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Same old National. Same old spin.

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, July 1st, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: same old national, spin - Tags: , ,

Former National Party MP Marilyn Waring wrote in the introduction to The Hollow Men:

I must admit to a sense of anticipated despair about the treatment [the book] might receive… The focus may be on looking for and condemning the leakers as opposed to scrutinising an appallingly mendacious political campaign.

This has been precisely the approach the National Party have encouraged. Bill English was back for act ii last night. While he was doing his best to avoid answering questions about the involvement of shadowy spin doctors Crosby/Textor the Nat’s spin machine was flat out, desperately aiming to position National as the innocent victims of dastardly “computer hackers”.

The mainstream media seem only too happily led down this path, though you’ll remember that the Police eliminated the suggestion that an external computer hacker had breached Parliamentary computer security back in April – essentially confirming suspicions that this allegation was yet another diversion by National.

I doubt there are any within the National caucus who actually believe thier own spin. Hager has been as good as his word from last October: So little has changed in National under Key, he remarked, it’s ‘quite likely that my work over the next year will be watching the politics and trying to pick up the same threads again. I’m not sure yet but if i get the right sources and get some solid information that might be what i do.’

I wonder how long it’ll be before someone challenges Key’s assertion that he’s not using the same advisors as Brash did now that we know the truth. No doubt Key’s response is being frantically spun this very minute.

39 comments on “Same old National. Same old spin. ”

  1. The idea that the email system could somehow be hacked is in itself silly. Then you’ve got to ask why the Police found no evidence of it. Then, even if there was a hacking you’ve got to ask how non-email info (faxes, diaries etc) got out.

    Clearly leakers. Might be worth having a post on who it could be.

  2. roger nome 2

    Guyon Espiner on breakfast this morning revealed that National Party staffers have told him that CT are indeed advising the National Party. It’s a huge embarrassment for the National Party leadership to be caught repeatedly evading this question, only to have it answered by their staff.

    Then there’s the dishonesty over the “hacker’ claims, which they know aren’t possible. The wheels are getting wobbly now. Hopefully Hager and his National Party insiders can get them to fall off.

  3. Matthew Pilott 3

    I love it that they’re now claiming it’s ‘common knowledge’ National used CT and have for the last four elections, yet Key makes it quite apparent that it’s not in the interview posted here yesterday.

    If it were common knowledge, why would you need to steal emails from them to get the info about it? Hmm, slight contradiction – I wonder what their game is?

  4. Billy 4

    The wheels are getting wobbly now. Hopefully Hager and his National Party insiders can get them to fall off.

    Wishful thinking, I’m afraid, ‘nome. Bet you a pork and fennell sausage roll it makes no difference.

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    I had one of thse recently and was disappointed, I must say. Nothing on a feta and pumpkin pie.

  6. Billy 6

    Feta has no place in a pie.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    With today’s (wonderful) news on the launch of KiwiRail, we can now reveal the identity of the high-ranking National Party insider who has been leaking these e-mails.

    It’s Jim Bolger!

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    Fennell has no place in a sausage roll!!!

  9. Billy 9

    Agreed, Matthew. Even pork is marginal.

  10. Given that National has been using these consultants since 1993 where exactly is the story ? I agree with Matthew Hooton on National Radio yesterday: Hager is the Patricia Bartlett of politics.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    Well then. Glad we’re nutting out the really important issues here. Sorry a_y_b…

  12. monkey-boy 12

    Does that about sum up how exciting this latest ‘bombshell’ is – people would rather talk …. pies?….

    Seriously though why not dedicate you precious blog-space to selling the good stuff about Labour? Isn’t it apparent that the ‘scratched record’ strategy ‘John Key is evil [click] John Key is Evil [click]” is failing to excite?

    As the year drags on, there will be a trnsformation in the minds of the electorate as they start to seriously focus on what benefits there are in voting for each party. This strategy is clearly not working – Labour is leaking support!

    Only on the Weekend, I heard about a group of eighteen year olds who are lining up to enrol and vote National in protest against the recent impost on their car modifications causing the police to fine them $250.00 for having modified exhausts!! FFS!

    Come on guys, at least try to make it look like a fair competition, because at the moment you are getting yo’ asses whupped!

    I quite like guinness and steak pies by the way.

  13. outofbed 13

    Listen to Key’s stuff up on RNZ midday report talking about Crosby/Textor
    [email protected]#king hilarious

  14. I love the contradictory lines you see used by the same people:

    ‘No, damn it, they’re not using Crosby/Textor’ (indicating that using C/T is politically damaging)

    ‘Everyone uses strategists’ (so, why are you unwilling to admit using C/T? The PM is happy to say who Labour’s pollseters are, and they don’t have outsider strategists)

    ‘Nobody cares!’ (well, the coverage would prive that wrong, and why are you so keen fro us to stop covering it?)

