Polity: Hide / Farrar / Hooton: “Hey, look over there!

Written By: - Date published: 3:25 pm, May 4th, 2015 - 51 comments
Categories: by-election, spin - Tags: ,

Reposted from Polity 

Rodney Hide and David Farrar have jumped on the Hooton-on-Labour bandwagon over the weekend.

According to them, there was one big loser out of the Northland by-election – where National conspired to lose one of its historically safest seats through wave upon wave of ineptitude, boosting opposition numbers in Parliament and killing National’s RMA changes in the process. And that biggest loser is, according to a bunch of right-wingers, wait for it… the Labour Party!

Oh, sure.

Because making a strategic call that hurts you major opponent, strengthens your relationship with a possible future coalition partner, and blocks a reform your party opposes sounds catastrophic, right?

The fig leaf they’re clinging to is that the first round of nationwide polls following Northland shows two things: (1) not much change in the nationwide scene; and (2) a personal boost for Peters.

Neither of those things is surprising, of course. For all that Northland occupied the neuroses of political geeks, it will have made not that much impression on anyone else, leading to the steady nationwide picture. But what little people do remember will have been in the form of something like “Winston Peters won something,” which is why Winston ticked up a bit.

The hyperbole around the right on this is pretty amusing. Based on a by-election and a pair of public polls, Matthew Hooton reckons Winston Peters is a contender for PM in 2017. And Rodney Hide reckons he’s usurped Andrew Little as opposition leader already!

Matthew Hooton has also invented a supposed “minimal media” strategy for Andrew Little, using that fiction to claim Little is hiding from New Zealanders. Yesterday, Andrew Little got off a plane from the UK at 6am. By 9am, he was on Q+A. Draw your own conclusions.

The shrillness of the “hey look over there!” narrative coming from the right-hand-side shows just how deep the embarrassment within National is at the Northland campaign and result. They screwed the pooch royally, they know it, and they’re desperate to cast blame every which way to avoid facing that fact head on.

And National’s embarrassment is only going to get worse this month as National Ministers take to the airwaves to defend breaking their most central promise of the last few years.

I guess Labour will be the biggest loser out of that, too, right fellas?

See also Dim-Post

Meanwhile, Matthew Hooton, David Farrar, and whatever National Party spin-doctor wrote Rodney Hide’s HoS column this week have convinced themselves – or, at least, are trying to convince everyone else – that National’s humiliating defeat in the Northland by-election was a disaster for . . . the Labour Party. The logic here is that the two polls subsequent to the election have Labour down, slightly, and Winston Peters is just below Andrew Little as preferred Prime Minister. Northland was a tactical victory, Farrar explains, but a strategic failure.

I still think the big tactical and strategic failure here is the National government giving up its parliamentary majority only a few months into its term by losing one of the safest seats in the country. Spectacular failure, in the face of which Labour’s dip in the polls two-and-a-half years out from an election is as meaningless as, well, English’s budget surplus.

51 comments on “Polity: Hide / Farrar / Hooton: “Hey, look over there!”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    They screwed the pooch royally, they know it, and they’re desperate to cast blame every which way to avoid facing that fact head on.

    The right-wing always blame someone or something else as they’re too damn pathetic to accept the consequences of they’re own actions.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      “The right-wing always blame someone or something else as they’re too damn pathetic to accept the consequences of they’re own actions.”

      Yes another thing they have in common with the left wing.

  2. CnrJoe 2

    Hooton was so brittle and contemptuous this a.m.- particularly of Andrew Little.

    from the twitter-
    Andrew Little @AndrewLittleMP · Apr 30
    @MatthewHootonNZ Used to avidly read your columns until I realised you lurch betw occasional brilliance & total nutbar

  3. Grantoc 3

    Well Andrew is in danger of becoming known as ‘Winston’s Little helper’ following the by election.

    Winston is not going to play second fiddle to Labour in the months ahead. He’s spotted an opening for himself in the provinces and he’ll milk that for all its worth for the benefit of NZ First. Its quite feasible that Labour, and AL may become collateral damage in the process.

    • McFlock 3.1

      “Collateral damage” is unintended damage.
      The intended damage is the national vote in the provinces.

      So Winston goes up, national goes down, looks weak, labour and everyone else get an advantage as soon as national looks like a loser and floating voters switch and alienated non-voters re-engage.

      The labour vote isn’t at nearly so much risk as the conservative national vote.

      • Matthew Hooton 3.1.1

        That theory is overly complicated. Far more likely is NZ First takes as many votes from Labour and National and will be seen likely to hold balance or power, making Peters even more newsworthy compared with Little.

        • Maui

          I think that view is biased towards NZ First. Disgruntled National voters will float back to Labour, which is their next closest fit. NZ First will get some of those votes, but they’re not going to be challenging the Greens to be the 3rd biggest party.

