Ralston sez: leave poor Johnny alone

Written By: - Date published: 5:45 pm, April 20th, 2008 - 61 comments
Categories: blogs, election 2008, john key, Media, slippery - Tags: , , , ,

In the Herald today, Bill Ralston sticks up for poor John Key who has been the subject of personal political attacks recently. Like Key, Ralston wonders what is “the cost of the Government using countless bureaucrats to endlessly scour records in an attempt to discover inconsistencies in any utterance [Key has] made”.

Ralston needs to stop parroting Key’s lines and think for a moment. Does he really believe there are “countless bureaucrats” tasked with trolling everything Key says? Of course there aren’t. In reality, you couldn’t keep any large number of people occupied looking at Key’s statements for inconsistencies: he doesn’t say much and when he does speak he usually sign-posts the lies and contradictions for you by starting to um and ah, a classic sign of a mind ill at ease. And, of course, it’s not “bureaucrats” who find Key’s stuff-ups it’s Labour’s research unit (which I understand is fewer than half a dozen people and does much more beside look at Key’s words), journalists, if they can be bothered keeping track of things, and bloggers.

I suspect that when others find inconsistencies, contradictions, and lies in what Key says they do it the same way I do: not by endlessly trawling the records but by relying on their own memory and political knowledge. For example, last week when we discussed DPB numbers I had a vague recollection of Key saying something about women ‘breeding for money’ or something equally as stupid. A few minutes on google later and I had found the quote “breeding for a business“. When Key lies and says New Zealand is growing slower than Australia, I remember looking at Reserve Bank statistics that prove the opposite is true, and can make a post accordingly. When Key said he would “love to see wages drop“, we knew that he was just saying what any business first/people second politician quietly believes. When Key lied about what was said we contacted people close to the story to get the truth. Showing Key as the slippery fellow he is child’s play. And it needs to be done. The man wants to be Prime Minster of New Zealand. Choosing him would be a major decision and his credentials for the job need to be examined, even if Ralston just wants to roll out the red carpet.

So, Ralston is wrong on both counts: the attacks are not personal and they don’t require a lot of work. In fact, Key is such a slippery figure that all you have to do is pay a bit of attention and the lies leap out at you. Sorry, Bill, that’s called journalism. You should try it sometime.

61 comments on “Ralston sez: leave poor Johnny alone”

  1. deemac 1

    I see Key’s fan club (not bureaucrats presumably) have leapt to his defence in the comments section of the Stuff website denouncing the article pointing out he bought a holiday home in Hawaii. The article just states the facts but the Key fan club react as if it were a vicious attack. He is obviously very thin skinned!

  2. higherstandard 2

    SP

    I thought Ralston’s article was pretty much spot on and the present government could do worse than to take note.

  3. James Kearney 3

    I’d be interested in seeing a comparison of a range of Bill Ralston’s columns with the National party spin of the previous week. Every time I read him it’s like he’s picked up a mishmash of National lines and talkback clutter and regurgitated it on a page.

    It’s a long time since we’ve seen any journalism out of Ralston and it’ll be longer yet before we see any original thought. It’s not that he’s necessarily biased towards National, he’s just too lazy to think for himself.

  4. big bruv 4

    Ralston is simply saying what the people of NZ think, the old tactic of labeling everybody who dares disagree with your corrupt leader as a “Tory” simply does not work any longer, it may have taken the people of NZ nine years to wake up but they now know the Labour party is corrupt, simply put Steve they have stopped listening to dear leader

    And yes Steve there are an army of “countless bureaucrats’ tasked with trolling everything Key says, you know it and so do I, the only one lying here is you.

    And speaking of lying………What have you got to say about Mike Williams now that he has been caught telling bare faced lies again?
    All this on top of the release of Wisharts book tomorrow..it is sure going to be a fun week.

  5. r0b 5

    I don’t have any time for Ralston these days. His “Life” column in The Listener is a self involved yuppie-fest, with very little relevance to the real lives of anyone I know.

