Let’s go back to the heart of this story: it is not about push-polling or whatever, this is about how Brand Key has been purpose-built by a company world-renowned for its secretive, anti-democratic practices.
Crosby/Textor are not just some consultants like parties might use to assist policy development. They have built our image of Key from the ground up along these simple lines – create a nice life-history myth loosely based on the facts, speak all the time of being positive and ambitious (when was the last time you heard Key actually say something positive?), keep policy vague so voters won’t be turned off, and smile, smile, smile. Finding out that Crosby/Textor is behind Brand Key is the final piece of the puzzle that makes all we’d seen before clear.
Let’s look at the real John Key vs Brand Key repeating Crosby/Textor lines:
Real John is quite a rightie and has a tendency to speak his mind. He’s the one who said his differences with Brash were not fundemental, more a “matter of tone”. Brand Key is the ‘tone’ created by Crosby/Textor – bland and shallow but inoffensive and electable. Just remember, it’s Real John who would be PM, making daily decisions that affect Kiwis’ lives.