        • Skinny

          Meanwhile Key & Norman get on their bikes together in Northland, opening a new cycleway. How rude the incumbent Northland MP wasn’t invited in the photo opportunity.

          I had a chuckle at the thought of rightwingers like Hide & Hooton steering at the photo in the paper. They would be thinking of a caption like “Key involved in a lefty love feast with Greens in Northland.”

        • North

          Excellent sly obfuscation in the matter of TheGodKey getting smacked in the mouth Matthew. The next wank will be that National actually won Northland, well, for all intents and purposes. Because of course it is a law of the universe that National being divinely entitled will rule for a thousand years.

          Nah……you’re just grinding out a buck, albeit a flash one.

        • McFlock

          So National loses a (what was it, 50 year?) safe seat to Winston, and this says to you that Labour and National will lose votes equally?

          “Balance of power” my arse, at that rate NZ1 would have an outright majority in 2017…

  4. Wayne 4

    It is a bit cheap to suggest Rodney Hide does not write his own columns. But hey if you want to believe self delusional things like that, feel free to do so.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.1

      Would love your comment on the substance of the apparent PR strategy outlined in this post, Wayne.

      • Matthew Hooton 4.1.1

        Do you really think there is a “PR strategy” here rather than relatively like-minded people observing the same events and polls and reaching similar conclusions? I know what socialists would like the world to be a command and control place, and that’s how your political movements work in practice (although not in theory) but you shouldn’t assume that about the rest of us.

        • CnrJoe

          mmm..roasting nuts

          • emergency mike

            Matthew ‘Dirty Politics’ Hooton lecturing us about how ‘our’ political movements work. Do go on.

            Sorry which bunch of people recently got exposed as as slimy lying coordinated manipulators in a high profile book again? That would be you and your mates.

            • Matthew Hooton

              Not me. Read it again.

              • emergency mike

                I read it, you’re in it, attached to Odgers, Slater, and Farrar. Yuck. Something about assisting a hit on Nicky Hager as I recall. But to be fair, I guess there’s not as much revealed about you and the workings of ‘your’ political movements as in The Hollow Men.

                • North

                  Your of late ‘licensed’ attacks on your employer The(OnceWas)GodKey for his startling incompetence pretty much highlight that without resulting failure of consideration you simply cannot break cover Matthew. You are still the ‘academic’, chortle chortle.

                  And yes, you are identified, or at least (in HM) – some fellow called Brash was it ?……”Hooton ? – Dickhead !” Proud are we ? No ? I could see ‘smirkingly chuffed’. You know, for your vanity, ‘mover-and-shaker’ and all that shit – even when privately dismissed.

                • exactly EM – Hooton can’t even read – try the tea leaves matty you and your ilk are a blight upon our politics and the sooner we never see you or your poisonous buddies again the better. Your spin is just to feather your nest, hollownit.

                • Tracey

                  oh you mean assisting a hit on Nicky Hager? But that is not command and control socialism that’s just self interested facism.

        • Once was Tim

          Just as a side issyou Matty, I’m quite curious to know what you think it is that makes otherwise intelligent human beings (such as the ‘regular work-life-balanced “gal”/girlie wirlie, albeit with a spanned cross-risk portfolio’) to take you so seriously. I’ve worked out what it is with your mate Oik W (‘from the LEFT’). Even when you go into bitch-mode (by that I mean when you expose your true persona, and when, on occasion even that regular ‘gal’ has to admonish you – as opposed to when you can keep the rattlers in check – which is most of the time) ….. I just wonder how you manage to fool the people for as long as you do (including the “I tend to agree with you Oik”) – oops sorry mOik, (once removed from a Holmes, twice removed from a Douglas or two] [Ken AND Rodge], a former Tramways Unionist, a Toby H (as he rolls around really really agitated) knowing what a little keptlist pug the offsprUng has become).
          ……. What is it – I’m genuinely curious (GENUINELY!!!).
          What is it that people think you could possibly have any creds at all?

          I know its a silly question – we’ve got a gubbamint that’s crapping on the majority of its electorate after all, and they still find it hard to see it (let alone get out and turf them out.

          ……. your thoughts? I’m especially interested in why that doyen of PSB (that regular gal) continues to put any credence in what you say. How she can continue to intro Oik in the way she does is another matter – but that may come down to her producer, or the RNZ Rinny-in-Awe attitude.

        • felix

          ” relatively like-minded people observing the same events and polls and reaching similar conclusions? “

          That would only wash if the conclusions were relatively rational.

          It’s bordering on inconceivable that any three people in NZ could come up with such an absurd idea based on the available information.

          • Karen

            +1 Felix

          • Anne

            Listen to the Hooton twat on RNZ this morning deliberately misrepresenting Andrew Little, Labour and the Northland byelection and inferring he knows more about Labour than Labour.