    ‘C/T is not bad, they’re normal’ (really, then why the secracy over using them? and the misdirection and shoot the messenger?’)

    – it’s a bit like the scattergun approach National used on the wage drop quote. But the fact that you’re using every concievable excuse indicates you’re doing it jsut to try to shut down the story, not because you believe any of them to be true.

  15. Matthew Pilott 15

    Lew just mentioned that, ouofbed – apparently he’s not sure if he condones push-polling or not these days. I guess no one’s told him whether he does or not!

    Monkey-boy, while I’m sure the authors find it touching that you place such strong belief in their blog that they are the sole reason for Labour’s electoral success or lack thereof, it is based upon some flawed reasoning. How can you say, for instance, that Labour wouldn’t be polling at a much lower rate if it were not for the efforts of the Standard?

    All-in-all it is bizzare in the extreme to place the polling of a political party to which The Standard does not claim affiliation at their feet.

    How about a perspective from you – not whether you think the electorate will care, but what do you think of National using CT. I’m sure you’ve had time to read about their strategies – do you think this type of campaign is good for debate, good for democracy? Are you impressed with National’s attempts to draw attention away from the issue? Are you disappointed that key has been shown to be lying, in the same fashion as the man he disposed of for National’s leadership?

  16. Same old Standard; Same old bulldust…

    PS – captcha = not pumping – hmmmmm

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    Same old Inventory, same old inanity…?

  18. monkey-boy 18

    Matthew if you are interested in my opinions re this: see my own post – http://monkeyswithtypewriter.blogspot.com/2008/06/early-election-looming.html
    Personally I think that CT are nasty and awful and all those things no doubt you do. But I also think that if you are actually shocked by their existence, of Key’s use of them, or his denials of them, or whether he has or has not used them in the past or will or will not in the future, is frankly a big yawn. The level of naivety that some display with their horror about this is akin to the psychic shock no doubt many of experienced when they learned that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist. But that is the tabloid mentality isn’t it?
    As for:
    “How can you say, for instance, that Labour wouldn’t be polling at a much lower rate if it were not for the efforts of the Standard?”
    I can’t. I’m just saying that the evidence suggests that the Standard’s approach is not helping. I’ll go even further, and say that post-election, when the autopsy is done, the existence of this blog, with its rather neolithic approach to the voting public, will be singled out as a contributing factor to the public’s perception of Labour.
    perhaps I do give The Standard too much credit. However, the mentality is passe, and kinda mid-eighties – which is again ironic, because it is a cause celebre here on the Standard that National secretly want to take NZ back there, to ‘the eighties’.
    Whether The Standard are sponsored, funded, part of or even related to Labour through their sister’s second-cousin twice removed is by the by for me at this moment in time.
    Is it not interesting that many of the posters here are anonymous, will not reveal who they are (for fear of ‘retaliation’ FFS!) and daily post smear-stories and innuendo about Key and Ntional, yet, refer to CT who are named, on record, and contactable, as secretive, and distasteful because… wait for it… they run smear campaigns and innuendo against Labour!
    Can you see the irony?
    Anyway tempus fugit and all that got work to do, so respond if you want but I really can’t talk anymore today.
    ps ‘John Key is Evil [click] John Key is Evil [click]’ etc

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Lee

    Your blog post shows that not only have you not read the “Hollow Men”, you haven’t even bothered glancing at the index to find the words “Crosby” or “Textor”.

    Let’s have an informed debate, when you’re ready.

  20. bill brown 20

    hey monkey-boy – did your parents name you that or did you change it by deed poll?

  21. gobsmacked: An informed debate is precisely what they do NOT want. It is important this be understood. Kiwiblog is spitting out “nanny-state” and “bloated bureaucracy” posts again this morning. When you look into the details behind the posts, you discover that in one case – the SPARC web site – National is trying to make Labour look bad for ALREADY doing what national says it will do. But you won’t know that until you check.

    The story is framed as the government spending $11.5M on a web site for fats kids to look at instead of buying them sports gear. It doesn’t SAY that exactly…..but that is the “sentiment” that the knee-jerk crowd have responded to.

    In the case of schools not selling rubbish, this is portrayed as “nanny-state” restricting freedom….while I don’t see anyone complaining about school uniforms sold at monopoly prices – or your kids can’t go to school at all – as a gross restriction on freedoms for parents and children.

