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Personality cult

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, July 22nd, 2008 - 41 comments
Categories: brand key, interweb, john key, national - Tags: ,

Some of our friends on the National Party end of the blogosphere have developed a rather odd habit over the years of referring to Helen Clark as ‘Dear Leader’.

Well fellas, I hate to break it to you, but if it’s a personality cult you’re after then look no further than the National Party’s new website.

Is that two… three… four pictures of John Key within the first fold of the homepage?

Focused on what matters indeed…

41 comments on “Personality cult”

  1. Vanilla Eis 1

    Be fair Tane; you can barely see his face in two of them for the oh-so-enticing start button!

  2. Cheers Tane
    I take it you mean us
    http://www.nominister.blogspot.com
    Yes, four pics seems rather generous coverage
    At least the pics look up-to-date
    Which is more than can be said for Liarbour’s Dear Leader pics which appear twice on the Liarbour Party website:)

    PS Next I look forward to a post on the use of the word Liarbour.

    [Tane: Yeah, you and the rest of the Kiwiblog crowd who think hurling childish nicknames makes up for a lack of intelligent political debate. I’ve already said my piece on “Liarbour” – it’s stupid (and anyway, shouldn’t it be Liarbore?).]

  3. Ha! Look at the meet the candidates icon – a bunch of faceless figures! It’s like their web designer is working the whole thing into some beautiful metaphor…

  4. And it certainly appears as though they have neglected to use a bank of super cray computers to craft an unbelievable photo shopping visage of John Key.
    He is their main asset. What would you expect to see on the front page?..
    NB. Do not take this as a defense of National because it is not intended as such.

  5. Tane 5

    Sod, looks like they’re all white too 😉

    Bill, of course they will bro, and that’s perfectly understandable. I’m just having a laugh at their excessive reliance on the Key brand. Even you’ve got to admit four photos is pretty ridiculious.

  6. Rob… Is labour’s list up on their site yet?? And before anybody starts guffing on about policy… has Helen announced the election date yet??

  7. sally 7

    I like it how it says “focused on what matters” and the only thing in focus is John Key.

  8. The four photos is to fill the space where policy should probably go.
    now if you can just walk across the office and get her to let you in on the date I will whisper it in someones ear and we can get them to take out his unedited pics and replace it with policy.. 🙂

  9. You are absolutely right Tane.
    It should be Liarbore.
    Liarbour and its lapdog poodle have had so many issues with the turth, it is becoming a bore.
    BB I have already posted on No Minister the official Dear Leader Pic for 2008
    The super cray computers have worked overtime already
    http://nominister.blogspot.com/2008/07/cost-of-crosby-textor.html

  10. vto 10

    ha ha.

    As mr pierson said on another thread, you fullas have much more serious and big issues to deal with to bother with rubbish about party leaders …

  11. I just saw The Hollow Men movie and this ‘the Leader rules us’ meme came through there too.

    Labour and the Greens develop policy from the bottom up, not be decree from the leader.

  12. J Mex 12

    I’m beginning to understand now:

    Winston Peters misleading the NZ public over donations = Issue that does not “concern the broad labour movement”

    How many times John Key’s face appears on the National party website – obviously is a issue that concerns the broad labour movement.

    I guess the Nats site IS in strong contrast to the Labour site, which has no photos of Helen Clark, but does have two “artist’s impressions”

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    Grrrrr… this is a Westminster democracy. This isn’t the US, where the respective parties just become ciphers for Obama or McCain who, in turn, have empty “images” projected upon them (“the grizzled veteran with experience” vs “the idealistic dreamer with just enough experience to not condemn us to Armageddon”).

    Helen lets herself be Photoshopped to a laughable degree and her head to be plastered over every piece of party literature. Key avoids the Photoshopping but goes for 2x the plastering, as though a vague smile – like he’s done something slightly rude and he’s hoping you won’t notice – substitutes for substance.

    Winston… well he’s rarely more than a few metres from a mirror and he irons his socks. I used to think Rodney was going to stick with being short, bald and overweight and then he decided to do the only thing, short of joining The Hair Club for Men, that he could to add some glamour and lost weight. But even that had to be an exercise in “look at me”, complete with “how I did it” interviews.

    I can’t imagine Tariana Turia or Jeanette Fitsimons preening in front of a mirror for long, or standing behind some poor graphic artist as he explains the clone tool can only do so much.

    They’re also the parties who seem to have the strongest core philosophies (not that I agree with many of them) and aren’t just in politics for the power. Coincidence? I think not, as they say.