    Even so, I’m a bit surprised to find Ralston running this line. After Key’s muzzling of a journalist and attempts to silence the EPMU, why would any “serious” media commentator still be giving him a free ride?

  6. You guys need some sort of medicine, you clearly have a bad case of Key Derangement Syndrome and it isn’t getting any better.

    I would have thought that you would have worked out by now the public don’t care what you say about John Key other than they get turned off Labour.

  7. Rich Prick 7

    I think you guys have a slightly bigger problem than Ralston on your hands today. And its of Labour’s el President’s own doing 😉

  8. And yes Steve there are an army of “countless bureaucrats’ tasked with trolling everything Key says, you know it and so do I, the only one lying here is you.
    ————————-

    He’s right guys, hellen keeps them in her secret subterrainian beehive lair, i hear the actual number of foriegn comunists being allowed in from china is 3000, the additonal are being sent to boost the numbers!

    All this on top of the release of Wisharts book tomorrow..it is sure going to be a fun week.
    ————————–
    Rent-a-rightie Ian wishart is a joke and a disgrace, he has no decency, no morality and no integrity, his work is a testament to this. This book is just a lame attempt at undoing the damage done by The Hollow Men, the difference being The Hollow Men is based upon facts eveidence and actual events, compared to Wisharts latest load of crap which is based upon lies, fabrications and whisfull thinking.

  9. Absolute Power 9

    I hope Miss Clark sleeps well tonight?

  10. KIllinginthenameof I’ll tell you what is patently clear, and that is you haven’t read either book.

    Quite a different story emerges from your spin. Wishart’s book s based upon fact, inconvenient facts like the electoral roll and Helen’s own words. There are no fabrications, all the events in the book happened and were in the news including Clark’s own words. and there is no wishful thinking at all.

    Suggest you read it before you open your mouth with slanderous claptrap.

  11. redbus 11

    Absolute Power, when is the book coming out and can I get a free copy?

  12. Absolute Power 12

    Tomorrow is the launch of the book. Go buy a copy for yourself redbus. You are a rich socialist.

  13. Hillary 13

    Big bruv, who are these “countless bureaucrats” ? Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?

    The latest TV 3 poll seems to refute claims that New Zealanders reject Clark -she is ahead of Key as preferred Prime Minister. And the gap between Labour and National has narrowed to a 10 point lead.

    Just out of interest, does this mean anything to National supporters, and if Labour wins the election will they accept the result?

  14. redbus 14

    What an interesting observation, though I’m neither rich nor a socialist.

    For one, I’m a social democrat.

    I will pop by my local bookstore tomorrow to consider purchasing it. I was informed of the book on Wednesday by one of my more literary-immersed friends. She spoke of you as a “trashy writer, but enjoyable enough to read.” Somewhat of a compliment considering her background.

    🙂

  15. redbus 15

    Hillary, thank you for pointing out the difference in the polls. I was astounded watching the news coverage from the two major networks.

    TV3 puts Labour ten points behind National – 38% and 48% respectively. With Helen substantially ahead as preferred Prime Minister. The Greens are above 5% there.

    TV1 puts Labour nineteen points behind National – 35% and 54% respectively. Key is ahead as preferred Prime Minister according to TV1. The Greens are on 3%.

    Massive differences.

    Couple TV1’s coverage with a scathing attack on Mike Williams and it seems like the bias of both stations are coming through. I’m not labelling TV1 as right-wing, or TV3 as left wing – but it does seem odd.

  16. Jay 16

    To ignore Ralston’s years of experience in journalism and politics would be foolish. I think it’s excellent that the standard is doing so and trying to shoot the messenger without carefully listening to what he has to say.

    In the end voter will not be swayed by an anti-labour op-ed in the Herald but by their high mortgage payments and inflated food bills.

    So, keep up the good work at the standard.

  17. RedLogix 18

    So all this boils down to:

    1. It’s OK for National to constantly attack the Govt and personally attack it’s senior members. (Because it seems that’s all they are capable of.)

