, cos it’s extra special..

    Fruitloops.

    I like plain old philosophical objectivism – it pisses me off that Rand co-opted it. Persuasion through obfuscation! Yay!

    * Philosophical objectivism, to some extent, underlies an awful lot of discourse – you can’t really take learning, knowledge gathering or discourse seriously without at least some flavour of it – for example, the scientific method is learning about _something_ through observing it – the existence of that something is generally presumed necessary. Of course, then relativism gets in the way, and you can start arguing about how many somethings there are, and whether they are subjectively experienced, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

  33. Krupps 33

    Jameson is probably fleeing the Libertarianz before their spokesperson, the utterly reprehensible Elijah Lineberry, destroys his reputation as well. This election will be entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

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