    Funny if it wasn’t so dishonest.

  22. monkey-boy 22

    gobby – “Your blog post shows that not only have you not read the “Hollow Men’, you haven’t even bothered glancing at the index to find the words “Crosby’ or “Textor’.

    Let’s have an informed debate, when you’re ready.’
    Soo snippy’.
    No it doesn’t It merely shows I don’t own a copy.
    I used the information and links provided from the Standard yesterday. Does that mean that they haven’t read it either?

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    But I also think that if you are actually shocked by their existence, of Key’s use of them, or his denials of them, or whether he has or has not used them in the past or will or will not in the future, is frankly a big yawn.

    I guess you don’t give a rat’s ass about democracy, and an open debate about the future. Go back to sleep then, monkeyboy, that’s better.

    I’ll go even further, and say that post-election, when the autopsy is done, the existence of this blog, with its rather neolithic approach to the voting public, will be singled out as a contributing factor to the public’s perception of Labour.

    How is railing against a cynical campaign trying to stifle debate treating the public as ‘neolithic’. It’s exactly the opposite, how on earth did you come to that conclusion?

    However, the mentality is passe, and kinda mid-eighties – which is again ironic, because it is a cause celebre here on the Standard that National secretly want to take NZ back there, to ‘the eighties’.

    It’s more 90’s if you want to get any facts right, and one only needs to look at the Nats front bench. Sorry, again, if a constructive debate about important issues is passe to you kids of the soundbyte generation. This is quite a tangent by the way, you have a singular talent for going off like this.

    Your comments on funding and anonymity don’t warrant repeating, let alone comment. But can I see the irony? No. No one here is getting funding to the tune of millions, and you clearly have no idea what CT do, as gobsmacked also noted above. Once you know enough to be able to come back here and explain the error in that dichotomy we can have another bash; if you think you know enough about them to draw a comparison to this site I honestly think you need to take a closer look.

    P.S. look over THERE *runs away*

    P.P.S. a few months back I suggested you join a party to broaden your experience. You still place a lot of emphasis on the blogs – I take it you haven’t done so. Suggestion still stands – get out there and get involved.

  24. gobsmacked 24

    Monkey-Boy

    You wrote about Crosby-Textor on your blog: ” … if they did [do] not appear in ‘The Hollow Men'”. There is no “if”. It is a simple matter of fact, easily verifiable.

    I don’t own a copy of ‘War and Peace’, nor have I read it. Therefore I don’t go onto TolstoyBlog.com and sound off about things I don’t know. Somebody told me once the book was boring, but I really don’t think that’s enough evidence for me to start telling everyone else what they should think about it. I prefer to make up my own mind.

    If you don’t, that’s your choice, and your right. Just don’t ask to be taken seriously when we’re discussing things you haven’t bothered to find out for yourself – and with very little effort.

  25. Lew 25

    Re: War and Peace – it isn’t at all boring, it’s just very, very long. And complicated. Most of the complaints about how boring it is are from people who’ve not read it.

    The Hollow Men is neither long nor complicated.

    (As you were.)

    L

  26. Vanilla Eis 26

    Thanks Lew, you just provided me with the inspiration to dig out that copy my parents left me!

    captcha: very fantastic

  27. monkey-boy 27

    Well, I certainly am getting a sound ass-whuppin today aren’t I?
    And why Matthew? Because I have suggested that to be shocked by National’s shennanighans is akin to airing your naivety for all to see?
    How is railing against a cynical campaign trying to stifle debate treating the public as ‘neolithic’. It’s exactly the opposite, how on earth did you come to that conclusion?”

    You are plainly not listening, Matthew. Are yo in denial? The Standard has made great capital out of villifying, demonising, undermining, John Key. Ok so far?
    My point is, that this blog is as skilled and as adept as C/T at running point for Labour as they are for National.
    In fact, many posters here are so deluded by the righteousness of their cause that they fail to see that they are being suckered in by the same techniques and devices that they accuse C/T of.

    And Gobby – how have I told you what you should think about anything? Is it so frightening to step out of the pen?

    Yes, the ‘if’ is so important. It indicates that I was not sure of the fact, and that, I was analysing the situation based on what the original article in The Standard posited.
    It appears that my attempts to analyse the theme of the threads is akin to being undemocratic, and any alternative viewpoints are ‘telling people what to think’?

    You are both talking like sheep. Get some opinions you can call your own, and then perhaps we can meet as equals. Until then:
    John Key is Evil [click] John Key is Evil [click]
    should suffice.

  28. Felix 28

    No monkeyboy, you’re getting an “ass-whuppin” because you’re either batshit insane or plain stupid.