    2. But it’s not fair if the Govt replies in kind. (Because they should be doing more important things?)

    It’s the same childish whine we get in blogland. The non-stop sewer of bile from the right is accepted as legitimate background noise, but the left is held to a much higher standard.

    Like all bullies, you’re happy to dish it out, but it’s a wholly different story when you’re on the receiving end.

  18. Absolute Power 19

    “but the left is held to a much higher standard.”

    So for a Labour Party President to be caught out lying is the acceptable standard around here ?Well I be darned. I didn’t know we had stooped so low.

  19. Monty 20

    Red Logic and all other Socialists….

    Why do you acuse the right of your own worst sins. It is Labour who have sustained a long and vicious attack against John Key – the National party to their credit have attacked Labour Policy but they have stayed well away from personal attacks. Certainly people such as myself are quite happy to get personal against Caustic Cullen and the Vile Lying Helen, but the National MPs certainly have not.

    You say that it is fair enough that the Government replies in kind – that would be fine – but as noted above National has stuck to policy.. Labour has acted like a sewer rat – Cullen’s “Rich Prick”, Mallard with his biffo, Helen with her hurrump hurrump cackle cackle then “diddums”

    The sewer is the bed the Labour MPs (usually senior) have made and now lie in.

    NZ is sick to death of Labour and they cannot make headway in the polls – the only thing you have left in your pathetic arsnel is personal attacks – and they have not worked either.

    [lprent: I’m still waiting for an apology for saying that you as a taxpayer fund this blog, when I do. You’ll stay in moderation until I get one or I get bored with adding these little notes]

  20. randal 21

    I really find it hard to believe that some comments poster has sufficient delusions of grandeur to imagine that the PRIME MINISTER is not going to sleep well tonight because of some barf they have posted on a blog…geta life!

  21. RedLogix 22

    “So for a Labour Party President to be caught out lying is the acceptable standard around here’

    Is that the best strawman you can grasp at?

    Or can we dig up JK’s being caught out lying about wanting to “drop wages” and then using his friends in the media to cover it up?

  22. Absolute Power 23

    The polls do the talking. Bye – bye.

  23. Monty 24

    Red-logix – it seems that the problems Mike Williams has is somewhat contagious. Please ensure you put the full quote of Jon Key in and in context.

    Mike Williams has been caught being a liar. That is a very serious charge and surely the president of the Labour Party should be held to the same standard as the rest of the Labour MPs.

    I think part of the reason that the polls have National sp far ahead is because Labour sustained attacks on him are back-firing. The public now think that Labouris happier making up silly songs and focusing all their attention on John Key instead of running the country.

    The attacks stink of desperation. And no one ikes a desperate Government.

    I’ll be looking forward to an interesting week ahead – especially how Labour spin the Mike Williams affair.

    [lprent: I’m still waiting for an apology for saying that you as a taxpayer fund this blog, when I do.
    Not that it really seems like you add anything substantive.]

  24. Sam Dixon 25

    And what the polls say is National falling. Well, the real polls. let’s not pretend colamr brunton is worth the time of day. their last poll before the 2005 election had national something like 5% ahead. what a joke.

    disappointing that Williams put his foot in it again. but that ‘issue’ boils down to whether or not the party president said an idea (that the PM has sense catagorically rejected) was a good idea during a session early on a sunday morning – not exactly watergate.

  25. reltih_a 26

    Liarbour = liars, Mile Williams comes to point.
    Pools are either way, but after a bad month (as we have been told) JK is doing ok.

  26. RedLogix 27

    And like all bullies… you are gutless wonders when confronted.

  27. voltaire 28

    Nothing like being in Wonderland…………the latest polls tell it all……..cabinet ministers singing ditties is the 2008 version of Nero

  28. Rich Prick 29

    [lprent: I’m still waiting for an apology for saying that you as a taxpayer fund this blog, when I do.
    Not that it really seems like you add anything substantive. Hackneyed lines.]