            • Once was Tim

              @ Anne, I did! and I despair! Which was probably the motivation for the shite from me (above) … but I’d genuinely like to know from the horse’s mouth what he thinks it is that provides him with his cred in and amongst it all.
              I’ll withdraw now for fear of posting another rant – but you know – listen to the rant(s). Mindful of all the CT spin-lines and ‘talking points’ aside – WHAT IS IT that a ekshly DRICES these poor buggers (knowing that if they took a look back in history), they’d be the ones hanging on the cross members of lamposts?
              What the fuck IS it?????
              Kick that can down the road I suppose in the hope of an Obama-like hope and change.
              MRS HOOTON: My deepest sympathy (in the realisation that some pompous git will pop up and moderate me severely)

              [lprent: Indeed. Consider me to be r0b when I say that you have to worry about lamppost later. Right now you have to be worried about educational bans about advocating hanging people because (I think this is what you said?) they are stupid. ]

        • linda

          biggest loser is the creepy fuckin werido who plays with little girls pony tails

        • North

          Be honest Matthew. The office of everyone of you born-to-rule fucks has a hua-ring great neon sign flashing out this message – “If All Else Fails…..Deny !”

          You need to remember this – pitchforks fuck up neon ! Of course I speak metaphorically. In case you or Wayne or some ‘Pie and Playboy’ spook might question my religious affiliation.

        • geoff

          I thought command and control was more the realm of the neo-conservative ultras, no?

        • Tracey

          and yet Hollow Men and Dirty Politics suggests that is exactly how you and you “ilk” operate… control and command and destroy…. while pretending you don’t.

    • North 4.2

      Quite right Wayne ! Love-Perks-Rortney filled out his own expense claims didn’t he ? Why at all suspect anything not-quite-right from Rorts’ ? Hang on……the Actoid name ‘Swney’ comes inconveneiently to mind. Oh hush my mouth. Such heresy will see me banished to my ‘Garrett’. And quite right too !

      Keep on clutching at your pearls there Wayne……

    • Tracey 4.3

      People used to say that about Cameron Slater… oh the ignominy of suggesting he didn’t write all the posts… and then…

      Carrick Graham.. Katherine Rich… step Right up…

      But I agree with you, Rodders is probably writing them, after investigating for a few weeks… and then sharing his observings as though they have miraculously become facts cos he “reckons” them.

    • DH 4.4

      “It is a bit cheap to suggest Rodney Hide does not write his own columns.”

      It’s been obvious for a while that Herald columnists are being coached in what to write about, they may be the authors but some at least get told what to write.

      Far too often two or more Herald columnists have written about exactly the same subject on the same day, coincidence doesn’t stretch that far it’s been overtly obvious the Herald is shaping the narrative in its opinion section. Kerry Woodham gave up some clues in her recent column here;


      the relevant quote from that;

      “Last week, I wrote (at the editor’s behest, I might add) about PonytailGate.”

      How many of Hide’s pieces are “at the editors behest”?

  5. Rosemary McDonald 5

    The wind is changing….can you feel it?

    And there’s a window here for the left (and the not so right) to put aside their petty differences and get their collective shit together.


    • Kiwiri 5.1

      I know where Winston is coming from based on his years of campaigning the past decades. I know what the Greens stand for.

      But Labour is still shrouded in political fog. Where is Labour going? What does Labour stand for?

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        So many ????

        “But Labour is still shrouded in political fog…”

        Yes….but the wind will blow that fog away!


    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.2

      If I had a dollar for every time someone on the left has told me since 2008 that the wind was changing, I would now have $84,987.

      • weka 5.2.1

        Don’t know who you talk to Gormless, but it’s rare for people on ts to say that.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Yeah, was meant to be a reply to 5. Don’t know how that happened.

          And, no it is not rare for people on TS to say that.

          Here is janet demonstrating her political chops on 7 November 2008:

          If we have a National Act government after tomorrow, the honeymoon won’t last very long, and it will be a short lived government.

          By the next day, sprout was predicting:

          any honeymoon will be mighty short

          I am not sure how many links I can put in the comment before it get blocked. Certainly not 84,987. But they’re there. I know, I’ve searched.

          • felix

            What search term did you use?

            • Draco T Bastard

              I’m with the Gormless One here. Lots of people on here (including me) have said that things haven’t been looking good for National ever since they got voted in.

      • Tracey 5.2.2

        I’m not sure you would have talked to that many people since 2008… and definitely wouldn’t haven listened to all of them.

  6. Sable 6

    Northland proved one thing, National are not as unassailable as they would like us all to believe. What that may mean when the next election rolls around is anyone’s “guess”….

  7. Peter 7

    ……… keep in mind if their message is repeated often enough it becomes the truth ….

  8. Tracey 8

    All this as Ben speaks out. Coincidence I am sure.

  9. “the first round of nationwide polls following Northland”

    We haven’t had those yet. And polling lag is still a few weeks, it seems.

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