    Here and on your own strange little blog you’ve been bleating that it’s all a nasty smear and that Mr Key was never asked about CT.

    The question he was asked was whether the Nats were sill using the same spin docs as they had in the last election. THAT WAS CROSBY TEXTER.

    You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about, have no interest in learning either.

    p.s. I only said you might be batshit insane to be polite and give you the benifit of the doubt. I don’t really believe it.

  29. monkey-boy 29

    Felix – “….Based on The Standard’s understanding of this situation, the original question from RDU came in November 2007. Key did not refer to Crosby/Textor’s involvement, which means that he is either:
    answering the question “Have you got any advisors round now that are seen in The Hollow Men?’ honestly if they did not appear in ‘The Hollow Men’. or:
    dissembling, because Crosby/Textor, if not in ‘The Hollow Men’, were employed by Brash.”
    Is what I wrote, Felix.
    One us is clearly insane, or illiterate, evidently.
    Can’t any of you read??!!??
    IF C/T APPEARED IN THE HOLLOW MEN THEN KEY IS LYING. MUST I SPOON-FEED YOU THE INFORMATION?
    If you read what is said, I have suggested that Key is lying (I used ‘dissembling’ to acknowledge the hesitation with which he replied) if the evidence supports it.
    I mean CAN I GET A WITNESS [email protected]
    Or am I
    stupid, insane anti-democratic, a thought-controller, etc etc.
    Or perhaps yo are all brainwashed idjits.
    I know which I’d rather be accused of.

    [lprent: Wow. That looks like d4j on his worst days last year. I can’t make sense of it.
    Too much of that kind of disconnected blathering and I’ll show you why this site is relatively clear of trolling.
    This is your friendly warning. ]

  30. Matthew Pilott 30

    Monkeyboy, sometimes I don’t know how to repond. We’re using the same language, but saying completely different things. Oh, the limitations of english, curse it.

    Now I don’t think anyone is shocked by this. I wouldn’t be shocked by a lot of things National might or might not doing. You are the only person who has suggested anyone is shocked. Pehaps you’re mistaking that for expressing an interest and publicising the matter to a certain enthusiastic degree, but naievity is a very long bow to be drawing.

    And as I said before, if you think what goes on here is akin to CT tactics, then you’ve got a lot to learn. Now there’s no need to get all huffy and puffed up with some form of self-righteousness. Remember our last chat? Apologies for the patronising tone, but a lot more can be done without it.

    On a final note, having an opinion that is similar to others’ isn’t all that out of the oridnary. When you come in from out of the blue, and fire off in such tangents as to be unintelligible, well you certainly can’t be accused of not thinking outside the square, but you certainly can be accused of not thinking.

    Perhaps you should stick to the issues people are trying to discuss, and not relate it back to an ill-disguised hatred of this site and everyone that agrees with various comments posted here. Ball, not the man, and all that stuff.

  31. Matthew Pilott 31

    I tried to add this in as an edit, but ran out of time:

    Edit: I am by no means neutral, but I can’t make any sense whatsoever of your last post to felix. Please use HTML tags to quote other people and only copy down direct quotes, not to mention making use of paragraphs and question marks or something, there’s no way someone can follow that comment, I’ll be impressed if felix can respond!

  32. gobsmacked 32

    Monkey-Boy

    Therefore, Key is lying.

    Except … you haven’t read the ‘Hollow Men’, so you only have my word, or that of others who have read it.

    But we are sheep. So you can ignore what we say. Circular, isn’t it?

    But if you do ever get hold of a copy (and I hope one day you do, I genuinely think you’d enjoy reading it), you’ll find Crosby/Textor on pages 119, 124, 130, 131, 152-167, 178, 180 … and so on.

    PS Key “evil”? No, and never said so. But worth trusting with my vote? Definitely not.

  33. Felix 33

    MP,

    Sorry, I’m at a complete loss as to what mb’s last comment is, let alone what it means.

    After reading through it 3 or 4 times I’ve come to the conclusion that it may be some kind of avant-garde poetry, but I’ll probably never know for sure.

    I mean what defines a poem in the context of a blog?

  34. lprent 34

    I was a bit astonished as well.. Had to leave a note on the comment (sigh)

  35. Matthew Pilott 35

    I think the first bit is a quote from his blog, and his conclusion is that Key is lying. The second half is an emotive expression against not being understood. Who knows why posts on Key lying is a good launching-pad for an attack on The Standard or the left in general, that’s the ‘out-of-the-blue’ stuff. You think you’d find an example where Key wasn’t lying, before attacking people who are saying Key was lying. Funny thing is, everyone agrees on the main point – same old National, same old spin (well, if lying can be called spin).