    Well, it is isn’t it? But so what – who cares. Your President has been caught out red-faced lying to the public of New Zealand about a plan to rort the taxpayer even more than in 2005 when your lot nicked $800k and got away with it.

    If $800k was the first window smashed what record is Labour looking to break this year?

    Honest and capable of being a government – I don’t think so. Even your president can’t keep his lies straight. If you are going to have a liar front for the party, put a plausable one on the stand. Cross exam over.

    Captcha: 13 dishonesty – unlucky number and Labour all over.

  29. r0b 30

    even more than in 2005 when your lot nicked $800k and got away with it.

    Tell a lie often enough and it becomes true eh RP? After the 2005 election campaign the leader of one major political party lost their job because of the disgusting tactics of their party during the campaign. Can you remember which one? Hint – it wasn’t Helen Clark.

  30. lprent 31

    RP – You are a pretty useless spinner.

    I was there when the suggestion was made at congress. It was an idea floated from the floor. Closer examination proved it to be unwise. As far as I’m aware it was never put into practice.

    Perhaps you should enhance your education on due process. Look at the the difference between actus reus and mens rea.

    As far as I can tell your preferred level of evidence to convict someone is rather low. All they have to do is to think. Doing an illegal act is not required. But to be charitable, perhaps you simply don’t understand the requirements of the law. So study up on it so you don’t look so much of an idiot.

  31. Rich Prick 32

    Who cares, believe your own spin, your president is out there as a proven liar (again) and its not looking good. Helen must be pissed.

    Oh, and please don’t direct me to wikipeia refereneces to actus rea and mens rea, I passed Laws 101 in 1986, well before the miricle of wiki, and have a much better understanding of criminal law than wiki or I suspect, you will.

    Why are you raising criminal law principles in a thread about Williams? Actually, what was your point?

  32. burt 33

    rOb

    Tell a lie often enough and it becomes true eh RP?

    So tell us rOb, are you saying Labour didn’t nick $800K of tax payers money because if they did they sure got away with it.

    They retrospectively validated it and paid no penalty, simply be allowed to repay the money when they were good and ready.

    Please tell us what part of what RP said was a lie?

  33. lprent 34

    Mike Williams described what happened. There are many people (including me) who can tell you that what he said was the exact truth. They have said that a number of times in multiple forums. However you persist in making the allegation.

    The allegation is about a ciminal matter if the act had been committed. As far as I can tell there has been no act. But you’re acting as if he’d been caught in the act, tried and convicted. This does not appear to have been the case.

    Therefore I have to conclude that you don’t follow the rule of law as I understand it. You seem to want to make up your own legal structure based on what people think rather than what they do. This reminds me of several instances in history. Sounds like you want to run witchhunts or become another McCarthy.

    It would appear that you didn’t pay as much attention in legal courses as I did.

  34. Rich Prick 35

    “diddums”. You clearly are not a very good lawyer, which would explain why you are a Labour Party supporter.

  35. Rich Prick 36

    In fact, Iprent, you were the first to in to invite principles of criminal law, do you fear your president has gone to far? Like that other Labour MP at the time of his alleged offending, Phillip Field, I don’t. But you raised it.

  36. Wayne 37

    Some angry righties out tonight…

  37. r0b 38

    Mike Williams didn’t remember something that he said. Not a good look I agree.

    But let’s talk about real lies. Let’s talk about John Key. Almost his first significant act in the NZ political scene was to lie. In 2003 when Brash challenged English or the leadership Key said he supported English but then he went and voted for Brash.

    Then there was the infamous smoking gun email, which Key said he never opened, yeah right:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0611/S00418.htm

    Mr Key when asked yesterday if he had been contacted last year with offers of campaign support by the Exclusive Brethren told the assembled media that he had not had any campaign support from the Brethren.

    Mr Key cut short the impromptu press conference press conference when asked for the second time whether he had received any offers of actual financial support from the Exclusive Brethren

    Radio New Zealand is now reporting that Mr Key says that he may have received the email but not opened it.

    John Key described global warming as a “complete and utter hoax”, in 2005 and then in 2006 he said “I firmly believe in climate change and always have”. Liar.