  14. Tane 14

    You fullas on the right need to lighten up. The odd joke post never hurt anyone.

  15. vto 15

    Exactly Mrs Mex.

    Poster people can put whatever they like on their own blog etc but sheesh, when various of them say “How does (Peters conning folk) concern the broad labour movement?” and then post on how many times Key’s face appears on a website as if that somehow is about the broad labour movement then really, you know, the credibility really starts to just streeeeeetch.

    Good posts sometimes, that stimulate decent debate, but the appearance is that of a blog so heavily partisan and one-eyed that you have to wonder about the actual worth of any debate on any topic given the closed down nature of the minds on parade.

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    vto, jmex, maybe you should take it to the recent thread about Peters, if you want to complain that there aren’t any recent threads about Peters. Cheers.

  17. NX 17

    Here’s an idea why don’t you guys ditch this corrupted Labour/NZ1st govt. and join the BlueLibs:

    http://www.bluelibs.org.nz/

    Better than being on the outside looking it.

    [Tane: Thanks, but I’m a socialist. What do the Blue Libs have to offer me? In any case, I vote Green for want of a better alternative.]

  18. lprent 18

    vto: We tend to be less worried about the issues on the left than we are about those total loser maniacs on the right fucking things up because they’re too stupid to understand basic……..

    And hey, when you look at blogs on the right – they do the same thing in reverse.

    Face it – the blogosphere is partisan. We didn’t set this blog up to provide a nice neutral forum. We set it up to voice the concerns that we have. Just at present that is largely the Nat’s who are looking increasingly dangerous to put in charge of car, let alone a country.

    If you want a balanced viewpoint then go to…. ummm Ok there isn’t anywhere.

  19. lprent 19

    NX: Looking simply at the titles of their posts, I can’t see that they are talking about policy at all. Mainly they appear to be talking about Labour. Kind of proves my point.

  20. vto 20

    Iprent and MrPilott, all good. I quite like the debates on here at times but sometimes I need to have a go at things a little more strenuously to satisfy my brainwaves.

    One thing I have noticed about this site tho is that while people are bit better behaved they tend to be bit less tolerant, especially when jabbed in the ribs about something.

  21. monkey-boy 21

    “…You fullas on the right need to lighten up. The odd joke post never hurt anyone.”

    Like this one out of today’s Herald:

    “Prime Minister Helen Clark today told Parliament she had confidence in Foreign Minister Winston Peters. …”

    Well, it made me laugh.

    lprent “If you want a balanced viewpoint then go to . ummm Ok there isn’t anywhere.”
    There’s ‘Monkeys With Typewriters’ it is a paragon of objectivity.

  22. insider 22

    ” You fullas on the right need to lighten up. The odd joke post never hurt anyone.’

    Problem is Tane, we can’t tell it’s a joke based on your past form.

  23. lprent 23

    vto:

    One thing I have noticed about this site tho is that while people are bit better behaved they tend to be bit less tolerant, especially when jabbed in the ribs about something.

    I think you are actually talking about two sides of the same thing.

    The comments section was probably more amusing when the site had almost an open slather without any significant moderation (as it has now) and no access restrictions (as in DPF’s site). Just go back and look at pre-December last year.

    But it was just a boring read for those of us who read it all of the time. The same daft trolling over and over again. Fun for those doing it – but hardly achieving what we wanted in terms of debate. We didn’t want to be a site like Clint Heines or DPF’s.

    We instituted some active moderation. In my case, I started some often actively nasty sysop actions towards people that I consider are probably attacking the site or its writers or other commentators. That is because I’ve seen all of this type of stuff previously on usenet. I have no particular interest in going through the same pointless crap again.

    It has been effective in lifting the level of debate, and I suspect also the average age of the commentators.

    It also means that the type of humour and debate has changed as well. Effectively the people who survive on here have often well thought out opinions and positions. They will argue them, and do it pretty crisply.

    I enjoy scanning the site these days. I even sometimes start to read the posts and comments the way everyone else does.

  24. lprent 24

    There’s ‘Monkeys With Typewriters’ it is a paragon of objectivity.

    Ah yes… Right.. I bet you can’t get 10 other people to agree with you on that.

    Personality cult?

  25. Daveski 25

    I agree with vto’s comments – there is some personal abuse here but sadly more direct personal abuse on the other network channel.

    Also agree that it is less tolerant particularly of different view points.