  36. randal 36

    Lprent if you look at that comment and extrapolate then you can see how shonkey jonkey can get away with telling the same old lies over and over and that sort of person (monkey boy)believing them.

    [lprent: You know that in sysop mode, I’m pretty uninterested in what people say. In comment mode I get quite blunt]

  37. monkey-boy 37

    Lprent I really do not understand why you can’t see my post on my blog for what it is.
    Maybe I have the early onset of Alzheimers, so I will try to break it down, and if yo think am trolling and that I do not have opinions worthy of here, then fine, will take my leave.

    1) Key dissembled in response to the first question.
    2) Hager said he’s been using C/T at least since Brash employed them.
    3) Keys response to the question in Nov. 07 if The Hollow Men indicates otherwise (and I did not have a copy to hand at the time) is a lie.
    4) or he dissembled to avoid answering.
    5) My reason for putting ‘if’ next to the Hollow Men reference was based on Hager’s quote which said the info.’came to light’ recently, so I was covering my odds, given that I did not have a copy with me.
    6)If this info is the ‘neutron bomb’ to which Labour referred last year, it is a ‘bit of a dud’
    7) In my opinion, the tactics that employ C/T are merely a mirror of tactics employed by The Standard.
    8) Therefore I am assuming that the exposure of this old news at this time is an indication that Labour may go for and early election.

    Now, as far as I can see:
    I have agreed that you guys have got Key ‘bang to rights’ if the evidence supports it (ie The Hollow Men)
    I have suggested that this kind of strategy is stock in trade for both sides of the debate.

    So to my mind, my balanced and fair summary of the situation, given that I have essentially read and analysed what your blog stated in the first place has in turn been met by insults, ridicule and a blanket paranoia by people who are clearly so wrapped up in their fairy-tale view of the world that they have assumed tht I have somehow ‘got it in’ for The Standard.

    Or else I really do have Alzheimers. In which case, what was the question, again?

    [lprent: That was readable. I do have quite strong reactions about behaviour when in sysop mode. Then my concern is to protect the site. In particular against flame wars. You tripped a couple of my wires, so you got a note. I seem to be warning before pushing these days – it is a good sign.

    I don’t really care what your opinions are when I’m in sysop persona. Nor what other commentators have to say about your opinions. Just so long as it fits within my behaviour bounds.

    They basically mean that I can’t abide trolls (defined as I could write a program to reproduce their behaviour), don’t particularly like senseless personal attacks (attacking an argument is a different thing), will not tolerate attacks on this site or the personal integrity of the writers on this site, and I’ll back any decision by a moderator. Anyone will tell you that I regard consistency as an amusing concept, prefer to over-react rather than be nice, and regard myself as judge jury and executioner on my own site. But most of the time I can’t be bothered. In short it is the BOFH personality (lookit up).

    BTW: If you think this is bad – you should read some posts from December before I started moderating.]

  38. Tane 38

    Lee, two things, briefly:

    6) There never was a ‘neutron bomb’. Which Labour person have you heard say that? Cos I know quite a few and no one has ever said anything of the sort. The only place I’ve heard any neutron bomb discussed was Matthew Hooton, of Hollow Men fame. You can judge his motives for yourself.

    7) You give us too much credit. I mean hell, if you wanna pay me $10k a meeting I’m happy to help you out and all, but let’s not kid ourselves here.

  39. Walter Ego 39

    Ok Tane but I have on occasion seen media stuff you personally have disseminated even arise in the Herald with you credited as the author.
    Only last week the Standard Line re maori Wars got a fair bit of traction in the media too.
    Secondly Iprent if you don’t like the personal insults stuff, where where you when felix jumped in haven’t clearly been able to read and digesst my blog-post?
    anyway it’s all good have a nice day.
    peace out.

    [lprent: I have no interest in being consistent but I do have an interest in over-reacting. In theory people here are all adults and can assess the risk of moderators or myself getting attracted to their comments.

    Whatever Felix said didn’t attract my attention – most likely because it wasn’t a personal attack. While there was personal insult, there was also an explanation about what he objected to in your comment. It takes a lot for me to get interested in personal insult. Lack of an argument (valid or otherwise) is the fastest way to do it.]

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  • Call for expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench
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    6 days ago
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  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
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  • Christchurch Call Initiative on Algorithmic Outcomes
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  • JOINT PR: Trans-Tasman Cooperation on disaster management
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  • More transparency, less red-tape for modernised charities sector
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  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
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