    Key lied about National’s position on Iraq. He lies and lies and lies. Even his usually faithful fan Audrey Young has had to tell Key off for lying.

    John Key, liar, wants to be our next PM.

  38. lprent 39

    I’m not a lawyer, I’m a programmer. But I did legal papers in two of my degrees.

    Like Mike Williams, I thought it was a good idea when it was raised. After finding out it would be illegal, I dropped the idea. Like Mike Williams, I couldn’t tell you exactly what I said to the person next to me when it was raised. In fact I can barely remember saying something about it being a interesting idea. Fortunately I wasn’t being taped. Presumably you also want to convict me in your court of mob justice.

    On Phillip Field. It looks like you’re preempting the court and prejudging their decision. The police have brought criminal charges against Phillip Field, and it is before the court at present. Why not do what everyone else does and wait for the decision of the court.

    Are you really as lawless as you sound?

  39. Hey Rick Prick – odd that you claim to understand the law and yet still threatened to suffocate me with a plastic bag. Are you some sort of sociopath?

  40. mike 41

    Interesting how whenever Labour and its allies ramp up the smear campaign against they drop further in the Polls.

    Perhaps you could graph this for us SP?

  41. Monty 42

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Monty – you still haven’t apologised to me for lying about how this blog is funded. I’ve given you enough time to find the notes I’ve been adding to your comments. You obviously don’t want to be here. So take 2 weeks off. I’m still expecting an apology.]

  42. Steve Pierson 43

    mike. the polls are rising for the left.

  43. mike 44

    “mike. the polls are rising for the left”

    Labour were dog tucker in TVNZ poll ,slightly better in the 3 news poll but still 15pt average to Nats.
    If you are happy with that your easily pleased.

  44. randal 45

    ralston sez lets do lunch…nuthin’ under a grand and its your shout!

  45. Monty 46

    Iprent

    I sent you an email this morning straight after that email.(using the contact address in contact us.)

    Yesterday was the first time I realised I was on moderation. Please reveiw the letter I sent and then advise if I am still banned for two weeks?

    thanks.

    [lprent: That is satisfactory. Looks like I missed the e-mail on my way to work. You’re unbanned.]

  46. Absolute Power 47

    “mike. the polls are rising for the left.”

    Steve what the hell are you smoking dude?

  47. Daveo 48

    Absolute Power: Are you Ian Wishart, or do you just wish you were?

  48. Mike Collins 49

    lprent,

    “After finding out it would be illegal, I dropped the idea.”

    It doesn’t have to be illegal to be wrong. The standard set here is not what is defined by legislation but what is ethical. Political mistakes are made all the time but often it is not the case that the law has been broken. You might need to reset your ethical compass methinks – and all those that applauded the idea.

    Also actus reus has little bearing here. The fact that the idea was countenanced at all and not immediately dismissed is the problem. Not that the idea was carried out. Although one is forced to ask the question, if this wasn’t picked up by the media would Labour have actually employed this strategy? It is a debateable point but it does seem like a case of “well you caught us but we were never going to do it anyway – please believe us”.

    As something slightly related I found it interesting that in the recording that Mike Williams said there will be generic material “once we work out the Electoral Finance Act”. Didn’t Labour write this law and vigorously defend it? Shouldn’t it have a deep understanding of its provisions? This coupled with Labour being the first party to break its own law shows just how flawed it actually is.

  49. r0b 50

    It doesn’t have to be illegal to be wrong.

    Good point. National’s use of front trusts to hide the identity of it’s major donors – not illegal but wrong. National’s use of the EB to run a parallel advertising campaign in the last election – not illegal but wrong. These actions not only cost Don Brash his political career, they also motivated the attempt to tighten up election financing laws via the EFA. Cheers National.

  50. Mike Collins 51

    r0b,

    Are you incapable of scrutinising the behaviour without trying to denigrate others in the process. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you on the points you raised. However it does seem like you are avoiding my points about the conduct of Labour by raising them. “But my opponents did this….” without discussing what I said is just another form of avoidance. At best you are suggesting that both are as bad as each other in the ethical stakes.

