Outraging families of suicide victims. Insulting the Police as layabouts. Declaring war on the media. Negative teapot stories every day, now spreading to overseas coverage. The Nats are spinning that this was planned; that they decided to go nuclear on the media as a vote winner. What a joke. They were successfully running a small target campaign until a week ago.
Hubris. That’s what’s behind this. From talking about secret plans within spitting distance of the press gallery in a public cafe to the increasingly bizarre public comments and behaviour of the PM, this started because the Nats thought they were bullet-proof.
On the verge of “unbridled power”, the Nats didn’t need to create a shitstorm but they didn’t think they were creating one. They thought they could crush the embarrassment of the tape by monstering the HoS and avoid the embarrassment of the tapes’ contents getting out. But it didn’t work. Every day has seen an escalation. Now, they don’t know how to kill the story.
They’re trying desperately not to give more sound bites. That’s why Goodfellow canceled on RNZ at the last minute. But Key’s lost it. He can’t help himself. And loose cannons like Banks and Brash keep on making good fodder. And the police investigation itself is now keeping the negative headlines coming.
Small target is all about avoiding the critical eye of the media and the public. National is now fully in the focus of that glare. Not just the teapot tapes themselves but the Nats’ record on equality and wages, Key’s refusal to front up for serious policy interviews, and Key’s secret meetings.
This is getting worse by the day. Every poll we’ve seen was out of date when it was printed, yet they all show National falling already.