Ralston’s hackery continues

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, March 29th, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: Media, spin - Tags: , , , ,

Earlier this week we pointed out that John Key has started running a new line. Now instead of calling touchy-feely liberal policies on things like climate change and public health ‘PC gone mad’ (too Don Brash), National is referring to them as ‘hug a polar bear’ programmes.

Right on cue, Key cheerleader Bill Ralston is parroting the line in his Herald on Sunday column and fleshing it out for public consumption. First, explain what the line means:

John Key’s memorable line about Labour’s “hug a polar bear” programmes, ineffective campaigns that sound good but don’t deliver results, wryly summed up this Government’s contempt for many of the touchy-feely, state-funded marketing campaigns the last Labour administration spawned.

Second, list a few examples of crazy “hug a polar bear” spending. Don’t worry about facts:

A classic feelgood “hug a polar bear” programme has to be the $15.7 million a year campaign by Sparc, the Ministry of Education and Health Department to encourage young kids to indulge in healthy activities.

Finally, personally denigrate the people charged with carrying out these programmes so the public won’t mind them being fired, or the fact the government is breaking its election promises:

A “cap” means public service numbers will not grow. In fact, under this administration, they will fall. The PSA is talking more than 750 jobs lost. Well, frankly, you and I are paying those people’s wages, and if they are wasting our money then tough luck.

Another week, another pay cheque for Bill. I wonder how long it’ll take before the Herald on Sunday realises it can just print the National Party press release and save itself the $1500.

12 comments on “Ralston’s hackery continues”

  1. John Dalley 1

    Ralston’s still bitter about getting the arse from tvnz, and seeing he now has to work for a living National’s money is as good as anyone’s.
    He turned out to be an incompetent jackass with an over-inflated opinion of his worth and paid the price.

  2. jason 2

    Well put golf guy.

  3. Bill 3


    “A “cap’ means public service numbers will not grow. In fact, under this administration, they will fall. The PSA is talking more than 750 jobs lost. Well, frankly, you and I are paying those people’s wages, and if they are wasting our money then tough luck”

    A crisis means that bank, banker and investor numbers will not grow. In fact during this crisis, they will fall. Experts are talking more than (x squared) jobs lost.Well, frankly, you and I are paying those people’s salaries and bonuses, and if they wasted our money, then tough luck.

    Vive consistency!

    Em. Or then again. Why don’t we give them even more money to keep them going while we vilify one another (public servants, foreign workers), cop the job losses, foreclosures on our homes, cuts to services and general diminishing of our economic well-being? Yeah. That sounds more like it.

  4. John Dalley 4

    daveski, John Daly you idiot.
    As for me, i can’t play golf to save myself no matter how much i try or like the game.

  5. Trevor Mallard 5

    And Bill – and his column ghostwriter John – forget that Push Play was a 1990s National initiative expanded under Labour because it worked and because obesity diabetes etc are a major health threat.

  6. It’s been an interesting line run by multiple Standard writers – attack the NZH.

    It’s interesting for a number of reasons – the Herald is but one of a number of national newspapers (albeit Auckland-centric) and papers are one of a wider range of news sources.

    I compare this type of post with the columns written by Finlay MacDonald in the SST that reflect the same lines and same phrases as the Standard. In fact, Finlay could have written this post based on his column 🙂

    Frankly, who cares? The Herald and SST can print what they like within reason. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to read it or buy it.

    • Macro 6.1

      And I don’t! The sooner the Granny disappears into oblivion the better for us all. I don’t need them to tell me what to think.

    • Tane 6.2

      I think we’re equal opportunity critics when it comes to individual columnists/editorials, it’s just that the Herald seems to have more right-wing nutters on the books.

      The Herald also nailed its colours to the mast last year with its blatant campaign for National, of course we’re more likely to notice when it’s slipping from journalism into right-wing political activism.

  7. Ianmac 7

    I’m not a supporter of Peters but the nasty stuff that Ralston spewed out to defeat him, was ‘orrible! His sympathies were pretty obvious but a pity he didn’t just declare himself as a Tory and a Tory mouthpiece. Pity as he can string words together effectively, but not to my taste, and in any case Sparc has set the atmosphere well and damn shame if they were removed.

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