  51. TomS 52

    The most interesting aspect of the polls is that difference between them exceed both poll’s claimed margin of error of /- 3.5%. That should have both TV stations alarmed. OTOH, if the purpose of the polls is simply to give Duncan and Guyon something to prattle about then I suppose accuracy is a secondary consideration. But anyway, TV news is now so bad you think its a satire of Kent Brockman, not the other way round. It so bad that no one I know watches it for serious analysis or even credits it with much credibility anymore. They’ll watch it if the pictures are going to be interesting, but thats all.

  52. r0b 53

    Are you incapable of scrutinising the behaviour without trying to denigrate others in the process.

    Not at all, I just like to keep things in context and in proportion.

    I was in the room when this event occurred. It was a fairly informal policy session first up on a Sunday morning. The suggestion came up from the floor. Mike commented that it seemed like a damn good idea, and then moved on to his next point. Clearly, in retrospect, he should have given it more thought. But that’s it – no central master plan, no hidden agenda, just a spontaneous suggestion and a too hasty response.

    So I was actually very pleased to see you point out that something doesn’t have to be illegal to be wrong. Too often right wing types deny that National did anything wrong at the last election because “it wasn’t illegal”.

    I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you on the points you raised.

    So it’s kinda refreshing to meet a right winger that can acknowledge this.

    At best you are suggesting that both are as bad as each other in the ethical stakes.

    No, I do think there is a significant ethical difference between an ill considered response to a suggestion and a sustained attempt to campaign dishonestly by evading the intent of electoral law.

  53. Mike Collins 54

    r0b,

    Thank you for a much more reasoned analysis in that post. I find people’s points tend to do better when they acknowledge those made by others before introducing their own debating points. Otherwise it looks like you are ignoring them, as they can be uncomfortable.

    I would agree with you that Mike Williams could have put more thought into his response (as could everyone who applauded), and had that been the end of the matter we would probably have been discussing something different today. As we know this has been inflamed by Mike Williams denials. What he should have said on Agenda was something like “look I made a bad call in saying the idea had any sort of merit. It is not appropriate to use government advertising for campaigning purposes. However it is important to note that this was a working group and we did not want to exclude any ideas then and there. The proper process we use is to consider each idea carefully later and I can assure you this would have been discarded.” Instead he got defensive and lied. Not the first time either.

    For the record while I was not terribly impressed with how the EBs conducted their campaign (false addresses etc giving an impression of deceit and something to hide), I don’t have a problem with them spending what they did. I would only argue that they should have properly complied with authorisation requirements so that the public could make an informed choice once discovering who was behind the campaign. Before the media dug it out. I have no problem with removing anonymous funding (and neither do many on the Right). It was strange then to see anonymous funding retained in the EFA – albeit only to levels of such funding Labour had received in the past.

  54. r0b 55

    What he should have said on Agenda was something like

    Well there we are in complete agreement.

  55. Phil 56

    TomS,

    I think thats an unfair view on polling. I have the highest respect for those companies and the work they do, having been loosely connected to market-research for a few years now.

    I don’t seen anything wrong with the results. In trend terms TV1 and TV3 are both showing the same broad themes, give or take a little sampling error, timing issues, and statistical methodology. Remember that statisticians reserve the right to be wrong 5% of the time!

    I suspect that the biggest part of the problem is that National was sitting above it’s hypothetical ‘real’ value in the previous polls, and came back down to what looks slightly less than it’s ‘real’ value this time.

    I note that Steve talks about the ‘rising’ left. Sorry buddy, but the numbers aren’t showing that at all. Since mid-07 the results have been stagnant on both sides. National hasn’t really moved from 47%, Labour’s on a fairly stable 35%. The Greens are probably going to be lucky to top 8% in any poll for the next few months. “Rising Left”… nope, it aint. But it ain’t falling either

  56. lprent 57

    Mike Collins:

    I don’t think that it is a moral issue.

