Return to [insert region here]

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 7 comments
Categories: national, spin - Tags:

Jackie Blue, MP for [insert region here], accidentally unmasked National’s media practices when she published a blog post called “Generic Column – Lifting Education Standards” and forgot to add the ‘personal touch’. Now, the Dimpost has shown that the Nats are still using these [insert region here] columns to spread the party line.

Danyl has published an email from a reader, I’ll copy the first half  here:

Repeat after me

National Party MPs are some of the laziest state beneficiaries in the country. Any journalist receiving a press release from one of them should be very wary of a party that is master making their MPs mimic a line.

For instance: Simon Bridges, who for some reason is considered an up-and-comer in the National caucus, put out a press release entitled “7,757 warmer, drier homes in the Bay of Plenty

This is eerily similar to Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi who put out one called “21 426 warmer, drier homes in Auckland

Dr Jackie Blue built on this in her own “warmer, dryer homes” press release by saying “At this time of year, it’s particularly important that our homes are warm, dry, and healthy. Those families who have taken advantage of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart scheme will be feeling the benefits now that winter is well and truly on us.’

Colin King copied all that including what must simply be a tracked change line “Thanks to new under-floor insulation, ceiling insulation, and clean heating such as a heat pump, more than 944 Marlborough households now have healthier homes”

This is exactly the same as Nicky Wagner’s “[INSERT NUMBER OF TARGET PUNTERS HERE]” and “[INSERT TARGET ELECTORATE HERE]” press release.

However, it’s not just current MPs who got caught up in the copycat act – National’s Wellington Central candidate Paul Foster-Bell opined that “This is a win-win situation for Wellington. If you haven’t yet had your home retrofitted, you can call EECA on 0800 749 782 to find out if you’re eligible” – calling into question whether parliamentary services is being used to support National candidates.

National: for that authentic local touch.

7 comments on “Return to [insert region here]”

  1. Bill 1

    So what?

    It’s standard practice these days in all types of situations.

    Back in Bill Clinton’s day he’d do a satelite tour of the US. Same message on satelite link after satelite link with only the uttered place name/ state changed.

    And when there is a petition going around – a ‘write to your (insert target)’, there is generally a generic ‘letter’ that everyone can send with a ‘personal touch’ inserted.

    • Blighty 1.1

      it’s different, though, when it’s your elected representative claiming to have had feedback from their electorate. The feedback isn’t real, it’s a lie.

    • Ianupnorth 1.2

      Maybe somebody should remind Simon Bridges that the Housing and Homes project was commenced by the Labour party during their third term, that is was a public health initiative and one that took a bit of fighting to keep.
      As for him being up and coming – does that mean we’ll see his gob more on TV and in Women’s day like his boss? His solution for hungry children was encouraging churches to get in on the act!

      • Jim Nald 1.2.1

        NActs would be delighted to reduce citizens of the state to recipients of charity?
        Amazing. What will they think of next?

    • David K 1.3

      I guess it’s too much to ask for these highly paid elected representatives to have to think for themselves and write their own press releases. Or even have taxpayer funded staff to come up with something unique with a local flavour that their constituents might actually relate to.
      Actually, I’m more concerned that NACT MP’s are being micro-managed to such a degree that they aren’t “allowed” to write their own press releases.
      Oh well, good to know that press releases from my local MP, Bridges, aren’t actually from him, or his staff in the BOP or centrally in Wellington.

  2. Political Bear 2

    The real issue here is who will make the Speakers compliant for using PS funded resources (PR staff and their equipment) to help National candidates.

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