    Lynn’s (can I call you Lynn?) comments are also valid – the blogosphere isn’t non-partisan and if we don’t like it we can go somewhere else.

    I suppose it’s like the Warriors expecting neutral refs in Oz.

    On a more serious note, I think personalities have always been a big part of politics – Muldoon, citizens for Rowling, Kirk, Lange. Strange that Labour seems to have had more personalities in the past.

    As I said in another post, I suspect that part of positioning Key is to directly target Clark’s weak points.

  26. J Mex 26

    The Nats seem to be currently relying far mor on Key + English than Labour are on Clark + ?

  27. Is the cult following the Liar or bores? Maybe just a witches spell and the Key to the green room sauna.

    I am a feminazi lover of hate, ask Pascal on kiwiblog!

  28. Dan 28

    I am not at all surprised. What else is there?

  29. roger nome 29

    What the hell dad? Are you trying to tell us that you’re a feminist who’s interested in Leonard Cohen’s music or what?

  30. Famous blue coat roger

    “They locked up a man
    Who wanted to rule the world
    The fools
    They locked up the wrong man”

    Got my drift nome!

  31. In Canada, last October, the opposition Progressive Conservative Party in the province of Ontario ran as though its leader, the eponymous John Tory, was the only candidate. When you voted, you were asked to vote for a “John Tory Government”. John Tory’s photo was everywhere. All the campaign signage and posters were tory blue and proclaimed the local candidate as “your John Tory candidate”.

    The same strategy seems to be in operation here. I don’t know whether or not Crosby / Textor were hired in Ontario. Canada has its own class of political fixers and propagandists. But one could be forgiven for thinking they were.

    As it turned out, the Tory tories blew their lead in the polls when their leader refused to abandon a policy for provincial funding of private religious schools (large donations from Toronto’s wealthy and influential orthodox jewish leaders helped convinced him)…..including Muslim madassas.

    Despite a large early lead in the polls, John Tory’s tories ended up with about 32% of the vote….and 4 more years in opposition.

  32. I should hasten to add that Ontario does provide state funding to Catholic schools….and no others. Tory was trying to be fair. I would prefer the state did not fund any religious schools. Religious people preferred the state all religious schools. That the public was whipped into a frenzy by the tabloid media about madrassas was more of an unintended consequence of a policy attempting to be fair.

  33. Stephen 33

    Hey NX, have any idea what happened to the ‘Blue Greens’??

  34. I wonder how much that site cost.

    As for “Dear Leader” it appears National supporters are as ignorant of cold war history as they are of NZ history. Something in which John Key’s knowledge is decidedly lacking.

    I’ve got a couple of community college enrollment forms here. Perhaps John Key might find some use in them.

  35. Rex Widerstrom 35

    Good god Steve Withers… I hadn’t caught up with the details of that campaign. That’s like some sort of cheesy post-apocalyptic movie script. Only it’s real.

    Bit tricky if your leader gets caught receiving favours from interns, adopting a “wide stance” in a public toilet, or even accepting dubious donations and pretending he had no idea he was $100k better off.

    And what does it say about the sort of person who’d allow an entire party – indeed an entire political philosophy, really – to be marketed as a cargo cult centred around themselves?!

    Frightening, really…

    Captcha: stud teller. There’s a line there (probably something to do with the aforementioned intern) but I’m not going there…

  36. NX 36

    Hey NX, have any idea what happened to the ‘Blue Greens’??

    Here the web address:

    http://www.bluegreens.org.nz/about.html

    ^ Google is my friend 😉

    Given the battle the new Rudd government is having trying to sell the ETS to the Australian people (which was a major plank of their election campaign), I suspect it will conveniently fall off the radar in this years election campaign.

  37. And look at that! The head of the executive team (John Key) was/is a climate change denier!

  38. NX 38

    And look at that! The head of the executive team (John Key) was/is a climate change denier!

    Eh…?

  39. AndrewE 40

    I, for one, salute our non partisan monkey overlords.

    [lprent: Ummm I’m not sure that craven subservience counts? Have you been watching too many cartoons recently – Kim something]

  40. Hilarity over at kiwiblog this morning (where for some reason im still not allowed to log in damn it). After Davids berating of Trotters (largely accurate) FYI opinion piece a few days ago, they start off talking about how Trotter is over stating it, then by half way they are calling him a communist, talking about the “socialist religion’ and then this time onto the “socialist evolutionary trait’ that will die out soon apparently. Hypocrisy, but hilarious none the less.

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