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Polity: Shifting ground?

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, August 7th, 2014 - 19 comments
Categories: colin craig, election 2014, Gerry Brownlee, grant robertson, national, Parliament, Steven Joyce - Tags: , , ,

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

Opinion columns are leading indicators.

I have noticed a modest shift int he political climate in recent days. The perception is that sticking a fork in this election may be premature, something I have been saying for a while.

You see it play out in the major media opinion columns. here are two examples from the last day or two. First, here is the Herald’s John Armstrong:

The Government’s handling of the [Lochinver] matter since Colin Craig, the Conservative Party leader, revealed last Friday the sale was under way has not been flash for a party on the verge of an election campaign where National’s allowance for gaffes and mistakes is roughly zero.

Steven Joyce put National firmly on course for getting on the wrong side of public opinion by declaring the near 14,000ha property was a “ridiculously small piece of land”. That gaffe was compounded by Joyce’s appalling display during a so-called debate on TV3’s The Nation last Saturday. Joyce constantly and relentlessly hectored, badgered and interrupted Labour’s Grant Robertson. The latter should be happy though. Joyce came across as National Party arrogance personified….

The difficulty for National is that there is little flexibility to tighten the rules without instituting bans on sales of prime land. And that is not a message National wishes to send to foreign investors.

Armstrong is right that National’s margin is slim, that Joyce was dreadful, and that National is wedged on land sales.

Now here’s Stuff’s Tracy Watkins:

Even Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee and Cabinet fixer Steven Joyce seemed to suffer early from “campaign brain” – Joyce has been the talk of the Beehive after losing his rag on TV3’s The Nation in a debate with Labour’s Grant Robertson, while Brownlee’s airport blunder could yet come back to bite National if he is charged over bypassing airport security.

Meanwhile, the pre-election fiscal update later this month could further erode perceptions of the end of the golden weather, if Treasury is forced to revise down some of its rosier forecasts.

The only certainty is that the surplus will remain intact, if only because it has become National’s talisman promise. But there will be questions about whether it is largely smoke and mirrors.

No wonder Labour is launching its campaign early this weekend. Six weeks out from the election, it seems ridiculously early. But factored into its thinking is the convention that campaigns can be great levellers. And the longer the campaign goes, the more chance it has of pushing National off-script.

Again, Joyce makes the news for the wrong reasons. Brownlee’s airport indiscretion is, in my view, less serious than his oversight of the pork-barreling on regional roads. But maybe that because I’m a nerd.

And on the campaign launches, recall it was National, not Labour, that decided the House should rise two weeks before it had to, giving more space for the election campaign. Perhaps it should a longer campaign would just bore people into acquiescence. Instead, it appears to be giving opposition parties more room to showcase their policy, more room for National to showcase its arrogance, and more time for the polls to close.



Also read: Polity on Key/waffle vs Parker/facts where John Key parrots Steven Joyce’s silly waffle that about NZ having a more diversified economy under a National government. I guess he thinks that repeating bullshit will make it come true?

19 comments on “Polity: Shifting ground? ”

  1. Puckish Rogue 1

    The reason is that Cunliffe hasn’t said anything to dumb, when Cunliffe says something dumb he gets it (as he should) when the National govt do something dumb they get it

    The problem is that what therabid anti-Keys think is dumb and what everybody else thinks is dumb is two different things

    Don’t worry though Cunliffe will say something dumb again (or more likely someone in the ABC club will leak something again) and the media will report it again and the left can cry bias, again

  2. irascible 2

    Puckish Rogue: Can you write coherent prose that makes sense? Your comment is so illiterate that I must assume you’re a Nat troll.

    • Chooky 2.1

      ..or on something that scrambles the brain..even alcohol doesn’t do that to the brain…or maybe it does …maybe PR has been into the cooking sherry again!

  3. DRUM 3

    PR your apparent anxiety has led to you writing incoherent nonsense.

  4. philj 4

    re PR.
    The speed of your response on this moderate blog site gives you away. PR spinner in deed and name. Tory troll.

  5. Kat 5

    This sums up the Key administration to a tee!!

  6. redfred 6

    Rentboy Key is going to be under real pressure now; one more major slip and there goes the election, they know it too. Smith, Joyce Brownlee et al will all be hidden away.

    National will roll out President Key, but a number of flies are preparing to dive into that ointment.

    The rock star economy is rapidly unraveling; Cunliffe will go toe to toe with Key in the debate, there won’t be “a show me the money” moment.

    Perhaps the press gallery have realised they might need the favours of a new PM for a scoop and they better hedge there bets.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Meanwhile, the pre-election fiscal update later this month could further erode perceptions of the end of the golden weather, if Treasury is forced to revise down some of its rosier forecasts.

    It’s Treasury forecasting under a National government so they’ll have to be revised down and even then they’re likely to be to rosy.

    The only certainty is that the surplus will remain intact, if only because it has become National’s talisman promise. But there will be questions about whether it is largely smoke and mirrors.

    If the surplus remains intact then I can assure you, it’s pure smoke. You don’t get a surplus when billions of dollars of expected income don’t arrive.

  8. vto 8

    There has indeed been a shift.

    The left by two, that’s my call.

    And Key is his own worst enemy at the moment. His lack of substance (as exemplified by his shallow rude “sugar-daddy” abuse of Harre), the Nats absence of any sense or argument on foreign land sales, Joyce’s rudeness, and dotcom’s student crowd chanting “Fuck John Key”, are all exposing his true nature and standing.

    It is all over for John Key.

  9. tricledrown 9

    Consumer confidence will dive retail sales will dive with it!
    Rural economies that liar Joyce claimed were growing are already struggling with high unemployment will hurt badly the landslide National had in the Rural sector will disappear and the
    10.000 votes that National won the last election by will evaporate like the water taken out of milk to make powder!

  10. dave 10

    gfc never really went away we really have been stagnant for the last 6 years but the really bomb is levels of debt in our community its frightening we more indebted than America national can go into denial all they like but its there and sooner or later we all going to have to pay the piper.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Debt, leverage and derivative values today are at more extreme levels than at the start of 2008 GFC I. So hang on to your hat.

  11. fambo 11

    I think the Greens did the right thing by starting their campaign a while ago. In truth this campaign has been going on since virtually the last election. The Keep Our Assets campaign helped make the Greens battle ready

  12. Chooky 12

    +100 fambo…the Greens deserve a great deal of respect for their well thought through policies, hard work and professionalism …and many many votes…16% would be good this time around!

  13. Sable 13

    I don’t think National care. The MSM is more or less “owned” by them. Who would have thought Abbott could ever have been elected in Australia and yet here we are. No need to guess who put him there either.

    If anything is to change its time to get tough on the MSM. To hold them to account, boycott them if they lie and push for legal reform of reporting practices in this country. They have had it too good for too long and now the rot has well and truly set in.

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      +100 – the Key Publicity Bureau (The Herald) should lose their press passes.

      The dodgy stunt of doing all their political reporting as ‘opinion’ needs to be wound up and real reporting made the minimum standard. That means evidence and fact checking for assertions like Armstrong’s “Joyce’s rapier-like wit”. The debate I saw with Joyce didn’t turn up much wit at all much less the finesse associated with rapiers.

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