    I still think it was a good idea, it just happens to be illegal to use the material from government departments. They were talking about policies like KiwiSaver, interest free student loans, Working For Families, etc that Labour members and MP’s worked to be made Labour policy and implemented over a long period of time.

    When Labour gets the corectly labelled material to disperse to voters, you can expect that that these policies will figure strongly. It would not even surprise me if we included information about how to access government department information.

    The EFA is like any new act from parliament. It takes time for the appropiate departments and courts to work through the implications of what is in the legislation. All legislation tends to be not particularly precise and requires interpretation. You tend to find that most lawyers have different ideas on exactly what the implications of a new act mean when put on a case by case basis.

    For instance at this blog, we would like to know what the electoral commission thinks about multi-author blogs. A wide (and unlikely)interpretation would have it has to be a distinct domain name owned by a single person. That would exclude blogs on wordpress.com. It is going to be interesting to see where they put the line.

  57. Mike Collins 58

    lprent,

    “I still think it was a good idea, it just happens to be illegal to use the material from government departments.”

    Well I suppose I should give you credit for sticking to your guns on this but I can not see it as anything but unethical (morals are different altogether). The government is looking to spend $100 million this year promoting it’s programmes. If utmost care is not taken to keep this as apolitical as possible then that’s effectively a $100 million advantage to Labour. I thought you guys were all against big money in elections.

    I have no problem with the Labour party putting out its own literature saying what it has achieved in government and even how to access the programmes it has worked to put into place. However that would be using its own private money not taxpayers which is a critical distinction.

    I find it troubling that you would see such an activity as campaigning with government department material as ethical if it weren’t illegal.

  58. Matthew Pilott 59

    Mike Collins,

    The argument against use of Government policy advertising is an interesting one. I have an alternate ethical viewpoint, in that since the advertising is the tangible results of a Party’s policy, it’s not unethical to use that advertising. If Labour are bad, and have been bad for the country, couldn’t National also had out WFF or Kiwisaver advertising, explain why it is bad, and why they voted against it?

    Couldn’t National find information about lowering the corporate tax rate, hand it out to businesses, explain why they think it was a bad move and why they voted against it?

    If National were in power, they could, for example, hand out information about involuntary boot camps and why they think it’s a good idea, or they could try their hand at explaining ot people how their 90-day bill had benefited people. Labour could then do the opposite – and use the same material to argue against those policies.

    The above is slightly tongue in cheek, of course, and there is a reason why I am against the idea – it should be politically neutral information and the purpose of the information is to help citizens access information about government services they are paying for. It is therefore a misuse of information in that it is for advertising a service and not for a party. If Labour was to reprint the material out of their own pockets, then I’d say go for it (it will have to be modified to indicate it is Labour Advertising material and copyright issues might need to be looked at…).

  59. Mike Collins 60

    Matthew,

    I agree with your last paragraph which seems to rebut the position posed by your first of an alternate ethical viewpoint. As you say government department advertising is supposed to be neutral and not cast opinion on whether a policy is good or bad. Simply to convey the programme is its purpose. Political parties should not be able to use this information for their own purposes. It is entirely appropriate however for them to use their own money for promotion of their goals.

  60. Matthew Pilott 61

    I pretty much tied myself up in knots there…

    I mean that the information in of itself isn’t a problem, just that that specific type of publication isn’t intended for that use.

    I’d love to see National try and campaign based upon its voting record over the last eight or so years…

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  • An end to unnecessary secondary tax
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    2 weeks ago
  • Chatham Islands pāua plan approved
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    2 weeks ago
  • Bill introduced for synthetics crackdown
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    2 weeks ago
  • Blasphemous libel law repealed
    The archaic blasphemous libel offence will be repealed following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill today, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government lassos livestock rustling
    New rules to crack down on livestock rustling will come into force following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Medieval law axed
    The ‘year and a day rule’ rule will be repealed following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Further steps to combat tax evasion
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    3 weeks ago